Sexplorations: Getting Schooled on Sex Ed

This article originally ran in the September 2019 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition. Left, artwork from O.School/Good Vibrations; right, the jacket from Dr. Ruth's latest book.

The future of sex is sex education. Learning new techniques makes sex more exciting, and with with the massive amount of sex toys out there, companies are using hands-on videos, how-to articles, experts and porn stars to teach people of all persuasions how to do better when they’re doing it. 

Pleasure Pioneers

In 1977 sex educator Joani Blank founded the Good Vibrations store in San Francisco. She invented the first swanky, female-focused sex toy store as an alternative to the darkly lit male-owned adult stores. Since then, the store has branched out to customers “across the gender spectrum.” In addition to the current lineup of sex ed classes—including one called “How To Have Sex Outside” (the third most popular sex fantasy, BTW, besides having a threesome and banging someone you’re not supposed to be banging)—the company has just released its first series of short, animated videos.

Titled “My Sex Toy Gives Me Superpowers,” the series features short, one-minute intimate stories about people finding themselves sexually, with sex toys playing a central role in each narrative.

“These video stories explore common themes of overcoming shame, lack of information, and alienation from one’s own body,” says Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist Carol Queen, Ph.D. “It’s not just the sex toy that’s the superpower—it’s the empowerment, the ability to feel whole and content as a sexual person, that lifts us out of this discomfort. I know these videos will give people hope and inspire them to get more knowledge—the quickest way to superpower.”

Good Vibrations worked with O.School, which calls itself “a non-judgemental source for information on sexuality and dating.” features fun, free, informal videos covering subjects like “Buttstravaganza” and “The 3 Secrets of an Incredible Blow Job.” (In case you’re wondering, No. 1 is “enthusiasm.”)

Toys and Videos—A Perfect Fit

Between its “Erotic Intent” blog (“Smart, Sexy, Stimulating”) and entertaining sex ed videos, Perfect Fit Brand knows that the more people know about their vast array of products, the more they will buy them. The pleasure product manufacturer’s “How Does This Work?” videos show customers how to use Perfect Fit’s stretchy cock rings without worrying that they’ll hurt the family jewels, and premieres innovative new sex toys such as “The Bumper,” which keeps people from walking funny after vigorous penetration action. Trans star Buck Angel’s line of sex toys for the trans female-to-male customer are informative since most people have no idea how to use those. In one video, Perfect Fit founder Steve Callow discusses the sex toy designed by Angel. The company deserves praise for educating people of varying gender identities on how to have a pleasurable sex life.

Porn Meets Sex Ed

Somewhere between porn and sex ed is, which features a “Squirting School” where adult star Marcus London teaches women how to have squirting orgasms. I’m not sure if most women really want to have squirting orgasms, as most women are just trying to have regular ones.

But male viewers who are fans of squirting will like the video series, which features adult stars Riley Reid and Adrana Chechik. London and collaborator Aaron Headley recently launched the website and sex ed video series using guest sex therapists. London, who says he has given thousands of women squirting orgasms using his special fingering technique, offered to give me one during the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, where he was promoting the site. I now regret not taking him up on his offer! At least he knows what he’s doing.

The series includes videos on “Threesome Mastery,” “Dirty Talk” and “Easy Back Door Entry.” The “Squirting School” features a video on “how to give a girl a squirting orgasm, no matter if she is conservative in the bedroom or not,” and another one on “how to give two girls squirting orgasms at once,” geared to the guy who is lucky enough to even get two girls at once.

WeTeachSex says it is “expanding with plans to release additional programs, live and in-person seminars, and demonstrations in the future.” 

Orgasmic Chemistry

Last but not least, 91-year-old sex therapist Dr. Ruth returns with an update on her 2006 book Sex for Dummies. “When the third edition was published there was no such thing as swiping on Tinder, smart phones weren't causing an epidemic of loneliness, and gay marriage was a distant dream,” she says. “The sex act itself may not have changed but human relations have undergone large shifts that need to be addressed, so a fourth edition was absolutely necessary.”

With the updated book, the legendary sex therapist tries to help out millennials, who she thinks spend too much time on their phones and don’t know how to talk to each other. “Everywhere I go I see young people who are together but each looking down at their phones,” she says. “I think we need condoms for cell phones so that people don't forget the art of conversation.”

Other topics include diversity, equality and consent, an issue particularly concerning to single people who are having first-time sex with new partners. “The more you know about sex, the more pleasure you can have,” she says. Another classic Dr. Ruth line: “Ladies, you sold 200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies as a kid, and you can’t even sell your man on wearing a condom. Come on.”

Anka Radakovich is a sex columnist who wrote a column for Details magazine. She is the author of three books, including her newest, The Wild Girls Club, Part 2. She is also a certified sexologist. Follow Anka Radakovich on Twitter: @ankarad.