A sex columnist is a writer of a newspaper or magazine column about sex. Sex advice columns may take the form of essays or, more frequently, answers to questions posed by readers. Sex advice columns can usually be found in alt weekly newspapers, women's magazines, health or fitness magazines, and student newspapers. While some are written by sexologists, many are penned by people lacking credentials in human sexuality and relationships, yet willing to divulge their opinions or personal bedroom antics.

The television series Sex and the City protagonist Carrie Bradshaw was a sex columnist, which author Candace Bushnell modeled after herself in her original non-fiction book based on a column of the same name. The show, which first aired in 1998, is credited with the increase of sex columnists found in college campus newspapers and blogs,[1] such as at Ivy League colleges and many other schools.[2] One such columnist, Meghan Bainum,[3] at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, placed in the 42nd annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program (2001–2002) for her column.[4]

Anka Radakovich was the first of a new breed of sex columnists for whom "every detail of the writer's psyche is splayed across the page ... confessional journalism at its most intimate". Radakovich had written for the old Details magazine when it was a chronicle of downtown fashion and night life. After James Truman became editor-in-chief and transformed Details into a men's magazine, he offered Radakovich a column in September 1990. She became the first modern-day magazine sex columnist working for a mainstream men's publication.[5]

The popularity of sex columns waned after the 2000s, but they remain popular at some newspapers, such as The Student Life at the Claremont Colleges.[6]

Notable sex columnists

Ruth Westheimer

Selected university newspaper columnists, past and present




  1. ^ Some pertinent articles in the media:
  2. ^ Confer:
  3. ^ Stanford, Ian, "Not a typical school girl: Former sex columnist for the University Daily Kansan talks about what she has done" Archived September 12, 2009, at archive.today, University Daily Kansan, University of Kansas, Thursday, September 14, 2006.
  4. ^ Eblen, Tom, "KU journalism students place in national writing competition", KU School of Journalism News, University Relations Office, University of Kansas, December 4, 2001. "Bainum's article Different Strokes for Different Folks appeared in the Nov. 30, 2000, issue of the University Daily Kansan. She discussed the causes of sexual attraction and fetishes and society's conception of sex."
  5. ^ Walker, Nick, "Women and Men: All mouth and no trousers", The Independent, October 1, 1995.
  6. ^ Song, Jason (November 19, 2014). "Fading elsewhere, sex columns thrive at Claremont Colleges paper". Los Angeles Times.


  • Radakovich, Anka The Wild Girls Club : tales from below the belt, 1st ed. New York : Crown, 1994. ISBN 0-517-59631-8
  • Reimold, Daniel, Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism, Rutgers University Press, September 2010. ISBN 978-0-8135-4805-0
  • Sohn, Amy, "The Vagina Dialogues: Sex columnists compare notes", New York magazine, November 12, 2005
  • Tartakovsky, Joseph, "Never Mind Tolstoy: 'This is kind of our protest to say that we're in charge of our sexuality,' says one campus sex columnist.", The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2010.
  • Wolfe, Tom I Am Charlotte Simmons, New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2004. ISBN 0-374-28158-0