Dr. Sonjia is the best-selling author of Sex in South Beach, a certified sexologist, and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She received her bachelors degree from UCLA and earned two masters degrees along with her doctorate at Columbia University in New York (also where Dr. Ruth trained!). During grad school and a post-doctoral fellowship for the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Sonjia conducted research on sex problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual functioning.
Her early faculty appointments were at New York University and the City University of New York, where her human sexuality classes consistently exceeded enrollment capacity. In 2003, Dr. Sonjia was recruited to teach at St. Matthew’s medical school in the Cayman Islands, where she also provided sexual health counseling and wrote a popular sex column in the local newspaper.
The University of Miami (UM) School of Medicine recruited Dr. Sonjia in 2007 to develop programs addressing HIV in Miami-Dade County, which has the highest rates of new HIV infections in America. Since arriving to Miami, the South Florida community has consistently supported Dr. Sonjia in her mission to improve sexual health and romantic relationships. In addition to spreading sexual health through her research and training programs at UM, Dr. Sonjia frequently educates lay people through public speaking events and social gatherings, such as Date Nite Special. She is also the founder of Dignified Health Solutions, a company that develops natural products and education programs to enhance sexual well-being.
Dr. Sonjia’s scientific accomplishments have been featured in dozens of academic journals, lay publications, and the media. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Gilead Pharmaceuticals, and the Department of Health. Her research findings have led to significant changes in sexual health policies. She previously addressed the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief with President Obama’s AIDS czar and currently partners with the Florida Department of Health, directing a comprehensive street-based HIV/AIDS outreach program designed to prevent new infections, increase HIV testing rates, and improve outcomes among people living with HIV. In her free time, Dr. Sonjia volunteers at Lotus House women’s shelter and under-resourced schools throughout South Florida.
- 2016 – Legacy – South Florida’s Top Black Healthcare Professionals
- 2014 – Legacy – Miami-Dade’s 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business and Leadership
- 2013 – Miami-Dade Women’s Commission – “Woman of Year” for health and human service
- 2013 – EPIC – Non-fiction Book of the Years
- 2011 – Ford Motors Company – Freedom Sister for South Florida
- 2010 – Miami Herald – Miami’s top 20 leaders under 40 years old
Recent Speaking Engagements
- 2019 – Sex After Series: Miami Herald Aging Well Series
- 2018 – Keynote Graduation Speaker, International Institute for Clinical Sexology
- 2018 -Licked: the Art of Oral Sex, the World Erotic Art Museum
- 2018 -Florida International University, Women’s Sexual Empowerment Summit
- 2018 -United Way of Miami-Dade County, Sex after 50, 60, and 70
- 2018 -Planned Parenthood, Sex After Trauma
- 2017 – Fearlessly Authentic: the New Brand of Leadership: Gastroenterology Leaders in Miami
- 2016 – WPLG News, ABC local affiliate
- 2016 – WeWork, Miami Beach
- 2016 – Women’s Impact Leadership Conference, Turnberry Isles Resort
- 2016 – University of Miami, Department of Medicine Grand Rounds
- 2015 – South Florida Book Festival, African American Research Library and Cultural Center
- 2014 – Keynote, Women’s International Holistic Center, Lipstick Power Lunch
- 2014 – Hot Topics Business Consortium, Miami
- 2013 – NBA Penis Monologues, Colony Theatre, Miami Beach
- 2013 – HeartCamp, Miami
- 2012 – Women’s International Holistic Center, Empowerment & Leadership Conference
- 2012 – Keynote for Graduation Celebration, University of Miami, Student National Medical Association
- 2011 – Women’s Success Summit, Miami’s Largest Conference for Entrepreneurial Women
Born in San Francisco, California and raised by civil rights activists, Dr. Sonjia now lives in South Beach, Florida with her attorney husband and brilliant son. After years of trying to fix sex and intimacy problems among her patients, Dr. Sonjia started focusing on how to make sex better, hoping people could prevent problems before they start!
Sex is the elephant in the room. No one talks about it and America suffers more sex problems than most developed nations. Good sex improves relationships and helps couples stay together. Long-lasting, fulfilling relationships are linked to better health, more happiness, increased wealth, and reduced risk for sex problems! Who wouldn’t want all that good stuff?
To get good at sex, or anything else, you’ve got to learn the ropes. Dr. Sonjia helps you learn and have fun along the way!
Let’s face it: America has nearly banned sex education. Few know how to develop sex skills and there are not many places to learn. As a result, relationships are less fulfilling, people cheat, contract STDs, and divorces are more common than ever! Plus, people are living longer, surviving all types of cancers, and coping with chronic diseases that have sexual side effects most doctors never discuss. When it comes to sex education, Americans have so many unmet needs!
To improve our ability to make better love, Dr. Sonjia provides education to develop better bedroom skills, including making awkward conversations easier, conditioning your brain and body for better sex, and mastering specific sexual activities to increase sensual pleasure.
Disguised as a fun-loving, free-spirit, Dr. Sonjia knows her science, knows when to get another expert involved, and knows how to entertain as she educates.
Her academic work is recognized internationally, but she knows people learn best when they laugh, so she engages audiences with witty humor while providing serious sex education. Trained in New York as a stand-up comedian during grad school, Dr. Sonjia uses funny anecdotes to get her message across so people smile while learning strategies to enhance sexual satisfaction. When she wrote her weekly sex column published for the Miami Sun Post, she surveyed adults in bars about their sex lives and provided education on challenges normal people experience in bed.
Smart, straight forward, and spicier than hot sauce, Dr. Sonjia serves up sex ed with a scientific style and smile that reflects today’s America!