Polyamory Workshops & Presentations
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.
Practicalities of Polyamorous and Open Relationships
Jesus Garcia and Robyn Trask
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 and sexuality. 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.
Polyamorous Families and Children
Dr Elisabeth Sheff
Dr. Elisabeth Sheff discusses the findings of her 15-year study of polyamorous families with children. The bulk of the presentation focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of polyamorous family life, and the strategies families use to deal with the disadvantages. The presentation will close with a question and answer session focusing on polyamorous families.
When Relationships Change
Robert McGarey, M.A
The last time your relationships changed, was it easy or did it hurt like hell? Breaking up, renegotiating agreements, falling in love, adding a partner to an existing relationship — relationship transitions can result in a new, healthy way of interacting for everyone, or they can end in catastrophic meltdowns. Learn and practice concrete, practical ways to sidestep emotional land mines and make changes with caring and love.
Polyamory and Christianity: It’s Not Either/Or
Is it possible to feel good about being both in the pew and in an alternative life style? Try this workshop and discover a non-judgmental and non-legalistic way to approach biblical teaching that will help us explore freedom and flexibility within Christian teaching for our cultural contexts our family arrangements and our intimate relationships. The intent of the workshop is to liberate, not repress, the libido by providing a framework for ethical sexual-decision-making that is consistent with Christianity. We will discover we do not have to keep the erotic side separate from the spiritual side nor leave Christianity altogether in order to live an alternative lifestyle. (One may have to change congregations however.) The workshop is open to those reared in the Christian faith and/or those who want to know how to converse knowledgably with those from within Christianity. This workshop is led by an ordained Christian clergy with an interesting twist on the ninth commandment.
Poly Etiquette within Poly diverse Forms of Poly Relationships
Mim Chapman, PhD
Poly etiquette isn’t about curving your pinky – it’s about way tougher things like how to bring in new loves, how to behave when you return from a date with “shiny new love object,” how to share with a potential partner what you’re talking about when you say “I’m poly.” Just what do poly relationships LOOK like? And how does one figure out how to act within the wide variety of types of relationships that we call “poly?” Sure, poly relationships are all designer relationships, but some patterns and types of relationships seem to be emerging within the poly world. Looking at the benefits and challenges of each helps choose which best meets your needs, communicate more easily what you’re dreaming of creating, and avoid messing things up because of naïve faux pas! This workshop will also give you the opportunity, if you wish, to share a little about your own form of poly, and to volunteer to be part of the presenter’s upcoming book on the subject! Come, learn, and share your dreams!
How to Make Friends with Your Jealousy
A workshop with Dossie Easton. Have you ever asked yourself what jealousy is? And what is it doing inside you? Too often, I think we take for granted that we know what we mean when we discuss jealousy – my experience is that each of us experiences our jealousy in very individual ways. In this workshop we will explore our personal and particular version of jealousy, whatever that complex of emotions is for you. You can dig into and safely move into ownership of your jealousy while you learn to take care of yourself in a kindly and loving manner when you feel jealous.
The form of the workshop will be a shamanic journey (or visualization, if you will) into our jealousy, an opportunity to find out what jealousy is for you, why it is there in your personal emotional ecology, and how you can make changes in how you relate to your jealousy that may make it easier to manage it in your wonderful slutty life.
Please bring a journal or something to write on, and a pen. Please wear comfortable loose clothing, and bring a pillow or blanket to sit on. There will be chairs for those who need them.
Richard Gilmore & Elon
Even if you have never read a page of Robert Heinlein’s work, you have probably heard of line families. Monastic orders are line families that have, in some cases, lasted for centuries. Many of the richest families on Earth use line family concepts to maintain stability, increase power and grow wealth. But what does the line family concept hold for polyamorous families?
We think that a line family will provide its members with financial security, emotional health and love and sharing. None of the individual things we talk about are new or exotic; however, the framework of the line family as a semi-conjugal unit is a new form of an extremely old, pre-agricultural social arrangement.
When polyamorous people fall in love, they sometimes choose to live in multi-adult households. When long term poly families are together 30 years or more, three or four working adults can accumulate a strong portfolio. Then what? We will share what we have learned from research and experience.
Why would you expand a polyamorous family over multiple generations? How does a large group of intelligent and opinionated adults make decisions for the group? Who owns the real estate? Where would a large line family live? This and many other questions are discussed in our presentation.
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 form 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 facilitates 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.
Ethics in Non-primary Relationships
How “ethical” is your ethical non monogamy, really? In polyamory, non-primary relationships tends to be where some of the most challenging ethical issues play out. Typically, primary-style relationships include hallmarks such as substantial pooling of resources and/or assumptions that this relationship should “always come first” — while non-primary-style relationships typically comprise everything else. Which values do you believe should guide your life overall? How well do the decisions and actions you make in your non-primary relationships match up with your values? If you believe every person deserves full respect and consideration in their intimate relationships, are you really treating all of your partners that way — and are you being treated that way in your non-primary relationships? How do you balance autonomy and dependence in relationships? Can hierarchy or couple privilege be ethical? What if you’re solo poly, and the only relationships you have (or perhaps want) are non-primary? How well does the culture of your poly community reflect your personal values and ethics?
Polyamory and the Law
John Hoelle and Alexis Neely
This presentation and Q+A session lead by two creative and trailblazing lawyers in the field of family law will help you understand the legal context surrounding marriage and family issues. The definition of “family” and “marriage” are increasingly in flux. Non-traditional families should have some understanding of the laws that apply to them, preferably before problems or disputes arise. We will provide background on the unique laws in Colorado related to issues involving children and financial arrangements, and how these might impact individuals and families involved in polyamorous relationships.
In addition to legal marriage, legal planning can be employed to attain some of the benefits of marriage without some of the downsides. John and Alexis will describe how to use prenuptial or marital agreements, contract law, business law, and estate planning tools to help you realize your vision for your family, without being put in the standard boxes crafted by our lawmakers.
Lastly, we will explain the vital steps to take to make sure your kids are considered and cared for by the people you love if anything happens to you. Because a will is not enough.
Whatever your orientation, John and Alexis will leave you more empowered on your relationship and family journey. Lecture plus Q+A
Creating & Loving: a Poly Political Agenda
We’ve seen a lot of welcome change lately: the decimation of DOMA, legalization of marijuana in two states, and overturning same sex bans in unlikely states. How will we know when the time is right to advocate for polyamory on a state or national level? How many of us know what that might entail? Is that even what we want?
We are each experts in how the current social and political environment impacts our lives, 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 some of the more pressing political and legal issues for our poly relationships and families in the U.S.. Building on the notes from the 2013 Poly Living (Philly) conference, we will continue the conversation by informing each other of the work that has already been done to advance poly relationships through our national sexual freedom advocacy groups. We will also identify obstacles toward creating substantial legal and political change and recognize current and potential allies. Finally, we will brainstorm ways, big and small, that we can advocate for ourselves and our relationships.
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Polyamory
Ben will facilitate a discussion on the interplay between our sexual orientations and polyamory (or other relational choices). How has being poly affected your experience of your sexual orientation? Has that changed over time? What impact has your sexual orientation had on your choices of how to do relationships? How does the concept of relational orientation fit into all of this?
How Do We All Meet?
This will be a discussion about how people meet and get to know each other in the context of polyamory. With websites like OkCupid where you can declare your status as ‘seeing someone’, it is now easier than ever to meet other polyamorous people. Do most people meet online? If they meet in person, how does that happen? Depending on whether people meet in person or online, does chemistry differ? I have always been curious about how people meet; in the poly community, this is especially pertinent because it is still a relatively small community. I would like to hear the stories of the attendees of how they met and got to know their partners. Also, if you were previously in a monogamous relationship and met someone who sparked your interest, what did you do? I have heard many stories of monogamous people meeting someone and then telling their partner they would like to be polyamorous. How does that work? For some, that can allow for a transition into polyamory and for some it doesn’t. Finally, let’s talk about the future of how polyamorous people will meet. As more and more people become poly, will it be easier? Will more people meet in person compared to online? I look forward to all of the discussion and storytelling.
The decision to come out is a highly personal and often difficult choice. And while there may be some spectacular models for how to do it, there isn’t “one true way” to come out. Some may have their “screw it” moment and just blurt it out for anyone to hear. Others may have had that choice non-consensually made for them and are trying to pick up the pieces. Regardless of where you are in this process, we each have valuable insight we can share to support our community members through this journey. In this facilitated discussion, we will explore some of the common judgments and assumptions we may face, the complex sources for our anxiety, the challenging personalities we may have to encounter, and the various risks and rewards in the decision to come out. By learning from each other and sharing our experiences and strategies, we can provide a network of support for one another in our coming out conversations.
Old Brain, New Brain: Rethinking Sex and Aging
Recent science has proven we can change feelings about relationship satisfaction by changing our approach to sexuality. Just because we are getting older does not mean there is a limit to our desires. We all have the ability to gain greater connections by beginning a daily practice as simple as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. If you are willing to attempt an exercise, outlined in Suzann’s book: Exploring Intimacy, you will gain inner peace, a heightened immune system, as well as greater sexual/sensual pleasure in both primary and secondary, as well as tertiary relationships.
By breathing into the possibility of letting go, the energy of ecstasy is able to flow throughout the body and mind. The technique Suzann will share in this interactive workshop is based on ancient Yoga, Tantra and Taoist practices. New channels will be opened to feel a greater sense of security, creativity, initiative, love, purpose, vision, and connection. However, this will not happen instantly, but it is an easy to learn and master process. Handouts will be available.
A workshop to learn and practice asking for what you want, empathetic listening and communication tools to reduce the drama and processing in your relationships. I have studied communication with Marshall Rosenberg (Founder of NVC), Dr. Thomas Gordon (Founder of PET – Parent Effectiveness Training) and Stan Dale (Founder of the Human Awareness Institute). I have studied NLP with Sonika Tinker and Transactional Analysis with Jerry White. For more than twenty years I have taught communication tools and techniques to parents, workshop support teams, individuals and couples.
Developing Healthy Boundaries and Deep Presence
Come explore the ways you approach others energetically and discover what energetic connections you prefer through this experiential workshop. We’ll take a look at a variety of ways that we open to, or avoid deep intimacy and delve into what’s behind these patterns and how to release them. In dyads, we’ll experience the deep presence that Tantric exchanges make possible. You’ll learn more about erotic communication skills and how to ask for what you want in ways that you and your partner(s) gets their needs met and the requests further passion and eros. Then we’ll take those skills into some touch of arms and hands. To find out more, call 707-824-1117 or visit www.lovejourneytantra.com.
“Your Ideal Poly Relationship(s)”
Robert McGarey, MA
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.
Create More Love in you Life
Chas August, of the Human Awareness Institute (HAI), leads you through a gentle series of exercises designed to open your heart and allow you to be more connected with others. In a little more than an hour, experience emotional openness and heart-felt connections, and discover more possibilities for what love can be in your life. Come and discover how HAI has helped tens of thousands of participants, worldwide, enhance their relationships and their lives.
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.
Deepening Intimacy Through Touch and Movement
In this 90 min workshop you will learn about how to create more trust through movement and touch exercises that build awareness/create relaxation in you and your partners. Through breathing, movement, touch in your work with others, you will be able to communicate and relate to others beyond language that help you in your love and personal relations.
Please come dressed comfortable and be ready to try something different and fun.
Saturday Night Extras (Extended Workshops)
Radiant Puja for Poly
Enjoy a playful & deeply fulfilling experience of sharing connection & joyous ritual with existing and new partners and with your favorite poly groupings. You will be gently guided in heart-centered interactions that allow you to enjoy ecstatic and satisfying connections with many delightful people. Nurturing & often energizing, these exchanges allow you to receive the blessings of deep presence & intimate practice of erotic and romantic arts, all within a sacred container.
We’ll share undulatory breath practices and soul gazing, sacred touch of your choice, possibly erotic dance or movement, chakra merging breaths, and other erotic practices.. The exercises can be sensual, intimate and deeply moving though not sexual, and are designed to see the divine in each other. Deeply fulfilling and meets a lot of intimacy needs.
The HAI Sex Workshop
Come express your outrageousness and desire for a full and awesome shared physical/emotional/spiritual experience. Together we’ll create a safe container for you and your beloved(s) to explore sensuality, sexuality, and feelings of yummy connection. Break through inhibitions, expand traditional boundaries, and deepen intimate connection. Try on some new ways of expressing your sexuality and be able to share your experiences with other’s on this erotic journey. Sign-up with a partner or partners – no single individual sign-ups. You will be doing all of the exercises with your partner(s). Space is limited.