FEMALE masturbation is not a topic you would normally expect a politician to bring up in conversation.
Neither is pornography or a candidate's sex life.
But then again, Australian Independents Leader, Dr Patricia Petersen, hasn't followed a stereotypical election campaign in the lead-up to the September 7 vote.
Dr Petersen claims 50% of prostitutes are full-time university students.
She says students speak to her because of their belief she is "broad-minded and non-judgmental".
This is based on a research paper and a book Dr Petersen wrote in the mid-1990s on "pornography's legitimate place in society" and "Morality: Sexual facts and fantasies".
Despite the somewhat lurid topics, Dr Petersen says she is "very conservative, sexually".
"I'm not interested in doing some of the things adults do, but I don't feel governments should interfere," the philosophy doctorate said.
"I do despair at the number of young people who are not 'choosing' to work in the sex industry; I think they are being forced.
"Her party is committed to abolishing TAFE and HECS fees.
She said "well over 500 students" had approached her revealing they were working as prostitutes.
"And it's not just young women; it is men as well," she said.
Dr Petersen says she has been faithful to her partner for the past 12 years and was "more in love now than before".
Her research papers were written to argue adult women "have the right to do what they please with their body".
Specifically, when it came to "female masturbation".
"I do think for women, masturbation has historically been a big taboo. Women should be able to take care of themselves (sexually)."
While Dr Petersen has never had children, she said she felt moved by Lisa Curry's story on how she hoped to fall pregnant again at 51 and considered it for herself.
"My partners have had grown up children," she said.
"The sad thing is physically I am fertile, socially I am infertile."
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