Lynn Comella

Associate Professor, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Expertise: Gender and Sexuality Studies, Adult Entertainment Industry, Pornography, Popular Culture


Lynn Comella is an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies in the department of interdisciplinary, gender, and ethnic studies. An expert on the adult entertainment industry, her research explores a number of broad sociological themes, including the relationship between gender, sexual politics, and consumer culture.

Her work on the history of the women’s market for sex toys and pornography has been published in the International Journal of Communication, Porn Studies, Feminist Media Studies, The Feminist Porn Book, Sex for Sale, and New Sociologies of Sex Work, among other venues. She has also published more than 50 articles about sex and culture in local and national media outlets, including Bitch magazine and Pacific Standard.

She is the author of Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure (Duke University Press, forthcoming 2017) and co-editor of New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law (Praeger, 2015). Comella was the recipient of the 2015 Nevada Regents’ Rising Researcher Award in recognition of early-career accomplishments and is a frequent media commentator.


  • Ph.D., Communication, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • M.A., Gender Studies and Feminist Theory, The New School for Social Research
  • B.A., Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University

Lynn Comella In The News

September 28, 2020
When Bella Thorne joined OnlyFans and crashed the site in August, it was the least surprising thing to happen on the platform. OnlyFans had been aimed toward a moment like Thorne’s for a while; similarly, the adult industry had been heading for a moment like the rise of OnlyFans for years.
September 10, 2020
Undressed. A new erotic platform where the power lies with the practitioners is gaining ground. The business model will revolutionize the sex industry, it sounds. Has porn become progressive?
WUNC 91.5
May 14, 2020
How comfortable are you talking about porn? Does it make you embarrassed? Ashamed? If you knew more about how porn is made, and how to navigate your own exploration of pleasure, would you still blush at the mention of it?
May 14, 2020
Even Beyoncé is rapping about OnlyFans.

Articles Featuring Lynn Comella

woman in front of chalkboard
ResearchSeptember 20, 2017
Professor Lynn Comella on the adult store industry, a highly profitable segment of popular culture that scholars and policymakers know surprisingly little about.
Business and CommunityOctober 28, 2014
We're celebrating the state's sesquicentennial with some fun facts and insightful observations from UNLV professors.
Business and CommunitySeptember 11, 2014
Professor Lynn Comella hits on the highlights of the city's brothel history — from the rise of Block 16 to the raid on Roxie's.