Craig VanKempen

Craig VanKempen

Craig VanKempen, LLMSW/MPH, is a sex educator and therapist practicing in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area. His professional interests include HIV, polyamory, compulsive sexual behavior, religion and sexuality, and GLBT issues.

Recent posts

Magic: In Paper or People?

As a sex educator, therapist, and Magic: The Gathering player, I almost gasped out loud when I was forwarded this Buzzfeed quiz that has you guess whether a phrase is a Magic card or a position from the Kama Sutra. I never really put these two things together, but I’m glad someone did. Try it out, see what you get. I got 100%. Well, almost. Continue Reading →

Faces of Ecstasy: Orgasm as Art

As a sex educator and therapist, as well as a performing artist, I am always interested in artistic depictions of sex and sexuality. In my explorations, I’ve found two art projects that explore a similar theme: the depiction of orgasm as a meditation on art and culture. I know this sounds like all artsy pornography that’s ever been produced. However, these two artists have come up with a way of exploring the art of orgasm in a new way: without nudity or visible penetration. First, there’s Beautiful Agony (NSFW). Continue Reading →

Wedding Season Reflections Part III: A Healthy Balance of Hard Work and Fun

For my final reflection, after celebrating the fact that there’s power vested in us and giving a few awesome sexual newbies wedding night advice, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite weddings of the summer. While I loved being present for all of these amazing nuptials (just like when I go see a play – it’s nice in the audience), but I really prefer being onstage. So I was happy to be a big part of my best friend’s wedding. In my role as “best man,” I had a lot of jobs to do. Some prescribed by the bride and groom, and some prescribed by society. Continue Reading →

My Mentor, Sex Therapist and Author Sallie Foley


One of my mentors during my graduate studies was Sallie Foley. Sallie has been a social worker and sex therapist for 30+ years and currently runs the Sexual Health Certificate Program at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. Check out that amazing program here. My first contact with Sallie was when I was the Peer Education Coordinator at the University of Michigan and I helped to put on ”Sexpertise”, the University’s annual conference on sexual health. Sallie was an integral part of this important conference and one of the premiere speakers, talking about her research and giving workshops on sexual pleasure. Continue Reading →

5 Ways to Celebrate World AIDS Day


In honor of celebration week, I wanted to write about an important event that just happened this past weekend: World AIDS Day. In case you missed it, or want to keep up the spirit of World AIDS day for all of December, here are 5 things YOU can do to celebrate World AIDS day. Donate (your time and/or money) – Go here to find an AIDS Service Organization (ASO) near you. Give them a call and ask to speak to their volunteer coordinator. You could hand out condoms, make condom packets, work the table at events, or even answers the hotline phones with a little training. Continue Reading →

Wedding Season Reflection Part II: Giving Wedding Night Advice


After the fabulous affirmation of the power vested in us to support same-sex marriage, I went to the wedding of a good friend of mine who was doing an unusual thing for my particular friend group to do: she was waiting until she was married to do anything sexual with her partner. I thought this was unusual for most of my friends but apropos for her hip Christian outlook on life. I found her decision so fascinating that I asked her to come into the sex ed class that I teach during our session on “Abstinence” and talk about why she was choosing to wait until she was married. Of course, I also brought in another one of my friends who had consciously chosen NOT to wait until marriage, and had them each present their points why they were choosing abstinence or not and then had the students ask questions. It was one of the best classes I ever observed, and my abstinent friend was a big part of that. Continue Reading →

Changing Your Life, Changing Your Health


Someone recently told me that I must be a big fan of change. When asked for evidence towards that opinion, they mentioned the fact that I moved five times during my five semesters of grad school, and that I recently changed both my location and my relationship status. While this seems to support their argument, my subjective experience tells me that this change was hard but (mostly) necessary for me to get to the life I want to live. And I’ve been doing this for a long time. For example, I quit a full-time job I really loved in order to go back to grad school and become a sex educator and therapist, because that’s what I saw myself doing long-term. Continue Reading →

Wedding Season Reflection Part 1: The Power Vested in Us

This summer was an epic one for weddings. Many people I knew tied the knot this summer (including two of my favorite sex bloggers. Congrats, Jeana and Emily!). My partner and I attended six from May to September, and I thought I would share a few stories and lessons in the next few blog posts that I learned from the half-dozen ceremonies, receptions, and the one crazy carnival I experienced. Today I would like to contribute a story from one of my favorite wedding moments thus far. Continue Reading →

Genitals in the Wild: Man-made Nature

Earlier this year I found myself disc golfing on one of the most beautiful and popular courses in the nation. The Flip City disc golf course on the western coast of Michigan has rolling hills and beautifully trimmed fairways lined with cairns. For those not in the know, a cairn is a pile of rocks that is so stacked to be unnatural and artistic. While I was accustomed to surprise artistic structures on this course (there’s a mosaic made of beer bottlecaps, and a bottle-festooned tree), for some reason I was unprepared for the sight that awaited me on the 18th hole. It made for a fun last hole. Continue Reading →