Must must must read

Romantic relationships are important to most of us – not necessarily all of the time, but at many points in our lives this tends to be true. Women and men have long been fascinated, pained, enthralled, saddened and mystified by romance and sexuality, and how people come together, stay together and/or fall away from each other – and sometimes, how they return.

Human beings have looked at relationships from diverse angles – science, art, story telling, painting, sculputre, music, and comics. Though I had evidence of the ability of comics to do this, largely through reading Calvin and Hobbes, it is my dear and wonderful friend, artist Rama Hughes, who I credit for opening my eyes to how comics can be used to explore relationships in interesting ways. 

Some of this has been through showing me other people’s work – one of the more beautifully painful, and heart wrenchingly true examples of this is Blankets by Craig Thompson (really, please consider reading it). Another example is this very touching comic by Rama that you can view here - it is something I’ve come back to again and again that, when I’ve been alone, has made me miss being in a relationship. And when I’m loving and being loved, it warms me to know that I can experience that unusually good place where you have a private world all of your own within someone else’s arms or bed.

About 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