Anyone that's ever been to Sex Expo New York knows there are a few things to expect: wall-to-wall sex toys on display, fun contests and giveaways, lively workshops and product demonstrations, the notorious free goodie bag, and a seemingly endless line to be among the first ones through the doors. On a deeper, non-physical level, what continues to drive attendees to the groundbreaking consumer event is an undeniably uplifting excitement that exudes from everybody that’s involved with the event.
Like (an indoor) Coachella for sex toy fans, there is a lot to see and be a part of at Sex Expo, so keeping a schedule comes in handy. Sex Expo stages are quickly surrounded by people that are eager to hear the greatest hits — in sexual pleasure that is. The rock-star sex educators each has their own style and specialty, which they share with attendees with great enthusiasm.
Sex Expo is a one-of-a-kind event in the U.S., it’s all about health, education and relationships and how they intersect with sex.
“Sex Expo is a one-of-a-kind event in the U.S.,” renowned sexpert Jess O’Reilly said. “It’s all about health, education and relationships and how they intersect with sex. Whether you’re curious about kink or simply looking to reignite the spark after babies, you’ll find seminars, products and education relevant to your needs on the show floor and on stage.”
O’Reilly, aka Dr. Jess, returns to the Sex Expo New York to host the seminars “Drive Your Lover Wild With Pleasure” and “G-Spots and Squirting,” both presented by Astroglide.
“My goal is to give you tools to change the way you think and take action to have an even hotter sex life — underpinned by confidence and passion,” she said. “As a speaker, I love hitting the stage with Sex Expo because the crowds are full to the brim with enthusiasm — and they laugh at all of my jokes. Brooklyn is the perfect spot for this event, because it’s got the balance of being a bit laid-back and edgy, but still vibrating with that energy of the busy city.”
Greenpoint — the neighborhood in Brooklyn where Sex Expo NY is held — has proven to be a welcoming home to the annual expo. Last year, thousands of attendees wrapped around the outside of the Brooklyn Expo Center to be the first ones in on day one of the weekend event. The enthusiasm of the crowd was palpable throughout the venue, which includes a seminar room as well as a center stage — both of which stayed bustling all weekend-long.
This year promises to be no different with April Lampert, co-host of the “Shameless Sex” podcast, serving as the master of ceremonies throughout the Sex Expo. Joining Lampert at the show is her “Shameless Sex” co-host, Amy Baldwin. The two adult retail industry vets/sex educators will also be interviewing people for their podcast, even allowing attendees to get their few minutes of fame on their popular show, which inspires radical self-love, sexual empowerment, and shame-free intimacy.
“Shameless Sex is thrilled to be participating in the Sex Expo this year, as it’s our first experience with such an event and we are so excited to be able to meet existing listeners and introduce the podcast to new ones,” Lampert said. “We will be recording a live show as well and involving the audience if they want to be on the air with us. Both (of us) will be present and will be in the booth chatting with attendees, handing out info about the show and answering sex questions. We’re really looking forward to the Brooklyn location, as it seems like the perfect spot for such a dynamic and versatile event.”
The spirited, open environment of Sex Expo NY that sets it apart from any other event is a major difference from how sex is usually addressed in society today. Often discussed as a private and even shameful topic, at the Sex Expo, intimacy is celebrated.
“After spending so many years doing educational programming for the public in a retail setting, it’s a treat to get together in a community with the participants of the Sex Expo,” says sex educator Fancy Feast. “Sometimes, being a sex educator can feel like you’re a lone voice of sex-positivity in the face of a shame-ridden culture, and the Sex Expo feels like a homecoming.”
Domina Franco, a sex educator, coach and writer who has been studying human sexuality for more than 20 years, says that being sex-positive and accepting joy in fulfilling sexual desires doesn’t come easy for most people. Moreover, even those that don’t have sex are often judged.
“Society at large is very shame-oriented around sex and sexuality, and we need to ask ourselves ‘Why?,’ when it’s an integral part of the human experience,” Franco said. “Ironically, there are also people shaming folks for not wanting to have sex at all or enjoying more normative sexual practices. Sex-positivity isn’t necessarily about having the wildest or most edgy sex; it’s about making choices around your sexuality and what feels good for you and the people you share sexual experiences with.”
At Sex Expo NY, Franco will be sharing her tips for embracing sexuality and masturbation with a workshop on pleasure with wand massagers.
With partnered sex often being considered more culturally acceptable, a large focus of Sex Expo speakers aim to introduce them to pleasure products to enhance their experience together and during solo play.
Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach, educator and feminist writer, will teach the workshop “Sex Toys on Your Sex Life,” which will focus on how pleasure products help broaden the scope of sexual understanding and breed intimacy in relationships.
“It covers everything from the reasons sex toys — specifically, vibrators — are critical to female pleasure to how men can enjoy sex toys, to where to buy them, to which materials to look for,” Engle said. “It’s a 101 workshop to discover pleasure products and invite curiosity. By the end of the class, everyone should walk away with a basic understanding of pleasure products and, if they haven’t already, be off to buy their first one.”
For those that are already familiar with pleasure products, Sex Expo workshops will cover more specialized topics, such as anal play and pet play. Sex-positive anal toy brand b-Vibe will host an intro to anal play session, while The Fetish Academy’s founder Princess Cosplay will present the “Sexploration” workshop.
“I look forward to giving a workshop on sexploration, guiding participants through trying out new things in the bedroom in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable way,” she said. “At Sex Expo New York 2018, I will be bringing my most popular tails and ears, shining a light on the beauty of sexual adventure.”
Although Sex Expo places a lot of importance on sexual pleasure, wellness also is strongly promoted.
Taylor Sparks, an erotic educator and “sex goddess” certified in holistic aromatherapy and human behavior, is returning to Sex Expo NY to spread the word about the benefits of all-natural products with her workshop “Organic Loven.”
Physical wellness will also take center stage when Kathryn Peterson hosts a yoga workshop that’s meant to enhance sexual pleasure. “You don’t need any yoga experience, or even a partner,” she said. “All you need is an open mind — and an open pelvic floor, but I will teach you how to do that.”