People can be pretty private about the ins and outs of their sex lives. Curiosities and questions are banished to dubious corners of the internet, even as American attitudes change and the media we consume becomes increasingly steamy and in-your-face.
But we're all adults here, right? We can skip the shame and get right to it.
Whether you're a coital connoisseur or a boom-boom beginner, sex workshops coming to town this weekend have you covered. The Barcelona-based Sex Academy is setting up shop at Guilty Pleasures in Hollywood and plans to offer classes for everything from erotic massage to self-pleasure.
"We like people to feel comfortable and to provide a space for people that did not receive sex education growing up, either at school or in their homes," says Avril Louise Clarke, a sex educator and director of Sex Academy International. "We like our clients to feel like they can finally ask the questions they've always been wondering about when it comes to sex and sexuality."
The Broward chapter of Sex Academy International is launching several workshops this month, beginning Saturday with Tantra 101, the practice of "bringing your mind, body, and spirit together to be more focused, gain a better understanding of yourself, and form a better connection to your partner."
Other workshops this month center on seducing a lover and the basics of BDSM. And next month, the organization will offer female-focused workshops for Women's History Month.
Clarke, an Florida International University grad and Miami native, moved to Spain in 2015 after graduation and pursued a master's degree in clinical sexology from the University of Valencia. She joined the Barcelona-based Sex Academy, founded in 2012 by sex educator and entrepreneur Laila Pilgren, as a sexologist and sex therapist about a year ago.
When she returned to Miami for a few months last summer, Clarke brought the Sex Academy with her and organized pop-up workshops at the Broken Shaker and other venues.
"The first workshop I offered was Mindfulsex, which was all about applying mindfulness to your sex life — slowing down and truly relearning to experience the pure enjoyment of sex without the pressure of the goal of the orgasm," Clarke explains.
A second workshop, Dope Sex, was about introducing CBD into people's sex lives.
The point of Sex Academy, Clarke says, is to get people to perceive and talk about sex differently. The organization's instructors are sex educators, coaches, sexologists, or psychologists.
"I believe that sex education is a human right," Clarke says. "It is something that is around us constantly yet is still too taboo to talk about both in the home and at school. Sex is a huge part of our lives as humans, so why not learn more about our sexuality?"
Workshops are discussion-based, and there's no sexual activity during the classes. Clarke says it's a fun environment.
"Of course you are welcome to just come and listen or participate and ask questions. We don't wish to make anyone feel uncomfortable," she says. "So come as you are."