How to use a vibrator is one of the questions I get most often—and most bashfully—in my work as a sex therapist. I began my career as a psychotherapist, becoming a sex therapist and certified relationship expert when I realized that so many of my clients came to me with issues around sex, intimacy, and navigating the ups and downs of their romantic relationships. Sex often was the linchpin, the place in their individual lives and relationship dynamics that was too taboo to navigate.

But something was missing. To help my clients understand desire, I needed to understand it myself. Really understand it and how it works in the body—and in the brain. So at age 50, I went back to get a Ph.D. in neuroscience and (as if I didn’t already stick out enough in a class full of 20- and 30-somethings) chose the most scandalous research area in the cohort: mapping female orgasm in the brain.

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