Home News Sue Johanson, Who Talked Intercourse With Aplomb, Dies at 92

Sue Johanson, Who Talked Intercourse With Aplomb, Dies at 92

Sue Johanson, Who Talked Intercourse With Aplomb, Dies at 92

Sue Johanson, the blunt, bawdy and beloved Canadian intercourse educator and host of the long-running tv call-in program “Sunday Evening Intercourse Present” and its American counterpart, “Speak Intercourse With Sue Johanson,” died on June 28 at a care facility in North Toronto. She was 92.

Her demise was confirmed by her daughter Jane Johanson.

She dressed demurely, typically in blazers and wire-rimmed glasses, however Ms. Johanson had a comic’s timing and instincts, which defused the hot-button matters she addressed. (A condom evangelist, she had a method of stretching them out in demonstrations that recalled a clown making balloon animals.) And like Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the Holocaust survivor and onetime Israeli sniper turned intercourse therapist, Ms. Johanson, a registered nurse and mom of three who had run a contraception clinic in a public highschool for practically twenty years, grew to become a media star in midlife.

“I wasn’t younger,” Ms. Johanson stated in “Intercourse With Sue,” a 2022 documentary about her directed by Lisa Rideout, with Jane as her mom’s interlocutor and the movie’s inventive marketing consultant. “I wasn’t lovely. I didn’t have bodacious tatas. I used to be a mom with a load of knowledge.”

Is it bizarre to place physique glitter in your boyfriend’s testicles? Is it secure to have intercourse in a sizzling tub? May a Ziploc baggie function a condom? If condoms are left in a automobile and so they freeze, are they nonetheless good? Solutions: No. No (chlorinated water is simply too harsh for genitals, significantly girls’s). Positively not. And sure, as soon as they’ve been defrosted.

Each Sunday evening, the questions poured in about straight intercourse, homosexual intercourse and masturbation, together with these detailing all method of fetishes, fantasies and fears. On the present’s peak within the early 2000s, practically 100,000 calls had been fielded and screened by operators, although solely 10 or 12 made it on the air.

Producers of intercourse toys despatched their wares by the boxload. Ms. Johanson would divvy them up amongst her younger crew for highway checks — “The Unofficial Intercourse Toy Testing Facility of Canada,” she known as them — and exhibit their options at her desk, reaching into her “sizzling stuff” bag, a black tote emblazoned with flames, to drag out the newest choices. “The great, the unhealthy and the ugly,” she appreciated to say. (Makers tended to gild the lily, like the corporate that made a vibrator with a digital camera at its tip. “It offers a complete new which means to, ‘I’m prepared for my close-up,’” Ms. Johanson deadpanned.)

A toddler of the Nice Despair, she was thrifty and cost-conscious, and he or she typically introduced selfmade options. Why not flip your cellphone ringer to vibrate, tuck it in your underpants and have your folks name nonstop?

“I keep in mind her giving a hand job to a cucumber,” Russell Peters, the Canadian comic, stated within the documentary. “I by no means checked out a cucumber the identical.”

Ms. Johanson began her broadcasting profession in radio, with a wildly well-liked present on a rock station that ran for greater than a decade. “Sunday Evening Intercourse Present” first aired on Canadian tv in 1996. In 2002, the Oxygen community commissioned an American model, which ran proper after the Canadian present, so American callers may have their shot. The U.S. viewers was shyer and extra naïve than her Canadian viewers, Ms. Johanson advised Mireya Navarro of The New York Occasions in 2004; they appeared to lack primary information. Many younger feminine callers questioned if they might get pregnant from oral intercourse.

“Ms. Johanson stated she couldn’t trip the subway or stand in a grocery line in Canada with out being approached to reply the type of query that will make even the frozen rooster blush,” Ms. Navarro wrote. “However in america, a a lot larger market, her rising fan base appears virtually bashful however largely grateful. ‘I discover that People are so well mannered and so respectful that being acknowledged is great,’ she stated. ‘Folks will take a look at me and say, ‘Hello, I like your present.’ And that’s the place it ends.”

She was, nevertheless, feted on the American talk-show circuit, showing with Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, whom she terrified with the contents of her hot-stuff bag, which that evening included a vibrating rubber duck, a dildo she strapped to her chin and a hand-crafted, hand-operated vibrator she had customary from a tin can fitted with Bubble Wrap and a tube sock.

“You’re like a perverted MacGyver,” Mr. O’Brien stated, horrified.

“I regard intercourse as a present from God,” Ms. Johanson advised Ms. Navarro. “We’re the one ones that actually are capable of take pleasure in intercourse, so we’ve got an obligation to study it and revel in it.”

Susan Avis Bailey Powell was born on July 29, 1930, in Toronto. Her mom, Ethel (Bell) Powell, was a homemaker. Her father, Wilfred Bailey Powell, was within the Royal Canadian Air Pressure and had quite a lot of jobs. Her mom died when she was 10, and he or she was raised largely by an aunt.

She met Ejnor Karl Johanson, {an electrical} inspector, on a blind date simply earlier than she entered nursing college on the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg; they married within the early Nineteen Fifties and moved to Toronto to take over her aunt’s actual property enterprise.

Ms. Johanson opened her contraception clinic in 1970, after her eldest daughter’s good friend grew to become pregnant in highschool and had an abortion, which was on the time largely unlawful in Canada. “Children become involved with intercourse with out their mother and father’ consent,” she advised a reporter in 1983, “and subsequently they need to be capable to get contraceptives with out their consent.”

All through her profession, highschool and school college students had been her greatest concern. She was an indefatigable speaker, a daily at school freshman orientations every fall and at a whole bunch of excessive colleges annually. Her husband, Jane Johanson stated, was a reserved, personal man, the other of his gregarious spouse, however he dealt with her profession and fame with grace, and “took it like a champ.” He died in 2014.

Along with her daughter Jane, Ms. Johanson is survived by one other daughter, Carol Howard; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Her son, Eric, died in 2021.

Ms. Johanson additionally wrote {a magazine} column and was the writer of three books: “Intercourse, Intercourse and Extra Intercourse,” “Intercourse Is Completely Pure however Not Naturally Excellent” and “Speak Intercourse: Solutions to Questions You Can’t Ask Your Mother and father.”

In 2000, she was awarded the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest honor for pioneers of their subject.

Ms. Johanson’s Canadian present went off the air in 2005, and the American model in 2008. It was time: The web had develop into the go-to supply for intercourse inquiries. As Dan Savage, the intercourse columnist, put it within the documentary about Ms. Johanson, there was a Wikipedia web page for each piece of kit and each intercourse act, and Ms. Johanson felt she was unable to maintain up with the instances. At 77, she was prepared however unhappy to name it quits.

“There will likely be an amazing large gap in my coronary heart,” she stated as she launched her last episode in Might 2008, her voice breaking.“I like doing this present.”

She added, “I’ll shut with the identical condom quickie that we ended the primary present with 174 episodes in the past: Intercourse will likely be sweeter, in the event you wrap your peter.