After I grew to like penises, I quickly grew to love handjobs. The closeness, the intimacy, the ability to completely control my boyfriend with a flick of my wrist or a quick adjustment of finger positioning. I love everything about giving pleasure with my hands.
By a stroke (ha!) of luck, I happened to win a free ticket to a handjob workshop, around the same time that I was just getting into them. I felt very much like the universe was taking care of me; like it knew what I wanted.
The workshop was held in the upstairs room of my favorite feminist sex shop. I signed in, climbed the stairs, and chose an empty seat directly facing the instructor. I got out a pen and my little notebook, ready to record anything important.
The instructor began by telling us about herself – her sexual and professional history, and why she felt qualified to be giving this workshop. She came across as very smart and savvy, and I felt I was in good hands, so to speak.
Then we went around the circle and each told the group our name, our reason for attending the workshop, and our favorite part of the male physique. Some people had very little experience dealing with penises (like me) and wanted to learn from the ground up; others had been giving handjobs for literally decades and just wanted to pick up a few tricks. As for our favorite feature of the male body, many people said they like men’s warmth, arms, and butt; I professed my passion for the foreskin. (This proved to be a great idea because it meant that the instructor addressed me all evening with tips specifically for uncut guys.)
It was around this time that I began to feel really comfortable. These things are always awkward at first, but you quickly realize that you’re in good company. Everyone around me was non-judgmental and passionate about penises – the perfect crowd for such an event.
The workshop progressed into a lesson on male anatomy. Most of the stuff, I already knew – the head of the penis, the shaft, balls, frenulum, perineum, prostate – but the instructor mentioned that the entire underside of the penis is sensitive, compared to the top side, which I’d never really pondered before. I’d spend most of my time focusing on my boyfriend’s frenulum, never knowing that the rest of that side was very receptive too.
The instructor passed out a two-page handout for us to take notes on, and began to walk us through what she considers the three most important elements of a handjob: variety, lube, and pressure. We discussed “mixing it up,” and which lubes are best for giving HJs (silicone-based, or an oil if you’re not going to use condoms afterward). Some people had questions, which the instructor answered thoughtfully and insightfully.
Then we had a 15-minute break. I wandered downstairs and bought a little bottle of Pjur, convinced of the wonders of silicone-based lube, and a few flavored condoms just for fun.
When we started up again, we dove straight into techniques. A basket of realistic silicone dildos was passed around, and we each took one. Then the lube circulated; we rubbed it onto our dildos, and only the occasional participant seemed at all embarrassed. We referred to the list of technique names on our handout, and the instructor demonstrated each of them, moving slowly and purposefully from move to move. Sometimes she’d show us a video of a particular technique in action, to help us understand. She walked around the room and watched people’s hands, adjusting us when we got something wrong.
We went through each technique twice, to make sure they were truly drilled into our muscle memory. After taking a few questions, the instructor had us go around the room and each say one technique that we were most looking forward to trying out. I honestly don’t remember what I said, because I ended up going home and trying out all of them on my very lucky boyfriend.
I’d definitely recommend sex workshops to anyone who feels brave enough to go, provided that they’re held in a reputable venue (don’t go to your local skeezy adult video shop to be taught proper sexual technique!). They can be very empowering and may enliven your sex life with some much-needed confidence. Maybe I’ll even drag my boyfriend to a couples’ workshop someday.