My X-rated sex-ed class

A porn studio offers graphic workshops on everything from oral to dirty talk. More shocking is how much we need it

Published December 16, 2012 2:00AM (EST)

Madison Young instructs a class at the Armory
Madison Young instructs a class at the Armory

The model, naked from the waist down, looked at the man sitting next to me in the front row and smiled. "You're in the splash zone," she said. Without missing a beat, he took off his leather jacket, draped it over the back of his chair, and then made the international hand gesture for "bring it on." And that she did: As the demonstration got underway, liquid so explosively gushed forth from in-between her legs that it sent me, but not my enthusiastic neighbor, ducking for cover.

Welcome to San Francisco porn studio's new sex-ed classes for adults. Forget the sober diagrams and condom-clad bananas of your high school days; these classes feature real, live naked people having real, live sex. Instead of a sterile classroom, these workshops take place on elaborately designed porn sets (without cameras present). The class subjects range from oral sex to dirty talk, but this week I happened to attend a "g-spot and female ejaculation" class led by adult performer and director Madison Young. Our set: an ornate Edwardian living room filled with oriental rugs, red velvet curtains and dark wood paneling.

It isn't just a live sex show, though. Before any pants were removed, Young passed around a diagram of the g-spot, reviewed the anatomy, dispelled myths about female ejaculation and goaded the audience members into talking about how they liked to be touched. Then she whipped out a speculum and brought her model Ava, or "stunt pussy," up to the front of the room. In went the clear plastic device and then Ava began to stimulate herself with a Hitachi Magic Wand in an attempt at making her g-spot swell and become more visible.

The class of more than 40 people -- most of them ranging in age from their 20s to 30s, and with a partner in tow -- lined up patiently to get a firsthand glimpse of a stranger's g-spot. "It's this nice ruffly pink tissue," she said, pointing to the ceiling of Ava's vagina. "It's so festive!" Indeed, there was highly visible ruffly pink tissue right where the sometimes-controversial g-spot is said to exist. "I think it's so amazing that there's any dispute of the g-spot existing," she said, pointing in-between Ava's legs.

More remarkable, I thought, was that even having grown up in hippie-dippie Berkeley, Calif., having attended a feminist-minded women's college, having read about hand-mirror-toting consciousness raising circles, having ended up reporting on sex for a living, I had never clearly seen what the vaginal walls actually look like -- at least not outside of an illustrated diagram. I tell you, it was a revelation: I wanted to hightail it to the nearest Good Vibrations and buy my very own speculum -- and one for each of my ladyparts-having friends. It made me angry that all those times I've had a gynecologist uncomfortably perched between my legs, they've never offered to hold up a mirror. As they say, every generation thinks it's discovered sex -- and I suppose every generation thinks it's discovered the vagina.

You see, my mind was blown by this sex-ed class even before the squirting began -- but that was plenty mind-blowing on its own. Ava got up on the table in front of the class, spread her legs and began stimulating herself with a Hitachi and a stainless steel g-spot stimulator. Young explained what we were about to see: "It's the release of all the juicy fluid that's building up in the para-urethral sponge ... and then it pushes forth through the urethra." Young answered audience questions over the buzzing of the toy and Ava's growing moans. And then there was a sudden burst of clear ejaculate that splattered inches from my feet.

Then Young moved on to demonstrating g-spot stimulating hand techniques. She donned black latex gloves, readied the lube and then leapt right up on the table and went through a series of motions, including one she calls "the hand saw of love." She placed her hand on Ava's chest, held eye contact and moaned right along with her, all the while narrating what her hands were up to. By all indications, it worked quite well: Ava ejaculated twice more. The intense display left most of the audience members with wide eyes and jaws dropped. She wasn't done, though: Afterward, she demonstrated hand techniques so vigorously on half a melon that I ended up with bits of fruit on my face. It brought to mind audience members in rain ponchos watching Gallagher smash watermelons onstage.

At the end of the class, I asked Young, who also directs educational porn films, why she thinks it's important to provide explicit sex ed. "It's hard if you just talk about things to really learn much," she said. "If you just get up and lecture, people fall asleep. You need to keep people interested, engaged, really show them how you use these things in practice." The aim isn't to teach a particular way of having sex, though, she says: "The technique is just an excuse. It's really about inspiring hot, healthy sex" -- and she is seriously devoted to that. When a female audience member came up to her after class and explained that she'd never had an orgasm, Young responded, "Hold on, I've got an extra 10 minutes -- get on up there!"

When word initially got out about Kink's new sex-ed classes, it inspired a flurry of scandalized media reports from around the world, without any reporters having actually attended classes, of course. The reality of these live sex workshops is much less shocking than the simple fact that so many people make it into adulthood with still so much to learn about basic anatomy, let alone sex itself. Given the flak the adult industry receives for miseducating us about sex, it is especially ironic, and yet refreshing, that a porn company is taking up the righteous task.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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