(This article originally appeared on the Thistle and Spire blog, February 7, 2023. Photos by JMA photography.)
Madeline Gregg is currently known for her work as a certified sex educator and owner of the Vampire Shot Glass, an inclusive menstrual cup line marketed to all bodies that menstruate. She breezily talks sex, intimacy and anatomy—and has the education, statistics and proper terminology to back up her thoughts on these issues. Madeline knows her stuff and wants to share it with anyone who is interested in learning more.
This current path was not one she had mapped out, though. In college, Madeline majored in American Sign Language (ASL) and taught young children how to read. Then she had kids of her own, started blogging, and sought out creative ways to generate income outside of motherhood.
In 2020, when the pandemic hit, Madeline pivoted and explored other ways to use her skills as a teacher and longtime interest in taboo subjects to generate an income and help other people. In the span of roughly two years, she established a presence on TikTok, started a podcast, earned a sex educator certification, and launched a menstrual cup line called The Vampire Shot Glass.
One thing that hasn’t changed during the recent years of seismic shifts, though, is her focus on education and inclusion. Those two components have remained consistent throughout Madeline’s personal and work life, echoed throughout her interviews and websites The Nude Attitude and The Vampire Shot Glass.
She recently sat down with us to share her story and some of the juicy bits of knowledge she has picked up along the way, including terms like “the orgasm gap” and a Catholic school class she took called “Integrity Matters.”
How did this current sex-centered career path come about?
I’ve always had an interest in sex. It’s fun! I was one of those friends who would bring it up at inappropriate times, like at brunch, when people weren’t necessarily talking about those things. Those taboo subjects always just fascinated and fueled me. Also, statistics on sex are really interesting. This career landed in my lap, and I just formed what I was going to do with it. I think it was something I was always destined to do.
This seems to have come together primarily during the pandemic. What role did that play in your life?
I think during the pandemic a lot of people were interested in their sexuality. The number of people I’ve heard about coming out during that time is insane. Friends of mine were either having tons of sex or none, and it was making or breaking relationships. I got into TikTok at the end of 2020, when it was already popular, and referred to a menstrual cup as a “vampire shot glass.” People flipped and loved it, so I branded it. I also became a certified sex educator during this process, all in about two years or so.
Can you explain more about your role as a sex educator?
I am a certified sex educator under the American College of Sexologists International. I’m not a sex therapist—that is a whole degree above me, but we but we do overlap somewhat. I give clients some tools, help them work through issues, maybe give them some homework, but what they do with that information is ultimately up to them. I have a lot of “baby gays” come to me for help as well as couples who want to rekindle their relationships and sex lives.
The certification gives me some authority on the subject, but even more important is the ongoing education that I hold myself to and share with clients. A lot of educators stop learning when their degree stops, but I love reading studies for fun. It’s fascinating! The continued education is more important to me than the title. I’m a born educator, whether it’s teaching children or adults, and I love being the know-it-all in the room. All of a sudden, I had a platform of people listening—and I knew it all and wanted to share everything I knew with others.
What can you tell us about The Vampire Shot Glass and menstrual cups in general for people who may not be familiar with them?
A menstrual cup is a medical-grade silicone shot-glass-looking item that you fold and put up your vagina. You can leave it in for about 6 to 12 hours, depending on your flow. They’re made to fit your body, and not your flow, so they’re not like tampons in that way. Most menstrual cups are pretty much the same in terms of shape and function. The Vampire Shot Glass differs mostly in its marketing. It’s not frilly or predominantly feminine. We acknowledge that nonbinary and gender-fluid people have periods too.
As far as I know, there aren’t a lot of sex educators who own a menstrual cup brand. Highlighting education is something I strive for with Vampire Shot Glass. I also try to make it as gender inclusive as possible. A trans person is front and center with the marketing, which throws a lot of people off, but for the people who need to see it, they really appreciate it. Hopefully that takes away from the gender dysphoria that can happen. So much marketing around menstruation is pink and frilly, like a tampon commercial that tells us we can do anything while menstruating. No, that’s not true. Lay the fuck down if you need to. It’s fine if you want to relax and have chocolate while you’re menstruating.
What can you tell us about a provocative term called “the orgasm gap”?
This is one of my favorite topics, and I am so nerdy when it comes to the orgasm gap and vibrators! I love breaking down the differences and all of the statistics. There are constant studies coming out about it from places like The Kinsey Institute, and one of the first ones came out in 1994. There seems to be a disconnect or miscommunication between people who have vaginas and people with penises, and their level of pleasure. There is so much shame about asking for what we need and acknowledging that what we’re getting may not be enough.
In a 1994 study, there were significant differences between the number of heterosexual married men having orgasms during intercourse (75%) and heterosexual married women having orgasms during intercourse (28%). Meanwhile, women in short-term relationships were orgasming 43% of the time. Once these women were in relationships with their husbands, their orgasms dropped drastically. What is causing this discrepancy? Is it lack of communication, lack of spontaneity, lack of foreplay?
Most people don’t realize that foreplay should be lasting a lot longer than intercourse and penetration itself. A lot of people confuse ‘foreplay’ with ‘coreplay.’ Foreplay involves anything that does not include your genetalia. Things like vibrators, oral and finger blasting—anything that will make you orgasm—are coreplay, not foreplay.
There are studies to back up this phenomenon that AFAB (assigned female at birth) people need 20 to 40 minutes to warm up their bodies before they’re able to have an orgasm. There’s nothing wrong with you if it takes that long—it’s scientifically proven. If you have science behind you, it can take away so much shame and we realize that people are just different from each other, not dysfunctional or bad. I would love to talk to more millennials about how the orgasm gap is changing with their generation. So many of them are coming out at bisexual or something under the LGBTQ spectrum, which leads me to my next study.
This one was heterosexual versus bisexual versus gay couples, and the results were that 95% of hetero men orgasm every time during intercourse, 80% of bi men do, and 79% of gay men do. For the women, 65% of hetero women orgasm every time during sex versus 69% of bi women and 80% of gay women. I think a lot of it has to do with vibrators because 81% of women cannot orgasm from penetration alone—they need some clitoral stimulation as well. The clitoris is a small, small version of the penis, so why aren’t we touching it during hetero sex?
I find this information all so relevant and interesting, like I’m wearing a tinfoil hat and yelling, “It’s all related!” But these things actually are all connected and they all go back to the topics and numbers I discuss on all of my platforms and with my clients. I feel lucky that something that fascinates me this much truly fascinates a lot of other people as well.
What is next for you?
My podcast is going to be starting back up, but it’s going to be a little different. I’m starting a [new] podcast with one of my partners—I’m polyamorous—and we’ll be talking about polyamory and sex in general. It’ll be nice to have somebody else to bounce these ideas off of with me. My current [The Nude Attitude] website is actually going to be turning into a vibrator review. I get sent so many [toys] and don’t know what to do with them. People need to understand their anatomy before committing to a sex toy because some may not be a good fit, based on their size and dimensions. I think putting some of that technical information up on a website could be very valuable for people.
You can learn more about Madeline and her work: