‘Sex With Sue’ documentary explores legacy of Sue Johanson

For decades, there was a consolation in conversing sexual intercourse with Sue.

Curious men and women across the entire world could switch to the call-in collection “Sunday Evening Intercourse Show” (or “Talk Sex with Sue Johanson” in the U.S. and overseas) on late-night time television for information on every thing from risk-free sexual intercourse to oral sexual intercourse approaches to chatting to your associate about your top secret curiosity in kink.

The pro was, of course, Sue Johanson, the public health and fitness nurse who designed it her purpose to educate about topics many had been taught to not communicate about.

She was unassuming but assured, relatable but authoritative, like a grandmother who could talk to you about replica and display how ideal to use a sex toy when enthusiastically encouraging the great importance of lubricant.

It was not a farcical just take. It was intended as a practical tactic to sexual intercourse education and learning when humiliation and shame lingered as university boards presented anatomy and sexuality essentials at ideal.

The lens is now shifting from sexual intercourse to Johanson. Award-winning director Lisa Rideout, in hand with Banger Films and Corus Studios, have developed “Sex With Sue,” an 88-minute function film documentary launching Monday.

“When Sue was on the air, we ended up discovering about intercourse by way of our nervous fitness center instructor or our close friends. We didn’t have obtain to data,” Rideout stated. “Her tale is so related right now. She experienced a exhibit a couple of many years ago, but there is nevertheless pushback out there about possessing our bodies and sexuality. This is the appropriate time. We require to amplify (her story) now.”

Considerably of Johanson’s everyday living is known for the reason that her profession brought her everywhere.

Armed with levels in human sexuality and loved ones organizing, Johanson commenced a beginning control clinic in 1970 at Don Mills Collegiate Institute in North York. Her frank instructing model was seen and by 1984, she moved to the radio waves with a two-hour contact-in exhibit on Q107 FM ahead of shifting to tv a year afterwards. Her display began on group tv right before it became a nationally-broadcast display on the W Community. The U.S. model of her clearly show appeared on the Oxygen network, who broadcast it in Asia, Europe and South The united states, and logged up to 4 million viewers per show.

At its peak, sex educator Sue Johanson's "Sunday Night Sex Show" was one of the highest-rated programs and had 65,000 attempted calls per episode.

At the height of her two Tv demonstrates (recorded again-to-back again and broadcast from the SkyDome, as it was then known), she had a person of the most greatest-rated packages and experienced 65,000 tried phone calls for each episode. Reruns of her demonstrate ongoing extensive soon after the collection wrapped.

Off digicam Johanson wrote three books and a column in the Star, consistently experienced speaking engagements across the nation, appeared on David Letterman’s and Conan O’Brien’s chat displays, and played the character Dr. Sally on 4 episodes of the Degrassi franchise.

Her hard work spanned moments of transform, like the sexual revolution and HIV/AIDS epidemic. As Rideout pointed out, Johanson was “at her main a sexual intercourse educator” at the all set to support “from a non-judgmental put.”

Even for the basics. Johanson inspired callers and viewers to shift on from shame and use usual language when chatting about one’s have overall body.

“Down there?!” she’d hark when addressing how girls discuss about their bodies. “Everywhere south of Wawa is down there!”

Rideout directed, wrote and manufactured the documentary. Filmmakers Sam Dunn (“Super Duper Alice Cooper”) and Sunita Miya Muganza (“Devout + Out”) have producer and affiliate producer credits.

Sex educator Sue Johanson wrapped the U.S. version of her sex advice series in 2008.

Comics Margaret Cho and Russell Peters, assistance columnist Dan Savage and broadcaster George Stroumboulopos, among the other people, seem on “Sex With Sue” to talk about her effects.

Even at the top of her career, Johanson was non-public and shied absent from attention and recognition when not in present mode. She has remained mainly out of the highlight for more than a decade considering the fact that her displays wrapped, and now at age 92, lives quietly in Toronto. Her own everyday living, spouse and children and motivations are in aspect explored with interviews recorded with assist from daughter Jane Johanson, who linked with Rideout in 2019.

Rideout stated a concentration was on discovering in which Johanson fits in a up to date lens. When intercourse guidelines and sex optimistic society are extensively available on social media and streaming platforms from an array of voices, a person would marvel if there is continue to a put for her.

“The way we converse has improved radically given that (Sue) was on air,” Rideout mentioned. “The lens we have now with sex educators on social media, they do matters to be well known, they want to be out there. Sue at her main was intercourse schooling … She did not know about pop tradition, fame, entertainment.”

Could she be a social media star if she desired to?

“With her design and style of shipping, she’d be a TikTok star,” Rideout claimed.

“Sex with Sue” premieres on the W Community and STACKTV on Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. ET.

Brian Bradley is a Hamilton-dependent journalist who is effective for the Star’s Public Editor and podcast groups. Observe him on Twitter: @brianjbradley

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