Research

My research continues to evolve and is broadly focused on sexual well-being in the context of romantic relationships. Specifically, research topics I have explored so far have included sexual quality, solutions to sexual problems, women’s sexual health, sexual and relationship satisfaction, sexual desire, desire discrepancy, communication, maintaining satisfying sex in long-term relationships, and the effectiveness of integrating sexual pleasure into comprehensive sex education. You can learn more about my research and how it relates to my teaching and service work through perusing my CV.

Featured Current Studies

The Mixed Sex Couples Study

With funding from the American Institute of Bisexuality, we just completed data collection for this study examining mixed sex couples where one or both members of the couple identify as bisexual. There is so little research on bisexual identity, and even less in the context of the couple. This online study involved a baseline questionnaire, a 30-day daily electronic report, and a follow-up interview. We have presented the findings of this research at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) 2017 annual meeting in Atlanta, the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) 2018 annual meeting in San Diego, and are scheduled to present this work at the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) 2018 annual meeting in Madrid, Spain. Our team is actively writing up the findings from this study for dissemination through peer-reviewed journal articles.

The You + Your Desire Study

We have been been developing an event-level measure for sexual desire. Sexual desire is not always experienced as a beginning of the relationship butterflies response. Sometimes, arousal may come first, or desire may spark from a non-sexual need being met. Researchers and clinicians have long thought about the ways in which sexual desire is responsive in nature, but we do not currently have measurement tools that assess this. We have completed the first four phases of this five phase study. Scale development is a long process, but our findings are only as strong as our measurement, so we want to make sure we are focusing in on making this a methodologically and psychometrically sound measurement tool.

Sexual Health Promotion Lab

Are you a current University of Kentucky graduate or undergraduate student interested in being a member of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab? Or perhaps you’re looking into graduate school and think the Sexual Health Promotion Lab might be a good fit for you?

Featured Prior Studies

The Couples Study

We are also currently working with The Couples Study data, a longitudinal and daily experience study of over 200 mixed-sex couples, to answer a number of questions regarding sexual desire, desire discrepancy, and satisfaction. There have been a couple of papers already published from this study. One on the object of one’s sexual desire published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (found here) and another a psychometric comparison of sexual satisfaction scales, published in the Journal of Sex Research (found here). We have also published a few other articles from this dataset, outlined in the featured articles section.

The Diverse Women’s Desire Study

Data from 31 in-depth semi-structured interviews with bisexual, lesbian, and straight women and their experience of sexual desire in the context of relationships have been transcribed and analyzed. We have presented these findings at several conferences and published one paper from this study so far about the sociocultural context of women’s sexual desire (found here).

The Sexual Health & Relationships Study

We recently finished collecting data for a large study on sexual health and relationships where an oversampling of sexual minority populations was a priority. These data have been analyzed and presented at several conferences and published in a couple of journal articles. A paper on attachment style and sexual desire and satisfaction can be found here and a paper that was a psychometric validation of the Sexual Desire Inventory can be found here.

The Condom & Couples Study

We recently finished collecting data from young couples after asking them to get creative in finding ways to make condoms more pleasurable. We wanted to further understand how couples integrate pleasure into condom use. A top reason people engage in sex is for pleasure. If our condoms don’t integrate a pleasure-based approach, it is hard to expect people to use them. Participants were asked to engage in a couple-based entrance interview, asked to provide daily electronic reports for 7 days following the interview, and engage in an individual exit interview.

The Penis Perceptions Study

We recently collected data from over 15,000 men and women about their perceptions, attitudes, expectations, likes, dislikes, when it comes to penises! The largest study of its kind, this study informed two additional phases of the Penis Perceptions Study aiming to further understand male sexual functioning and the impact it has on partners. One of the papers from this study, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, can be found here.