Rythm is a clean sexual wellness platform that is on a mission to strengthen your connection with the vagina and deepen intimate relationships.. For our blog series “Humans of Rythm,” we interview founders, thought leaders, and experts in the sexual wellness space and share their responses with you. For our blog series “Humans of Rythm,” we interview founders, thought leaders, and experts in the sexual wellness space and share their responses with you.
Dr. Sheryl A. Ross, aka “Dr. Sherry”—OB/GYN, author, and health expert—has been a fierce advocate for women’s health and reproductive rights for over 25 years.She has also received nearly every “Top Doctor” and “Patient’s Choice” award in Southern California. At the core of what Dr. Sherry is most passionate about is educating and giving women and men the permission and tools for a healthier life.
Her first books, S’he-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period.’ and ‘She-ology, the She-quel: Let’s Continue the Conversation,’ were both award-winning bestsellers. Her podcast with Sarah Hyland and the Ellen Digital Network, ‘Lady Parts,’ was a Critic’s Choice Real TV Awards nominated series. Additionally, in her pursuit to provide women and men with the means to take charge of their sexual health, Dr. Sherry created She-ology Sexual Wellness products.
Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Sherry, the inspiring Aquarius!
Where were you born, where did you grow up, and how was sex (the act) perceived in your culture/household?
I was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Palos Verdes Estates. My parents were conservative, loving, and protective and I felt as though I learned about sex from my conservative, loving, and protective girlfriends. Sex was not a common or frequent conversation at the dinner table. “You have sex when you get married” was basically the mantra spoken at our family dinners. My sexually shy parents passed that on to me so I was completely scared to go past “first base” (okay… second base!) with my long-time high school boyfriend.
What’s a funny or embarrassing memory you have from when learning about or experiencing sex?
Probably one of my funnier and more embarrassing stories was when an old boyfriend and I were first dating and we went to a Malibu “make-out” spot to watch the sunset. We hopped in the back seat and had a really good time with a lot of kissing leading to the windows getting all steamed up. During our distraction, there was a loud knock on the window, which made us upright very quickly. Wiping small circles of condensation off the window, we saw a police officer staring down at us. With a half grin smile, he motioned for us to get a move on! It could have gone down differently so I was glad… although my red cheeks lasted a couple of hours thereafter!
Have you ever walked in on a family member ‘doing the deed’? Is there a funny, or interesting story you can share with us about your experience? How old were you when this happened?
Fortunately, I have not walked in on a family member “doing the deed”…thank goodness!
What is your profession and why did you choose to pursue it?
I have been an OBGYN for over 25 years and I have never looked back. I love talking, taking care of people, and delivering babies. Overall my patients are healthy, and if there are problems or surgeries needed, solutions are manageable with successful outcomes.
I am also on a mission to create more realistic and truer-to-life medical conversations and content for people to change the narrative on how we talk about our bodies, vulvas and vaginas, sexuality, and overall health and wellness.
What about your industry surprised you when you were first getting started? What is something about your industry that might surprise those who are not in your line of work?
My particular job involves a professional and, sometimes a personal relationship, with patients. Even though the doctor-patient relationship prevails it’s been impossible not to go beyond my professional relationship in empathy, leaving me with the desire to help ease the pain that many of my patients experience throughout life. I have known many of my patients for over 25 years – seen them go through divorces, infidelities, addictions, relapses, deaths, hormonal challenges, and the list goes on. I am glad I can be there with that extra show of support with a “checking in” phone call.
All in all, I love what I do and have so much gratitude for my patients who have educated me throughout the course of my career!
What do you wish your caregiver(s) or guardian(s) had told you about pleasure, relationships, and the female body when you were growing up?
When I was in my teens, I wish I was taught to have a better relationship with my body, my vulva, and my vagina. I wish I was given more permission to speak more openly about what my body was going through as I went through puberty. I was embarrassed and shy to talk about my body – especially my vagina. I was “educated” mainly by my very conservative social circle which added to my body insecurities and sexual naïveté.
What was something you were surprised to learn about your body, relationship with self, and relationship with your vulva in the past decade? How has it changed?
I was surprised at how easy it has been to make a real connection with my vulva and vagina. I have prioritized taking care of and improving my own sexual existence with myself and my partner, and it has been life-changing. I have always said that it’s time to take care of the vulva and vagina with the same dedication and commitment as we do our face – using specialized products daily that are created for this equally delicate and sensitive area of the body.
I have become my own best advocate in understanding my personal, physical and emotional self. It’s the most rewarding, invigorating, and empowering feeling. It’s an important reminder that we are all constantly learning new things about ourselves that improve our daily lives.
When do you feel the most empowered and alive?
Getting a good night’s sleep and working out in the morning is incredibly satisfying and gets me off on the right foot in the morning. It makes me feel like I can conquer just about anything!
What is something non-sexual that brings you immense pleasure?
Spending time with my family is my absolute favorite thing to do. Family BBQs, playing games (especially ping pong), watching movies, and just hanging out laughing fills my heart and bring me unparalleled joy.
What can a partner do to turn you on in and out of the bedroom?
Loving and kind gestures are all I need to turn me on in the bedroom, while mean-spirited gestures dissuade me from bedroom activities. Luckily my partner does much more of the former so I don’t have to deal with negativity that discourages bedroom activities.
How do you find your rythm in connecting with your body and self? What wisdom can you impart on us regarding lessons you’ve learned along the way to finding your rythm?
Finding my personal, physical, and emotional rhythm has come with being in touch with my authentic self. Being honest about what I really wanted to do professionally as an OBGYN, author, women’s health expert, and educator. And with my personal life as a lesbian woman living openly with my wife. Being true to yourself has to be the first step in living an authentic and honest life.
What is your favorite quote for ‘finding your rythm’ or ‘living in rythm’?
As the ‘notorious’ RBG said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
What is your favorite song you are jamming out to these days?
What’s your go-to song to get in the mood? Or, what song helps you find your ‘sensual rythm’?
What is your favorite sexual wellness product that you can’t live without?
There are so many to choose from, but I would have to say my They-ology Intimate Massager…my favorite vibrator! It has a soft and comfortable silicone covering with gentle and intense vibrations as desired! Using a vibrator can sometimes be the best and fastest way to enjoy yourself with limited time or energy.
Gillian ‘Gigi’ Singer, MPH
American Board Certified Sexologist, Sexuality Educator, and Sex Ed Content Specialist