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

February 21, 2019
A week ago, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation put the entire state of Nevada on its Dirty Dozen list for sexual exploitation.
Las Vegas Review Journal
January 10, 2019
Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at UNLV, said she doesn’t know details of the interactions between the company and show organizers. But, she said, rescinding the award may suggest not just gender bias, but a lack of awareness by show organizers about what’s happening in the world of sex tech.
Elite Daily
May 31, 2018
On Wednesday, May 30, Kim Kardashian went to the White House to campaign for the early release of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence in federal prison for a drug-related crime committed over two decades ago. The next day, the president indeed announced plans for a pardon, just for someone else. On Thursday, Trump pardoned Dinesh D'Souza, the right-wing figure famous for his frequent appearances on Fox News and his reputation for being a provocative political commentator.
May 21, 2018
On May 20, the Magic Wand vibrator, formerly known as the Hitachi Magic Wand, turns 50 years old, marking a milestone in the history of the sexual revolution. The Magic Wand’s popularity has only increased since its 1968 inception, and unlike an orgasm, its rising action doesn’t end.

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 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.