The Great Reader Mini-Interview, Part Four: “Shut up and get hit,” Communion, and fun erotica

What’s your relationship with sugarbutch.net and Sinclair?

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(As a brief addendum, I publish the above blog anonymously! I’d love others to see it, but am a little nervous, as I have a fairly conservative day life. How have you reconciled your public and private lives intersecting? I’m always curious.)

I’ve been reading you on and off for about four years now. I love your erotic writing and, as a fellow butch, have felt a kindred sense of discovery with you as I’ve come into my own. It’s refreshing to read your perspective as it mirrors some of my own experiences.

PS: I saw that you were attending QI in Hartford. So am I, and fuck, I’d love to suck your cock.

—J, http://camionneuse.wordpress.com

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Started reading 4-5 years ago. Most frequently repeated quote: “shut up and get hit.” Seriously, your life. Never stop writing about it for public consumption.

—Simon Hoardash

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I just came across Sugarbutch a week or two ago, and wish I’d found you sooner! I’ve been skimming through your archives whenever I have some free time. I’ve been thinking about sex/uality, gender, and relationships a lot lately, and thirsting for more discussion of them. I’m especially interested in the D/s dynamic since that’s something I’m currently exploring, from a framework of being queer, poly, and in committed partnerships with two people of different genders. And of course I love your dirty stories.

—elspeth, https://fetlife.com/users/2485909

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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ohgod. calm down. it’s okay to not know (anything). thinking too much about what other people are thinking (and inventing what you think they are thinking/feeling/doing) is the absolute fastest way to create totally unnecessary drama. if you don’t know, ask. when you can identify that you are making an assumption, especially about what someone else is thinking/feeing/wanting, STOP IT, and ask.

—Kat Heatherington — http://yarrowkat.livejournal.com

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That my pleasure in and relationship with my body is the starting point of sex, not an extra. That it should be closer to communion (with self and other) than performance (totally externally focused) in order to be nourishing. I would congratulate myself on not shaming myself about trying lots of things, and suggest not shaming myself about my body shape. I’d suggest trying less hard to please unattainable people, and know that such advice at that time in my life would have meant nothing to me.

—Shereen, http://twitter.com/ShereenSamuels

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Femme is not a bad thing. It’s actually really, really powerful. I know you’ve somehow fallen into the mindset that to be Femme is to be weak or not queer enough, but that’s utter bullshit, darlin. You’ll eventually embrace Femme as an identity, and you’ll finally start to feel as strong and badass as you are. And red lipstick is the best armor you will ever find.

—Ashlee, http://femmeandfists.tumblr.com

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I would leave a link to your website and other queer friendly spaces on my computer for my 18 years old self. I struggled a lot with desire to begin with. I struggled even harder to come to terms with my same sex desires. Feminist and queers spaces have really helped me become a person I much more like.

— Gladys, https://www.facebook.com/gladys.is.awesome

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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Body Electric. because it has opened me up to listening to myself in a way I have never really done before.

—Kat Heatherington — http://yarrowkat.livejournal.com

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The Artist’s Way. It was such a lovely, creative, non-prescriptive way into figuring out lots of things about myself. Many years ago in my early twenties, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah turned my whole world upside down – even though Richard Bach turned out to be something of a self-involved dick, the book changed how I saw and interacted with the world.

—Shereen, http://twitter.com/ShereenSamuels

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This might be a bit of a cop-out of an answer, but recently, Tumblr has had the biggest impact on me. I’ve found some amazing radical queer people and blogs who’ve all been a big part of helping me shape my activist identity. Tumblr also happens to be full of badass Femmes, gorgeous queer people of all identities, and some really, really fun erotica and smut in general.

—Ashlee, http://femmeandfists.tumblr.com/

The first week in Juneau and the Northern Exposure kink conference in Anchorage (aka this week in pictures)

I’m behind on the pictures post this week evacuee the Northern Exposure conference took up all of my weekend, and then their after party of adventures around Anchorage took up all of yesterday. I’m on a plane right now heading back to Juneau, so here’s the photo essay version of this art week.

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Pulse! The annual Body Electric advanced women’s retreat is coming up at the end of July, and I’ve been working on it a lot this past week | Rand Leather wrist cuff (review to come)

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cruise ships in downtown Juneau

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sunset looking toward the valley. We watched four bald eagles fishing in the harbor while also watching the sun set around 10pm | the boy mowed the lawn (we’re doing a lot of house chores to earn our keep)

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Mendenhall Glacier | Mendenhall lake and icebergs

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the boy on the sandbar

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rainforest | Devil’s club forest

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Lupine in the meadow on the Boy Scout Camp hike

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Friends walked out to the sandbar as the tide was going out | the boy carved an otter

This week in pictures
From the plane flying into Anchorage … Chugak mountains, I think? On the way to Northern Exposure!

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Welcome to Northern Exposure! | ha ha | Cleis Press’s contribution to the Northern Exposure vendor room

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Epic brunch at Gwennie’s | the Northern Exposure afterparty! We all piled into cars after brunch and took a drive down one of the “most beautiful drives in the US”, Turnagain Arm. This is Beluga point

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Beluga Point

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Beluga point

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the Big Game Wildlife Refuge at the end of the Turnagain Arm drive
Baby musk ox | brown bears

This week in pictures
the Big Game Wildlife Refuge musk ox

Follow me on Instagram, mrsexsmith

Feel into your own blooming: Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women in NYC

I’m the national coordinator for the Body Electric School‘s women and queer programs, and I’ve been working hard on their growth in the recent months. We’ve got some exciting programming in 2013, and I’m excited to invite you to another Celebrating the Body Erotic for women workshop in New York City May 17-19, 2013.

Here’s the Spring 2013 BE Newsletter that just went out:

It’s spring! Can you feel the growth buzzing in the air? My friend Kat told me once that she believes another way to say “god” is to say “the force that makes a seed grow,” and I think of that frequently when I see the new baby-green color popping open on the trees. Amazing, how nature grows and heals and sleeps and blooms again. Sometimes those buds that are just so tight and ready to pop make me feel like I am looking directly at creation itself.

2013 is bringing some new growth in the Body Electric women’s programs. We have new coordinators in Atlanta, Austin, Toronto, and Seattle, we have the fifth anniversary of the annual advanced Pulse retreat in July, and we have decided to make our workshops inclusive of all women.

This is our new blurb about gender:

This workshop is open to all women (be they born women or have come to know themselves as such later in their life) who are interested in exploring erotic energy in their own bodies, in supporting other women on that same exploration, and in doing so within the context of a community of women. By doing this work in community we break down isolation, dissipate shame, mirror for each other, and expand our self-definition of what it is to be a woman.

Thanks to Amy Butcher, the Bay Area coordinator, for the wordsmithing, and the faculty for pioneering new erotic energy territory and changing Body Electric’s gender essentialism.

There is a Celebrating the Body Erotic (CBE) workshop for women coming up May 17-19 in New York City. Perhaps you’ve done a CBE workshop before, but perhaps it is time to do it again. I find that I am so different every couple of years that I seek tapping into that inner wisdom of my body to tell me new things and remind me where I am now, and that a CBE is a wonderful tool to bring me back to myself.

Young Woman Meditating on the Floor

CELEBRATING THE BODY EROTIC FOR WOMEN

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women on the BE School’s site
CBE for Women on Facebook

May 17-19, New York City, with Lizz Randall
May 31 – June 1, Atlanta, GA with Alex Jade

In a safe, serious and playful space that respects boundaries, embrace pleasure and experience your body as powerful, expressive and sacred. The class expands awareness and sensation through a process of breath, movement and touch. Each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored and celebrated. This workshop is for women of all sexual orientations and ages who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality and sensuality within a community of women.

During the program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:

  • explore the innate wisdom of the body
  • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
  • learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
  • learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
  • learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

Celebrating the Body Erotic starts Friday evening 6:30-10 and runs all day Saturday and Sunday (9am-7pm) in a studio in Chelsea. The nearest subways are the 1 to 28th street, the N/R to 28th street.

PREREQUISITE: None

WORKSHOP FEE: $495
SPECIAL OFFERS:
• $50 off if PAID IN FULL 4 WEEKS prior, by April 19th.
• $50 off if REPEATING THE WORKSHOP within a year (use code REPEAT50)
• $100 off for the YOUTH PROGRAM for those under 30 (use code YOUTH100)

OFFERS CANNOT BE COMBINED

If you are in need of special assistance, please discuss your situation with the workshop coordinator. There are limited stipends available to offset the cost.

GENDER: CBE for Women is open to all women—trans, genderqueer, cis—who are interested in exploring erotic energy in their own bodies, in supporting other women on that same exploration, and in doing so within the context of a community of women.

ACCESS: The New York City space is located in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, close to the subway and bus lines. The space is in an elevator building with no steps. The workshop can be adopted to your particular body needs, be that with chairs, pillows, or other accommodations.


I am in love with this work. Lately I’ve been describing it as “erotic energetic embodied experiential education,” and while that’s a mouthful, I think it’s also the most accurate description I have. I continue doing this work, seeking out attendance of these workshops and putting on these workshops not because it is a good job, but because I want to see this work continue. It’s so important to me that these opportunities are offered. I cannot express the profound healing I’ve experienced within these weekends, and I know it has the potential to offer healing and peace for others, too.

Happy spring, happy new growth, and happy brave baby-green to all of you.

Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic in Philadelphia March 1-3

boxesI’ve been working with The Body Electric School since 2000, since I was just barely out and hadn’t even slept with a girl yet, since the year after I left my high school boyfriend of six years right before I had an abortion and decided that was how certain I had to be in order to become the me I was meeting in dreams.

Body Electric changed and formed and forged my adult sense of both sexuality and spirituality. It has interwoven the two of those things, my callings and my desires, my body and my understanding of god, such that I can almost not untangle them anymore—my sexual explorations are a way to deepen my spirituality and sense of energy and self on the planet, my love of and relationship with the planet is a way to fuel my relationships with and energetic exchanges with (read: fuckfests) other people.

Since I got involved almost thirteen years ago, the work has been divided into “men’s workshops,” “women’s workshops,” and “men and women’s workshops.” But the teachers that I’ve been learning from and am coming up under—Alex Jade and Lizz Randall, namely, who are both queer and genderqueer, Alex being on the dandy masculine side of things and Lizz being a femme—along with my friend and butt buddy (long story) Amy Butcher, the coordinator in San Francisco, and I have all decided that we want to bust open the binary gender system within BE, create more room for trans and genderqueer folks to be able to be included in this work, and to start doing more work with those populations.

And voila, the Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic workshop was born.

It is based on the Celebrating the Body Erotic (CBE) workshop model, which is a finely honed workshop that builds on itself from very gentle interaction on Friday night to an intense community experience on Sunday afternoon. It is a clothing-optional workshop where some erotic touch is invited and possible. Everything is done with deep consent, with lots of checking in with one’s self and lots of trust that the others in the workshop are doing that too, and the work is deeply trauma-informed, meaning that we know and expect that we hold a lot of trauma in our bodies, and when we are working specifically on our bodies and our genitals and our relationship with them, we know many things come up. Feelings of shame, fear, being threatened, memories. Lots of things that we may have the ability to actually bring up in a safe enough container that we can let it go. That, to me, is part of the essence of the healing.

But, the integration of new gender policies into the larger Body Electric School has been very hard. The organization is majority run by gay men and serves gay men, probably 80% of the workshops are men’s workshops, and yes, that pretty much means cis men.

We are trying to change this.

The women’s teams have made the decisions to go forward with the women’s workshops as including ALL WOMEN, all trans women regardless of body or surgery or whatever, and all people born female who can bring our female or women-identified parts into the circle. There will be an ALL MEN’s workshop coming soon, hypothetically, that BE is working on. And as we are offering more “mixed gender” workshops, like the Power, Surrender, and Intimacy workshop I’m doing in New York this fall, we are making it “all genders” instead of “mixed,” and inviting anyone with a body to come.

And of course, there’s the Outside the Boxes workshop. It (or another CBE or equivalent) is a prerequisite for any of the more advanced or intermediate workshops. It gives an amazing introduction to how this work is done and what we do with it. It teaches all sorts of basic tools, like consent and breath, and encourages deep embodiment.

I am so in love with this work. I have been working so, so hard to bring this work to my people—you genderqueer trans queer genderfluid gendernonconforming folks whom I adore and whom I am dying to be in erotic circles with. Please come. There are still spaces available in this workshop, though we are going to cap it at 24 to keep it a manageable and good size. Please come. I know it’s expensive, but it is worth every dollar and probably more, and we made it a sliding scale so that we can get as many people there as possible. Please come. Prove to the Body Electric School that this work is worth it, is lucrative, is needed in the world, and is received when we offer it. Please come.

Dear universe, please send a full, abundant, explorative group of people to explore this work in Philadelphia in March. I cannot wait to meet them all. I want more colleagues on this path, and I want more playmates, and I want more support as I pursue this work. I believe so deeply in the power of this to heal us, and I know that my people need this healing as much or more than anybody. It is my calling. I know it’s important in the world. Please send abundance. Love, Sinclair.

Are you buzzing? Are you intrigued? Get in touch with me, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll do it or not. I can tell you more about it. I want to give it to you, want to give you this gift of this work. Are you feeling called? Listen to that place beyond the “oh I can’t make that happen logistics logistics” “ugh it’s too expensive” “I don’t know I’m so scared!” chatter, and see if it’s time.

Here’s the details on the workshop. Please share this widely with friends and folks you might know near Philadelphia!

Facebook event

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Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?

What if you could come into a community in which all expressions were possible? Where gender, sexuality and expression were aligned according to your truth? Where no one assumed what parts would go where? Welcome to Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic!

Come explore your erotic potential through the mind, the body and the heart using conscious breath, movement, process work and massage. Awaken the erotic energy that lies within all of us. Through a queer tantra lens, explore archetypal masculine and feminine energies and the myriad ways they can be expressed. Break down silos of gender and sexuality.

This workshop focuses on the entire body and is conducted in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. Using carefully designed experiential embodiment practices participants will:

  • explore the innate wisdom of your body
  • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each person’s choices and rhythms are honored
  • learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
  • to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
    learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
  • learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic is a 2 1/2 day workshop (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday), often clothing-optional, for those who are ready to vigorously explore new levels of feeling and aliveness, both within themselves and within a community of queers. Space is limited, so please register early.

NOTE: Couples are welcome to attend Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and have the option of working together or with the other participants.

WORKSHOP FEE: $250-495. This workshop offers a sliding scale fee dependent upon personal financial circumstances. We believe the work is important and those who need it be considered. Please contact the Coordinator to discuss.

March 1-3, Philadelphia, PA: contact Sinclair Sexsmith, [email protected]
October 11-13, Oakland, CA: contact Amy Butcher, [email protected]

Register on the Body Electric website.

Where I’ll Be in Spring 2013: Leaving Marks, Fucking Forever, and Other Workshops in Toronto, Seattle, New York, and More

Greetings from Texas! I’m back in Houston visiting Rife, and I’m booking working traveling emailing and trying to get my next few months of spring travel solidified.

In addition to doing workshops and classes at colleges and toy stores, I’m available for private sessions in any of the cities that I’m visiting. I finished a year-long training in 2012 to see people privately for sex and intimacy coaching, and as you can imagine my specialties within that include BDSM, topping and bottoming, power exchange, D/s, gender explorations, leather, Daddy identity, and … well, basically everything that I write about here. I’m glad to tell you more about what those sessions are like or what I’m available for, and if you’re interested in booking time with me when I’m in one of these cities, contact me and we can talk about it, mrsexsmith at gmail.com.

More information about my private coaching sessions is available over at mrsexsmith.com/coaching.

Of course, I’m available for individual and couples sessions—sex and intimacy coaching—via Skype or phone, too, but doing it in person is a lot more fun.

Here’s where I’ll be in the spring as of now:

January 9-16, TBA, Houston TX
January 11, Sex Out Loud Radio, 5 pm PST/8 pm EST on Tristan Taormino’s radio show on The VoiceAmerica Network. Call in to talk to me and Tristan LIVE: 866-472-5788.
January 17, Advanced Cock Confidence, Wild At Heart, Seattle
January 18, Talking Dirty, The FSPC, Seattle
January 20, Leaving Marks, Wild At Heart, Seattle
January 25-27, Celebrating the Body Erotic II for Women, Body Electric Retreat, Albany
January 31, Queer Porn TV #pornparty! Free! Three scenes that I’m sure will be hottt.

February 4, Leaving Marks class at Conversio Virium, Columbia University, New York
February 7-10, Feminist Politics of Topping at the IvyQ conference, Yale, New Haven CT
February 14, Guest speaker at the 50 Shades of Grey course at American University, Washington, DC
February 15-17, Protocol in D/s Relationships, Talking Dirty, Fucking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships, Write Better Smut at Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, Washington DC

March 1-3, Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic for all bodies workshop, Body Electric, Philadelphia
March 7, New College of Florida, Sarasota

April 4-6, Feminist Porn Awards, Toronto
April 7-9, Queering the D/s Dynamic, Talking Dirty, Cock Confidence at Come As You Are, Toronto
April 10-11, Sex Week at University of Tennessee Knoxville
April 18-21, International Ms Leather Contest, San Francisco

May 15-17, Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women, Body Electric workshop, New York, NY
May 23-26, Saints & Sinners Conference, New Orleans

Woah crazy right? I’ve never been to Florida so I’m especially excited about that one, I’m going to be judging the IMsL contest so I can’t wait for that adventure, and I’ve never been to the Feminist Porn Awards! So many firsts and exciting things in the works.

I’m still booking more places and filling out my schedule in the next few months. Want me to come visit? Get in touch and give me ideas about where I should pitch!

As usual, you can subscribe to my events/appearances feed through RSS or through iCal. And it’s all online at http://www.mrsexsmith.com/appearances/—that’s the first place that gets updated when I get booked, so you can always see my most up to date schedule there.

Harvest the wisdom of your body: Body Electric School Fall Offerings

The Body Electric School has had an incredible year, and our programming continues this fall with some rare and beautiful offerings for experiential learning. We’ve also postponed a few workshops. Here’s the news.

Celebrating the Body Erotic II and Outside the Boxes: Toronto

Sorry to report that these two workshops have been postponed. Right now, the aim is to have Celebrating the Body Erotic II for women at Easton Mountain in the winter, in January or February. I will let you know as soon as I have confirmed dates!

Outside the Boxes: Toronto has been postponed too, but we are working on securing a venue and coordinator in Toronto to help us make this workshop happen. The Outside the Boxes workshop rumored to be happening in Seattle this fall unfortunately won’t be happening either.

The good news is, we will be hosting an Outside the Boxes workshop in Philadelphia early in 2013! I will let you know as soon as we have dates.

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women in Seattle

CBE in Seattle is happening! Join Lizz Randall October 26-28 for an incredible circle experience of depth and exploration. If you haven’t yet experienced a CBE for women, this is an extraordinary journey into your own erotic pleasure, desires, and the wisdom of the body. Contact Julie, [email protected], for more information or to sign up.

Tantra I for All Genders at Easton Mountain

Lizz Randall and Mark Fleming will be leading this remarkable journey covering the principles of Tantra. This is an excellent opportunity for folks to learn basic Tantric principles and practices in a community of conscious embodiment.

November 2-4 Tantra Level I for All Genders at Easton Mountain

These principles and practices are powerful tools for transformation. This type of Tantra teaches deeply about how to have a balanced, juicy inner marriage between our Feminine and Masculine energies. This work brings about the integration of sex, self and Spirit. During the workshop we teach ways to skillfully and playfully bring receptive and penetrative energies into harmonious relationship, within ourselves and in relationship to others. When we do not embrace these energies in ourselves we often project them out on to partners and lose the power and delight provided by these energies. This workshop will provide a fun, safe, facilitated space to explore and experiment with internal and external experiences of the Feminine and Masculine.

This weekend will also offer an opportunity to experience the healing power of pleasure. In Tantra pleasure is the most healing force in the Universe. This is a radical departure from how our society views pleasure, and can allow for amazing openings and insights. There will be many exercises to explore the pulsation between the delicious density of embodiment and more subtle energies. One reason to practice tantra is to be able to hold a larger energetic charge in the body so that erotically and otherwise we can continue to expand into ecstasy, while staying grounded in the body.

This workshop is open to those who are curious to learn more about themselves and others. Participants should be prepared to work with partners of any sex/gender.

It will happen November 2-4 at Easton Mountain near Albany, NY—you can contact me for more details about that.

Celebrating Sacred Eros: Men & Women Together at Easton Mountain

Sacred Eros is coming up quickly! If you are curious about doing this work in a mixed gender group, this is an excellent deep exploration of men’s and women’s temple.

with Emaya Dillon and William McMeniman

Women and men have so much to learn from and teach to each other. This retreat creates a temporary community that explores and celebrates the potential healing power of all human beings. We use conscious breath, nurturing and taoist erotic massage to help us remember the connection between sexual energy and spirit. In the supportive community of curious adults we explore feminine and masculine energies within the circle and within each one of us. We celebrate our bodies as the home of spirit and through our heart’s connection we will access collective wisdom that nourishes the soul and enlivens our bodies.

All genders and sexual orientation, the bold and the shy, all are welcome!

Prerequisite: None.
Tuition (includes room and board): $1295 double room with bath; $1245 quad room with bath; $1195 garden cabin (share bath in lodge).

SPECIAL OFFERS
$100 off if PAID IN FULL 2 WEEKS in advance
$100 YOUTH DISCOUNT for those under 30 (use code YOUTH100)
OFFERS CANNOT BE COMBINED

Full tuition is due two weeks before start of workshop.

17-Oct to 21-Oct, Contact the coordinator Nirmal at 347-855-7709

I return over and over to the work of Body Electric and the work of my own body and the teachings of these wise instructors to help me see in the dark. I am eager to harvest my own work from this past year, eager to take in and nourish as I send energies to my roots.

Sending many blessings and juicy explorations during this time of harvest and samhain and the oncoming winter. I hope to see you in circles soon.

Erotic Embodiment, Feminist Kink Workshops, Books to Read, and More New Things This Fall

Hello!

The summer has flown by and I have barely updated this place. I have been traveling tons since March, if you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook or Twitter you probably know that I’ve been in Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Portland, Albuquerque, Baltimore (twice), and Los Angeles in the last few months.

I have been having a wonderful time promoting Say Please—if you came out to a reading or event, thank you! I met so many people and taught workshops on Cock Confidence and Writing Dirty and all sorts of other fun things.

I kept thinking that I have August and September off from traveling, but in truth I’ve got a bit more to go. I’ll be near Baltimore for Summer Camp and then back in Seattle for my very last Tantra training, then I’ll be back on the road visiting colleges. Want to bring me to speak at your school? I’d love to go! I’ll be posting more details about that soon.

I’m starting to gear up for the fall in a serious way. I’m getting some new workshops together (including So You Want to Be A Daddy, Feminist Kink: You Can Have It All, D/s Protocol, The Sexual Politics of Topping, Butch & Femme for the 21st Century, and others!), and I’m getting together my tour list for the fall. I’m aiming to be in Boston, San Francisco, Hartford CT, Springfield MA, Albany NY, Austin, Chicago, Durham, Dallas, and more.

The other new exciting thing for this fall is that I’m starting to see people individually for sessions. I know “sessions” is incredibly broad, and that’s also accurate—content for these sessions can be widely varied. In general, I’m starting to work with people who want more of a one-on-one approach to learning some of the things that I have been teaching about, things like embodiment, sexuality, sensuality, pleasure, shame, writing about sex, self-actualization, touch, energy, and the many facets of queer tantric lineage I have been learning through. I’m not sure how to talk about this or advertise it yet, really,

Exciting Embodiment Workshops You Should Know About

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women in Seattle, October 26-28

      In a safe, serious and playful space that respects boundaries, embrace pleasure and experience your body as powerful, expressive and sacred. The class expands awareness and sensation through a process of breath, movement and touch. Each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored and celebrated. This workshop is for women of all sexual orientations and ages who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality and sensuality within a community of women.

    More information about tuition, details about dates, how to contact the coordinator.
    Facebook event!

    Power, Surrender, and Intimacy for Queers in San Francisco, September 28-30

        This workshop explores techniques of BDSM practice, using the circle of women and men as a grounded, respectful container in which to discover and clarify edges of empowerment, liberation and embodiment.

      Learn to recognize aspects of yourself that are continually engaged in power dynamics, and hence become more choiceful about how you can share power with compassion and skill. Learn ways that power and sensation can be wielded for a healing intention, and experience the intense fire generated by a surrender to trust. Expect heightened awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation, a greater sense of personal empowerment, and appreciation for the connection between the divine energy of power and the human energy of surrender.

      The program begins on Friday evening 6:30PM-10PM and runs 9AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday.

      Prerequisite: Celebrating the Body Erotic or equivalent experience. Contact coordinator to see if this workshop is right for you.

      Tuition: $495
      Event on Fetlife

      Dirty Things For You To Read

      Girls Who Score has my first butch/butch published erotica story included in it, about an encounter in a locker room. Check out my entry from the book’s blog tour for more about my process writing it. Anything For You: Erotica for Kinky Couples features a story about a threesome with Kristen and a (now good) friend of ours. Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories reprinted the very first erotica story that I ever published, which was about packing to yoga class and staying after for some, ah, “adjustments.”

        
      I’ve read a couple great books lately that you should check out.

        

      Elsewhere:

      I’m still writing elsewhere online, primarily for Fearless Press and Lambda Literary Foundation these days. Here’s a couple recent articles.

       

       

      I’ve got a long list of writing ideas, and I really want to actually write soon instead of spending all my time on marketing and promotion. I miss writing. I have so much to tell y’all about my poly experiment data collecting, sex, my dad and family, my ecology of desire, and all sorts of things.

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      The Three Minute Game

      Warning: This story contains some references to Daddy/girl, because that is what we usually call each other while playing. The story before the cut is an explanation and example of the three minute game, something the Body Electric School explores in their workshops, and does not contain the specific Daddy/girl words; the Daddy/girl play is behind the cut.

      I returned home from LA, from four days with Rife, and I was ecstatic to see Kristen. She picked me up early, early at the airport on the red eye, and we fell back asleep at home for a few hours, made some lunch, talked about what we’d been doing.

      In the afternoon, we returned to the bedroom.

      I know when I travel it’s best to come back to her sweet and slow, and even more so when I’ve been off seeing my lover. I was turned on (she felt so good in my arms, under my hands, her feminine curves, her sweet soft skin) and had some ideas, but we needed a way to reconnect playfully, slowly, first.

      “Want to play the three minute game?” I asked.

      “Okay,” she said brightly, smiling like I’d offered to make her favorite meal for dinner. “But remind me of the rules?”

      “Each of us gets a turn, and each turn is three minutes, carefully timed. There are two turns, so—four rounds. The first is, ‘this is what I would like to do to you for my pleasure.’ Then, ‘this is what I would like you to do to me for my pleasure.'”

      “Got it.” We’ve played before, but only a few times, and the last time didn’t go so well—she’d asked me for some touch around my chest and we both got uncomfortable and had to stop, but neither of us handled it well. I hoped we wouldn’t do that again.

      “You go first,” I said (being a top is useful sometimes).

      “Alright … for my pleasure, I would like to sit on your lap, and for you to kiss my face and neck and suck on my nipples.”

      “Mmm, I’d love to,” I said. “Take off your shirt.” Part of the point is to respond well—with eagerness, or with suggestions of something else related if you are uncomfortable with what they request.

      I shifted up to the head of the bed so I could support my back against the wall, and Kristen curled up over my lap. I set the timer on my phone for three minutes.

      At first, I barely made contact. I let her feel my breath and nose and the heat of my skin; I closed my eyes and remembered the contours of her jaw and cheek with the tiny invisible hairs on my face. Then I let my lips touch her, just brushing, gently, gently, as light of a touch as I could manage, as slow as I could tolerate. Feeling her weight on my thighs and the curves of her waist and back and spine in my hand made me want her, but I resisted.

      I traced her jaw, cheek, throat with my mouth, kissing now, using the soft insides of my lips, keeping my mouth supple. She made that soft mewling moan that slays me and a shiver ran down my spine. I kept going, working that spot on her neck by her earlobe that she loves, then where her neck and shoulders meet, and down to her collarbone. I kissed along the curves of the tops of her breasts, making my way between the cleft of them, down to one nipple and then the other, sucking them into my mouth, teasing gently with my teeth and tongue, suckling, nibbling.

      Just as I was getting into it, drawing her closer to me with my arms around her back, burying my face in her, just as she was starting to drop her head back and thrust her tits forward, the timer went off, and we both laughed.

      I shifted my position a little and she sat more on the bed than on my lap. I kissed her lips. She said, “It’s your turn.”

      “For my pleasure …” I swallowed. “I would like you to kiss my feet.” We’ve played with this a little. It is only recently that I have admitted how much I like it—to myself and others—enough to actually experiment with the sensation. It makes me nervous to ask for. But that is partly what this game is for, and it’s only three minutes. I can do just about anything for three minutes.

      She nodded, looked at me a little coyly, chin down eyes up lips parted, and said, “And suck your toes?”

      My breath caught. “Yes,” I think I managed to say. I think it was audible. So nervous. And it’s something that I wanted to feel, so much.

      I set the timer again and she slid down the bed on her belly to take my right foot in her hands and deliver a sprinkling of kisses along the top of it. She ran her tongue along the instep, the most sensitive part, and sucked gently with her lips. She tongued the crease between my big toe and second toe before sliding the larger into her mouth.

      I groaned. It is so vulnerable and makes me so nervous to give over, to feel her mouth in that way. The sensation is so close to tickling but is ecstatic, and so close to getting my cock sucked but is very different. She worked her mouth over all the crevices she could reach. She sucked and licked, moving her tongue up and down, holding my heel and ankle in her hands.

      Then she switched to my other foot.

      (It is so hard to write about this! And words like toes and foot seem so inherently unsexy, somehow—but I know the feeling absolutely turns me on. I don’t think I’ve written about it here before. I don’t know if I want to, except that I like to challenge myself to make myself vulnerable, to Kristen and to myself and in this writing project, and this feels very edgy.)

      Those three minutes felt like an hour. I lost myself in the sensation, but I didn’t lose my body: moreso the opposite. I felt my whole self down to each toe, where so much stimulation was concentrated. I felt my cock quiver and my nipples harden and my throat go dry as I tried to swallow. I watched her mouth move and lips darken with blood and sensation and she smiled and giggled a little as she showed me what she could do. My eyes rolled back. My wrists went slack. I almost begged for her to stop, almost begged for more. I was overwhelmed and ecstatic and so turned on.

      The timer went off and I breathed out, both a sigh of relief and disappointment that it was over. “For your pleasure, what would you like to do to me?” I asked.

      She rose to her hands and knees and crawled forward toward me on the bed. “I would like to suck your cock.”

      “Mmmm, gladly,” I said, and swung my legs over the side of the bed. “Give me just a minute to put it on.” I slid my jeans and briefs off, tossed my tee shirt into the laundry basket, pulled on my cock and harness from the small jersey bag I tend to keep it in, and returned back to the bed. She crawled over me. I barely had time to restart the timer before she had my cock in her mouth, tongue eager again, her lips soft and sucking me down. It’s a big cock, the Maverick, my favorite one, the one I use only with her.

      She’s still warming up, but I want to push her.

      Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic in New York City May 18-20

      Though it seems like all I’m doing right now is touring and releasing a book, I’m actually doing a lot of other things, including coordination for the Body Electric School, an erotic energy retreat organization with which I’ve been working for about twelve years. So much of what I know about sex, consent, embodiment, being in my body, being in touch with my gender, asking for what I want, sadism, masochism, my shadow side, breathing, and millions of other things comes from my experiences with these teachers and within the container of exploration that is these workshops.

      I cannot recommend them highly enough, and I’m so thrilled that the organization is starting to open up and move beyond the ‘men’ and ‘women’ workshops into some genderqueer and trans focused territory. The new director of the school, Tom, even recognized the team of teachers and staff I’ve been involved with in creating and supporting this new Boxes workshop at the staff retreat in December.

      We’re breaking some serious new ground here, and if you have any interest in being more in touch with your body, exploring your own desires, getting what you want, and doing it in a queer environment, this is an amazing opportunity.

      I am so in love with this work, and I’m thrilled to be bringing it deeper into my community.

      Want to come? It’s time to register. I’m glad to chat with you more (gchat, email, on the phone, skype) and tell you more about my experiences with these workshops, what it’s like, what to expect, and answer any questions you might have.

      OUTSIDE THE BOXES: CELEBRATING THE QUEER BODY EROTIC
      May 18-20, 2012, in New York City

      Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?

      What if you could come into a community in which all expressions were possible? Where gender, sexuality and expression were aligned according to your truth? Where no one assumed what parts would go where? Welcome to Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic!

      Come explore your erotic potential through the mind, the body and the heart using conscious breath, movement, process work and massage. Awaken the erotic energy that lies within all of us. Through a queer tantra lens, explore archetypal masculine and feminine energies and the myriad ways they can be expressed. Break down silos of gender and sexuality.

      This workshop focuses on the entire body and is conducted in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. Using carefully designed experiential embodiment practices participants will:

      • explore the innate wisdom of your body
      • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each person’s choices and rhythms are honored
      • learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
      • to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
      • learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
      • learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

      Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic is a 2 1/2 day workshop (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday), often clothing-optional, for those who are ready to vigorously explore new levels of feeling and aliveness, both within themselves and within a community of queers.

      NOTE: Couples are welcome to attend Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and have the option of working together or with the other participants.

      Tuition: $150-495

      Full tuition is due two weeks before start of workshop.

      Talk Dirtier, Own Your Birthday Suit, & More Workshops With Me

      I’ve been working my ass off getting gigs and performances this fall—posting my potential schedule for the next six months or so has helped. I’m still booking things in the spring and right now hope to get to Mills College in Oakland, American University in DC, International Ms. Leather in San Francisco, Smith College in Northampton, Atlanta, Chicago, Durham, New Orleans, and a few other places. It’s going to be a big year.

      But, more immediately, here’s what’s coming up in the Northeast in the next few weeks.

      Talk Dirtier: How To Let Your Tongue Go Tonight!
      Monday, November 21, 2011, 9pm
      Conversio Virium, Columbia’s BDSM Student Group, in 316 Hamilton, New York, NY
      Free, open to the public

      Talking dirty in the bedroom can be terrifying at first, but once you unlock your tongue, you’ll find yourself saying all sorts of delicious things! Come to this workshop and we’ll figure out what’s tying our tongues in the first place, what’s holding us back from being more free with our language in the bedroom, and what the heck we should say to enhance our sex and intensity our sensation. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all, and the more we can turn on our minds, the better our experiences will be.

      Radical & Responsible Gender Workshop
      Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 6:30pm
      Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

      Academics breaks down and deconstructs gender. How do we build it back up radically and responsibly? How does one adapt masculinity or femininity “positively”? How do we become responsible about gender? How do we continue to break down the gender role restrictions that are hurtful and traumatizing? In this interactive, engaging workshop, we will cover some basics about what gender is, what gender roles and stereotypes are, and how they work, then cover basic gender theory, breaking things down into small parts, in order to build them back up again “responsibly,” by which I mean thoughtfully and intentionally, with feminist principles and anti-sexist perspectives strongly in place. Participants will go away from the workshop with a better sense of how to use labels as liberation instead of limiting, as celebrations rather than restrictions, and be able to more fully embody whichever gender roles they choose.

      Owning Your Birthday Suit: Embodiment for Queers, Genderqueers, & Other Outlaws
      Monday, December 5, 2011, 8-10pm
      $20 suggested donation, sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds
      LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (between 7th & 8th Ave), New York, NY.
      RSVP on Facebook

      If you’ve been curious about all this erotic energy stuff that I do with the Body Electric School, or the tantra concepts I sometimes talk about, this workshop is a great one to attend to start getting some introductions to the concepts and foundational principles we use in that erotic energy work. It’s also about getting more connected with your breath, body, senses, and connection with yourself and others. I’m thrilled to do it with one of my favorite people, Amy Butcher.

      Queer, genderqueer, trans, and outlaw folks often find it hard to be present in our bodies, to feel the powerful connection between genitals, heart, and mind. Explore a variety of playful experiential exercises to increase embodiment while respecting stone sexualities and everyone’s boundaries. Learn some simple tools to feel erotic energy, build connection to your desires, and feel more alive and at home in your body. Experience the taboo power of sharing this exploration within community. Amy Butcher and Sinclair Sexsmith met at a tantra retreat three years ago and have worked together for deeper embodiment and gender liberation ever since. They both study erotic energy and write smut.

      Speaking of Body Electric: The schedule for 2012 has been announced. We are offering more workshops for women and queers than we ever have in a single year since I started doing Body Electric in 2000. Mark down the dates, and I’ll tell you all sorts of more information soon.

      BODY ELECTRIC IN 2012:

      Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women – 3-5 February, New York City
      Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women – 27-29 April, Seattle
      Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic – 18-20 May, New York City
      Pulse: Advanced Women’s Retreat – 1-5 August, Albuquerque, NM
      Power, Surrender, & Intimacy for All Genders – 14-16 September, San Francisco
      Tantra for All Genders – 2-4 November, Albany, NY
      Celebrating the Body Erotic 2 for Women – 16-18 November, Albany, NY
      Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic – 30 November – 2 December, Toronto, ON

      I know the “for women” part can be a little off-putting—I’ll write more about that soon, too, and the trans/genderqueer policies we’re working on. Bottom line is, though, don’t let that be a deterrent, and I mean that. Glad to chat with you about it in more detail, just email me.

      Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic

      I’m thrilled to invite you—yes, you—to this new workshop that the Body Electric School is developing. We will be doing it first in San Francisco in November as an experiment, and if it goes well, I hope to bring it out east, too, to Toronto or New York or both.

      I’ve been involved in the Body Electric School for more than ten years, and started assisting with them around 2003, participating in erotic energy workshops by helping to hold the structure and move energy. It’s been a tremendous experience for me, and I credit my amazing teachers in this lineage with the basics of much of my own sexual ideologies, my spiritual/sexuality connections, and even with my own self-value and self-worth. These teachings have been invaluable, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

      Even if it’s not something that you end up dedicating your life to studying (like I basically have), I think everyone should attend one of these workshops at least once, for the potential to crack open and discover entirely new pathways of connection within yourself and with others is huge. And this one is particularly near and dear to me, since it’s for the outlaws and queers and non-binary folks that wouldn’t usually feel comfortable with Body Electric’s usual “men over here and women over there” type of delineations. I think it’s going to be ground-breaking, and I really hope we can continue to offer this kind of work to the in-betweeners, because gaga knows, we need it as much as or more than anybody.

      I hope it will be a wild success! I am really looking forward to it and I hope you’ll consider it, if you feel called. You can email me if you want to with questions, and I’ll be glad to address what I can, but if you want to register, the west coast coordinator is who to talk to (her email is down near the bottom of the text).

      Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic

      November 11-13, 2011 – San Francisco

      Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?

      What if you could come into a community in which all expressions were possible? Where gender, sexuality and expression were aligned according to your truth? Where no one assumed what parts would go where? Welcome to Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic!

      Come explore your erotic potential through the mind, the body and the heart using conscious breath, movement, process work and massage. Awaken the erotic energy that lies within all of us. Through a queer tantra lens, explore archetypal masculine and feminine energies and the myriad ways they can be expressed. Break down silos of gender and sexuality.

      This workshop focuses on the entire body and is conducted in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. Using carefully designed experiential embodiment practices participants will:

      • explore the innate wisdom of your body
      • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each person’s choices and rhythms are honored
      • learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
      • to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
      • learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
      • learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

      Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic is a 2 1/2 day workshop (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday), often clothing-optional, for those who are ready to vigorously explore new levels of feeling and aliveness, both within themselves and within a community of queers.

      NOTE: Couples are welcome to attend Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and have the option of working together or with the other participants.

      Cost: $395-$150, sliding scale. We are committed to finding creative financial solutions so don’t let money be the barrier that keeps your soul’s desire at bay.

      SPECIAL OFFERS for Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic

      $50 off if PAY IN FULL 7 WEEKS in advance = $345

      $30 off if PAY IN FULL 5 WEEKS in advance = $365

      OFFERS CANNOT BE COMBINED

      CONTACT • Amy Butcher • (415) 377-4107 • Send Email • November 11-13

      –REGISTER ONLINE–

      Lizz Randall is a gender-queer Body Electric teacher, Sacred Intimate and long-term student of tantra. Her work as an integrative body worker and educator offers a holistic and open-hearted approach to wellness, passion and aliveness in body. She is fiercely dedicated to creating spaces where all bodies can come together and explore their erotic potency. Lizz has been teaching experiential workshops and working in the fields of sexuality, spirituality and health for over 15 years. She also spends her time as a farmer and parent, resides on Vashon Island and has a private practice in Seattle.

      Thinking About Bowls

      … among other things. I have much to say about my experience at the erotic energy intensive, but as my heart & body & mind sorts through everything, here’s a poem I wrote on the plane.

      Pulse

      The bowl of the Jemez Valley
      sinks the circle to center. We
      dip our unclothed bodies into
      the hot pools, hearts cracking
      open like the sky after mid-
      afternoon thunder storms
      saunter in to nourish the thirsty
      ground of the high desert. Skin
      shows wear, blush, want—
      we take turns holding ourselves
      under water, letting our bodies sink
      and surface. Ant colonies construct
      the shifting ground under our feet.
      The hummingbirds arrive when we
      offer them sugar water, offering
      themselves as medicine in return.
      We fly in the kitchen, sit like
      boulders in the zendo, grow
      wings through holding, fill our bowls,
      dip our fingers in to clean them.
      I attempt re-mothering, I am Daddy,
      I watch, shining light inward
      down from my comfortable purple
      easy chair. I discover an inner
      engagement, ready to wed;
      act it out in ten minute experiments
      while wheelbarrows win, rain
      falls, voices are replaced. Our
      climaxes are our own responsibilities.
      We dazzle in the evenings under
      the milky way, emptying and refilling
      our hungry open bowls.

      On Erotic Energy Retreat (Again)

      Photo taken by me the first year I attended

      I’m off, yet again, to a desert valley in New Mexico full of beautiful hot springs and a circle of women who are coming to delve into our erotic energy, power, and pleasure.

      This year, the erotic energy school that I’ve studied with for about 10 years is going through some changes, and some of the facilitators and staff are meeting before the workshop to discuss the new directions we might take. I’m looking forward to having a part in shaping the women’s programs—I particularly want to bring in more genderqueer, trans, queer, and masculine of center focused programming.

      It’s been a tough month here at Sugarbutch, you may’ve noticed that I haven’t posted much since Cheryl died. In part that’s because the stupid things seem so much more stupid … and also because I’ve been quietly grieving. The School was actually set up in part as a response to the AIDS crisis in the ’80s, so much of the structure of these workshops is actually created to make space for deep grief and loss. I’m not sure what will happen when I have a place to drain it out of my body and into the circle, through this work, but I’m curious about experimenting with the well of emotion that I have been occasionally falling into.

      I’m also thinking a lot about sexual aliveness, igniting my first and second chakras especially, though igniting my entire column of energy, all of the chakras, as a way to be more connected with myself.

      I’m still not done with the ask me anything questions from Sugarbutch’s 5th anniversary, though I’ve been working on three different questions that are all about how to get off faster or easier (with a variety of circumstances), and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I too have some frustration that I can’t always get off easily in the particular way that I want to (meaning, strapped on and fucking), and I want to see if I can let go of that a little bit, or figure out how to ignite my energies in other ways. I don’t know what I mean by this exactly, but I want to go in there and explore. And hopefully report back about my experiences.

      I wrote a bit about last year’s retreat, which was fairly difficult in some ways, though certainly still enlivening and strengthening and amazing. I learned a lot about my role in these circles, about holding space, and about what it’s like to bring masculinity into a space for women (although I’ve been learning about that ongoing for years, this was a slightly different experience with it).

      This year, there are even more queer folks attending, and I’m packing some of the new gender expression toys I’ve been acquiring, like the Pete packing undies and the STP packer, and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of edges I can push with my own masculinity, sadism, dominance, and feminine yang.

      If you’re interested in knowing more about these retreats I coordinate, you can leave a comment with your email address or email me directly and I’ll be glad to add you to the (small, private) list I have, where I send out notifications of what’s coming up. We are working on a gender/queer base-level retreat sometime this fall in the Bay Area, and hopefully another base-level retreat for women of all/any type (not just queer) in the spring in (or near) New York City.

      I’ll be back next week.

      Review: Reclaiming Eros (book)

      eros1Reclaiming Eros: Sacred Whores and Healers has won an Independent Publisher Award in the New Age (Mind-Body-Spirit) category! Congratulations to the co-authors, Susanne Blackburn and Margaret Wade.

      I picked up this book probably about two years ago, primarily because I recognized some of the names of the people it features work with the Body Electric School, which I’ve been involved with for about eight years now. The main content of the book are extensive interviews with and statements from healers who primarily work with sexual energy, like Betty Dodson, Annie Sprinkle, Rudy Ballentine, Joseph Kramer, and Alex Jade. They’re sex workers, kind of, but many identify as sacred healers, or sacred whores. The language conversation that threads through the book is definitely interesting – who are you, what do you do, and what do you call it? There is a long history of being sexual healers in this society, but it’s a profession that has been so heavily shamed and weighed down with our leftover puritanical ideals.

      There’s a chapter at the end which also discusses how to get involved with a healer, what to expect, what you might want to do, what questions to ask, which I highly recommend. This whole book will give you a better idea about erotic energy work, right from the mouths and brilliant brains of many of the pioneers and trailblazers of the industry and movement. It’s beautiful, and I highly recommend it if you’re intrigued by sexual healing and if you want to know more about what is going on with this work now.

      Visit reclaimingeros.com for more information about the book.

      Sadism, and the Study of Pain

      i have noticed elsewhere online that you have added ’sadistic’ to your lineup of adjectives. i was very interested in your explanation of how you came to claim those words as part of your identity (forgive me if this is not accurate), and would be interested in hearing a similar description of how you came to claim sadistic as well.

      Yes, I have added “sadistic” in a couple of my taglines or bios or descriptions recently, and it is an identity label that I claim, at least to a degree. I think the identity of “sadist” is understood much less – outside of kink communities and circles – than the other identity tags I use (queer, butch, top), and it can be incredibly off-putting for folks who don’t understand it.

      There’s just so much stigma around it – you like to give others pain? You enjoy that, you get off on it, it turns you on? That’s seen as, well, kind of fucked up by a lot of people.

      And it kind of is fucked up, if that’s the way you’re looking at it. But the details of how sadism works a lot more complicated than that – at least, it is for me.

      It’s taken me a long time to come to claim a bit more of a sadistic identity, and it’s still something that I say with a little bit of reservation or even shame, partly because I don’t want it to come on too strongly and freak someone out.

      First: playing with sadism, for me, must be consensual and intentional. I do not enjoy being cruel in general, and actually it is sometimes very difficult for me to treat someone I love with humiliation or damage, to hit them, to slap someone in the face. I’ve had to go through the feelings of top guilt and, to a greater extend, sadist guilt, when I started exploring this. Those feelings aren’t completely gone, but I know what I’m doing more now and I have more confidence in my perspective and standpoint, so I don’t have as much guilt about it.

      I remember precisely when I realized I was a sadist: it was 2002, and I was in a Body Electric workshop called Power, Surrender, and Intimacy. (This is going to get a little bit sacred sex/spiritual, just to warn you.) We had been discussing power, dominance, and sadism – and receiving that with surrender, submission, and masochism – and had been doing exercises all relating to tapping into those feelings. We were in the middle of a ritual (I won’t go into details) when someone had a very strong reaction, and began crying. I was going through my own experience and starting to really feel myself come into some power and dominance in a new way, and I was flooded with the witness of her release. It was a solo ritual, so we weren’t working together or touching, and she probably wasn’t even aware of me, she just started sobbing, loudly, in her own world of release, and I felt the energy as the grief and emotion flooded through her, I was so attuned to the shifts of energy in the room, and started realizing that I was incredibly turned on by her release. It was beautiful – pure and unhindered, just letting go of some really deep things that she’d been carrying and holding on to for who knows how long. I wanted to coax her through it, support her, and in my mind I was soothing her, cradling, holding the space around her so that she herself could have room to be safe and release. I loved the feeling of doing that for someone (even though I wasn’t really doing that for her, I was just imagining the scenario where I would do that) and I got such a rush and release myself from witnessing someone else get into that space of deep release, deep surrender, and then come back, smiling and whole.

      So there’s a lot of psychology to it for me: we carry around all sorts of grief, pain, shame, anger, rage, distrust, disassociation, and guilt, especially about our physical bodies and our sexualities. And one of the ways that BDSM and power play and pain play taps into that is through acknowledgment and, ultimately, release – which is why we can feel renewed, refreshed, energized after a deep scene.

      We also just don’t have very good tools for release and replenishment available to us. We’re not exactly taught how to remake ourselves and let go of some of our deep grief, and I believe this kind of emotional release is one of those ways.

      Aside from the psychology, I also like pain. And as much as I talk about being a sadist, I have spent many years as a masochist also – I’ve been beaten, flogged, caned, whipped, pierced, cut, and slapped; I’ve had 13 piercings (only one of which I wear anymore); I’ve had some experience submitting and surrendering, and using pain as a way to get more present in my body, and then to let go.

      There’s a degree to which, though, at this point, I feel like I’ve had enough of that kind of release, I seek something else now. I know how to get myself into a state of deep body release, mostly through yoga or meditation or masturbation or running, and I wanted to explore other things related to that kind of bodily release – namely, guiding it in others. I get more out of the experience of taking someone through it than I do going through it myself, these days. I don’t expect that to be permanent, but I don’t expect it to change either – for now, I know I’m a top who really likes to play with my sadistic side, and that really works for me.

      So, after this series of revelations and after some further investigation, and being very sure that I wanted to get deeper into this kind of play, I began studying it more intentionally: how to get someone into that state, how to keep them safe when they’re there, how to encourage the release (but not overwhelmingly so), and how to bring them back from it.

      There’s also that moment … how do I describe it. Where put your hand in water and you can’t tell if it’s super hot or super cold – how our senses cross-fire sometimes when sensation is so deep and heavy and stimulating that we can’t tell if it’s pain or pleasure.

      I love playing with that line, partly because it is a way to practice pain without suffering – a way to practice pain without being hurt, but to experience it as a release, change, and growth. I think pain play can do a lot of that, too, and it is very interesting to me, as someone who is interested in algology (the study of pain), and someone who studies the cessation of suffering, how to encourage these moments of transformation where pain becomes pleasure, useful, and a methodology of study.

      What I’m saying is: sadism is the intentional use of pain, discomfort, and other dark emotions to find deep release, move energy, and renew the self. As someone who is deeply interested in dark emotions, the messy stuff, the hard stuff, and personal transformation and self-awareness, this is a tool that I find incredibly useful.

      ‘I sing the body electric’

      I have yet to write up my experiences at the most recent Body Electric Celebrating the Body Erotic workshop that happened just at the end of March (I’m so behind on my writing), but I cannot recommend these highly enough. If you are in the Bay Area, or Seattle, or have access to those two places, it really is worth it.  Ask me if you have more questions, I’ll tell you all about it.


      JUST ADDED – June 20-22
      Seattle Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
      We heard your requests for more opportunities to experience this amazing workshop. Please come join a circle of women in a safe, serious and playful space to explore and celebrate empowered sexuality and spiritually integrated eros. Through breath, movement, communication, touch and massage:
      * Feel more alive, curious and safe in your body
      * Deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
      * Expand awareness, sensation and pleasure
      * Receive and give without losing yourself
      * Release fear, shame and negative patterns
      * Communicate your desires and boundaries more clearly
      * Accept yourself just as you are
      * Enjoy sex more and have more fun
      * Discover the healing potential of sexual/spiritual energy
      This workshop starts Friday night and ends Sunday and is for women of all ages and sexual orientations who are open to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sensuality and sexuality. Please share this email with any friends who might be interested.* June 20-22 – Seattle – Led by Lizz Randall – contact Robyn Lynn at 206-579-2603 or [email protected]
      Tuition: $395
      Take advantage of one of two offers (cannot be combined):
      1. Pay in full by May 30 and receive $30 off
      2. Register with a friend and you both receive a 10% reduction

      Power, Surrender & Intimacy
      After an absence of several years this powerful exploration into the nature of trust, exquisite attention and heightened sensations returns. Join with like-minded women who are ready to go beyond the life ordinary. In a grounded, respectful container discover and clarify edges of liberation, empowerment and embodiment. Learn to recognize aspects of yourself that are continually engaged in power dynamics, and hence become more choiceful about how you can share power with compassion and skill. Led by Alex Jade.
        * June 20-22 – New York City – Contact Debi Soler at 212-726-0679 or
        [email protected]
        Tuition: $395
        Prerequisite: Celebrating the Body Erotic
        Take advantage of one of two offers (cannot be combined):
        1. Pay in full by May 30 and receive $30 off
        2. Register with a friend and you both receive a 10% reduction

      Oakland Celebrating the Body Erotic
       In addition to the upcoming Seattle CBE, you also have the option of attending a CBE in Oakland if that fits your schedule better.
      * May 16-18 – Oakland – Led by Lizz Randall – Contact Ursula Goulet at 510-333-4721 or [email protected]
      * October 3-5 – Oakland – Led by Elfi Dillon-Shaw – Contact Ursula Goulet at 510-333-4721 or [email protected]
      Tuition: $395
      Take advantage of one of two offers (cannot be combined):
      1. Pay in full by April 25 (spring) or September 12 (fall) and receive $30 off
      2. Register with a friend and you both receive a 10% reduction

      The Body Electric School Website 
      Contact Information: 510-653-1594, [email protected]

      the universe received the memo …

      … that Sinclair is single again, and dating. Spring is hovering just around the corner, and New York as a whole can feel it. The girls are already pulling out their swishy skirts, bouncy hair, strappy sandals. I notice. Man, do I notice. I try not to stare.

      All that cliche shit is true about spring – fertility, rebirth, lust. The newness of those baby-green leaves are raw and luscious enough that sometimes I just want to bite them right off the tree. Destroy them with my mouth. Mmm.

      At the last minute, I’m going to the Body Electric workshop that starts tomorrow (in fact, I need to leave in about four hours). I have some very particular intentions going into it, especially about the things that I’m holding on to. I want to let go. Leave it all be. Wipe the slate clean. (Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.) I want to decline politely to the world’s human messes, to learn to say ‘no, thank you.’

      My other intention is to bring the masculine butch boyishness again. It was a huge revelation for me last time, especially in a womyn-goddess-yoni kind of sacred sexuality space. But I learned so much. I need to take that with me again.

      This is brief, I know; unfortunately, my schedule is only looking to be more packed in the near future. I will do my best to keep updating. Meanwhile, got any more butch eye candy to send me? I’m nearly out. C’mon, you/your girlfriend/your wife/your best friend/your lover/your favorite crush wants to be some Sugarbutch eye candy, I know you do.

      Regular Sugarbutch writings will resume on Monday.

      High heels lead to a stronger pelvic floor

      I love heels. Stilettos, kitten heels, boots, even wedge heels. I love how they enhance the S-shape of a woman’s body.

      Growing up in a feminist household, it was ingrained in me early on that high heels are bad for women’s feet and hips, that they cause shinsplints and hip problems and weak knees and all sorts of things. It took me a long time to come to my own acceptance of liking high heels on femmes … even having a bit of a strappy sandal fetish, I might say.

      Diana Cage and I were talking last night on her radio show about my turn-ons, and I mentioned heels, though not without the caveat of the feminist knowledge of how damaging they can be to a woman’s body.

      But, Diana told me about a recent study where wearing high heels actually improves the muscles on a woman’s pelvic floor, thus making her, you know, tighter.

      I looked it up. From the BBC – High heels “may improve sex life”: An Italian urologist and “lover of the sexy shoe” did a recent study which showed that women who wore a 2″ heel or higher had as good posture as those who wore flat shoes, and also showed “less electrical activity” in their pelvic muscles, which are not just useful in the organs of the body (like the bladder) but also in increased sexual satisfaction and performance. “This suggested the muscles were at an optimum position, which could well improve their strength and ability to contract. The pelvic floor muscles are an essential component of the female body.”

      Probably most of us have heard of PC muscle exercises, “Kegels,” as they’re called, to strengthen the pelvic floor – same idea. It makes sense that heels would improve these muscles, when I think about it … and I think it’s another subconscious way that heels sexualize a woman’s body.

      This also reminds me of an exercise we did in the Body Electric Celebrating the Body Erotic workshop last fall, the mulabhanda pelvic lock, or root lock, in which you keep your pelvic muscles tightened and breathe in a particular pattern. It was surprisingly difficult and incredibly hot.

      I’m sure it’s still possible to damage your body by wearing heels constantly, this can’t undo all the other potential damage. But I’m also glad to know that there is some physical good that comes from wearing heels.

      Body Electric School 2008 Spring Programs, NYC

      I’ve been to many of these Body Electric workshops for women over the past 8 years or so, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re terrifying, and life-changing, and amazing. I recommended last year’s CBE here and wrote about some of my revelations and experiences after the workshop as well.Two workshops for were just announced for the 2008 schedule. Highly, highly recommended, I can’t say that enough.

      Safe, playful and profound workshops for women of all ages and sexual orientations
      Taught by two very gifted teachers

      Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
      March 29-30, NYC, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
      with Isa Magdalena
      (back teaching at Body Electric after many years)

      • Feel comfortable in your body
      • Improve your body image and self-esteem
      • Expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath,
      movement, touch, and communication
      • Release fear, shame and old patterns that hold you back
      • Communicate your desires and boundaries more clearly
      • Learn to give and receive without losing yourself
      • Explore the power of sexual energy / ibido / life force / kundalini
      • Learn from your own and others’ experience
      • Enjoy sex more
      • Have more fun

      Isa Magdalena was the first woman teacher at Body Electric (1993-98). She teaches sexological bodywork at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, is author of Libido: Where Sex, Science Spirit Meet (2006). Isa is featured in several sex education videos from the New School of Erotic Touch, is a practitioner and leads classes in Taos, New Mexico. For fuller information, visit www.xtasia.info

      *

      first time in many years!

      Power, Surrender and Intimacy for Women
      June 20-22, NYC, Friday 7-10pm, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
      with Alex Jade

      * Learn BDSM techniques and develop skills
      * Discover and clarify issues of empowerment and liberation
      * Recognize how you engage in power dynamics in your everyday life and exercise more conscious choice
      * Heighten awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation
      * Explore power and sensation games for fun and healing
      * Experience the joy of surrender and trust

      Presequisite for this workshop is Celebrating the Body Erotic

      Alex Jade has been a leading teacher at Body Electric for a decade and has developed several courses for the School. She is a gender-fluid sex activist, community organizer, shadow explorer and body-based therapist living in Seattle. She uses her training as a massage therapist, movement therapist and masters degree in social work to teach experiential sexual education classes and has a private healing practice.

      Both Isa and Alex are profiled in Reclaiming Eros, Suzanne Blackburn and Margaret Wade, editors (2007).

      Tuition: $395 per workshop. Recent CBE grads receive $50 discount on repeat workshops. Register with minimum $100 deposit. Full tuition is due three weeks before start of workshops. Contact Debi Soler, NYC coordinator, 212-726-0679, [email protected]

      http://www.thebodyelectricschool.com

      workshop revelations

      The workshop this weekend was phenomenal, as this workshop always is. This is my seventh time at a workshop through this same school, my third time as an assistant. It’s different every time, though the structure is very similar, mostly because I’m different I suppose – it brings up and heals and expells and calms different things in me depending on what is happening in my life.I had a lot of revelations this weekend. It’s different to be back in the “real” world now.

      Let’s start with Friday.

      I realized how little I breathe, and how much I’d like to do some serious study of breath on my own, not just in workshop. We did some tantric breathing, including a “pelvic lock” which seriously rocked my world, and after being blown away I swore to myself I’d look for some lesbian tantric resources. I also very much remember thinking the same thing last year, as I went to this same workshop almost exactly a year ago, and I started wondering why it was that I didn’t follow through on that.

      Which is when a list of things fell into place. (I’ll give a little recap.) I split with my girlfriend of four years over the summer, in July, after I met Callie and went on a date with her. I have often described Callie as a “defribrulator for my heart,” as she jolted me awake in a huge new way – I hadn’t even realized how numb and hiding I was in my relationship with my girlfriend (at the time, often referred to as “the girlfriend” or “the ex-girlfriend” in the archives). Callie made me feel desire, lust – made me feel interesting, fascinating. I fell in love with her that first date. But, I had a girlfriend, and Callie found out, and refused to date me until I figured it out, said she wouldn’t wait for me, etc. Which, you know, makes sense. I spent the next three months getting my life in order – leaving my girlfriend, moving into my own apartment, fucking around – mostly so I wouldn’t be completely lost in my lust for Callie if/when we started dating.

      And then, in October, on a Wednesday, I put up a person ad – the same one she had put up, to which I had responded, only in reverse – and then sent her flowers on a Friday. She called, almost immediately.

      And that was the weekend of the workshop last year – so I couldn’t meet her that weekend. We had lunch on Monday, the day after the workshop.

      I barely remember anything about the workshop last year. I remember lunch at the South Street Seaport, talking about Callie. I remember having a hard time focusing, because I really just wanted to be with Callie. I spent three months dreaming and preparing and wishing Callie back into my life, and there she was, ready for me, too – so I skated through the workshop and probably even used it to fall deeper in love with her. On my own, without her even there, without knowing her.

      Dangerous, dangerous.

      So, on Friday, I was remembering the feeling of wanting to study breathwork and tantra last year, and wondered where that energy and inspiration went, then realizing it was all focused into that relationship. Sex always worked with Callie (see: all of October to May, explorations from desire and role play and force, to lingerie and topping and ten times in twenty-four hours) and I always assumed that because it worked so well, better than I’d ever had in my life! Which was a combination of Callie being a femme bottom (finally, finally) and coming out of a sexless four-year relationship with a girl who didn’t really like sex, among other things. Because things worked so well between us, sexually, I quickly took that to a spiritual level – of course I did, coming out of this workshop the day before our relationship began! – and thought that that meant something much, much more than it did.

      It didn’t mean that much. It wasn’t a spiritual connection, it wasn’t a “meeting of the souls.” Or, I don’t know, maybe it was a little bit, but that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t also unstable, seductive, and manipulative.

      I’ve said this about Callie before, too, but it rings particularly true: she is beautiful for the same reason that puppies and babies are adorible – because if they aren’t, you would murder them for their horrible, life-shattering annoyances.

      So. That was Friday, and throughout-the-weekend revelations about Callie. Things I took away: I want to make a serious study of some tantra and breathwork; and I feel like this relationship with Callie is further coming into focus.

      (Saturday & Sunday revelations to come.)

      another public service announcement

      The early registration deadline for the Body Electric School‘s Celebrating the Body Erotic for women (only) is coming up next week. I wrote about it here and this PSA is to remind you about it, in case you are interested.The workshop is $340 if paid in full by August 15th, which is next Wednesday. When I return from it in October and write all about it, you are going to be very sorry that you weren’t there, too.

      (I attended one last year in October, the weekend before Callie & I met up for the first time since our single summer date, though it looks like I didn’t actually write about it at all, which is weird. I guess I was oh so distracted by the potential romance. Ah, if only I knew. I’m excited that I will be focused more internally this time.)

      Women come from all over the country for this workshop – and it will be the only women’s program offered this year, so I have no doubt that it will be incredible. Also, it’s run by Alex Jade, who is my favorite of the Body Electric teachers because she’s very genderqueer and looks like a silver-haired fag. She’s a lot less mother-goddess energy and a lot more playful kink energy, which I adore, with still a lot of the spirituality mixed in. It is transformative and foundational, it’ll break down the unstable places inside you and build up stronger ones, it’ll bring old, ancient pains to the surface and caress them, set them free.

      It’s phenomenal. I can’t say that enough. I would gladly tell you more about it via email, if you have particular questions.


      The Body Electric School Announces
      Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
      with Alex Jade

      October 5-7, 2007, New York City
      I am excited to extend an invitation to you and the women you know to join in a circle of women for an opportunity to explore, discover and celebrate empowered sexuality, self-defined eroticism, spiritually integrated eros. You will feel welcomed into a safe, serious, and playful space where we respectfully honor boundaries and experience ourselves as powerful, expressive and sacred.

      In this weekend program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:
      – explore the innate wisdom of your body
      – expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
      – learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
      – learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
      – learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

      This full weekend workshop is for women of all ages and sexual orientations who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality.

      Men, please pass this information on to your women friends. They will always be grateful for your thinking of them.

      Debi

      Workshop Title: Celebrating The Body Erotic for Women
      Tuition: $375 per person ($340 if paid in full by Aug. 15)
      Registration: $100 non-refundable deposit per person due three weeks before event

      The workshop starts Friday evening and ends Sunday evening.

      Contact: Debi Soler
      New York City Coordinator
      646-245-4371
      [email protected]

      public service announcement

      Here’s the deal:This workshop, Celebrating the Body Erotic, is the ‘level one’ beginning of the Body Electric School, and it is phenomenal. I have participated in workshops through Body Electric since 2001, and have done CBE three times, Power & Surrender once, and assisted at CBE twice. it has sincerely and deeply changed my relationship with my body, my sexuality, my sensuality, my spirituality, and my relationship to other women’s as well.

      (I can speak much more to that. Ask me anything.)

      This is the ONLY women’s program being offered this year in the US. Body Electric School offers men-only and mixed courses as well (and many many more of them), and usually is able to offer 2-5 women’s programs, but funding and management is tight (I don’t really know what’s going on, but this is what I’ve gathered) and the Women’s Programs are in danger. I am so, so saddened by this idea, and want to promote and encourage and talk up a STORM about this upcoming CBE workshop, with the hopes that it will entice even ONE more woman to come and participate.

      It’s not cheap, I know, for a weekend (especially those of you who may have to travel to come here), but I can’t say enough how much it is worth it. It is a safe, beautiful space for breakthroughs, healing, moving on, looking back, unsticking anything that is stuck, making connection, growing, evolving, becoming beams of light.

      I don’t know yet to what capacity I’ll be going to this workshop – I may be attending.


      The Body Electric School Announces
      Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
      with Alex JadeOctober 5-7, 2007, New York City

      I am excited to extend an invitation to you and the women you know to join in a circle of women for an opportunity to explore, discover and celebrate empowered sexuality, self-defined eroticism, spiritually integrated eros. You will feel welcomed into a safe, serious, and playful space where we respectfully honor boundaries and experience ourselves as powerful, expressive and sacred.

      In this weekend program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:
      – explore the innate wisdom of your body
      – expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
      – learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
      – learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
      – learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

      This full weekend workshop is for women of all ages and sexual orientations who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality.

      Men, please pass this information on to your women friends. They will always be grateful for your thinking of them.

      Debi

      Workshop Title: Celebrating The Body Erotic for Women
      Tuition: $375 per person ($340 if paid in full by Aug. 15)
      Registration: $100 non-refundable deposit per person due three weeks before eventThe workshop starts Friday evening and ends Sunday evening.

      Contact: Debi Soler
      New York City Coordinator
      646-245-4371
      [email protected]