Canadian sex therapist to bring information and entertainment to MU on Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 | 10:58 p.m. CST; updated 5:04 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Sex, sex-related props and an anonymous question-and-answer session are all on the agenda for Valentine’s Day evening at Jesse Hall, where Canada’s top sex educator will give a talk designed to both enlighten and enrapture.

Sue Johanson, of the nationally syndicated television show “Talk Sex with Sue Johanson,” which appears on the Oxygen network, is known for injecting riotous wit into her educational repertoire.

About Sue Johanson

Born in 1930 in Ontario, Canada, Sue Johanson started her career as a registered nurse. After starting a family, Johanson became aware that her children and others were receiving severely limited sexual education in schools. In 1972, she established a birth control clinic in a high school. Johanson began giving presentations and speeches throughout Ontario. Her dry humor attracted attention, and before long she was educating crowds across Canada on sexual health. In 1984, Johanson was offered a radio show on a local station. She spent the two hours each week advising and informing callers about sex and relationships while providing comic relief to a sensitive topic. The radio show was adapted for television in 1985, and in 1996 Johanson started a nationally syndicated show, which ran on Canada’s Women’s Television Network. The “Sunday Night Sex Show” became “Talk Sex with Sue Johanson” when the show moved stateside to the Oxygen Network in 2002. Johanson is now on her first American tour.

“She is witty, but very blunt, which could be interpreted as humorous by her audience,” said Sarah Powers via e-mail. Powers is speakers committee chair for the Department of Student Activities, one of the organizations responsible for booking Johanson.

The Thursday presentation will feature both Johanson and Marty Klein, a California-based sex therapist.

One MU student said he planned on attending the talk because of its novelty factor. Moe Alabdulla, 21, is a native of Saudi Arabia and unable to hear candid and public discussions about sex in his home country.

“It’s not common in Saudi Arabia at all,” he said of such events. “That’s why I am going. I think it’s going to be an interesting show.”

Previous knowledge of Johanson’s show is part of what’s drawing MU medical school senior research technician Paul Kimball to the event.

“I had seen bits and pieces of her show on TV and I think it will be entertaining,” he said. “It’s humorous to see an old lady talk about that subject so matter-of-factly.”

Tickets to Johanson’s talk sold out last Friday. There are currently no plans to broadcast the event elsewhere, Powers said.

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