about emily

full bio

writer. educator. researcher. activist. nerd.

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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. Though she loved the academic work she was doing and had planned to follow her degree in Psychology (with minors in cognitive science and philosophy) was to become a clinical neuropsychologist, working with people with traumatic brain injury and stroke, the work she did as a sex educator and violence prevention educator 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 the inaugural 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.

She’s currently writing her next book, on women’s overall wellbeing, especially how to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted by all you have to do, yet worrying that you’re not doing “enough.” It’s called Burnout.