Sharing our stories is not just impactful and healing for us but for everyone around us as well. Using the power of our voice creates change and allows others to feel less alone in what they are going through. 

Award-winning reporter, copywriter, and storyteller, Jackie Tempera, joins us today to share her vulnerable story around sexual assault and her involvement in the “Me Too” movement. This episode is full of insight around sexual trauma – including how to navigate dating after the fact. Jackie also gives us tips on crafting the perfect dating profile and shares the biggest texting red flags. 

It is okay to go at your own pace with vulnerability and this episode is a reminder that when we can be more empathetic towards one another, it allows for deeper relationships and more understanding. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or harassment, know that you are not alone and there is support out there as you navigate healing. 

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

[01:33] About Jackie Tempera

[03:45] How Jackie started her storytelling business

[08:11] Jackie’s involvement in the “Me Too” movement

[13:45] Harassment in the workplace & sexual assault

[18:01] Bringing awareness to sexual trauma

[21:33] Our body’s protection mechanisms 

[26:33] Dating after trauma

[29:57] Advice for successful dating

[38:00] Creating a dating profile bio 

[42:21] Texting red flags

[48:36] One of Jackie’s favorite dates

About Jackie Tempera

Jackie Tempera is an award-winning reporter, copywriter, and storyteller. Using her razor-sharp writing, wit, and creativity, Jackie helps female leaders stand out in a world of endless options by finding the perfect words to communicate their special sauce with confidence and ease.

Jackie helps her clients use their stories to set themselves apart from the competition, make more money, and grow their social communities like wildfire.

When she isn’t working with clients, Jackie writes about sexual health, body inclusivity, reality TV stars, and astrology for Women’s Health Magazine. Her writing has also been featured in top publications like USA Today, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Business Insider. Jackie’s coverage of the #MeToo movement made national news and led to changes in the legislature around sexual harassment training.

How Jackie started her storytelling business

Jackie started her storytelling business in 2021 after taking a break from breaking news and crime reporting. She started to write more about women’s health and saw how everything could be made into an interesting story. She knew that other business owners had that fire and passion within them and it was powerful for them to share it.

Jackie shares that while crime reporting is important, it also gets very dark. She started this kind of coverage when she was 21. She was young and naive and the reality of what she was covering did not hit her until much later. After 5-6 years of this, she felt burnt out and depressed writing about the worst moments in people’s lives. 

Jackie’s involvement in the “Me Too” movement

Jackie shares that like a lot of other women who work in male-dominated fields, she was experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. She recalls that in the first few weeks of being in the newsroom, her colleagues were asking her very inappropriate questions. She was also around a lot of men and many of her sources were men as well. She dealt with different harassment at work from sexist issues to inappropriate touch. 

She was very young and naive and even when she took a class on women in the media in college, they never went over what you should do if you are being sexually harassed. She was very disillusioned when this was happening but she knew in her heart that if this was happening to her, then it also had to be happening to other women. 

When the “Me Too” movement broke, her editors did not think this would be a big deal but Jackie knew it would be a major moment. She started making calls to see what was going on and talked to some politicians. She ended up calling every female politician in Rhode Island and asked them if they had ever experienced sexual harassment at work and she also shared her experience with them. As she was going through them, she reached a woman who told her that she had been asked for sexual favors in exchange for her bills being passed. They ran this story on the front page the next day. It ended up being covered in the New York Post and led to there being an investigation of the claims and as a result, they imposed a sexual harassment training. 

Harassment in the workplace & sexual assault

As a young person in the workforce, it was really disappointing to find out firsthand that this stuff was happening. Around this time, Jackie was sexually assaulted. She was dealing with the aftermath of this and was also dealing with harassment at work. Celeste shares how important it is to speak up when you feel courageous enough to do so. It took Jackie six years to talk about it and she reminds anyone who has been assaulted, it does get better.

Jackie was completely outraged and shocked about the harassment at work and she would speak up about it and get in trouble. But this helped her older colleagues realize that they did not have to deal with it. Just because the remarks were normalized, does not mean that they are normal. Many women in her workplace rolled their eyes for 20-30 years and moved on but Jackie would report people to HR and she believes that this helped the environment overall, even if it was not the most comfortable thing in the world to do. 

Bringing awareness to sexual trauma

When someone assaulted Jackie, she spoke to a lot of her friends about it. She noticed that even her very close male friends had a lot of questions and came to the attackers’ defense, even though they did not know them. They would say “Maybe you shouldn’t have drank, maybe you shouldn’t have done this, maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal.” When someone experiences something like this, make sure to listen and do not play devil’s advocate. There may be nuance to things but giving someone who committed a crime the benefit of the doubt does not serve anyone. 

Jackie was very scared of people after this happened, especially men. She was physically attacked by a man and then the men she was close to in her life were skeptical of her story. It made it harder to date and put herself out there. She thought she was going to be celibate and alone her whole life. 

Our body’s protection mechanisms 

Jackie did not want to believe that this happened to her and she ended up lunging herself back into dating – which she would not recommend to others. Trauma does not work on a timeline, the body holds onto trauma and even if you logically process something, your body will respond to it. That may be through a weakened immune system, unexplained health issues, or other things that may come up. Jackie ended up losing her hearing for a few weeks and the only explanation she got was that she was under too much stress.  

She ended up finding help through the rape crisis center and they provided her with a lot of resources that helped her during recovery. Celeste shares that when she went through sexual trauma, she did not realize what had happened to her until later in life. She carried around a defense mechanism from that situation and reminds us that there are many ebbs and flows in healing. 

With something as invasive as sexual trauma, you cannot even process it when it happens to you, because it is so scary to believe it. It can change your whole perception of the world around you. Jackie shares that she would be frustrated when she had memory loss or was forgetful but this was her body protecting her. Our bodies will protect us even when we do not want them to. Trauma is not logical in any way. 

Dating after trauma

Jackie did group therapy for many months with the same group of women and they had one portion that they called sexual healing. They talked about dating and how to bring up sexual assault with a partner. If you feel comfortable telling someone right off the bat you can put it in your dating profile but you have to trust when it is right for you to share. Dating after trauma is a moving target and you can open up and be vulnerable when you feel safe with someone. 

Advice for successful dating

The best dating advice that Jackie has been given is to create a list of characteristics you are looking for in a partner. Put down important qualities like being kind, funny, or having a good relationship with their family. If you are in the spiral of dating where you are asking if they like you, make sure you check out your list so you are not blinded by the excitement. This is a good check and balance system because if you are very loving like Jackie, this will help ground you. 

Jackie spent a lot of her dating like being nonchalant, cool, and detached. She thought that if she showed she cared then she would look desperate. She shares that we must care who we spend our time with and letting people know what we are looking for while being really clear was helpful. 

The reality of dating is that you have to communicate, keep choosing that person, and keep working towards your vision of the future. You cannot hold back and pretend you are not invested – you have to fight for the relationships that you want. Celeste shares that the only way to test the relationship is by being vulnerable, authentic, and allowing it to grow. 

Creating a dating profile bio 

In your dating app bio, talk about what you like and what you are passionate about. We often get caught up in thinking things are cheesy or silly but you are never going to be too much for the right person. Jackie’s partner’s dating bio said that he loves “the sopranos, diners, drive-ins, and dives, and making pizza.” She loved this about him and even though those were not a big part of her life she knew that she would get along with him. 

On her profile, she wrote “I get paid to write about reality TV for a living” which is a great jumping-off point and people can ask her more questions about it. She also says that you can write a question in your bio. Make sure to use a great photo as well!

Texting red flags

Another problem with online dating is that we can have fantasy relationships over text before we meet each other. If we give too much away in text then there is not much left to share in person. If you are someone who loves to chat and text, then be mindful of this and try to not text them all of the time. Jackie also shares that when you disclose something that happened to you, texting can be a comfortable way of doing this. But if you have these conversions in person, you can see their reaction, character, and it will give you a better look into the type of person they are. 

Another red flag is someone who uses pet names in a text message before knowing each other. This creates a false sense of intimacy and Celeste reminds us to all leave a little mystery. Everyone has a different pace on how they get to know someone. If you keep it mysterious, then your date will want to get to know you more. If we are too vulnerable right off the bat, then it might end up being weird the next day because we were not intentional about the parts we wanted to share. Open up at your own pace!

One of Jackie’s favorite dates

Jackie is a planner and when her current partner planned an entire day for them, she was so happy. She reminds us that when you take the time to plan something, even if it is just calling the restaurant for a reservation, you are showing the other person that you put thought into it. Celeste shares that a man is in their masculine allows a woman to drop into her feminine and leads to a better experience. Jackie also loves a fun activity as a first-date idea.

Connect with Jackie:



“Saucy Copy” E-Book


Dating After Trauma with Jackie Tempera

May 6, 2024