Orgasms have been shown to reduce stress and increase self-esteem — all while triggering a rush of the pleasure hormone oxytocin throughout the body. And yet, not everyone is getting them equally. According to a study of over 52,000 American adults, straight men usually or always orgasm 95 percent of the time they have sex, compared to 65 percent for hetero women. This is what’s known as the orgasm gap, and it’s a problem. Why? Because sex builds intimacy and brings physical happiness — so if one half isn’t enjoying it as much as the other, then there’s something wrong. The gap doesn’t just apply to couples, either: Another study revealed only one in four women masturbates regularly, which is half the rate of men. This is where a female masturbation class can help.
Although men reach orgasm more frequently than women, it would be a mistake to think this is something that only affects those with vaginas. So many things can stand in the way of sexual fulfillment, including low self-esteem, past trauma, and poor communication. Meanwhile, pop culture tells us all kinds of misinformation about sex and places too much emphasis on the orgasm itself. This makes pleasure too goal-oriented, which, ironically, decreases fulfillment and desire.
Orgasm workshops are designed to help primarily women, but also couples, solo men, and members of the LGBTQ+ community overcome these issues. They focus on building confidence by helping people understand they don’t have to fit into a single model of desire. They also give people permission to enjoy what they find pleasurable — rather than what culture tells them they should be a turn-on. So, now you know what an orgasm workshop is, here’s where you can find one.
1. OMGyes — Online
Don’t fancy attending a female masturbation class IRL? This one’s for you. The website — which recently rose to fame after actress and feminist icon Emma Watson revealed she was a paying subscriber — has combined the experiences of more than 2,000 cisgender women, aged 18 to 95, to create a science-based guide to female pleasure. So forget everything you read in Cosmo as a teen: This is previously unpublished information gathered from real women from around the world. Membership requires a one-time payment of around $63, and for that you get access to 62 videos, as well as 11 “touchable” guides that allow you (or your partner) to practice techniques on the screen for a more hands-on approach.
2. Intimacy Matters — London, UK
Colin Richards, a trained sex and relationship therapist, created Intimacy Matters in 2005. His organization now runs an enormous range of mentoring sessions and workshops ranging from one-on-one private tutoring with vetted volunteers to group events for people of all orientations. Couples’ workshops cost around $193 and cover things like erogenous areas, prostate massage, and edging. Aside from running hands-on, nude orgasm classes, Colin is a vocal advocate for physical and mental health. He believes a good sex life is essential to overall wellbeing and should be discussed openly and honestly.
3. Secret Yoga Club — Worldwide (but primarily London, UK)
Secret Yoga Club events blend sex education with a range of creative activities, including art and dance. Every workshop and retreat is slightly different, but attendees are usually encouraged to discuss their sexual history in a supportive group setting. You’ll also learn about communication, arousal, and things that get in the way of pleasure, such as negative self-talk. Sessions are fully clothed and hands-off, but “homework” is encouraged. London-based events range from $32 to $322 for admission whereas the international retreats start from $1159 and include food and accommodation.
4. Bodysex — Manhattan, US
Betty Dodson became active in the sex-positive movement in the late 1960s and has been recently named one of the top 10 sexual revolutionaries by Cosmopolitan and number 43 of the 100 most important people in sex by Playboy Magazine. In 2007, she launched her business with partner Carlin Ross to promote the “Betty Dodson” method of self-love, which involves a Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator and a towel. In addition to hosting an array of videos and tutorials on their site, the duo hold biannual two-day Bodysex workshops held at Betty’s apartment in midtown Manhattan. Each nude event is designed to teach cis and transgender women learn to overcome negative body image and pleasure anxiety. Bodysex is a registered charity, but the suggested donation is $1,200.
5. The V. Club — New York, US
The V. Club is a little different to most orgasm workshops in that classes place just as much empahsis on the psychological side of sex as the physical. Run by Courtney Cleman, a New York-based relationship coach, sex and relationship expert, and Kate Lubimov, a globally renowned sex educator, the organization offers women of all ages and orientations nudity-free classes on pleasure and arousal techniques. Speaking to Bustle, Cleman says, “Most therapy and workshops on sex and relationships focus on men’s or couple’s needs. We created a class to teach what every woman should know about getting the most satisfaction but usually doesn’t, which is why so many women struggle with achieving orgasms easily and consistently as compared to men.” Seminars run for four hours and are priced at $40 an hour.
6. O.School — Online
Another one for people who aren’t keen on the in-person approach, O.School is a live-streaming platform anyone can watch. It features sex ed classes from some of the most well-respected educators in the business who discuss everything from pegging and porn to masturbation and communication. Workshops are completely free (although participants have an option to tip) and viewers can jump in to ask questions live. In addition to streamed classes, visitors can also read news, trending topics, and cheat sheets written by coaches and doctors. Check the schedule for upcoming streams and mark your calendar for classes that look interesting.
7. Orgasmic! A Guide to Female Pleasure — London, UK
Sh!, a London-based sex toy emporium, hosts events covering everthing from bondage to dirty talk. It’s monthly Orgasmic! A Guide To Female Pleasure event is a fully-clothed female masturbation class, all about clitorises and climaxing. Attendees will be taken on a tour of orgasmic delights, including how to locate the elusive G-spot, plus tips on techniques and toys. Tickets cost around $45, and for that you’ll get refreshments (usually bubbly and nibbles) and a one-and-a-half-hour class that includes a talk and a Q&A session, followed by mingling and and shopping discounts.
8. Tantra is Love — Sydney, Australia
This Sydney-based team hosts a range of events ranging from yoga to self-love classes, but it’s the tantric workshop that focuses specifically on sex. Over the course of two days, attendees learn about different techniques, including how to improve communication and intimacy, how to last longer and how to have different types of orgasm. Classes are mixed gender and LGBTQ+ friendly, and there’s no nudity or genital touching. You’ll be given a workbook full of tips and information for you to try out in the privacy of your own home.
9. Sexpert Consultants — Washington, US
Sexpert Consultants run a selection of private evens, group classes and online workshops covering a range of sex-related topics, from fellatio and cunnilingis to kink and cannasexuality (that’s sex on cannabis). Their popular ‘Women’s Sensual Self-Care’ female masturbation class is the one to choose if you want to learn how to incorporate more sensuality into your self-care routine. You’ll also pick up some tips on how to prioritize pleasure and figure out what sparks your desire. While it’s not specifically focused on orgasms, you do get a goodie bag filled with treats — including a bullet vibrator — to try out at home. The class costs $50 and is fully clothed, with no intimate touching. There’s also the option to take an online version if you’re feeling shy.