Sex education in the U.S. is woefully lacking. Of the few dozen states that mandate any sex education, only 13 require that it be medically accurate and only eight require the program be culturally-appropriate and not biased against any race, sex, or ethnicity (notice that gender and sexuality are missing). Even the most comprehensive programs focus on measurable public health outcomes like pregnancy and STI prevention. Most people stumble into adulthood with intimate ideas straight out of romcoms, porn, and romance novels that don’t encompass the full spirit of human sexuality and pleasure.
As adults, it’s not much better. Sex therapists are hard to find and often don’t take insurance. Feminist sex stores and their inclusive workshops aren’t mainstream yet. Doctors receive, at most, a few hours of sexuality training and often perpetuate the harmful myths. Enter: sex tech. An entire economy of sex education for adults, from educational porn, to workshops and consultations, to games that help people have a more intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life.
By 2020, sex tech is predicted to be a multi-billion, if not trillion, dollar industry. It increasingly offers creative solutions to the dismal sex ed that permeates the U.S. (and beyond). One popular approach? Gamify it! First, came OMGYes, a site that uses touchable video to explore new ways to increase pleasure. Then, Desire, a game for couples that lets you track dates, send each other sexy dares, and explore new date night ideas. And now? KinkKit.
Started in response to the #MeToo movement, KinkKit offers a new kind of sex education for adults with hands-on, pleasure-based curriculum in a box. By exploring these “sexperiences” in a box, KinkKit helps couples “find their flavor” and experience a more intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life. We spoke with founder Candice to understand this new way of thinking about sex education for adults—and, most importantly, how it helps you discover intimate ideas and improve your relationships.
Interview has been condensed for length and clarity.
First off, what is Sexperiential Learning™ and how does it work?
Sexperiential Learning came from my work as a classroom educator. In educational pedagogy, the theory of Experiential Learning allows students to learn through experience, but it’s not just about being “hands on.” It’s about “learning through reflection on doing.” Students work on a project that’s meaningful to them. Through reflection on that project, they make connections they otherwise would not have in a traditional “lecturer-listener” format.
Experiential learning engages students who are often bored, the ones who ask, why are we learning this? It not only gives students the point, but it also helps them learn how they learn. This is one of the most powerful lessons an educator can give their students, as it helps them become self-sufficient, mindful learners.
[KinkKit applies] that same methodology to lovers who have never been mindful about lovemaking; have fallen into the same patterns of intimate communication; used to be mindful and have lost that spark; or, want to develop good habits of intimacy early on in a relationship. All of those people, though they have different needs, will all benefit from becoming more mindful about their lovemaking.
How does Sexperiential learning help people become more mindful lovers?
We often learn to have sex mindlessly and voicelessly; to fall into patterns, go on auto-pilot and disassociate our minds from our bodies in the act. We don’t talk about it afterward. Often we don’t know whether our partner enjoyed it, or even whether we did.
But when we mindfully connect with ourselves and with our partners, that’s where we can have those profound, soul-touching experiences that are some of life’s greatest moments.
Instead of “projects” or “assignments,” we created pleasure-positive games and activities backed by scientific research on arousal and intimacy. What is more meaningful than playing with your lover(s) and learning each other’s needs?! Individually, [each person] will have different motivations and glean different rewards from learning through sexperience —but the common denominator is that they’ll become mindful of the pleasure they give and receive.
How does Sexperiential Learning inspire intimate ideas and improve relationships?
It helps people more mindfully accept, talk about, and enjoy giving and receiving sexual pleasure. The activities involved are the precursors and aftermath to the real work and connection that will happen between lovers—they set the mood and push the boundaries, but they also provide the structure for honest reflection and discussion afterward.
Sex education is not something that should be confined to a classroom, and it’s so much more than just learning about anatomical parts, pregnancy, and diseases. It’s a lifelong process of learning about our needs and limits and communicating them with our partners. Sexperiential Learning focuses on this human element of sex: the connection and intimacy-building. It provides experiences to allow partners the opportunity to connect, and then it gives them the framework to non-judgementally talk about the experience within a safe space.