On February 8th, the CSPH brought you Dr. Debby Herbenick (http://www.MySexProfessor.com/), and for an encore, here she is again!
1. What do you do in the field of sexuality? I research, teach and write about sexuality. Specifically, I serve as the associate director and am a Research Scientist at The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and as a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.
I also write sex columns for The Kinsey Institute (Kinsey Confidential), Time Out Chicago (In&Out) and Men’s Health (Ask the Sex Professor). And I run a sex blog called MySexProfessor.com where I’m fortunate to work with several bloggers (mostly undergraduate and graduate students studying human sexuality topics).
Finally, I write books about sex, bodies and love – these include:
- Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction (Rodale, 2009)
- The Good in Bed Guide to Anal Pleasuring (Good in Bed, 2011)
- Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011)
- The I Love You More Book (StoryPeople Press, 2011)
- Great in Bed (DK, 2012)
- Sex Made Easy (Running Press, 2012)
2. Where are you based out of? Bloomington, Indiana
3. What is your focus? What do you do? The focus areas of my research related to:
- the vulva and vagina (perceptions of these parts as well as health issues)
- measure development (our research team prioritizes creating measures that help us to understand under-explored constructs such as genital self-image, attitudes about condoms, and condom fit and feel)
- sexual pleasure and enhancement (e.g., understanding what sexual pleasure means to people, how female orgasm works, vibrator use, lubricant use, condom use and experiences)
The focus on my education work (teaching, writing columns and books, recording Kinsey Confidential podcasts) is about making information about sexuality and sexual health available to those who want it.
4. What are your particular goals and passions in the field? I have fundamental curiosities about how sex functions in people’s day to day lives and how women and men create their own change independent of the latest greatest sex book, toy or piece of advice. I’m also extremely passionate about, and committed to, sharing sexuality information with individuals who want it. I like helping people find answers to their questions and talking with them about their sexual lives.
5. Why did you choose to work in this field? Twofold: (1) as long as I work in the field, we won’t know everything about sex so there is plenty for a curious, inquisitive person like me to “do” and (2) it remains an area of life that matters to most people and about which we’re still largely in the dark in many ways. I enjoy being one of many people who help turn on the lights.
6. Where did you go for school/training? I graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in public health from Indiana University and a doctoral degree in health behavior from Indiana University.
7. Do you have any literature out (websites, articles)? Yes – I’m fortunate to be part of a productive research team at Indiana University. You can find a listing of our publications on our website. My blog is MySexProfessor.com and my books are Because It Feels Good, The I Love You More Book, Read My Lips, The Good in Bed Guide to Anal Pleasuring, Great in Bed, and Sex Made Easy.
8. What would you recommend to future sexologists attempting to get into the field? The same advice I would give to anyone in any field: do what you love for as long as you love doing it.
9. What is the most challenging aspect for you working in this career? There aren’t enough hours in the day.
10. One must read-what would you recommend? Why? Kinsey’s Female volume: it’s full of interesting thoughts.