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

How men should shave their pubic hair: a video from Gillette

Ah yes. A video for men about how to shave the pubic hair around their penis and scrotum. Or as this Gillette video says “trimming the bush to make the tree look taller”. Because a tree (made of wood) is likened to a hard, erect penis (what lovelier analogy could there be?). I kind of love Gillette for being out there about men’s pubic hair shaving practices even though I realize it’s a marketing ploy and a total play on men’s insecurities about their penis size – and that part sucks. Continue Reading →

Is pulling out (withdrawal) as effective as condoms?

Already today I’ve heard from a few people who have questions about a study recently published in the journal Contraception that suggests that pulling out (the withdrawal method of birth control) rivals condoms in terms of effectiveness in reducing pregnancy risk. Before you accept that as a take-home message, though, let me share my thoughts about the study’s findings and how it applies to what people need to know about their sexual and reproductive health choices: Continue Reading →

Vibrating Cock Ring for Men and Couples: The Lelo Homme “Bo”

Recently I learned of a new toy in the Lelo line of sex toys for women, men and couples: this one is actually part of their male line called “Homme” (which you may know means “man” in French). This particular toy in the Homme line is called the “Bo” and it’s interesting to me for many reasons. Continue Reading →

Don’t believe everything you hear about teenagers, sex, oral sex or prostitution

Unfortunately, this ABC/Good Morning America article opted for sensationalism rather than responsible reporting, in my opinion. In it, they discuss a filmmaker who taped teenagers talking about sex including having oral sex at young ages and stripping or having sex for money or consumer goods (what they term “casual prostitution”). However, ask most researchers who study adolescent sexuality and they’ll tell you a very different story: Continue Reading →

Sexsomia or sleep sex: How sleep disorders are linked to sex

Having worked as a sex researcher, educator and columnist over the past decade, one of the more interesting questions that I’ve been asked – and quite a few times, by the way – pertains to sexual behaviors that occur during sleep (sometimes called sexsomnia or sleepsex). Sometimes people (usually women) have described their partner’s (usually men) behavior as such: that while they were sleeping, they would wake up to find that their partner was masturbating – often quite aggressively or even “violently”, according to their descriptions. Or else they would wake to find that their partner was trying to have sex (usually intercourse) with them. In all cases that I can recall hearing about, the person who was exhibiting sleepsex didn’t remember doing whatever it was he’d been doing the next day. Often the woman would try to wake him from his sleep, sometimes successfully, other times not. Continue Reading →

How to flirt: tips for even the most seasoned partners

Flirting is used in many different ways. At its most basic level, people may flirt with others in order to be able to get something they want: a discount, a better place in line, or free drinks. In the context of romance and sex, people flirt to signal their interest. A prolonged look across a crowded room can mean “I’m interested, come talk to me!” or it can pose a question, as in ”wanna have sex?” Continue Reading →

Public Sex: Four Tips For Better Sex

In the previous three weeks, I wrote about three types of sex that I think are worth a try: Passionate Crazy Sex, Lazy Day in Bed Sex, and Making Sweet Romance. So what’s the fourth type of sex that gets my vote? Public Peek-a-Boo Sex, of course.  

Not that I’m advocating having sex where you could potentially get caught (and I am certainly not advocating any type of public sex that would be noticed by others or that would disturb or offend others), but I am advocating that at least once in your life, you consider some type of public sex. Why? Continue Reading →

Mary Roach on “Ten things you didn’t know about orgasm”

A former student alerted me to this YouTube video from TED (one of my favorite sites) of author extraordinaire Mary Roach discussing interesting research findings and case studies related to orgasm. If you haven’t yet read her books Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, check them out – she is incredibly smart, witty and funny. Continue Reading →

When Sex is Boring: Questions to Ask Yourself

Assuming, that is, that you actually like this person and are attracted to him or her. I made this one day after work when I apparently had too much time on my hands. And if you click on the image once or twice, you should be able to enlarge it. Feel free to print it out and tape it to the wall above your bed so that you can see it while you are in missionary or woman on top and wondering how to make things a little more fun and unexpected. And if all else fails, check out my guide or Gizmodo’s guide to iPhone sex. Continue Reading →