"You'll see me, I have an orange plastic bag on my head."
The lovely Tahnee of Brook had us in fits of giggles even before the working day had started. The rain was pouring down and it was quiet.
Those of you familiar with Sh! will know that teenage boys aren't exactly our target market. In fact, our experience of this sometimes tiresome group is mainly over the phone, when they do their best to out-do each other by making "funny" phone calls during school holidays ("How is your glory hole today, madam?"). And then there was that one time when one boy managed to sneak in and we found him in front of a painting of a naked woman, reverently stroking her muff with one hand whilst eating chips with the other... You can see why we were feeling apprehensive.
Following Tahnee to the back of a workshop on an easily-missed side street, we saw a greenhouse (which turned out to be the venue), a small sandwich shop and a row of festival-like toilets with non-lockable doors (and an opened bottle of baby oil). None of these did much to reassure us.
But we needn't have worried.
Once the group of lads, aged between 16-23, tumbled in, we realized it was going to be just fine. Well-behaved, polite and genuinely interested in the topic of female anatomy, sexuality & orgasms. Phew!
Keen to break the ice and get everyone comfortable, we charged ahead and asked their names, and their preferred words for male & female genitalia, and penetrative sex. Dick, pussy and sex were the main ones (no surprise), but the word "beat" threw us a little. "Beat" is (apparently) East London slang for sex. We image a conversation would go something like this:
"Whatcha doin' tonite, bro?
"I'm gonna beat my girl, innit."
"Cool bro - enjoy!"
The mind boggles.
Before bringing out our secret weapon, a plush vulva called Rosie, we asked how many of the guys watch porn regularly. Hands rose tentatively, but it's fair to say the answer was "all of them". And herein lies a big part of the problem. Youngsters receive very poor sex education in schools; mainly about reproduction, and little to no info on STI's, pleasure, masturbation and consent. Instead, they learn mostly from watching porn. Which isn't great. Where are the condoms? Where is the lube? Where is the *genuine* pleasure?
One of the guys asked how to make women experience multiple orgasms, and we think he was both disappointed and relieved when we explained that most of the multiple orgasms on screen are faked.
Not learning about 'real' sex puts a huge amount of pressure on teenagers. On the guys; to be well-hung stallions that can keep the man-sausage up for hours on end; and on the girls to wax themselves bare, have orgasm after orgasm, and squirt on command.
It is so easy to buy into the finished package, especially if it's glossy and well produced. It's a bit like an adult version of Disney: make-believe. Enjoy watching it, but remember that the dancing, talking mice aren't real.
We started off with a show & tell of basic female anatomy, using the plush vulva and some print-outs. We talked about the 8000 nerve-endings that sits atop the clitoris and how to stimulate them in ways that are pleasurable rather than painful (it's not a doorbell, guys - no need to ring it!).
The guys felt, smelled and tasted their way through a selection of water-based lubes, and giggled at the flavoured ones. We were delighted to see that they were keen on the lube, and a loud cheer went up when they saw that we'd brought along freebie samples for them.
We looked at small but effective toys for the clitoris, and toys for the G-spot. The plush vulva comes complete with a G-spot of her own, so the group had a go at locating and stroking it with expressions of deep concentration on their faces.
Mothers of teen boys; stock up on Tenga Eggs for your lads!
We discussed male anatomy as well, the glans, shaft, prostate and party bags (scrotum is such an unsexy word). That some men have only one testicle rather than two came as a surprise, as did the fact that circumcised men have less sensitivity and so need more stimulation in order to get off.
At this point, we brought out the Tenga Egg and bright pink dildo we'd brought along to show how much fun toys for boys can be.
Tenga Eggs are, in our opinion, the best toy for guys EVER. All men should have one. Or two! The lads took turns testing it out on the pink dildo. Tenga eggs are amazing toys, whether a guy is single or in a relationship, and we dare say the lads will be making a few purchases *wink*.
We eventually worked our way to the back, as it were, and brought up anal sex. At which point they all fell silent and round-eyed.
Porn rarely shows the use of condoms and lube, never mind what to do if things get unexpectedly messy - which can happen. We don't know if this is something teenage boys are concerned about, but we certainly have many customers who bring it up. We talked about enema bulbs, and easy clean-up by using condoms which can just be thrown away.
Stressing the fact that a long-lasting lube should always be used (no, spit really won't do) and that it's essential to start small and take plenty of time to warm up the person on the receiving end - this may take several play sessions. A wham-bam-thank-you-mam can be painful and put someone off anal sex for life. When done right anal play should be pleasurable. To ensure comfortable play, it's a good idea for the receiver to be in charge of depth and speed.
And never, ever pretend to slip in the wrong entrance 'by mistake'. Not cool.
One of the guys admitted to having tried this technique and agreed it wasn't the best way...
We broke open a dental dam for the guys to look at, and it turned out that only one of them had heard of dams before (shame on you, school sex ed!). Dams are latex sheets that are placed over the vulva or anus before oral sex, and it creates a safer sex barrier between the giver and receiver. One of the lads tasted the dam (he correctly guessed strawberry flavour), and thus won himself a whole heap of man-points from the rest of the group.
Many thanks to Brook, the young people's sexual health & wellbeing charity, for giving us the opportunity to come along to their new project @ComeTruPleasure. We had such a great day!
Brook’s vision is of a society that values all children, young people and their developing sexuality. We want all children and young people to be supported to develop the self-confidence, skills and understanding they need to enjoy and take responsibility for their sexual lives, sexual health and emotional well-being.
Brook provides free and confidential sexual health and wellbeing services for nearly 250,000 young people UK-wide, each year.