For 5 days my home was opened up for people to experience different workshops co-facilitated by two extraordinarily fearless leaders in the field of sex and relationships: Monique Darling and Reid Mihalko.
Wednesday night was the cuddle party
I didn't attend this one but I have hosted and participated in one several months ago. A cuddle party is a safe container to give and receive human contact that allows oxytocin to be released. When I participated, at that time it allowed me to be present to the reality that my cup already runnith over. I had a lot of massage clients that week so I was full as it related to "giving," and I also had a partner that was (at that time) very affectionate. Being full meant, I could simply be in the room while the party was happening. There is no pressure. You do not have to "do," anything. The exercises around consent and learning to not take a "no," or rejection personally are also amazing tools to learn... where you are in your own personal development. To experience what comes up for you. And maybe a year later, what is no longer coming up for you.
Last week's cuddle party, even though I did not participate I could feel the oxytocin levels seeping through the sun room doors.
It's one of those many things in life where you may not understand it unless you experience it for yourself and everyone's experience is different.
I've had conversations with people who can't seem to see the possibility or the benefits of a cuddle party, which has been a learning curve for me.
It's often hard for me to understand when someone has a negative opinion about something they have never actually taken the time to learn about or experienced for themselves. I think that's because I've discovered (for myself) the power of experience- as being the ultimate key to my own evolution and I want everyone to experience their own wildly interesting lives as fully as I do. (Like an excited puppy that may get on your nerves at times)
I am real strong on diving in, head first into learning through experience and having all of the information before I form an opinion. I also strongly value an open mind. I've just had way too many experiences with being blown away by diving into what others view as weird or odd. And those experiences have turned out to be deeply rewarding, uplifiting and so not what the naysayers "think" it is.
In addition to this, if I believe something would have value for anyone and everyone, no matter where they are in their development-I'm a loyal spokesperson. It only gets tricky in my mind when I hear a strong opinion from someone who has no real experience to back their opinion up on. It's cool (in my mind) to not be interested in something because it's not for you and/or you aren't interested but I do (often) have a hard time if my ears begins to hear words that indicate a judgment about it.
It's not that I don't value the person-and I've had to look at that in myself because How I impact anyone matters greatly to me. I want to be a source of joy and of service. In order to be what I want-There is always something I need to look at within myself. Learning to navigate this type of thing is valuable. At least to me it is.
Knowing thyself is a beautiful thing. It gives you power to re-commit to what is important to you. I can tweak and harness my instincts. I often forget not everyone thinks like me. It's a challenge at times.(darn it!! ) I'm work in progress.
Here is more about both Monique and Reid. Check them out. They are amazing
Monique Darling's website:
Reid Mihalko website:
Thursday night was the fearless relationship panel. Five experts in the field of relationships and human sexuality were all present to answer everyone's questions.
From Left to right
1. Reid Mihalko
2. Monique Darling
3. Dr Rusty Stewart: Dr Rusty's LoveShack
4. Cassie Weaver: CEO & Founder of Touch of Flavor
5. Max Rivers: The Marriage Mediator.
This panel and night was beyond awesome and very educational.
I had a lot of questions. And at 45 years old, I found myself asking...
"So, what exactly does "kink" actually mean?"
Because every day I discover everyone has their own definition of what something means and often, I haven't a clue.
Kink is really anything that lives outside of what people consider normal sexual preferences.that makes it subjective (I think)
The problem is, I don't even know what normal preferences means. But I can guess at that and it was enough to satisfy my curiosity.
Mostly though, the conversation was educational, philosophical and deep. (Some of my favorite things) where each expert weaved in their unique self expression. It was so informative and I walked away with several reminders as well as some new information.
Friday evening the fearless relating weekend officially started. Each day building from the day before.
Friday was all about fearlessly relating to yourself. For me, I do consider myself to be fearless within. Yet there is always room to see where something may come up. And I think because I'm in the midst of letting everything go combined with my recent experiences with things like, the African Grief Ritual Weekend and 12 days at the Raj in Iowa-I've been releasing my fears in a rather huge way and as my top priority at this time.
And because I'm starting a brand new life from the ground up...I'm feeling pretty damn fearless with myself.
On Saturday-it was all about fearlessly relating to others.
Mostly, it's my experience that this day was mostly about fearlessly communicating and the power of being so crystal clear in communication. To be so fully-self expressed no matter what.
Reid led the educational part and his brilliance combined with humor was very enjoyable.
Monique led us through a series of exercises that were powerful ways to fearlessly relate to others.
Together-their work was magic.
Yet we also began the little seedlings of what was to come on Sunday..
Sunday was all about fearlessly relating to sex.
I'm always amazed by what I don't know, I don't know about my own body parts let alone a man's body parts. And it's not just about how long I've been on the planet. I've actually been trained by planned Parenthood and have gone into the colleges to teach Sex Ed 101. Apparently there is a 202 and 3p3 and 4 and maybe even 5! I've taken college level anatomy and much more.
Again-Reid had me in stitches laughing with his incredible sense of humor as he was educating with his female pillow and male oriented...I think... It was made out of some kind of rubber ?!?!
He believes-if a person can talk openly and honestly about sex and their sexuality - they will be empowered to take those communication skill sets into any area of their lives. And I have to say, I thoroughly agree.
And Monique once again led the exercises. She truly represents a woman on a mission to help everyone be fully in love with their own bodies and to erase any layers of shame they may have picked up along the way. Remarkable woman. She walks the walk and talks the talk.
Yet ultimately, again-to be fearlessly related to sex, your own sexuality, giving and receiving pleasure-it seems to all start with rigorous honesty and deep layers of fearless communication combined with knowing what is what on our bodies and how those body parts work.
Also...it really was all about personal integrity, honor and full self expression combined with discovering where you truly are right now in your own personal emotional evolutionary process as a human. No right or wrong. No one way to do, be or see ourselves and each other. Just people on their journey. It was absolutely beautiful....
And I did learn something very important about myself.
As a flow junkie-my first response to up front honest communication about sex was a challenge for me.
I'm all about being in the moment, seeing what happens naturally, therefore I felt like an absolute dork in some of the exercises on communication. I was not uncomfortable with the topic of sex or sharing. I was just challenged by thinking having a full out conversation up front would take away from the flow and natural process. It just didn't occur to me that these two things could co-exist beautifully... But in the end I got it and the value of it.
As for me...
I'm currently in that place of self discovery and I'm still processing the weekend. Insights and experiences continue to happen even though the weekend is officially complete.
I'm super excited to integrate what I've learned this weekend into my own life. Particularly around the topic of rigorous honest communication and taking that to the next level. Because I've already had a few experiences during the weekend and in the last 24 hours where I was able to "practice" what I learned. Maybe a bit clumsy at times :) but I'd rather be clumsy and try than shut down.
Being crystal clear in communication, thanking people for taking care of themselves, having a communication breakdown, being rejected and being 100% happy about that rejection have all already happened.
That last thing may sound odd to just about anyone (being happy about rejection). However, I'm deeply committed to my own inner freedom and it was an absolute gift to myself to learn-someone else rejecting me-had no real power.
I think that means I've reached a new level. Like that crazy candy crush game (which I gave up on at level 4) only when it comes to my own journey - there seems to always be a new level, more to learn and more freedom to be had.
I'm deeply grateful for this weekend and all of the amazing people and connections I was able to create. I'm now a forever loyal fan of Monique Darling and Reid Mihalko's work. Which includes their individual work and their joint ventures.
These are people living their purpose and flowing-creating and re-creating as they go. They live wildly interesting lives and it's a good match for the path I'm currently on too.