In this age of modern communication, there is more information available — and available faster — than ever before.
So how come we’re so dumb?
Pick whatever topic you want — the health care debate, the way physics works, global warming, Glenn Beck — and it’s clear that even though we are swimming in a raging river of facts, there is actually less knowledge out there than ever before.
And when it comes to sex (and it always does, by the way), the gap between information and understanding is the widest.
Ignorance might be bliss in other areas, but sexual bliss needs a little hard and fast information. So that’s where Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning come in. The founders of the Babeland sex toy shops — conveniently located on Bergen Street in Strollerville (aka Park Slope) — are back this month with a stunning “How to” book, “Moregasm: Babeland’s Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex” (Avery), a graphically illustrated manual that seeks to be an “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for a sex-steeped, yet information-deprived, culture.
On the eve of last Tuesday night’s book (and orgasm) launch at Babeland, Cavanah chatted with that ultimate sexual connoisseur, Gersh Kuntzman.
Gersh Kuntzman: I find that our culture is awash in sexual images and chatter, but no one knows anything. Is that why you wrote the book?
Claire Cavanah: It is amazing how much information people aren’t getting even though sex is everywhere. But the imagery isn’t there for knowledge, but for exploitation. They use images of busty, wanton women to sell cars.
GK: Let’s not forget beer.
CC: But it’s just a male juvenile fantasy.
GK: Hey, let’s not knock male juvenile fantasies. We’d lose half our economy without them.
CC: True, but we need other voices providing information about what really turns on a woman. So our book is written by down-to-earth people who believe that sex is fun and can be fun for everyone.
GK: There you go again, spouting a philosophy of endless sexual satisfaction. It’s great in theory, but who has the time to really delve into such a lifestyle?
CC: It is true that as we get older, there are more obstacles to a robust, vital sex life, but you have to prioritize it. Our message has stayed the same for the 16 years that we’ve been in business: you have to take responsibility for your orgasm. Life is work, and sexuality can be work. You have to maintain it like a bicycle. Keep it greased by using it, even if you feel a tiny little bit like you could do without sex. Just do it.
GK: The book is full of a lot of little sexual surprises — not for me, of course, because I’m the Britannica of Copulation. But what are the things that will surprise your customers?
CC: The parts about internal sexual anatomy, like the fact that the clitoris spreads out like a wishbone under the skin. This kind of thing is just not talked about.
GK: What else?
CC: Anal sex. People really want to do it, but they don’t know how. A few little tips take you a long way towards enjoying it.
GK: What is with everyone’s obsession with anal sex?
CC: It has a forbidden, taboo, naughty quality because everyone has one. So in the back of your mind, you know that if you do it on someone, it’s only a matter of time before it gets turned back on you.
GK: And that turns people on? Kids today …
CC: It can turn people on if they follow our mantra: relaxation, communication and lubrication.
GK: That’s your mantra?
CC: Our mission at Babeland is to get that information out there in a form that you’re not ashamed to be looking at it.
GK: Not ashamed? I had to close my office door and cover the book with a copy of the New York Post so people would think I was reading the newspaper!
CC: This is the problem in our society.
GK: The New York Post? I don’t think that’s fair …
CC: No, that people are ashamed of the information that they need. That’s why we did the book. There are a lot of other guides out there, but ours has the playful spirit of our stores. We expect this book to be in bed with people.
GK: So what’s the new product that every woman or man must have?
CC: It’s called the We Vibe and it stimulates both partners at once.
GK: Finally, someone built a better mousetrap. You’re going to be a billionaire.
CC: For years, couples would say that they want to be stimulated at the same time, but intercourse is like God’s little joke because the penis can’t stimulate the clitoris while it’s inside. But the We Vibe does it.
GK: Not to be graphic, but how does it work (and be graphic, please)?
CC: It is inserted and also covers the clitoris, yet it stays put during intercourse. And it has two settings.
GK: This is interesting stuff. Do you find that reporters sometimes call you under the guise of interviewing you, but all they’re really doing is getting you to help them figure out how to have better sex?
CC: I’m sure that happens.
“Moregasm: Babeland’s Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex” is available at Babeland [462 Bergen St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 638-3820]. The book is also available at Barnes and Noble locations.