On its surface, Lovehoney’s first annual #CampLoveHoney sexual wellness retreat could’ve been read as nothing more than a hedonistic jaunt into the brushwood seclusion of Coxsackie (I couldn’t make this up), New York, bringing together a diverse group of couples, singles, sex educators, journos and generally open-minded souls to dissect everything from kinks to the Kivin Method.
While this is a semi-understandable presumption, the true mission of hosting a group of loud, opinionated sex writers who love nothing more than a good toy demo is to truly spread the gospel of sexual satisfaction and its effects on overall happiness.
“Three quarters of Americans agree that a good sex life helps improve mental wellness and 69% say sex is an important source of joy,” shared Helen Balmer, Lovehoney Brand and Marketing Director. The emphasis on valuing physical pleasure, for both oneself and partners, was made clear during the several offered discussions. Lovehoney sexpert Annabelle Knight lead the first talk centered on intensifying your orgasm by means of Edging and the aforementioned Kivin Method, an oral technique that requires the giver to come in from the side and, instead of licking up and down the vulva, move side to side – straight across the clitoral hood.
For an intense solo session, Knight recommends the Sqweel 2 Oral Sex Simulator, shown below.
Sex educator Alicia Sinclair later addressed the ins-and-outs of anal (all puns are intended), including tips to slowly work through the common fear of extreme pain. The answer? Plenty of lube and patience, with the b-VIBE founder emphasizing the importance of anal training. Of course, there’s always the pain of embarrassment when/if bodily waste makes an unwelcome appearance. For those with poop-paranoia, Sinclair suggests finding a proper enema to use before any deep backdoor action. Also, don’t be afraid to laugh at an awkward moment and discuss it later. Recommended toys include b-VIBE plugs, vibrating strap-ons, and even complete bundles for everyone from beginners to enthusiasts.
After enjoying a cocktail break, complete with a scenic arrangement of aphrodisiacs, sexual health expert Francisco Ramirez took over the reigns in discussing kinks and fetishes, suggesting fun ways to remove the mental blocks that often stifle our own pleasure. From discovering what really does it for you to sharing porn playlists with trusted lovers, embracing what uniquely turns you on provides a level of much-needed release for those of us honest enough to admit it, and especially for those who aren’t.
Guests were then sent off to explore their Gather Greene digs for the evening. A king-size bed and plush towels met me at the door of the cabin, as did a souvenir bag filled with enough toys to keep me busy through dinner.
Rather than put that clit massager to use so soon, we went for a quickie, hit the showers, and returned to the beautiful shared space to talk sexual happiness with award-winning therapist, Sonalee Rashatwar.
While breaking down the fundamentals of physical happiness, social happiness and emotional happiness, Rashatwar highlighted the importance of recognizing bodies often ignorantly viewed as “other” as deserving of sexual satisfaction and desire, including those considered to be fat, disabled, etc. The Philly-based social worker also personally recommended several products, including the Liberator Sex Position Wedge, Sqweel 2 and the Blowyo.
The discussion led to dinner, drinks, s’mores and more conversation among attendees before we made our way back to our Lovehoney-branded abodes for the night, where plenty were sure to implement a tip or two from the day’s many lessons.
Choosing a different, yet still on-theme early morning activity, I missed the Better Sex Yoga class the following day.
I did, however, sit back in awe as Lovehoney broke down new initiatives and products that are changing the way we see sex toys and sexual wellness. Highlights include new innovations in the male sex toy space and finally revealing it’s 2014 DAST (Design a Sex Toy) competition winner in the Spring of 2020.
The quick getaway was packed with info, tips and tricks to not only help in the bedroom, but further promote the idea that sexual happiness is a significant step in achieving overall contentment, a theory Lovehoney is proud to push in the name of pleasure and joy.