Kate McCombs

Kate McCombs

Kate McCombs, MPH is a NYC-based sex educator + blogger. She's the founder of Sex Geekdom, a global community for sex educators, researchers, and other folks who love having geeky conversations about sex.

Recent posts

My Mentor, Sexuality Educator Ivy Chen

ivy panda game

While many people have trained me, offered me career guidance, and encouraged my career as a sex educator, my very first (and most influential) sex ed mentor was Ivy Chen. When she’s not mentoring, Ivy’s a lecturer at San Francisco State University and teaches age-appropriate sexuality education classes to primary, middle, and high school students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. I first learned about Ivy when I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about her work in schools. The article described her passion for educating young people about making healthy choices and reflected the sex-positive approach she takes to her work. At the time the article was published, I was starting my first year as a sexual health peer educator at my university and just beginning to learn about the possibilities for how I could turn my love of teaching others about sexuality into a life-long career. Continue Reading →

This Week on MSP: Mentorship

Mentorship – the art of nurturing a relationship between a mentor and mentee – is important in all fields but mentorship is particularly crucial for those of us who study sexuality. There’s no Occupational Outlook guide for how to become a sex educator or researcher, so it’s left to mentoring relationships to help us navigate that career path. Since January is National Mentoring Month, it seems an opportune time to reflect on the mentorship process and to honor and highlight the efforts of those who’ve nurtured our work. This week on MSP, the blogging team will be writing about their individual mentors’ work as well as about mentorship in the sexuality field in a broader sense. For aspiring sexuality professionals, this week’s posts might shine some light on future directions you might take. Continue Reading →

Where in the World is the Wondrous Vulva Puppet? Chichén Itzá Edition

chichen itza vulva puppet small

My favorite travel accessory and I recently got to see the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá, located in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The archeological site covers a spectacular five square kilometers and includes the pyramid (called El Castillo), the observatory (called El Caracol), and the Great Ball Court, among other fascinating structures. Here’s the vulva puppet posing in front of El Castillo (which is actually a calendar, not a castle as the name suggests). Despite attracting over a million visitors a year to the site, this shot is delightfully free of throngs of tourists to share the vulva puppet’s limelight. Travel with your own vulva puppet? Continue Reading →

My Traveling Tradition: A Couple’s Christmas

A more local adventure: The Great Ocean Road, just a few hours drive from where I live

Every other year or so, my husband and I forgo presents and family gatherings in favor of traveling someplace new together and celebrating the holidays with just the two of us. Although it might seem paradoxical, I love how this practice balances the comfortable predictability of a tradition with the energizing excitement of the unknown. Since we live thousands of miles away from our nearest relatives, it makes the decision a bit easier when the cost of traveling to parents and siblings is often much greater than one of our couple’s adventures. To further reduce the holiday financial burden, we give each other homemade cards on Christmas morning instead of exchanging traditional gifts. My husband’s quite a cartoonist and he makes these wonderful drawings that celebrate the previous year, often reflecting the adventures (local and international) that we’ve had together. Continue Reading →

Eight Holiday Gifts for the Sex Geek in Your Life

sti microbes bowl

It’s that time of year again! While everyone’s out buying gift cards and ill-fitting sweaters, you can be the holiday hero to a sex geek in your life. If you’re the sex geek in need of a gift, pass on the list as a hint to a friend or lover, or just keep it as a shopping list for yourself. 1. Giant microbes of STIs

Who wouldn’t love a cute plushie syphilis? Continue Reading →

This Week on MSP: Celebration


Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, MSP’s blogging team will discussing “celebration” in its many forms. We find cause for celebration in many things: great sex, fantastic relationships, and even one’s gender. While family gatherings for the holidays aren’t always stress-free, the practice of celebration over the season can remind us of what we want out of our lives and relationships. It can catalyze self-awareness about what we value, such as whether you find tradition satisfying, or if it’s spontaneity that lights your fire. We hope our posts will interest, inspire, and offer a pleasant antidote to the increasingly annoying Santa-themed songs that have been playing in every store since October. Happy Holidays from MSP! Continue Reading →

MSP interviews Jason Ball, Activist and Gay Football Player

Jason 2

Australians will often tell overseas visitors that Aussie Rules Football, or simply ‘footy,’ is like a religion. It’s rare to find an Aussie who doesn’t passionately support an AFL (Australian Football League) team and team rivalries are deeply entrenched in family and footy culture alike. As with most sports, the professional teams are all male and reflect and reinforce traditional male gender roles. When I read that an Aussie Rules Football player – Jason Ball – had come out publicly as gay (the first ever to do so), I was thrilled to see how it would affect change in this traditional institution. Not only has he come out, he’s also become a passionate spokesperson for eliminating homophobia in the AFL. Continue Reading →

This Week’s Theme on MSP: Change

This week on MSP, our blogging team will be exploring the concept of change as it related to sex and relationships. Change can be both difficult and exciting, self-directed or out-of-control, but it’s inextricably part of our personal and public lives. With the upcoming election, many people are feeling the weight of potential change and what that means for their lives and others’ lives the world over. From marriage to health, education to homophobia in sports, this week’s posts will be discussing both personal experience and the larger cultural implications of change. Continue Reading →

Six Ways to Make the Most Out of Morning Sex

couple in bed together

Morning sex can be a delightful addition to your sexual repertoire. When you first wake up, it’s too early to worry about the stresses of the day, testosterone levels tend to be higher, and you’re already in bed. Even though movies tend to depict sex as a nighttime activity, the luxurious laziness of staying in bed a bit longer mixed with early morning lighting are great ingredients for sexy times. On a weekday, you might only have ten or fifteen minutes tops before you have to rush in the shower and head off to work. That might not seem like a lot, but with a little planning and the right attitude, morning sex can be an excellent way to build intimacy with your partner (or person you met the night before) and gets your day off to the right start. Continue Reading →