SEX guru Bettina Arndt is headed to Toronto to make women blush, laugh and improve their love lives.
The well-known sex therapist fell into her brow-raising job largely by accident when she was a young psychology student.
‘‘One of our teachers was interested in treating sexual problems so our clinic became swamped with people wanting help,’’ she said.
‘‘It was much more fun than most areas of psychology.’’
She went on to become one of Australia’s first sex therapists and editor of Forum magazine.
‘‘I spent 10 years talking about sex on television and radio back in the 1970s. I taught medical students, doctors and other professionals and talked endlessly about this fascinating subject to audiences all over Australia and overseas,’’ she said.
‘‘I then gave up sex – professionally speaking – and moved on to writing for newspapers and magazines about broader social issues and particularly the changing relationships between men and women.’’
But after nearly 20 years, Arndt has returned to her first love, publishing a best-selling book on how couples negotiate their sex supply – The Sex Diaries.
Her latest book, What Men Want, explores why sex means so much to men.
‘‘We all live busy, stressful lives which, particularly for women, means sex drops off the to-do list. But many men really struggle without that physical connection. They don’t want to live with their sisters. They so desperately want their wives to want them.’’ Mismatched desire is often at the heart of a couple's sex problems, Arndt said.
"Women talk about dreading the hand creeping towards them in the middle of the night," she said.
"Men talk about spending their lives grovelling for sex. Or having sex doled out to them 'like meaty bites to a dog' as one man put it.
"The libido difference between men and women is one of life's dirty tricks. It causes so much tension in relationships."
Arndt says she often gets asked to quantify how much sex is enough. But there is no easy answer.
"It doesn't make sense to talk about averages because there is such a difference between the couples when they first get together and are often bonking like rabbits, and the many couples who have very little sex later in their relationships," she said.
"If both of them are happy that way, it's not a problem. But when one person is craving physical intimacy and feeling unloved and unwanted, that can drive couples apart."
Arndt's three adult children are "very comfortable" with their mother's notoriety.
"I often chat with them and their friends about sex," she said.
"They are a great source of ideas for articles."
And finally, Arndt's number one sex tip?
"Learn to talk about sex. Many men would love to be better lovers but complain their partners never teach them what to do.
"And men need to be open about the fears that get in the way of a good sex life for them," she said.
BETTINA Arndt will speak at Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto on Friday, April 27, at 1pm.
Tickets cost $65 and include a two-course lunch and drinks.
"This is aimed at women who like having a good laugh. I find women really enjoy getting together with the girls and having a fun time talking about sex," she said.
"I have a wonderful collection of funny stories and I am sure everyone will have a great day."
Book on 4959 2051.