Seeking Sex Advice? Where to Get Some

For those eager to talk about sex, there's no better time to do it. Talk, that is.

Gone are the days when cocktails with the girls or beers with the guys were the only suitable settings for candid conversations about what goes on between the sheets. On the Internet -- where more than 4 million sites are dedicated to adult content -- it's nearly impossible to avoid tips on how to raise her libido or enhance his prowess.

Thirteen years after Dr. Ruth Westenheimer revolutionized the airwaves by talking dirty in a Deutsch accent, TV and radio call-in shows continue to connect sex gurus with those in need across the country.

So the problem isn't lack of content or forums to chat -- it's sifting through what's out there and figuring out the advice worth heeding. Below are some of the best shows on TV, on the radio and on the Web, as judged by a team of sex specialists.

TV: 'Talk Sex With Sue Johanson'

On TV "Talk Sex With Sue Johanson" has the market cornered. Johanson, a 61-year-old Canadian registered nurse, answers callers' questions about everything from S&M to ED with the same matter-of-fact manner with which most women her age would use to teach their grandchildren how to bake.

"What's titillating about Sue Johanson is that she looks 80-something-years old and she's talking about [anal sex]," said Jen Berman, psychotherapist and former call-in advice show host. "Sue is approachable. She's like your mom or your grandmother that you can go have tea or coffee with."

In the United States, "Talk Sex" airs on the Oxygen network at hours after the kids have, with any luck, gone to bed. That allows Johanson to address topics most stations would shy away from without mincing words.

"She's on cable so she can be really explicit," Ducky Doolittle, Museum of Sex educator and author of "Sex With the Lights On: 200 Illuminating Sex Questions Answered," told ABC News. "She's a beautiful feminist, a real groundbreaker."

With a sparse set decorated by little other than Johanson's 1980s-era outfits, "Talk Sex" defies the trend of graphically rich, highly produced, sex appeal-heavy TV shows. According to Doolittle, Johanson has a more powerful force working in her favor.

"Sue works because people are curious about other people's sex lives," she said. "So people get to hear others call in and ask these odd questions. It's voyeurism."

Radio: 'Loveline'

"Loveline" has set the standard in sex advice on the radio for 14 years. What began as a Sunday night segment on a local Los Angeles station became a nationally syndicated radio program by 1995 and an MTV phenomenon shortly after that. No longer televised, "Loveline" continues to captivate listeners across the country with its father-figure host, Dr. Drew Pinsky.

With an M.D. under his belt and an active practice, Pinsky has the medical knowledge necessary to dispense worthwhile advice, according to Berman.

"He has hands on experience and experience in the trenches," she said. "He is really well-equipped to talk about male issues, to being sensitive to your partner. He is a real resource, a go-to person for young men and women."

While Dr. Drew, as he's known to his fans, takes the professional position of a physician with his callers, "Loveline" lightened the mood by pairing him with a comic co-host. Adam Carolla was Pinsky's partner in crime for 10 years. In 2006 "Ted" Ramón Stryker, aka DJ Stryker, joined Pinsky to crack jokes about everything from one-night stands to his coccygeal projection, or human tail. Doolittle agrees: Pinsky's sincerity mixed with his sidekick's musings makes for radio worth hearing.

"Dr. Drew really cares about what he's putting on the air," she said. "He mixes it up with a comedian. He normalizes feelings and experiences for a lot of people. And again, he's been doing it for a long time, he's an authority on the matter."

Online Video: Violet Blue

Violet Blue's Web site may not look sexy, but her vlogs (video blogs) more than make up for the bare-bones design. The author, professional sex educator and San Francisco Chronicle sex columnist posts short, informal videos about her thoughts on sex and how to do it.

There's no pretense -- Blue often faces the camera unmade up, wearing glasses and a tank top, talking to viewers as if they were best friends lounging in the living room. Doolittle loves her unfussy approach.

"She is a beautiful, progressive voice in sex-ed," Doolittle said. "She's just very creative and fun and that's what the world is missing in sex."

Blue shares tips from the sex seminars she teaches and answers questions sent to her by viewers. But she's not the type to sit behind a desk.

In a recent episode, responding to an e-mail question about whether it was OK to use Crisco for fun in the bedroom rather than for baking in the kitchen, Blue blows up a condom into a balloon larger than her head. She opens a can of Crisco, massages it on the condom, and a minute later, gasps as the condom bursts.

"There you go," she said. "Do not use this as lube."

And with Blue, viewers get more than just sex tips. The Crisco episode also featured footage of scantily clad pro marching band dancers and a wrap-up of Blue's weekend. She's less of a clinical expert and more of a warm-hearted friend -- who just happens to know a lot about sex. Doolittle thinks her more personal approach will resonate with a lot of people.

"I highly recommend that people find a personality that they relate to," she said. "And she mixes bits of her personal life. She's an ideal personality."

Online Radio: 'Sex Drive'

Odds are, anyone tuning into a sex advice podcast is into technology. Regina Lynn caters to the sexually curious, tech-savvy consumer with "Sex Drive."

A Wired magazine columnist and author of "The Sexual Revolution 2.0," Lynn talks about how technology impacts sexuality. In a recent podcast, she weighs in on the debate about whether the Internet's connectivity is disconnecting people from each other.

"I see us using the excuse ... that everybody's ... using all kinds of technology to replace human contact," she said. "But I don't think that's true. I think it's an individual issue. I think we like to look out and say, 'Oh my God, this is going on and everything's speeding up and what are we going to do?' Because that's easier than just putting down our own phones and putting our foot down."

Lynn delves into the nitty-gritty of sex as well as the abstract. She devotes a podcast to the disposable sex toy trend, reviewing a $7 one-time use "masturbation sleeve" and throwaway vibrating rings that spice up sex while keeping it safe. With more disposable sex toys on store shelves, Lynn hopes Americans will get over the stigma of bringing gadgets into the bedroom.

"Toys are one very tangible way that we regular people do see the marriage of sex and tech in ways that just really brings it home for us," she said. "We can't all go out and buy…cyber sex suits but everyone can have a little vibrating ring."

Because Lynn's a writer by trade and not trying to hawk products, Doolittle believes she's a credible source of information.

"She has really kept her pulse on how the Internet affects sexuality," she said. "It's an interesting twist because of where she comes from and she's not trying to sell anything."

And Doolittle speculates that Lynn's appeal comes from her image as a sexy techie.

"She's a real tech dork," Doolittle said. "You always have this picture of the spectacled sexy librarian -- she embodies that for me. It's like, 'Oh, this geek is so hot!' It's just a stereotype but it works."

Online Radio: 'Sex Is Fun'

But sex advice podcasts aren't just for those who have to have their WiFi with their foreplay. "Sex Is Fun" has been podcasting frank, vivid discussions about sex and relationships to listeners all over the world since 2005.

The show features its creator and host "Kidder" weighing in on a variety of sex topics with sex educator Laura Rad and audio engineer "Coochie."

Episode topics range from the traditional (long distance relationships) to those that would likely be banned from the mainstream airwaves (strap-on harnesses). The show also devotes episodes to answering listener questions submitted by voice mail.

Kidder, who doesn't divulge his name or educational background for fear of malpractice, admits he has a medical background and "a lot of experience with neurology and sexual anatomy." He said the lack of comprehensive sexual advice on the market inspired him to create a radio podcast where discussion can be more explicit and to-the-point than it can on video.

"It's easy to have a conversation about sex; it's difficult to show things that will be acceptable to a large audience," he said. "I can't just show a vagina. I can talk about one, though."

With an average of 28,000 downloads per show, "Sex Is Fun" has growing fan bases in the United States, Australia and Britain. Doolittle said it's one of the better outlets for advice on the Internet.

"The guy has some great information and it's always great to hear a guy speaking sincerely," she said about Kidder. "Some guys are really going to relate to him."

But she cautioned that with "Sex Is Fun" -- as with any sex advice show on the Internet, TV, radio or elsewhere -- consumers should think before they act. "Sex Is Fun" drives this home with a disclaimer at the start of every episode saying, "Please use common sense and if you don't have any, stop listening now."

Laura Berman, director of the Berman Center, a Chicago sex health care facility, and Jen Berman's sister, said that what might sound tantalizing on air may not work out in the bedroom, especially if there are deeper issues at play.

"Take the information, use it, enjoy it, but take it with a grain of salt," she said. "Position? Who cares. Stripping for your partner? Go for it. But when it comes to how do you repair the trust in your relationship after an affair, or how do you achieve orgasm if you have trust issues in the bedroom -- if there are more psychological issues, you should see a professional."