How Do You “Come Out” as a Sex Therapist, Educator, or Researcher?

How Do You “Come Out” as a Sex Therapist, Educator, or Researcher?

Whenever someone asks what I do for a living, I have a decision to make: do I “out” myself as a sex scientist, or do I give a generic answer that doesn’t emphasize the fact that I study sex for a living? For example, I could simply say that I’m a social psychologist or an author and leave it at that. This choice is something that all sex educators, researchers, and therapists face. Each of us has to figure out on our own what we want to reveal about our jobs to different audiences. However, there’s one audience that’s often especially tricky to navigate: our families.  

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Seeking Participants For Sex Studies!

Seeking Participants For Sex Studies!

I am currently seeking participants for a study of men's attitudes toward and experiences with sexting. Anyone age 18 or over who identifies as male is eligible to take part. This study entails completing a brief (approximately 20 minute) questionnaire about your sexual attitudes, personality traits, and sexting experiences. If you're interested in participating in this study, please click here to learn more.

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Seeking Participants For Sex Studies!

Seeking Participants For Sex Studies!

If you're reading this, odds are that you love learning about the latest sex research. But really, who doesn't? Have you ever wanted to go beyond reading about it, though, perhaps by taking part in an actual sex study (or two)? If so, check out the Sex Studies page, which is updated regularly with calls for participation from sex scientists across the globe. Ten studies have already been added since the beginning of this year alone!

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Here's Your Chance To Be In A Sex Study

Here's Your Chance To Be In A Sex Study

If you're reading this, chances are that you love learning about the latest sex research as much as I do. But have you ever wanted to do more than just read about it and maybe even participate in an actual sex study (or two)? If so, check out the Sex Studies page on the blog, which is updated regularly with calls for participation from sex scientists from around the world. Feel free to participate in as many studies as you would like--assuming, of course, that you meet the eligibility criteria.

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Fighting for Sex Science

Fighting for Sex Science

Sex research is a tough business to be in. This field has more than its fair share of critics, some of whom have gone to great lengths to intimidate sex scientists with the goal of shutting down their labs or scaring them away from studying certain topics! If there’s one person who understands this better than anyone else, it’s sexual psychophysiologist Dr. Nicole Prause.

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How This Sex Scientist is Putting His Post-Election Emotions to Work

How This Sex Scientist is Putting His Post-Election Emotions to Work

The morning after this week’s U.S. Presidential election, I awoke feeling a range of emotions—none of them positive. I was sad. I was angry. I was scared.

I spent the entire day feeling helpless and pessimistic about the future, which I documented in an early morning blog post about seeing this election through the eyes of a sex researcher and educator.

A few days have passed now and I certainly don’t feel any better about the election results, but I’m no longer despondent. I know that the next four years will pose immense challenges, both personal and professional, but I also know that I don’t just have to sit by idly while so many things that I care about are threatened. I can do something—and I’m starting today.

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As a Sex Researcher and Educator, Last Night's Election was Terrifying

As a Sex Researcher and Educator, Last Night's Election was Terrifying

As I watched last night’s U.S. election results come in, I was stunned and shocked. When I work up this morning, I was terrified. 

These feelings are, in part, a function of my personal politics—the details of which I’ll spare you. However, I also feel these very same emotions in my capacity as a sex researcher and educator—and that’s what I’d like to talk about for a few moments. Here’s why what happened last night at all levels of government scares me.

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Want to Participate in a Sex Study?

Want to Participate in a Sex Study?

If you're reading this, chances are that you probably love learning about the latest sex research. But have you ever wanted to go beyond reading about it, perhaps by taking part in an actual sex study (or two)? If so, check out my Sex Studies page, which is updated regularly with calls for participation from sex scientists across the globe. Feel free to participate in as many or as few of the studies as you would like, depending upon whether you meet the eligibility criteria.

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Video: Fight For Your Right (To Be A Sex Scientist)

Video: Fight For Your Right (To Be A Sex Scientist)

Being a successful sex researcher is--and always has been--a tough business. Sex research has a lot of vocal critics who aren't comfortable with the work we're doing, some of whom have actually gone to great lengths to try and scare us away from studying certain topics! One person who knows this all to well is sexual psychophysiologist Dr. Nicole Prause.

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College Students Don’t Need To Be Protected From Sex Studies

College Students Don’t Need To Be Protected From Sex Studies

Before a scientific study is carried out, researchers usually need to receive approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), a body of fellow scientists who evaluate a given study’s potential risks and rewards. In the name of protecting research participants, IRBs often given studies focusing on “sensitive topics” heightened scrutiny.

Sex is often considered to be a sensitive topic, and many researchers (myself included) have encountered difficulties at one time or another in getting certain studies approved because their IRBs are concerned that students might be traumatized by certain kinds of sex questions (e.g., how would students who have been sexually victimized feel if they were asked questions about prior experiences with rape and sexual assault?).

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Last Chance To Be Part Of The Largest Scientific Survey Of Sexual Fantasies

Last Chance To Be Part Of The Largest Scientific Survey Of Sexual Fantasies

Sexual fantasy is one of the most "fascinating" topics in the field of human sexuality, which is why I am currently conducting an online survey of sexual fantasies that is designed to be the largest and most comprehensive investigation of this topic ever conducted. This study will help us to better understand what it is that people are fantasizing about, how sexual fantasies vary across different segments of the population, as well as what our fantasies mean and where they come from. If you have already participated, you have my sincere thanks. If not, please consider doing so before the survey closes in just a few weeks.

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Happy K-Day! Celebrating 62 Years Of Scientific Research On Female Sexuality

Happy K-Day! Celebrating 62 Years Of Scientific Research On Female Sexuality

Sixty-two years ago today (August 20, 1953), the media first reported on the findings of Alfred Kinsey's classic book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.  It was the first book of its kind to explore women's sexual attitudes and behaviors from a scientific perspective. Although this book initially came as quite a shock to the world and many viewed it as "obscene" at the time, it is now looked upon as one of the most important publications ever on human sexuality. Kinsey's research debunked so many myths and revealed that women are far more sexual than most people had previously assumed. For example, Kinsey found that women were pleasuring themselves, having sex outside of marriage, and engaging in same-sex behaviors. His landmark research showed that men aren't the only ones with sexual needs and desires--women have them too, and they're no less important to study.

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Interview With The Sex Researcher: Dr. Nicole Prause

Interview With The Sex Researcher: Dr. Nicole Prause

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you're probably a fan of sex research. But have you ever wondered who is behind the fascinating studies and theories discussed on this site? How did those folks get into this field in the first place? Where do their research ideas come from? And what is a day in life of a sex researcher really like? From time to time, I interview prominent sex researchers, scholars, and therapists in order to give you some insight into these and other provocative questions.

Today's interview is with Dr. Nicole Prause, a sexual psychophysiologist and neuroscientist based in Los Angeles. Below is the full text of a recent email interview I had with her.

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Want To Participate In A Sex Study?

Want To Participate In A Sex Study?

I know you all love reading about the latest sex research, but have you ever wanted to go beyond just reading about it and actually participate in a sex study or two (or three or four)? If so, here's your chance. Check out my Sex Studies page, which is updated regularly with participation requests from sex scientists across the globe. You are eligible to participate in as many or as few of the studies as you would like, depending upon whether you meet the selection criteria. The participation opportunities currently open address a diverse range of topics including sex dreams, sex parties, multiple orgasms, views on pornography, and more. Any help you can provide by participating in a study or spreading the word about these research opportunities (e.g., by liking the Sex Studies page on Facebook or tweeting a link to it) would be greatly appreciated and will help to advance our understanding of human sexuality.

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Sex Question Friday: Advice On Becoming A Sex Researcher

Sex Question Friday: Advice On Becoming A Sex Researcher

A reader submitted the following question:

I have a BA in psychology and just recently applied to doctoral programs in psychology and gender studies. Considering how competitive these programs are, I am currently trying to figure out what my back-up plan is. I do not want to give up on my dream of doing research on sexuality and relationships, but it seems that most research opportunities outside of graduate school are unpaid. I am having some trouble finding job opportunities related to sexuality and I was wondering if you have any suggestions or resources.

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Interview With The Sex Researcher: Dr. Zhana Vrangalova

Interview With The Sex Researcher: Dr. Zhana Vrangalova

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you're probably a fan of sex research. But have you ever wondered who is behind the fascinating studies and theories discussed on this site? How did those folks get into this field in the first place? Where do their research ideas come from? And what is a day in life of a sex researcher really like? Today, I'm launching a new feature on the blog in which I will interview prominent sex researchers, scholars, and therapists in order to give you some insight into these and other questions.

My first interview is with Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, who holds a PhD in developmental psychology and is currently a sex educator, researcher, and blogger based in New York City. Below is the full text of our recent online chat.

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Participate In The Largest Study Of Sexual Fantasies Ever

Participate In The Largest Study Of Sexual Fantasies Ever

I recently launched an online survey of sexual fantasies that is designed to be the largest and most comprehensive investigation of the nature and origin of sexual fantasies ever undertaken. This study will help us to better understand what it is that people today are fantasizing about, how sexual fantasies vary across different segments of the population, as well as what our fantasies mean and where they come from.

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Happy K-Day! Celebrating 61 Years Of Female Sex Research

Happy K-Day! Celebrating 61 Years Of Female Sex Research

Sixty-one years ago today (August 20, 1953), the media first reported on the findings of Alfred Kinsey's classic book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.  It was the first book of its kind to explore women's sexual attitudes and behaviors from a scientific perspective. While this book initially came as quite a shock to the world and was deemed "obscene" by many, we now look back on it now as one of the most important publications ever on human sexuality because it debunked so many myths and revealed that women are far more sexual than most had previously assumed. For example, Kinsey found that women were pleasuring themselves, they were having sex before marriage, and they were even engaging in same-sex behavior. It turns out that men aren't the only ones with sexual needs and desires. Who knew, right?

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Make Your Mark On Science By Participating In A Sex Study

Make Your Mark On Science By Participating In A Sex Study

Looking for a much-needed distraction from work? Or just trying to find a fun way to kill a few minutes online? Consider putting this time to good use by making an important contribution to the science of sex. Below are links to a series of sex studies conducted by me or one of my esteemed research collaborators. Each study has a different focus and you are eligible to participate in as many or as few as you would like, assuming that you meet the relevant selection criteria (please note that you must be age 18 or older to participate in any of these studies). Any help you can provide by participating or spreading the word is greatly appreciated and will help to advance our scientific understanding of human sexuality.

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