Steamy! Spas aren't stopping with your mind, body, and soul. They also want to give your libido a workout.
(FORTUNE Magazine) – In the boardroom, you've got game. But what about the bedroom? Stop blushing. You're far from alone.
Recognizing that their driven, overworked clients need more than facials, pedicures, and hot stone massages, tony spas have taken up the banner of the sexually frustrated, offering classes on everything from aphrodisiac cooking to tantric sex. Spas view it as just another wellness service to help you get in touch with yourself--and your partner.
"We assume we already should know it all, and of course we don't," says Dr. Lana Holstein, who runs the four-day Sex: Body and Soul workshop at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. "It's like anything else--you can become better at it." Think she's not talking to you, Mr. and Mrs. Type A Executive? Think again. She even sounds like you. "I make them create a business plan: What do you want your sex life to look like? What capital are you going to put into the division? This isn't necessarily something you can will to your heirs, but they will be beneficiaries of this very strong division of your company."
Holstein's students get detailed instruction in breathing and moving together and learning about sensuality. Then comes the homework. First, it's Ladies Night. "So, we may talk about stimulating the G spot, bringing in all of the sensations, like smell, touch, sound. The next day is for the woman to pleasure the man."
Group meetings at all the spas are primarily discussion sessions. Anything intimate or requiring nudity--and certainly all homework--is done in the privacy of the couples' rooms. Caneel Bay's Self Centre has an ongoing service that offers 75 minutes of group time teaching many of the same sensuality themes, and it also uses games and a few surprises, says spa director Jan Kinder, who is relatively mum on details to preserve the novelty of the experience. "Couples tend to not make it to dinner on time," is all she'll say.
If more talking isn't what you need, the Surf & Sand in Laguna Beach, Calif., offers private "couples rituals," including tandem massages and baths (as well as classes on aphrodisiac cooking and feng shui in the bedroom). The ritual room is also thoughtfully appointed with beds.
These programs are for pairs, but singletons aren't out of luck. Women can go it alone at Canyon Ranch's Magnificent Sex classes, where the focus is as much on women's sexual health as it is on sex itself. But at the Oaks at Ojai, in Ojai, Calif., singles rule the roost. And frankness rules. "We talk about sexual health the way we would talk about cardiovascular health," says activities director Elizabeth Horton, who brings in doctors to lead the discussions.
"For me, it's a two-day oil and lube change," says Lena Rivkin, who attended the Oaks' Sexuality Secrets workshop last year. Since everyone tends to eschew makeup and lounge around in sweats, she says, "you can feel very comfortable there."
A spa with a singles theme is not a singles club. "It was coed," says Rivkin, "but there wasn't any time that you were suddenly looking around the room thinking, Ooh, maybe somebody here..."