Last February 18, we interviewed sexologist Jessica O’Reilly and she gave us these answers that will surely motivate you to join us in her next workshop at Desire.
1. How did you start with your work and what motivated you to begin such an interesting career? In my under graduate degree I volunteered as a sexual house counselor at the University, and then I ended up coordinating the center for the sexual health counseling at the University of Toronto. Then I became a teacher in the downtown high school center of Toronto where I saw that there are all bits of lack of education that were coming up for youth around sexuality and impacted their health and their education, so I thought that I should go back to school, and do some research on sexual health education and then I fell into sexuality which is the really fun side of sexual health.
2. Can you please tell us a little bit about your profession and academic research on sex education. – Sure, so for my doctoral research what I did was to develop a training program for teachers, preservers teachers, in terms of connecting student interests with sexuality in a way that it is meaningful and engaging to use and also a way that reflects their local curriculum.
3. How many years have you been doing your work shops and where? At Desire I´ve been doing workshops for a couple of years now, but I do workshops all across North America and wherever somebody wants to book me! I do a lot in Toronto because I am from there and I do a lot in the western part of Canada as well, so I´ve been working in this field for 10 years but these type of work shops I´ve been doing them for about 3 years.
4. Are there more people like you? There are, probably I would estimate about 100 sexologist in North America, which is very few and we work in so many capacities, some of us are educators, others are therapists, others are writers, others are working in the media.
5. What do you like the most about Desire as a couples only and clothing optional resort? I love that people have the opportunity to be themselves and express themselves freely and incite their partner and take the time to connect, because we all have this great relationships hovering below the surface, but at home is easy to get disconnected and distracted because we live such a crazy and busy lifestyle, so it is a nice time to slow down and disconnect, that’s wonderful!
6. Teaching others how to free them selves and learn how to satisfy their partners, should be rewarding as a sexologist, how do you feel about it? Yes! It is definitely rewarding, and when we are working at Desire, we work with couples who are doing really well on their way so which is one more thing to enhance their lives and certainly is fulfilling for me and hopefully fulfilling for them as well.
7. Are you planning to bring more workshops to Desire Resort? Yes we are scheduled to come back in November again and we are going to try to work something out in May as well. I’m really happy to be working at Desire as this is one of my favorites contracts of the year
8. We believe your work has prevented many marriages from divorce and many couples have improved their relationships thanks to your workshops, can you share one of your important cases with us? Well, I think what matters is that couples are investing in their relationships by coming here, by attending a workshop, by going to private sessions, so it is not me who saves their marriages, it is really their effort that they put in, but certainly I’ve seen couples who have had good relationship but struggling and I’ve have worked with some relationships that really on the rocks and what they need about all that is just communication, so it is not about a technique that has saved the marriage, but it really is about learning to talk and learning to listen and that’s where so many of us fail as we become distracted with other relationships, so it’s just about reconnecting through communication.
9. Do you recommend your workshops for couples only or can singles get the opportunity to attend a workshop with you? Yes absolutely, I do couples workshops where you do need to be a couple to attend, so for instance at Desire we ask the people to attend with a partner, but I do women only workshops as well where we sit there and practice and play with carrots and it is a little bit more technical, not erotic but very fun and we focus on sexual empowerment along sexual health.
10. Would you like to invite to all our bloggers to attend your workshops? Sure, they can look up for me in our website at http://jessicaoreilly.com/ and see there where I am scheduled for 2011 and 2012 but it is a really great opportunity because you can participate with your own level of comfort, so you can be new to Desire, new to the lifestyle, you can be just an observer, you can be married for 1 year or 30 years, not married at all so it is really open to a wide range of attendees.
11. Any age target market? 21+ is the only requirement and what is really cool about Desire is that it has such a wide range of ages starting from couples in their early 20´s to couples who have been married for more than 35 years.
12. What is the most challenging side of your job? To some degree, it’s sexual health education because people are afraid of teaching children and young people about sexuality as if that would encourage them to have sex but in fact all the research shows that comprehensive sex education actually delays the unset of first sexual activity and that increases the livelihood that useful facts for safer sex when they do desire to start engaging in sex, so the most challenging side is defending and supporting the need for sexual health education.