Meet the Teachers! Louise Bourchier & Kate McCombs

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We love hosting traveling teachers! It’s great to meet new people and introduce them to the Good Vibrations community, whether here in the SF Bay area or in Boston/Brookline. (Many of our favorite teachers appear in both locations, booking a class with us when they travel). And we’re so excited to welcome these two travelers: Kate is a Californian living out East, while Louise joins us from the Antipodes! Yep, she comes from the Land Down Under (which I’m sure, when one is there, doesn’t feel like it’s “under” anything. Oh, we silly Northern Hemisphere people.)

Louise and Kate are teaching about female sexual and pleasure anatomy TONIGHT, and about being your own sexual communication superhero tomorrow. Tickets links and workshop info is below–come see them, it’s a rare opportunity to get these two fabulous teachers in one place!

I asked Kate and Louise a few questions to give potential workshop attendees a clue about what to expect; here’s what they said:

CQ: “The clitoris is so much more than meets the eye”: Tell us why that’s important.

Did you know the actual length of the clitoris is 3 to 5 inches?! Although it looks small-ish from the outside, there’s a whole internal structure that you can’t see.

What we tend to call “the clitoris” is actually only a part of the “clitoral complex” as it’s sometimes called. While the head of the clitoris is the densest area of nerve endings, there are also nerve endings in the internal “legs” as well. These can be explored through gentle vulva massage (something we love to talk about in our workshops).

CQ: What are some of the elements that facilitate a responsive G-spot? Do you think the way media talks about it helps, or obstructs, our chances to find G-spot happiness – and can we have a fulfilled sex life without it?

One key element to enjoying G-spot stimulation is to be in the right headspace. Some parts of the media and popular culture have made the G-spot seem like somewhat of a Holy Grail, like a magical, life-changing, button you HAVE to find. We think this can put a lot of pressure on people, especially if their initial G-spot explorations have not yielded much pleasure. Being in a relaxed and curious state of mind is essential.

On the technical side, knowing how to best stimulate the G-spot is another key element. The G-spot tends to respond more to a massage pressure, rather than a light touch, and it may be slower to awaken. One usually has to be aroused already before the G-spot feels enjoyable to touch.

Sexual fulfillment is in the eye of the beholder. If a person really wants to experience G-spot pleasure, then doing so may be fulfilling for them, and not doing so may leave them feeling dissatisfied. If a person is unconcerned with whether or not they experience G-spot pleasure, they can be rest assured that there are plenty of other ways to enjoy sex.

CQ: Sexual communication: What ARE most people actually doing right? What’s one important thing you think more people should add to their communication toolbox?

People are doing many things right – in particular, talking about sex in the first place! While this is still a struggle for some, we see a general trend toward more discussion of sexuality + pleasure in general. Even talking about sex with friends can be a great first step in becoming more sexually communicative with partners.

We’ve both been pleased to see more discussion around female sexuality and sexual agency. However you feel about 50 Shades of Gray, we’ve both noticed a tremendous increase in the discussion around women’s sexual pleasure since it hit the bestseller list. Kink, role-play, and sex toy use suddenly became more mainstream and therefore, more easy to talk about.

One factor in good communication that we still feel is under emphasized is the power of empathy. Often, we hear empathy described as a quality rather than a skill. But like picking up a new language, it can be taught. Learning how to step into another’s shoes and be present with their feelings – particularly those with whom we’re sexually involved – is pivotal to healthy + happy relationships.

Communication is as much about how we listen as what we say.

CQ: Tell us more about your world of sex-ed super-heroism! What do you do and where do you do it (when you’re not visiting us in San Francisco)? Do you have any advice for up-&-coming sex ed superhero types as far as getting educated and getting work?

Louise: I live in Melbourne, Australia, though I’m actually from New Zealand. I work as a sex educator presenting different sex ed workshops to a variety of adult audiences throughout Australia and New Zealand. I have a Masters in Public Health and also teach sexual health promotion at universities in Melbourne.

Kate: I’m originally from California, but I’m now based in New York City. Like Louise, I teach sex ed workshops to grown ups and have a Masters in Public Health. I’m also the founder of Sex Geekdom, which is an international community for sex geeks like us.

Louise: My advice for up-&-coming sex ed superheros is to get to know other people in the field, to learn, share and collaborate. It will enhance your teaching skills and help keep you in the loop with developments in the field.

Kate: I actually wrote a whole post about this! It can be a difficult field to navigate since there’s rarely a career counselor who can point you in the right direction. Finding mentors, attending conferences, and reading everything you can get your hands on is a good intro strategy.

Thanks, excellent women! Here are Kate and Louise’s workshops at Good Vibrations’ Polk Street location: Come learn all about pleasure physiology and Communication in the Antique Vibrator Museum!

–Carol Queen, PhD
Female Orgasms: Physiology, Arousal & Techniques that Deliver
Monday, June 23rd, 2014
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
$20 in advance, $25 at the door, as space allows
Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/706716

Looking to learn more about the female body? Want to maximize the pleasure you give your female partner or experience within your own body? Learn about the depth and beauty of female arousal, pleasure, and orgasm from sex educators Kate McCombs and Louise Bourchier. Includes: the truth about the G spot and why it may or may not be responsive, how the clitoris is so much more than meets the eye, techniques in touch, and key pleasure exercises you can implement right away––whether you have a partner or not.

Please note: This workshop will include opportunities to share knowledge + information, but there will be no obligation to disclose anything personal about your own sexuality. There may, however, be laughs, puns and Star Trek jokes. Consider yourself warned.
Become Your Own Sexual Communication Superhero!
Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
$20 in advance, $25 at the door, as space allows
Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/706722

Join sex educators Kate McCombs and Louise Bourchier for tips and techniques to develop your sexual communication superpowers! We’ll enhance our skills in communicating about sex by focusing on what we’re doing right, not what we’re doing wrong, and maximize our strengths, all delivered in a welcoming environment with a healthy dash of humor.

Participants will be engaged throughout the session with discussion, activities, take home exercises, and plenty of Q&A time. This workshop will offer useful strategies to make the most of your sex life and relationships, regardless of your gender, relationship status, or sexual orientation.                                                               Kate Louise Batman Robin small

Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

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