Like every other kid whose parents didn’t want to deal with them once school let out for summer, I was forced to go to day camp for too many years until I was old enough to refuse. While everyone else played kickball and made friends like normal children, I was that bitch chillin’ on the dolphin see-saw with my best friend while we gossiped about how hot the camp counselors were and counted down the minutes until our moms picked us up. As someone who’s struggled with social and generalized anxiety for her entire life, getting dropped off and being stuck in a muddy, bug-infested campground to “socialize” with tons of annoying, snotty kids I couldn’t care less about for six hours, five days a week was NOT my version of a perfect summer. All I wanted to do was choreograph terrible dance routines to N*SYNC and Spice Girls songs and host 25-cent lemonade stands with my two favorite neighbors back in the comfort of my home. So yeah, camping was never my thing. But when a sex toy company called Lovehoney invited me to attend their first annual sleepaway sex camp, I didn’t even hesitate with that RSVP. SEX CAMP?! Sign. Me. TF. UP.
First off, the type of sex camp I went to was NOT an orgy in the woods, contrary to what every f*ckboy believed who slid into my Instagram DMs with unfunny jokes. I was one of 20 writers and editors who were invited to go on this trip and I did *not* hook up with any of them, TYVM.
Camp Lovehoney was a two-day sex education and wellness retreat at Gather Greene upstate in Coxsackie, NY. Yes, that’s a real place, and let’s please note the irony (or master planning) of sex camp being held in a place called Coxsackie. Both days were packed with classes and workshops led by sexperts, aphrodisiac meals, and activities all in the name of “sexual happiness.” There were butt plugs and condoms all over the place, water coolers full of wine and cold brew, and basically everything else you would expect to find at an adult summer camp…minus the orgies.
We stayed in the cutest loaded cabins with wi-fi, hot showers, CBD massage candles, and views overlooking the Catskill mountains through an all-glass wall. I was one of the lucky guests who scored a cabin on the edge of a barricaded cliff so I could lounge around naked and admire the view without worrying about anyone looking in through the window. The downside of that was when a lightning storm lit up my whole cabin and woke me up at 4am. The bed was super comfy, though. Gather Greene is a basic bitch Instagram photoshoot paradise. Like, my basement apartment bedroom with no windows clearly doesn’t compare. Glamping rules.
What Did I Do At Sex Camp?
I did a lot of fun stuff. That is without a doubt, hands down the WORST sentence in the history of digital content and my writing career, but it’s true. I ate aphrodisiac treats that got me all types of sexually frustrated, which actually kinda sucked TBH. I tried raw oysters for the very first time, because what better time to lose your oyster virginity than at sex camp? I met amazing people, found out how to introduce kinks into the bedroom without coming off too harsh with a “wanna tie me up?” text, learned sad relationship statistics (like 28% of people fantasize about being with a secret crush during sex!!!), and played with a bunch of upcoming and failed sex toys, including a scary penis fleshlight thing that thankfully never made it to sale because it looked and sounded like a blender.
The itinerary was full of super insightful classes like “Amplify Your Orgasm” and “Anal Playing Around.” You’d think it’d be awkward sitting in a group of 20 people talking about all types of butt stuff, but it was actually really chill. My favorite session was “Working The Kinks Out” led by Francisco Ramirez, MPH wearing a feather hat (pictured above) because the topic of BDSM is so fascinating to me and most people are way kinkier than they usually like to admit but wind up having vanilla sex when they’d much rather be chained up or flogged. There was a 7:15am “Better Sex Yoga” class that I magically woke up early enough to attend after drinking too much at the open bar the night before. Let me tell you, I’m definitely not going to continue waking up to take morning yoga classes, but stretching while overlooking foggy upstate mountain views was MAGICAL.
After the first day’s classes and dinner were all over, a romantic movie played under the stars and a campfire was roaring with s’mores and a ton of candy. It would’ve been super romantic with a plus one… but #single. So I cuddled on the couch with my three new camp besties and watched Isn’t It Romantic? and debated over who the superior Hemsworth brother is (it’s Liam, in case you were wondering). Then we got kicked out of the main hang sesh area because it was midnight, which meant Day One was officially over so we all had to go back to our cabins. WILD. An anxiety-filled human getting told to stop having fun with other humans beyond socializing hours when she’d normally be in bed scrolling through Instagram for two hours already?? The same person who isolated herself and hated day camp 15 years ago??? A damn miracle. Take me back.
Sex Camp Takeaways
This was the first annual sex camp hosted by Lovehoney, so there will definitely be more opportunities to attend in the future. This trip was exclusively for writers and editors, but the event was so fun that they’ll likely open it up to the public as well. Biggest takeaway? A healthy understanding of sexual health and clear communication promotes better sex and better relationships for everyone, and creating that open environment isn’t easy, but it’s so necessary. It’s wild how comfortable you become asking questions, talking about your own sex life, and making friends with complete strangers when you’re all stuck on a campground to confront the realities of sex and relationships for two days. During a workshop on Sexual Happiness, I literally found myself building up the courage to ask The Fat Sex Therapist (yes, that’s their Instagram handle, don’t @ me), mind you in front of A LOT OF STRANGERS/PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE IN MY INDUSTRY, the question of how to undo years of a negative self-image being projected onto me from a parent who hates her body. Their answer was “therapy,” so I guess I need therapy, but yeah. Sex camp is an experience that I hope anybody and everybody can attend someday. We need to start a “Sex Camp For Everyone” campaign. This post will be the first step. Dear Reader, please sign designating your interest in the comments below.
Moral of the story: I went to sleepaway sex camp and had zero sex, but it was way better than the summer camp I was forced to attend when I was a kid. Aside from friends and family questioning if I’m okay and blocking me on social media whenever I post about orgasms and masturbation, writing about sex and wellness for the internet has its perks.
Images: Instagram @morganmandriota (2), @gathergreene, Lovehoney (3)