Public Workshops

The Smitten Kitten regularly hosts educational classes and workshops led by Smitten Kitten staff and by guest presenters from around the U.S. and Canada. Past and upcoming events at Smitten Kitten or involving Smitten Kitten staff can be found on our events calendar.

The workshops listed below have all been developed by Smitten Kitten staff, and can be taught here at our Minneapolis store or on-site at clinics, conferences, universities, etc. If you're interested in booking one of our workshops in your own space, or requesting a private workshop for your group here at Smitten Kitten, please click here to fill out our Educational Event Request Form. Most workshops can be customized for the specific needs and interests of your organization, so don't hesitate to contact us at info@smittenkittenonline.com with any questions about our workshop curricula or the booking process!

FOUNDATIONAL WORKSHOPS:

Sex Toys 101

SEX TOYS 101

The Smitten Kitten was the first totally non-toxic, body safe sex toy store! This class will teach you what that means, how to shop for safe sex toys and lubricants, and give a rundown of sex toy materials, types, and uses.

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn what sex toy materials are toxic and/or porous, versus what materials are always safe and sterilizable
  • Learn about the different types of lubricants, their compatibility with sex toys and barrier methods, and how to choose the best lube for you
  • Share different types of toys, their uses, and how they correspond with pleasure and anatomy
Anatomy of Arousal

ANATOMY OF AROUSAL

Understanding the anatomical and physiological functions that facilitate pleasure and arousal allows for creative and empowering sexual exploration for any body! This workshop breaks down arousal and sexual response like an easy-to-use owner's manual to genitals.

Workshop objectives:

  • Discuss the phases of arousal, desire, and sexual response
  • Learn the body parts, organs, and tissues that respond (and how) to sexual stimulus and arousal
  • Understand techniques that tend to work well for specific body parts through the phases of arousal
a pink square containing words and the silhouettes of anal beads and a dildo. The words are printed at a slant and say "Insertable Toys!"

INSERTABLE TOYS!

This workshop focuses on insertable sex toys and their pleasure potential within a context of sexual health and safety. The Smitten Kitten has advocated for consumer safety in the sex toy industry since our store opened in 2003, and part of our mission is to educate consumers so they themselves can become advocates within their own communities. The content of this workshop will empower participants so that they know how to make informed decisions about pleasure and sexual health, and pass on this knowledge and skills to others.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to…

  • identify which sex toys are the safest and most body friendly based on toy materials and design
  • confidently choose which penetrative sex toys to use based on their pleasure-giving potential
  • clean and care for their toys in ways that maintain the quality and hygiene of the product and support their own sexual health
  • avoid compatibility issues with different types of lubricant and certain sex toys or safer sex barriers
G-spot and or prostate pleasure

G-SPOT AND/OR PROSTATE PLEASURE

We’ll sort through what is myth, what is fact, and what just feels good when it comes to G-Spot and prostate pleasure, stimulation, and orgasm.

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn about the anatomy of the G-Spot and the prostate
  • Discuss techniques, access points, and the role of warming up in G-Spot or prostate stimulation
  • Share tips and toy suggestions to maximize G-Spot and prostate pleasure potential
Anal Play 101

ANAL PLAY 101

Every body has a butt and this class will provide all of the tools and information to facilitate pleasurable anal play for butts of every variety.

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn anal play safety and the anatomy of the anus and rectum
  • Discuss the importance of warming up the butt, anus, and rectum
  • Share tips, toys, and lube suggestions for any butt experience level
Strap-On 101

STRAP-ON 101

Finding the right harness and dildo combination can be tricky, but we’re here to help you figure out what gear will work best for you and how to use it!

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn what styles of harnesses are available, and their pros and cons
  • Learn what options of dildos are available, their pros and cons, and compatibility with harnesses
  • Discuss best uses, tips, and techniques to maximize pleasure and determine your priorities when playing with a strap-on
Pegging 101

PEGGING 101

Pegging, or using a strap-on to penetrate a partner anally, has pleasurable potential for any partner dynamic. This class will help you navigate the gear necessary for pegging, safety skills, and techniques to try.

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn what styles of harnesses are available, and their pros and cons
  • Learn what options of dildos are available, their pros and cons in anal penetration, and compatibility with harnesses
  • Explain the unique challenges of pegging, anal anatomy and safety, and techniques for maximizing pleasure and comfort
Spice Things Up!

SPICE THINGS UP!

We’re often asked to help folks “spice things up,” which can mean a lot of things depending on who’s asking! This class is just the beginning; it will teach some basic skills, techniques, and activities for folks to add something a little new and different to their sexual lives.

Workshop objectives:

  • Generate ideas of what it means to “spice things up,” or what it could mean
  • Discuss safe communication strategies for folks in partnerships
  • Brainstorm and share ideas, products, and activities that can “spice up” someone’s sex life
Sex Positivity and Consent

SEX POSITIVITY & CONSENT

Sex positivity and consent are ideas that seem simple enough, but we know from experience that applying these ideas to real life can be quite complex. This workshop explores the nuances in both, the connection of the two, and some simple strategies for applying sex positivity and explicit, affirmative consent to the gray areas of real life scenarios.

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn a brief history of the sex positive movement, a functioning definition of sex positivity, and how to be inclusive and thoughtful in cultivating sex positive cultures and spaces
  • Understand what explicit, affirmative consent is, what it looks or sounds like, and how to create inclusive, intentionally consent-conscious cultures or spaces
  • Discuss challenges and solutions in enacting explicit, affirmative consent
Safer Sex and Consent

SAFER SEX & CONSENT

There are a variety of ways to make all kinds of sexual activities safer, including explicit, affirmative consent. We’ll go over barrier methods, lubricants, sex toy safety, and compatibility of all of these elements and sexual activities, along with consent, to help educate and create safer sexual experiences.

Workshop objectives:

  • Understand what explicit, affirmative consent is, what it looks or sounds like, and how to create inclusive, intentionally consent-conscious cultures or spaces
  • Learn what safer sex methods are available, which are best for different sexual activities or specific sex toys, and their compatibility with each other
  • Explore and discuss different ways to have conversations as part of larger community groups or within sexual relationships to ensure safer sex and explicit, affirmative consent practices are being enacted

 

 

SPECIALIZED WORKSHOPS:

Lube! An in-depth look at personal lubricants

LUBE! AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT PERSONAL LUBRICANTS

Lube seems pretty simple - it's all just slippery stuff, right? Perhaps you've learned about the different basic types of lube as well. But the science of lubricant goes way beyond choosing water-based, silicone, or oil.

We know that personal lubricants have the ability to increase sexual pleasure, stamina, sensitivity, and relieve symptoms of sexual dysfunction. But many popular lubes can actually be harmful to the body’s mucous membranes, can increase susceptibility to STIs and cause infection, irritation, or allergic reactions, and lack appropriate testing and regulation. If that seems scary, don't worry! This workshop is designed to help you sort through the details and acquire the latest, most thoroughly researched information about lube, as it pertains to consumers, manufacturers and medical professionals.

In this workshop you'll learn:

  • How to identify potentially harmful ingredients in lube, and what makes a lubricant body-friendly and safe
  • How the pH and osmolality of a lubricant impacts mucous membrane integrity
  • What preexisting conditions may exacerbate adverse reactions to lubricants, and what works best for people with different medical and sexual needs
sex and cancer

SEX AND CANCER

Smitten Kitten has developed this class to meet the needs of folks who have gone through cancer treatments, like radiation and/or chemotherapy. These treatments, along with many other factors, can change sexual function, genital health, arousal, and desire. We’ve worked with many educators and oncologists to provide education and the tools necessary to understand how cancer, and cancer treatments, impact sexual function, and how to move forward toward sexual wellness and pleasure.

Workshop objectives:

  • Understand physical ways chemo and/or radiation therapy directly and indirectly alter the genitals, sexual response, and arousal
  • Discuss ways cancer and cancer treatment influence body image, relationship dynamics, and desire
  • Share tools for combating sexual function difficulties and for maintaining or improving genital wellness and function
sex and menopause

SEX AND MENOPAUSE

Menopausal and postmenopausal bodies often experience changes in sexual function, desire, and pleasure, but it’s important to remember that change can be good! This workshop will go over many potential changes associated with menopause and how folks experiencing these changes can maintain genital health, continence, and increase pleasure.

Workshop objectives:

  • Understand the ways that low or decreasing estrogen manifest in the body, in sexual function, and in arousal and desire
  • Learn options of tools, practices, lubricants, and toys that can increase genital wellness and pleasure
  • Discuss sexual response models and learning new ways to interact with changing bodies
Pleasurably Positive: Sex with STIs

PLEASURABLY POSITIVE: SEX WITH STIs

Globally, over 1 million people contract an STI daily, 500 million people yearly seek care for curable STIs, and in the U.S. roughly 16% of people are living with genital herpes; it’s obvious STIs are common, require adequate acknowledgment, and call for better STI education. But what about those of us living, permanently or temporarily, with an STI? This workshop focuses on the needs of STI positive folks, from education, healthcare, safer sex practices, and counseling, to destigmatization and support.

Workshop objectives:

  • Demonstrate how to facilitate basic sex education, counseling, or teaching styles around STIs and/or themes of sexuality without using language or themes that convey stigma or alienate folks living with STIs
  • Identify at least 3 concrete ways in which to tailor support services or education to include patients or students who are STI positive
How To Speak Inclusively In Sex Education

HOW TO SPEAK INCLUSIVELY IN SEX EDUCATION

This workshop explores the importance of developing an intentionally inclusive vocabulary, offering practical tips and tales from the trade of speaking inclusively in sex education. Inclusive language has been shown to be a key element in creating the safe, welcoming spaces necessary for facilitating sex education or therapy. Through years of providing sex education to a diverse population at The Smitten Kitten, we've learned how validating, refreshing, and empowering the intentional use of inclusive language can be for all identities.

Participants will:

  • Identify concrete vocabulary changes they can make in their own speaking habits to facilitate a space and conversation around sexual health that is more inclusive of folks with marginalized and/or intersecting identities
  • Demonstrate, through creating statements and plans, that they can implement intentionally inclusive language in their workplace via verbal communication, social media language, advertising, or augmentation of their physical workspace
Decolonizing Sex Positivity

DECOLONIZING SEX POSITIVITY

This workshop was developed by Nafeesa Dawoodbhoy and presented by The Smitten Kitten. It offers a challenge to white-dominated perspectives on sex positivity, and engages anyone seeking to expand and complicate their understanding of sex positivity. Navigating the complexities of intersectional identities can be exhausting, and have lasting impacts on people's sex lives. This workshop explores ways for people with intersecting identities, especially people of color, to stay true to their whole selves and honor the complexities of all their identities. Drawing from her own authentic life experience, Nafeesa centers this workshop from a South Asian/Muslim perspective.
Workshop Objectives: 
  • Provides tools for sex educators to re-think a sex positivity that is less one-dimensional, more holistic and empowering.
  • Identifies the legacies of colonialism and the lasting effects they've had on sexuality for colonial subjects. 

 

 

Subscribe to Email