It was sex that made Bettina Arndt famous. As one of Australia's first sex therapists and editor of Forum magazine, Bettina spent ten years talking about sex on television and radio. A trained clinical psychologist, she taught medical students, doctors and other professionals and talked endlessly about this fascinating subject to audiences all over Australia and overseas.
By the 1980s she'd had enough of a good thing. She gave up sex -professionally speaking - and moved onto writing and talking about broader social issues and particularly the changing relationships between men and women. In the mid 80's Bettina spent five years in New York writing a syndicated newspaper column and adding two children to her family of three. She returned to Australia in late 1991 and worked as a feature writer for many of our major newspapers and magazines. As a respected social commentator she was invited onto government advisory committees covering issues from family law to childcare and ageing.
But after nearly twenty years writing and talking about social issues, she returned to her first love and wrote a best-selling book about sex. The Sex Diaries looks at how couples manage their sex supply, dealing with their ups and downs in sexual desire. Ninety-eight couples kept diaries for her, writing about their daily negotiations over sex. The Sex Diaries became an international best-seller, published also in the UK and a string of other countries.
Bettina followed this up with an exciting diary project on why sex means so much to men. In her most recent book, What Men Want – men both young and old, share painfully honest, often hilarious stories about their secret joys and longings including their quest for sexual adventure, the thrill of giving pleasure, why some men turn to pornography and what happens when older men want to get back into the saddle when their women are keen for them to hang up their spurs? What Men Want was published in early September, 2010 .
After over thirty-five years on the professional speaking circuit, Bettina Arndt knows all about entertaining and challenging audiences. She spent the first ten years of her career teaching medical students at both the University of NSW and Sydney and talking to other professional groups, both here and overseas. She has spoken to audiences all over the world and is renowned for her engaging, humorous and informative talks.
"The National Bus Industry Conference was our biggest yet. Bettina's involvement not only attracted people to attend the Conference but was a key drawcard on the day and provided a welcome humorous but serious presentation on a subject everyone could relate to - SEX. A great way to start the day."
Bus Industry Confederation
"Bettina's talk was a great finale for our two-day National Breast Cancer conference. Her funny, informative talk was greeted by gales of laughter, giving the audience a chance to relax, wind down, and learn about issues that affect us all. It exceeded all expectations, creating a real buzz and ending the conference on a high with all delegates present."
Breast Cancer Interest Group Chairperson
"Bettina was a keynote speaker at the 2009 University of Western Australia's Extension Summer School Programme. She attracted a large audience who were riveted throughout her session as she entertained and enlightened them with fascinating material from her new book. It was a most informative, often extremely funny talk that created a real buzz."
UWA Extension, The University of Western Australia
"When we ran the first annual conference for the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association in March, we had a good turn up for the conference, but not much response for our first dinner. We decided to get Bettina as the after dinner speaker. From our first notice of this we tripled the numbers. She was a real draw-card. And she certainly delivered. Her talk was funny, but with a serious note. A great speaker and a topic well presented."
Lifestyle Medicine and Applied Health Promotion, Southern Cross University
"Bettina Arndt was the after-dinner speaker at a weekend conference designed primarily for specialists from geriatrics and neurologists. Despite a full day of lectures and workshops, the audience were engrossed. Bettina was engaging, amusing, informative and knowledgeable."
Aged Care Psychiatry, Prince of Wales Hospital
“A highlight of the Continence Foundation's 18th National Conference was the pre dinner presentation from Bettina Arndt. Drawing on her experience and recent research Bettina delivered a very inspiring and informative presentation mixed with humour. We can credit Bettina for keeping the auditorium full at the end of a very long day and for ensuring a record attendance at the conference dinner that followed.”
Continence Foundation of Australia
"Bettina's vibrant, funny, no nonsense approach had the audience in fits of laughter. Her talk contributed immensely to the success of the day, first of all delivering an entertaining, thought-provoking talk and secondly by leaving the audience positive, happy and receptive to the following speakers."
Combined Rural Traders
"Thank you for your invaluable contribution in making the AM club's 'Healthy Wealthy & Wise' breakfast such a success. Your speech was an excellent start to the day - really opening a few eyes ... and jaws!"
"Wow, what a presentation! Bettina is a very funny lady. She delivered an inspirational and entertaining session - she had everyone in stitches We were only sorry time ran out."
Community CPS Australia
Bettina Arndt was the after-dinner speaker at a weekend conference designed primarily for specialists from geriatrics, psychogeriatrics and neurologists. Despite a full day of lectures and workshops, the audience of over 150 doctors and others were engrossed. Bettina was engaging, amusing, informative and knowledgeable. Strongly recommended.
Professor Brodaty, Prince of Wales Hospital
Earlier this year we had our inaugural Men’s Health Day as part of our Healthy Ageing Talk Series. Bettina followed lunch, which is always a time slot that is difficult but Bettina kept everyone’s energy and enthusiasm high. She handled the questions that were asked with grace, dignity and humour. Excellent feedback was received from the audience with one gentleman setting his sights on going home and communicating better with his wife.
Healthy Ageing Talks Co-ordinator, Council on the Ageing NSW
A highlight of the recent Continence Foundation's 18th National Conference on Incontinence was the pre dinner presentation from Bettina Arndt. Drawing on her experience and recent research Bettina delivered a very inspiring and informative presentation mixed with humour. I am confident that we can credit Bettina for keeping the auditorium full at the end of a very long day and for ensuring a record attendance at the conference dinner that followed.
Chief Executive Officer, Continence Foundation of Australia
“Bettina Arndt is a wonderful, thought-provoking and very entertaining speaker. She had the audience of 2,500 people laughing aloud and very engaged - exactly what you want at a conference on Happiness & Its Causes! Our delegates rated Bettina as one of the most popular of the 50 speakers at the event. I would have no hesitation in recommending her for any speaking engagement.”
Happiness & Its Causes Conference, Brisbane
"At the recent Ladies Luncheon held at The Royal Motor Yacht Club, Broken Bay, Bettina had us all fully engaged and laughing our heads off from beginning to end. To say it was a huge success would be an understatement, as the event filled up the maximum seating before the first ad appeared in our local magazines! We had a wait-list of over 20 ladies desperate to attend if space became available. An extremely entertaining and professional speaker."
Royal Motor Yacht Club, Broken Bay
“Bettina’s professionalism was second to none at the Lake Macquarie City Council Business Luncheon. . There were plenty of laughs during her entertaining presentation but she also delivered pertinent information on the many issues that can plague relationships. This engaging luncheon presentation was enjoyed by all."
Lake Macquarie City Council
“In early May, 2010, the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra hosted an autumn dinner in conjunction with the launch of our Husbands & Wives exhibition Bettina was our guest speaker for the evening, ideally suited to the theme. Not only was the evening a sell out, but the guests thoroughly enjoyed Bettina’s informative talk, which was followed by a lively question time. Bettina played an important role in our very successful event”.
National Portrait Gallery