Toronto-based sexologist, relationship expert and author, Jessica O’Reilly, is in Montreal for the weekend for the Salon de l’Amour et de la Séduction.
The event is touted as the provinces’s largest and longest-running consumer romance show.
O’Reilly who is known as Dr. Jess, will be speaking at the conference where she’ll share her favourite tips and techniques from her latest book, The New Sex Bible.
O’Reilly took time out of her busy schedule to guest co-host Global News Morning. We asked her a few questions to get to know her a little better.
WATCH BELOW: Dr. Jess guest hosts Global News Morning in Montreal
How did you get your start?
“I was a high school teacher and I saw firsthand the costs of an an education that didn’t adequately address relationships, communication and sexuality,” she said. “So I decided to go back to school and do research in the area.”
O’Reilly pursued her studies and obtained a PhD focusing on the development of training programs in sex education for teachers.
And while she travels extensively to take part in conferences and retreats across the United States, Europe and the Caribbean, where she is often a keynote speaker, O’Reilly says she hasn’t abandoned the classroom.
“I volunteer in classrooms working with teachers and students, it’s my passion project,” she told Global News. “Poor teachers, you throw them to the wolves and say ‘teach this really divisive subject and you have to do it with consideration for a huge range of perspectives.'”
As a counsellor what is the complaint you hear most often?
If you guessed sex, or lack thereof, you’d be right.
“Because I work primarily with couples in their 40s, the most common complaint is that they have stopped having sex or they’re not having enough,” O’Reilly said.
And while people might assume that men are doing the complaining, O’Reilly suggested that woman have the same grievances.
“It’s evenly split. Men lose interest in sex, too.”
O’Reilly said that couple’s who work on their relationships often focus on the love connection but forget the passion.
“You need to work on activities to create mystery, excitement and even discomfort,” she said explaining that those feelings are often present in the early days of a relationship.
Have you heard it all?
Despite offering counselling for over 15 years, O’Reilly said there’s never a dull moment.
“I am always surprised,” she said. “There’s always something new, something I don’t have the answer to.”
“Not knowing all the answers is what makes it interesting.”
Most rewarding aspect of your job?
While the quest for knowledge keeps O’Reilly going, it’s not her sole source of motivation.
The most satisfying aspect of her job comes from helping others.
“It’s rewarding to see people feel better about themselves,” she said. “The easiest part is that I can offer reassurance.”
Any parting words of wisdom?
“Know that a relationship takes work. Compatibility is something that you create, not that you find.”
WATCH BELOW: More advice from relationship expert Jessica O’Reilly