2017 Program Coming Soon!
Endless Poly Summer 2016 Program
Jumpstarting Intimacy – Sarah Taub & Michael Rios, Friday evening
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. We’ll have some short, fun exercises where people can try out sharing about themselves transparently and asking questions based on curiosity. 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.
Sarah’s Bio Michael’s Bio
Designer Relationships – Patricia Johnson & Mark Michaels, Saturday morning
Designer relationships emphasize mutuality, a collaborative mindset, empathy, and transparency; we’ll encourage you to think outside the open-closed, monogamous-nonmongamous box. We’ll also examine some of the cultural myths around relationships. No matter how fully we’ve embraced alternative relationship models, by recognizing the way these myths continue to affect us, both consciously and unconsciously, we can reduce their power over us. In addition, we’ll provide you with tools for crafting a way of loving that works for you and your partner(s).
Safe Sex – Not Just “Safer Sex” – Michael Rios, Saturday afternoon
Up-to-date scientifically and medically sound information on how to manage health issues for anyone who has multiple sexual partners–including how we can have *safe* sex, not just “safer” sex. We cover specific techniques, brands, and concepts that allow responsible sex without damaging pleasure or intimacy.
Finding the Sweet Spot – Sarah Taub, Saturday evening
Mmm, that glorious moment when we are giving exactly what our partner wants to be receiving! Sometimes we find that “sweet spot” spontaneously—but more often, we find it through clear communication and feedback. How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection? In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.” Let’s practice finding that sweet spot of mutual “yes” —through a series of juicy experiential exercises we’ll offer and/or request touch, negotiate the touch we want, and give verbal and nonverbal feedback on the touch we receive.
Sensual Temple Orientation and Opening – Sarah Taub, Saturday late night
The Sensual Temple is a warm and inviting space to explore Connection & Intimacy by engaging all of the senses. This is a space to lounge together after spending the day learning communication and intimacy tools – the perfect place to practice communication and share affection in a relaxed and sex positive atmosphere. Sarah will give an introduction to the space and we will practice the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech.”
After the Temple Orientation, those who wish will proceed to the Temple for its official opening. All are invited to explore the Temple Space – the opening activities will be sensual but nonsexual, and there will be a clear transition when the space becomes open for sexual connection.
Relationships without Drama, Security without Commitment – Michael Rios, Sunday morning
Why do relationships that begin with such high hopes often lead to ongoing stress and disappointment? Why do we fall in love with this person, but not with that one? How can we deal with the storms of emotion that seem to follow connections of great joy? What does it take to create a relationship that is supportive and appreciative for both partners? The insights and techniques that are shared in this workshop are drawn from many sources, including the facilitators’ polyamorous paths, Eastern spirituality, and hard science. They can be applied to all our relationships and interactions with others, sexual or non-sexual, polyamorous or monogamous, casual or intimate. Join us as we discover how we can come to a place of power and choice in how our lives and relationships unfold.
Untangling LGBTQIAKOP – Elisabeth Sheff, Sunday afternoon
A dizzying array of new sexual identities has flourished since the advent of Internet communications, and the ever-longer acronym for sex and gender minorities can be confusing. In this talk Dr. Sheff identifies each identity in the sex and gender minority acronym and explains what each one means, as well as the appropriate language to use when speaking to or about folks in that category. This talk is an informative and engaging introduction to sex and gender diversity.
Tantric Erogenous Zones – Patricia Johnson & Mark Michaels, Sunday evening
“Tantric sex” often involves building and prolonging arousal. The Tantric, Tamil Siddha, and Ayurvedic traditions have long recognized specific zones of the body that are particularly responsive to stimulation, and systematically stimulating these zones can help produce high states of arousal. This system was introduced by Dr. Jonn Mumford in 1976 and is still little known. In this workshop, we will introduce you to to these zones and the basic principles for working with them systematically.
Issues in Polyamorous Parenting – Elisabeth Sheff, Monday morning
Parenting is complicated at best, and adding in additional partners can make it both more complicated and – in some ways – easier. In this presentation Dr. Sheff explores some of the issues reported by the parents in her 15 year study of polyamorous families, focusing on benefits like emotional, financial, and practical support, shared resources, and greater satisfaction, as well as disadvantages like stigma, drama, emotional pain, and the impacts of loss. Sheff closes with the strategies poly parents used to deal with disadvantages, and the impacts those had on families.
Intimate Transparency – Sarah Taub, Monday and Tuesday morning
“Transparency” in human relationships means openness and the lack of hidden agendas – “what you see is what you get.” When we have intense feelings, sometimes it is difficult to communicate our thoughts, feelings, and desires in a way that others can appreciate and understand. It can even be challenging to articulate these to ourselves. This workshop series focuses on the skillset of becoming transparent about our needs, desires, fears, hopes and dreams in a way that is truly effective and promotes closeness rather than separation. We will explore and practice how transparency relates to self-discovery, communication skills, emotional challenges, and nurturing our relationships.
Nonverbal Communication – Patricia Johnson & Mark Michaels, Monday afternoon
While verbal communication is important, it is often vastly overrated. Developing the ability to attend to and work with non-verbal cues is an essential first step to creating the conditions for true understanding and intimacy. The process of speaking – from thought formation to verbal expression – usually takes people out of whatever experience they are having. In the context of a relationship, this means that talking often leads to polarization, even if the communication is consciously non-violent or the people involved are adept at active listening. Participants will learn basic techniques for becoming more skilled at connecting non-verbally. As well as gaining experiential knowledge, attendees will learn why these techniques are so effective.
Authentic Relating Games – Sarah Taub, Monday evening
Authentic Relating Games (www.authrev.com) are a safe, fun, and powerful way to practice skills like empathy, compassion, and self-expression. They invite us to delve deeper into ourselves and our relationships with others in a joyful and loving way and form meaningful, lasting connections.
In these mini-interactions, we engage in conversations about how our connection unfolds, who we are, and why we’re bothering to talk with each other. You might feel silly, curious, transcendent, moved, and anything in between as you practice your capacity to authentically share your world in the present moment. What if your greatest strength is exactly who you are?
What Kids Really Think of their Polyamorous Families – Elisabeth Sheff, Tuesday morning
Children in poly families can express some strong opinion, and many of them are eloquent young people with very clear ideas of their own. Using data from her 15-year study, Dr. Sheff reports on what kids in poly families told her about the rewards and shortcomings of poly family life, how they talked about it with their peers, managing extended family, and musings on their future relationships.
Exploring Gender – Michael Rios, Tuesday afternoon
From the moment of birth (“it’s a girl!”), children are identified by gender. This shapes almost every aspect of their lives and relationships. But as we learn more about gender, its significance gets murky, especially once we learn about GLBTPQ??? . What is it that defines our gender? Which of these characteristics are essential, and which are created by the culture we live in? What effect has growing up in a strongly gendered society had on ourselves and our children? Are there alternatives? There will be a presentation on what has been learned from many sources about gender, including the latest discoveries in neuroscience, followed by a group discussion.
Closing Circle – Wednesday morning
Honoring the experience of the past six days, we will connect, reflect, and bid farewell to this incarnation of our community.
Open Sessions – Wednesday afternoon as desired
Join in as the group uses Open Space Technology to organize concurrent events inspired by your own passions and interests. Open Sessions are an opportunity for campers to convene dialogue groups on topics they’ve been wanting to explore, or create group massages, do a music jam together, and much more. Participants are free to move from session to session, honoring their instincts and natural enthusiasm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology
Morning Circle – daily
Every morning at 9:00 AM we’ll gather for appreciations, announcements, and connection.
Community Sharing Circle – daily
For our Sharing Circle, we will be using the ZEGG Forum process (http://www.zegg-forum.org/index_en.phtml). Forum was created at ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, and its sister communities as a way of promoting transparency and mutual understanding among community members. ZEGG members found that decision-making meetings often got derailed because of emotional conflicts and undercurrents that were not known to or understood by all. In Forum, each individual’s experience could be seen and understood, leading to greater empathy and creativity in the community. Now, many residential and non-residential intentional communities have adopted Forum as a way to maintain ongoing connection, intimacy and understanding. The goal of Forum is to reveal what is alive but not known to all. The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and show what is true for them. Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply. Afterward, community members may offer reflections, or “mirrors,” on what they saw. One of the gifts of ZEGG Forum is that it allows us a space to appreciate every perspective without taking it on as “truth.” Every voice has its own poignancy, its own wisdom, its own truth, that does not negate the wisdom and truth of other perspectives. Allowing all voices to surface and be known can lead to a profound and unexpected integration within a community.
Polyamory Skill Share – Daily
New to polyamory? Got questions? “Old hand” at polyamory? Got answers? Join us for this daily skillshare on the promises and perils of diving into ethical, loving non-monogamy! Poly Skill Share will explore many techniques for enhancing our abilities to have rich, satisfying, and durable relationships.
Sensual Dome – Daily
The Sensual Dome is a place for structured and unstructured education and exploration of sensual and sexual matters. This space is a resource for those who wish to make use of it; none of the core workshops will take place in the Sensual Dome. There will be an orientation for people interested in using the Sensual Dome on Saturday evening.
Orientation – Daily
The orientation is a brief but effective introduction to the “culture of consent” that underlies most successful poly relationships, and helps create the sense of safety and freedom that characterizes all of our events. Required for all campers on the day they arrive; open to all attendees each day.