Once you leave the hetero monogamous path, the world opens with possibilities for how to structure romantic relationships. It can be overwhelming to think of all the options! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do that in some intentional way? This course will focus on identifying and communicating boundaries, negotiation and defining relationship priorities. While there’s no “one true way”, an awareness of self, awareness of partners and ability to communicate openly will help you build your own best relationships.
Knowing how to deescalate a fight, find the root cause, and negotiate a compromise is part of being in a healthy relationship. But wouldn’t it be better to discover those problems *before* they explode and ruin a perfectly good evening? Patrick Rauland will share you 10 evidence based uncommon ways to prevent fights entirely. Some of this are simple changes in language (ex. I’m flooded) while some require a change in mindset (be influenceable). With a little discussion & introspection and you can head off that next fight. It’s like a booster shot for your relationship.
“What about the children?” Is a question often asked by the people both in and out of the polyamory community. Come join the discussion about what it means to be a family, father, mother, child, and/or stepparent in a polyamorous family. How do we balance kids, family, and multiple romantic or sexual partners? This panel discussion will share the experiences of what has worked, where we made mistakes, and how to balance the demands of family, children, and lovers.
NRE vs. ERE: How to balance New Relationships vs. Established Relationships
Robert McGarey, M.A
Let’s face it: new relationships are mesmerizing. When we’ve got those irresistible neurotransmitters exploding in our brain, creating intoxicating feelings of new love, it’s easy to forget about the relationships that have been around for a while. The result? I’ve seen it; it’s not pretty. This workshops helps you eliminate the tug-of-war between old and new and balance your relationships in a way that works for everyone, including you!
Creating breakup contracts and changing our relationship with relationship transitions
Jessie Lou Greeson
Have you ever walked away from a breakup thinking “Well, that could have gone better.”? Have you avoided ending a failing relationship because you simply couldn’t find the right words or were nervous about the conflict? Are you tired of hearing “it’s not you, it’s me.” ? Don’t know how to deal with that person at the party that ghosted you last month? We can change this narrative and walk away from relationships with pride, love and security. All it takes is a few moments to flip the script and a willingness to think outside the box.
Transforming Jealousy Into Love
Do you feel jealous, scared, angry or sad when your partner has feelings for another? Do you wish you could feel happy for their happiness? Or maybe you feel like you aren’t enough or fear abandonment when your partner pays attention to someone else? In this workshop, you will be guided through “the Four Pillars of Jealousy Transformation.” You will learn easy practices, with the support of a loving community, that will help you learn to: – feel an abundance of love – know that you are a unique soul, worthy of all the love you can imagine – find your inner sense of self-ness and truly enjoy being alone at times – develop acceptance for what is, never having to feel like a victim again. Learning these practices will not only help you with transforming jealousy into love, but will also help you feel happier, more grounded and more connected to Spirit!
Creating Your Safer Sex Elevator Speech
If someone asked you what your safer sex protocols are, could you answer in 2-minutes or less? World-renowned sex and relationship educator Reid Mihalko can, and thinks you should be able to as well. Join Reid as he guides you through an empowering, informative and humorous talk aimed at getting your “Safer Sex Elevator Speech” down pat! This workshop is designed to give you the tools to discern what your health and emotional safety needs are and how to communicate them clearly, concisely, and without shame.
Redefining Gender Roles in Queer Polyamorous Relationships
Paul Gross, LPC
Gender roles seem to have been defined for decades. In the 40’s and 50’s, men were the breadwinners while women made the homes. In the 60’s and 70’s, more women entered the workforce, further showing the disparity in the genders. In the 2000’s and beyond, other genders are being recognized and their roles are being defined and redefined, especially in polyamorous relationships. In this workshop we will discuss how gender is being defined and roles are being redefined. We will explore gender in monogamous relationships vs. consensual non-monogamous relationships.
Consent: The Five Pillars Upon Which to Build a Consent Culture
This presentation is presented in lecture format with invited participation from attendees. The discussion includes a codified, simplistic way of establishing consent in every human interaction as well as concrete methods by which to simplify the consent conversation. The lecturer proposes a seismic paradigm shift in the way consent is thought of, obtained and discussed. Concepts are presented in a well thought, well researched, straightforward and conversational plain language and entertaining format. Audiences will be encouraged to participate in the discussion and to ask questions. These practical principles are intended to be integrated into everyday life and used daily. The discussion is pansexual, poly friendly and will support, pertain to, and affirm all sexual orientations, gender identities or forms of sexual or relationship expression. Topics include: The purpose of the consent conversation, The role consent plays in human interaction, The five pillars of consent with examples and explanations, A completely different way of thinking about consent, Strategies to minimize misunderstandings, Ways to begin building a consent culture, Socialization of the word “no,” Toxic Politeness.
Parenting While Navigating Relationship Transitions
Liz Newsom, LCSW
In this workshop we’ll discuss how to manage successful “uncoupling” and “co-parenting” from a consensual non-monogamy viewpoint. We’ll discuss moving away from the idea of a “break-up” to the idea of “relationship transitions” and how this impacts the way in which we treat our parenting partner(s). We’ll discuss needs/wants for everyone involved, how this impacts our communication, and ultimately how to have the least negative impact on the children.
Cultivating Secure Attachment in Polyamorous Relationships
Jessica Fern Cooley
It’s difficult to talk about relationships these days without the topic of Attachment Styles coming up. The research on love and relationships consistently finds that understanding our attachment style can be an important part in creating healthy and fulfilling relationships, but how this applies to non-monogamous relationships can be unclear. Since the majority of the resources and advice on how to create securely attached romantic relationships rely heavily on mono-normative behaviors and hierarchical relationship structures, non-monogamous folks are often at a loss on how to create secure functioning with their multiple partners. In this talk Jessica will present on: An overview of the different attachment styles – The importance of Secure Attachment in Polyamory -How jealousy can sometimes be a symptom of insecure attachment – The different relationship skills for creating secure functioning from a poly perspective – What secure attachment with yourself looks like.
Radical Self(ish) Love/Care
This presentation is presented in lecture format with invited participation from attendees. The presenter will discuss the basics of self care. But will also explore the reasons why self care is often and intentionally overlooked in today’s society. Included will be discussions about how self-care is neither an indulgence, nor an option. The presenter will give examples and reasons why self care is CRITICAL and even ETHICAL to maintaining healthy relationships, particularly in non-monogamous and/or polyamorous dynamics. The discussion will propose a radical shift in the way self care is viewed as well as pointing out the “backwards and upside down” prevailing narrative of self care. Key points in this presentation include; the myth of selflessness, everyone has the same primary, turning the “To Do List” upside down, the history of self care, self care red flags when going into new relationships, being selfish together, and the absolute, unequivocal imperative obligation to be shamelessly selfish.
Become an Emotional Intelligence Warrior!
Chris Deaton & Elisha Thompson
Do you struggle with emotions? Do you have difficulty having hard conversations because your feelings get in the way? Or maybe some of your relationships or scenes have suffered because you just don’t understand what your partners are looking for? Or what you are looking for? Would you like to be more logical in your decision making? These are tough challenges for many of us, but there is comfort in knowing that other people have had the same issues and have found a way to be successful. By embracing Emotional Intelligence (EQ) you can develop better awareness to help your relationships and your communication skills. Learning the methods we teach will allow you to be clearer about what you want and to better understand what your partners like, want, and need from you. We will teach you the 4 pillars of Emotional Intelligence – Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management; what they mean, how they can help in a polyamorous and kinky contexts, and how they can improve their interactions and relationships through some simple exercises. We will primarily spend time on the first two pillars related to managing yourself.
Deepening Intimacy through Communication
Robyn Trask & Jesus Garcia
Being polyamorous in a monogamous world is not easy and takes a high degree of self-awareness, and a willingness to communicate honestly with others. Too often in relationships communication breaks down due to unhealthy patterns of defensiveness, fear of pain, and personal triggers. When a partner says “we need to talk” many people feel an immediate sense of dread or fear. In this workshop we will work on specific tools to create safe space for real and vulnerable communication that gets at the heart of issues and helps to remove blocks to intimacy.
The Three Waves of Polyamory
This presentation begins with a discussion of precursors to polyamory including the practice of traditional polygamy in Africa and Papua New Guinea. The first wave of poly practitioners, the 19th century Oneidans and the Kerista Commune of San Francisco, are discussed in terms of their patriarchal leaders and outlaw challenges. The second wave, emerging in the early 1990s is characterized by relationship visionaries including Deborah Anapol, Ryam Nearing, Sasha Lessin, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy and a distinct poly culture featuring books, workshops, conferences and shared ideologies. The third wave features Millennial adopters who receive high levels of mass media engagement including the Showtime Cable TV series, “Married and Dating,” often attracting practitioners who may have little or no contact with organized poly culture.
Stories Around the Campfire
In this workshop, we will share in the art and tradition of storytelling. By sharing our personal relationship and polyamory stories we have the opportunity to enrich each other’s lives and learn from one another. In this process we will create a container for us to process these stories and learn from each other to create an intentional future for ourselves and our community.
Coming Out: A Spiritual Practice & Social Action
Visibility is so important. Young people who don’t see examples of what they would like to become often believe that it isn’t possible. Models are important so that others can feel more secure and validated in their own authentic self-expression. Coming out as LGBTQIA saves the lives of suicide-prone youth who are being bullied or abused. Coming out as whoever you really are can be an act of love for yourself and for others, to support universal self-love and self-actualization.
Sex and Aging – Secrets of Sensuous Seniors
Mim Chapman, PhD
Whether we’re 16 or 60, we’re ALL aging – it’s the IN thing to do! Yet society tends to associate sexuality with youth, and bombards us with age-related standards of beauty and sensuality. We need more models of Sexy-Sixties, and here’s your chance to meet some! Learning to love ourselves (and others) takes time, experience, and practice, so if we’re living consciously, we become better lovers every year. We’re aware of the changes that happen as we age, yet they are not often discussed openly and positively. In this interactive workshop, we’ll learn more about ourselves and each other, share the joys and challenges of maturing, and find ways to keep those sexual fires stoked – assuring creative, juicy intimacy all the way to the grave. If you’re still a youngster, come join us anyway for a “sneak preview of coming attractions”… and to explore things you could discuss with your parents, grandparents – or your older lovers!
Power: The System
Ruby Johnson, LCSW
Power dynamics and power exchange infers an understanding of how coercion can impede the negotiation of consent. This is an experiential exercise in how the intersection of cultural, societal, intellectual, and mental differences impact a person’s capacity and capability to self-advocate. I use real life experiences as an advocate and activist (as a community leader and event organizer) for others as well as in my own personal relationships (racial, socioeconomic, and gender).
Tara L. Skubella
Using introduction practices of Belly to Belly and basic Tantric breath practices, we will explore sacred breath as individuals, pairs, triads and more! Let’s learn to deepen our root to heart connection with ourselves and others by using this sensual, yet fun, and engaging practice. Be warned – vulnerability, open hearts, nurturing, coziness and the immediate desire to share this practice with others are some of the side effects of completing this workshop. Tara and the group will provide and hold space for participants to be as physically close or not per your comfort level at any present moment.
The Erotic Blueprints™: Key to Better Sex, Pleasing Any Partner, And Getting What You Want
What’s your most intimate love language? How well do you speak your partners’ language? Feeling curious, brave, and ready for change in your erotic landscape? Want to learn how to create exponentially more pleasure, connection, and love? Learn all about the Erotic Blueprints™ – the key to pleasing any partner (and asking for — and getting! — exactly what you want!). You will learn: – How to invite and create irresistible turn-on • How to unleash those blocks that keep you stuck and unsatisfied – How to prioritize pleasure and create hot, juicy connection for a lifetime • How to bring back joy, play, and ease in the bedroom and beyond. Knowing the Five Blueprint Types means hotter sex (yay!) and deeper ease and intimacy (yay!), but it’s also fantastic for understanding differing communication styles and how to create rapport and empathy for those challenging poly conversations. We’ll cover each of the Erotic Blueprints™ and the skills, touch, and mindset that works best for each. The afternoon includes (clothed) practice in touch skills, Q&A, and lots of interactive discussion.
Sacred Sex Puja – Experiential Workshop
A puja circle is an interactive experience that combines the teachings of Taoist and Tantric Sacred Sexual practices to awaken the flow of sexual creative energy. Working with fire breath and energy, we will build a sacred space of heart centered connection within the circle. Sharing sacred connections and energy with others creates nurturing and pleasure. It is a powerful and heart-expanding experience that is not to be missed. Come solo or bring partners. Bring an open heart and a willingness to connect with others. Please dress comfortable (jeans or tight pants can restrict breathing).