In addition to selling nearly every kind of sex toy imaginable, Sugar offers a wide variety of classes on sexuality. On Feb. 14, Jacq Jones, the store's owner, offers one called G-Spot, Squirting, and Fun, Oh My!
City Paper: What made you decide to open a sex store?
Jacq Jones: I've been working in reproductive health care and sex education since 1994, primarily [at the] clinic level doing education and also administration. I've worked doing grants administration and street-level outreach and for the state health department. And I've also worked for several years in a very similar store in New York and part of what I found is that being able to do sex education from a purely pleasure-based model is more fun and also more effective than really coming at it solely from a medical-based model. So what we're able to do is provide education and high-quality toys and access to information and provide people with options that are safe and can be good for relationships or good for people on their own and hopefully help reduce risky behavior and sexually transmitted infections and help people have a lot of fun.
CP: What are some of the classes that you offer?
JJ: They vary widely-anything from how to keep a long-term relationship hot, to how to have a threesome, to how to find your G spot and how to squirt, to how to give a good blowjob. We've got a really awesome class coming up in March: Two folks just wrote a book on prostate stimulation-the prostate is essentially the G spot for folks who have penises-and they're coming here to teach a class and I'm really excited about that. That's another thing we're able to offer the community which is amazing. Partially because we're so close to New York City, we have had hands-down the best sex educators in the country teaching here. I'm grateful for it.
CP: Sex might not be the thing the average person would think-I'm going to take a class, whereas they would think that with cooking or anything else to become more skillful. Is that something you've had to overcome with people?
JJ: Yes and no. I think there are a lot of people, especially when they're younger, who think Oh, I know everything there is to know about sex. I'm 40 years old and I've been working in this field for a long time, and the one thing that I know now is that I know a hell of a lot about sex. I know more about sex than 99 percent of the people on the planet-maybe 98-but I also know that there is so much more about sex that I don't know. Humans are endlessly creative and can come up with all kinds of things, and there's always something new and science is always teaching us more about the human body and the brain and how they work together, and it's amazing and I can promise if somebody comes to one of our classes they will leave learning at least one new thing.
CP: One of the classes you held last month was a Fifty Shades of Grey-themed thing. Has that really changed things?
JJ: I think one of the gifts the books have given people is causing them to think about sex in ways that they maybe haven't thought about sex before. Also, I talk to a lot of women, especially women who are married with kids and jobs, who maybe got to a point in their life where they sort of forgot sex was fun, and then they read the Fifty Shades book and then they're like "Oh yeah! I used to like this. Let me make this a priority in my life again." And then husbands come in really happy, buying stuff to play with. The downside to the books is that the lady who wrote them didn't know anything about BDSM, and so a lot of times what happens in the book is that an implement will be used and a reaction will be elicited that is not what would happen. For example, there's a time where he's hitting her with a crop and she's all like, oh that's tickly tingley. No. Crops hurt. But what we've been able to do is if someone [thinks it] might be fun to be spanked or be restrained or something like that, those are wonderful, fun things to do, but it's important to do them in a way that will be safe and will actually be fun.
CP: So you're teaching a G spot class. It's rare that there is a body part which people debate whether it even exists. Tell me what people will get out of it.
JJ: The G spot can be a really intense pleasure center for the people who have vaginas and clitorises. (When I say that, it's because I come from a place of understanding that your genitalia doesn't define your gender.) The G spot is really the urethral sponge, a spongy material that surrounds the urethra and can be felt through the front wall of the vagina. That's all it is. And that's a real structure. There's no question that that structure exists in everybody who has that kind of body type. Where I think people get confused is . . . if you're not turned on-when somebody gets turned on, it changes what happens in the genital area and makes things more sensitive. So if you're not turned on and go to press on the G spot, [in] most cases there's not going to be a significant reaction; whereas when the G spot is swollen and engorged with blood and other fluids, pressure on it can create a very noticeable sensation that, for most people, is pleasurable. But that's the other thing that's weird about G spot, like stuff in Cosmopolitan magazine or whatever, is that not everybody likes every sensation. That doesn't mean somebody's giving you the sensation incorrectly, it just means you don't like it. And that's OK. But the bottom line is that everyone with a vagina and a clitoris has a G spot, and we can teach you how to find it and we can teach you how to stimulate it in ways that most people find pleasurable, and through stimulation of the G spot, anybody who has one can squirt and have female ejaculation happen. The amount of ejaculate can vary greatly from person to person and from day to day, and so we can talk about how to increase that-if it's something somebody wants-and how to make the ejaculation more powerful.