Jane Detwiler, a certified sexuality educator, and her cofacilitator led the group through "anatomy of pleasure" and "understanding sexual response" exercises.
Contacted recently at her
says many people learn about the reproductive capacity of sexual organs in traditional sex ed, but not the "pleasure capacity.
says that despite the sexualization of our culture, many of her
students don't know what normal genitals look like, and she
has discovered that loads of women worry that theirs are abnormal or ugly.
In Sylvie's class, Detwiler
used diagrams and photographs to explain that the truth is, of course, that there's a variety of "normal," as wide ranging as human faces.
students also discussed the parts of the body besides the genitals that are wired for sexual response - skin, lips, breasts, nipples, tongue, hands, brain.
pulled out a model of a penis and the "Wondrous Vulva Puppet.
had labels ready (clitoris, perineum, vagina, glans, PC muscle) and asked volunteers to place them correctly.
As students moved through the lesson, they talked about how the different parts contribute to pleasure.
Next, the instructors asked the students to compare the Masters and Johnson linear model of sexual response - excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution - to a circular model of mutual pleasure.
To explain the idea, Detwiler
drew a large circle on newsprint and asked students to think of all sorts of sexy, fun activities and list them around the circle.
The students came up with "caress, oral sex, kiss, massage, lubrication, talking, fondling, phone sex, kiss again, snuggle."
In a circular model, Detwiler
pointed out, partners can start or stop sensual activity anytime they want, and the activities don't necessarily lead to orgasm.