I first encountered Sue Johansen about 2002 while channel surfing. Passing through Oprah's porn channel, Oxygen I happened to catch a glimpse of an old lady sitting behind a news desk waving a---well, let's just call it a male dismembered. It was one of those unforgettable moments from which you never return.
Having raised a daughter during the rise of the degenerate ghetto culture, one which actually surpassed the Woodstock depravity I grew up with, I had always been on the lookout for new breakthroughs in perverse technology. MTV, a new cable station devoted to the developing art of music videos had inevitably branched out into areas of body part and scatological disciplines which have always fascinated their targeted Jr. High school crowds. I assumed my job as a parent was to search out these character assassins and destroy them before they reached my kid.
I had seen a sex talk show there with an adult actor named Dr. Drew and his 30 year-old adolescent sidekick named Adam romp through questions from children on the mechanics of procreation. At that age my biggest fear was zits and I was still about 3 or 4 years away from getting my first legitimate glance at its commonly used rhyme. But in spite of the influences of the sexual revolution, most of us grew up knowing the basics of sex prior to the institution of sex education. Before technology and liberal culture entered our lives, the only thing we were deprived of as far as our sexual education went was depravity.
The Dr. Drew sex show had only marginally prepared me for what was to come. Having been thoroughly versed in the legitimate basics, it was only gradually that I learned what punishment those special parts of ours could take. Today's technology feeds today's children the entire banquet on one plate. But if you mix the salad with the apple pie, put that on the mashed potatoes and pour on the gravy, is that really a meal? Dr. Drew's sex show was inappropriate for my daughter because they would hand kids a meal like that and let the kids decide what was good for them and what wasn’t. Dr. Drew and his boyfriend were the reason my daughter never had a TV in her room. It was just way too much.
Talk Sex with Sue was hosted by Sue Johansen, a late 70s harmless looking grandmother who ran her show from Canada. She is basically non-judgmental, light-hearted and sincere. She was also goofy; so goofy in fact that Walt Disney named a cartoon character after her. Johansen over-answered just about every question she received and did so physically with a host of entertaining body contortions. Her facial expressions were no less enjoyable, especially in reaction to some of the scatological implications of her advice to dimwitted Canadians. But this is only part of her appeal.
Her callers completed the magic. With over 40 years of public school sex education it is remarkable just how ignorant people are about sex. And the Queen Idiot herself gives the advice.
After the obligatory, "Love your show, Sue", which always sent her into a new contortion, the caller will ask the host a moderate to severely depraved question. Although redundancy ruled here, there was always a new laugh arising out of a new dilemma the caller had discovered while attempting a new feat of sexual endurance without a doctor present. I felt guilty laughing at some of these people and God did punish me for it with that hernia.
For the most part Sue ran the funniest comedy on television. My wife and I watched every single Sunday night when Sue brought her show to America. We saw about 8 episodes before I developed that hernia and we had to give it up for “Frazer” which was a show we could watch without running up any more medical bills.
The hernia incident came during Sue’s “toy” demonstration segment where she had a grab bag of the latest get off gizmos. One of them resembled a chipmunk in prayer and came with small batteries so he could look around while he was praying. Why he needed to look around baffled me because it was dark where he was supposed to go. I told my wife they could have given him a little flashlight because he already had the batteries. Then I suggested the chipmunk needed a little set of those throw-away plumber’s gloves and that’s when my stomach started to rise above my sternum.
We missed the next two toys because I had to put on my back brace just to keep my guts from going any further. About every two minutes Sue reminds viewers about the importance of lubrication. She insists everything be lubricated and I cannot go into the list with any semblance of dignity. But I did think about that chipmunk and how he was going to hold that greasy flashlight. Sue must have held some heavy shares of Pennzoil.
Her last toy was glass which she told her viewers was breakable. Given her audience, that caution was probably justified. But Sue needed to prove it. So she stood over the carpet, held the toy about where it was supposed to go and let go. It didn’t break. Next she repeated the demonstration over the hardwood floor. It broke. So we learned that glass breaks. I suppose that would be useful information if you are hanging from the ceiling with a greased, glass “toy”—that you are NOT holding in either hand; then yes, you shouldn’t do that over a hardwood floor.
But the show has a dark side. This is inevitable with idiots helping idiots and probably what attracted the amoral Oprah to invite the goofy dingbat to American television. Sue Johansen can be quite dangerous.
One caller claimed to have caught her daughter with an animal, the details of which we can explore no further here. Sue's answer? "Don't worry about it, Honey. It's perfectly normal." As her answer evolved, only certain acts were normal or were normal under certain conditions or were not normal dependent on the animal's demeanor, etc., etc. But in the end, Sue cleared the daughter of any perversion, comforted the mother and increased the animal shelter population nationwide by about 30 percent.
I can't find Sue on the air or on cable anymore and perhaps that's a good thing. Her disarming style made her likable and that made her dangerous. It is truly a shame that our kids grow up these days without the mystery of sex or even the mystery of the opposite sex. How can they experience the excitement and anticipation of the unknown when every media spills the beans way ahead of time.
Is it hypocrisy to lampoon honest people seeking help with their sex problem while I will not reveal mine? Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? I’ll go as far as to say that I learned about sex first—then the deviancies and perversions. But I’ll go no further because what anyone does behind closed doors is no one else’s business. However, there are always consequences. It is only when people choose to publicize their sex life through venues like Dr. Drew and Sue Johansen that we can see the potential consequences. Then we can make a judgment—and lampoon.
What’s so dangerous about Sue is that she is taken seriously when she says, “Oh, honey. That’s perfectly normal,” Then she provides a platform to expose our kids to the dark side of sex.
Sex, like fire is a blessing from God. But neither should be toyed with because they can be so destructive. If Sue had a fire education show she could give a lot of good advice. She is a nice but goofy lady. But with no moral compass to guide her or her fans she’s just as likely to encourage arson.
If you’re a nice lady who wants to expose my kid to the joys of arson, well. I’m sorry. I’ll have something to say about that.
Dick Lancaster October,2010