This list is partial, tentative and subject to change!
Loving More is excited to bring this amazing line-up of polyamory and open relationships workshops. Rocky Mountain Poly Living offers a wide range of workshops designed to bring a basic understanding of polyamory and open relationships as well as workshops on deepening intimacy, playing well with others and skills to improve communication, trust and respect in our polyamorous and/or open partnerships. Education designed to foster successful polyamorous and open relationships for people who are single, married, part of a couple, a triad, a network or just looking for something beyond monogamy in your romantic connections.
Designer Relationships: An Inclusive Model
Mark A. Michaels & Patricia Johnson
The designer relationship paradigm emphasizes mutuality, a collaborative mindset, empathy, and transparency. Designer relationships can include: people who bond emotionally but not sexually; people who agree to be non-exclusive; happily single people who have occasional lovers or friends with benefits; multiple partner configurations where long-term bonds exist among all or some; partnerships in which people are kinky and that make room to explore kink, among many others.
List of Presentations
Navigating the Roller Coaster of Polyamorous Relationships
Robyn Trask & Jesus Garcia
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.
Your Ideal Poly Relationship(s)
Robert McGarey, M.A.
Most of us spend years searching for satisfying relationships and the results are often less than we might hope for. We may have overlooked the all-important first step: becoming clear about what we really want. This workshop provides valuable tools for identifying traits we desire in partners and suggestions on how to build fulfilling relationships using these new found insights.
Solo Polyamory, Relationship Anarchy, and other variations on a theme
In the past few years, there have been new structures appearing on the ethical non-monogamy landscape. Let’s take a tour and, more importantly, examine the questions that can help us figure out which of those structures might feel most like home. Are you relationship centric or individualistic? Does the white picket fence hold appeal or do you prefer looser ties that don’t bind? Have you ever considered the why of your relationship choices?
Poly Assertiveness Workshop
Robert McGarey, M.A.
Assertiveness is a big challenge for most of us, and it’s even tougher in poly situations. Either we don’t speak up for ourselves and our needs are forgotten, or else we insist on being heard with such force that we flatten our SO’s with the impact. Learn how to be both assertive and loving too in this participatory workshop.
Polyamorous Breakups & Relationship Transitions
Breakups are hard enough when there are only two people involved, but they can be even more complicated in polyamorous relationships. Often polyamorous relationships transition or change instead of stopping. Changes such as divorce, kids, marriage, or moving can drastically change the nature of the initial relationship. In this workshop, we will discuss questions specific to these transitions and breakups such as: When is it better to change or transition your relationship rather than break up? What is the best way to do this? How do you shift from partners to metamours? What do you do when your partners break up? How do you handle and approach negative rumors in the community that result from bad break ups? How do you peacefully coexist in the same community with your ex? How do you support your partner through a breakup? What do you do when you get broken up with 2+ people at the same time? Through both lecture and discussion, we will tackle these questions and learn from each other so that we are better equipped to deal with the next break up or transition that happens to us or others in our community.
Ninja Jedi Super Hero Conflict Tips that are Awesome
Mr. Sevve & athena
How people manage conflict in relationship can lead to breakthroughs or breakdowns. When we’re afraid, jealous, or angry, we can pursue our needs in ways that are destructive to our partners and our relationships. When we communicate from our triggers, we unintentionally create more distance and hurt. So how can couples/triads/polycules navigate differences while respecting each other and allowing space for everyone to feel seen, heard, and honored? In this interactive workshop, Lucky Sevven and Athena will provide practical, tested tips for handling strong emotions, asking effective questions, validating each other’s concerns and expressing your needs in a way that deepens intimacy and connection. Skillful conflict can bring people closer and more in love than ever before, and their bond is living proof that these skills can be learned and improved with loving practice.
Redefining Family-Parenting Panel
“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.
Trust: What is it good for?
Chris Deaton & Elisha Thompson
Trust is one of the most often referred to reasons for the demise of a relationship. Trust is crucial in our lives every day. Whether it be work, home, or with friends it plays a part in how we interact with and react to the world around us. For those in polyamorous relationships, navigating life with more than 2, the loss of it can be catastrophic and impact the lives of many people. I will cover some basics surrounding the neuroscience of trust and how to use five steps to help shift mindsets and shape experiences into more productive, innovative, and co-creative and intelligent results. Please bring a pen or pencil with you. Print outs will be provided for you to write on.
Taming the APEs in Your Relationships
Each of us bring certain assumptions, perceptions, and expectations to every situation we face. This includes relationships. They are often the source of conflict with others. This class gives strategies for minimizing their impact.
Poly/kink friendly therapists: Finding one or becoming one
This presentation will increase knowledge about resources and techniques to help you become or find an effective poly/kink friendly clinician/educator. You will learn the terminology, relationship structures and common issues that people come to therapy with and how to address them. We will also be discussing ethical considerations and examining our own mono-normative worldviews and how that might impact your clinical practice. You will have the opportunity to network, ask questions, and get advice and support from the group. We will also be discussing how to address some of the damage done to clients that present in your office after having bad experiences with their past counselors who might have been much less poly/kink aware. This workshop is mostly geared towards clinicians and educators but it is also useful for consumers/community members as we will focus on ways to find and thoroughly vet a therapist before you spend your time and money. All are welcome to come learn more about polyamorous and kink cultures as well as the specific trends, concerns and implications of polyamorous people trying to find quality relationship and family counselors.
Running on Empty: Extending empathy when compassion fatigue hits
Extending empathy to others is a natural phenomenon that occurs in poly relationships. By relating and connecting to others on multiple levels, inevitably we become more empathetic, more caring and in doing so we create a greater sensitivity and awareness to the multitude of people in our lives. But so much caring for others can take a toll as we encounter difficulties, challenges and conflict. And if we’re not careful that toll can create compassion fatigue making it more difficult to find the energy to demonstrate care as much as you want. And while this problem is not unique to polyamory, failure to acknowledge compassion fatigue in our relationships can pose additional problems and unnecessary conflict. This workshop format will be free-flowing, going wherever the conversation takes us as we explore the signs of compassion fatigue, the patterns that emerge and the tools available to us and ways to support our partners and ourselves. The goal is to create a space safe for sharing difficult emotions. The workshop ends with a brief guided meditation to allow space to transition back into the real world.
Re-Wire Your Triggers
For this workshop ‘triggers’ are broadly defined as the moments when an event, interaction, person, thought, and/or belief sets off a Fight-Flight-or-Freeze Response in your nervous system. Being triggered can cause substantial interference in our lives and relationships. Often when caught in the grip of a trigger, we are thrown off-kilter, our perceptions become twisted and distorted, and our interpretations of events become myopic, blameful and self-criticizing. Triggers can sabotage our best of intentions and make us act in ways that are contrary to who and how we want to be—our responses become knee-jerk reactions instead of well-considered choices. Options narrow. Friends and loved ones become enemies. And polyamory can seem near impossible to traverse. However, your Triggers can be rewired and re-authored! Instead of dominating us and robbing us of our power, Triggers can also present us with the opportunity for growth and connection with our most cherished values, intentions and commitments. Drawing on the methods and ideas of Narrative Therapy, Somatic Psychology and Neuroscience, Jess Cooley has created a guided Trigger Process to support you in diffusing your triggers and embodying new ways of being. Come with a specific story, belief, or scenario that easily or regularly gets triggered and together we go on an internal journey to shift your reactivity into responsiveness.
Highway to The Danger Zone
In alternative communities, especially in those that are polyamorous and kinky, toxic relationships have impacts that can travel far beyond any individual coupling. Harmful patterns can have a “ripple effect” that increases pain, trauma, and instability throughout entire social networks. Thus, if we wish to be successful in our polyamorous and kinky worlds, we need to have a deep understanding of ourselves and what we want, as well as the ability to set firm boundaries and communicate clearly and effectively. In this workshop, Rose will discuss the idea of toxicity in relationships in-depth, including helping the attendee to build list of “red flags” to defend themselves against toxic dynamics that acts as an early-warning sign and tool for assessment. This tool is created by the attendee and therefore is personalized to their own desires and areas of vulnerability. It is highly versatile, and its use can be customized for every individual, or even for each relationship an individual undertakes (even going beyond romantic/sexual relationships). Rose will also discuss some of the impacts of toxicity in relationships, how the relationship you have with yourself can both make you a toxic person and make you more vulnerable to other toxic people, and will make an argument that toxicity is nearly inevitable when two people with incompatible relating styles try to make a relationship work. This class will not be easy or comfortable, but in the interest of building and maintaining healthy relationships, it is incredibly important to engage with these concepts.
Abuse Isn’t Just Hitting – Understanding Intimate Partner Violence
Over 12 million people are affected by intimate partner violence every year. The numbers are staggering. While many people think that they know what abuse looks like, they may be shocked to find out what defines that what defines an abusive relationship goes beyond just assault. Intimate partner violence spans all genders, economic classes, races, sexual orientations and types of relationships. It can affect anyone, including those in the poly, kink, and LGBTQ communities. This workshop will educate you about what intimate partner violence is and why it is so complex, along with what is believed causes it. You will be educated about healthy relationships and what they look like across all relationship spectrums, along with what you can do personally to help stop intimate partner violence in our changing society.
The Poly Political Agenda: Now what?
The past few years have brought up swift political change: The decimation Legalization of marijuana in multiple states, the increasing call to ensure that Black Lives Matter, and the legalization of same sex marriage. However, the past year also brought us one of the more dramatic elections in recent political memory. The rules of the game are changing. How can we as poly and open minded individuals ensure that our movement, and respect for our relationship structures are both protected and promoted? We are each experts in what we experience in our current political environment, so no need to feel “fully informed” as we will learn from each other in this facilitated discussion. Bring an open mind and a willingness to share and create because we’ll be brainstorming next steps as we maintain the polyamory movement. Building on notes from prior Poly Living conferences, we will continue the conversation by informing each other of the work that has already been done to advance poly relationships through our established advocacy groups. We will also identify both internal and external obstacles toward creating substantial political change for polyamory, including identifying allies in the cause. Be ready to discuss, share and strategize.
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 the community 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.
Making Relationships “Work” with Play
Being in love, even deep passionate love, doesn’t necessarily equal making relationships work. In addition to caring and compassion we all need tools, communication skills and ways of making sure we’re on the same page about what our mutual relationships will look like. It also helps to be able to practice those skills outside of intense “make or break” situations. This workshop will give us a chance to do that in fun and playful ways. What kinds of agreements and relationship structures can thrive and support each partner’s development and growth to make our dreams come true throughout our lifecycles? What have we learned about making this lifestyle work? And what shapes do our households and emotional lives take on, several decades down this path? This highly interactive workshop will utilize role playing/psycho drama, other tools to practice skills and discussion to work through issues in a safe supportive space. For folks who want to share what they’ve done and how, or ask questions of those who have, a discussion (along with some roleplaying) of relationships, polyamory and poly families with and without children.
Basic Sexual Adventuring
Mark A Michaels & Patricia Johnson
Whether you’re in a sexually exclusive relationship or a more open one, treating your shared sexual activities as a joint adventure can help keep things fresh. The erotic intensity of any relationship is likely to diminish with time. One of the most effective ways to stay passionate is to jointly explore your sexuality consciously, to start pushing your boundaries a little. We define sexual adventuring as a shared undertaking with a clear set of purposes-generally, to build sexual self-awareness, find new sources of pleasure, and deepen intimacy. In this workshop, we’ll examine the hows and whys of basic sexual adventuring, look at some ways for beginners to explore and provide you with insights on how to choose and plan your own adventures.
Tara L. Skubella
Using 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 close or unclose per your comfort level at any present moment.
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.
Saturday Night Extras
The Game Room
The game room is a place to have fun and connect with other attendees playing a myriad of fun games: Cards Against Humanity (for those who enjoy being offended), Sexxxtions (learn about sexual adventures and preferences), and much more… Join in the fun and hang out a while. (Feel free to bring your own games.)
See the registration desk for movie options and to cast your vote.
Spiritual Sexuality Polyamory Puja
This is an interactive experience that combines the teachings of Taoist and Tantric Sacred Sexual practices. Using techniques of Tantra and Taoist fire breath, heart connection we will open the inner flute and flow energy with one another. We will connect to ourselves and others in dyadic partnership, with multiple partners and with the entire group.