Better Sex Series - Sexplorations
Sexplorations can be compared to one of those cook books that every chef has to have in their kitchen. It’s an ultra comprehensive adult instructional DVD that promotes sexual education while modelling positive loving behavior.
The premise of this series is simple - better sex. Don’t we all have a stake in expanding our sexual wisdom, learning how to be a better lover or enhancing a sensual spark? The Sinclair Institute (SI) combined authentic stories with information from top sexual educators to create a sensual, professionally produced series. It is real couples having real sex.
This series strives to educate both male and female viewers about the fundamentals of sex, such as: anatomy, sexual health, communication, sexual technique and seduction. It also seeks to dispel misconceptions that have diluted understanding about sex or misperceptions people have about their bodies.
SI recognizes that many couples find that it’s difficult to communicate about sex - that’s why they’ve created an educational series to facilitate the discussion. This form of instruction can make you more comfortable discussing and incorporating new sexual activities. Watching Sexplorations with a partner can increase intimacy and will be an excellent spark for new ideas and behaviors.
The total running time of this 3 volume DVD set is 225 minutes; it also includes a bonus audio CD called Journeys. Paula Ficara is the host of this 2005 production, which includes Closed Captioning. The bonus audio CD is a compilation of the music used in the filming of Sexplorations.
You can purchase the DVD’s separately but there are M-A-J-O-R savings when you buy 3 all at once. Not only that, the 3 volume set does go on sale from time to time, which can bring the cost of the set down to the price of just one.
Volume 1: Advanced Sexual Techniques and Positions.
With an approximate running time of 84 minutes, this volume explores foundational topics in sex. You also get to know the variety of couples who demonstrate sexual technique throughout the series.
It’s kicked off with ‘Anatomy‘, a thorough examination of the body using charts, close-up pictures, side-by-side shots, commentary and explanation. There was good coaching in ‘how and what to touch where’ to heighten arousal and achieve orgasm, including g-spot orgasm.
‘Orgasm’ is the next section, the instructional starting first with females and proceeding to males. The panel members explain orgasm cycles and describe the physiological progression that occurs for men and for women. You gain an awareness of how your sexual partner’s arousal progresses and how you can manipulate the plateau stages.
‘Foreplay’ follows, reviewing 4 main areas: ‘kissing’; ‘oral sex’; ‘erotic talk’; and ‘erotic massage’. The content was fast paced yet thoroughly demonstrated the skills being used. This section progressed effectively because it showed a variety of couples performing technique and gave plenty of advice for both men and women.
‘Sexual Positions’ is last. It describes the Kama Sutra and goes through the top 4 or 5 variations of missionary position such as Blossoming Flower, Congress of the Cow and Suspended Congress.
The bonus features in this volume are quite good. ‘Behind the Scenes‘ interviews some of the Better Sex couples, who discuss new things that they’ve tried during the taping of the show. ‘Technical Aspects‘ shows what goes into the making of the series and ‘Hosting the Better Sex Video Series” looks at Paula Ficara’s job as a host. ‘Better Sex Tips‘ were my favorite – they look at 5 Levels of Touch, Ejaculatory Control, You Get What you Give, Overcoming Erectile Difficulties, Getting Comfortable With Your Body and the Hand Dance. Although ‘Why Sex Ed Videos Work‘ and ‘Laugh it Up’ show up in every volume, each one is unique.
Volume 2: 22 Sex Secrets, Tips and Turn Ons
The concepts shown in this 79 minute presentation turn up the heat. Having sex outside of the bedroom and role-playing are just a couple of the hot topics explored in this volume.
The first theme was a steamy ‘Seduction’ segment followed by a piece all about ’Erotic Dancing’. Next was ‘Masturbation’, an excellent section. It reveals 4 core benefits of masturbation: it feels good, it’s a great stress reliever, it’s a substitute when your partner is unavailable; and it’s a great way to get to know your body. This section examines anal stimulation during masturbation as well as how to massage a male’s prostate. The topic of ’Mutual masturbation’ is naturally the next section of focus.
‘Fantasy’, ’Sex Outside the Bedroom’ and ‘Power Play’ were segments all about the fun and imaginative aspects of sexuality and spontaneity. My favorite scenes from this volume were the solo female masturbation demo and the first male masturbation demo scene. Hers was fantastic because it was extremely sensual; she quivered, moaned and writhed around – so hot! I absolutely loved that she showed viewers how two sex toys could be utilized at once. His was great because he touched himself so sensually; the scene really emphasized the hand movements that turn on a man’s most sensitive spots.
The Bonus Features in this volume were interesting. ‘Behind the Scenes’ showed how they filmed the love scene on the boat, etc. I also liked the interview with Midori, one of the sex consultants for Better Sex Series, who discussed the sketch called ‘Power Play’. The ’Better Sex Tips’ were good and ’Why Sex Ed Videos Work’ highlighted sexual educators talking about the first time they themselves watched a sexual adult education video. ’Auto Erotica’ was a very tastefully done condom commercial and ’Laugh it up’ was a short vignette of a stand-up comedy routine.
Volume 3: Erotic Sex Play and Beyond 110 minutes
The mood of this volume was all about sensuality, deep intimacy and slow progression. The topics started out with ‘Sensual Touch’, which examines how massage helps to gain valuable information about your partner. It encourages attention to touch and sensual response rather than fixating on orgasms; this will help to develop sensual awareness and trust. ‘Quickie’, which can simply entail a manual tease or oral sex, promotes thinking of somewhere fun, rather than outrageous, to get intimate.
‘Sex Toys’ and ‘Vibrators’ are kicked off with a historical look, a discussion of their benefits and some examples of a few couples incorporating them into play. I was pleased at the range of toys that SI exhibited, including a male masturbation sleeve, glass dildos, enhancers (like a constriction band) and cock-rings with bullet attachments.
‘Fantasy Role Play’ let some of the couples act out their fantasies; a policewoman having sex with one of the inmates through the bars, and a guy who ends up having sex with the beautiful ‘maid service’ attendant.
‘Anal Pleasure’ focused on the anus as an incredibly erotic erogenous zone that can enhance your sexual experience. However, a lack of information and social stigma has put many people off of exploring this area, rich in blood vessels and nerve endings. They totally ease you into it, explaining hygiene, fingering technique, toy integration and analingus. It was great that they showed the males getting fingered and even did a brief on the P-spot (Prostate). These scenes were very sexy and showed a good connection between the couples.
Lastly, ‘Adult movies’ was a discussion of sexually explicit images and how one’s sex life might benefit from them. It also dispelled the myth that nice girls don’t watch them.The bonus features include ‘Behind the Scenes’ of the car wash sequence as well as the filming of “caught in the act”. The ’Better Sex Tips’ were quite good and this volume’s ’Why Sex Ed Videos Work’ showed a Clinical Sex Therapist explaining the benefit of adult education videos.
The overall presentation of the series was awesome. Sinclair did a marvellous job of giving the viewer a feeling of belonging, a sense that you needn’t feel uncertain about your skills. What you will really appreciate about this production is that it handles sexual topics sensitively and regards the couples with respect.
All of the couples were authentic and related openly and lovingly with one another – their sincerity make it a lot easier to identify with the content of the show. Having sex in public is one thing but to do it on demand in front of a crew?! I admire their courage.
The sex consultants were excellent. Most of them are authors or have a PhD in fields related to sexual health. It really feels like you’re taking a course when you watch this series. The delivery was professional and non-judgemental. It seems best geared for couples who have a modest understanding of sexual function as well as those who want to know the best way to arouse their partners.
The only disappointment was the shtick with the interviews of actors discussing various sexual topics. I realize that they were used throughout the show to transition to different topics and provide a break in viewing. However, their contribution was contrived, cheesy and really diminished my opinion of the series. Luckily, they were used progressively less with each volume.
Content Quality 7.5/10
The content of the Better Sex Series can be best described as “opening” a door to a huge realm of sexuality. It’ll definitely be an education for someone who’s new to sex or only moderately experienced, but the information probably won’t teach much to a person who’s already highly skilled sexually. Despite this, it will prove to be arousing and will function for anyone as a sensual reminder of techniques that you might not have used in a while.
SI dispels myths and explores taboo topics in a very sweet and unintimidating way. This volume was really successful at integrating sex toys into the context. It was good at showing the names of the products as they were being used and gave many tips on lubrication. For those individuals who are less familiar or intimidated by the idea of a sex toys and their trappings, this will truly be a welcome introduction.
This show illustrates simple ways to spice things up, despite the fact that many couples have busy schedules. SI affirms that seduction starts outside of the bedroom and your state of mind plays a huge factor. They also teach you to be ‘present’ during lovemaking; that is, to focus on what your partner would really enjoy most and communicate what feels good to you.
SI places a lot of emphasis on the benefits of watching sexual education videos; one of the reasons is that it allows couples to learn about one others’ needs, desires or dislikes. It’s also a trigger for discussion because it elicits stronger emotional responses that would normally be triggered by say, a book. You also gain a sense of inclusion because the people you’re watching are easy to relate to.
Sex Appeal 8.5/10
The Better Sex Series is going to appeal to people who want to experience the passion between clean-cut couples who model what the SI considers to be positive sexual behavior. The couples demonstrate good energy as well as comfort and openness with one another, despite the fact that they’re on camera. They are also diverse in age, ethnicity and sexual inclination. The show encourages you to get to know yourself as sexual beings by exploring new possibilities and embracing your inherent sensuality.
What will be really encouraging for people watching these DVDs is that they can identify with the Better Sex couples. Some of them attempt things on camera that they’ve never done before, which is encouraging for viewers who may feel hesitant about trying new things themselves. The series attempts to show EVERYTHING, so even if you don’t like a particular sex act, you at least had the opportunity to be exposed to it.
Video Quality 10/10
The Better Sex Series exhibits a dedication to the aesthetic quality of a lovemaking scene. The show displays a high quality of video as well as awesome camera work. They used multiple camera angles, utilizing slow movement during the love scenes, and effectively split the finished product into 2 or 3 windows to show them from different perspectives simultaneously.
They took this a step further by combining the demonstrations with interviews of that particular couple, panellists elaborating on that topic, sex facts or dictionary definitions. This was particularly effective to refresh your attention and break up the voiceover. An accomplished host was also a good staging point.
Although the DVD was packed with facts and historical references, I didn’t feel like I was inundated with too much information. It helped that the SI chose to keep their demos shorter by making use of two or three couples per topic. Using just one couple might put you off a concept because you don’t connect with them or don’t find them arousing.
The series progressed well as it delved further into complex topics. Editing, good scene transition and moving camera angles kept it stimulating. So did keeping both couples in the shot; attention was paid to how each actor responded to stimulus at the moment. Maybe it’s a girl thing, but doing that makes me so much more into what I’m watching.
Audio Quality 9/10
The quality of audio and background music for this entire production was excellent. The Better Sex Series paid great attention to detail and it really contributed to the overall effect of this presentation. For example, you could clearly hear what the couples were saying while background sound such as vibrators or rustling bed sheets didn’t interfere. I appreciated how well the volume of background music was integrated and how it kept the pace of the show moving.
The music was relatively diverse and incorporated a bit of funk, which kind of reminded me of SNL, as well as parts from the Journeys CD. The audio CD is included as a free bonus when you buy the entire Better Sex Series. It has a variety of music: ethereal sounds, saxophone, jazz piano, keyboard and chimes mimicking oceans waves … and let’s not forget the electrical guitar.
Some of the tracks had swagger and others were very cosmic and mellow. The songs change the atmosphere very subtly and the mellow vibe pervades the most during the series. I felt that the music sounded elevatoresque while other portions sounded like they were from corny romance scenes from 80’s and 90’s movies. It’s not the genre of music that I’d kick back to but I think some people might enjoy it in the background.
Extra Features 10/10
You know how bonus features can seem like they were an afterthought in the production of a DVD? Well, it is not the case with the Better Sex Series; these bonus features are intelligent, fun to watch and give a unique perspective of the cast and crew. I highly recommend viewing this whole section, even before you watch the main show.
Each volume of the Better Sex Series contains similar categories with unique subject matter in each one. ‘Behind the Scenes’ lets us get to know the Better Sex couples and explain how they shoot lovemaking scenes. The ‘Better Sex Tips’ were actually my favorite part; these vignettes explored various sexual health issues, concepts and techniques. ‘Why Sex Ed Videos Work’ presents experts in sexual health who discuss the benefits of watching adult sex education and even disclose their first time watching one. ‘Laugh it Up’, my least favorite feature, features stand-up comedians telling sex jokes.
Overall Score 9.1/10
The Better Sex Series really struck a good balance between portraying “take me now” and tactful instruction in sexual health. It was thorough in exploring foundational areas of sexuality that, for one reason or another, some couples may not have explored. It was sensual and comprehensive – it’ll definitely build confidence to try new things and encourage communication with your sexual partner. The score reflects an excellent framework as well as the immense attention to detail that went into the production of Sexplorations. A definitely recommended addition to anyone’s library of knowledge!
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