Hi curious one,
My mind was blown this week - again! - by how extraordinarily amazing 'active receiving' can be. I'll describe it for you in full detail, below.
As best as I recall, I learned this practice from the Sexological Bodywork crew (who I warmly recommend you check out, especially for a therapeutic and / or professional approach to sex).
You need a partner for this exercise. Set aside some quality time, and get a warm room - I like to use an electric blanket under the person that's receiving, also, because being cold doesn't support your enjoyment. Working off a massage table is perfect; a bed is okay, and being straight on the floor is good for people with high mobility. Perhaps put some ambient, spacious tunes on in the background, without too many vocals.
Have your discussions about hard limits and safer sex strategies, and perhaps line up some toys and sensation experiences. At a minimum, decant some coconut oil into a bowl.
Then, start a timer; 30 minutes is your minimum, 75 minutes is probably the upper range of what's good for most folks.
The person giving the touch waits nearby. In the absence of instructions, or if the receiver wants to self-pleasure, then the giver simply holds space (by staying near, and respectfully observing).
The receiver constantly scans their body for what they'd like to experience, and asks for it. In a more professional setting - the way this material is presented by SexBod - the giver only touches using their gloved hands. In a more personal, intimate environment, the two of you might agree that other forms of touch and experience are on the menu. However, crucially, the receiver needs to focus on themselves for the entire time, and resist the temptation to project their sexuality or arousal onto the giver. It's not meant to be a 'relationship' process, but rather, a 'self-development' one; the giver is essentially a very elaborate robot, listening carefully to instructions and acting on them (according to whatever boundaries were set initially).
The receiver is encouraged to stay with the experiences in their body, rather than disappear off into fantasy. While there's nothing wrong with that under different circumstances, part of the point of this activity is to learn more about one's own body and pleasure - and this is not possible if one is too far off in one's thoughts and fantasies.
At some stage, it can be great to have fifteen minutes of time principally for genital touch. This doesn't need to be sexual or to go in any particular direction, but it helps to reinforce your relationship with your genitals. The specific touch you might ask for could be anything from "cup my genitals with your hands, in stillness", through to "fist me". Trust your body.
It's nice if the robot - I mean, the 'giver' - can let the receiver know when their time is nearly up, so as to allow for cooling down. Then, depending on the nature of the experience, a few minutes of lying still and integrating the experience is often welcome... So is a hug, sometimes.
As with everything, debrief; the simple questions of "What did you like?", "What would you do differently / more of / less of, next time?", and "What do you like about this play-partner?" are a great starting point.
And then, swap!
Enjoy this practice, friends. I am consistently surprised at just how much pleasure the above activity can bring, but perhaps more importantly... It feels like it's a very solid way to progress one's sexual development. It feels like the lessons and experiences are really landing, rather than simply being fun and hedonistic one-off happenings. And anything that continues to develop the integration of your words with you pleasure is going to make for better sex and relationships.
(The above types of play feature in Fun Little Sex Games - as just a very gentle introduction in the beginner classes, then as described above in the intermediate / advanced classes).
'The Forest' continues to grow...
The Forest is such a lovely little workshop. It's built around a ritual where one half of the group stands still (as 'trees') with blindfolds on, and the other half of the group moves amongst them, giving experiences. The workshop includes some very fun extras and, naturally, lots of boundary-setting work.
It's surprisingly rich learning territory, as well as delightful fun, a lot of the time. So much so, that we now have versions for mixed-gender pairings, and male/female pairings. Perhaps even more exciting is the introduction of 'Deep Forest', only for people that have already done the standard workshop. In the Deep Forest, where all the trees have demonstrated their ability to set and respect boundaries, the experience is richer and longer...
The July Curiosity play-space is going to be during the day (4pm-8pm), as an experiment. This is only for folks who have already done the full Curiosity workshop, the next one of which isn't until Sunday the 6th of August.
Podcast: Curious Conversations About Sex.
In 'My partner and I used to have sex...?', Anne Hunter, Niyati Evers and Rog dive into the question that almost all long-term relationships will ask at some stage.
In 'BDSM: Isn't it just more sexualised violence against women?', Aerie, Beejay and Rog get into some really deeply juicy territory relating to consent (and non-consent), gender-play, communication skills, and slut-shaming.
Hope you're enjoying your journey of self-discovery, Rog.
P.S. I'd like to welcome Sair into the role of the Adminatrix, and also take this opportunity to thank Aerie for a stunning three years of domming the shit out of the CC task list, and generally steering a tight admin ship - your knowledge of the sector and the community, coupled with your admin skills, has been golden. Thank you!
Rog is the driving force behind Curious Creatures, and the main author of this sexuality blog in Melbourne. They were brought up white, middle-class, mostly heterosexual, and male. They now identify as kinky, tantric, polyamorous, queer, and very, very curious. Are you curious? Read more about Rog and Curious Creatures.