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

Genitals in the Wild: Fungi Edition

Dandenongs genital in the wild

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the spectacularly beautiful National Rhododendron Gardens, which are just outside of Melbourne near the Dandenong Ranges. While the gardens themselves were lovely, they were sadly void of natural genitals-in-the-wild (at least, as much as I could see). The gift shop, however, yielded much more in that department. Near the artisanal soaps, I saw this collection of porcelain fungi and LOLed at not only their phallic shape, but also at their shadows in the background. I was tempted to pay the $16 to own one for myself, but settled on a photo to share with you all for your filthy-minded amusement. Continue Reading →

10 Sex Educators You Should Follow on Twitter

twitter-bird-white-on-blue

Twitter is a great place to hear about the work sex educators and researchers are doing all over the world. Often it will be the first place I see the latest sex-in-the-news story or it’ll be the inspiration for a new sex ed project. In light of how much I enjoy the sex ed community on Twitter, I decided to write a post (an expanded #followfriday, so to speak) highlighting some of the folks who’ve inspired me recently. This isn’t meant to be an absolute “best of,” but rather, a snapshot of people and organizations doing great work that I admire. 1. Continue Reading →

New Research on “Promiscuous Cephalopods”

As regular MSP readers will know, I love learning about the fascinating (and sometimes hilarious) sex lives of Australian fauna. Multi-vaginated kangaroos and chlamydia-ridden koalas have a new companion in MSP’s catalog of interesting antipodean animals: the Australian dumpling squid. Dumpling squid rarely miss an opportunity to copulate, but their libidos and marathon mating sessions can compromise their safety. Zoologists at the University of Melbourne collected a sample of dumpling squid and observed their pre- and post-sex swimming endurance in a lab. Since these squid regularly mate for up to three hours, their ensuing post-coital fatigue can leave them vulnerable to predators. Continue Reading →

This Week on MSP: Sex and Nature

Welcome to October, MSP readers! We’re kicking off the month with a week of “Sex and Nature” themed posts. From Nature vs. Nurture debates, to animal penis lengths, we’re looking at the many thematic ways that sex and nature overlap. And of course, there will be a couple genitals-in-the-wild to share. Continue Reading →

Why Good Sex Ed Is Important: A Reminder

Not surprisingly, disclosing that I’m a sex educator often elicits questions, wide-eyed stares, and/or giggles. Recently, after telling someone what I do for a living, I was asked, “what do you think about abstinence-only education?” I replied (with a smile), “That’s like asking an evolutionary biologist what they think of Intelligent Design” and went on to discuss a few of the problems with America’s notorious (lack of) sex ed. While it’s not news to anyone who works in sexual health that comprehensive sex ed is a good thing and that abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work, sometime it’s nice to be reminded why the work we do is important. Recently, I came across an article on Twitter (thanks @jezRSH) that describes some of the more noteworthy and atrocious “lessons” in New York State’s sex ed curricula that have been uncovered in a recent study by the New York Civil Liberties Union. Continue Reading →

Widener’s Careers in Sexuality Conference

As is the experience for most sex educators, people are frequently asking me “how did you get into this line of work?” I think that’s understandable since most high school career days don’t include my chosen profession. While many people enjoy talking about sex, far fewer actually want to make a career out of it and those few sometimes struggle to learn how exactly one becomes a professional sex educator. In my recent twitter feed, I came across a link to Widener University’s 5th Annual Careers in Sexuality Conference, which will be held on October 12th of this year. As the name suggests, this conference centers on how to build your career in sex ed. Continue Reading →

Why I <3 Menstrual Cups

While I was setting up for a women’s health workshop, unpacking the contents of my favorite red carry-on suitcase, an early arrival approached me and asked, “What on Earth are those?” She was referring to the rainbow of menstrual cup demos I had lined up on the table. “How many people actually use those?” Since I hang out with a lot of sex ed-types, my perception is “a lot.” I’d estimate that well over half of the women with whom I talk about menstruation use one. Continue Reading →

“Sapiosexual” – My New Favorite Neologism

You know that feeling when you find a new word that describes an identity or characteristic and you just think, “OMG! That’s totally me!” and you get really excited? It’s that feeling of shared reality and lack of aloneness that comes from realizing you aren’t a freak (or are at least, you’re one of many freaks). I can remember feeling this way the first time I heard the term “sex geek” but more recently I felt this way when I learned the word “sapiosexual.” Continue Reading →

This Week on MSP: Sex and Language

For the first week of August, MSP will be featuring posts under the umbrella of “Sex and Language.” I’ve been thinking a lot lately (well, always really) about how language interrelates with sexuality. Whether it’s about the etymology of sex words, or the importance of linguistic precision in relationships, there’s always something that connects the two. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of discussion online about this commercial for pantyliners which (gasp!) uses the words “vagina” and “discharge.” The words we use around sex can be powerful, controversial, and ideally, make our lives more wonderful. Continue Reading →