By Megan Sarnacki
Ever since childhood, Dr. Megan Stubbs shared an expertise for science and a love for Cosmo. Because of her daily research methods of studying magazines like Cosmopolitan and Redbook, she became the go-to friend for sex and relationship advice.
But even she had no clue sexology could be a career.
“It wasn’t until the middle of college that I saw the word ‘sexologist’ in Cosmo and found out that it’s a real thing,” Stubbs said. “After I graduated with a biology degree, I went to one of the few graduate schools in the country at the time that offered graduate degrees in human sexuality. I had a professor there that told me, ‘People will spend more time and money to fix their toilet than they will on their relationship and sex life.’ I want to help people value it more.”
Breaking Down Misconceptions
As a specialist who studies all aspects of sex, relationships and body image, Stubbs is all too familiar with having to explain what a sexologist actually does.
“There’s all kinds of wild misconceptions. I don’t have sex with everyone. I don’t sit with a miner’s light on in your bedroom in the corner with a clipboard judging you. Even on first dates, people are like, ‘Can I drip wax on you and swing on the chandelier?’ Like whoa, whoa. We didn’t even dessert yet,” she joked.
Misconceptions regarding sex, relationships and body image often stem from societies withholding information and not educating the public properly. According to Stubbs, abstinence-only sex education can leave students with only a model of sexuality portrayed through the lenses of television and film.
“We can all get enjoyment from those things in the media, but let’s keep in mind what they are first: entertainment, not education,” Stubbs said. “When was the last time you saw a consent negotiation in a movie? No one talks about condoms, painful sex or anything like that in TV so that’s why I’m here to have all these conversations with you. If we educate properly, people can go in and be informed consumers of things that they’re seeing.”
Many times, though, a lack of education is related to the fact that sex is a taboo subject among many cultures and religions, according to Stubbs. Because sex is not a comfortable topic for everyone to talk about, Stubbs uses her two degrees to educate the public by speaking at college campuses all around the country.
“Topics can go from mild to wild, ranging from sexual assault awareness, bystander intervention, positive body image and self-care all the way to your guide to sex toys,” Stubbs said. “It really runs the gamut of what the schools are looking for, but I want to make sure people are equipped with the right skills to traverse the wild world with all of their knowledge. It’s like driver’s education where you teach people information about how to protect yourself. Of course, there are car accidents and things that we don’t intend, but let’s give people information to make informed decisions.”
Because these subjects can be intimidating for many people to discuss, Stubbs mixes humor and inclusivity with an engaging and easygoing personality to connect with people so she can still act as that go-to friend for questions and advice.
“People are already uncomfortable and nervous enough so let’s have a laugh or two,” Stubbs expressed. “The more you can make your audience at ease and have a rapport with you, the more they will open up and feel comfortable asking you the real questions. I’m out here normalizing conversations around sex because the more we take this taboo topic out of the darkness and put it into light, the better we will be as a society.”
To learn more about Megan, visit sexologistmegan.com.