The 48-page graphic novella Minor Side Effects explores sex education and its experience from the perspective of a young woman who tries to ‘do it right’. However, she soon finds that contraception, in reality, is not always as easy as following the textbook.
The idea for Minor Side Effects originated with the observation that we do not openly speak about sex and contraception, even though they are very important topics in all of our lives. At school or at home, most of us have had the ‘talk’ at some point, but we still find ourselves lost, confused and ashamed buying our first pack of condoms or getting the pill prescribed, as if it was a ‘bad’ thing that nobody else does.
I believe that it is not only important to be taught the numerical pros and cons of the pill, the condom, the diaphragm, the coil, the patch, injection, etc., but that we also need to start speaking about the experience of using them. The story in this graphic novella does not attempt to cover every form of contraception, but rather hopes to make its reader think: do I feel like that? Did I know this? Would I have done the same? Is that right? Should I go and speak to a sexual health nurse about this? Should I talk to my mum, sister or my father about that? Is this how my girlfriend feels? Is what I’m using right for me? How do I feel?