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Adult education: 5 things we learned at a sex salon

Adult Sex Ed: 5 things we learned at a sex salon Eric Amaranth is a New York City-based sex-life consultant who approaches his topic with the same erudition as an English professor.

The serious 30-something has dedicated the last 15 years to studying and developing the art and science of sex and pleasure (if you didn’t catch him on The View, then you may have heard of Betty Dodson, the pioneering sex consultant who is his mentor and longtime former lover).

While advice columns like Dan Savage’s are more about relationships and craziness, Amaranth is dedicated to anatomy, answering your questions and conundrums, and offering ways make your sex life hotter. If you’re sold on having more orgasms but having trouble getting there, for example, Amaranth’s advice can help.

Amaranth leads small, friends-only sex-ed salons for New York women that are like a book club: It just takes one person to start talking, and everyone else feels comfortable. (Amaranth recommends questions written on index cards for shy types.) And like those discussions of Jane Austen, there’s a lot of focus on the ending: Amaranth believes women should be coming, and a lot of them don’t. But unlike a book club, there’s often a show-and-tell that involves sex toys.

Here are some of the (seriously edited) tips our salon-attendee gleaned. For the unabridged version, contact Amaranth ( and host your own:

1. Focus on your primary orgasm center. You are attached to your clitoris, so you know best what’s going on with it,” he says. “There are positions that make this easier, and positions that make this harder. Missionary is one of the least successful positions: there’s not much room to massage it, which is key,” he adds.

2. Go back to square one. Amaranth recommends recreating a position of historic personal ease: “Many little girls learn [how to have an orgasm] on their stomachs essentially humping a mattress. That’s an ingrained body pattern that your neurology has created for you because that’s what was easy and what worked. Try to approximate this position and method during intercourse. “Developing new positions can take time,” he adds, and that’s part of what he teaches.

3. Do not divide to conquer. A common issue for women is the dichotomy between clitoral and vaginal stimulation, says Amaranth. “The two sensations are pleasurable but different, and can ping-pong your attention between the two, making orgasm a challenge,” he says. Rather than have one sensation distract from the other, Amaranth recommends uniting the two in your mind. “Relax and deal with [the two] as one feeling,” he says, encouraging lots of practice during the journey to get there.

4. Improve your diet. “You need to have a good supply of dopamine to have a good sex drive and better orgasms. If you have high seratonin and low dopamine, then your sex drive and orgasms are not as intense,” says Amaranth. He recommends The Orgasmic Diet: A Revolutionary Plan to Lift Your Libido and Bring You to Orgasm, by Marenna Lindberg (Crown Books, 2007). “I do not agree with all of the findings, but I do agree that the diet coupled with pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 fish oil has powerful sexual benefits for men and women,” he says.

5. Strengthen your PC Muscles. “PC muscles don’t consistently increase the ease of orgasm, but many women claim from experience that their orgasms are more intense after having developed stronger pelvic-floor muscles.

And something to remember when you’re doing all this homework, frequent sex is an excellent way to improve your health and even prevent disease, says Amaranth. From fewer colds due to increased antibodies and a better physical response to stress; higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure (which in turn lowers risk of heart disease by as much as 45%), plus toned abs and glutes. In short, sex is a miracle drug.