Debby Herbenick

Hi, my name is Debby Herbenick.

I like friends, family, flowers, leaves, beaches, warm weather, gardening and the smell of morning. I plant bulbs and dream about them coming up in the spring.

I write about sex at

Here I write mostly about things that are not so overtly about sex.

(Source: malexaaa, via beautes)



i post this song a lot, but it’s the best way to remember Rick Danko on the 14th anniversary of his death.

This fucking song, goddamn.

Everyone Has a Secret. Here’s How to Share Yours.

Everyone Has a Secret.

Some secrets feel more sacred, embarrassing or scary than others. Members of the IU community are invited to anonymously share their secrets with one another. Your secret may be big or small, serious or funny, and about any topic such as your experiences with family, friends, relationship partners, love, sex, fear, school, health, religion, hope, or desire. 

Here’s how to share your secret:

- If you have an IU Secret postcard, write and/or draw your secret on the blank side. Otherwise, use a postcard or a blank index card (3x5 or 4x6 is preferred but size is flexible). The secret you share may be something you have never told anyone, or something you have shared with only a few people.

- Be creative by drawing or pasting pictures or using a variety of colors.

- Drop your secret in Campus Mail (no postage is necessary if using the campus mail system). If sending via campus mail, add “CAMPUS MAIL” in big letters on the card or envelope.

- If you mail your IUSecret via the US Postal Service, you will need to add appropriate postage.

Send your secret to:

Dr. Debby Herbenick
Dept of Applied Health Science,
School of Public Health, SPHB 116
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

Please do not include any photographs, names or other identifying details of yourself or others. These secrets are meant to be anonymous. IUSecrets cards are sometimes displayed publicly on the IU campus. If you are worried about your handwriting being recognized by others, type your secret or cut and paste words from magazines onto the card rather than handwriting your secret.


This project was inspired by Frank Warren’s PostSecret project. The IUSecrets project is not affiliated in any way with PostSecret, which you can learn more about at or through reading the PostSecret books available in bookstores and online.

About IUSecrets

The IUSecrets project was initially started as a class assignment in Dr. Herbenick’s Human Sexuality classes. The idea was to show students that people just like them - men and women their same age, in their same community, who they sat next to each week throughout the semester - were going through very similar things (and sometimes much more difficult experiences). Since then, it has broadened to include the IU community, in partnership with the IU Health Center, during Wellness Week 2011 and 2012. In Spring 2013, the IU Secrets project was featured in the Indiana Daily Student newspaper and in May 2013, the IU Secrets project and Tumblr were featured in Men’s Health magazine. We’re grateful for the coverage and for the hundreds (thousands?) of women and men who have shared their secrets as part of our community. 


The Indiana University Health Center has a number of helpful resources for students. These include:

I wanted to see where beauty comes from
without you in the world, hauling my heart
across sixty acres of northeast meadow,
my pockets filling with flowers.
Then I remembered,
it’s you I miss in the brightness
and body of every living name:
rattlebox, yarrow, wild vetch.
You are the green wonder of June,
root and quasar, the thirst for salt.
When I finally understand that people fail
at love, what is left but cinquefoil, thistle,
the paper wings of the dragonfly
aeroplaning the soul with a sudden blue hilarity?
If I get the story right, desire is continuous,
equatorial. There is still so much
I want to know: what you believe
can never be removed from us,
what you dreamed on Walnut Street
in the unanswerable dark of your childhood,
learning pleasure on your own.
Tell me our story: are we impetuous,
are we kind to each other, do we surrender
to what the mind cannot think past?
Where is the evidence I will learn
to be good at loving?
The black dog orbits the horseshoe pond
for treefrogs in their plangent emergencies.
There are violet hills,
there is the covenant of duskbirds.
The moon comes over the mountain
like a big peach, and I want to tell you
what I couldn’t say the night we rushed
North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers
and the way you go into yourself,
calling my half-name like a secret.
I stand between taproot and treespire.
Here is the compass rose
to help me live through this.
Here are twelve ways of knowing
what blooms even in the blindness
of such longing. Yellow oxeye,
viper’s bugloss with its set of pink arms
pleading do not forget me.
We hunger for eloquence.
We measure the isopleths.
I am visiting my life with reckless plenitude.
The air is fragrant with tiny strawberries.
Fireflies turn on their electric wills:
an effulgence. Let me come back
whole, let me remember how to touch you
before it is too late.
Summer Solstice. Stacie Cassarino.

If there is a word in the lexicon of love,
it will not declare itself.
The nature of words is to fail
men who fall in love with men.

It will not declare itself,
the perfect word. Boyfriend seems ridiculous:
men who fall in love with men
deserve something a bit more formal.

The perfect word? Boyfriend? Ridiculous.
But partner is … businesslike—
we deserve something a bit less formal,
much more in love with love.

But if partner is businesslike,
then lover suggests only sex,
is too much in love with love.
There is life outside of the bedroom,

and lover suggests only sex.
We are left with roommate, or friend.
There is life, but outside of the bedroom.
My friend and I rarely speak of one another.

To my left is my roommate, my friend.
If there is a word in the lexicon of love,
my friend and I rarely speak it of one another.
The nature of words is to fail.ann

Randall Mann