Educator • Advocate • Author


Lisa Speidel, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department at the University of Virginia. She is also a Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).  Her book The Edge of Sex: Navigating a Sexually Confusing Culture from the Margins, co-authored with Micah Jones, was published by Routledge in 2020. She has worked locally and nationally as an educator for over 27 years, with a focus on examining the role of masculinity, healthy sexuality, gender based violence, and the intersection of racism and other forms of oppression. She also has been teaching women’s self-defense for 27 years both in the Charlottesville community and as a credit based course at the University of Virginia. 



This anthology explores often overlooked and excluded identities, with pieces on sexuality and disabilities, survivors of assault, sex work as women of color, kink, and BDSM, being Muslim and queer, reproductive rights, and the challenges of culture and identity when grappling with gender fluidity and gendered expectations. As they trace the negative effects of restrictive, fear-based sex education – particularly on marginalized individuals – these stories unearth larger themes: tensions with race and religion, expectations from heteronormative society, and pressures of femininity and masculinity. Importantly, they also highlight the resilience and empowerment of marginalized individuals within a culture designed to ostracize them.

The rich, diverse, and intersectional stories of The Edge of Sex paint a contextualized picture of sex education and make an urgent case for better representation and more inclusive, consistent, and comprehensive content. By reading this anthology, casual readers may learn more about their sexual selves, clinicians can apply the material to their practices with clients, and educators and students can expand their knowledge of feminist theory, intersectional theory, queer theory, and sex education.

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