Why are Kiwis turning increasingly to ‘tech-sex’ such as online, mobile and ‘sugar’ dating and online sex work (‘camming’) in the search for love, sex, money or intimacy? Is it harmful to individuals or our society? Or is it just a new way of viewing intimacy?

Dr Pani Farvid, a senior lecturer in psychology at AUT, perhaps better known to the public from her role as a relationship expert on TV’s Married at First Sight and in regular newspaper articles, will examine some of the emerging digital technology that could change sex and intimacy as we know it in her presentation ‘Unravelling tech-sex: Technologically mediated intimacies in the digital age’ in Parnell, Auckland, on 13 November.

She will be joined on stage by fellow psychologists Dr Elizabeth du Preez and Juliet Ireland, who will present ‘Living well in same-sex relationships’ and ‘Let’s talk about sex … and cancer’ respectively.

The event is part of a series of free public events available throughout the country (Auckland, Waikato, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin) during the New Zealand Psychological Society’s (NZPsS) annual NZ Psychology Week (November 12-18).

The events cover a broad range of areas including sex and sexuality, parenting teenagers, mental health, coping with competing life demands, retirement challenges, ageing well, and community safety.

“The theme of the NZ Psychology Week is ‘Living life well’, explains NZPsS president Dr John Fitzgerald.

“This initiative aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help people, families/whānau and communities increase their psychological wellbeing. It also aims to raise awareness of the wide variety of roles that psychologists have in the health, justice, corrections, educational and other sectors.”

Fitzgerald says that NZ Psychology Week is all about changing perceptions.

“Psychology has much more to offer than helping people deal with those difficult times in life. People all around us are feeling emotions, thinking and behaving, which means we can see the application of psychology everywhere, all the time. When we remember something, or forget something, when we make a decision, when we feel excited, we are engaging with psychology.

“Psychology Week is about helping us all to be more aware of this, and maybe learn something about psychology that we can use in our everyday lives to improve our wellbeing.”

For more information, visit www.psychology.org.nz/pd-events/psychology-week/?#.W8-m8vZoSUl.

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