Facebook Twitter
SEX INDUSTRY

Sex Education at an Industry Event? Surprisingly Effective!

Published: FEBRUARY 23, 2024 | Updated: MARCH 14, 2024 12:42:00
Including the general public in sex expos is a great way to offer sex education in a safe place with experts and industry professionals ready to help.

What I Learned at The Vibe Expo


Advertisement

This year, The Vibe Expo, The Pleasure Show debuted January 11-14 in Hollywood, California.

This expo is unique because of its fusion of business, entertainment, and education with a focus specifically on pleasure. It consisted of two days reserved for trade attendees, and two days open to the general public.

I had the pleasure of attending this year, pun intended! While most pleasure products and sex toy expos are often reserved strictly for manufacturers, retailers, industry experts, and press, this event took a different approach: it created a space for sex toy designers, sexperts, celebrities, and the general public to attend and meet.

They designated two special days for the general public to attend, January 12 and 13. On these days, they gave center stage to sexual wellness luminaries such as Melanie Rose (Host of How to Build a Sex Room on Netflix), Dr. Tara, Buck Angel, Amy Baldwin, Dr. Susan Bratton and many others. They opened the doors to the general public to experience not just the tradeshow, but workshops covering a wide range of topics including gender fluidity, erotic spanking, dick riding 101, oral pleasure for every body, pheromones, body-positive pleasure, cannabis and intimacy, anal play and how to build a sex room. The show featured approximately 40 workshops and experiential experiences, some that were open to the public while the others remained reserved for retail, designers, industry professionals, while showcasing 77 featured brands of pleasure products.

As a sexologist, writer, and podcast host, I was lucky enough to receive a press badge and have the opportunity to attend the full expo, catch up with friends and colleagues, as well as past guests from my podcast to get their take on this unique expo.

Upon entering the massive Lowes Hotel in the heart of downtown Hollywood, I was greeted promptly with a large swag bag filled with new sex toys debuting on the market. The first day was dedicated primarily to the tradeshow portion with the workshops geared toward sex toy retailers discussing marketing and trends. The discussions and workshops consisted of panels featuring the largest names in the sex toy brands like Doc Johnson, COTR (makers of The Cowgirl Sex machine, Le Wand, and B-Vibe), and others.

(tradeshow floor taken by Dr. K showing Like A Kitten’s newest lineup of sex toys.)

Friday and Saturday were the days that took center stage for the general public with the workshops and events featuring some of the biggest names in the sex-positive media today, so I took full advantage to chat with the public attendees about their thoughts and experiences during the expo.

I was excited to see it filled with a lively mix of trades people, experts, and droves of everyday people from far and wide checking out the expo and attending workshops. With a trade hall roughly the size of a football field, it was evident that this event was highly anticipated.

Advertisement

One of the first sexperts I spoke with included Cat Meyer, CEO and Founder of Head South, an up-and-coming holistic company dedicated to knowledge, education, and holistic well being while creating vegan, water-based and ethically produced intimate lubricants. She was gracious enough to take time to chat with me about her experience so far, stating,

it has been amazing to meet both customers and retailers here! People have been able to come in, not feel shame or judgement, and explore sex and sexuality in an inclusive environment. To see so many people talk so opening about sexuality is not just amazing, its needed in society. I’m proud to be a part of it and so excited to get to know so many others in the industry!

Judging from the line up at her table, it would seem that others were equally as excited to chat with her as I was!


The Excitement Begins… in the Expo Hall!

The Vibe Expo trade show was gloriously abundant with the largest brands in sex toys, as well as newer brands featuring highly innovative toys never seen before! Everyone from Motobunny, LoveHoney, Satisfyer, and HoneyPlayBox, were featured along side newer brands like Perfect Dimensions, all the while, industry giants such as Bad Dragon and The Stockroom sponsored various aspects of the expo, and it was amazing to see them lend their industry presence to innovative up-and-comers.

One product that particularly caught mys attention was the LuvSlide because not only is the design unique but also in the purpose behind the design. Indeed, it is pleasure driven, this sex toy is specifically designed to provide assistance to those who may be experiencing erectile dysfunction. It acts as both an elevated size enhancement for the pleasure of vulva owner and providing the penis-owner both a snugness and additional vibration, while still maintaining skin-to-skin contact.

The uniqueness of the design garnered a lot of attention! There was the incredible line up of attendees stopping to ask questions, request more information, and order products on the spot. One attendee I chatted with even expressed her admiration for the opportunity to share personal issues with the owner/designer they had with current sex toys. She stated how excited they were to try something so different after searching the internet for what felt like forever. The smiles spoke volumes!

MotoBunny was another eye catching presenter at the event, showcasing their collaboration with Bad Dragon, as well as their newest games to work in conjunction with their original sex machine. They offered and experiential “test platform” where attendees could safely “test ride” (don’t worry… it was fully clothed and sanitary barriers changed between each guest) their app on a massive game station with one of their MotoBunny Machines using a “low” attachment. This was by far one of the highlights of the expo with people lining up to test “ride” the newest game, often squealing in delight at the vibrational effect at the end of each game.


Workshops

Another fantastic element of this expo was the public workshops presented by top industry sexperts. Several fantastic workshops that were presented at the expo consisted of Dr. Tara’s class on creating a more orgasmic, pleasure-filled day, to oral techniques that everyone can try.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

One that was particularly energetic was the Dick Riding 101 class presented by Tyomi Morgan, Sexpert, and creator of The Cowgirl Workout, featured both on WeTV and in Cosmopolitan Magazine. It wasn’t a surprise to see this workshop overflowing with attendees of all kinds of folks, excited and giggling with anticipation of what this class would embark upon. The workshop consisted of lessons around the “cowgirl” sex position, overcoming anxieties, demonstrating techniques and helping women feel empowered in a position that puts them “center stage.”

Attendees learned several exercises to treat the potential pain points of riding such as body-anxiety, stamina, when to initiate a riding position, how to use different riding techniques, and how fitness exercises for every-body could be incorporated into these techniques. Most importantly, it also made everyone feel comfortable knowing that they were not alone in their anxieties about the cowgirl position. This was also an interactive session that included being invited to join Tyomi in breathing and embodiment exercises. Tyomi also talked about exercises such as hip isolation stating:

If It’s Not a Glide, It’s not a Ride.”™ The reason being that hip isolation and micro-movements are the movements needed when riding. By lowering and lifting the pelvis, and allowing the sacrum to lead, this engages the muscles needed to support a smooth ride.” She went on to demonstrate using a chair, much to the room’s awe and applause! She went on to state that, “by bouncing with the body, while on the balls of the feet, this poses a threat to an erection and can place added stress on the top-person’s knees. The goal is to is to isolate the hips to glide on and off the lingam.”

As she gave the visual demonstration, she had the entire audience cheering, “YES!!! YOU GO GIRL! I CAN’T WAIT TO DO THIS!”

In essence, the class was not only highly educational, it was entertaining and captivating in a way that encouraged people who were previously too nervous to experience “woman on top” positions, but also encouraged “dick-riding pros” to ask questions and get involved in the conversations without shame or judgement.

After the workshop, I chatted to with a couple to get their feedback. Paul and Stephanie, married 40 years, and had never ventured out to attend a “sex themed” event before. They had attended the Dick Riding 101 class and were so full of smiles afterward I was excited to get their take on the experience. Stephanie said, “Oh my, it has been so much fun! I thought we had always been, you know, adventurous before, but when we saw the Vibe Expo, we both thought this might be a fun day and see just what else is out there. You see things online all the time, but being in place like this… its a little overwhelming. But Tyomi, and everyone, are so kind and willing to open up and talk, answer questions you know… its just… its just incredible!


Much to my delight, I had the chance to interview Tyomi, who was both as elegant and classy as she was charismatic. She explained that, “I studied dance and fitness in high school and turned my love for movement and sex into a holistic program that helps women build a deeper relationship with their bodies and improve their intimate mobility.” Needless to say, the audience during her program at the expo was filled with questions, laughter, smiles, and walked away with a new sense of empowerment.

Advertisement

The Stockroom Presents, Melanie Rose!

Saturday night’s main room quickly filled to an overflowing capacity for the fabulous Melanie Rose from the Netflix Original Series, How to Build a Sex Room, sponsored by The Stockroom. An hour before her appearance, attendees were already lining up. She covered various aspects of designing an intimate play space, how to create a mood board and picking the perfect design element for you and your partner(s). She discussed provocative topics and answered questions about erotic boudoir photography and art, as well as selecting the perfect sex furniture for riding, bondage, and group play.


The Weekend Comes to a Close

The weekend was jam-packed with speakers and sexperts, education and products. It was a vibrant mix of industry professionals and the public getting to mix, mingle, and chat about sex, pleasure, and education in a way we often do not get to experience. I overheard more conversations about how much this type of event is needed in the world to normalize sex and pleasure than I can even count. I was honored to be a part of many of those conversions.


There should be more events like this. Certainly, striking a balance of inclusivity, comfort, and openness is not always easy. Industry experts are immersed in sex, toys, and kink 24/7, but rarely is the general population included in the discussion in an authentic way. Education was given live, allowing the folks a safe space to ask without fear or shame, where people could connect through sexuality and pleasure outside a playroom, sex shop, or dungeon. Hopefully more events like this will become part of the future of sex education and sex toy expos!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo for Dr. Tiffany K.
Dr. Tiffany K.

Based in California in the L.A. area, Dr. Tiffany "K." (she, her, they) is a Certified Holistic Sexuality Educator (CHSE), Board-Certified Sexologist, and Intimacy Consultant who specializes in kink education and D/s dynamics. She also holds an Ed.D. in Education and M.A. in English Literature.

Her research has been published in scholarly journals, with non-fiction and erotica works published since 2016. Her work has appeared in American Popular Culture, Men’s Health, NCSFReedom.org, The Science Publishing Group, and more.

In addition, she hosts The Submissive Next Door Podcast which brings a down-to-Earth approach to D/s dynamics and kink through scholarly research, communication, consent, and safety practices, and the More Than Sex Podcast with a focus on sexology from historical, literary, and scientific perspectives.

Advertisement