LOS ANGELES – The first-ever Sexual Health Expo, welcomed upwards of 2,000 attendees over the course of two days filled with education and products for achieving a better sex life.
Presented by luxury brand Jimmyjane, SHE 2015 set out to create an upscale consumer event to connect the general public with professionals and other like-minded individuals to openly explore sexual wellness. Praised for its resounding success by exhibitors, sex educators and consumers alike, SHE 2015 organizers said that plans are already in motion for national expansion.
SHE 2015 opened its doors Saturday morning to droves of attendees snaked around the ballroom area of the chic Sofitel hotel. The groundbreaking event kicked off with a ribbon cutting by SHE spokesperson Emily Morse and Jimmyjane resident sexpert Meredith Davis.
“We are overwhelmed by this crowd, it’s just amazing,” Morse said. “We’re going to learn a lot over the next two days. We have a lot of great seminars and the latest and greatest products on the market. This is so exciting – everyone get ready to learn and have a great time.”
SHE attendees represented a wide demographic, consisting of men and women of ages ranging from early 20s to early 80s, of all ethnic backgrounds and sexual preferences.
Likening SHE to “TED meets CES” of sexual wellness, Jimmyjane President Robert Rheaume told XBIZ that the event mirrors Jimmyjane’s “come one, come all” message of bolstering people’s accessibility to sex education and quality products.
At the brand’s booth, Jimmyjane invited attendees to leave anonymous message and decide whether they “have a dirty mind or a sexy imagination.”
“There’s a duality about sex that we like to explore,” Rheaume said. “It’s sweet and sour, pleasure and pain."
The company is bringing that duality of pleasure and pain with its latest release of the Hello Touch X, the first product to put both vibration and electro stimulation at your fingertips. The device’s flagship design was honored with a 2015 SHE Award for “Most Innovative Sex Toy.”
“We are so honored that our peers and colleagues believe in our ability to transcend traditional phallic shapes,” Rheaume said. “We see ourselves more as a sexual health company so winning this award is an honor.”
pjur displayed its two SHE Awards for “Best Sexual Health Product for Women” and “Best Sexual Enhancement Product” at the company’s booth. The SHE Awards were presented Saturday night in an intimate setting inside the luxurious Riviera 31 lounge at the Sofitel with sex educator Reid Mihalko serving as the MC.
“It’s an honor to win since health and wellness are our core principles,” pjur USA CEO Richie Harris said. “pjur med is the most suitable for that category. It’s nature-based, paraben-free and has no glycerin or preservatives.”
He added, “The attendance at SHE really exceeded my expectations. The fact that most of the sessions were standing room only just goes to show how interested consumers are in exploring healthy, safe, fun sex.”
Dr. Ava Cadell, the SHE Award winner for Sexpert of the Year, said she had the best time talking to attendees about “unique orgasms” during her workshop and book signing at SHE, where she unveiled “Kama Sutra.”
“My book explores sex and presents it as today’s life lessons instead of traditional methods,” Cadell said. “We should always strive for sexual health – it’s our biggest natural high.”
The SHE exhibition hall stayed busy throughout the weekend with several vendors offering sales, giveaways and non-stop product demonstrations.
SHE exhibitors included: Jimmyjane, We-Vibe, Passionate Playground, The Pleasure Chest, Maia Toys, AVE Concept, Sybian, pjur Med, The Sex Game, Crave, Liberator, Fleshlight, De Rose International, Mr. Nori Magic Gel, Kama Sutra, Peekay, Sex with Emily, Alexander Institute, Eye of Love, Bazaar Boutique, Destiny Candle, Karen Michelle and Bathmate.
“As a manufacturer, my experience meeting my end consumer was priceless,” Maia Toys’ Mara Epstein said. “I gathered information that I could never get at any other show. In addition, I loved meeting a whole new group of sexologists and professionals whose names now have a face. SHE is for me! Can't wait till next show.”
Eye of Love director of marketing and sales Jacqui Chowaiki said, "We had a fabulous time at the Sexual Health Expo and it far exceeded our expectations! The platform of education as well as high end products were the perfect combination. We really enjoyed meeting such wonderful people and sharing the Eye of Love Pheromone Collection with them!"
Featuring over 20 seminars and workshops covering everything from body image, BDSM, threesomes and sex at various periods in life, each session would quickly exceed capacity.
Sex educator Ashley Manta hosted two seminars at SHE, and at times could be found flanked by attendees at the booth of SHE’s sex education sponsor, The Pleasure Chest, where Manta regularly hosts classes.
“What’s especially cool about SHE is that it allows those who would never go to an adult store an opportunity to instead come to a cool hotel and have a similar experience,” she said. “It’s a great environment to reach new customers. I’m thrilled to be among such an illustrious group of sex educators at this event.”
Dee Dennis, founder of the sexuality conference CatalystCon, said, “I love seeing a consumer show dedicated to sex education. There are so few opportunities for consumers to meet manufacturers and receive sex education.”
Heather Brewer, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based marriage and family therapist, offered attendees an anonymous way to receive a consultation, with a “cigarette girl” walking around with slips of paper and pencils on her tray taking questions.
“You can ask whatever you want and on Feb. 1 Heather Brewer will answer all of the questions on her site,” she said.
Sexpert Lola Bastinado attended the SHE Mix & Meet event, and told XBIZ she became a sexpert after several years of writing for erotic sites.
“It’s a new generation now,” she said. “My fans run the gamut. The best part of my job is when I run into them years later and they tell me how much I’ve helped them. It’s a blessing.”
Andrea Renae, who for the past eight years has mentored couples, singles and even company’s “be more open minded,” also attended SHE’s Mix & Meet.
“I became a sex educator and realized how negative public, prevention-based sex education can be,” she said. “I wanted to help bridge the gap.”
According to sex educator Ducky Doolittle, her seminar “Long Term Lust” really resonated with SHE’s attendees.
“I sold out of my book [‘Sex With the Lights On’] at the show,” she said. “My class focused on how normal people get stuck in a rut and how to realign. It’s a common experience that requires compassion.”
Workshop presenter Nina Helms said, “I’m thrilled that America finally has an expo for sexual health. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this groundbreaking event. I’m very impressed by the turnout.”
Morse closed out SHE with a packed house in attendance for her keynote presentation focused on maintaining the spark in long-term relationships. Exploring the characteristics of lust versus commitment, Morse gave attendees tips for maintaining desire between partners.
Morse encouraged attendees to prioritize sex and plan for relationships to evolve, because similar to that “new car smell,” lust between two partners will wind down with time.
“We have to prioritize sex because that is the glue that keeps you together,” she said. “If you are not prioritizing the sex or working on your sex life it’s just going to fall by the wayside and I don’t want that to happen to any of you.”
For more information about Sexual Health Expo’s plans for national expansion, contact email@example.com.
For general event information, click here.