Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: A Loyal Nana Event
If a New Yorker had walked by La Pittura Studio in the Flatiron district on Thursday night and peered into one of the glass windows, they may have thought they were watching a discussion on art.
There were paintings hanging on the walls, done in bold purples and blues and reds and yellows, and even a muted video of Bob Ross creating one of his made-for-TV masterpieces.
But if that New Yorker had stepped inside, they would no doubt have been surprised to learn that the topics of discussion for the night were orgasms, masturbation, sex positions…and pineapples.
“Let’s Talk About Sex”, Loyal Nana’s first ever event, joined founder Amanda Saviñón with Maureen Miller, better known as “Dr. Mo”, to discuss all things that bring us pleasure in the bedroom (and beyond).
A sold-out crowd packed the gorgeous W 26th St studio and, after many bottles of wine were poured, the lights were dimmed and a whole lot of women (and some men!) were more than ready to have a candid conversation about S-E-X.
Dr. Mo, a Columbia University trained epidemiologist who has specialized in sex research for more than two decades, immediately got the crowd laughing as she discussed the side effects of her work.
“I know more about the sex lives of my friends than I ever thought I would,” she said, sending the audience into giggles.
But Dr. Mo revealed that she was more than okay with this, because sex should be as common a topic of conversation among friends – and partners - as food or money.
“I think sex conversations should be PG,” she said. “It should be so easy to talk about this.”
“It’s too common not to,” Amanda agreed. “Whether we have the money or not, have the sex or not. It’s too common not to talk about. So let’s talk about sex, baby!”
And Amanda and Dr. Mo got straight to the one part of sex that is always on everyone’s mind -orgasms, of course.
But before she was ready to dish out her expertise, Dr. Mo had an important question for the crowd.
“How many people in this room have ever faked an orgasm?” she asked.
Almost every single hand went up – including from some of the men.
“Faking orgasms, a lot of folks have done it,” Dr. Mo said as she surveyed the audience. “We fake orgasms to not hurt our partner’s feelings, we fake orgasms cause ‘Oh my god, is this ever going to end?’ But ultimately it leaves us unsatisfied and not enjoying sex – which is an enjoyable thing.”
“Why do you fake orgasms? If we start talking about sex, we’ll be able to be really comfortable saying ‘I really thought it was going to work tonight, but it’s not working. Let’s take a break and figure out what happens next.’”
And what happens next could be Dr. Mo’s Five Steps To Great Sex, which she and Amanda helpfully broke down for an audience that was more than happy to learn.
The first step, Dr. Mo revealed, has nothing to do with your partner and everything to do with you.
“So many women come up to me and think they’re one of the women who don’t orgasm,” she said. “My first question is – well do you orgasm when you masturbate?”
“You know how to orgasm, you just haven’t been with someone who knows how to please you, and one of the reasons why might be that you’re not telling him what pleases you,” she continued.
It’s important to know what you like, Dr. Mo explained, and then be able to describe that to your partner.
“An assignment I want to give you the next time you masturbate is think about what you’re doing,” Dr. Mo told the crowd. “Think about what fingers and toys you’re using, what you’re thinking about, find the words to describe it.”
“It takes practice, but the first step is understanding it yourself. It can be technical or it could be ‘When you do that to me, my head floats away and it feels so good,”’ she continued.
“There’s a lot of ways to share this information. But if you don’t have the sex vocabulary for yourself, how are you going to describe it to someone else?”
Once you have that vocabulary, you have to be confident enough to use it. That’s the second step.
“You have to ask for it,” Dr. Mo told the crowd. “And that’s really hard it turns out, we’re not conditioned to ask for it.”
“But talking about sex, all aspects of sex, is so important. Studies consistently show that people who talk about sex with their partner before they have sex will have much better sex than people who don’t.”
For those who were shy, Dr. Mo had a handy tip. Who said a blindfold needs to just be for S&M?
“Sometimes it’s easier if you don’t see the person right in front of you,” she said. “Put on a blindfold and say ‘This is what gets me off’ or put a blindfold on him. Get that blindfold action going!”
Dr. Mo also suggested taking inspiration from what many in the audience likely first saw – or did – during one of their first sexual experiences.
“Remember your first hand job?” she asked as the crowd laughed. “The guy had no problem at all putting his hand around yours and moving your hand the way he liked it. What’s to stop you from doing that? Take a finger and guide it!”
Then it was time for the third step, and Dr. Mo had another important question for the audience.
“How important is foreplay in orgasms?” she asked, watching as every single person in the audience raised their hand.
“And how long does foreplay last?” she asked again.
“Throughout the whole thing!” one girl screamed.
“That’s a great point,” Dr. Mo replied as everyone giggled. “I take a really broad view of what is foreplay – the dance.”
“Foreplay on the surface - oral sex counts absolutely, finger sex, anything exclusive of penetration counts as foreplay. If you like your neck kissed or someone to suck your toes, that counts as foreplay. Anything that feels good to you counts as foreplay.”
And Dr. Mo revealed that the clitoris – and it’s 8,000 nerve endings – is essential in foreplay to maximize your orgasm potential.
“The wishbone shape of the clitoris connects it with other nerve endings – 15,000 others – which is why you can feel an orgasm all over the place and you can feel it multiple times,” she explained.
“If you have an orgasm during foreplay, it increases the probability you’ll have another orgasm during penetration. The postman always rings twice,” she added as the audience laughed.
“Once you have the outside done, then you can go for the inside. But if you go straight to the vagina with no stimulation of the clitoris, chances are not good you’ll have an orgasm.”
Amanda recommended that the audience set a timer for 18 minutes – the average amount of time foreplay should last – the next time they get in the sack.
Dr. Mo then revealed her fourth rule, which was to choose a sex position that will maximize pleasure. And she had a very specific one to teach the crowd.
The “sexual equity” position, as Dr. Mo calls it, involves having the man sitting up – either in a straight-back chair, a couch, or the bed. The woman then straddles him, putting his penis inside her as she wraps her legs around him.
Amanda helpfully demonstrated the position, right on top of Dr. Mo, as the audience roared with laughter.
Dr. Mo and Amanda also revealed one of their most crucial tips, especially when it comes to sex with condoms (or with boys who hate wearing them).
“Put the lube inside the condom,” Amanda advised. “The gliding inside the condom will give the penis better sensation.”
“Just a drop or two inside the condom,” Dr. Mo added. “I’ve had guys come back to me and say, ‘How come I never knew this!?’ It works really great.”
Last but not least, Dr. Mo advised to just let intimacy happen – whether it results in orgasms or not.
“Do you have to have an orgasm? No!” she told the audience. “I’ve introduced ways that can definitely improve the probability, but sometimes you’re into it and sometimes you’re into just being close and connecting with someone – and that goes for men too. Why fake it?”
“You can have an orgasm or not - and you can, it’s up to you. But don’t put such pressure on yourself that its ‘I have to have an orgasm with this partner tonight.’”
“Stay in your body,” Amanda advised. “I like to take a spiritual route. If you’re in your body and breathing all the way in and all the way out, there’s no way something isn’t going to pop.”
Before the talk had begun, audience members were asked to write their sex questions for Dr. Mo on flash cards. And after they were done talking about the five steps, Dr. Mo and Amanda were ready to dive in.
They dispelled myths about aphrodisiacs (put away that pineapple girl), squirting (some women do it, some just can’t), and vibrators.
When it came to the latter, Dr. Mo eased the mind of one worried audience member who feared she had “messed herself up” and could only orgasm with her favorite toy.
“Absolutely not,” Dr. Mo replied. “You’re having a good time and that’s a beautiful thing. You should have sex as much as you feel like it, and that includes sex for one.”
“You have not changed yourself biologically. You just need to communicate to your partner the kinds of things that feel really good to you. So use that vibrator and learn what you like and what words you can use to communicate what you like about what’s happening.”
Dr. Mo also had some helpful tips for one audience member who wanted to know if there were any breathing exercises they could do to orgasm better – and the answer wasn’t kegels.
“One activity that brings about general tightening in that area, I bet half the people in this room already do – yoga!” Dr. Mo revealed.
“If you do yoga you’re tightening that area, or weight and strength training focused on the core, you’re tightening the area. Kegels, that’s just one muscle – don’t you want the whole group of muscles?”
“Those ab and ass classes in your gym tighten up everything, exercise in general is really good. People who exercise more have better sex.”
After the Q&A came to an end, Amanda ended the night by raffling off a vibrator to one lucky audience member.
Amanda then led the crowd through a few helpful breathing exercises before Amanda gave her last piece of advice for the night.
“Leave all your faking here in this room,” she said as everyone laughed. “You’re all going to be leaving a different person because of what you now know.”
“Be you and go get what you want, because life is too short.”
Photos by Monique Jaques
Written by Anneta Konstantinides
Staff love: Afsana Ahmed, Samitheus Saviñón, James Duarte, Elias Santiago, Valeska Pretelt