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From Dana's Guests

Jennifer Lehr
Author, speaker, relationship pundit and performer

Jennifer has been creating art out of life, all of her life. Perhaps it started around her 11th birthday when she turned her house into a hotel and took her friends to the airport for sodas before bringing them back home for their "vacation." Soon thereafter she devised characters with fake handicaps and later performed them for her high school classmates. In college she drove Volkswagen Bugs onto the lacrosse fields for a "happening"-horns blowing, doors opening and engines roaring. Her senior year she invited 250 students to The Party As Performance. A party with rules, it looked at the way people socialize-highlighting the different ways the sexes conversed.

After college, Jennifer moved to New York where she created her performance works for The Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island and The New Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1996, she returned to Los Angeles to attend UCLA's esteemed MFA program.

That's when her work took an unexpected yet in retrospect, logical shift. She evolved from a conceptual/performance artist into a full-fledged writer. Her performance project Face Drawings resulted in a 500-page, controversial book entitled 78 Drawings of My Face which received recognition in The New York Times Magazine and The Los Angeles Times Magazine. A writer was born and a new work was begun: Ill-Equipped for a Life of Sex. In 2001, she was invited by the prestigious artists colony Yaddo to work on her book, the rest of which was written in the lobby of the Chateau Marmont. During the course of the seven years it took her to write Ill-Equipped, Jennifer started two businesses that are now flourishing: Interior/Exterior Design and Private Edition Books that commemorate people's lives. She also collaborated with her comedic actor/writer husband John in creating the reality tv show Garage Sale for ABC Family. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their dog Billie.
Jennifer Lehr's Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex

Can We Talk - About Sex?

by Jennfer Lehr as told to Dana Roc

Jennifer Lehr is a breath of fresh air and her book, Ill-Equipped for a Life Of Sex is a must read.


Let's talk about sex, baby!

Yes let's.

"Let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that can be..."

And that is just what Jennifer Lehr does in her 'brutally honest' book Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex. While this book is definitely loaded with information that is guaranteed to make you blush, even as you sit at home alone with your cup of hot coffee and good piece of chocolate, do not make the mistake of "writing this book off" as merely a book about sex, or the lack thereof as was sometimes the case with Jennifer and husband John.

There is so much more that Jennifer has to offer.

If Jennifer's book is a tasty meal then sex is merely the seasoning that gives it spice. The meat and potatoes are the delicious insights that she offers about the possibility of having a relationship that really works because -

you have worked at it.

Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex
by Jennifer Lehr

Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex

Click here to buy Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex

"This BRILLIANT, RAZOR-SHARP read traces a young L.A.-based woman's sexual history, from her first sloppy kiss to her dream wedding day."

Us Weekly

"It's Lehr's BRACING BLUNTNESS and HILARIOUS self-deprecation as she struggles to understand her sexuality and her marriage that make this book such a RIVETING read -- though the stunning photos of Lehr and her loves, past and present, don't hurt."


"I can't think of any memoir I have read that is so BONE-SHAKINGLY HONEST... Ill-Equipped SHATTERS THE IDEAS OF ROMANTIC LOVE and happily ever after, yet somehow arrives at something REAL and RAW and BEAUTIFUL."

Best Reads of 2004
Christchurch City
New Zealand Libraries

To learn more about Jennifer, visit JennniferLehr.com

People in whatever careers that they have - they work so hard at it. But that is really what it is for relationships, too. You need to build those skills and you won't learn it in school.

We say relationships are work but really, what does that mean? I had no idea. We went to two and a half years of couple's therapy before we got married. I love that we did that. We were really miserable and yet, we stuck it out and did the work. It was uncomfortable and hard for many years but now I feel like we are one of the, if not the, happiest couples I know, in terms of a relationship.

The commitment that Jennifer and John have demonstrated to each other and to having a great relationship is extraordinary.

The only thing that makes me sad is the fact that it is extraordinary.

It is sad that people think of therapy as a last resort, like before you are about to get a divorce. {Therapy} was the best thing that I have ever done. It has made my relationship with my husband so much better and stronger and easier - easy is the key, but at the same time those skills that I learned in communicating and becoming aware of all of the different things that go into relationships, is helpful in my business life and just interacting with other people in general.

Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex is fun and Jennifer Lehr is funny - because she is smart and refreshingly candid. Jennifer talks about sex in colorful detail, from her own private experience, and in doing so she serves up a heaping helping of freedom to her readers.

I don't know that I have anything about me that is secret.

I am, at least I try to be an authentic person. I try to be as honest as possible with myself - about who I am and what I think. If there are problems in my life or things I am struggling with, I share it with my friends. I don't want to have this image of being a totally together person...

Everybody is human and if people can know what everyone is struggling with or dealing with or thinking about or excited about, conversely, I just thinks it's a great way to live life. It's just so exhausting to keep up a front that is not who you are.

I am always trying to find a way to be a more authentic person. When you make yourself vulnerable, people really appreciate it.

Jennifer's story is about love and her life is a study in how to allow that love to be expressed.

"Ultimately my book is about the struggle for intimacy and commitment and I think I talk about it in a very we-can-all-relate-to-this way."

I wrote the book that I wished I had to read!


her readers have responded to her with gratitude and admiration.

It has opened up communication with people.

The journey was such a process of learning. We discovered that it really wasn't one problem. It was a cocktail of so many. I had no idea that problems with sex were actually just symptoms of other issues, like depression, anxiety, fear of intimacy and terrible communication... So many things go into one's sex life that really, on the surface have very little to do with sex.

We learned so many different things. We learned so much about ourselves. I highly recommend some kind of a learning process for learning about being in relationships. If you are fighting a lot, it is all an opportunity, if both people are willing.

I highly recommend her book because --

like so many other areas of our lives that we get intentional about, relationships benefit from that same kind of intentionality.

Jennifer Lehr That Jennifer and John did couple's therapy two years before they were even in a marriage is inspiring. Most people would have just said, "We are just not right for each other. Let's not get married."

We don't really make relationships a priority.

People want relationships to "just work", without the work. I feel that you only have to do that intense work once. Relationships, like anything else can be great, if you are willing to give them the attention.

Jennifer Lehr offers her personal recipe for achieving success in relationships, but what is undeniably invaluable is her willingness to lay it all on the line; her willing ness to just be who she is. In doing that; in being unapologetic about who she is, she gives us all permission to do the same --

to just kind of live together and be ourselves.

And -

She makes it "o.k."

It really is o.k.

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