No Sex please ……

I’ve read plenty about “No Sex Please ..” but I now have the video of the programme and am looking forward to watching that tonight. It’s clearly had quite an impact and the search engines have been busy with searches for Dan Burke, Rachel Gardner and the TV Programme.
Dan left a comment saying:
In the next 2 programmes you will see some amazing things
How’s that for a teaser? He also mentioned the Romance Academy website which has got some great info on the project.
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There are more comments on the programme a couple of entries back!
I have now watched the first episode and am incredibly impressed, I may use it when I’m training people in small group work. The piece I was asked to write for the Diocesan Newspaper is below (click “continue reading”)


On the 6th September BBC2 began a series of three TV programmes entitled, “No Sex please we’re teenagers” a kind of reality TV show in which twelve young people aged between 15 and 17 pledge not to have sex for five months.
What marks this out though is that it is the vision of two Christian Youth workers, Dan Burke and Rachel Gardner whose work this is. They have put together a “Romance Academy” to challenge young people’s attitudes to sex and present an alternative to the world most teenagers grow up in. Dan and Rachel, the programme commentator notes, “have such faith in this project that they have put their jobs on hold and their reputations on the line!”
The twelve young people in the programme, with one exception, have all been sexually active, one since the age of 12. Most of them lost their virginity when drunk and share a feeling that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Sex has continued to be a key feature of their relationships since, “Once you pop it’s difficult to stop,” one of them says and they are sceptical about the benefits of abstaining for five months but do all commit to the project.
At the time of going to press only one episode had been aired and covers the first few weeks of the project. Rachel and Dan talk openly and honestly with the group and the discussion is open, at times funny and also very real. The programme follows the group onto a residential and through the things that go badly and the things that go well ….. It’s quite a journey and the group begin to learn a lot about each other and themselves. Even in this first episode many of the teenagers start to view relationships in a different way and consider themselves to have grown – by way of the challenge as well as what they are learning and experiencing.
The programme then changes location as the group travel to America and visit a Church that heavily promotes the Abstinence message.
The group struggle in their encounter with the Church there. They are, bar one, non-Christians and one of them remarks that the experience was like “Jumping in at the deep end when you don’t know how to swim!” It also seems that the approach of the American church doesn’t employ the same level of dialogue and negotiation as Rachel and Dan do with the group. It certainly fuels conversation amongst the group though!
The first episode ends there with the promise of further challenges to come. …..
I was incredibly impressed with the youth workers involved and the young people for their willingness, honesty and vulnerability. If you are interested in understanding the sexual climate teenagers are growing up in then this is definitely a programme to watch. Even more though, it is a programme to watch if you are interested in helping teenagers to be able to think about how they view themselves and relationships, and if you are interested in challenging the norms of a sex saturated society where our young people are often the casualties.
More information on the project can be found on www.romanceacademy.org

6 Replies to “No Sex please ……”

  1. Thank you for putting a link to our website and for including a quote from me, did I miss out the word “see” before “some”- if so could you put it in for me? Thanks.
    I was sorry you’ve taken the blog off, I was enjoying the dialogue. I would like to say that the quote came out of a conversation and it looks a bit strong sitting on its own, but I do hope that everyone enjoys the next two programmes. Its interesting for us to hear people’s views and questions.

  2. Dan,
    No worries (I’m commenting here as your e-mail bounces back?) ….. I think the quote reads fine (not too strong) and reflects your enthusiasm for the project!
    P.S Search engines still going nuts looking for info about the prog and the like.

  3. Dear Dan
    I have been watching your programme on BBC 2 and felt i had to writ to congratulate you on it, I have also passed my comments on to the BBC.
    I really hope you don’t mind my emailing you, As i said before this is totally out of the norm for me.
    It’s so rare this day and age to see people such as your self and Rachel that feel so strongly about something that they are prepared to do something quite major about it.
    As a 26 year old i have had my own experiences in life, after watching your programme i wish there had been such modern support around when i was younger. I will say i feel the American view on it may be a little to much for the British youth at the moment, the way you and Rachel have tackled this subject is very good.
    I like many people am concerned about how such a special thing can be given away so easily these days in drunken moments etc. I think most of it comes from these kids thinking it makes them appear grown up and all there friends are apparently doing it so they need to do the same.
    I am most interested to see how the students are in the last episode. Are there any plans for another series? I know you are continuing with your good work and i hope you keep getting the support you need to continue the scheme. Every child’s who’s life you change is a bonus and goes towards making this country a better place.
    Well done!

  4. Hi,
    I just wanna say thank you so much to both Rachel and Dan for getting this programme on-air and completely changing my views on sex and relationships.
    I turned 18 2 weeks ago and recently I’ve been feeling the pressure to lose my virginity before I start University (so much so that I was planning on going to a party 3 days after the first episode of the prgoramme was shown to try and lose it). Most of my friends are older than me and have all had sex before so I’ve never had any other options to consider concerning losing my virginity, until this amazing programme.
    I am a Christian. I go to church most Sundays but I live in a small town where most of the congregation are old so I’ve never had the chance to learn how God can help me and lead me through this specific point in my life. I almost felt ashamed to be thinking of it in the first place.
    I have found it so easy to relate to and understand everything that Dan and Rachel have said so far throughout this programme and I just wish that there was some form of ‘Academy’ in my area. I’ve visited the website and realise that there will be opportunities for more Academy-type groups in the future but I really feel the need to learn more now. I have a lot of questions about this new discovery that I have made so I would be so grateful if anyone knows of any websites or message boards that would be able to guide me and help me to adjust to this new way of thinking.
    Sorry, I didn’t realise how long this message has got but it feels so good to finally get these thoughts out in the open that I’m not going to edit it!
    Well Done and thank you so much, Rachel and Dan, for changing my life forever. Katie x

  5. i was amazed at how positive the results have been. If only Dans work could be modelled and used all over the country.
    well done for changind lives, perspectives and outlooks
    mike

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