Sarah Melancon, Ph.D.

I hold a Ph.D in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona and am also a Certified Sexologist. As a child I was diagnosed with severe social phobia and a rare communication disorder called Selective Mutism, which profoundly affected my ability to connect with both myself and others.

Struggling with sexual issues that weren’t helped by existing approaches, when I discovered Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory about the autonomic nervous system in 2015, all of the pieces of my life finally started falling into place. I discovered that sexuality best functions in a space of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual safety. With great compassion, patience, and support, healing the wounds that create a sense of disconnection and leave us stuck in defensive states of flight, fight, freeze, or shutdown can bring us back to wholeness, oxytocin, and ultimately — intimacy and connection.

My personal research interests include the origins and meaning of fantasies, fetishes, and kinks; the influence of early trauma and attachment experiences on adult sexual function, behavior, and relationships; the link between sexuality and spirituality; women’s sexuality; and psychedelic and somatic therapies for sexual and relationship issues. I am also interested in similar theoretical and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of selective mutism, a deeply painful yet poorly-understood condition with few successful treatments.

I am the lead researcher at Women's Health Interactive and have a variety of work experience in the field of sexuality, including research, education, counseling, and media/PR.