workshops

The "Flexible" Marriage

Have you read Sex at Dawn which makes the case that we humans are at our core not monogamous creatures? That in many ways monogamy is a societal concept - imposed on us by religion and many other factors. I loved the book, but for me personally it's a big leap from there to being fully polyamorous or in an open marriage.

And yet my memoir, Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner is all about wanting more....and staying married.  My personal ethos keeps evolving, but the same question keeps being raised: So, how do you get more - and stay monogamous? Or how do you expand on monogamous but stay out of OKCupid?

Is there a solution outside of going from marriage to marriage in a serial monogamy routine that so many of us fall into because we need more on some level? Is there something in-between monogamy and full out polyarmory or open marriage? Right now this is a hot topic in the world of sexuality and relationship.

Is "Polyamory" the  new more accepted term for  "Open Marriage"? We are certainly hearing that term more and more and some are saying that it is next big sexual revolution. I am living something else - which I call the Monogamish Marriage. Which is a kind of  middle ground of sorts.

Sexuality and relationship is all about taking what works for you and your partner and leaving the rest. I love the idea of creating a sexuality and relationship that is all your own. But we can learn from what others are doing. And I do. All the time. When I first thought of the term "expanded monogamy" I thought that I had coined a new term. But a quick search on google turned up several references to expanded monogamy with different definitions. In my version of expanded monogamy - a couple sets the rules of sexual exploration that fit with their own set of personal boundaries that in my own rule book does not include taking a "traditional lover".

Now, you may ask me what what taking a "Traditional Lover" means.  I might answer. I might not!

In my take on expanded monogamy - I am not talking about what been called an "Open Marriage". My version has boundaries that may seem outside of the box for some - but for others may seem quite restrictive. What is agreeable to one couple may not be agreeable to another. In my story - Shameless - I realize that I created a form of expanded monogamy and developed with my husband a way for me to explore my sexuality that did not fit the traditional outline of monogamy but was not polygamy either.

We are also not so good at finding middle places in our society.  It feels like every day  people  ask me questions like "How did your husband feel about you going to a Tantra workshop?" or ""Did you husband get jealous of you working with hands on sexual healers?" What about your explorations of Bd/Sm? How does he feel about that? How does your husband feel about you work at Back to The Body: Sensuous Retreats For Women?   Does he approve? No matter where I am in the country - I am asked the same questions over and over again about my adventures into the underground world of sacred sexuality.

In my search for language - I am embracing the term expanded monogamy or being monogamISH and I would like to introduce it to you if you are unfamiliar with it. In my own expanded monogamous marriage - I have had  room to go to sexuality workshops that include me exploring my own sexuality with myself and with others within boundaries and usually in a supervised workshop setting. I am able to be playful in my sexuality - which keeps my own inner fire alive and my marriage intact. It has become essential to me to be able to explore who I am as an individual as well as in my marriage.

In my own expanded monogamous marriage - both my husband and I have had the space to work with sexological body workers who are there to support us on our own individual paths. We attended sexuality workshops -  which may include us working with sexual energy techniques like moving our breath with other people - or eye gazing. This is what inspired me to create Back to The Body. I wanted a safe place for all women no matter their marital status to have a place to come to explore their sexuality.

In my own expanded monogamish relationship, I explore Bd/Sm (think Fifty Shades of Grey) without my husband because he isn't interested in it, and it is a very important form of erotic expression for me.  That is "Untraditional" love that I speak about, in case you were wondering.

Having the space to explore and experiment with my sexuality within the boundaries of an expanded monogamy has supported my 30 year marriage into a place where both my husband and I are happy and has helped us keep the light burning in our own marriage bed. Having room to expand your sexuality and explore over time may turn a once sexless marriage into something else.

Creating some room in our relationships for turning up the heat on our sexuality does not have to mean leaving the marriage or sneaking around.  We simply have to bring this possibility out into the world.  I do not hide.  There is no shame.

If we have the room to experiment and expand our own sexuality without shame - I believe that more people would not feel like they have to leave their primary relationships. We just may need more room to breathe. It's about creating sexual agreements that work for each partnership - and allowing each other the room to grow without ditching your lives.

 

Attention Seattle!

A series of workshops presented by the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture Arousal, Pleasure and Exchange with Pamela Madsen

Saturday, May 10 at 12:00pm

  • 18+

Pamela Madsen is a fearless advocate for women’s health and integrated sexuality. During her 25-year career, Pamela has leveraged her raw honesty and well-informed wit to help strip the stigma from infertility, female desire and pleasure, body image and weight. The willingness to use her personal struggles to have children, discover her innate sexuality and find self-esteem has made Pamela one of the most accessible and relatable figures in the vanguard of women’s wellness.

Join Pamela for 3 workshops over 3 days.

To learn more about the workshops and buy tickets go here!

 

Falling Into The Gap: An Exploration of Mindful Touch and The Pleasure of Surrendered Receiving

Join Internationally known Sex Educators Pamela Madsen and Ron Stewart for an extraordinary workshop on the tools of touch and embodiment. The key to a delicious sex life with your partner or with yourself is understanding how to give and receive touch. Our fingers, our eyes, and our breath are all tools for connection. This seems basic and yet most of us have never been taught these skills. It’s all suppose to come “naturally”. Falling Into The Gap: An Exploration of Mindful Touch and The Pleasure of Surrendered Receiving

This clothes on workshop invites intrepid explorers (singles and couples) of all ages, genders and sexual orientations to learn with us in a playful and non-threatening environment.

Participants will discover that both the giving and receiving of touch is not only fun and delicious, it’s also transformational and healing. Through a series of mini-lectures, demonstrations, movement, breath and touch exercises, we will open our hearts to what is possible through the power of touch.

What you will explore:

* Communication and Boundaries -. Overcome the fear of setting limits and be comfortable with your own boundaries. Explore your own “pleasure ceiling”, and challenge yourself to raise it.

* Mindful Practices - Movement, breath and meditations will be offered to help participants become present to the subtleties of giving and receiving touch.

* Touch Explorations - Through guided exercises, improve your touch skills and deepen your capacity to connect with self or partner(s).

* Receiving Pleasure - Utilizing conscious relaxation,verbal/non-verbal communication and active receiving, we will heighten our ability to become more present to pleasure.

Date: April 27th, 2014 Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm Location: 115 Wooster Street in SoHo NYC Buzzer Apt 2F Cost: $35.00 Reservations are required: To reserve your spot and to ask any questions please contact Pamela Madsen at 917 703 3785 or email at Pamela@backtothebody.org  AND you can register on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1383597568549034/

Please wear comfortable clothing. We will be doing gentle, easy movements that most people will be able to participate in. This workshop involves no nudity.