This is one of the main reasons it is so important to study how to maintain sexual desire in long-term relationships. Our research and the research of others has consistently shown that sexual desire ebbs and flows throughout one’s life. Learning how to best make it through to the other side of the ebbs and make the most out of the flows is one of my primary research questions of interest.
Although much of North American society still views sex as a taboo subject, it shouldn’t be. Sexual development is part of human development and should be treated as such. I take a straightforward approach to discussions of sex and sexuality is one of many attempts to create an environment where people begin to feel more comfortable talking about sex and getting the accurate answers they deserve.
Unfortunately, in many areas of the world and particularly within the United States, comprehensive sex education isn’t taught or is taught ineffectively. Many parents are not comfortable talking to their children about sex. And the political nature of sexuality education gets in the way of real education taking place, especially in states like Kentucky. Spreading the word about the benefits of comprehensive sex education and extending that to include pleasure-based approaches is part of my mission to help bring this right to more individuals at developmentally appropriate ages.
I am a behavioral health scientist with an academic background in psychology and public health and a research interest in sexuality and romantic relationships. I am currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at University of Kentucky in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Promotion within the College of Education. I am also Affiliate Faculty at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University. At University of Kentucky, I am Secondary Faculty in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society in the College of Public Health and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. I study many aspects of sexual health including: women’s sexual health, sexual desire and desire discrepancies, sexual satisfaction, sexual well-being, sexual functioning, and more. I am particularly interested in the way all of these topics impact sexual pleasure and intertwine with dynamics of the couple relationship. I earned a PhD in Health Behavior at Indiana University with a concentration in Human Sexuality from the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. I also completed an MPH in Biostatistics at Indiana University, an MS in Human Development at University of Guelph, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a certificate in LGBT Studies at Queen’s University. I am a board member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, a member of the Canadian Sex Research Forum and the International Association for Relationships Research, and an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research. My research has been published in several academic journals such as The Journal of Sex Research and Archives of Sexual Behavior and I have presented my work at over 70 academic conferences. I am also a Community Action Partner for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, University of Kentucky senator for faculty senate, and an advisory board member of the Office for LGBTQ* Resources at University of Kentucky. I am regularly requested to provide expert opinion about sex and relationships for writers and producers of broadcast, print, and online media.