Introducing New MSP Blogger: Craig VanKempen

Hi all,

My name is Craig VanKempen and I’m happy to be a new blogger for!  I hope to add my perspective to this already fantastic site and continue to provide fun sex-positive information and resources for the MSP readership.

A little bit about me:

I’m a cisgender straight male living in Ann Arbor, MI, currently in my last semester of a dual-degree graduate program.  I will graduate from the University of Michigan in December with a Masters in Social Work AND a Masters in Public Health (my friend inquired if that makes me a Grandmaster…hmmm…).  Afterwards, I hope to continue my work as a sex educator and, eventually, sex therapist around the Ann Arbor area.

I’m interested in many different things about sex and relationships, but here are a few specifics:

  • Polyamory, swinging, and open relationships
  • College culture around sexuality and relationships, especially how students define sex-related terms and how that translates to their behavior in relationships and social situations.
  • Sex education, focusing on holistic sexual health and using methods from theatre and experiential education.
  • Issues around gender and sexuality, especially those concerning bisexuality and transgender individuals.
  • How online dating and social networking affect the ways people interact sexually and in relationships.
  • Religion/spirituality and its intersection with sex and sexuality.

And here’s what I’ve done so far (one of these is a lie – see if you can spot it!):

  • I was socialized in a very sex-positive and feminist environment – there is a picture of me at 3 years old with a shirt proudly stating “A man of quality is not threatened by a woman for equality”.
  • I started educating about sex as a 16-year-old in a theatre troupe that taught middle school parents how to talk to their kids about sex.
  • I participated in the University of Michigan peer education theatre troupe “Sex and the Univer-SIty” where I played an over
    the-top character who encouraged everyone to have sex as I drank most of a 5th of Jack Daniel’s (don’t worry, it was just iced tea).  Not a role model character!
  • In college, I made a sex education video that showed latex barriers being used with actual genitals.  It was called “Who Needs a Banana?: Graphically Showing How to Have Safer Sex.”
  • I taught the American cultural view of sexuality and relationships (along with the English language) while living abroad in northeastern Germany.
  • I starred in a student-written production where I played a male stripper who appeared on stage in nothing but a lab coat, orange Converse All-Starsâ„¢, and a leopard print g-string.
  • I founded Sexperteam, a peer education group, at the University of Michigan.  This student group offers information on sexuality and relationships, with the goal of increasing knowledge, awareness, and the practice of healthy sexuality on campus. Our peer educators present this important material using interactive workshops and activities.
  • I presently teach Our Whole Lives, a comprehensive sex education program, to the 8th graders (and sometimes adults!) at my church.
  • I am currently working on a online social media safer sex intervention for the Prevention Research Center and writing a research paper for the Sexuality + Health Lab at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, and comments and sharing with you a Midwest male’s perspective!

Learn about MSP posts as they happen by following us on Twitter@mysexprofessor. You can also follow Craig VanKempen, the author of this post, @craigvk.

About 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.

  • JH

    Welcome to MSP Craig – Looking forward to reading your post!

  • Natedarty

    Craig, you have always inspired me with your openness and thoughtfulness. I look forward to reading what you have to say.

  • Debby Herbenick

    Yes, welcome Craig!

  • Kate McCombs

    Craig: I would love to pick your brain about starting a peer sex ed program at my university. Would you be willing to share your insights?

  • anonymoose

    I was wondering if Debby was going to hire a cisgender straight male for the blog. It seems that women are going all of the public talking about sex these days. Women can come out into the light and men have to go hide in the shadows these days when it comes to sex.

    How soon until you post something??

  • Debby Herbenick

    Absolutely – so good to have a man on board! Even in our human sexuality classes, enrollment is almost always more women than men (not just my sections of the class, but all of ours). I hear it’s similar at other universities but would be curious if others weighed in. It’s also true of sex researchers, who are more often women than men (at least in the social sciences).

  • TheSpecialLadyFriend

    Looking forward to more posts from your unique perspective!

  • Craig VanKempen

    I would love to, Kate!

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