Sex on the radio
Editor's note: Aled Haydn Jones produces Chris Moyles' breakfast show on Radio 1 and also presents the station's Sunday evening advice programme The Surgery, helping young people to understand and come to terms with everything from exam stress to depression and divorce since 1999. There's a special three-hour edition - on Radio 1 and 1Xtra - this Sunday - PM.
Of all the questions that we receive via phone and texts to The Surgery - the subject that our teen audience ask about the most is undoubtedly sex.
This could be because it's the subject our young teens want to talk about the most, or it could simply be the one subject they feel most embarrassed talking to their friends, teachers or parents about. But what is clear is that, when we offer them the opportunity to get straight-talking advice about any subject, they text in their thousands and call in their hundreds to ask questions about the ins-and-outs (no pun intended!) of sex.
We get all sorts of questions - how to do it, what to do; their fears about getting it wrong and worries about their bodies ("should it look like that"? "should I be thinner/taller?"). And, importantly, they are asking questions about the consequences of sex such as "what's an STI?" "Do I have it?" And "how do I cope with being a parent?"
On The Surgery we often touch on these subjects during the show but we rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to go into a complete A-Z of Sex and the issues around it. We think that ensuring that we address every myth our audience has, discounting every fear and addressing every question that they otherwise do not feel confident to seek answers for is really important. And it's for that reason that BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra are devoting an entire Sunday evening to the subject.
The night kicks off at 7pm, preparing our younger listeners with an hour of songs that are about getting people in the mood and ends with an hour-long documentary examining the use of sex in music at 11pm.
The centrepiece of the evening is a special 3 hour-long Surgery show, live with a young studio audience who will help discuss the topic and provide opinions about some of the subjects that will come up.
We will have some celebrities dropping in to share their thoughts on the matter, as well as sex and relationship experts and the usual Surgery doctors to ensure the advice and support we give is as helpful and informed as possible.
But of course, the main ingredient for the show and the people who will decide what we talk about will be our listeners. Whether they are already sexually active or not, it's their questions we receive through calls and texts that will set the agenda. It will be a interesting night, and many will undoubtedly cringe at the thought of having such an open and frank discussion but for every occasional embarrassed listener there'll be a handful of teenagers who will be that little bit more informed - and at the end of the day whatever your thoughts are on the UK's youth sex rates - having as many of our listeners as informed as possible can only help.
Take a listen, because believe me, you'll be surprised how much you'll learn on the subject. I still pick up new insights and I've been hosting The Surgery for 3 years!
Aled Haydn Jones presents The Surgery