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 that I’ll share with you over a couple of posts.
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.”
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.
The dual goals of Joannides’s book and presentations are (1)
to educate college-age men about how to pleasure women, and (2) to empower
their female partners to discover what they need for pleasure and to
communicate that to their guys.
or so after the Sexual Revolution that we worked so hard to create. While we of our generation (over 50, 60, 70 now) grew up with a lack of sexual information, our young people are growing up thinking that what they see in porn is “sex education” — and geez, it’s not. Just
because young people are having lots of sex and are pretty open about it
doesn’t mean they understand their sexuality any better than we did at their
repressed and lacked for information, they are deluged by the wrong kind of sexual misinformation! Here are some bon mots from Joannides:
- “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.”