USA TODAY, July 31, 1995

Sari Locker's Talking Sex to Generation X

By Kim Painter

Sari Locker wants to teach fellow twentysomethings how to succeed at sex. But she could teach them a few things about how to succeed period in the Talk Soup era. Locker, just 25, has, in three short years, parlayed a smooth style, a sharp look and a graduate degree in sex education into a blossoming multimedia sex-expert career. She has:

  • Appeared on roughly 50 talk shows, from CNBC's Real Sex to Geraldo to Sally to Montel.

  • Employed a two-year stint as a call-in sex adviser on WBAI radio in New York City.

  • Traveled the country giving sex workshops for teens and college students.

  • Just published her first book: Mindblowing Sex in the Real World: Hot Tips for Doing It in the Age of Anxiety (HarperPerennial, $10).

  • And her biggest splash is yet to come: Locker says she's about to sign a contract for a nightly TV talk show on a "major cable network." She promises the show will be "tasteful and intelligent... more reality than spectacle."

    OK. But who is this woman? And how did she get to be what her publicist calls the "Dr. Ruth of the MTV generation"? Well, Locker says, she just asked. "I called a producer and said, 'I'm 22 and I have this knowledge in sexuality and would you like me as a guest expert I put expert in quotes and she said yes." People kept saying yes, and Locker says she's more than held up her end of the deal. "If I hadn't had the knowledge and the ability to teach, certainly the media would have called me on it a long time ago."

    In fact, her book does contain solid sex information, served up with enough of the appropriate pop cultural references Kelly Bundy, Nine Inch Nails, Beavis and Butthead to convince Generation Xers this stuff was invented for them. (A note: This is a book that assumes sexual experimentation is the norm for unmarried young people, so many parents might find it inappropriate for teens). A nightly TV show is a natural next step, Locker says. "I want to teach people where they learn and I do believe people learn a lot about sex by watching television."

    Locker, raised in Florida and on Long Island, says as a child she was always curious about sex and had a morn more than willing to answer her questions. By high school, she says, she was answering the questions: "Even though I wasn't sexually active, friends would ask me about sex, because they knew that I knew." Still, she was a college sophomore and all of 17 before she gave up on her childhood dream of becoming a celebrity veterinarian ("Joan Embry," she says) and decided to become a celebrity sexologist instead.

    She graduated from Cornell University In New York and got a master's in sex education from the University of Pennsylvania. She says there's a special need for a sex educator her age someone who grew up in a world with AIDS. "AIDS hit my generation as soon as we hit puberty. Most of us have heard since before we were sexually active that sex can kill us," she says. That has made twentysomethings matter-of-fact about condoms and safer sex discussed in detail in Locker's book. But, she says, it has also put a damper on discussions of sexual pleasure. So, she says, she not only tells young people how to put on a condom (yes, every time, guys) she tells them bow to be better kissers, how to use a vibrator, how to have sex on the Net and how to see, taste and smell more during sex. 'Twentysomethings want desperately to know how to find more pleasure, but they are afraid they're only supposed to be asking about the problems," she says. "I want to teach them how much pleasure and creativity can figure into sex and make them more satisfied." Up next for Locker a book on relationships.

    As for her own, she's discreet, but allows that an attractive, 25-year-old female sexologist can attract some unwanted attention. "One type thinks I'm going to have sex with them right away…Another gets really intimidated…Then there's a group with some kind of sexual problem. I'll hear on the second date, 'So, do you know anything about premature ejaculation?' " That’s when she tells them that even Sari Locker takes a day off.

    SARI LOCKER: 'Many twentysomethings have gaps in their education that desperately need to be filled so that they can enjoy their sex lives.'

    Sari Locker Twentysomething Sexologist MTV Generation