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On Wednesday, February 8th, Babeland is hosting a book launch and discussion for Great in Bed with co-authors Dr. Debby Herbenick and Grant Stoddard. The comprehensive sex guide offers a she thinks/he thinks perspective on modern sex and hits just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher and teacher at The Kinsey Institute and Indiana University who started teaching sex ed to college students at IU. She has written sex columns for numerous newspapers and magazines and is frequently called on by journalists, which is how she met Grant Stoddard. Grant is an author and journalist, covering sex and lifestyles for numerous magazines, including New YorkGQ and Glamour. Grant started writing about sex as a naïve intern at Nerve.com with the “I Did It For Science” column. They both have great blogs, too. Check out MySexProfessor.com, and GrantStoddard.com.

Q: One of the things I appreciated about Great in Bed is that it gives a lot of advice about handling the different situations that come with sex – from the first date to the morning after. How did you decide what to focus on? There’s so much to say about sex!

Debby: We wanted Great in Bed to be able to help a wide range of people to have fantastic sex – whether they were just starting out with someone or trying to find ways to make sex better after several months or years together. We also, of course, realize that quality sex doesn’t wait until you have your clothes off and are rolling around naked. You’ve got to meet someone first. Get things to go well. Flirt, touch, kiss, have something to say to one another. All of it matters.

Grant: I thought of practical information that I really could have used instead of learning through trial and error. And of course, I’m always striving to be better in bed (as we all should be) so I learned a lot of fascinating new information through my research and even more from Dr. Debby’s wealth of knowledge in the field. I’ve already referred to it a dozen times or more! (Not *during* the act, obviously.)

Q: There’s a message throughout the book about feeling confident. We teach sex workshops at Babeland and notice that this is the number one challenge for our customers. Why do people generally feel this lack of sexual confidence?

Debby: As a society, we don’t give people much sex education or information to go on. Most of us have a sense that we’re pretty much in the dark when it comes to sex. It takes practice, learning, exposure to ideas, a partner who smiles or moans and lets you know things are going well – all of these can build confidence.

Grant: I think it’s also because people fear judgment. We’re bombarded with information about what’s “normal” and what’s not and we may be hesitant to share what turns us on for fear of feeling judged. I remember plucking up the courage to do this particular thing I had refrained from doing for weeks — thinking I’d freak my partner out – only to find that she loved that thing, too. Through experience I’ve learned that the more that we are our true selves (in sex and in life) the happier we are. This is borne out in several studies in the book — some of which were authored by Debby herself.

Q: Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Do you have any tips for making it memorable?

Debby: Aside from grabbing a copy of Great in Bed, turning to a random page, and trying what you find? Sure. If you’ve got a partner, talk to them about what you want it to be like. Not everyone wants to go out to dinner and have a big box of chocolates. Some people would rather stay in and watch the same movie at home that they watched in the theater on their first date with you. Some people want a threesome or a massage or to go away on a spontaneous weekend trip, even if it’s just to the next town.

Grant: Whether you’re a new couple or if you’ve been together for years, make dinner together. You get to create something together, enjoy it together, and be in each other’s company. It’s much funner than going out to eat and you can go from dessert to the bedroom in no time and bust out all the new knowledge you’ve gleaned from Great in Bed!

Q: We’re excited to host you both at Babeland on February 8th. What can people expect at the event?

Debby: We’re excited to meet everyone who’s coming out. There will be drinks and plenty of sex talk; we’ll be taking anonymous questions and interviewing each other. Of course, Babeland is known for its accessible and yet ever-entertaining array of sex toys, so we’re hoping to show people around the store, too, and come up with a few new ideas for being great in bed.

Grant: Some good advice, lively discussion, and more ideas for giving hand jobs than you ever thought possible.

Great in Bed Book Launch and Discussion, Wednesday, February 8th at Babeland SoHo, 7pm, free. Call 212-966-2120 for more information.