Ireland is in Celtic Tiger of sex mode and heading for bust, warns Dr Pixie
Irish people need to start using the harsh lessons learned from keeping their finances in check when it comes to their sex lives, top TV medic tells Niamh Horan
Ireland is in the midst of our very own Celtic Tiger version of sex - and heading for an almighty crash - according to celebrity GP presenter Dr Pixie McKenna.
In the past decade, the explosion of porn, online social media, sex texts, the relaxation of sexual mores and the availability of "a pill for every ill" has "overwhelmed" the Irish, who were kept for so long under the control of the Catholic Church, says RTE's new Sex Clinic presenter.
And unless we start approaching sex in the same common sense way we approach our finances - the country is in for a shock.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent this weekend, the no-nonsense medic said: "What happened here, which is different to the UK, is that we had an explosion of things happening in terms of our sex lives in the last decade.
"The issue with regards to sexual health in terms of being able to buy sexual health tests online, sex shops and porn, has changed so rapidly, whereas in the UK it changed bit by bit over time.
"They had more time to get used to those changes," she explained.
"There is a gap between the progression and the knowledge. It all came on us in the past 10 years and we had no time (to adjust to it), we are totally overwhelmed and there are much greater struggles for young people nowadays."
Equating it to the economic boom and bust that left Ireland in a bailout, she said: "We are in the Celtic Tiger (of sex) now. I can get anything, I can do everything I want.
"It's almost like when people could buy five houses and take out a couple of mortgages and saying 'look at all I can do' but the bubble will burst when people realise they are overexposed in ways.
"A whole host of things can go wrong, as they can go right, you just need to protect yourself [with the future in mind]."
The 44-year-old warns that we need to have a more common sense approach in response to the wide availability of sex, porn, one-night stands and 'click of a button' opportunity to send sexually explicit texts and photographs. And she advocates the level-headedness and realism that we as a nation have come to have towards our finances.
"I would equate it to talking about money. I don't feel we have the need to go around talking about sex all day in the same way as that we would find it very dull if people were telling you how much money they earn all day long. I don't think we need to sit there and have our cornflakes and start dishing the dirt.
"There is a time and a place for everything but when that topic comes up we need to be able to discuss it. The same as money. We need to get the facts right.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there. We need to know about things the same way that you need to know about money, how to save, how to do things smartly if you are going for a mortgage, what would be good and bad choices to make financially, and I think it is very similar to sex education."
Otherwise, Dr McKenna warns people are exposing themselves to becoming emotionally and physically vulnerable. But right now she says, the country is "overwhelmed, under-resourced and probably heading for a crash."
The Cork woman christened Bernadette Anne earned her nickname after her older brothers scribbled the name of a comic book character named 'Pixie' on her pram.
Ever since, the name stuck and followed her through her meteoric rise to fame as she became the presenter of the BAFTA-winning medical series Embarrassing Bodies'., famous for examining real life toe-curling physical ailments.
But long before Pixie became the go-to doctor for every sexual ill and thrill, she says, it wasn't until college that she saw her first penis. "The first penis I came up close to in personal to was a dead one," she laughs. "I was cutting it up in an anatomy room as a medical student."
The second episode of Pixie's sex clinic kicks off on RTE Two on Tuesday night and she says she hopes to return with two more series on the sex lives of 30-40 year olds and 50-60 year olds.