Scroll To Top
Obituaries

Sue Johanson, Who Gave Witty Sex Advice, Dead at 92

Sue Johanson, Who Gave Witty Sex Advice, Dead at 92

Sue Johanson

Johanson counseled audiences on all things sexual on call-in TV shows in both the U.S. and Canada.

trudestress

Sex educator Sue Johanson, who became famous throughout the U.S. and Canada with her call-in TV shows, has died at age 92.

Johanson died June 28 at a care home in Toronto, The New York Times reports.

As host of Sunday Night Sex Show in Canada and Talk Sex With Sue Johanson in the U.S., she took questions “about straight sex, gay sex, masturbation and all manner of fetishes, fantasies and fears,” the Times notes.

Before becoming famous for her sex advice, Johanson, who was a registered nurse, ran a birth control clinic in a public high school in Canada. She opened it in 1970 in response to the pregnancy of a teenage friend of her eldest daughter; the friend had an abortion, a procedure then was then “mostly illegal” in the nation, according to the Times.

“Kids get involved with sex without their parents’ consent, and therefore they should be able to get contraceptives without their consent,” Johanson said in a 1983 interview.

She had a radio show for several years, then moved into television in 1996, when Sunday Night Sex Show premiered in Canada. The U.S. version, Talk Sex With Sue Johanson, debuted on the Oxygen network in 2002. The Canadian show ran until 2005, the American one until 2008. By then, most sex questions could be answered through an internet search.

But while her shows lasted, Johanson gave witty and sage answers to all manner of questions, such as if frozen condoms could still be used (once they’re thawed, yes), and offered reviews of sex toys that had been tested by her staff. She also told her audience how to create their own low-cost vibrators and other sex aids from everyday materials.

She often appeared on TV talk shows; she was a guest of Ellen DeGeneres, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno. She was the subject of a documentary, Sex With Sue, directed by Lisa Rideout and released in 2022.

She authored three books, Sex, Sex and More Sex, Sex Is Perfectly Natural but Not Naturally Perfect, and Talk Sex: Answers to Questions You Can’t Ask Your Parents, as well as a magazine column. She was particularly interested in reaching young people and was an advocate for condom use, often saying, “Sex will be sweeter if you wrap your peter.”

Her work brought her the Order of Canada award, the nation’s top honor, in 2000.

Survivors include two daughters, two grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Her husband, Ejnor Karl Johanson, and a son preceded her in death.

“I regard sex as a gift from God,” she told the Times in 2004. “We’re the only ones that really are able to enjoy sex, so we have an obligation to learn about it and enjoy it.”

trudestress
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.