Video: Dr. Sadie Allison Delivers TEDx Talk 'Fearless Giving'

Lila Gray

SAN FRANCISCO — Dr. Sadie Allison delivered a TEDx speech entitled “Fearless Giving: Turning Sexual Passion into Action” at this year’s sold-out GoldenGatePark Passion Project.

In her talk, now available on YouTube, Allison discusses the personal path she tread — fraught with opposition — to become a fearless giver.

Nicknamed “Little Dr. Ruth” in high school for her reputation as a sex savvy advisor to her friends, Allison embarked early on her journey to become a professional pleasure educator.   

“I shared my vast sexual knowledge and I saw lives change. And that’s all it took: passionate fearless giving and empowering others to embrace their sexuality became my lifelong passion,” Sadie says in her speech, after describing how she helped her friend Amy achieve her first orgasm by demystifying the clitoris.

Allison, who said that her family growing up put the “D in dysfunctional,” notes in her speech that fearless giving isn’t always met with open arms. As a Chinese-Jewish girl coming of age in the 70s amid drugs and violence, Allison said she had to free herself of her surroundings and overcome lingering doubts about her self worth.

“With this kind of pain, I could have failed in life,” she said. "I knew instinctively that I was going to sink or swim — and I chose to swim.”

She singles out scientist Marie Curie and pop icon Madonna as other fearless givers who overcame severe opposition, ultimately to give their important, respective gifts. 

Now Allison enjoys national prestige as a San Francisco-based entrepreneur, helming her novelty brand and publishing company Tickle Kitty, with five released sex-help books to date.

“The time to give is not tomorrow, when we feel we’ve healed all the wounds in our hearts or that we’re the best versions of ourselves,” she concludes her speech. “The time to give is now, when we are our beautifully fearless, imperfect, vulnerable, generous selves.” 

The TEDx Golden Gate Park event on Oct. 9 featured twelve speakers dedicated to innovative ideas in science, sports, business, spirituality and academia — and, in the case of Allison, sex. 

TED was founded in 1984; the acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The annual TED conference brings together some of the world's leading thinkers. In the spirit of "ideas worth spreading," TED created a program called TEDx where x means it is an independently organized event.