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QLD CHAMPION

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Susan Jarvis (she/her)

LIVED EXPERIENCE
Disability, Chronic Illness & Mental Health

KEY INFORMATION

Place of Birth: Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia
Current location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Age: 55 years old
Language/s: English only
LGBTQIA+: Yes
NDIS Participant: No
Diagnoses:
Generalised Anxiety and Depression, Chronic Bilateral Osteoarthritis Knees, Sleep Apnoea
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Mental Health, Secondary and Tertiary care

BIO

Susan Jarvis, also known as The Maven, is the founder of The Spicy Boudoir and host of the popular podcast, The Maven's Private Diaries. She is a leading voice in the Australian sex and relationship education community, known for her candid and empowering approach to exploring sexuality and relationships and smashing taboos and stereotypes around sex, death and disability. Susan has written for major media outlets, and featured in numerous podcasts.
 
Susan's journey to becoming an advocate for sexuality of older age persons and people living with a disability began when she was diagnosed with a chronic condition that left her with limited mobility. Now in her 50s, Susan discovered that as she aged and started using a walking stick her ‘presence’ in the world seemed to be fading. Susan felt invisible at the checkout, invisible in the media and certainly invisible in the realm of online adult stores. That frustrated her, so she decided to change the status quo, one orgasm at a time. Susan has since established a dedicated following and has since been featured in numerous Australian media outlets for her work, such as The Sydney Morning Herald where she discussed the importance of sex education for over 50s and the need for more inclusive and accessible resources.
 
Susan’s purpose is to shine the light on ageless sexuality and demonstrate that physical disability does not preclude one from enjoying intimacy. Having also a lived experience of anxiety and depression, Susan is a passionate advocate for de-stigmatising mental health
and speaks openly about her experience with family, friends and the medical profession. 
 
Susan's mission is to empower women over 50 to embrace their sexuality and sensuality, and she hopes to inspire others to do the same. "I want to show that age and disability do not have to limit our desires and experiences," she says. "We deserve to live our best lives, and
that includes a fulfilling sex life."

Susan shares her wisdom, "I have experienced a transformation from a dark, stale and empty life, to one full of love, passion, laughter and yes, bloody good sex. All because I had the guts to try. The guts to step outside my boundaries and the guts not to care what people thought of me. This doesn’t mean that I went on an escapade of sexual conquests and swinging from the rafters. Rather, my journey was about listening to my intuition, developing self-awareness, learning about my body and improving my communication and interpersonal skills. I modified my perceptions of self and shifted my mindset from being conservative to being adventurous. In other words, letting go of a lot of crap in my life. Now that I am in my early 50s, I've also learned to embrace (and live with) menopause and renavigate my libido and orgasmic pathways as a result. I am passionate about helping other women, and men, find their extraordinary self, to embrace their sexuality. In particular, I feel extremely frustrated with the way in which menopause is viewed as the death knell of female sexuality when in essence, it heralds the beginning of a whole new appreciation of our lives. Personal growth and change are achievable at any stage of adult life. Please don’t be one of those people lying on their deathbed full of regrets. I certainly won't be. I have a library of deathbed memories that will keep me company when my time comes.
 
Aside from Susan’s journey as a business owner, she has very broad life experience, both as a carer (end-of-life) and consumer of the public health system. Combined with this, Susan also has the unique perspective of having been employed in public health working across areas such as Clinical Governance, Patient Safety and Quality, Palliative Care and has also been involved as a secretariat for National Standard Health Committees. This creates a unique combination of skills and experience which can contribute critical analysis and ideas generation for projects dedicated to improving health outcomes for the community.
 
As a speaker, Susan’s keynote is about her transformation from living a life that was immersed deeply in depression to turning her life around to where she is today as Susan The Maven, founder of The Spicy Boudoir and a podcast host. Anxiety and depression have become her assets and not a liability.
 
Susan is an engaging speaker and will provide an experience that people will remember.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Founder 'The Spicy Boudoir'

  • Published writer in digital media outlets including;

    • Mamamia!

    • Women Beyond 40 Magazine

    • eBubble Magazine

  • Podcast host, 'The Maven's Private Diaries' and interviewed by numerous podcast

  • Featured by major media outlets including The Daily Mail Australia and. The Sydney Morning Herald

  • Experienced speaker and workshop presenter:

    • Channel Country Ladies Day 2022​

    • Silver Sirens Redefining Ageing Event 2022

    • Brisbane Mind, Body, Spirit Festival 2022

    • Panelist -  ‘Menopause, a conversation for all’,
      Hosted by Richelle Menzies, Sexologist 2021

    • Panelist - The Vulva Dialogues, Season 1, Dialogue 6: Sexual
      Wellness Over Time

  • Performed at The Sit Down Comedy Club Brisbane in 2021

LINKS

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