Kenneth Play is an international sex hacking expert, sex educator and coach, and former celebrity fitness trainer. From a deeply sexually insecure Asian immigrant to becoming the most viewed sex hacking expert on PornHub and being named the World’s Greatest Sex Hacker by GQ, Kenneth develops and teaches sex hacks to help people learn new ways to play and overcome challenges in the bedroom. With his accelerated learning approach and playful style, he helps people gain sexual confidence, experience more pleasure, and cultivate deeper intimacy in record time.
His teaching has been described as a mashup of Bruce Lee’s “knowing is not enough, we must apply” mantra, Martha Stewart’s step-by-step show-you-how, and Tim Ferriss’s personal experimenting-to-mastery. Meanwhile, he co-founded the globally-recognized sex-positive intentional community, Hacienda Villa; he teamed up with Dr Zhana Vrangalova to work on The Casual Sex Project; worked with Pamela Madsen at the Back to the Body Sensual Retreats for Women; he’s been a featured presenter at New York University and San Jose State University; and his projects have been featured in Vice, Thrillist, Elite Daily, Refinery 29, Time Out, The New York Times, Playboy, and Cosmopolitan. He has devoted his life to empowering people to experience incredible sex, and his mission is to make unapologetically explicit sex education mainstream.
Welcome Kenneth, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, can you introduce yourself to us as a sex and relationship coach?
Thank you for having me! I think a coach, in general, helps people succeed at their goals. It’s not so much fixing a problem like a therapist might, but rather when someone has a goal, or a dream, that they really want to achieve — like having an epic sex life — as a coach I work with them to make that goal reality. When I spent a decade and a half coaching people in the fitness world, I learned not only the technical “what to do” but also how to get people to actually do it. I channel that into my sex coaching and courses. Sometimes people might be attached to the wrong things, like being insecure about their penis size or thinking all sex should be penetrative and naturally glorious, and I can work with them on that. It’s one thing to just tell someone to do something, but if they feel anxious about it then they won’t be able to. Whether it’s feeling like they can’t work out or that they can’t have amazing sex, I work to help them get past that and seek their goals.
Can you give us a little back story on your journey so far and how you launched KennethPlay.com and what the incentive behind it was?
I came from a fitness personal trainer background like I mentioned above, so I first started my journey doing a really similar thing but with sex. It might sound a bit odd, but I started out testing whether you could teach sex in a group environment, what I called “PlayLabs”. And it was actually really successful! Like we actually ran out of space for attendees. (You can check out some articles about those early days here and here.)
Then a friend encouraged me to tape some of my group classes to study, see what they looked like, and maybe be able to privately share the lessons. I was definitely down and found it really helped my teaching skills. And when another friend of ours heard what I’d been doing, they said: “why don’t you put one up on PornHub and see what happens?” I never could have guessed the responses that first PornHub video lesson on squirting would get, but it was amazing.
“Came here to masturbate, but I actually learned…. and masturbated.” – Pornlanthropist
“Great video as always. I really like the atmosphere you guys maintain while shooting. Riley’s face was priceless when she answered your question @ 4:11 Anyway thanks for the tips, especially on how to position yourself. Making my partners squirt is something I really enjoy and I often tire out pretty quickly, so thanks to you that’ll change and I’ll be able to please them more! Can’t stop thinking a lot of guys can only gain by watching your 101 videos. Keep up the good work.” – Layzee
7.4 million views on my PornHub channel later, I decided to start doing my sex teaching for real. I launched KennethPlay.com to begin offering online courses to reach a larger audience and teach more people.
Can you tell us the most rewarding aspect of helping your clients to become confident and competent with their lovers?
There are two really rewarding aspects. One is that, for the people that feel like there’s something wrong with them, like they’re broken or not gifted, for them to discover that there’s nothing inherently wrong with them, that they can be as skilled as they want to be with a growth mindset, has to be the most amazing moment. Not only does it inspire me and make me so deeply proud of them, but I also feel like it’s one of those phenomenal qualities of the human race.
With a growth mindset, we can really achieve most anything. No one is broken with sexuality. I love helping clients breakthrough that misconception and realise that they are truly unique and capable of great things. The other related aspect is helping clients detach from myths. Porn is a lot like professional wrestling — it’s entertaining, it’s fun, it’s very good at what it does — but it also isn’t what real wrestling looks like (most of the time). Helping clients really become aware of the sex myths they’ve been holding onto, and then learn to move past them, it’s such a powerful thing to witness.
Also, all of my work comes together to really spread a culture of pleasure that is actively working to re-balance sexual pleasure to be mutual for men and women, and that is deeply healing.
What is your typical clientele demographic?
My clients range from young guys in their 20’s who have just started having sex in today’s hook-up culture, to guys in their 50’s who want to add passion back to their marriage, to recent divorcee’s trying to navigate the dating market again. In general, though, what a lot of them have in common is a desire to flip the usual social script of sex that focuses only on male ejaculation, and instead, genuinely focus on female pleasure and making sure their partners have an amazing experience. Plus, Asian men who struggle with stereotypes of our sexuality and penis size. Honestly, my clients inspire me every day.
Having launched a new course, can you explore what your clients could expect to take away from the experience of your mentorship?
My new course is essentially teaching you the card-counting of sex, like betting on the odds instead of randomly guessing. I studied all the latest sex science and pleasure research, which actually can give us statistical preferences for techniques so that I can teach you methods that the highest percentage of women will respond to. Then I use my years of experience and training to tell you what signs to look for, the conversations to have, to go more in-depth, to really calibrate to your unique lover. I keep joking that this course is almost an unfair advantage.
What clients will also get from the course, though, is more personal too. A lot of men reach out to me, brave guys, and they share the struggles they have in the bedroom — performance anxiety, worrying they aren’t pleasing their lover, self-confidence issues. When I made the new course I kept thinking about what would help these guys feel more confident, what would help them let go of anxiety and really enjoy sex, what would help them develop a growth mindset that would encourage the desired exploration. I really feel this course will tackle all of that.
And then, of course, on the technical side of things, the course will cover everything from Oral to Anal, Foreplay to Kink, types of Multiple Orgasms and more!
You offer a wide range of online courses covering Squirting, Oral, Penetration. How do you encourage prospective clients to learn something new whilst breaking the stigmatism around sexual enjoyment?
First, you have to examine the false beliefs. You have to really help the clients to look at whatever false belief they’re holding onto, ask them if they feel that those beliefs serve them, and bring them to the moment of true cognitive awareness: I have been believing this thing that is not true, and it has held me back. That can be really hard, but it is absolutely necessary.
Then we acknowledge that those deeply held beliefs aren’t necessarily logical, they’re part of a negative feedback loop. So you have to first change how they look at it, then you have to be able to help them embody the new belief that does serve them. For instance, if you believe instead that you are enough, that you are worthy and have nothing to compensate for, you also then have to do a tangible task that will give the experience of that worthiness and competence. The embodiment, in whatever form it takes, will give them the experience, which will echo the new belief, and create a positive feedback loop that helps to deeply instil it. Sometimes the process takes time, but the results of it, the change in confidence and the excitement to explore something new, are so worth it.
What does #BEYOUROWNMAN mean to you?
To me, it means really celebrating you, who you are. I think normal is the worst word, especially in sexuality, so #BEYOUROWNMAN to me is embracing your uniqueness. Bruce Lee is one of my favourite philosophers, and he really speaks to this for me, because he always spoke of the strength in expressing yourself, and how martial arts was really about expressing yourself. That’s what great sex is, to me, and the work I do, it’s learning to express yourself, with skill yes, but learning to really express your unique self.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand throughout the rest of 2019?
I’m so excited for the rest of 2019 and beyond. Creating this new course was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, and I’m excited to move into a phase of sharing it, getting the word out, and marketing. I’m also looking to really expand into offering more free content on PornHub to help people get introduced to learning about sex more.
I’m also really looking forward to growing in my ability to focus, to be able to say no more and really give my all when I say yes to something. A big word for me moving forward right now is optimising. I want to optimise what I put out into the world, I want to really focus and improve, and learn to master my time in a very different way.
Image taken by Laura Corinn