PHOENIX — This weekend’s Sexual Health Expo, sponsored by Mr. Nori’s MagicGel, drew a sizable and diverse crowd of couples and singles to the DoubleTree Hilton in Phoenix.
With SHE’s promotion spanning from billboards provided by exclusive retail and sex-ed sponsor Castle Megastore to participating sexperts’ social media marketing and publicity on local radio and in the newspapers, the demographic of attendees at the upscale consumer event once again ranged from young to older adults.
“The show was a huge success,” Castle Megastore CEO Mark Franks said. “SHE validates the developing consumer demand for the best sexual health products and education. This is an event that was long overdue.”
Attendees were treated to two full days of educational and entertaining interactive workshops, including a special live demonstration of a nuru massage using MagicGel. SHE’s presenting sponsor also provided gift baskets that included MagicGel samples and accessories such as an inflatable mattress and an instructional DVD for couples to experiment with nuru massage. The gift baskets were raffled off at the end of every workshop, contributing to the excitement of each information-packed session.
“SHE is the most fun you can have with your clothes on,” an attendee said. “I have been laughing and smiling all weekend.”
Participating vendors included Work It!, Mr. Nori’s MagicGel, Maia Toys, Sybian, Sex with Emily, Fleshlight, Current Pleasures, Jimmyjane, Butterfly Lover, Le French Love, Pure Romance by Kat, Beamonstar, Eye of Love, Stockroom, We-Vibe, Tantus and more.
MagicGel co-founder Orit Benzaquen said that she was pleased by the turnout at SHE.
“MagicGel was founded on the principle of promoting safe, pleasurable, experimental, blissful sex, and we were thrilled to be among such like-minded individuals,” she said. “We’re very happy with the overwhelming response we got from attendees regarding our products. The gift baskets and the live demonstration were both a hit! SHE once again provided a welcoming atmosphere to introduce even more people to the art of nuru massage and the benefits of using MagicGel.”
SHE registration sponsor We-Vibe presented its latest releases, including the Passionate Play Collection, as well as the We-Vibe 4 Plus, which received praise from sexperts at more than one of the workshops aimed at improving couples’ sex lives.
Fleshlight showcased its tech-advanced KIIROO Onxy and Pearl — the first-ever interactive masturbator — along with its just-announced line of lubricants made in partnership with Carmen Electra.
Beamonstar Products sales manager Clint Strunk said that he was impressed by the amount of men that attended SHE. “We sold a lot of products,” he said, while showcasing the company’s brands of sex enhancement supplements, which include ExtenZe, SexVoltz, Sweeten69, and more.
Jimmyjane showcased its latest releases as well, demonstrating the Hello Touch on attendees and mentioning upcoming additions to the line of Form vibes.
Current Pleasures hosted a workshop to school attendees on electrosex and had a booth showcasing its expansive array of TENS units, attachments and electrode pads in several sizes. Mrs. Vixen of Current Pleasures addressed the fear of being electrocuted by noting that even at the highest levels, the electrical currents from a TENS unit are harmless.
“People don’t realize that vaginas and penises have muscles too and can be electrically stimulated,” Mrs. Vixen said.
Butterfly Lover is a new company that offers a vibrator for a woman with a vaginal piercing. John Phelps developed the Taboo Intimate Piercing Vibrator for his wife out of his garage. By using the included magnetic ring, the user only needs to hold the device up to the ring to create a fluttering effect on the ring.
“You don’t even have to touch it,” Phelps said. In regards to the market for such a product, Phelps says that according to his research there are “millions of women with piercings all over the world.”
“Once again SHE proved to be informative, fun and an overall success,” Maia Toys’ Mara Epstein said. “Mark Franks and the Castle Megastore staff really rocked it with their dedication to supporting and offering sex-positive education. Lots of attendees walked away with tons of valuable information.”
With workshop topics and products catering to women and men, SHE invited attendees to explore a wide range of sexual matters such as the male G-spot, motherhood, body image and beyond.
Standing-room-only crowds made their way to see leading sexperts that included Ken Melvoin-Berg and Sunny Megatron, Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Charlie Glickman, Dr. Hernando Chaves, Ashley Manta, Elle Chase, Sex Nerd Sandra, Rebecca Alvarez, Anaín Bjorkquist, Jamye Waxman, along with several others.
Ken Melvoin-Berg and Sunny Megatron, who host the Showtime original series “Sex with Sunny Megatron,” served up their unique brand of sex ed, demonstrating BDSM techniques on a willing audience member. The duo discussed products that could be purchased as well as “pervertibles” — which are products around the house that could be used as alternatives.
The event also gave attendees the opportunity to try new experiences — such as participate in a cuddle party.
Leela Sullivan, who’s been hosting cuddling workshops for 11 years, welcomed cuddling regulars and newbies to her intimate session.
“It focuses on the value of nonsexual touch and helps participants to develop their use of words,” Sullivan said. “I teach participants how to accept rejection and how to voice their desires.”
Sex educator Ashley Manta hosted the “Talk Dirty to Me” session, and invited attendees to ask her anything by writing their questions on a index card and meeting up with her at her booth. While coaching attendees how to experiment with different tones of voice and words to use during sex, Manta also directed them to several materials she’s made available online — such as a list of slang terms for gentials.
Dr. Hernando Chaves’ “Unique Orgasms” workshop had jokes and laughter while introducing attendees to lesser known techniques and occurrences for achieving orgasms, such as breastgasms and coregasms.
Elle Chase offered profound advice on body image, telling attendees “what you think about your body is none of your business” on the issue of negative thoughts and shame about one’s own body. Her session “Big Beautiful Sex” also covered toys and bedroom accessories that could help overweight lovers as well as with masturbation. Chase recommended the Fleshlight for hands-free pleasure for men and noted that Tantus was among the first manufacturers to design products with longer handles for a better reach.
Participating sexperts also had their own booths at SHE where they offered advice and sold merchandise to attendees. Among them were Laurie Handlers and Anaijia Wilder, the self-proclaimed “sex magic girls” at the event. Wilder, a professional psychic, was offering attendees sex compatibility readings at SHE, while Handlers hosted a SHE workshop on sex and emotional health.
Sex therapists Rebecca Alvarez and Anaín Bjorkquist decided to sync up following SHE Los Angeles after finding out their mutual desire to encourage mothers to be “sexy active moms.” The pair co-hosted a session that covered how to incorporate pleasure and sensuality into one’s everyday schedule from two perspectives — as a single mother, Alvarez focuses on helping other single moms get back into the dating scene while Bjorkquist, who’s been married for 17 years advises on how to keep a relationship hot.
SHE wrapped with a keynote speech by Emily Morse. In it she spoke about maintaining the spark in long-term relationships. Exploring the characteristics of lust versus commitment, Morse gave attendees tips for creating desire between partners. Morse encouraged attendees to prioritize sex and plan for relationships to evolve, because it's inevitable – however does not signal the end of a satisfying intimate relationship.
For more information about SHE, visit SexualHealthExpo.com.