Emily Nagoski is blending research and wisdom as an author, sex educator, and neuropsychologist. She sat down with me to talk about her books, her work, and what she’s learned about sex, feminism, and avoiding burnout. This episode is a good listen for women AND men since we’re all interconnected.
Behind Her Brilliance: Her Husband
Say hi to Emily on Instagram: @enagoski
EMILY NAGOSKI Ph.D.| Author + Educator + Researcher
Emily Nagoski began her career as a sex educator in 1995 when she became a peer health educator at the University of Delaware. She was trained to teach her fellow undergraduates about stress, nutrition, physical activity, and, above all, sex. Soon she added sexual violence prevention and response to that work, and suddenly she was a sex educator. The plan was to use her degree in Psychology (with minors in cognitive science and philosophy) to become a clinical neuropsychologist, working with people with traumatic brain injury and stroke. But even though she loved brain science, her work in sex education and violence prevention made her like who she was a person, in a way the academic stuff couldn’t. So that’s the path she chose.
She went to Indiana University for a M.S. in Counseling Psychology, completing clinical internships at the Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic and the IU GLBT Student Support Services Office. She continued on to earn a Ph.D. in Health Behavior with a concentration in human sexuality. She taught graduate and undergraduate classes in human sexuality, relationships and communication, stress management, and sex education. Her time at IU was characterized by stumbling with unwarranted luck into opportunities to work with some of the greatest minds in the world of sex science, and she will spend the rest of her career trying to earn those opportunities.
For eight years, she worked as a lecturer and Director of Wellness Education at Smith College, before transitioning to full-time writing and speaking. She now travels all over, training professionals, teaching college students and other lay people, and learning more every day about the science and art of sexual wellbeing. She is a trained Gottman Seven Principles educator, with extensive specialized training in bystander intervention, motivational interviewing, and cultural inclusivity, including race, gender, and class. Full CV here (PDF).
Emily’s mission in life is to teach women to live with confidence and joy inside their bodies.
Her second book, Burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle, is co-authored with her twin sister Amelia. It’s for women who feel overwhelmed and exhausted by all they have to do, yet worrying that they’re not doing “enough.”
Emily’s path to becoming a clinical neuropsychologist then sex educator
Emily’s first book, Come As You Are, and what she learned while writing it
The orgasm gap and why women’s sexual pleasure is important
How stress impacts sex (and what to do about it)
The distinction between sex “drive” and desire
Emily’s new book, Burnout
The importance of rest, self-compassion, and connection in the pursuit of success
And much, much more!
STUFF MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Come As You Are (Emily’s book)
Burnout (Emily’s book)
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Down Girl by Kate Manne (Emily’s book pick)
Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper (Emily’s book pick)