The Reluctant Adventurer: Fellatio Class
Friday, October 10, 2014
I went to a fellatio class. There. I said it.
It was offered at She Bop, the female-friendly sex shop off North Mississippi that I highly recommend visiting if you haven't already.
Far more like an Apple store than a sex shop, the toys are all beautifully designed and their "genius bar" is filled with friendly, discreet employees who can talk about the difference between five different lubes with the same casual friendliness you might encounter chatting with a New Seasons employee about olive oils.
I love that talking about sex and even sex toys has become more acceptable in "polite society* of late. I strongly believe that we should all support this trend wholeheartedly, especially women, because all this conversation and increased comfort around previously taboo subjects can only lead to better sex for everyone. And what kind of jerk would ever be opposed to that?**
That being said, I’m still not wildly comfortable with attending a packed class called “Full Bodied Fellatio: The Art of Giving Great Head” alone. Before the class started, I stood outside awkwardly with some of the other women in the class.
Hello, stranger! Let’s hang out and talk about deeply intimate things for a couple hours. Also, I like your skirt. It’s swingy.
The class was held inside the tiny store and there were probably 30 people in attendance, including at least two heterosexual couples. It was taught by M. Makael Newby, an extremely animated relationship coach and dance instructor who describes herself as having a "particular skill for breaking physical action into components and teaching them with enthusiasm."
This is not false advertising on her part. Newby is also the author of a "choose-your-own-adventure" style erotic novel, which, it turns out, is a literary genre. (Hers has 48 unique endings, which is a choice we never get in real-life sex. Seems like there are only, like, six? I could be limiting myself here.)
Before the class began, as with most classes we’ve all taken, our professor offered up 10 festive phalluses for some of us to practice with. According to Newby, “muscle memory is a huge part of learning for many people.” She had a point, so I raised my hand and was given an incredibly realistic flesh-colored silicone penis with more length and girth than I would ever see in my lifetime unless I decide to enter the porn industry.
As I held my practice penis in my lap, I was mortified as I watched it graze the upper thighs of a latecomer as she squeezed past me to get to her seat. I had no idea how to apologize for something like that, so I just pretended it never happened, much like I’ve done with all the other awkward sexual encounters I’ve had in my lifetime.
Newby stood at the front of the class next to a wooden bench. Standing on this bench was her demonstration volunteer, a young, equally enthusiastic blonde woman wearing the most adorable black and gold lamé striped tap pants and a strap-on with a long, glow-in-the-dark dildo attached.
The class communally agreed to pretend this was something we saw every day.
Evidently, Newby had actually used her male partner for some of her classes early on, but since the class was an hour and a half long, you can imagine it might be difficult to…sustain.
Newby agilely took us through the class syllabus, covering subjects like Hand Skills, Dry vs. Wet, and my personal favorite, Introduction to *ssholes, during which I had to hold myself back from making an “it’s like I’ve been in this class all my life!” crack. (Apologies for making it here.)
Every skill she introduced, she demonstrated on the volunteer, including a finale wherein she combined about 10 techniques in quick succession. I felt like giving her a standing ovation when it was over, but the giant dildo in my lap precluded it.
You’re going to have to take the class to get her best tips, (did you know you can actually desensitize your gag reflex over time?), but I have to say my favorite moments from class were less about the mechanics as much as they were about communication.
She told a surprisingly heartwarming story about testing her gag reflex with a partner. She’d gone a bit too far, and at one point threw up a little in her mouth and had to run out of the room. She returned, embarrassed and apologetic, saying, “Sorry. That’s SO not sexy.”
Her partner smiled sweetly and replied, “Well, I guess we’ve discovered something one of us doesn’t find sexy.” The message being, we’re usually pretty hard on ourselves when it comes to sex and we’d probably be surprised at what gets our partners hot and bothered.
So don’t assume. Ask.
Sex is possibly the one act we engage in wherein the other person is just supposed to magically know what we want without us telling them. You wouldn’t go to a hairstylist and say, “Just start cutting, and I’ll start making little noises to indicate whether you’re moving in the right direction.”
That would be nuts.
It doesn’t take the romance out of it to talk about it. In fact, if anything, it increases intimacy. So talk about it. And maybe take a class.
This one is available for givers and receivers, and I'd recommend both attend, as it's a great opportunity for a conversation after about what worked for each of you.
Honestly, even if your technique doesn’t improve (which I can’t imagine after this class), just attending a class like this is an act of affection for your partner.
Plus, you can pick up a glow-in-the-dark dildo while you’re at it. It’s a win-win, y’all.
Full-bodied Fellatio Class at She Bop
909 N. Beech Street, Portland
RECOMMENDED FOR: Those looking to hone their oral sex skills, couples who want to spice things up, people who enjoy awkward encounters with strangers involving dildos.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: Lesbians. (But don’t worry! They’re offering up “Bon Appetit!: The Fine Art of Cunnilingus” in November!)
*I don’t actually have any idea who “polite society” is anymore. My friends know which fork to use and send lovely thank-you cards, but they also use the F word with great frequency and enjoy a good fart joke. So I may be misusing that term.
**(Possibly most of the Republican Party.)
Banner Photo Credit: iStock
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