Loving More is excited to host a wonderful mix of speakers and facilitators bringing their energy, wisdom, and talent to Rocky Mountain Poly Living 2017. (This list is tentative and subject to change)
Mark A. Michaels & Patricia Johnson
Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson are the authors of the new book Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships (Cleis Press, September 2015). A devoted married couple, they have been creative collaborators––teaching and writing about relationships, sexuality, and Tantra––since 1999. In addition to Designer Relationships, they have written Partners in Passion (Cleis Press), Great Sex Made Simple, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality (Llewellyn). They are also the creators of the COVR Award-winning meditation CD set Ananda Nidra: Blissful Sleep.
Internationally known as experts in sexuality, Michaels and Johnson have taught throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Australia. They have been featured on television and radio and widely quoted in numerous publications. They are cofounders of the Pleasure Salon, a monthly gathering in New York City that brings together sex-positive people and pleasure activists from a variety of communities.
Michaels is a graduate of New York University School of Law and holds master’s degrees in American Studies from NYU and Yale. Formerly a playwright and translator, he has translated, adapted, and co-written various works for the stage. Johnson is a retired professional operatic soprano who toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. She currently works in turtle conservation; she is certified in reptile monitoring by the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation and is a New York state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Poly Living Workshop Presenters
Ben is a singer, musician and poly and bi activist who has been in an open primary relationship for 26 years. He and his partner started a support group for committed non-monogamous relationships in the ‘80s which met monthly for over 15 years. As a performer, Ben’s music slides through folk, R&B, funk, jazz and back again; he sings about freedom, the environment, LBGT issues, parenting and love. His writing has been published in “Carry it On,” ”Sing Out” magazine and the book “Hearing Everyone’s Voice.”
Robyn is the Executive Director of Loving More® Non-Profit, a national organizer, and leading activist for polyamory awareness. She is a polyamory counselor, workshop facilitator and writer. Since 2004 Robyn has worked to expand media awareness of polyamory appearing in numerous articles, radio shows and TV including Our America with Lisa Ling, Montel Williams, Baisden After Dark, Michael Baisden Bad Boy Radio Show, Alan Colmes Radio Show, Colin McEnroe Show/NPR, and many others. In addition Robyn works to connect the media with other polyamory activists and individuals. Robyn and Loving More were instrumental in the formation of Polyamory Leadership Network. A national speaker and advocate for polyamory she has been a speaker at conferences, taught at universities and been a featured keynote speaker. Robyn has been openly polyamorous for 28 years, raising three children in a polyamorous family. Robyn has been running polyamory support groups, teaching and facilitating relationship and sexuality workshop since 1999. In addition she counsels polyamorous individuals and families. Currently Robyn is working on two polyamory related books. www.robyntrask.com/
Rose holds a B.A. (honors) in Sociology and Psychology. Rose has identified as non-monogamous/polyamorous since she was sixteen years old. Rose has spoken at various polyamory education panels at local universities, and in 2015 began speaking more at the regional and national level, presenting at Poly Living Philadelphia and Atlanta Poly Weekend, as well as being featured on The Humanist Hour podcast talking about polyamory in March of 2015. Rose is a former board and staff member of PolyColumbus and was a member of staff for Beyond the Love for 2013 and 2014. Rose is also one of the founding board members of Open Hearts Central Ohio, an organization founded in 2015 and incorporated in 2016 dedicated to building positive relationships in one’s life, polyamorous or otherwise. Outside of her polyamorous activity, Rose works for the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. Rose also loves playing music, being outdoors, is an avid reader, and is a craft beer aficionado.
Janet Rose is a Colorado native, non-traditional attorney, passionate mediator, transformative consultant, compassion junkie, and fierce advocate. Her career has focused on building bridges, fostering understanding and shining warmth and light in the dark corners of humanity. In 2006 she was publicly outed for pursuing honest and open relationships with integrity and love. She chose to transform this hurtful experience to now teach others about consent, inclusivity and positive transformation particularly in the poly, queer and leather communities. She has followed her calling to serve the public professionally by working in legislative advocacy, mediating agreements for co-parents, teaching law enforcement about the poly, kink and swinging communities and most recently practicing disability law. A married poly mother of 2, in her spare time she studies tribal fusion belly dance, advocates for consent culture and delights in all things geeky. She is currently working on two books: one for attorneys to create a more heart-centered legal practice and another addressing the psychosocial dynamics at play within the leather and kink communities.
Robert McGarey, M.A.
Robert McGarey, M.A., has a contagious love for life and a quirky sense of humor. He has been leading personal growth groups for forty years, and has been poly for more than thirty five. He has served as the Roving Poly Counselor at five Loving More Conferences. He’s founder and director of the nonprofit Human Potential Center in Austin, Texas, and is the author of the Poly Communication Survival Kit. Contact him by emailing Bob@HumanPotentialCenter.org, calling (512) 441-8988, or visiting www.RobertMcGarey.com.
MarinaWebEdit18Marina was raised in polyamorous family from birth. As a young teen Marina identified as polyamory and bisexual. At age 15 she began assisting in organizing Loving More events from Poly Living Conferences to Pride Fest Booth and Parade in Colorado. In2013 she co-facilitated a presentation on children and raising sex positive kids at Poly Living Philadelphia and at Woodhull in August 2014. Recently Marina started a Teens in Polyamory Facebook page, a place for teens exploring polyamory or those raised in poly families to be able to connect and learn from each other. An aspiring actress Marina performed in the play “Journey to the West” by OpenStage Theatre in Fort Collins in the fall 2014, her first performance with a professional company. Marina is an honors student from GOAL Academy, a statewide online high school currently participating in concurrent enrollment at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, CO and will graduate this spring. She plans to attend college at the University of Northern Colorado and major in theatre, and hopes to expand from stage acting and modeling to film in the near future. www.facebook.com/polyteenagers/
At my core, I’m an enabler. I want to help people succeed in whatever passion they possess. This is the heart of why I teach. Education is my passion. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been the person who’d find a way to explain a lesson that helped something ‘click’ for my friends. That knack and passion has continued into my exploration of my ‘self’ through alternative sexuality beginning in 2003. My classes have kept pace with my self-discovery. Since I retired from my day job in 2012 I have spent the time traveling across North America and Europe to learn how this works in different cultures. Sometimes I teach but I always learn from those I encounter. Let’s see what we can learn together.
TanyaTanya has always been open to exploring new ways of being in relationships with any number of partners. Her love of Science and particularly Biology led her to major in Natural Science at UN-L. Tanya has been part of the swing community for many years and in 2011 began exploring polyamory. She became a volunteer for Loving More in 2012 helping in the office and administrative assistance. In 2014 Tanya become a Loving More Board Member and Board Secretary. Tanya is bisexual, polyamorous and part of the swing community in Colorado, Her experience as a bi woman and support of close transgendered family has opened her eyes to the unique problems of the LGBTQ community. She is thrilled to be co-presenting again at Poly Living.
Jesus Viramontes Garcia (Chuy)
Jesus is the Board President of Loving More Nonprofit, polyamory activist and leader in the community. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay area who began exploring alternatives to monogamy in 2004. In 2005 he attended his first Loving More Retreat. In September 2006 he was invited to join Loving More’s Board of Directors. He has worked at raising money for many worthy causes and continues to work tirelessly as Loving More Nonprofit’s volunteer Director of IT. Jesus has been presenting on polyamory at conferences, Universities and special events. He is a key coordinator for Loving More conferences and volunteers. In addition Jesus has worked in the computer information technology field since 1995.
Codi Coday is a polyamory educator and community organizer for one of the largest polyamory Meetup groups in Denver. Codi is passionate about uniting the community bringing polyamorous people together to support each other. Codi is a creator of PAVES (Polysexual Alliance for Visibility, Education, and Support.) Additionally, Codi is a writer on topics such as polyamory, polysexuality, LGBTQIAA+, sex positivity, and intersectional feminism. Codi studied Biology and Psychology at the University of Denver with a focus on Cognitive Neuroscience. She considers polyamory and polysexuality to be a huge part of who she is and has been practicing polyamory since she was 18. She gives monthly educational presentations including Polyamory 101 & 102, Sex, Jealousy, and Communication and frequently facilitates discussions of polyamory in the media as well as topics such as metamour relationships, jealousy, and coming out. She is also the creator of Poly Talk, a Youtube channel dedicate d to educational videos on various issues related to polyamory. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook or check out some of her writing at https://polypretzels.wordpress.com/
Rachel is a client advocate at a domestic violence shelter serving parts of rural Colorado. She is a retired attorney from Upstate New York, where she once owned her own law firm. She currently lives in the Denver area with her partner.
Kate has been interested in non-monogamy since she was a teenager. She unwittingly entered into non-monogamous relationships and learned by making a lot of mistakes. She’s been ethically practicing polyamory for about 5 years now. She and her two partners and their partners and their partner’s partners are a part of a growing community of likeminded folks that reside in Tucson, AZ. Her personal fascination with relationships and sexuality lead her to pursue a fulfilling career as a licensed professional counselor. Kate studied at the Kinsey Institute which is a renowned school for the study of sexuality. She owns a small private practice specializing in counseling gender and sexual minorities, people in alternative relationship models (non-monogamy/polyamory) and addressing common relationship issues such as infidelity, mistrust and ineffective communication. Kate is passionate about providing trainings to help counselors become more poly/kink aware to improve services for members of her beloved poly community.
Through Somatic and Narrative Coaching, Jess Cooley works with individuals, couples, and loved ones to create significant breakthrough and turning points in their life and relationships. Jess holds a Master’s in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and is trained in Narrative Therapy, Somatic Mindfulness, Family Mediation, Restorative Justice, Peacemaking and NVC. Jess specializes in helping people breakdown old paradigms and patterns of reactivity so that they can embody new possibilities in life and relationship.
Chris Deaton & Elisha Thompson
Chris Deaton has always been polyamorous, but didn’t realize that we had a word for it, and a loving community around it, until a few years ago. He lives his day life in the IT world of a college campus and alternately performs the heroic acts of a graduate research student, the father of two boys, and Sadistic Master of a Masochistic Princess on free nights and weekends. His current obsessions include discussing how we can best teach the concept of consent to adolescents, getting his polyamorous journey down on paper, and pushing through the research stage of his second Masters where he is looking at perceptions of hierarchy in long term polyamorous relationships in both the BDSM and non-BDSM communities. He tries to remain active in both the local and regional polyamorous and kink communities emphasizing education and support. Chris has recently taken on the leadership role of the Arizona Chapter of Loving More.
Elisha Thompson has been married for 16 years and has been a devoted submissive and partner of Chris Deaton for 9 years. She discovered that polyamory was ok and a “thing” when Chris stumbled upon it a few years ago. She has been his constant companion on this journey in both the polyamorous and leather communities. Elisha works as an academic advisor and coordinator for an undergraduate program at a local university. She is also working on her second Master’s degree where she is able to combine her passions: yoga, BDSM, and writing. Her research is looking at the similar benefits of yoga and BDSM, such as improved body image, altered states of consciousness, and being more present in the immediate moment. She is also currently developing a yoga/writing workshop for yoga kinksters. When Elisha isn’t writing her memoir, researching, or doing yoga she and Chris are active in the local and regional polyamorous and kink communities. Elisha enjoys being her Master’s crazy but devoted Masochistic Princess and feels most comfortable with his collar on.
Tara L. Skubella
Tara L. Skubella, owner and Tantra guide for Naked Earth Tantra, has over 18 years working with youth and families in the wilderness therapy field to adoption support to teaching Tantra. Some people know Tara from the 2015 season of Naked and Afraid as the girl with all the bug bites. It was during this challenge, Tara experienced her first spiritual awakening and truly felt her primal connection with mother earth and the universe. Tara uses per passion for the wilderness, along with spiritual practices, to help people find intimacy in nature as a building block to connect with mother earth, themselves and others to live more full and connected lives. Tara is also an advocate for naturism.
Before starting her journey, athena had a low impact job, an unsatisfying marriage, and no vision or plan of her life purpose or the impact she could make in the world. In the last three years, she has consciously chosen to pursue a healthy, amicable divorce; started on a road to a high-impact career coaching and serving other women; graduated from a self-defense program; taken the Landmark Forum; moved to to another country; and continued her education with a focus on women’s studies. Since starting an empowering and inspired new romantic relationship, she and her partner have been teaching about relationships dynamics, sexuality, and personal transformation in cities across the United States.