Workshops/presentations subject to change.
Five Shades of Poly – Which Are You Craving to Create?
Mim Chapman, PhD
Some people call polyamory “Designer Relationships” because each one is unique, and to design the relationships of your dreams, you need to look inside to see what your goals, dreams, and desires are, and how personality traits fit into different patterns of poly relating. We’ll “act out” some of the common patterns that are emerging in the poly community, discuss the assets and challenges of each type, the agreements that need to be worked out, how new people are brought in, and aspects of “poly etiquette” that can make or break the relationships! Prepare to look within, explore yourself and your desires, and taste some of the delicious flavor options out there in the poly menu or colorwheel!
Navigating the Roller Coaster of Polyamorous Relationships
Jesus Garcia & Tanya Hixon
Navigating the ins and outs of polyamory can be a roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs. The workshop will cover the basic skills needed to help polyamorous relationships grow and thrive. We will look at pitfalls, joys and common issues people deal with in multi-partnered relating. We will cover everything from negotiating boundaries and discussing safe sex to treating all relationships with respect and building lasting love. Bring your questions and your personal experiences.
Max Rivers, Elise Rivers & Jilsarah Moscowitz
Loving multiple people at the same time! Having all the advantages of an ethical, monogamous relationship AND more relationships with as many people as make sense. Defining and designing each of your relationships to be a perfect custom fit for you and them. In this participatory workshop, based on our real life experiences of what’s great about being part of a poly triad, we will describe how our embodied NVC-based (ENVC) polyamorous relationship works. We will talk about: the importance of seeing how the language we use to express ourselves has a profound impact on whether we get our needs met, how to stay connected even when we’re triggered and how to do needs-based negotiation so everyone needs are taken into account. Attendees will follow along processing some of their own issues, using the skills of ENVC alone, in dyads and in small groups. This process will reveal the joys that transparency and vulnerability bring to intimate relating when you have the right skills.We will share how using ENVC as our communication process has supported our relationship. We will invite other polyamorous pods to talk about their successes, and poly-curious individuals and couples to ask questions and pose challenges.
Who, what, why and how… It really doesn’t matter what you have to come out about, Its going to be difficult. Luckily the process and the techniques can be very similar for a successful coming out, not universal… but adaptable. Join this interactive discussion about the process. Get tips and maybe even share your own story, it could help others.
Poly Dating Workshop: Writing Your Own User Manual
Cunning Minx & LustyGuy
Do you feel like everyone you’re meeting doesn’t get what you’re about? Have you ever wished that someone you liked or cared about came with a user manual? A user manual is a tool that provides detailed information on a system’s inner workings in order to optimize a user’s interactions with that system. Or, in this case, with a particular person: YOU! While you can’t change other people, you CAN develop a manual to help others understand just how you like to be treated in the world of dating and relationships. By the end of this class, participants will: have completed a draft of their own user manuals and understand the details of how to complete it.
The Breakthrough Compromise: How to Open Your Relationship
Jim Fleckenstein & Carol Morotti-Meeker, MS, MLSP
Polyamory and open relationships are gaining visibility. More people are expressing interest in them. Many will already be in exclusive relationships. They need information on how to discuss changing from exclusive to open. Some will have to first address past or ongoing non-consensual behaviors. These face the extra challenge of saving the existing valued relationship(s). There is little readily available information on this topic for either group. There’s little support for the latter group within the consensually non-exclusive community. In fact, they often encounter disparagement there, for many reasons. Many traditional therapists and pop psychology resources frown on open relationships. They are especially unhelpful in moving from non-consensual openness into an ethical open relationship. Using the principles of Affirmative Intimacy TM, this workshop will help both groups. Via case studies and an interactive process, we will explore how to have these difficult conversations successfully. These principles will be useful even if there have been transgressions. When finished, attendees will have a greater ability safely to explore opening their relationship.
Negotiating Successful Relationship Agreements
Mischa Lin & Chrissy Raymond Holman
Join us for a workshop on creating, maintaining and relationship agreements in poly/ non- monogamous relationships. We will delve into reasons why we have them, give some examples of the differences between mono and poly relationship agreements, and then we will break up into groups and create sample relationship agreements based on real or fictional partners.
Kicking Poly Drama on Its Ass
Cunning Minx & LustyGuy
Are you non-monogamous, polyamorous or polykinkerous? Are you tired of promises of openness and honesty only to get stuck in a giant morass of overly complicated relationship drama? In this session, Cunning Minx and LustyGuy, hosts of the popular Poly Weekly podcast, share tales of common poly drama and tips on how to crush it. By the end of this session, you’ll learn how to define drama, identify the sources of poly relationship drama and apply techniques to combat drama whenever it appears.
Cautionary Poly: Teachable Moments in Polyamorous Relationships
Allie Phelan & Kevin Patterson
Too often, polyamory is presented in the community with its best face forward. While this positive spin is a good way to convey the viability of polyamory to the monogamous public, for the polyamorous it creates an unobtainable goal of perfection. As a result, mistakes and flaws are inaccurately seen as indicators of broken relationships. In this workshop, Kevin Patterson of Poly Role Models and Allie Phelan of Polyamory Hub of Philadelphia will lead a discussion about common—and uncommon—mistakes and what greater lessons can be learned from them. While sharing some of their relationship misfires and inviting others to do the same, Kevin and Allie hope to turn these negative situations into moments of growth for the poly individual.
Blissful Transitions in Conscious Relationships
Desiring to transition or renegotiate a relationship, yet unsure how to gracefully communicate this to your partners? Struggling to participate in a renegotiation initiated by one of your partners? Amanda will help you gain clarity, explore sensitive topics, and express your desires with authenticity and compassion. She will help you reframe an unexpected turn as an opportunity to create a new beginning for yourself or your partners. Amanda will melt your heart with her vulnerable stories, inspiring you to surrender to the present and help you to navigate this phase of your relationship. She will help you build long-term success by setting boundaries for yourself and the relationship. This workshop was lovingly co-created with Ben Artin.
Please Understand Me! People Types and Relationship Gripes
Mim Chapman, PhD
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), based on Jungian psychological theory, is an instrument for identifying personality type preferences based on the cognitive functions of perceiving and concluding. It is commonly used in business and industry to facilitate increased work group effectiveness. It is also used in career and relationship counseling. It has strong validity documentation and is the most commonly used instrument of its type in the world. Participants who have not taken the MBTI, or can’t remember the results, will be given the opportunity to take a short version during the workshop, or may choose to simply estimate their own type from the descriptions in the introductory section of the workshop. A special focus will be placed on the value of personality type understanding in resolving conflicts. Through discussion and interactive exercises, participants will learn to recognize and understand others’ preferences, and learn how understanding the effects of these preferences facilitate conflict resolution in both personal and professional relationships. Understanding and celebrating each other’s unique insights and perspectives is essential to collaboration, good communication, and conflict resolution within all types of relationships, and it is even more vital within the added layers of intimacy of the world of polyamory. It will help individuals identify areas for personal growth. And it will be fun.
Revolutionize Your Relating – From Poly Play to Poly Living
Julio Cortes & Myla Sandhusen
If someone came up to you and asked you how to have a happy, drama-free, poly relationship, how would you answer them? In this workshop we will answer that question and empower you to do the same. We will also explore different ways of being/doing poly so that we can grow in our understanding and relating. This question is not just an academic one, rather it is fundamental in what we do in this lifestyle and how we set ourselves up to win at it. In this interactive workshop, participants will be able to role-play scenarios and come up with a strategy/design on how to relate to their partners and community that best suits their needs/desires. Participants will learn skills that will empower them to love boldly as they live intentionally and authentically, skills they can carry forward into all relationships. So, please bring failures, problems and frustrations so that we can we work through them together as we learn from one another and find allies to help us better enjoy this lifestyle. All gender/orientations/experience levels are welcome.*Caution: this workshop is about revolutionary ideas and will challenge participants to think deeply about what they are doing. Not for the faint of heart or those with inflexible minds.
Side Effects May Vary
Whether you’re just diagnosed, currently in treatment, or in remission, living with chronic illness is hard. The disease can often become a part of your life and a part of your identity whether you’re a patient or a loved one. The side effects of illness can be harder to cope with, especially the ones that affect sex and intimacy. Adding dating and one partner to the mix can be overwhelming and stressful, more than that can offer a specific set of challenges for all parties involved. Join The Frisky Fairy as she breaks the taboo of talking about sex and illness, discussing the effects of illness on sexuality and the effects of illness on dating and relationships.
Redefining Family-Parenting Panel
Christopher N Smith, Jesus Garcia, Kevin A. Patterson, Marina Reiko, & Robyn Trask
“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.
The Intersection of Race and Polyamory
While polyamory and polyamorists are often viewed as a very welcome bunch, far too often, our communities and representation appear very limited. While we can be loud and proud when it comes to feminism and LGBT issues, sometimes we are suspiciously silent in regards to race. Beyond that, we sometimes, and often unknowingly, foster a standoffish, stressful or downright unwelcoming atmosphere around people of color. This presentation is a discussion about why diverse representation is important to our movement. We will tackle ways that we can proactively create and promote inclusive environments in our lives, in our communities, and at our events. Most importantly, we will go over what we can do to maintain that diversity.
The Poly Rainbow
What is your experience of being LGBTQ in the poly community? When do you feel most at home as a queer/curious/questioning/queer-friendly person in poly spaces? What have been the differences and similarities between getting to know your poly self and your orientation(s) and gender(s)? These are just a few starter questions for our open conversation on what it is to be, and to be in community at the intersection of polyamory and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other identities.
Beyond The Monogamy/Dominator Paradigm
This experiential workshop will explore ways to move beyond our monogamous and dominator programming of society and into an open partnership way. We live in a predominantly dominator model of society in which competition to be powerful, wealthy, and strong are seen as the key to success. Most of us were brought up in a dominator authority model in our families and have been ingrained with monogamy as our model for relationships. The reality is that we owe much of our survival as a species to cooperation, love and working together. With our current political challenges, rape culture, and increasing hate crimes, it seems timely to look for another way to live and conduct our relationships. Through discussion and exercises we will explore together ways to shift our programming to embracing a more partnership/cooperative way of relating in life. Experiential exercises are based both on Tantric teachings and the work of Riane Eisler author of The Chalice and the Blade, Sacred Pleasures, and The Partnership Way.
Voter Team Meeting
I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up on current events but we voters, as a team, have been getting our asses kicked. It’s time for us to gather up, without coaches, without media, without any outsides eyes and address what is happening as the team that is on the field making, or not making, the plays that have put us into our current position. We’ll talk about why so many of us aren’t even trying (voter turn out) what attitudes we hold that are keeping us back (they are all the same) and what we can all do, as a team, to help improve the score and reclaim our title as, “We the People.”
Polyamory, Loving More, Taking Our Movement Forward
Polyamory, swinging, relationship anarchy, and other non-traditional relationship orientations are moving into the spotlight. What can we do as a community to help safe guard our basic right to form love and romantic partnerships in a way that is authentic, honest and open? The intent of this session is to find out what thecommunity wants/needs from Loving More Nonprofit, to give people more understanding of what it is the organization does and to find ways we all can work together to change the world.
Passionate Virtuosity: a Sexual Autobiography
Valerie White is a polyamorous lawyer who has written and spoken nationwide about legal issues in polyamory and kink. She will tell her story in intimate detail: her great-grandmother’s Victorian prudery, her grandmother’s ill-informed but well-meant openness, her mother’s Kinsey-inspired sex-positivity, her 22-year open triad and the impact of aging on a life of activism and sexual exploration. Enjoy a no-holds-barred autobiography of one of the polyamory movement’s foremothers.
Sexuality and Aging
Ken Haslam Jens Wennberg & Nancy Miller
Nobody ever believed that “Old People” had sex! Now as we age, we find that our sex lives continue. What are the issues of positive sexuality as we grow older? We will share our own experience of continuing sexuality into our 7th and 8th decades and invite other participants to share their stories too. This is another topic our parents never told us about!! Hot sex, loving sex does not have to end as we age!! But there are changes. Part of this workshop will be devoted to the men listening to the women discuss their issues and then reversing so that the women will listen while the men discuss their issues.
Play Party Etiquette
Curious about sex parties? You’re invited to our Play Party Etiquette Workshop, led by sex party expert Effy Blue, a relationship coach specializing in ethical non-monogamy. This popular workshop has been featured in Nylon, Cosmo, Refinery 29, and Thrillist! We will explore a culture that celebrates sex positivity, body positivity, enthusiastic consent, and self-expression. We’ll go over all of the questions dancing in your head. How do I find a party? How do I prepare? What do I wear? What about hygiene and sexual health? What do I talk about? What do I do with my hands? Time to find out. We encourage curiosity and combine learning with hands-on exercises. Come join us as we demystify the exciting world of sex parties!
Love, Intimacy & Sacred Touch
This experiential workshop is an adventure in connection and touch. Working in small groups, each person will have an opportunity both give and receive sacred touch. Through intention and awareness, we will together create a safe space of love to foster intimacy, touch and nurturing. Bring a sheet, a pillow, an open heart and dress comfortably.
Ever just need a HUG? Want to meet new people? This is an EMPOWERING workshop on boundaries, consent and communication skills. Come out and try this unique oxytocin bliss-filled experience and let your stresses melt away. In our cozy, safe space, we will start with icebreakers and the rules of cuddling for the evening. You will gain practice in setting boundaries, expressing your NO and delivering it with compassion. Simultaneously, you will be encouraged to navigate our space with fearlessness and fun to ultimately discover your HEAVENS YES Dreams! These are skills that can be taken back into your personal life and can drastically improve ALL of your relationships! You will walk away with newfound confidence and unforgettable memories! Bring your Pj’s, pillow and blankets. NO LATE ENTRY. Cost $15/person (Saturday Evening Extra)