When I was 10 years old and adults asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always the same: a teacher and a Solid Gold dancer. I was a nerd who really liked school and looked up to my teachers. To me, they were cool (my fourth-grade teacher was a distant relative of Paul Revere), they had worldly experience (my music teacher traveled to exotic places like Hungary), and they had knowledge coming out their asses. They got up in front of a room full of rowdy kids every day and commanded our attention. Well, at least my attention, because they knew stuff I wanted to know.
When my nose wasn't buried in a book, it was inhaling the imagined scent of sweat, Tab, and desire as I watched Solid Gold, my favorite show on television. Host Marilyn McCoo welcomed pop stars to lip-synch their singles, but the highlight of the show was a troupe of sequin-and-spandex-clad dancers, who interpreted the Top 10 songs of the week with sexy, pre-Cinemax, pre-MTV softcore moves. They made me squirm in my seat, and I expected they made older folks blush. (Sure, if I watched the show now, the dancers would look like nuns compared to Christina and Beyoncé, but at the time, they were the raciest thing on the small screen.)
I idolized the Solid Gold dancers because they got to wear tight, shiny outfits; they communicated sexual confidence (which, at the time, I had no name for) with their bodies; and what they did was just a little bit naughty. I idolized teachers because they were smart, generous, creative, and powerful. To me, they both led very exciting livesin very different ways. Twenty-three years after I first voiced my professional dreams, as I surf from one of my favorite bookmarks (the Unofficial Solid Gold Dance Connection, sgdanceconnection.com) to another (the Gourmet Guide to Analingus, toss-my-salad.com), I believe I have achieved both of them. I'm a sex educator.
While teaching an "Anal Pleasure '0' " class last week, I was in a familiar place in my lecture: with my finger nestled in the pink, puckered a-hole of a men's wanking device called the Fleshlight, and the rest of my digits wrapped around a light-blue dildo. I was explaining to a roomful of people how to get a cockflesh or siliconeinto someone's ass. At a different venue, I could just as easily have had my hand buried in some lovely volunteer's ass as I extolled the merits of thick, water-based lube. Forty faces I'd never seen before watched me poke at the Cyberskin orifice, and something occurred to me: I've been teaching this particular subject for the last six years, yet it never gets old. I'm never bored by the new crop of backdoor info seekers in the audience, smiling and attentive. Their shyness in the beginning of my discussion of this taboo topic still endears them to me. I answer their questionsquestions their doctors avoid, questions they can't ask their closest confidant, questions no high school health teacher I know would entertainand I'm glad they have the courage to ask them.
A beautiful blonde woman in a light-blue sweater raised her hand and queried, "After the initial penetration of a guy's cock in your ass, when should it start to feel good?" Honey, it should be feeling good all along, and if it's not, then something's wrong. She went on to describe a first-time experience that was painful, something I know other women can relate to. "Was there warm-up, or did he just stick it in?" I asked. The latter, as I suspected. The guy sitting next to her even copped to being the owner of the (understandably) overzealous dick. I told them to make a pact: They will go slow, do plenty of warm-up, and if it hurts at all, stop without any consequencesno frustration, no feeling guilty, on either side. Once you're in, I told him, don't go all the way. Hang back with just the head inside to allow her ass to get used to the feeling. Oh, and was there clitoral stimulation going on? Because you usually can't go wrong with some clit stimulation.
As a kid, I was taught by some pretty great, underappreciated public school teachers, and although they weren't talking about prostate glands and anal beads, they influenced the way I inform others about my favorite subject. I just put it all out there. Nothing is off-limits: enemas, poop, hemorrhoids, why you shouldn't use Vaseline as lube or candles for sex toys. It's important not to shy away from the so-called embarrassing stuff and be honest. While the details may be taboo, my goal is simple: Debunk the myths, explain the basics, and give people tools they can use in a practical way. And do it in a way that's less CNN anchor, more Solid Gold sass. I'm one of those teachers who want to get their students so excited about the material that they beg for extra credit (hint: My butt toys need to be inventoried!). I challenge them ("Every man in this room should be fucked in the ass at least once before he dies"), and I hope I inspire them. Do you know how good it feels to know that you may have improved someone's erotic awareness, someone's sex life? Sometimes I want to go home with them (no, not like thatwell, not with all of them anyway), peek into their bedroom for a night, and coach their anal pleasure session from plug to plow. But usually I must send them on their way with a reassuring nod and a tube of Astroglide gel.
I love my job. I consider myself an anal ambassador to the world. I have stood in front of many classrooms around the world and shared my knowledge and experience on a subject about which I'm very passionate. I hang out with sexy, glamorous people (like Susie Bright, Juli Ashton, and Nina Hartley) when I'm at work, and revealing clothes can be part of the dress code. And while I haven't worn leg warmers or danced while doing it, I've even been on television. People warned me that if my first book was about anal sex, then I'd forever be pigeonholed as the "anal sex go-to girl." My response: You call me the anal sex go-to girl like it's a bad thing.
Please visit puckerup.com
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.