Maria Falzone’s objective was simple: ‘I’m going to tell you how to have hot, juicy, great sex.’
Before a sold-out crowd of over 400 people in UC Irvine’s Crystal Cove Auditorium, Falzone spoke about such topics as her preferred term for the female sex organ (vulva), the best brand of lubricant (Astroglide), how to use five condoms and some Vaseline to enhance the male masturbatory experience and her experiences growing up around an Italian mother with a penchant for the word ‘bullshit.’
The evening began with the comedic musings of third-year criminology major Kyle Macknight, who related several humorous stories about near-sex experiences that involved being caught with his pants down (literally) by the likes of his mother and law enforcement officials.
Falzone seemed surprised at the size of the crowd.
‘So many people came to hear me to talk about sex,’ Falzone said. ‘You could have stayed in your rooms and had it yourselves.’
As for credentials, Falzone admitted that she has none, at least not of the official variety.
‘I consider myself a sexpert,’ Falzone said. ‘What makes me a sexpert is [that] I have really great sex.’
From someone with such confidence in her sexual prowess, it may come as a surprise that she was a 21-year-old virgin, a fact that she attributes to the conflicting messages she received about sex as a child.
‘You get two messages about sex,’ Falzone said. ‘One, from our parents and church, says, ‘Don’t do it until you get married.’ … And then there’s the one you get from television and film, which is like, ‘Do it.’ … Everybody wants us to do it, but no one ever tells us how to do it.’
Especially Falzone’s mother, who told her as a child on the brink of puberty, ‘If you sleep in the same bed as a man, you’re going to have a baby.’
Seven years after losing her virginity, Falzone’s world of promiscuous, yet unsatisfying, sex met with a harsh reality.
‘I had a friend in San Francisco that I had known for three years,’ Falzone said. ‘And we had decided that whenever I came into town, we would hook up. You know, play buddies. … And what my friend of three years didn’t tell me was that he had herpes. And I didn’t use a condom. And I got herpes. And that was my wake-up call.’
Falzone hopes that by relating her story, she could prevent students from making similar mistakes.
‘I’ve come up with some rules that I want to share with you,’ Falzone said. ‘I hope that the first time or the next time you have sex with someone, it is incredible and you know how to take care of yourself physically and mentally.’
The first rule, according to Falzone, is to know yourself.
‘Sex begins with you, not somebody else,’ Falzone said. ‘Where does sex start? It starts between your ears. It starts with thoughts and ideas. So I want you to think the nastiest juiciest thoughts that you can think. … And I think that [everything is] groovy if you both agree.’
Falzone points out that one way that students can get to know their sexual quirks is through masturbation.
‘I am the biggest fan of masturbation,’ Falzone said. ‘It’s the safest sex that you can have. [Because] you know where you’ve been, right? You can’t fake it. What is the worst thing that can happen? You fall asleep on yourself.’
Also, much of Falzone’s lecture was devoted to a discussion of condoms and how they could greatly enhance the sexual experience as well as help protect from disease.
‘I will give you one word that will change your relationship with condoms forever, and that magic word is ‘lube,” Falzone said.
Lastly, although most males are familiar with their penises, Falzone expressed her frustration with the fact that most females are woefully unacquainted with their sex organs.
‘I want every woman tonight, when you go back to your room, to touch your vulva,’ Falzone said. ‘What does it feel like? Then I want you to smell it. … I want you to smell it and I want you to taste it. Why? You are having cunnilingus with someone. How can you relax and enjoy it if you’re freaked out by the way it smells and the way it tastes? How can you expect someone to love and respect that part of your body if you don’t?’
These days, Falzone performs exclusively at colleges and universities across the nation in order to be more available to her daughter and husband.
Although the topic of sex has always been a part of her act, she didn’t incorporate having an STD into her performance until a few years ago.
‘I never talked about having an STD … it never even dawned on me until one time I was in Massachusetts and the lighting guy at the school said, ‘You know, you’re really funny but you should [say] what you think someone with an STD looks like, because I have HIV,’ and he looked great. And he said, ‘The guy who gave it to me looked like me.”
According to Falzone, talking about having herpes in front of hundreds of students doesn’t make her nervous.
‘The need for people to know that it’s okay is greater than me. And the need to educate people is greater than me.’
Gerry Balcazar, manager of Sexual Health Programs at UCI’s Health Center, said that the topics in Falzone’s speech will be resonate in other programs this year.
‘I hope to build from this presentation by providing workshops. I’m going to be taking a little bit of what [Falzone] said and expanding on that,’ Balcazar said. ‘I’m going to be using some light humor, a lot of information and a lot of audience participation and really inviting students and groups on campus to invite me out to continue the conversation.’