What I Learned In Sex School

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I am sitting on the floor with 18 other women at the Good Vibrations store in Berkeley, CA. We’re all here to learn the art of “male erotic massage.” In other words, we’re taking a class on how to give a good hand job.

Chances are, the last time you took a class on sex was in 10th grade (when the message was “don’t do it!”). But today’s real sexual revolution is in grown-up sex education. Sex classes are more popular than ever these days and are popping up in cities all over the country.

For about $25, you can add to your sexual repertoire, refine your technique, and improve your sex life. “Couples today want to have better relationships and better sex, and if taking a class helps, they’ll do it,” says Carol Queen, Ph.D., chief cultural officer and staff sexologist at the Good Vibrations stores in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Boston. “The classes are fun and sexually inspiring. People feel more confident when they’re better informed.”

Personally, I love going to “sex school.” As someone who makes her living researching and writing about sex, I can never get enough when it comes to learning more about it. But I know that for a lot of people, the idea’s a little embarrassing. So I went to sex school for you and took some notes. Here are the best tips ever from 10 of the weirdest, wildest, sexiest sex classes in the country.

Tap into all your senses

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At “Coming to Our Senses: A Sensational Sensuality Workshop”, instructor and author LaSara FireFox says, “The more you indulge in your senses and become familiar with them, the more pleasure you’ll be able to receive.” Her “isolation and indulgence” exercises help you single out the senses and explore them one by one.

For each exercise, one partner is the guide and the other is the “sensory explorer.” My partner and I start with him blindfolding me, to take the emphasis off the visual.

To experiment with hearing, students whisper in each other’s ears, forcing them to listen really closely. Isolating touch involves rubbing something on each other’s skin, like a feather or honey. (Classes are clothed, but students are told to practice at home au naturel.)

We’re encouraged to say, after experiencing a sensation, “I like that feeling” or “I don’t like that.” Likewise, when sampling smells, it’s okay for one person to say, “That smells good” and the other to say, “That makes me puke.” The lesson is to communicate what you like and dislike, an idea that’s stressed at many of the classes I attended.

Touch “everything but”

“The object of this class is to drive a man insane,” announces our instructor, Elizabeth, at the start of the “Male Erotic Massage” class I took . How do you do that? Begin by touching everything but his penis. “Start with a very soft, featherlike touch,” explains Elizabeth, a professional masseuse. “Lightly touch the pubic bone area to wake up the nerves in the area.”

Use both hands

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When you’re ready to handle his man bone, don’t be afraid to use both hands — well lubed up. (“Really good sex is incredibly messy,” Elizabeth tells us.) With one hand or two, gently twist from side to side. Next, use your palms to apply even pressure. Stroke up and off in one swift movement (schwing!), then stroke straight down — you want to give a slight sense of penetration.

For an advanced move, try the “infinity and beyond”: Clasp your fingers together and make circles with both thumbs to form a figure eight on the frenulum (underside of the penis head). “Your thumbs should touch each time you circle,” says Elizabeth.

A little clothing is sexier than naked

You’d think a striptease class would be all about how to get your clothes off. But as instructor Diane Greenberg points out in “The Sacred Art of the Striptease” , leaving a little clothing on can actually be sexier than getting naked, because it draws attention to what’s underneath. For example, instead of whipping your panties off, pull them down an inch or two and leave them there. Pull your breasts out of your bra cups, but leave the bra on. “Use your bra to frame your chest,” says Greenberg. And of course, you can’t beat a pair of sexy heels for a hot visual.

Put your fantasies on paper

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The “Erotic Role Playing 101” class for couples  starts with instructor Midori telling everyone to write down on index cards “one or two sex things you would really like to see happen.” For instance, she says, “you could say, ‘I would like to receive oral’ or ‘I would like you to use a vibrator on me.'” That’s the “sex card.” Then write out a “fantasy card” that describes one of your fantasies.

(I pick the “sex with a cop” fantasy, where the hottie cop is arresting me during a cat burglary — I am, of course, wearing a catsuit.) Next, all the couples look at everybody else’s sex and fantasy cards and get ideas. “I didn’t know my wife wanted to do that!” is heard at every class.

Try playing this at home — writing your desires out on cards makes it seem like a game and takes the embarrassment out of revealing your secret fantasies. Compare notes to see if you’d like to explore each other’s fantasies. (Of course, you’re always allowed to say, “I’m not doing that!”)

Don’t force dirty talk

hot librarian“With dirty talk, you have to find your own voice,” says sex educator Tracy Bartlett in her “Talking Sex: Before, During, and After” class at Good Vibrations. “Don’t imitate what people say in bad porn, like, ‘give it to me, you big stud.’ It should be organic, natural.” Describe what you see that you like (such as, “your hair looks so sexy right now”).

Or try this exercise: During her class, Bartlett goes around the room and has each student say something mundane (such as, “I’m going into the living room”) using a sexy voice. “Saying something ordinary in a sexy voice takes the pressure off,” she says.

Switch up your oral sex positions

If you think you don’t like receiving oral sex — or your guy doesn’t like giving it — you might simply need to find an angle that works for you. At Babeland’s “Oral Sex Basics: Cunnilingus” class, a young (clothed!) couple demonstrates different positions, earning themselves a round of applause from the class.

There’s the classic woman on her back, man at the edge of the bed, of course, as well as woman on her knees, guy behind her.

The “half 69” has you on your back and him over you on all fours. Then there’s the famous “face sitting,” which is really “face squatting” (the name is self-explanatory). Finally, if he gets tired, try it with you lying on your back and him laying his head on your upper thigh (to rest his head, neck, and jaw). No more excuses!

Extra credit

Just the names of some sex classes are enough to give you a giggle. (These classes were still being offered at press time.)

“The Lost Art of Heavy Petting,”
“Oral Majority,”
“Sex Toys 101: Coffee, Cake, and Kink,”
“Bend Him Over 101,”
“Joy Stick Secrets: How to Thrill Your Man,”
“Hot & Bothered: Playing With Erotic Embarrassment,”
“There Is No Part of Me That Is Not of the Gods: A Pussy-Gazing Workshop for Women,”

Use little extras to enhance your O

sexy woman red lipstick holding pencilAccessories and toys are a great way to send your orgasm over the edge, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Best bets include lube (silicone versions are good because they don’t dry out — I like Pink Lube; vibrators (try the Hitachi Magic Wand); and cock rings (the jelly ones are good erection helpers, or try one with an attached vibrator.

Give yourself a hand

Want to have more orgasms during sex? In “The Art of the Orgasm” at the Museum of Sex in New York City, sex educator Ducky DooLittle emphasizes that when you experiment with giving yourself orgasms first, you’ll know better what works for you, and you’ll be able to take that knowledge into the bedroom with your man.

“The more you masturbate, the better you will get to know your body, and the bigger and more intense your orgasms will be,” says DooLittle. Don’t be afraid to touch yourself during sex, too — you can show your partner exactly what works for you and help yourself reach your peak.

Jesse Lee – Sex Toy Tester

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