Interview with the author
Who am I?
My name is Patricia Weerakoon. Well, Doctor Patricia Weerakoon actually. I completed my medical training in Sri Lanka in 1972. I have postgraduate degrees in sexual health from the University of Hawaii and education from the University of New South Wales. I have been an academic with the University of Sydney for the last 23 years. The last eight have been the most enjoyable: these were spent as the director of a master’s program in sexual health.
I retired in December 2011 to follow my passion: to bring my training in sex and God’s pattern for healthy holistic sexuality together.
Where did you grow up?
In the tea plantations of Sri Lanka where my father was in charge of the tea factory.
My earliest memory of those days:
I was eight years old. Around me rose the majestic hills of central Sri Lanka, robed in the deep green of the tea bushes that were my playground. Standing on tiptoe, I could just see over the dense leafy tops of the bushes. I loved everything around me. The mountains that made me feel so tiny, the eucalyptus trees with their interesting smelling leaves, wildflowers that grew in every nook and cranny, dragon flies that hovered over my head, the birds, even the bumble bees buzzing around the lilies that lined the moss and mud path.
When you were a teenager what did you spend your spare time doing?
Reading and dreaming.
Having read a book I would place myself in the heroine’s place and then make up a story—one where she was a Sri Lankan.
Most embarrassing moment from when you were at school?
When I learned that in Sri Lankan adolescent terminology of the 1960’s ’crossing the red sea‘ had nothing to do with the flight of God’s people from Egypt. Rather it was the occurrence of the first menstrual period at menarche!
How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian family, but I came to Christ by the wonderful role modelling and guidance of two female British missionaries when I was a 13-year-old naughty, impossible brat in a Methodist girls’ boarding school.
Miss Robbins and Miss Lincoln, I look forward to seeing you in heaven!
Favourite Bible story and why?
Jonah and the whale.
Why? Two reasons:
As a biologist and doctor I love to imagine how it must have felt for Jonah inside the big fish.
God’s hand in my life: I didn’t initially want to be an ’old, female, subcontinental, Christian sexologist’; I wanted to retire to craft and write novels. But God had other plans.
Where and what did you study?
School: Methodist College, Colombo
Medicine: Sri Lanka Medical School, Colombo
Postgraduate: Masters in Reproductive and Sexual Health at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and Masters in Health Professional Education at the University of New South Wales
Sex is a magnificent gift from a gracious God. However it is also powerful and incredibly fragile.
The sexual and reproductive parts of our bodies are the only ones that are totally different between man and woman. They are unique and beautifully complementary. There is a created goodness in the male and female sexual response that enables the man to lead and romance and the woman to respond to the love and affection of her husband.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have three parts to my professional life:
Firstly, I conduct seminars and workshops in churches, schools and youth groups in a range of sexual issues such as to help Christians and the Church:
- understand sexuality as a gift from God,
- recognise the outcome of sin and our brokenness on sex in society today.
- realise how through God’s grace sexuality and sexual behaviour can be redeemed in our lives and the lives of our family and community.
Secondly, I write on sexual issues and Christian life. This book, Teen Sex By the Book, is the first of a new series. The second on sex for couples is earmarked for released in 2013.
Thirdly, I am a sex therapist and work from a Biblical model of good sex and relationships.
Besides sex, do you have any other areas of interest?
I love creative writing. I have had a couple of short stories published in magazines (http://www.patriciaweerakoon.com/category/patricia-weerakoon-writing/). My novels are in the genre of romantic fiction with a social conscience. The first, a gritty novel based in Sri Lanka and London and exploring the issues of child sexual abuse and sex tourism, will be published in Sri Lanka in 2013 (http://www.sriserendipity.com/).
I also love cooking and craft and, of course, spending time with my husband.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I have enjoyed the challenge and not begrudged a moment of the time spent researching and writing. The hardest part has been connecting with the teens of today to find out what they do and think about sex.
I’m the age of their grandmothers asking them about their sex life!
Something that God that taught you recently?
That he and he alone can sustain. I am 65 years old and my body is not as young as it used to be, but God gives me the strength to go on—for his Kingdom’s sake.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Sexual desire and love are a gift from a gracious God who wants to give us, his children, good things. Use them as they were intended by him. If things go wrong, if you make a mistake or you feel hurt, take it to
God; he promises to forgive us.
Turn your life, love and sex around: start a sexual revolution—one that will last to eternity!