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March 13, 2006

Sexploration book a lighthearted, fact-filled guide

By Louise Donahue

UCSC health educator Jane Bogart hopes her new book, Sexploration: The Ultimate Guide to Feeling Truly Great in Bed (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), can clear up some misconceptions.

Jane Bogart
Photo: Louise Donahue

"Over and over, one of the concerns I hear from people is, "Am I normal?" said Bogart, director of Health Promotion at New York University for 10 years before becoming UCSC's coordinator of Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP) in May 2005. "I wanted to show that there is a range of 'normal' sexual behavior," said Bogart, who emphasizes that anything goes as long as it's consensual and doesn't become pathological.

Bogart wanted to write a book about sexuality from the standpoint of a health educator. "I'm not a physician or a therapist, so I have a unique perspective on sexuality."

In addition to her work on campuses, Bogart has appeared on three MTV programs, including a turn as a "sexpert" fielding calls on MTV's "First National Sex Quiz." Between the TV stints and her work on campuses, "I can't imagine anything I would hear that would shock or surprise me," Bogart said.

Sexploration is a lighthearted but fact-filled guide, spiced with short anecdotes from an array of sources designed to put readers at ease. "People love to hear other people's stories," Bogart said. Reminiscences of everything from facts of life lectures to first kisses and various sexual experiences are covered.

While Bogart's book has a breezy style, she is serious about education. She meets frequently with small groups of students and works closely with student educators who hold workshops on a range of health-related topics.

She hopes her book will aid SHOP's education efforts. "The students seem to be excited to read it. I think they look at me in a different light," she said. "If it works to help students become more comfortable with me and with SHOP, it's a bonus."

Bogart will talk about her book and sign copies at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, at Bookshop Santa Cruz in downtown Santa Cruz.

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