When it comes to sex, educational DVDs can help viewers achieve the ultimate in satisfaction, and lead to better, more fulfilling sex lives — as well as entertain.
Sexologist Dr. Ava Cadell describes the inspiration for launching her line in 2011 as being the desire to “bring sex education to a whole new level of innovation. I wanted them to complement my online university LoveUniv.com, which is where I share all my knowledge on love, relationships, intimacy and human sexuality. I think that every adult should have access to positive and correct information that can help them to experience the best sex of their lives.”
We — everyone really — need consent-aware, pleasure-based, nonjudgmental, shame-free sex-ed with a side of harm reduction. Not an easy task.
Among the titles Cadell has created for Zero Tolerance are “Dr. Ava’s Guide Series How to Please a Woman, “Guide to Sensual BDSM for Couples,” “Guide to Oral Sex for Couples,” “Guide to Prostate Pleasure for Couples” and “Guide to Anal Sex for Women.” And for Penthouse, the most popular titles in her Sex Academy Series cover topics such as erotic massage for couples, foreplay, masturbation, ultimate oral, sexual positions, fantasy and role play, amazing anal and swinging.
Cadell chose actors for her programs based on their acting ability.
“I was seeking stars who could act, such as India Summer who I used for multiple videos,” Cadell said. “I was also seeking real couples like Francesca Lé and her husband Mark Wood, who I used in my video on anal sex. Since some women are apprehensive about engaging in anal sex, I wanted to create a comprehensive guide to show everyone how comfortable and pleasurable it can be, both psychologically and physically.”
The sexologist describes her favorite video as “How to Please a Woman,” where she used Cameron Dee and her then-boyfriend Tommy Gunn.
“They demonstrated various phases of pleasing a woman that included slow dancing together, a foot massage, the Tantric technique known as the Venus Butterfly and my multi-orgasmic TriGasm.”
Cadell says that while market research reveals more women are interested in educating themselves about sex than men, both men and women “want to be adventurous and find new ways to be intimate, however, they don’t always know exactly how to go about it.”
Cadell says she finds that her instructional series appeal to couples, women and men. She notes that with adult stars creating live demonstrations that show exactly what to do, she’s created an invaluable instructional tool, and one that is extremely pleasurable to watch.
“Whether I’m giving an intimacy seminar or creating a sexual instructional video both education and entertainment are necessary to keep the viewer engaged. My formula is 50 percent of each,” Cadell said.
She adds, “I’ve had positive feedback from singles who said they wished they had seen my videos before they got divorced, as it may have saved their marriage. And couples have told me that my videos improved their communication, expanded their sexual horizons and even deepened their intimacy. I believe that sex is our second basic instinct after survival and even though everyone knows how to have sex, we can all learn to be better lovers through instructional content.”
Jessica Drake, who launched the GuideToWickedSex.com, agrees.
“Consumers love them,” Drake said. “I’ve heard so many stories from people who wanted to learn how to have anal sex or how to please their partner, so they found the line and ended up learning about consent and communication along the way. I’ve also heard feedback from other educators and even therapists about how they’ve helped their clients, and every now and then I hear from parents who have used some of the information to better talk to their older kids about sex and navigating porn.”
According to Drake, “I think they are great to watch solo, to learn and explore your body so that you’re more capable of conveying that information to partners. For partnered play, they can help make date night a learning experience, plus provide you with the inspiration to get turned on.”
She launched her educational line in part due to interacting with fans as a Wicked contract performer. “I often found myself at appearances listening to people’s sex questions, gradually realizing they were getting their information from porn and that we — everyone really — need consent-aware, pleasure-based, non-judgmental, shame-free sex-ed with a side of harm reduction. Not an easy task.”
In the beginning, she created programming that focused on the more popularly requested topics, such as fellatio, anal, positions, and G-spot, Drake says.
“As I grew as an educator, I also realized the line should be less gendered and more inclusive. Following this conscious shift, I made ‘Plus Size Sex’ with Kelly Shibari, ‘Woman to Woman,’ ‘BDSM for Beginners,’ and ‘Anal for Men.’ As I continue, I expect the line to broaden even more.”
Originally focusing on couples and women, Drake now wants to reach as many people as possible.
When choosing her cast, she tries to represent all body types and different ethnicities. She also ensures all the participants are 100 percent on-board with the acts they perform.
“I cater to the performer’s comfort and encourage them to openly discuss boundaries and consent before we begin, and hopefully that carries on to other sets they work on as well,” she says.
Drake says she aims entertain and inform people at the same time, and works to make it fun to keep everyone’s attention. She terms the information being presented as interesting, and the demonstrations hardcore.
“I know some people are looking at the educationals solely because of my name, and it is very important to me to harness that attention and then deliver the sex education they need.”
The Alexander Institute (www.lovingsex.com) has produced more than 60 critically acclaimed Loving Sex sexuality videos for couples and singles who want to enhance their sex life. Meir Sharony, the company’s owner, says that he started doing educational DVDs 25 years ago, and continues to release new titles every year.
“I’ve produced a lot of television, and my expertise was in health and sexuality back in the 1980s. That led me to start creating these educational videos in the 1990s. Loving sex is the world’s largest sex education series. No one else continue to produce just sex ed videos,” he says proudly. “This is not a side business, this is what this company has done full-time for 20 years. We have a vast library and a very unique approach in multiple languages.”
Indeed, The Alexander Institute offers titles in English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese, and offers subtitles for the hearing-impaired. The company also has specific programs for African-American and same-sex couples.
As to talent, he says, “We only use real-life couples, although some of them are in the adult industry. We shoot in homes, we never shoot in the studio. Our motto is ‘real sex, real life, real couples.’ It doesn’t look like porn, and it is not shot in that style. It’s not all sex, and we don’t use elements like cum shots,” he reveals. “Our more popular titles historically are what women want/what men want. Those are older titles, but timeless. Everyone wants to know that. Other popular titles are about the Kama Sutra, sex positions, the G-spot, anal sex and yoga, which is not a sexual education subject per se but it is about intimacy,” he attests.
“The only porn-related performer we have used is Julie Ashton, who was the host of the Playboy TV series ‘Night Calls.’ She was the host of four programs called ‘Julie Ashton Sexuality Report.’”
According to Meir, “The consumer response to our programs is very positive. Most of our primary audience is in their 30s and 40s up to age 80. Most are couples. Many are senior citizens and beyond. We look at the programs as a kind of marital aid.”
He adds that the entire library is available using on Alexander’s own VOD platform, (vod.aivid.com) and links to the company’s titles in multi-languages are also being constructed. The Alexander Institute fully supports the belief that sexuality videos improve communication and lead to new sexual heights. Alexander Institute also provides unique luxury sex toys for couples.
Sex educator Tristan Taormino created the Vivid-Ed sexual education line of DVDs for Vivid Entertainment.
“I’d been teaching sex workshops on all sorts of subjects for more than a decade, so it just really made sense to bring all that information together in a new medium for me,” Taormino said.
She adds that she has covered just about every sexual topic, including “G-spot, oral sex, threesomes, rough sex,” she says. “The most popular titles are ‘The Expert Guide to Female Orgasms,’ ‘The Expert Guide to Pegging,’ ‘The Expert guide to Anal Sex,’ and a follow-up on advanced anal.”
All of Taormino’s projects feature professional porn performers.
“They are all interviewed and speak on the topic throughout each video, so the way I cast it was to find performers who were into a specific topic, instead of just hiring someone and saying this is what you will be doing,” she says. “I know they are performers and ultimately entertainers, but they have one of most unique jobs on the planet, and they have sex with lots of people on regular basis. They have learned certain things … that is an untapped resource of sex education.”
Taormino originally took advantage of the DVD format to create a dual option for viewers, with one option being more instructional, and the other more entertainment. “Now that we are mostly doing streaming, two different versions of the same scene didn’t make sense,” she notes.
She receives a great deal of positive feedback about her programs, and is excited by “the idea that these movies could be conversation starters, teaching and learning tools that connect people through this particular visual medium.”
When her Vivid education line launched, she says there was only one other company doing sex education, but since then, many more have been added to the list. “There is even an awards category for this programming now. It speaks volumes about how interest has changed in the past decade in that category.”