On pro bono basis, local teaches the art of oral sex

by Rebekah Rombom | 10/20/04 5:00am

When Brenda Griffin's friend asked her to teach his new girlfriend how to perform oral sex, she was a bit taken aback.

She agreed, though, and has since branched out. Griffin now provides something of a community service to Dartmouth students and other residents of the Upper Valley.

Griffin gives free, two-hour tutorials on the art of performing fellatio and the various issues that surround the act. Though the sessions are usually lighthearted, Griffin said that everyone in attendance can learn something, whether it's what to expect of an average man's member or mastery of a new technique.

Though Griffin, who works at Stinson's Village Store on Allen Street, does not consider herself a professional, she concedes that she has a good attitude about oral sex and is able to discuss it comfortably. In order to garner information for her courses, Griffin continually asks men about their preferences.

Classes generally begin with a discussion of safety and attitudes toward oral sex. She prefers not to start with the portion on techniques, but rather to ease into the program to make sure everyone is comfortable with the issues at hand.

"There are people that could teach the class, but there are also people that can't even stand to listen," Griffin said.

When discussing technique, Griffin provides a handout as well as dildos for demonstration and practice. She goes through a brief anatomy lesson, then explains what areas deserve special attention. Finally, she speaks about signs that might help women recognize what their partners want. Such responsiveness is important, she said, because while some men are vocal about their desires, some are "stiff as a board" and completely silent, making it difficult to discern the best method to use.

Griffin's classes, so far, seem to produce successful results. She often concludes to generous applause, and some women even visit Stinson's, Griffin's more conventional workplace, to thank her for her useful advice.

"I've had peoples' boyfriends come up to me the week after and be like 'thank you' ... that's odd," she said.

Some homosexual men have asked her to teach a class for their benefit, but Griffin said that she could not claim to know more about performing fellatio than a man himself. She also steers clear of teaching classes on cunnilingus, she said, because she wouldn't know how to instruct her students.

Griffin gives the courses because she has noticed that many females, particularly young women and recent divorcees, lack confidence regarding their oral sex skills.

Griffin has offered classes to Dartmouth students, including members of Sigma Delta sorority, who commissioned her as part of a house programming event.

Hillary Swanson '05 said the sight of Griffin armed with dildos and instructional handouts was a bit overwhelming.

"Frankly, it was one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever experienced in my life," Swanson said.

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