What is cyberstalking? What is consent? What is the difference between seducing and harassing? Titeuf asks these questions in Guide to sexual zizi by Zep, updated with “quite a few things that have changed” since the 2001 original.
“There are subjects that have arrived for 20 years, which we talked about very little before,” the Swiss designer told AFP from his home in Paris. “Terms have taken on much more importance, such as consent.”
“To love each other, to caress, to kiss and to have a fulfilling sexuality, it is necessary above all that each one expresses his consent by his words and his actions”, we read in “The Guide”. There follows a detailed definition of what consent is and is not.
Intended for an age where sex education is accelerating (9-13 years), the book sheds light on all these subjects with serious texts, signed Hélène Bruller, and humorous drawings. Sometimes nice, sometimes daring, like when Titeuf, posted in front of a screen, asks a friend: “Why is she eating his penis?”
“We start with very simple questions, about love (…), but which can also put children in real distress, if we do not answer them. And then it goes on to a little more technical things: how to kiss, what happens in the body at puberty… ”, details Zep.
Some terms have been dropped, or take up less space. Others have made their entry, such as “polyamory” or “genre”.
“Gender, or specifically gender identity, is how you feel about being a girl or a boy (or both, or neither…). This feeling is unique for each person (…) Sex is biological: we are born with a body formed in a certain way ”, explains the book.
“More pressure than before”
And in addition to the emphasis placed on prevention in 2001, the book insists in 2020 on the joy of being in love or in love.
“Sex education was done a lot around the prevention of dangers, sexual predators, diseases… It’s important to do that, but it’s also important to say that sexuality and love (…) are is also a field of pleasure and play ”, according to the author.
Moreover, he adds, “the dangers have changed: it is no longer necessarily the gentleman in the square who is the first sexual predator, it is the people who advance masked, on TikTok, on Instagram, on all dating sites, on chats, on forums, which really come to hunt ”.
“The Guide” gives advice on online dating, or against online harassment: “if you receive messages of this kind, you should always show them to a trusted adult”.
The answers to Titeuf’s questions come back regularly to the need to be oneself, without conforming to the norm, to group pressure, to representations of pornography.
“I think there is more pressure today than before” on pre-teens, Zep says. “They have Instagram pages, TikTok, where they show off a lot. So the physique is enormously put forward, and enormously judged by the others ”.
But they mature, and remain marked by Titeuf. “It’s a book that I hear a lot about in dedication. For 20 years I have continued to have people come and tell me how important this book has been to them, readers who are 30, 35 years old today ”.