A psychologist specializing in sex therapy was NOT what I planned to be when I grew up. I wanted to work in advertising in a big corporate office in New York City. I actually went to Indiana University as an undergraduate in order to major in journalism and advertising. However, a couple years into college I realized that I didn’t feel fulfilled with the degree I was pursuing and I switched to psychology.

It was at this time that the Kinsey Institute (which is housed at Indiana University) sent a mass email to all psychology majors in search of a research assistant for a sexual health research study. The Kinsey Institute focuses on research in sex, gender and reproduction. Its namesake is Alfred Kinsey (see Time magazine cover above), one of the pioneers of sex research. I applied and was offered the position, and my first task was data entry for a study on vulvodynia (pain of the vulva).

After my first week of research at the Kinsey, I thought to myself, “How cool is this?! This could be my job!” I think at that time, on the cusp of 20 years old, my excitement about working in this field was more about shock value (I chuckled back then when I thought about what my mom might think about my chosen career). But as I pursued higher education in this career and I learned the importance of sexual health for overall health, I learned that this job isn’t about shock value.

My job is about increasing people’s quality of life. I am extremely privileged to be able to help people with their sexual health. I have the best career in the world.