Volume 95, Issue 15

Wednesday, September 26, 2001
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Sue knows she's a sex goddess

King Phoenix returns to throne after 50 years

God bless American celebs?

Devils rock, but Hayseed needs watering

Tough picking porn?

The Strokes: young and bright

Sue knows she's a sex goddess

Dr. Johanson gets explicit today at The Wave

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

Sue Johanson is Canada's sex education goddess and she knows it.

"I did it in Canada, it's wonderful and very flattering," she says when asked about how she feels being the nation's key pioneer in sex education.

Although she may crack the odd joke on her weekly Sunday Night Sex Show, which airs on the Women's Television Network, it's evident Johanson takes her job seriously.

As she talks from her cottage on Lake Simcoe, Johanson is enthusiastic and friendly, much like her on-air persona.

The truth is, the Sue Johanson who talks about sex on television is the same Sue Johanson off-air. It's her excitement and love for education and information that keeps her motivated.

"I'm a ham and I really thoroughly enjoy being on stage. I love being on television and I love the people I work with," she explains.

Today, Johanson takes a break from her television show to make her annual visit to Western for an appearance at The Wave. She makes many trips to university and college campuses year-round and agrees it's one of the most rewarding things about her job.

"The university audiences are very receptive because I'm very explicit. I'm answering questions they've always wanted to ask, but really didn't have the courage or didn't really know that it was a question," she says.

"They hadn't thought of it or put it in context yet and the minute you mention it, they're like, 'Oh yeah! I wondered about that, okay.' So it's quite a surprise for them."

Johanson is inexplicably knowledgeable about sex. She's an expert on everything from dildos to sexually transmitted diseases and although she has years of experience in sex education, she admits she doesn't have all the answers.

"There are questions I don't know the answer to, or questions that I'm totally unprepared for," Johanson admits. "That's fine, it keeps me on my toes. I don't get fat and complacent that way and if I don't know the answer, I will say, 'I'm sorry, I haven't got a clue, I will get back to you as soon as I've had a chance to talk to a doctor.'"

Sex, although predominant in the media, is still a taboo topic for everyday discussion. Johanson's shows and live presentations have a reputation for being graphic, uncensored and honest. She doesn't hold back and very few questions make her blush.

However, there are still a few moments that stick out in her mind – the sadder moments.

"The ones that I remember are the sad questions, the questions where there's fear, where there's risk, where there's something upsetting that has happened. Those are the ones that I really remember."

Johanson regards the emergence of new sex education programs such as City TV's SexTV as a positive step in making sex discussions more comfortable for people.

"I think [the shows are] wonderful. I would hope that people would be selective in what they watch and if they're watching it, not for titillation, but much more for information and education."

Information and education is and has always been priority number one for Johanson. She has been publicly discussing sex for many years and admits she has not received any negative reactions as a result of her shows, perhaps because she has been doing many people – especially parents – a favour.

"I have a feeling that parents [are happy] somebody was actually going to talk to their kids about [sex], because they knew full well they couldn't talk to their own kids about it."

Johanson will continue to discuss sex on television on a weekly basis as long as it continues to be fulfilling. And how long will that be? Even Sue Johanson isn't sure.

"I'm not sure what I want to do when I grow up," she laughs.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001