Gail Jones has been a sex therapist and family counselor in Fremont, Milpitas and San Jose since 1979.
Several years ago, while going through a painful divorce, a friend suggested that they take a class together -- studying stand-up comedy.
"She took the class for three weeks and I spent the next three years at it," Jones quipped.
Along the way she created a new persona: Gail Jones Southern Sex Therapist.
She considers herself living proof that it's never too late to try something new, but don't ask her age.
"Southern women don't like to reveal their age," Jones told Patch, her voice still accented after more than 30 years in the Bay Area.
"In fact on her tombstone my mother has etched: 'How old do I look?'," Jones said, then paused for effect before adding. "That's one of my jokes."
There are crossovers between her passion for comedy and professional experience as a counselor.
"It's ironic that people will have sex with a partner but they can't talk about sex with their partner," Jones said, a communications failure which she blames for many of the problems she encountered in counseling.
Her Facebook page contains some homespun advice:
"When I have asked men in therapy what their conditions for good sex are some have said 'anything.' This thinking follows the old sexual myth that 'men are ready teddy, any time, any place and with any woman.' (But) it is important for men and women to know their conditions for good sex. Spend 45 minutes thinking and writing about it. You will come up with some answers."
Jones has always thought outside of the couch when it came to giving advice.
She co-authored a sex education book for children, "Let's Talk About Sex and Loving" which is available used on Amazon.com.
Eventually she would like to have her own TV sitcom but first she would like to get paid for comedy.
She is patient.
"When I got started I was told it took five years to find your voice as a comic and 20 years to build a career," she told Patch, adding, "I won't tell you how old I'll be when I succeed."
(Gail Jones will appear with comic Gayla Johnson at a benefit for the Santa Clara County Horsemens Association on March 30 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Tickets are $60 for a prime rib dinner, comedy and silent auction. On May 23, Jones will appear in a comedy competition at the Willow Tree Restaurant in Dublin. Tickets to that event will be $10.)