Dear Curious Ones,
I hope you're well!
Episode four of Curious Conversations About Sex (the podcast) is out. In it, we tackle the question of whether touch can be taught. Some have it, some don't - what's with that? Can the situation be saved? If so, exactly how does one go about that?
You might also be interested in how to introduce more interesting sex into a relationship, Maureen and Cath and I discussing ournumber one sex moves, or a very body-positive response toconcerns about protruding inner labia.
Fun Little Sex Games is on this coming Tuesday; in this 'hetero' version, folks that identify as women will be paired with folks that identify as men. Places for women are still available, and more places for men might become available.
Kink 101 (open to couples of any orientation as well as 'hetero' singles) is on Saturday 25th.
Last week at Curiosity, some epic members of the community ran a game show, where teams were pitted against each other in some pretty hilarious sexually-themed challenges. Winners received some very special rewards, and all told there were about 20 people involved (and that number again in stitches as observers).
Later in the night, in another scene, a person sitting at a desk had to read an ironically chosen book and try to keep a straight face while someone (that they had chosen) stimulated them from under the table with a magic wand. The final scene, where the last reader climaxed while the whole room danced in front of them to Blondie's "Heart of Glass", is not the sort of thing that could ever be planned. The timing was extraordinary.
These scenes - and a hundred other like them - are subtle, nuanced, interesting, enjoyable, and entertaining. But I think what I love most about the Curiosity community is how carefully discussed and planned they are; people sometimes put weeks of effort in beforehand, making sure that everyone is comfortable and knows what's going on, and that informed consent has been appropriately attended to. What results is a thriving example of the wildness that happens when the basics (and safety) are attended to. Safety equals freedom.
The next workshop for new people is Sunday the 26th, currently 20 out of 30 tickets sold. Read all about Curiosity here.
Friends: The podcast has arrived! I am so excited to be broadcasting the sex-positive message out a little wider, and just delighted to be able to chat to such talented people about important topics.
'Curious Conversations About Sex' debuts today, available wherever you get your podcasts from, or from the Curious Creatures website.
There are three episodes ready for you:
And perhaps you're tempted to submit a question of your own...?
There are still a few spots left for this Saturday's rather delicious'The Forest' ritual. Then Fun Little Sex Games comes around on the 21st, Kink 101 on the 25th, and the next Curiosity workshop(for new folks) is on the 26th - on a random Sunday (not associated with a play-party) especially for those of you that can't do the usual Saturday afternoon thing.
I hope you're well, and also hope to have the pleasure of your company as some friends and I meander through Curious Conversations About Sex!
Forget about me. There's so many other great workshops coming up soon. :)
Here are some hand-picked beauties...
Barbara Carrellas / The Urban Tantra Experience (Sydney, April)
The book 'Urban Tantra', by Barbara Carellas, was a minor miracle for me. Actually, that's a lie; it was a major part of my journey into the world of sex positivity and my own sexuality.
I still recall the joy at finding a perspective on sex that was inclusive of all different types of people and bodies, and that was respectful of the tradition of tantra without being gendered. And that was honest about the lovely clunky reality of sex and what it is to be human.
It is probably my 'go to' book recommendation, when I'm asked about good books.
I did the Urban Tantra professional training a year ago, and I was delighted to discover that Barbara is also an extremely good facilitator. Plus, I felt the content of the workshop did justice to the joy I got from the book.
These two workshops are pitched at two different levels, and I warmly recommend you check them out, if sexuality, relationships, self-development, and / or gender are areas of interest for you.
Arven / Presence, Play & Polarity (Brunswick, Feb 4)
Arven runs a really great workshop. Some material includes some masculine / feminine concepts, so it's slightly different to my own style. He's got a great background in counselling, and brings together kink and tantric concepts nicely.
This workshop, in his words: "'Presence, Play & Polarity': experiential immersion. Way richer than an introductory workshop, less full-on than an intensive. Begins with practical somatic work, then flows across a range of fascinating, fun, and potentially beautifully expansive Contemporary Tantra and Authentic Expression practices."
Frank and Sheila / various workshops (Brunswick, January)
If you've been to my Kink 101 (or similar), you might have heard me mention that I love to mostly just teach the fundamentals, then refer folks to specialists for further training. Frank and Sheila qualify as specialists!
I've done their interrogation workshop, and found them to have a lot of great knowledge.
Overpowering and rough play:
Hold me tight:
Festival of Really Good Sex (Sydney, Jan 26-29)
Featuring yours truly.
Sexological Bodywork Certificate (April to October)
I love this crew, I love how they present their material, and I love what their work does for individuals and the world. I am not overstating my position.If you're thinking about some form of sex therapy, sex work, or other sex-related specialisation, I strong suggest checking this out.
And then, y'know, there's a bunch of my stuff. See the calendar page. I can't tell you how much I've been loving teaching it, especially lately. Thanks for you interest and support; I am a very lucky camper to have you as my client.
Hello curious ones,
Not having sex right this second? That doesn't mean you're not sex-positive, or that you're not doing it right. Read on...
Also! 2017 workshop and Curiosity dates have been released! See below.
Asexuality is a part of sexuality, as stillness is a part of movement.
I think of "sex positivity" as one's attitude towards sex (and other people's consensual sex), as opposed to a daily (or weekly, monthly, yearly) requirement. The pressure or expectation to be having a lot - any? - sex, and the sense that lots of sex is part of being an enlightened creature, can suddenly start to feel very sex negative. Ironically, one gets inversely slut-shamed for not having enough sex.
It happens to women, to men, and it most definitely happens to non-binary / queer / trans communities. There are a million reasons to not be having sex, but that doesn't mean you're sex-negative.
Some of the most sex-positive people I can think of haven't had anything that looks like traditional sex for a long time.
One of the things that happens is that our culture is a bizarre mix of sex-celebratory as well as sex-negative; anyone that's having more sex than you is a slut (or sleazy, predatory, dangerous, sex-obsessed), and anyone having less sex than you is frigid (or damaged, or unevolved, or unattractive, etc.). Or at least, that's the way we're trained to look at the world around us.
When one is going through a period of less sex than the culturally defined correct amount, it can be a very isolated and downwardly-spiraling situation; especially if one would like to be a bit more active than one is.
Sometimes when we cross over, and get back in the saddle as they say, without realising it we start looking down on those that are not getting as much action. All of our unprocessed shame at ourselves when we were in that period (as well as our relief from being out of it, and panic at the thought of going back into it) comes out. We start talking about ourselves like we are better than, or doing a better job, or more evolved...
Fuck that. And fuck no-one, if that's right for you. "Sex positivity" is the attitude you have to your body, your sexuality, and other people's... It's got nothing to do with how much sex you're having, or if it looks remotely like the mainstream definition of sex.
Let's instead just assume that you're perfect as you are. (And, I like to think, "sex-positive"). :)
2017 Workshop dates are now up, on the calendar.
Kink 101 - version for all couples, and singles (heterosexual pairings) is coming up on January 8th. Fun Little Sex Games - version for all couples is on Jan 10th. Then Rog is off to Sydney to run a few things at the Festival of Really Good Sex later in January.
Curiosity dates are also now mostly published. The play-space is on the second Saturday of the month, for the whole year. The workshop for new people jumps around a bit, as we experiment with ones on the same day as the play-space, and ones on different days. A paid assistant role for the setup and pack-down now exists; please see the relevant, detailed post in the secret Curiosity group.
For those of you that couldn't be there, the end of year Curiosity dinner and performances were pretty beautiful. What an amazing range of talents, and what a gorgeous bunch of people. I think you can go right ahead and pencil that in again for 9th December, 2017!
And once again, the silly season is approaching. Why not give an experience rather than a product? Perhaps a Curious Creatures Gift Certificate would hit the spot?
Hoping you're well in whatever you're doing,
Rog and the CC Crew.
Hi curious friends,
There was a wonderful article written by a regular Curiosity person this week. I found it a really touching and often heart-warming description of a couple's journey through health challenges, relationship changes, and ultimately some adventurous and successful outcomes. Sometimes (by which I mean most of the time), the off-the-shelf relationship model doesn't fit us, and we have to create something new. I like the integrity and vulnerability with which the involved people fronted up to the challenge.
I have some sadness about the headline that was used (especially by further publishers down the line). However, I was delighted to see the communications come through from so many other people, in similar situations, searching for options and alternatives, courageously playing at their edges. I am stoked that Curiosity (and other workshops) fill a role here.
On the topic of Curiosity... we're running an experiment with coloured wrist bands tonight as a way of indicating your level of interest in play with others. It's going to be very interesting, and if you've done Curiosity before you can jump on the secret group to find more information - but the most important thing is that it's optional, so don't stress if you're coming along and haven't been following the discussion. Also for Curiosity folks... There will be an end-of-year dinner thing prior to the December party - again, check the string for details.
There's still scope for another person to join the next Kinky Learning Circle... is it you?
And the silly season is approaching. If you've got one of those people in your lives for whom you want to get a gift, but want to give an experience rather than a product? ...Perhaps a Curious Creatures Gift Certificate would hit the spot?
Hope you're getting your money's worth out of being human, Rog.
The Two-Minute Game: An easy way for couples to turn no sex into good sex, and good sex into great sex.Read Now
By Roger Butler from Curious Creatures.
Most relationships begin with relatively high quantities and quality of sexual activity. For a while – the ‘limerance’ phase – it’s so exciting to be in relationship with this new special person that sex tends to unfold pretty enthusiastically all by itself. But for almost all relationships, this phase passes as the relative mundanity of life kicks back in; somehow it gets harder to make high quality time for each other, the initial sense of never-ending attraction is replaced by the usual interpersonal frustrations, or life just gets busy. And all of those problems get exaggerated if you happen to have kids.
If this is you, don’t worry: You’re behaving perfectly normally, and the challenges you’re experiencing can be solved. What follows is a few general strategies you can employ, and one specific intervention that’s easy to implement and works for most people, most of the time: The Two-Minute Game.
The structure of this game is really simple: You take it in turns asking for what you want, and the other person gives that activity for two minutes. Then you swap (and repeat, for as few or as many rounds as you want). The simplicity of the structure wildly undersells just how far-reaching it can be.
When it’s your turn to ask for something, I recommend simply shutting your eyes, and trusting your intuition. What you come up with will often be very surprising and unusual. But that’s what intimacy is like; sex is often portrayed as only being about kissing, manual stimulation, oral, and penetration – and while these things can be loads of fun – our bodies and minds are often way more creative than that. Free yourself from expectations around things like orgasms, arousal, or anything that looks like sex is portrayed on television, and instead just see where your curiosities take you. Here are some of the favourite things I’ve asked for in over a decade of playing this game:
One of the things that busy people tend to be able to do without herculean effort is find a certain time of the week for each other, like Thursday nights, or Sunday mornings during the baby’s nap-time, or whatever works for you. It’s almost impossible to guarantee you’re going to be energised or aroused when ‘date day’ comes around, but you can commit to simply being there – which is all the Two-Minute Game asks of you. It will come to be a little moment of sanctuary in a schedule that is otherwise dedicated to things other than the relationship.
You will learn new things about yourself, and each other. Even after decades of being together, the simple act of being able to check in with your body and see what kind of attention it would like will reveal many delicious new things.
The short and simple structure of the game addresses something that stops many of us from asking for what we want: Fear of being perceived as selfish lovers. If we’re only going to be in receiving-mode for two minutes (and anyway then swap over and give back), you’re not leaving much scope for your internal critics to make a mess. Also, the game solves another problem: What do you do when you’ve asked your partner for something, and they give it to you, but then you tire of the activity or change your mind? How do you politely say “thank you, but no thank you” without appearing demanding or ungrateful? The answer is embedded in the structure: The buzzer goes off, and the activity ends. More often than not, you’ll be left with a sense of longing for more, which is absolutely perfect! It’s better to end an activity before it reaches its use-by date, and leave yourself hungry.
Pro-tip: You can simply give an activity for a period without a timer and then call ‘time’, but very few people are good at this. It’s much better if you just use a timer on your phone; no-one needs to be responsible for keeping track of time, or for interrupting a fun activity. Your phone does the hard work!
Another pro-tip: Sex is often portrayed in a way where your partner just somehow magically knows how to touch you, without you asking. That’s true for a very small percentage of the population; the rest of us benefit a lot from using our language skills and asking for what we want – the person that’s using communication in their sex-life is guaranteed to be having better sex than the person that isn’t. Once you’ve asked for something, your partner can respectfully negotiate anything that isn’t right for them – that’s part of the communication process. This game will help you to get much better at asking for what you want, and therefore it’s much more likely that you’ll get what you want.
There are other strategies you might want to put in place, depending on your circumstances. Some of them are quick and easy, some of them require some self-development and relationship work along the way – however, sex and intimacy is like anything else, in that it takes time and practice to get good at it. For some reason, we often think we should just be good at sex without putting any effort in, which is weird, because that’s true for no other skill. Some specific things you might want to consider:
Somewhere out there is a model of sex that is right for all of us; the best we can do is simply run a series of experiments and try and notice the results. Your unique expression exists, waiting for you to find it.
Roger Butler is the principal facilitator behind Curious Creatures, and runs a variety of workshops on sexuality and self-development. He doesn’t claim to be the first to have discovered the Two-Minute Game; it’s been around in various versions for a while.
If you like what’s being discussed above, you will probably like the workshop ‘Tantra for the rest of us: Fun Little Sex Games’. Versions are fun for couples, hetero singles, and gender-blender singles.
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.