Establishing sexual empowerment: Hands-on intimacy experience at Velvet Lips

The first room you see as your enter Velvet Lips, featuring a table that includes condoms, lube, and body butters for any guest's taking. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
The first room you see as your enter Velvet Lips, featuring a table that includes condoms, lube, and body butters for any guest’s taking.
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

The holiday of love is right around the corner. Take some advice from a professional Sexuality Educator, and make lasting memories through active workshop designed to enhance sex, intimacy and relationships.

“Once you embrace your sexuality, it’s really powerful, and once you embrace that, it’s freeing for your mental and sexual health,” Stewart said.



Velvet Lips is a company established by Marla Renee Stewart, designed to educate people about sex, sexuality and self empowerment. The company took off six years ago when Stewart’s friend inspired her to start a business that would allow her to share her research and professional knowledge with others.

“[We] basically educate and empower [people] who needed help learning about sex and sexuality, through the means of active learning,” Stewart said.

During a session, Stewart facilitates workshops to engage her customers in active learning. A workshop might incorporate techniques such as seduction or teaching people how to communicate through talking and touch.

“My workshops have worksheets, [while] people are writing down [I’m] helping them on their sexual path,” Stewart said.



A book titled "Photo Sex" guests see as they enter Velvet Lips. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
A book titled “Photo Sex” guests see as they enter Velvet Lips.
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

The California native is originally from Sacramento. Stewart went to college in San Francisco, where she played sports, and later received a scholarship in psychology. The sex educator  graduated with a BA in psychology and a minor in human sexuality and LGBT studies.

After doing countless research on sexuality, Stewart moved to Georgia to get a masters degree at Georgia State, in sociology with an interest in gender and sexuality. Before the business, Stewart was doing workshops at Spelman, Agnes Scott and Georgia State.

After pursuing her goals in education Stewart took an interest in teaching, because she wanted to share her knowledge with other people. The sex educator started teaching at Clayton State, where she lectures about gender and sexuality, feminist theories and more.

“I formulated a series of workshops for women, men, couples and individuals,” Stewart said. “People can go online and book workshops [as] [an] individual or as a group.”

The continuous growth of Velvet Lips inspired “Sex Down South,” which is a conference designed to educate people about sexual empowerment.

The conference was very successful last year, with nearly 300 guest and over 60 presenters, that covered various workshops for different active forms of intimacy. The theme of the conference was transcending sex. Some of the workshops included how to give better head and how to communicate with your partner.

“Transcending sex is a different way to explore sex, spirituality and sexuality,” Stewart said. “[It’s] getting connected, not feeling shame or stigma and really releasing some of those fears or trauma that they’ve experienced in the past.



Stewart has become a go-to sex expert for many people. She conducts sessions from her home office, and provides refreshments and wine to help more conservative customers relax and feel comfortable.

“[It’s] an intimate home office,” Stewart said. “[I] serve wine and some refreshments to get people to just relax, open up and really facilitate a learning process that encourages them to take it further.”

Not only is Stewart a professional sexuality educator, she is also a sex and intimacy researcher, and relationship coach with a focus on body base learning. Each workshop goes deeper into exploring sex, spirituality and sexuality.

“When people are in an environment where they’re not sure, I teach them how to build intimacy and foreplay,” Stewart said. “How to touch, where to touch, erotic massage, tea meditation for people who want spiritual connection and tarot cards.”

By teaching people how to communicate, Stewart liberates customers from negative stimage. What makes Velvet Lips a success business is that it cultivates a space for sexual freedom. Stewart’s ability to be free allows her customers to express their freedom.

“I feel very free with my sexuality, and people see that and they’re  like ‘I want  to be free to,’” Stewart said. “Establishing what freedom looks like can help to negate some of that shame the people are holding on to.”

The Sexuality Educator provides various workshops for all types of couples and groups. Stewart’s future goals include opening a store with healthy sex toys and erotic art work and continuing the Sex Down South conference.

“I’m just grateful that I’ve been here and that people can rely on me to conduct workshops and have fun with them,” Stewart said.


Guests can also take body butter for themselves provided by the Sex Down South conference . Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Guests can also take body butter for themselves provided by the Sex Down South conference .
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Erotic Activities

The best way to please a partner, according to Stewart, is to discover each others learning styles. There are specific erotic activities that are suitable for each learning style. Learning patterns include auditory, visual and kinesthetic.

For visual learners, look attractive. Audio learners enjoy music, seductive tones, phone sex and dirty talk. Kinesthetic or tactile learners like different ways of touch, like erotic message or lap dances.

Adding scents to an intimate moment creates lasting memories, because the brain will attach  that specific scent to an enjoyable moment.

“Invoke scents that your partner loves so that they can associate it with a memory,” Stewart said.


Get Comfortable

  • Workshops vary, based on time and the size of the group.
  • Other services provided by the Sexuality Educator include: sex coaching and alternative sexualities, which is designed for people who are curious about kinky, swinging and polyamory.
  • Ice breaker: when dealing with different personalities Stewart finds a common middle ground by telling stories and asking people what they want from the workshop.