What do you imagine happens when a professional organization of sex therapists, educators, researchers, and professors spend a weekend together in Monterey, California? That’s right – they talk about sex, learn about the latest sex research, listen to presentations by masters in the field, network and share resources, and take copious notes.
I had the pleasure of being among them at the annual conference of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), June 5-8, 2014. (This is the organization that gave Naked At Our Age the 2012 Book Award!) The weekend was packed with information.
One of my favorite presentations was a spirited and savvy slide-show illustrated talk by Paul Joannides, Psy.D, author of the excellent self-help guide for young people, Guide to Getting It On! A Book About the Wonders of Sex. His presentation — usually given to college students — was entitled “I Wish My Clitoris Was Bigger, So My Boyfriend Could Find It.”
The title is, of course, ironic. Young people exploring sex may have heard that the clitoris has thousands of nerve endings, but they (and we?) have little understanding of the structure of the clitoris. It’s not just the little nubbin that’s erect and usually visible when aroused.
The bigger issue, of course, is how, when, and where to give the clitoris the attention it needs. Since every clitoris owner gets pleasure in a different way, it’s up to her to discover what works for her and convey it to her confused but willing partner.
- “No matter how many women you’ve been with, the first time you’re between the legs of a new woman, it feels like warm apple pie.”
- “He thinks, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing.’ She thinks, ‘I can’t tell him because he’s a guy and he’s supposed to know.’”
- “Even the best partners are clueless about your amazing vagina. It’s your job to teach him and his job to learn.”
- “85% of the women who have orgasms during intercourse need a clitoral assist, not through thrusting alone.”
- “The single most damaging aspect of porn is the expectation that the guy is supposed to automatically know how to please a partner. That’s a toxic idea.”
- “Because she’s having intercourse [in porn], and that part’s real, you forget that she’s faking the pleasure.
- “For some reason, porn actors do not have a gag reflex. That must be what they go to porn school for.”
- “When it comes to sex, we’re always a work in progress. We’re changing from the day we’re born until we’re really old.”