Hannah Witton, primarily, is smart. She is also a YouTuber, but like so many others, she is several other things on top of that: a writer, a sex educator, a reader, a radio show host, and a fan of books and TV. Her YouTube channel, which has over 350,000 subscribers and has attracted more than 24 million views, combines all of these things—sex, dating, and relationships—and includes a series called Drunk Advice (which is highly entertaining and charmingly hilarious, to say the least).
But now, Hannah’s got another title to add to her list: published author. Her book Doing It: Let’s Talk About Sex is a candid guide to exploring sex and relationships and is a clear, concise and enjoyable resource, which is so incredibly important in a world where information can come from so many angles. We got to ask her some questions about it.
Read our full interview with Hannah Witton below.
Carliann Rittman: Your first book, Doing It, focuses on sex education in our dense digital age. What was the most enjoyable and fun part of the writing process?
Hannah Witton: The fun part was getting everything I know and have learned about sex and relationships over the years all down in one place and organizing the huge amount of stuff into a coherent book.
CR: How about the most difficult?
HW: Definitely the chapter on contraception. That table detailing all the different types was a ball-ache!
CR: It’s really cool the way that your book and YouTube channel provide a clear, informative space in such an overwhelming, information-filled digital world. When writing Doing It, what was your most important motivating goal?
HW: I kept thinking about how amazing it would be if the book ended up in school libraries and how many people that would help. That was a real motivator. (and it has! people have tweeted me pics of it in their school libraries!)
CR: From Doing It to Banging Book Club, it seems that books are super important to you and your message. Can you talk a little bit about why, exactly, examining books is so important in dissecting out culture’s view of sex?
HW: I get most of my information from books and I trust them more than some parts of the internet. I think books are hugely important in shaping us whether that be fiction or non-fiction in terms of themes, topics, representation etc.
CR: Talk to me a bit about Banging Book Club—how it came to be and what your favorite part of it is.
HW: Banging Book Club is a fortnightly podcast where myself, Leena Norms and Lucy Moon read a book about sex/gender each month and discuss it. The idea came about in December 2015 where we were just hanging out one evening and decided we wanted to learn more about sex and hang out with each other more. Hence the podcast was born. My favourite part is definitely when we hang out to chat about the books. The recording only takes about an hour but we make a whole evening of it.
CR: Do you hope to write more books in the future? I know you’re super creative—you’ve spoken in videos about ambitions towards writing TV shows, for example. What’s next?
HW: I absolutely hope to write more books! I’m also really interested in TV and doing more podcasts. At the moment it’s like there are all these doors wedged open and I just need to decide which one to walk through.
CR: Finally, I’d love a list of a couple of your favorite books: non-fiction-sex-education-related or not!
HW: I’ll give you two recommendations! These are fiction books that cover topics around sex. Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera and Trumpet by Jackie Kay. Those are both books we’ve read for Banging Book Club too so there are podcast episodes to listen to about them if you really love them!
Hannah Witton is a leading Sex and Relationships YouTuber. Her debut book, Doing It, available now for £7.99 (Wren and Rook). Available from Amazon. Check out Hannah’s Youtube channel www.youtube.com/user/hannahgirasol.
Be sure to stay tuned for our next episode of Paperback Chats!