Sexuality Superheroes: Marla Renee Stewart

Uncategorized Jan 28, 2019

It's time to feature another Sexuality Superhero. This week, our Sexuality Superhero is: Marla Renee Stewart. Aside from her work as a sexologist and sex educator, Marla keeps busy by organizing events and conferences which focus on sex education and health. Happy reading!

How did you find yourself working in sexuality?

In college, I found that I was the go-to person for all things sexually-related. I loved studying sexuality and this really enabled me to connect with most people. The one thing that propelled me in this field was the fact that many of my friends were having sex, but weren't having orgasms and I found myself to be frustrated about this and really wanting to change this; I found it to be a huge problem. I believe that harvesting your sexual energy is one of the best things that you can do, but having an orgasm is truly a gift from the universe. It is so healing in so many different ways and I truly feel that if we have more love and more sex in the...

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Sexuality Superheroes: Melissa Pintor Carnagey

Uncategorized Jan 21, 2019

It's time to feature another Sexuality Superhero. This week, our Sexuality Superhero is: Melissa Pintor Carnagey. Melissa is doing some important sex positive work with individuals, parents and children. Happy reading!

How did you find yourself working in sexuality?

It was literally from a draw of a hat! In 2007 I was in an undergraduate social work class and we had to research a particular population's area resources, statistics, and needs. From a hat, I drew "HIV/AIDS." It was through completing this research project, which included interviewing people working in the field, and learning how disproportionately affected the Black community is that I knew I wanted to be a part of change. I did a year-long internship at an AIDS services organization, which segued into a ten-year career in the field of sexual health. In 2017 I made the leap from working as a consultant with a state agency to being a sex educator in my own business, Sex Positive Families. I've been able to take my...

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Dr. Jess on Global: The Bachelor's Virginity and Chris Pratt's Engagement

Uncategorized Jan 16, 2019

After a few weeks abroad for the holidays, followed by an emergency with her pup in Miami (more here), and a few days at a clothing optional resort working with couples who have been happily married for 30+ years, Jess finally made it back to Toronto. And her first stop, of course, was at Global TV’s The Morning Show. She joined Carolyn and Jeff to chat about popular portrayals of two hot topics: virginity as portrayed on The Bachelor and the role of faith in relationships in light of Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger’s engagement.

Check out the video reply and summary notes below.

1. The new bachelor, Colton is a virgin and people can’t stop talking about it. What is our obsession with virginity?

Virginity is an odd and exclusionary concept. It simply doesn’t apply to everyone because it tends to refer to one specific sex act and discount all the other pleasurable and intimate acts that are also sexual in nature.

The definition of virginity itself...

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Sexuality Superheroes: Shamyra Howard

Uncategorized Jan 14, 2019

It's time to feature another Sexuality Superhero. This week, our Sexuality Superhero is: Shamyra Howard. Learn more about Shamyra's counselling work below, which aims to help individuals improve their sexual wellness and help overcome their issues and needs with intimacy, communication and much more. Happy reading!

How did you find yourself working in sexuality?

I began working in the sexuality field in 2004, as a peer health educator on Southern University's campus. While educating women on campus about STD's/STI's, I discovered that most of the women didn't have basic sexuality knowledge, and were most concerned with preventing pregnancy. That's when I went to work. I began doing my own research, and presenting everywhere. In 2013, I attended Widener University where I gained even more sexuality education.

Today, I work as a Sexologist in my private practice where I specialize in Sex and Relationship Therapy. I also provide sex and intimacy coaching and consulting across...

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Open Relationships in Toronto

Uncategorized Jan 09, 2019

This piece was originally published in Post City Magazines.

In my line of work, I’m privy to an often unsolicited glimpse into the intimate lives of couples from all walks of life. From chatty Uber drivers to long-lost childhood friends, it’s not uncommon for people to open up as soon as they find out what I do for a living. One of the trends I’ve observed in these conversations over the past ten years involves an increase in consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Data from two representative samples of to 8,718 adults suggests that 21% have been in some form of a CNM relationship. And though non-monogamy has always existed in multiple forms (e.g. cheating), it seems that consensual non-monogamy may be on the rise.

Some, like Mandy from Forest Hill, say CNM is a more realistic option given the divorce, infidelity and marital dissatisfaction rates. “I didn't want to be another statistic. After watching my parents and so many of their friends and siblings, I knew there...

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Sexuality Superheroes: MaryEllen Reider

Uncategorized Jan 07, 2019

We are starting the new year off by showing some love to others in the field. The Sex With Dr. Jess blog will now have a Sexuality Superheros column which will feature experts, educators and influencers alike. We aim to highlight their skills and expertise, and hopefully bring a stronger recognition to their work in the sexual health field. This week, our Sexuality Superhero is: MaryEllen Reider.

How did you find yourself working in sexuality?

Before starting Yarlap®, I was in Kosovo helping women understand financial issues so they could better help their families. It was an idea that the happier women are, the happier society is.

Reliable information is the pathway for women to make the best choices for themselves, their families, and society. I was looking to empower women, when I was asked if I would contribute my skills to help women empower themselves.

Pelvic wellness is integral to nurturing; it is about continence, posture, sexual expression and sexual...

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Gifts According to Your Partner's Love Language

Uncategorized Dec 21, 2018

This morning, Jess joined Vicky Sparks and Carolyn Mackenzie on Global TV's The Morning Show to chat about Gary Chapman's five languages of love and how to select a meaningful gift for each of the languages. Check out her selections and video below.

1. Physical Affection

2. Words of Affirmation

3. Quality time

4. Gifts

5. Acts of Service

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Dr. Jess Addresses Your Holiday-Related Relationship Qs!

Uncategorized Dec 11, 2018

This morning on Global TV's The Morning Show, Jess sat down with Carolyn Mackenzie and Vicky Sparks to discuss more holiday-related relationship questions. Check out what she has to say below, as these questions might help you keep your relationship flame burning long throughout the holidays.

My husband and I have recently decided to get a divorce (we don’t have kids).  This weekend I’ll be traveling to my parent’s house for our annual holiday get together.  They don’t know yet but he won’t be joining me so they will definitely think that something is up.  Is it appropriate to tell them this weekend or should I wait?  What should I tell them? - Melissa from Ajax, Ontario

Holidays come more once a year and if you’re going through a divorce, this holiday season will probably be more stressful for you than for your parents and family. My advice: look out for yourself first. If telling them will make you feel better, go ahead. If...

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How to Manage Gift Giving This Holiday Season

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2018

The holiday season is upon us and for many people, this means increased responsibility and heightened stress. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Jess sat down with Jeff and Carolyn this morning to field holiday-related questions from viewers related to gift-giving with new partners, spouses, and family members. Check out their questions and Jess’ insights below.

I love my husband but he is the worst gift giver I’ve ever met.  He always gets me things I don’t need or should know that I don’t want.  They say “it’s the thought that counts” but he puts zero thought into the things he gets me.  Should I confront him about this or just smile and continue to say ‘thank you?’

If your partner puts thought into a gift and you don’t love it, I think there is some value in smiling and expressing appreciation. In fact, it’s likely that you genuinely appreciate the effort.

On the other hand, if they...

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7 Tips to Remember When You're Meeting Your Partner's Family For the First Time

Uncategorized Nov 21, 2018

If you’re meeting your partner’s family for the first time this holiday season, bear in mind that first impressions matter. Research suggests that we are unlikely to change our view of others from “bad” to “good” — even when their behaviour improves.

I was 20 years old when I met my partner, Brandon. I definitely didn’t make a good first impression on his family and though you’d probably learn something from hearing my shameful story, I’m not quite ready to share it (maybe I’ll do so on an upcoming podcast), so instead, I share a few strategies rooted in research below.

(Yes. This is a case of do as I say, not as I do.)

To make a good impression on your partner’s family:

1. Do a bit of research. Ask your partner for a bit of background with regard to their interests and passions. You don’t have to pretend to be interested in rare plants to be more likable, but showing some interest and asking...

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