Presentation List Poly Living*
February 10-12, 2012
*This list is tentative and subject to change.
Friday Evening Keynote
Busting Loose: Polyamory in the Next Five Years
Alan M. of Polyamory in the News Website
We may be in for quite a ride. Public awareness of polyamory — that this mind-bending thing exists, and that people are actually succeeding at it — has spread far in the last two decades. Now the pace may be accelerating. Our ideas are increasingly grabbing public attention, we’re in growing demand by the media, and we keep waiting for an organized backlash that never quite happens. What’s coming next? And looking much farther out, Alan presents provocative ideas on what the things we’re doing may mean for civilization generally.
Jesus Garcia and Robyn Trask
You’ve seen the headlines “Polyamory; The Next Romantic Revolution?” and it sounds intriguing or you’re ready to jump in and see how the water is. This workshop is designed to answer questions about the ins and outs of polyamory relating, tips for navigating and advice on the rewards and pitfalls you might expect when learning to relate romantically and sexually to more than one person. We will discuss some common misconceptions, needed skills and the importance of building good communication and trust. We will cover language, different relationship configurations, safer sex and the possible choices in relationships and styles of polyamory. This class is meant as an introduction and guideline for those interested in learning more, are new to poly and/or looking to explore polyamory.
Transformation of Traditionally Monogamous Relationship through Polyamory
When we choose to expand a traditional monogamous relationship to embrace polyamory, we face transformations in stability, communication, emotions and other areas. The traditional relationship must change and grow with its participants. Please join us for a facilitated discussion on the challenges faced and tools for not just weathering transformation, but engaging in it joyfully.
Creating & Living in Shared Housing
Over the last 15 years the presenter has acquired, renovated and occupied 4 adjoining houses in which he and his wife also rent out housing to others, choosing to live in self created intentional community, rather than suburban isolation. Through these experiences, they have learned a lot about creating & sustaining community, while gaining a diverse education & skill set that spans many topics such as real estate acquisition, community activism through dealing with zoning laws / local housing ordinances, finding & selecting appropriate community members, resolving household personality conflicts, dealing unexpected health & safety concerns that arise when living with larger groups of people, modifying living space to better accommodate community living and, of course, making it all work financially. He is a true believer in the many benefits of living in community and, with his wife, has also had to integrate these complexities within their own open poly marriage. Join us to discuss the nuts and bolts of building community & living with others as we also explore how it relates to polyamory. Facilitated Discussion
Communication and Relationships
All relationships share a common need: communication. Learn some of the pitfalls of poor communication as well as some of the tips for improving your relationship communication skills! Clear communication can also improve your ability to “find your own voice.” Finding your own Voice is at the very root of a happier life!
Define Your Relationships and Live Your Dream
The times, they are a’changing, as Bob Dylan once sang. At no time in the history of western culture have people demonstrated a greater desire to live their lives and shape their relationships on their own terms. This does not mean, however, that tradition is no longer valued. Many of us still prefer to incorporate aspects of tradition into our lives and our relationships, yet so many of us also highly value personal autonomy, i.e. the right to self-determination. As we consider our options and the pros and cons of each, common questions include: Is monogamy for us? What are the benefits, and how will we handle the challenges? What would incorporating others into our intimate lives look like? Do we want both emotional *and* sexual non-monogamy, i.e. polyamory? How do we decide who is an appropriate addition to the family and who isn’t? Do we want emotional monogamy but sexual non-monogamy/swinging? What sexual practices and potential partners are OK? Do we want to create a leather family? Is romantic love permitted? Do we want emotional and sexual monogamy that still permits us to engage in BDSM activities with others? Do we (or do we not) value legal marriage? How do we want our marriage to be structured and how will it operate? What are we willing to commit to within the bounds of matrimony? How do religion and spirituality influence our decisions and preferences with regard to marriage? What is the value of non-legally binding commitment ceremonies and handfastings? Come join the discussion as we explore together the many, many ways in which we can define our relationships and live our dreams.
The Art of Long Distance Relationships
Robyn Trask and Jesus Garcia
Many of us are maintaining relationships over a long distance and/or a long time. This will be a discussion on all aspects of LDRs, touching on tools like IM, Skype, and the phone; travel issues between states and between the US and Canada; people’s differing needs and love languages. What are the common challenges and solutions to maintaining long term, long distance relationships?
Bisexuality in the Media
Jenée Wilde, PhD
Mass culture images can play a prominent role in the shaping how people perceive alternative sexualities. Because fluid sexualities defy cultural expectations for monosexuality, bisexuals are frequently erased from media visibility or, conversely, represented as promiscuous, indecisive, duplicitous, confused, or as closeted gay or straight. In this participatory workshop, popular culture scholar Jenée Wilde reviews some of the challenges of portraying bisexuality and non-monogamy in mass media. How do these images reveal the limits of what culture can perceive as “real” sexual identities? What roles do gender and other markers of identity play in our perceptions of fluid sexuality? What effects can these images have on how others see us—and on how we see ourselves? Through brief exercises and roundtable discussion, workshop attendees will generate ideas about what works—or doesn’t work—and why, in our received images of bisexuality in culture.
When Worlds Collide: Managing Relations Between Non-Involved Significant Others
One aspect of poly living that is important to navigate is how one’s non-involved partner’s get along. What can or should be done about that. This talk will help participants understand the ways these interactions take shape, identify areas where challenges occur and explore the best practices for assuring a smooth functioning poly relationship for everyone touched by the relationship.
Michael Rios and Sarah Taub
Who are you? Who am I? Who are we? In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we’ll find out more about the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of everyone present. We’ll explore curiosity and transparency as attitudes and practices that support healthy relationships, whether with lovers, friends, co-workers, or community members. Cultivating curiosity has two benefits. First, curiosity is incompatible with emotional reactivity – a person who is truly curious is unlikely to be deeply angry, unhappy, or afraid. Second, curiosity builds your working data set – it’s hard to figure out a win/win if you don’t know what the other(s) really want. Along the same lines, “transparency” means letting other people know what’s going on for you. If I have to try to guess what you want or need, I’m going to guess wrong a lot of the time! Being transparent helps provide the information we need to figure out good solutions for everyone. We’ll have some short, fun exercises where people can try out sharing about themselves transparently and asking questions based on curiosity. Everyone is always free to participate or not, as they desire. And we’ll also talk about how curiosity and transparency go along with other attitudes such as compassion, non-attachment, being “at choice”, personal power and responsibility to create a way of relating that many of us think is sustainable, healthy, and reasonably drama-free.
Collaborating to Resolve Poly Lifestyle Challenges: What We can learn from LGTBQA Community
Carol Morotti-Meeker, MS,MLSP
Experiencing challenges while living some form of polyamory is a part of the experience. Hear about what attorneys, financial consultants, therapists/coaches and accountants suggested as viable solutions to situations various alternative families find themselves at a recent New York conference. Carol will tailor the presentation and discussion among the participants to issues important to those present. Relationships with anyone ( your loves, children, extended family, employers) money, health care, taxes and how to finance the life you love or want to have will be material for discussion. Come bring your experience and questions to this informative presentation. Learn how others have and are dealing with your situation and how their efforts are working out.
The Joys of RelationDancing
Ben Silver and Robyn Trask
Embracing movement, dance, music with lessons in boundaries we will seek to explore what we can learn through dancing with others. This fun workshop is designed to explore free movement, subtle communication through touch, eye contact with an emphasis on respecting others boundaries, knowing our own boundaries and what we want.
Sexuality and Aging:
Ken Haslam, Jens Wennberg, and Nancy Miller
Nobody ever believed that “Old People” had sex! Now as we age, we find that our sexuality continues. 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. What are the issues of positive sexuality, as we grow older? We have found that the spiritual and emotional parts have become stronger. The conveners will share their own experience of continuing sexuality into their 7th and 8th decades and invite other participants to share their stories too. Part of this workshop will be devoted to the men listening to the women discuss their issues; then reversing and the women listening to the men discuss their issues. This workshop will be co-convened by three Poly Geezers.
Performing Polyamory by Tantra Theater
Calling all Deviant Divas! Non-monogamy is grossly under-represented in the media. As a subculture, we need visibility! Kamala Devi is a poly performance artist who offers an interactive playshop with performance art by The San Diego Tantra Theater Troupe. We are a collective of teachers, healers, performance artists and most importantly, lovers who are not afraid to express our sacred sexuality onstage. Enjoy Comedy, personal narrative, improv and dance. How willing are you willing to represent your community? Living out loud requires creativity, skill and direction, Kamala Devi will role model the vulnerable process of performing with multiple lovers, and answer questions on how to write/direct/produce your own shows!!! This is an interactive Performance Art workshop. www.tantratheater.tv
Building a Sex-Positive Culture
Michael Rios and Sarah Taub
Building a Sex-Positive Culture – A “sex-positive” perspective sees all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally good and healthy. Join us as we explore the foundations of creating a sex-positive culture, including eliminating the sex-negative voices in our heads; creating supportive sex-positive places, events, and community; finding new spiritual frames that see sexuality as sacred and good; and sharing skills and practices that make sex-positivity easy and natural.
The Politics of Sexual Oppression
Jill McDevitt, M.Ed.
From the man who was arrested for walking around his own house naked, to the woman jailed for wearing a t-shirt that says “I have the pussy so I make the rules”, Jill leads a discussion on rampant American sexual oppression, highlighting the laws, the politics, and the psychology of oppression as it relates to sex. Reflecting on her own experiences of being a victim of sexual oppression after being sued by a Catholic church in an attempt to have her sex-positive sex shop and education center closed, Jill encourages the audience to reflect on their own sexual oppression while examining the ways in which they may also be the oppressor.
Awakening our Sensuality
Using therapeutic essential oils, Tantric breath techniques, and touch to awaken our senses and our sensual nature. In this fun hands-on workshop we will be working in groups of three to four, learning to connect energetically, intimately and sensually.
Saturday Evening Extras
Sacred Snuggle Party
A SACRED SNUGGLE PARTY is a sweet sensual event where we create a safe space to flirt, touch, massage, run Tantric energy, play, laugh, cry, and share intimacy, vulnerability or whatever else spontaneously arises. After a number of fun icebreakers, it becomes a drug and alcohol-free play party where we can relax and connect with like-minded people. Singles, couples, triads, pods, and celibates of any race, or experience level are welcome. All sexual orientations are celebrated. This is a fun laboratory to practice expressing what feels good and what doesn’t, asking to get your needs met, setting boundaries, and perhaps even overcoming competition, envy and rejection! The evening event will close with a sacred ritual in which each player shares their most valuable lesson.
Movie – Title to be announced.