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Shanna Katz Teaches "Anal 101" at Fascinations This Thursday

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Shanna Katz wants to talk to you about sex. She wants to tell you why it's good, teach you how to enjoy it more, and maybe even laugh about it a little.

Phoenix-based Katz, dubbed "a younger, hipper version of Dr. Ruth" by other media, is a licensed professional -- well, sort of. She has a Masters degree in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University in Pennsylvania, and is the resident sexuality educator for erotic retail chain Fascinations. 

Katz also handles social media for Fascinations, and maintains a popular a blog (blogs.funlove.com) tied to her work with the company, like her regular "Let's Talk Sex" seminars on hot topics like cunnilingus, sex toys, and couples communication. This Thursday, June 10, she'll be elaborating on everything about anal sex in her "What's Up with the Butt?" workshop at Fascinations in Scottsdale.

We had a few other questions for her.

How is "sexuality education" different from "sex education"?
The best way I can explain it is, sex education tells people how to do sex acts and how to do them safely, if that. A lot of times, they just cover pregnancy and STD education. Sexuality education is more about the experience -- not just the act of sex, but the emotions behind it, and the communication. It covers a wider spectrum.

Who do you think could benefit the most from a "Let's Talk Sex" seminar?
Anyone and everyone over the age of 18. There's no such thing as a sex expert -- we're always learning. No one can know everything about sexuality, and I went to grad school for it. Even people who may be experienced and educated about a lot of different sex acts can learn more. For example, this week, I'm teaching Anal 101. You can come and learn about a new lubricant, or how relaxation really helps. Even people who've been having anal sex for ten years can learn something. These workshops are also for people who've maybe never had sex before, and have a lot of questions. All of our presenters make themselves available after the workshops for one-on-one talks. Our demographic is everyone from 18 to 80. We have mothers who bring their children, people from the LGBT community, and your average, white, middle class couples.

What do you do in the seminars?
I try to do something interactive with each one. For my relationship mapping class, everyone did their own maps. In the anal class, everyone will write down myths they've heard. I'll talk about what a butt plug is, what anal beads are, and why lubricant is so important. I'll pass around different lubricants and talk about why they're good or not.

What makes for good sex?
I have three rules. One, communication is key. If you can't talk to the person you're having sex with, why are you having sex with them? The second thing I say is, "Lube is Love." And third, laughter. Sex is so awkward, and people make funny sounds and weird faces, and crazy things happen -- like a dildo gets thrown across the room, or the kids walk in. You've got to be able to laugh. Plus, laughter releases endorphins, which makes the sex feel even better.

Shanna Katz hosts the "What's Up with the Butt?" workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 10, at Fascinations, 7337 E. Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free, and includes free food and drinks and a $10 Fascinations gift card. Visit blogs.funlove.com for more information.

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