New Year Sex and Relationship Resolutions

Happy New Year! Here’s my column that appeared in Ciao magazine…

Celebrate and respect that initial sexual attraction you both first felt when you met.

This is what first drew you together and should not be forgotten. It can be very destructive to a relationship if the times between sexual contact are too long. No matter how fast paced and busy our lives are or how familiar our partner might become to us; it is crucial we never stop seeing them as our lover first and foremost. I see so many clients who have put sex and intimacy on the back burner and this creates a myriad of problems.

Lots of good sex with our partner is beneficial for our health, our blood pressure, our hearts and the health of the relationship! ­ This leads to my next resolution…

Prioritise sex and make time for it.

Schedule in sex dates. If you are too busy and don’t have time to have sex with your partner then it’s time to sit down and re-schedule! If you can start saying no to that party or function that is road blocking your desires and spend time with no one but your partner. Have a night in (or outside if that’s what you like!) with your skin pressing against theirs.

If you’re single, prioritise your self loving practice. Explore your body and new ways of pleasure! Think of your sexuality like a plant that needs watering and attention to grow, flower and thrive. It doesn’t grow on its own if you don’t nurture it. Working on your own sexuality will open you up to greater pleasure and creativity.

For singles looking for a partner or wanting to stop meeting the same types of people all the time; book in a session with me to discover how you are blocking your own happiness and changing the patterns that are keeping you back.




Resolve to “fight fair” for 2015.

9d8fd7accf094a12361a59f9b1cb8a8bArguments will happen but try to stay calm, truly listen to your partner and notice the pain that is prompting their words. My clients have transformed their relationship by learning how to communicate, listen and resolve conflict in a relationship more effectively.

Masterful business communicators can crumble and struggle with communicating in an intimate relationship because the stakes are so much higher and the rules can be a lot less clear.

Resolve to stop doing these things with your partner that are not conducive to a healthy relationship; stonewall (silent treatment), storm out, hanging up, go to bed angry, slam doors or lash out with cruel and personal attacks.

Don’t be a “kitchen sink fighter” and throw in every past blunder your partner has ever made! This will inflame the situation and build resentment. Keep things relevant and specific and try to be assertive not passive, aggressive or passive aggressive.

Book in a therapy session with me if you’d like to learn good relationship communication skills and transform how you relate with your lover.

Broaden your definition of sex for 2015.

Photo Manipulations by Alexandria ThompsonLet’s embrace our sexuality and the many different ways we can have “sex.”
Sex is not just about actual intercourse but about any erotic activity that involves some sort of touch. Some could say touch isn’t even needed- (why look at tantra and breath orgasms­) but it’s about being present and in your body!

Put down your mobile, get out of your head and connect with your lover! Explore different ways of giving and receiving pleasure that don’t focus on performance and goal orientations! And of course above all ­have fun! Joke, play and laugh. Sex with the right person is good for you!



Here’s to a lush and pleasure ­filled 2015!

Catherine O Dowd

Blokes are perpetually up for it, women never have wet dreams and sex always has to climax with orgasms all round. It’s all filthy lies!

Check out my latest sex column for Ciao magazine.

Blokes are perpetually up for it, women never have wet dreams and sex always has to climax with orgasms all round. It’s all filthy lies!

MYTH: Women have a lower sex drive than men.

Several studies have shown that in heterosexual relationships, the partner least interested in sex can be equally a man or a woman.

A recent survey found 62 per cent of men turn down sex more frequently than their female partner, with a third admitting they had lost their sex drive. Doctors talk about the rising numbers of men with low libido that they treat, citing stress, illness, money worries, diabetes and obesity as well as lowering levels of testosterone as causes. Large studies done in America show that in every decade there’s a decrease in testosterone levels by as much as 10 per cent.

History illuminates our changing sexual beliefs. In medieval times women were believed to have the bigger sex drive and be more lustful than men. Women’s ability to bleed monthly, give birth and have multiple orgasms were cited as proof of their animalistic sexual urges, which were seen to be more out of control than men’s. Women were thought to be more susceptible to material and fleshly experiences and more likely to be inhabited by evil spirits.

MYTH: Only men have nocturnal orgasms.

Not true! Nocturnal orgasms are a completely normal and common incident for men and women.

This myth may exist because our society talks about male sexuality as more uncontainable and unstoppable. Male orgasm occurs effortlessly but the female orgasm is portrayed as illusive and something that takes a lot of hard work.

Like female ejaculation, female nocturnal orgasms were discovered, recorded then forgotten about back in history. Our sex education curriculum often only references male orgasm (nocturnal or otherwise). I remember no mention of female orgasm at all at my school. Kinsey’s research found over 60 years ago that 37 per cent of women had night orgasms and recent research reveals that more women have nocturnal orgasms than we thought. Female orgasms while sleeping might be more common than recognised – studies have found some women underreported their nocturnal orgasms because of their own social and cultural beliefs.

MYTH: The goal of sex is to have an orgasm.

There is no ‘right’ time or way to have an orgasm.

Being in touch with your lover’s body and enjoying the sensations without focussing on the end result can be liberating. Once we abandon these goal-oriented ideas we can experience each moment with less pressure and performance anxiety. If an orgasm does not occur, sex can still be an enjoyable. Let’s all focus on the journey more than the destination!

Words: Cat O Dowd, sex therapist and relationships counsellor. For more info email or visit

Today is the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers

The International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers was created to call attention to crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. Originally conceptualized by Annie Sprinkle and initiated by the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has empowered workers from cities around the world to come together and organize against discrimination and remember victims of violence.

During the week of December 17th, sex worker rights organizations and their allies stage actions and vigils to raise awareness about violence that is commonly committed against sex workers. The assault, battery, rape and murder of sex workers must end. Existing laws prevent sex workers from reporting violence. The stigma and discrimination that is perpetuated by the prohibitionist laws has made violence against us acceptable. Please join with sex workers around the world and stand against criminalization and violence committed against our communities.

Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway said, he picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. “I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.” He confessed to having murdered ninety women. Sadly some Seattle prostitutes, their boyfriends or pimps, knew the Green River Killer was Gary Ridgeway for years, but were afraid to come forward for fear of getting arrested, or the police didn’t believe those that did come forward, or the police didn’t seem to care. Ridgeway’s killing spree went on for over twenty years.

Violent crimes against sex workers go underreported, unaddressed and unpunished. There really are people who don’t care when prostitutes are victims of hate crimes, beaten, raped, and murdered. No matter what you think about sex workers and the politics surrounding them, sex workers are a part of our neighborhoods, communities and families.

When Ridgeway was finally caught, I felt a need to memorialize my whore sisters that had died so horribly and needlessly. I cared, and I knew other people cared too. So I got together with Robyn Few, Founder of the Sex Worker Outreach Project, and SWOP members Stacey Swimme and Michael Fowley, and we claimed Dec. 17th as the International Day to End violence Against Sex Workers. We invited people to do memorials, vigils, and their chosen kind of events in their countries and cities. We produced a vigil at San Francisco’s City Hall. To date hundreds of people around the world have done dozens of memorials, actions, and events of all kinds, and the participation is growing. Won’t you join us? Here’s how.



  1. Organize a vigil/memorial/gathering in your town. Simply choose a place and time. Invite people to bring their stories, writings, thoughts, related news items, poems, lists of victims, performances, and memories. Take turns sharing.
  2. Organize or attend a candlelight vigil in a public place.
  3. Do something at home alone which has personal meaning, such as a memorial bath, or light a candle.
  4. Call a friend and discuss the topic.
  5. Send a donation to a group that helps sex workers stay safer. Some teach self-defense or host web sites that caution workers about bad Johns. Donate to Sex Worker Outreach Project.
  6. Read the Sex Workers Outreach Project’s web site,, Do let others know about any planned Dec. 17 events by listing them on the site. (Although sadly this site is not current and I’m not sure if someone is following through on this.) There is also a wikipedia entry about Dec. 17 which you can read.
  7. Spread the word about the Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and the issues it raises; blog, email, send a press release, forward this text to others.
  8. Attend a Dec. 17th Day to End Violence event/action/memorial. Everyone is welcome.
  9. Organize a panel discussion about violence towards sex workers. Procure a community space and invite speakers like sex workers, police, and families of victims.
  10. Create your own way to participate. People have done celebrations, Xmas caroling, protests at jails, lobbying at City Halls, naked women reading whore writings, performance art, visual art projects, and other creative, fun and moving things.

Each year when I attend a gathering on Dec. 17 for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers it is always a deeply moving experience. I take some moments to feel grateful that I worked as a prostitute for twenty years and came out alive and well. I remember those who didn’t survive and I fear for those who won’t until some real changes are made.

In San Francisco we are in the process of organizing a whole events for Dec. 17. A city hall press conference, a memorial ritual at Center for Sex and Culture, and “Naked Women Reading” sex worker writings (Lady Monster’s Event).

Start organizing now! You’ll be glad you did. The fact that sex workers themselves organize the Dec. 17 day creates good press interest (it has been in many papers including NY Times) and helps garner compassion and understanding of how the bad, unfair laws against prostitution hurt so many. But then sex workers of all kinds (legal sex work) can be targets of acts of violence as well.

In whore pride solidarity,
Annie M. Sprinkle


This information has been taken from

Here in Australia

In Australia we havmemorial for Traceye a similar situation. Although NSW is one of the few places in the world that sex work is decriminalised and there has never been a documented case of HIV transmission from sex worker to client and sex workers have lower rates of STI’s than women in the general community, they are still stigmatised in the media and experience assault and murder.

shrine-to-tracy-connellyRecently in Melbourne a woman was brutally murdered. Her name was Tracey Connelly. Aged forty, Tracey was found dead in a van she was living in with her partner Mr Melissovas on Sunday July 21. She was a sex worker. Connelly’s brutal death was given a lot less press than the recent  murder of Jill Meagher and it disappeared quickly from the headlines.  Connelly seemed to get less sympathy from the press, as if her occupation meant she was less of an  ‘innocent victim.’ The Age  and the Herald Sun named her as a ‘St Kilda Prostitute’ in their headlines about the case.  Referring to these victims of violence as “prostitutes” helps hold up a good girl/bad girl binary and the idea that those are the risks to her job and that she is somewhat deserving of them. It also props up ideas about violence towards women as ok and legitimate and predictable in certain circumstanVigil on Greeves Street for Traceyces. Calling her a ‘prostitute’ in the headlines, reduced her personhood and dehumanised her. I found the coverage pretty disappointing. There’s an interesting piece from the Kings Tribune that goes into more detail  here.

Tracey’s partner of 19 years read this statement,

“First and foremost, Tracey was a human being and regardless of what she had done for a job she deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, just like anyone else. Tracey is a beautiful and kind, caring, loving person who deserves justice and not to be forgotten or disrespected by anybody.  My love for Tracey is unrelenting and so am I when it comes to catching and finding this person responsible for this disgusting and cruel way she has been treated. Tracey is a loved member of our community, with a partner, family and friends who love her. We have all been robbed by her senseless murder. Tracey and I both had dreams and plans for the future. I, along with Tracy’s family, are begging and pleading for any information that will give Tracey justice. Our lives will never be the same without her.”

Jill Meagher’s partner Tom Meagher was outraged when he discovered that his wife’s killer had previously assaulted sex workers and been given very lax sentencing for it. Before killing Jill Meagher, Bayley raped five sex workers and served 8 years in jail.  When he was 19, he raped two teenagers in separate attacks.  You can read more about his criminal past, how he was on parole for previous rape convictions when he murdered Jill and how he said the police should never have let him out here   and here. He had been raping, abducting and threatening to kill women for 20 years.  Tom Meagher said the way our system treats those who attack sex workers tells offenders “not don’t rape but be careful who you rape.” The system failed Jill Meagher. Bayley had breached his parole before he met Jill on the street that night, but had not been put back in gaol.
If you’d like to read more about studies conducted in Australia have a look here. This report talks about sex workers vulnerabilities to violence and assault, strategies that workers often come up with to try to protect themselves and their lack of sympathy or help from police.


I’m a sex and relationship columnist for a Sydney newspaper!

I’m really excited to announce that I’m writing a column for a Sydney newspaper about sex and relationships! Go and pick up the latest CIAO magazine if you live in the Inner West of Sydney.
I’ve just written a piece on the rise of the sexy “selfie.” I noticed a lot of journalists were getting very preachy and self righteous about it so I thought I’d offer my alternative opinion! Have a read of my article and let me know what you think!

You can read it here,