On Tuesday evening I headed down to Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium for a class on female arousal and orgasm. When I was at school I always turned up late, but the Sh! class was one class I didn’t want to be tardy for. Old habits die hard though, and I arrived about five minutes late. Despite my lateness, the staff gave me a warm welcome and offered me a cupcake.
I took a seat next to my friend as people were introducing themselves…and their vaginas.
“My name is X and I call it my cunt”
“My name is Y and I call it flower”
“My name is Z and I say my giblets”
As we went around the circle, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a twelve step meeting. Sadly, I’ve yet to go to a twelve step meeting that gives out free wine and lets you finger a plush vagina.
We began by discussing what we call our intimate parts. Some people preferred the anatomical names, others preferred the more “vulgar” terms, and some people liked to allude to their vagina and vulva with funny or delicate names. We all had different preferences and reasons for our choices, but the overwhelming atmosphere was one of acceptance, and this continued throughout the class.
The Sh! class struck the perfect balance between a biology lesson and a sex toy party. If you’re looking to brush up on your anatomy or finally track down the elusive G-spot, the Sh! class has you covered. Between the diagrams, plush vulvae, and staff that make you feel like no question is stupid, it barely even feels like learning. If you’ve been a dedicated wanker, with your head in books and your hands between your thighs for years, you might not learn much on the more biological side but that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of your time. For me, just being able to talk about sex, masturbation, and orgasm in a sex-positive environment was worth it. Getting to feel a variety of sex toys was a massive bonus.
I usually buy my toys online at Lovehoney. Their fantastic returns policy allows me to buy with confidence, but I have to rely on reviews to guide my choices rather than feeling the products with my own hands. Having the opportunity to test the vibrations, feel the materials, and even taste the ON Natural clitoral arousal oil (do not use if you hate cinnamon!) made me recognise the advantages of sex toy shopping in a bricks-and-mortar shop.
The range of topics discussed will vary depending on the interests and questions of those taking part, but some of the things we talked about included lube, erotica, porn (feminist, queer, hentai, and BDSM), kegel muscles, and squirting. The staff helped put some of the more nervous people (like me) at ease, but if anyone had a question they didn’t want to ask in front of the group, there was an opportunity to ask after the class had finished.
I felt the staff were really knowledgable but I did hear one thing that didn’t sound quite right to me. It was said that frequent use of vibrators can cause desensitisation of the clitoris, however that isn’t exactly true. Vibrators can cause numbness during or immediately after use, but it doesn’t last. It is possible to get out of practice with your hands, or get used to orgasming from a certain type of stimulation though, so I actually do agree with the suggestion to mix things up, even if I disagree with the reasoning. (For more information about the myth of vibrator desensitisation check out Go Ask Alice, Scarleteen or Dangerous Lilly.)
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I am so pleased I decided to try out a class at Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium. It certainly broke up the mundanity of my week!
Positives: Fun, informative, accepting atmosphere, knowledgable staff, get to feel sex toys, 20% discount after the class.
Negatives: If you know lots about your body and sex toys then you might not learn much.
Who should go: Anyone who wants to learn more about their body, sex toys, or female orgasm and arousal.
Price: £25 (I went to this Sh! class for free as it was being filmed by a TV company)
Alternatives: If you like the sound of Sh! but don’t think you would get much out of this particular class, there are others. I’m considering trying the ‘Blow His Mind’ blowjob class. If money is tight or you can’t make it to Sh!, why not check out the online Explore More Summit which starts on 28th January.
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Value for money (at full price)