UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Sexual wellness and intimacy took center stage as the second annual Los Angeles edition of the Sexual Health Expo drew thousands of attendees to the Universal City Hilton hotel this weekend.
Once again drawing sizeable crowds on both days of the event, SHE L.A. 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.
The Pleasure Chest returned as the Sex Ed Sponsor of the event; this time splitting up its slate of workshops into two groups — Skills/Technique and Relationship/Kink. The sex educators on tap offered tips and advice for exploring fetishes and alternative lifestyles and how to improve one’s performance and experiences in the bedroom.
“I think it’s so great to have an event to showcase Pleasure Chest’s full range of classes — from acro yoga to dating workshops,” said Sarah Tomchesson, The Pleasure Chest’s head of business operations. “It’s great that we have the opportunity to showcase our range of amazing educators. We’re bringing sex ed to the masses.”
Each session drew standing room only crowds that were interactive with audience participation and some that were eye-catching, such as the session “Acro Yoga With Miyoko Rifkin.” in which she and her partner demonstrated the physical practice and introduced the audience to “inverted sex.”
Following her “Big, Beautiful Sex With Elle Chase” session on body image, the sexpert revealed to the audience the upcoming release of her book, “101 Body Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life.” The book is slated for release in January 2017.
Dr. Jessica O’Reilly — who on Friday was named Sexpert of the Year at the 2016 XBIZ Awards — did double duty at SHE L.A. with two Astroglide-sponsored courses. She hosted “Rock Her World” on Saturday to offer tips on performing oral sex on a female, and on Sunday she hosted “Blow His Mind.”
SHE spokesperson Emily Morse hosted a live edition of her “Sex With Emily” podcast on stage during the event. She welcomed sexperts Jennie Steinberg, Dirty Lola, Mollena and others, before welcoming questions from the audience.
Additional SHE L.A. speakers included Lynn Rosenberg, Koko, Psalm Isadora, Jennie Steinberg, Dr. Tamara Griffin, Dirty Lola, Amy Jo Goddard, Erin Tillman, Mollena Williams, Charlie Glickman, Tristan Taormino, Dr. Hernando Chaves, Stephanie Berman, Dr. Patti Britton, Rachel Kramer Brussel, Reid Mihalko, Allison Moon, Dr. Chris Donaghue and Dr. Zhana Vrangalova.
Among the returning SHE L.A. exhibitors was We-Vibe, which also was the Registration Sponsor of SHE L.A.
We-Vibe showcased its latest releases, the Nova and Rave vibes. Each design is compatible with We-Vibe’s WeConnect app.
“We help couples keep connected,” We-Vibe’s Michelle Treyes said. “All of our products promote sexual wellness with medical-grade body-safe silicone products that are very ergonomic.”
Sybian also returned to SHE L.A. to showcase its latest offerings, which included new silicone attachments called the Orb and G-Wave.
Another returning exhibitor was Destiny Candles by Karen Michelle. According to Michelle, the oil-based candle is often used as a beauty aid, leaving the skin soft as it is massaged into the skin. The candle also can be used to enhance intimacy between couples as a lickable erotic massage oil. The latest scent to be added to the collection is Blood Orange. Each candle also contains a piece a jewelry that is revealed when the all of the candle’s oil is consumed.
“We’ve been featured on ‘The Talk,’ ‘Wendy Williams, E! News, and a bunch more,” she said.
Crystal Delights showcased its range of U.S.-made handcrafted glass toys. The company also offers sexual wellness products, such as its range of Pacik dilators, which the company made in collaboration with Dr. Peter Pacik.
Crystal Delights owner Shellie told XBIZ that the company has been offering the Pacik dilators online for several years. “This lets us know that this is an issue that a lot of people don’t talk about,” she said. “They’re self-treating with our dilators at home.”
According to Shellie, the dilators can be used to treat Vaginismus, as well as for post-op genital reassignment.
SHE L.A. marked Curve Novelties’ first-ever consumer expo. Curve Novelties’ Patricia Ratner said attendees were mostly interested in the company’s smaller, beginner products.
“We’ve been getting a great response from consumers,” Ratner said. “It’s interesting to where what they have to say. Everyone seems mainly interested in our smaller toys and non-vibrating items. Couples appear very interested in anal sex and it’s fun to see their interaction about it.”
Also exhibiting was Psalm Isadora, who showcased her new Tantra videos and multiple orgasm videos in her women-only and couples series, and offered information on her live events and women’s Tantra retreats. She told XBIZ that she has a reality T.V. show coming out that she compares to a real-life “Sex and the City.”
“It’s so great that sex is going mainstream,” she said. “People learn through osmosis.”
In addition to pleasure products, SHE L.A. also introduced attendees to range of services, such as Rose into Wellness. Led by Jade Rose and Mitchell Dick, the company discussed its unique offerings that included quantum reflex analysis, emotional repolarization therapy, and relationship and intimacy coaching. At the event, they offered attendees the opportunity to sign up for a free phone consultation.
OneTaste, a company that teaches the practice of orgasmic meditation (OM), also was at SHE L.A. to sign up participants for its OM classes in Los Angeles. Orgasmic meditation is a mindfulness practice that involves clit stimulation. In sessions, participants are paired up with one practitioner stroking the clit of the other to develop a connective resonance between them. Nancy, a practitioner from OneTaste, said OM has changed her life.
“It teaches you what you want,” she said. “The willingness to participate in OM will open you up to so many other experiences.”