Fact Check

Did 'Welcome to Sex' Become a No. 1 Bestseller on Amazon?

The claim spread as Australian discount department store chain Big W removed the book from their physical locations following conservative backlash.

Published Jul 20, 2023

 (Amazon Australia)
Image Via Amazon Australia
In July 2023, a book called “Welcome to Sex” became a No. 1 best-seller across Amazon.
What's True

At the time of writing, "Welcome to Sex" was the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon Australia's website. The book was temporarily out of stock.

What's False

The book was not the top bestseller across all of Amazon.

In July 2023, a claim began to spread online that a book called "Welcome to Sex" had become a No. 1 best-seller of all books on Amazon.

"#Cookers own goal just got even better," a Twitter post said on July 19, 2023. "The book "Welcome to Sex" now #1 best seller of all books on amazon." (According to the Australian Associated Press, a cooker is "a slang term sometimes used to describe a conspiracy theorist.")

We also found unrelated posts about the claim on Twitter, as well as posts on Facebook

The claim spread as Australian retailer Big W removed "Welcome to Sex" from its physical locations after staff members reported incidents of abuse by customers following a conservative backlash against the book. (At the time of writing, the book remains available to buy online on Big W's website.) According to The Conversation, critics particularly had issues with the book addressing inclusive sexual practices beyond penetrative sex, including scissoring and anal sex. The books Amazon listing describes it as a "frank, age-appropriate introductory guide to sex and sexuality for teens of all genders."

At the time of writing, Amazon Australia's website indeed listed "Welcome to Sex" as its No. 1 bestseller. The Amazon page for the book, the fourth in a series written by Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang, said that it was temporarily out of stockReputable publications like the Sydney Morning Herald also reported the book had topped the Amazon charts. 

However, the book was not the bestseller across all of Amazon, internationally.  At the time of writing, "Welcome to Sex" was only listed on Amazon Australia as the No. 1 bestselling book.

For example, the No. 1 bestselling book on Amazon UK's website at the time of writing was "Ultra-Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn't Food … and Why Can't We Stop?" by Chris van Tulleken.

Because "Welcome to Sex" was the No. 1 bestselling book on Amazon Australia, but not Amazon's bestselling book overall, we gave this claim a Mixture rating.


Amazon.Com.Au Best Sellers: The Most Popular Items in Books. https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=zg_b_bs_books_1. Accessed 20 July 2023.

Amazon.Co.Uk Best Sellers: The Most Popular Items in Books. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=zg_bs_books_sm. Accessed 20 July 2023.

Faruqi, Nell and Osman Geraets. "'Taking a Leaf out of Trumpism': Yumi Stynes on the 'Misguided' Backlash to Sex Book." The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 July 2023, https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/taking-a-leaf-from-trumpism-yumi-stynes-on-the-misguided-backlash-to-sex-book-20230720-p5dpvm.html.

Kang, Melissa, and Yumi Stynes. Welcome to Sex: Your No-Silly-Questions Guide to Sexuality, Pleasure and Figuring It Out. First Edition, Hardie Grant Children's Publishing, 2023.

Kelly, Cait, and Josh Taylor. "Big W Removes Sex Education Book from Shelves after Staff Members Abused." The Guardian, 19 July 2023. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jul/19/yumi-stynes-welcome-to-sex-education-book-big-w-removes-bans.

Summers, William. "Facebook Users Burned by Prank BBQ Billboards." Australian Associated Press, 23 Nov. 2022, https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/facebook-users-burned-by-prank-bbq-billboards/.

Welcome to Sex by Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes | BIG W. 20 July 2023, https://web.archive.org/web/20230720153255/https://www.bigw.com.au/product/welcome-to-sex-by-dr-melissa-kang-and-yumi-stynes/p/289441.

Whatman, Emma. "Big W Has Withdrawn Welcome to Sex from Its Stores to Protect Staff – but Teen Sex Education Can Keep Young People Safe." The Conversation, 18 July 2023, http://theconversation.com/big-w-has-withdrawn-welcome-to-sex-from-its-stores-to-protect-staff-but-teen-sex-education-can-keep-young-people-safe-209979.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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