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All photos courtesy of Renaissance Press.

A Kickstarter card game that might make you ‘Blush’

By Kate Tenenhouse on March 30, 2016


Do you remember having “the talk” with your parents when you were a teen? Maybe your mom and dad sat you down to layout the laws of the birds and the bees. Maybe your high school gym teacher gave you the basics, holding a banana in one hand and a condom in the other. Or maybe no one said anything.


It can be awkward and difficult to talk about at times, which is why Jen Desmarais wants to create a card game that will make it easier for parents, teens and even teachers.

The idea is eight years in the making, Desmarais says. While working on a project for her adolescence class at the University of Ottawa, she asked herself: “What was I interested in that I didn’t really know much about when I was a kid? Well, my parents never talked to me about sex. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.”

And so, Blush was born. It started out as a board game and has since evolved into a 200-question card game for up to 10 players. Each card has a question and four answers on it. Each player votes for the right answer to earn points. There is also a classroom version for up to 30 players.

“We talk about everything from body issues to contraception, doctors, relationships, alternative lifestyles…” she says.

Desmarias is working with local Renaissance Press to publish and distribute the game.

“Sex ed is something that had been on my radar already and as someone who likes to publish card games, I thought that this was the perfect project,” says Caroline Frechette, a partner with Renaissance Press.

“We think that this game can really make a huge difference with regard to how you think about sexual education. It doesn’t have to be condoms and bananas and really weird videos. It can be something that’s fun and entertaining and brings up a lot of different topics.”

Renaissance Press is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the printing costs. By donating just $15 you can receive a printable version of the game!

Think you already know all the basics? You might be surprised. When filming a promo video for Blush, Desmarais interviewed some Algonquin students and was surprised by some of their responses.

“I was not ever laughing at them if they got the answer wrong. I was more upset for them that they couldn’t answer it,” she says.

Frechette says that this game can provide answers for anyone, regardless of age: “You think you might know a lot and because people don’t talk about these things, or talk about these things so little and with such difficulty, knowledge just doesn’t get passed around.”

Desmarias says she wants people to take away that sex is normal.

“It’s not something to be talked about hush-hush. It’s something that should be openly communicated. Don’t be scared to talk about it with anyone, especially your partner or parents.”

To learn more about Blush and the Kickstarter campaign, click here.