A day in the life of… a sexpert

April 8, 2003

SheSaid gets the goss from Dr Gabrielle Morrissey, Sexologist, author of Urge.

Describe a typical day

My typical day is a real juggle and it’s long! I head into my office on campus in the morning to prepare lesson plans and teaching materials, and deal with my endless email- From students, prospective students, colleagues and media. Just after lunch I teach a sexology class, then meet with graduate research students, and then I’ll head over to a radio studio, either the ABC or RTR FM, to do my regular on air segment. Afterwards I’ll head back to the office. I’ll work on sex research or writing for a few hours. Looking up statistics, interviewing people etc. Or I’ll start more lesson materials for the new, about to be launched Forensic Sexology Graduate Programme I’m heading. I usually do one Australian media interview a day by phone, with a magazine or paper which is often done in my office, but sometimes as I head home, I then start up my home laptop to work on my column in the West Australian paper, ‘Dear Gabby.’ (If it’s a Tuesday, I’ll squeeze in an evening board meeting for the West Australian Sexology Society). Then late at night, at home again, I email regularly with London Press and write my column for Zest Magazine in the UK. This works out because of the time difference. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up to do a media interview by phone (promoting my book, or answering sexuality questions) in New York since they are in the middle of their day when I’m in the middle of the night. I then sleep, often dreaming about other book ideas, and lesson plans for my students! I wake up and start it all over again, with a new set of students, class, media questions, book writing and columns!

What’s the best part of the job?

The subject matter! I love my work. I’ve been working in the sexuality field nearly fourteen years and I truly am passionate about it. I love teaching and getting students inspired to work and do research in human sexuality. I also love talking to the media and putting positive sexuality messages out there for people to read, hear and learn from. On a practical level, the work always changes and I love that. I am self-directed: I teach basically what I choose, write what I want, and hop between media gigs and classrooms. I’m certainly not chained to a desk!

What would you consider to be your key talents?

I guess I was naturally drawn to this kind of work cause I’m a good listener, I’m sensitive to people’s needs, I’m a devoted teacher (I was trained very well), I’m non-judgmental and passionate about the field. I’ve always loved writing and teaching, so I throw my whole self into it. I firmly believe you have to love what you do.

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