Daughter of Canadian Sexpert Sue Johanson talks about award-winning documentary that honours her mom’s legacy

Jane Johanson says Sue was a pioneer in an age we needed a lot of sexual health education

For decades, sex educator Sue Johanson told us everything we needed to know about sex.

With her syndicated radio and television program ‘The Sunday Night Sex Show,’ she provided us with the answers to questions we didn’t even know we had.

Everyone was comfortable asking Sue questions, except maybe her own kids.

Barrie 360 spoke with her youngest daughter Jane Johanson about her mother’s legacy, a documentary about her work and what it was like to have “the talk” with her mom.

Jane laughs. “I was uncomfortable talking to my mother about sex, sexual health, and sexuality. She had a ‘the door is always open’ attitude and was open to chatting with me about sex, birth control, and stuff like that, but I didn’t want to hear about it from my mom.”

Jane Johanson- image supplied

However, Jane says she found comfort in knowing she could talk to her mom if she wanted.

“For parents and caregivers, once you open the door to conversation, then at least you know they can come back to you when they are more comfortable talking about that subject,” she says.

Jane adds that even though she wasn’t interested in discussing sex with Sue, her friends felt differently.

“If anything, my friends would come over, and they were happy to sit in the kitchen with my mom drinking tea and talking about all things sex.”

Sue’s intelligence, knowledge, sassiness, and straightforward approach made her well-loved across North America.

Jane says knowing her mother’s impact on people inspired her to make the 2022 documentary “Sex with Sue.”

“It was a seed of an idea for me six years ago as I thought, well, I’ll either write a book or create a documentary on my mom so that she can be remembered for being the pioneer that she was in an age when we needed a lot of sexual health education.”

Before she knew it, Jane was partnered with filmmaker Lisa Rideout who directed the project.

“Lisa was the one that really went to town and worked hard for a year and got this documentary film up and going,” Jane says.

Since its release in October 2022, the film has earned the Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Program and numerous other nominations and accolades.

So what does Sue herself think of all the new attention?

Jane says her mom, who’s been living a quiet life out of the spotlight, is thrilled.

“Sue was delighted. I think she was taken aback by it all because she didn’t necessarily want to be featured that way. But I think she realized, ‘Wow, what an amazing thing.’ And she was proud. Really proud.”

Jane Johanson herself has recently teamed with Jems condoms, which encourages talking to seniors about the importance of safe sex.

More information can be found here.

feature image provided by Jane Johanson & Youtube