Turned On to Community Sexuality Needs

“I always knew I had a passion for teaching but it became really apparent during my graduate work, especially when assisting the human sexuality class,” relates Ashley Thompson, of Turned On. “I have a passion for human relationships, especially intimate relationships and I love being able to provide people with this information.”

Having launched this summer, Turned On is a blog and soon-to-be television show Thompson aspires to be honest, factual and up-front about sexuality-related issues. So far, topics discussed on the blog include shaving, oral sex and the media, “ex-hoarding.”

A PhD student at the University of New Brunswick in experimental and applied psychology, Ashley took a course in sexuality during her undergraduate work and was hooked. Not only was she eager to keep studying, she became keen to start teaching. “For many, sexuality is a difficult topic to discuss and this course provided an unbiased and comfortable environment for everyone.” She hopes to create the same for readers and viewers of Turned On.

It was during a brainstorming session for the television show that the multimedia approach came up. It is interactive with a section to ‘Ask Ashley,’ which she hopes will engage the audience. “We thought a blog would be a great way to involve the community. The site is now up and running which will provide information from the show to the community and from the community to the show.”

While the show is still in development, Ashley wants it to be a diverse resource. “The show is just in the pilot phase at the moment, but we want it to be an entertaining and educational experience for all viewers. We plan on covering a different topic every episode from oral sex to online sexual activity. Each show will include a discussion group, expert interviews, blog Q&A, and more.”

Noting that sex education can always be improved upon, Ashley hopes there will be significant interaction with the community. A big part of that will be the topics that will be discussed on the blog and show and she wants to move away from typical sexual health messaging and to a more broad approach. “My plan is to discuss any topic that will interest young adults. I am hoping to steer away from public health messages and focus on general sexuality and intimacy-related topics.”