LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles-based fetish specialty retailer Stockroom.com is offering a West Coast repeat of a seminar originally presented at Northwestern University that spawned national debate after a sex toy was used live in front of college students attending the workshop.
Titled “Networking for Kinky People,” the class covers not just the demonstration of extreme toys that spurred the Northwestern scandal, but also the etiquette of using them — and finding someone to use them on.
Led by original presenter Ken Melvoin-Berg — a Chicago sex historian and educator — the workshop is planned for April 9 at Stockroom’s Los Angeles headquarters, as part of the fetish retailer’s monthly Stockroom University lecture series, which explores and educates on BDSM practices.
“We’re offering a first-hand look at what actually happened, under all the controversy,” Stockroom President Mike Herman said. “The use of the toy live in Chicago was framed by a broader discussion of what the toy was used for, and how the people demonstrating it felt about doing so. It was a legitimate example of a kinky toy used within the logic of a kink lifestyle. Seeing everything in context will make the educational value of what took place very clear.”
As the exclusive online retailer of the toy at the center of the debates – which resembles a reciprocating saw with a sex toy at the end rather than a cutting blade – The Stockroom is in a unique position to educate the public. The device made national headlines when Faith Kroll and her fiancé, Jim Marcus, demonstrated it live for students in Professor J. Michael Bailey’s class on Feb. 21.
The couple were panelists for Melvoin-Berg’s Kinky Networking workshop, which was part of an optional after-class series Bailey offered his students.
According to reports, Kroll and Marcus saw a film being shown during Bailey’s regular lecture, which made outdated claims about the capacities of the female body and so the couple offered to use the toy — which had been brought in purely as a visual aid — to prove the film wrong. Bailey agreed to the demonstration.
The Stockroom workshop is open to anyone over 18. It runs from 4–7 p.m. and cost is $20 in advance or at the door.
It will be held Saturday, April 9 at the company’s Los Angeles retail boutique and showroom, located in the Silverlake area at 2809 ½ W. Sunset Blvd.