Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

Recent posts

Melinda Gates Launches “No Controversy” Site about Contraception


In her TEDx Change talk about the value of contraception for women and families throughout the world (especially in the poorest countries), Melinda Gates made reference to a new site, No Controversy.  In her talk, Mrs. Gates spoke about the value of contraception in her own life and is encouraging women and men to speak about its role in their lives, whether or not they are personal users of contraceptives or have benefitted in other ways (read this article about her talk and views). Indeed, if you look through the No Controversy site you can find a number of stories submitted by men and women throughout the world that speak to this – some are by women who have personally taken hormonal contraceptives (such as the pill) – or other types of contraceptives – and others are by straight or gay men who have a story to tell about what contraception means to them, their partners or their friends. There are stories from people who have benefitted by being able to extend their education, develop a richer life with their partner before having children, or manage a health issue. Submit your story to No Controversy and help change the conversation about contraception around the world. Continue Reading →

Sex Made Easy is Officially Out Today!


My newest book, Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered – for Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex is officially out today and I couldn’t be happier. The small group of people I gave advance copies to have loved it which gives me hope that it will be as helpful to women and men as I’ve wanted it to be. Sex Made Easy was born out of the experience I’ve had for the past 13 years as a sex researcher/educator, with hundreds of people saying to me “You must have the most amazing sex life!” (given my work) and me thinking…. well, sometimes – but it’s definitely not a given. Continue Reading →

Condom Users: Participate in Sex Research!

Another opportunity to participate in one of our Indiana University sex research studies from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion! There are gift card incentives involved (I think around $100 or more?) – check out the website mentioned below. Debby




Our research team at Indiana University is recruiting heterosexual, monogamous couples between the ages of 18 and 40 to participate in a study related to the daily sexual experiences of couples who use condoms.

Most research to date has focused on sexual behaviors and perceptions on rates of condom use within the US. However, less is known about people’s perceptions about various condoms and the ways in which people integrate condom use into their sexual lives. In order to better understand these questions, this study will investigate the use of condom use by couples. Continue Reading →

New Study: Sexuality Issues During Pregnancy

Our research team is recruiting for another study – please see below! Debby


The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University is currently recruiting couples who are 8 to 12 weeks pregnant with their first child and currently living together. Participants will be asked to complete four surveys independently over 12 weeks. Receive up to $50 in Amazon gift cards plus store coupons for completing the study! In order to learn more about the study, please email Sofia Jawed-Wessel at IUpregnancyproject@gmail.com

Thank you! Continue Reading →

“I’m Single”: Tagging Your Relationship Status for the World to See

Although I generally identify as a sex researcher, I think a great deal about relationships and love, and I receive many questions about these topics. No wonder: although sex, love and relationships don’t always go together, sex frequently occurs within the context of a relationship (e.g., friends with benefits, dating/romantic relationship, partnership or marriage). This morning I was combing through the scientific literature looking for information about romantic breakups when I came upon several studies demonstrating that female friends of people in relationships tend to have unique insights into the fate of those relationships – whether the couple will stay together or split up. I imagine there are several reasons for these fairly consistent findings. It may be that women are well cued into the emotional tones of others, including their friends and partners. Continue Reading →

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

This weekend involved some much needed, but mostly typical, spring cleaning. The magnolia tree is in bloom and that involves daily sweeping of the patio and back stoop, which I enjoy. The sound of my sweeping broom amid a quiet morning reminds me of mornings spent in India. Then there was my yard work – mostly composed of buying flowers, digging holes and planting. A little periwinkle cutting and re-planting. Continue Reading →

Our New Research: Women’s Exercise-Induced Orgasms

Our new study about women’s experiences of having exercise-induced orgasms is out and makings its way around the Interwebs. You can read the release below, find more detailed information about exercise-induced orgasms (what some call “coregasms”) in my brand new book Sex Made Easy, and you can also ask  me questions about our research by emailing me at DrDebby@MySexProfessor.com. I’ll be answering questions about our study here and/or on my Psychology Today blog later this week. **

Contact: Tracy James
Indiana University
Study: Exercise can lead to female orgasm, sexual pleasure

 IMAGE: This is researcher Debby Herbenick. Click here for more information. 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Continue Reading →

Love Isn’t a Picnic. But You Knew That Already. (Right?)

As I wrote in a previous post, many questions that people ask me about love/sex/relationships center around people being afraid of messy situations (e.g., of falling for someone who is in a relationship, newly out of a relationship, divorced with kids, lives in a far away city, is someone who your siblings/parents/best friends don’t like, etc). And basically I believe that if you really like someone and think you might want to give it a try, you should, because life is messy (and I think that’s okay) and waiting for a sanitized Hollywood romance may mean you will be waiting a long time, or forever. It might also mean missing out on immense richnesses and joys in life. One spiritual teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, even said that “chaos should be regarded as extremely good news.” Make of that what you will. Continue Reading →

Things I’m Grateful For Today

Yesterday and today I’ve been sick which is not common for me. I have some sort of stomach virus that’s been making me achy and causing some minor stomach pains that are enough to make me not want to eat and not well enough to stay all day at the office. They’re also enough to make me feel grateful for all the days – nearly every day in a calendar year – that I am well enough to go to work, to eat nearly anything I like, and to feel healthy and vibrant. Thinking this today is what prompted me to write my most recent list of things I’m grateful for. In addition to family, friends, education, and work, I am grateful for:

- Living near a park. Continue Reading →