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December 4, 2013

Dr. Jess in Grande Prairie

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Dr. Jess passed through Grande Prairie last week to participate in HIV North Society’s 25th anniversary! She met with a great group of enthusiastic community members and shared insights on everything from healthy relationships to the mysterious G-Spot. Check out some of the pics below!

Dr. Jess and coworkers at Grande Prairie

These lovely ladies (all co-workers) made Dr. Jess’ event at Ovations Theatre a “work night” out!

 

Jared & Amanda with Dr. Jess at Grande Prairie

Jared Gossen, Team Lead of HIV/North Society & Amanda, Street Nurse, pose for a quick shot!

 

Brittney with Dr. Jess at Grande Prairie

Brittney (RN) taught Dr. Jess a thing or two about childbirth and the female anatomy…

 

A workshop participant with Dr. Jess in Grande Prairie

Dr. Jess poses with another fun workshop participant.

 

Pianist in Grande Prairie

What a novel concept! Amid the hustle, bustle and stress of the Edmonton airport, a pianist offers some soothing sounds…

 

Check out what the Daily Herald Tribune had to say about Dr. Jess’ event:

 

Renowned Sexologist Takes The Stage Monday

By Caryn Ceolin

 

“Dirty talk won’t happen just in the bedroom, Monday evening.

 

 

HIV North Society is getting down to the nitty-gritty with Dr. Jess O’Reilly about all things to do with sex, in front of, what the organization hopes is, a sold-out crowd.

“What we’re trying to really do is raise awareness of safer sex and sexual empowerment,” said O’Reilly, a noted sexologist based in Toronto.

“Obviously, we’re starting with S-E-X, but we’ll be talking about cultivating intimacy, communication skills, keeping it hot and, of course, tips you can take home and try that night.”

As part of a series of events held throughout this year to celebrate HIV North Society’s 25 years servicing the city, hosting “Hotter Sex with Dr. Jess” is the cherry on top, said Jared Gossen, community HIV educator and team lead for the Grande Prairie branch.

According to Gossen, O’Reilly’s “sex positive” approach to community education is much needed locally.

“Something that’s come up over the last few weeks is that there’s a lot of sexualized messaging that happens in our community … and, generally, those are not overtly healthy discussions, well balanced or focused on education, but this event really is,” Gossen said.

“The term ‘sex positive’ is basically the idea that everyone will benefit from learning more about sexual health and sexual wellness, and so this event is an opportunity for people to approach the issue of sexuality with eyes wide open, and in a safe and supportive environment.”

With the Alberta Community Council on HIV as a client, O’Reilly has done a significant amount of work for both the association and the HIV North Society, Gossen said. The organization balances supporting those who identify as HIV-positive with harm reduction initiatives.

The evening, however, won’t be all information sharing and prevention outreach, said Gossen. O’Reilly will also offer tips of technique and answer any burning bedroom questions.

“The event is geared towards anyone who considers themselves sexually active or wants to be more sexually aware, with a focus on people who are in relationships now and looking for ways to enhance their own sex life,” he said. “Dr. Jess is a very dynamic speaker, so it’s going to be an interactive piece.”

“I hope that, if nothing else, my work starts conversations,” O’Reilly said. “An hour or two in and of itself may not have a huge impact on your sex life, but I do hope that it encourages or inspires you to have conversations that you perhaps wouldn’t have had, had you not attended.”

The event will be held at the Showcase Centre (10112-102 Ave.) on Monday, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets, available at the HIV North Society or online at showcasecentre.com, are $20 each or $15 for students. Gossen said the society remains hopeful it will fill house at 300 people.

“For one, Dr. Jess’s expertise isn’t personally present in Grande Prairie often, so having her wealth of knowledge accessible is a great opportunity for everyone,” he said.

“When it comes to sex, whatever you’re into is perfectly fine, as long as you’re not infringing upon the autonomy or safety of anybody else,” said O’Reilly.

“The reason I do what I do, the reason I work in this field, is because I want people to feel empowered and confident enough to make decisions and communicate in a way so that they get what they want, not only when it comes to sex, but ultimately when it comes to relationships.”

caryn.ceolin@sunmedia.ca