Why MAFS expert Alessandra Rampolla felt conflicted as a teen

‘Nobody talked to me about sex.'
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Sexologist and Married At First Sight Australia expert Alessandra Rampolla was raised in a strict Catholic family and was confused when her teenage interest in sex was something she was encouraged to ignore.

“I am, of course, Puerto Rican and Latina, and I’m of Catholic descent and was raised that way,” she tells TV WEEK.

Alessandra was never taught about sex when she was younger. (Image: Channel Nine)

“Nobody told me anything about sex. I was really conflicted when everybody thought it was weird that I wanted to grab a boy and kiss him. I couldn’t understand why something I felt was very natural and positive was such a bad thing.”

Alessandra, 49, felt there was a culture of self-blame and a fear of judgement when it came to the topic of sex and realised it was something she wanted to change and normalise. 

“At some point, it became clear that I had a vocation to try to do just that – but it’s not like sexology was in the booklet in my Jesuit university in Louisiana,” she says with a laugh. 

Alessandra with her proud parents Ginny and Jose. (Image: Supplied)

Alessandra has since fulfilled that vocation and built a successful career as a clinical sexologist with more than 20 years’ experience. She’s the author of five best-selling books and appears regularly on international TV shows such as Dr Phil, the US talk show created by Oprah Winfrey and its host, psychologist Phil McGraw.  

Alessandra believes that this time around on MAFS, despite years of failed pairings, participants will find their happily ever after.

“I don’t know if I’m just a hopeless romantic, but I always think they’re going to last,” she says. 

To the show’s credit, MAFS has resulted in marriages, babies (even twins) and many Instagram-led businesses, but for the couples who don’t find their perfect match on the show, the intense nature of the experiment could be the cause. 

With her MAFS colleagues, Mel Schilling and John Aiken. (Image: Channel Nine)

“There’s high tension, love and drama,” she says. “You always get lots of interesting stories, personalities and viewpoints on human behaviour. People are going to be shocked and enthused and they’re going to marvel and laugh [at this season]. It really is going to take you through all the emotions.” 

As for Alessandra’s own love life, unlike the MAFS participants, she declares she likes to meet potential love interests the old-fashioned way. 

“I like meeting a friend of a friend,” Alessandra reveals. “Or somebody at the supermarket – that’s much more my vibe.”

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