Below are links to some media work & interviews with Beth that are currently available online. To discuss requests for columns, contributions & interviews etc please email the admin team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Beth's articles for The Huffington Post here.
Robime April 2018 - Interview with Jana Sefcikova, Beth is mentioned as an 'inspirational woman'.
Irish Independent January 7th 2018 - Top 50 Tips For Being Happy Healthy 2018
Irish Independent October 4th 2017 - What it feels like to have more than one partner
The Irish Times May 12th 2017 - A FF TD told us he'd arranged an abortion for his niece, but he was against abortion (while Beth is not named in the piece she is one of the 50 Faces)
Irish Independent January 26th 2017 - Are You Ready To Get Sexperimental?
The Irish Sun January 5th 2017 - When will Irish people shake off our fear of talking about sex?
The College View November 30th 2016 - UCC Hosts 25th Annual Pink Training
Pink Training - a weekend of insightful workshops - Trinity News 28th November 2016
October 7th 2015 Evening Herald interview
Irish Independent interview, 7th October 2015
October 5th 2015 Irish Independent - Bare; Sexual Fantasies of Irish Women (a, heavily edited, fictional story of Beth's is included)
Irish Examiner, 5th October 2015, Irish women's sexual fantasies laid bare, Bare; Sexual Fantasies of Irish Women (a, heavily edited, fictional story of Beth's is included)
July 14th 2015 The Right Hook with George Hook
Ryan Tubridy, RTE 2FM, July 14th 2015
9th July 2015 William Crawley, BBC NI
25th June 2015 The Last Word with Matt Cooper, Today FM
Irish Independent, Female Viagra, 10th June 2015
TEDx Clonakilty October 25th 2014, speaker, ''Sexuality: Bliss is Your Birthright!'' (Video is currently unavailable)
8th September 2014 TEDx: Ideas Worth Spreading
Sexual Healing On Menu At Conference - 18th June, 2014, Irish Examiner
The Women Willing to Invest in their Sexual Satisfaction - 11th July 2014 - Irish Independent
BDSM newbies get to grips with safety issues - 6th October 2013
26th September 2013 - RTE 2 TV, Maia Dunphy's What Women Want
My Transformational Teachers of 2013 - 3rd January 2013
Irish Independent, October 17th 2012 - ''I'm 40, childless and loving it!''
Newstalk Radio - 21st July 2012
February 15th 2012 The Last Word with Matt Cooper
Sunshine Radio - 14th February 2012
12th February 2012 - Sex? No thanks, we're Irish - The Journal column (text below)
1st December 1999 - The Irish Times - AIDS Increasing Fastest Among Young Heterosexual Women
1st December 1999 - The Irish Times - AIDS Increasing Fastest Among Young Heterosexual Women
Column: Sex? No, thanks, we're Irish - The Journal Sunday 12th February 2012 by Beth Wallace
MAJOR AND RELATIVELY rapid change has swept Irish legislation, and consequently societal norms, in terms of the intimate relationships of those of us on this island within the last generation.
We saw the introduction of divorce in 1995, civil partnership, notably including same sex partnerships, in 2011, the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993, as well as freer access to contraception, and other sexual health services.
Recently I relayed to an, incredulous, American friend that one had to be married in Ireland to have legal access to condoms up until 30 or so years ago, and not only that but that one had to be prescribed them by one’s GP – she was speechless, rightly so. Let’s not forget that it’s also within the last 30 years that broadcaster Gay Byrne received death threats for demonstrating the correct way to use a condom in a Late Late Show about AIDS. This, and incidents like it, were shocking at the time, the stuff of patronising pontification from the pulpits, possible outrage down the pub on a Friday night or perhaps embarrassed, and therefore, hushed disapproval, around the dinner table.
The shape of visible, predominant, Irish society up until the 1990s was by and large made up of heterosexual, married couples, usually with several children. Any family or relationship structure outside this norm produced raised eyebrows, nudges and winks – but generally not open, honest and frank discussion. Therefore it remained invisible from the mainstream. The idea that one could be in a same-sex relationship, or perhaps choose not to marry, was considered strange.
Marriage as we’re familiar with it is on the decline in most western cultures, including Ireland, as people move away from the membership of and participation in, the Christian churches, and are legislatively freer to choose alternative family and relationship structures while still maintaining legal partnerships for the purposes of raising children etc. Social sanction is now rare in terms of divorce; it’s common for adults in their 30s, 40s and upwards to be separated or divorced and when dating in this age group to be entering into a second, third or more, long term relationship, perhaps with children from two or more of those relationships.
When people are given freedom to choose, they will take it as their right
The Irish people voted to introduce divorce, and civil partnerships could be registered with the state from January 1 2011. Both of these have given state recognition, therefore societal acceptance, to the fact that relationships and marriages end, and that not all relationships are heterosexual in nature. When people are given freedom to choose what suits them most, they will take it, as is their right.
The issue of sexual abuse is one that has been pervasive in our collective cultural experience in Ireland – yes, it can be a difficult issue to discuss and face up to individually, in families, communities, institutions and as a nation. As a survivor, I’m intimately familiar with how difficult it has the potential to be. However, I believe it has also resulted in more open and frank discussion of all matters sexual. A consequence of ‘abuse’ is that it may require healing, and this is what is unique about the approach being taken by Bliss Festival. Practitioners are working in Ireland, with mind, body and spirit, with the goal of ‘sexual healing’, and the event is designed to give voice to some of these practitioners.
The early 1980s saw the dawning of a new sexual age, one that had not had such a devastating impact globally ever before, as HIV and AIDS entered the collective consciousness and reality. Media campaigns touting the value of condom use, as well as no small amount of fear-mongering, were pervasive – those over a certain age will remember the tombstone imagery of the (unhelpful to those affected) advertising campaigns of the time.
However, irrespective of any negative impacts, temporary or lasting, resulting from the media campaigns at the time, the arrival of HIV and AIDS resulted in sex being a potentially lifesaving topic of discussion in schools, workplaces and homes. The Relationships and Sexuality Education programmes instituted by the Department of Education, organisations such as one I spent nearly a decade working for, Dublin AIDS Alliance, all emerged to bring the complex issues of sex, sexuality and relationships out into public fora, onto the streets, into TV programmes, schools, communities, wherever the message would be heard is where it was spoken – it’s time to talk about sex to save lives!
If someone chooses to build a dungeon full of bondage equipment, what business is it of mine?
Perhaps a consequence of this has been a lingering, and progressively more liberal, approach and attitude towards sex and sexuality in Ireland. I certainly see the correlation over the 25 years I’ve been working with this issue.
There is access to professional sexual health services, organisations with a long history of activism and service provision. Those such as the Irish Family Planning Association are providing a full range of state of the art medical, support, education and advocacy services. However, many of those services are limited to large urban centres – for example, how does a young person living in an isolated rural area access emergency contraception? Will she feel secure in the knowledge that her GP will actually provide it? Unfortunately, this may not be guaranteed.
What of women who wish to terminate their pregnancy? Ireland has, again and again, been found to be legislatively lacking in its responsibility and its duty of care to its daughters by exporting the ‘problem’ to other European countries, continuing to inflict distress upon women choosing abortion.
Ireland, let’s be mature about this. Thousands of Irish women seek each year to terminate their pregnancies in other countries because they cannot do so here. Let’s look after our own mothers, sisters, daughters and friends instead of putting them through the trauma of having to travel to another jurisdiction for a medical service that they choose to have performed on their own bodies.
Full equality is still not an option for all relationships. Those in same sex partnerships do not experience the full benefits of equality that their counterparts in opposite sex relationship enjoy from the state. Ireland, our citizens are equal to each other in every way irrespective of relationship choices or sexual orientation. Let’s grow up here!
I wonder why anyone thinks that the sex life of others is any of their business? If someone has sex or relationships with several people at once, what difference does it make to me? None, unless I’m one of those people. If someone chooses to build a dungeon filled with bondage equipment in their basement, what business is it of mine? None, unless I choose to go down there. What consenting adults engage in sexually, in the privacy of their own spaces, is no business of anyone else, or the state.
When Ireland both legislatively and culturally comes to a point where we allow each other the complete freedom to do what we wish with our own bodies, then Ireland will have reached its sexual maturity. I, for one, am glad that we appear to be getting there.