Adventures at Babeland: Review of “The Art of Oral Sex” Workshop

Babeland is more than just a sex toy shop. The folks who work there are not simply cashiers or shop workers–they’re known as sex educators. And that’s exactly what two Babeland employees, Lauren and Lila, did. I attended and got majorly schooled at the workshop “The Art of Oral Sex” at their NYC SoHo location (which I had never been to, and is an absolutely beautiful and spacious haven of dildos, lube and porn, oh my!). (Warning: NSFW!)

The workshop began with covering basics like anatomy and (unfortunately not so basic for some) consent. I learned a few things about anatomy I didn’t already know (and I fancy myself somewhat of a Magellan of the penis).

Perineum muscles. Pro tip: Do not Google Image search "root of penis" before dinner.

First, I didn’t know that the penis had a root inside of a male-bodied person (here’s a decent video that is useful in terms of better understanding the male-anatomy). The root of the penis, along with the prostate, can be stimulated from the perineum (or “taint” for us more sophisticated folk). No shit. Lila also described the frenulum in a pretty unforgettable way, likening them to “parted bangs.” It’s like I can see a piece of my 10 year old self’s bad hair cut in wangs for the rest of my life.

In addition to anatomy and science-y, techniques and toys you can use to act out these techniques were also covered. Hand techniques were stressed as a tool to be used while pleasing orally–”Not cheating,” stresses Lauren. The educators gave a lot of info on lube, and described several techniques, some of which I patted myself on the back for already being in my repertoire, and some of which I look forward to using in the future. They had cute names for them such as “Waterfalls” (and my personal favorite) “Texting” for the cock, and “Circling the Clit” and “Merry Go Round” for the vulva.

"Texting" in action (on a dildo, chill). You basically hold the thumb like a cell phone, and text away. Be sure you get permission if you "accidentally" make an ass-pocket call ;) ;) ;)

The educators stressed the importance of touching a vulva, particularly while talking about “Patting the Bunny” which is exactly what it sounds like. External stimulation brings blood to the surface, making everything feel that much better, and who wouldn’t want to feel even better? And I know in my case, it can save me a whole hell of a lot of money on lube.

One of the cooler techniques they taught was “Meet You on the Other Side” (my notes said “Meet [Meat HAHAHAHA]”), which is essentially indirectly stimulating the g-spot through the fupa or mons pubis. And brilliantly, here was something I’ve been struggling with for awhile–what the hell does a lady with long, manicured fingers do when she needs to finger someone? They suggested wrapping your finger nails with cotton balls before putting your hands in a latex glove. Babeland is magicland.

The Blossom Sleeve in action. This is creating a gentle suction sensation on the tip of the penis.

The educators also showcased some awesome toys that I now really wanna get my hands on. The G-Ki by Je Joue is adjustable, so if you have a g-spot that is practically in your belly button like I do, you can get enough curve. You can also straighten it out if you want to use it for something different. It seems like an awesome toy for playing with yourself, even though I bet it’d be fun with couples (or multiple partners at once if that’s how you roll), too.

I was also impressed with the Blossom Sleeve, which seems like a toy that would take any blow job or hand job to another level. It was a silicone sleeve that can be placed over the penis (with lots and lots and lots of water-based lube). It can create a cool suction effect or you can use it to jerk a guy off while giving his head a little oral stimulation. I never thought about having a male toy in my collection before, but it seems like it’d be a worthy addition. It would also be soooo helpful on those nights  where your wrist is prone to soreness, and you’ve got a dry mouth.

Eventually, things went in the direction that I was hoping they would.

Dum-dums were the erotic lollipop of choice for the evening. So tasty!

Anatomy and techniques are interesting, but hardly anything I need to drag my ass out of Queens to learn. During the second half of the workshop, the lollipops were brought out! We were encouraged to pretend the lollipop was anything we wanted to stimulate orally–a clitoris, the head of a cock or an asshole. Nothing beats a room full of adults flicking their tongues at lollipops together. My favorite move to perform on the lollipop was the Spelling Bee–basically, spell out a fun word or the alphabet while stimulating your partner with a tight, pointy tongue. An ex used to do this, which is a guarantee that you don’t have to be smart or interesting to please a clitoris.

I think my favorite part of the whole evening, to the point where I think it merits an entire workshop on its own, was our discussion on anal stimulation. This may merit another entry all-together, but I really love anal play, and I do not understand why I have so many partners who are so icked out by it. They’ll jerk off to it in porn, but the idea of their hands going anywhere near my asshole grosses them out.

The discussion we had was super enlightening in terms of dispelling myths, many of which I may whip out (heh) next time I have to defend my love of ass play to a new partner or pretty much anyone. First of all, I get asked why a lot. I learned that the g-spot can be stimulated through anal intercourse. Also, the external sphincter is only second to the clitoris in terms of nerve endings and sensitivity.

The gorgeous view of heaven on earth, also known as Babeland SoHo.

The three myths they debunked were 1) anal sex is gay, 2) poop will end up everywhere and 3) it will make you incontinent. In fact, did you know having anal sex can actually make your sphincter stronger, meaning you are less likely to be incontinent? Awesome!

Lila and Lauren shared some tips for anal play, including the fact that anal play does not necessarily mean insertion, but if you want to insert, you’re gonna have to do a little prepping first, whether that’s a sphincter massage or some oral play. A good way to tell the sphincter is ready for insertion is it starts to pucker. When it comes time to put something in, swirl it in or gently fold it in instead of abruptly poking.

As if there wasn’t already enough to love about this workshop, my most favorite thing I learned was reconceptualizing my favorite sexual act–the act of talking dirty. Talking dirty isn’t just an opportunity to “show all the dirt [you] got running through [your] mind” (thanks, Britney!), but it’s also a chance to gain and ask for consent. Holy shit. It seems like such a simple concept, but apparently so simple it’s never occurred to me before.

Lila described a scenario that I think beautifully illustrates the concept:

Partner 1: “You’re ass is so sexy, I want to stick my finger inside of it.”
Partner 2: “That’s so naughty. You better not stick your finger in my ass or else I’ll spank you. Be a good boy/girl, and eat my pussy instead.”

BRILLIANT. No one gets any hurt feelings and y’all are eating pussy/having your pussy ate, or whatever else you compromise on. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever seen one.

So, overall, it was a totally awesome night. I admittedly went in a little bit skeptical. I am pretty decent at blow jobs, and I’ve watched nearly all the YouTube videos in existence on how to give a good hand job. Someone can share all the techniques in the world, but that’s not going to help you when there’s a real wang in front of you, and it goes limp because you tried some jerking motion that failed terribly. It’s all about trial and error, right?

This workshop was definitely less about emphasizing tips and tricks, and more about emphasizing the exploration of your partner’s genitals. It reminded me about why I love blow jobs so much and eating pussy. Hearing someone’s moans and seeing the look of satisfaction on their face is a reminder that you are communicating well. Getting someone off is simply an exercise in understanding one another in a position where you’re pretty much as vulnerable as you can possibly be, ass/pussy/cock-first in someone’s face.

I highly suggest y’all get out to Babeland to sign up for one of these workshops if you’re in the NYC area. They are kind of pricey, but they do offer student discounts. I also think they’d make a really excellent holiday gift for a special someone, or maybe even a close friend if y’all are down like that. I would have loved to have brought a date that I could have taken home and tried this stuff out on immediately. That is such a sexy date idea.

If you’re not in the area, check out Babeland’s website for some good deals. They also offer workshops at their Seattle location if you’re on the West Coast. Check out their calendar and event information on their website. I think the thing I most admire about Babeland is the fact that these workshops are open to singles, couples or people of any type of relationship–gay, straight, bi, pan, polyamorous and so on, and people of all gender types and presentations. The coolest thing though? They’re all handicap accessible, and if you arrange it ahead of time, they will provide ASL interpretation. So hot.

**Full-disclosure: Babeland invited me to this event for free in exchange for this review. My review and opinions are not swayed by this fact: this shit was just actually pretty awesome for realsies.**

Do you possess any nuggets of oral sex wisdom? Please share them in the comments section, or say hi on Twitter!

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awkwardette

Michelle M. aka awkwardette is a multi-disciplinarian. She moonlights as an activist while earning her big bucks making the internet easier to use. She also writes about pop music on PopMinx.com and aspires to be Amelia Fletcher when she grows up. She prefers listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain when doin' it.

10 thoughts on “Adventures at Babeland: Review of “The Art of Oral Sex” Workshop”

  1. I learned that the g-spot can be stimulated through anal intercourse.

    OH, yes indeed it can. I was quite pleasantly surprised the first time I was on the receiving end of anal sex and it felt remarkably similar to PIV sex, and I quickly realized that’s what was going on. Delightful!

    My only real nugget of oral sex wisdom is that everyone is different, so enjoy the process of figuring out what works for you and for your partner.  That’s been driven home the most for me in the various reactions I’ve received from men when I went to touch or suck on their balls for the first time – I’ve gotten “OH YES!”, “NO NOT THE BALLS!”, and “I’VE NEVER FELT THAT BEFORE, HOW INTERESTING!” Certainly try things that have worked for other partners you’ve had, but don’t expect that they’ll work the same way for your current partner.

      1. One time I went from having a friend with benefits who was very pro-ball-playing to hooking up with a guy who was firmly in the “OH GOD NO!” camp, and I kept automatically reaching for them during blow jobs! I had to very consciously keep reminding myself that I couldn’t do that with him.

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