Sex with Sue at THEMUSEUM

(Will Huang -- Staff photographer)
(Will Huang — Staff photographer)

The best way to learn about sex is to ask questions.

On Thursday Feb. 6, THEMUSEUM kicked off their Sex Dialogues series entitled “Sue Johanson: A Night of Questions and Answers.” The night, as described in the title, encouraged audience members to submit questions prior to the talk for Johanson to answer.

Johanson is best known for her radio talk show Sunday Night Sex Show where she would answer listener’s questions on various sex related subjects, quite similar to her talk on Thursday evening. Her frank manner of discussing sexual topics using humour seems to have struck a chord with audience members, which has resulted in a lasting career.

“Sue Johanson is brilliant … there’s no issue about her talking about anything. She does it in such a way that everybody’s inhibitions were left at the door. She gave a lot of great advice to people and I thought it was wonderful,” said David Marskell, CEO of THEMUSEUM.

Many conversations were certainly started after Johanson’s informative presentation to a full audience. There was a wide berth of topics discussed from faking orgasms to the availability of the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination shots and various tips on how to spice up your relationship. Johanson accepted all types of questions—no question was considered embarrassing and no questions were shamed.

“I had done a lot of writing ahead of time and when I got there and saw the number of questions that were still unanswered even after that display, then I felt that it was important to answer those questions rather than to give a presentation,” said Johanson.“I [also] don’t think I could pick out one question [that stood out to me]. There were questions about relationships, sexual performance, what is normal and there was no one question that really zapped me or threw me off balance or scared me.”

Her honesty and candidness on the matter of sex was refreshing which made her popular with the audience. This also made her a front-runner when trying to decide who to invite to speak during the Sex Dialogues. Johanson’s long and prolific career has touched and influenced many people was contributing factor to inviting her.

“I had two people come up to me. One said that he didn’t know about sex and the system didn’t teach him and if it wasn’t for listening quietly [to Johanson’s radio show] in his room with the volume down, he wouldn’t have understood what to do with sex,” said Marskell.

“I had someone else who gave me a card who asked me to give it to her … he basically said that [Johanson] had saved his life,” continued Marskell. “He was gay and he didn’t know what these feelings were … he listened to her and then he realized that it was okay and he was normal. People were going up to her like that with these types of stories and that’s really powerful. I know in my heart that we chose the right person.”

The Sex Dialogues series is an expansion on the “The Science of Sexuality” exhibit that opened at THEMUSEUM on Jan. 25. Presentations will include Johnathan Finn, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, who will discuss sexuality in art and a screening of Woody Allen’s Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Too Afraid to Ask.

“I think the whole point of the entire exhibit is to go way beyond the exhibit and it’s about those transformative ideas and the conversations we want to generate,” continued Marskell.“Ultimately, it’s all about the conversation between the young person and the parent – but it’s also about the conversations and dialogues [from everyone] that we hope will come from it.”

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