Sexologist and educator, director of her own company Birds & Bees
Family: daughter Sage, plus a mob of people in this town who I consider my family
Star sign: Virgo
Favourite food: It changes all the time but it would definitely involve a glass of wine and cheese.
There’s no denying it, Jodi Rodgers has got one of those jobs.
She’s used to the giggles, questions and eyebrows raised. But Jodi says, her work in the area of sex and sexuality is an important role in any community.
‘Talking about sex is full of taboos and we so often don’t know how to talk about it,’ she says.
But before we start talking about it, here’s the story of how Jodi found herself doing what she does today.
Jodi’s life began in Newcastle, New South Wales, but her family soon moved to Tasmania and then Canberra. Jodi went to university and studied to be a teacher and then completed a post grad in Special Education. She worked in Australia and South East Asia, with people with disabilities.
‘People with a disability have the same right to education as everyone, and that includes sex education. I was working in a large special school in the early 90s and someone needed to teach the sex education unit. The principal nominated me. And that was how it started,’ she says.
Over the years Jodi has also completed further education in autism, counselling and has a Master’s Degree in Sexual Health. She has worked extensively in both disability and sexual health organisations.
These days Jodi runs her own private practice, Birds & Bees which specialises in counselling and educating people with a disability with all components of sexuality and also working with children and young people with sexualised behaviours of concern.
As well as counselling for individuals and couples, Jodi delivers workshops to adults with a disability across regional NSW, travelling as far afield as Broken Hill and Bega, covering areas that range from anatomy and physiology, through to safe sex, contraception, relationships, consent and sex.
Jodi also works with children with complex sexualised behaviours. ‘Lots of people have never been taught about what is typical sexual development in children and can sometimes be shocked when they experience these behaviours in kids. It is natural for kids to play doctors and nurses, but I work with kids who are showing lots of red flags for when their sexual development is not typical.’
What’s the best thing about your job?
I laugh every day with my clients. Sex is funny. It should be funny. I’m so lucky, my work is still a joy. I get to see the good in people every day.
I also get to see the dark side of life and to see how cruel people can be to each other, particularly to kids.
Hobbies? Swimming in the ocean, music, yoga, travel.
Work life philosophy? There is method to my madness!