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Playboy TV's Dr. Jess swings into town

Sexologist Jess O'Reilly says she has learned a lot as host of Playboy TV's reality program "Swing," which completed its fourth season.

But, as host of Saturday's X Run in Miami, she's also eager to talk about exercise.

"If a person is in a sex rut or has body issues, exercise changes your body both on the outside and the inside," says O'Reilly, who wrote "Hot Sex Tips, Licks and Tricks" and "The New Sex Bible," due out in the fall.

"Exercise and sex is bidirectional, in terms of one helping the other," she says. "What I see in my practice is exercise is probably the most important element for a relationship. It increases the energy level, hormonal levels and how people feel about their bodies."

The run is just a more open version of the connection between exercise and sex, says O'Reilly, based in Toronto. She's been a sexuality counselor since 2001.

"They've added the silliness of sex," she says. "It's not going to be sexual. They'll all have clothing on — at least everything the law allows."

O'Reilly says her show has taught her much about swingers.

"It's just for people who are open-minded. That's just the appeal of the lifestyle," she says. "They just like being around other couples who are friendly and say hello."

But there are land mines, she notes.

"All the feelings are natural. If you feel jealous, insecure or intimidated, those are all perfectly natural," she says. "It's what you do with them and how you react. And that determines whether it makes it a positive or a negative."

Playboy TV has tastefully produced the show, she says.

"It's not at all what I expected," she says. "I'd think people would assume Playboy would be the seediest and basest of all networks, but they're really the cream of the crop. They respect people's relationships above all else."

O'Reilly also sees "Swing" as a true form of reality TV.

"They can tell a story. They get to show the erotic element, and they don't need to create drama," she says. "People tune in for the story and the erotic side, so you don't see people throwing food at each other."

O'Reilly says it took a couple of years to get a feel for why the network was involved in such a show.

"But I have had many couples come up and say, 'You're our Saturday night ritual,'" she says. "The show has helped bridge the gap between the fantasy of wanting to open a relationship up and the reality of dipping your toes in the water."

But it all has increased communication.

"They spend so much time thinking and talking well ahead of time, and that translates into other parts of the relationship," she says. "You talk about what is acceptable and you talk about. And talking about vulnerable emotions creates intimacy."

The race is at Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami. Go to TheXRun.com. Registrants must be 21 to participate. Everyone will receive an X Run T-shirt, free beer ticket and a condom wrapper-shaped medal.

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