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  • A Weekend at Sex Camp

     

    When an acquaintance casually asks what you’re up to at the weekend and the answer, if you can't tell a lie, happens to be “sex camp”, it’s a safe bet you’ll get more than the polite nods that usually greet news of your planned catch up with a friend.

    Some people just aren’t ready. “Work retreat” is all they got out of me. And that left the privileged few who, once informed, couldn’t help but ask: What the hell is sex camp?

    The short answer, on the camp website, is: “A place to celebrate the spectrum, our boundaries and new possibilities, to foster and expand the growing sex positive community”.

    For the long answer I set off with my new partner of a few months (adventurous, I know), a three-person tent, a blow-up mattress, an open mind, a few nerves and, strictly, no alcohol! *deep breathes*

    As with most sexual firsts, there were jitters and uncertain beginnings.  The sun set on the drive there, and we were lost on a dirt road in the pitch dark trying to find the entrance to Sex Camp. Nervous laughter ensued as I tried to exhale all thoughts of murder on the campground or creepy porn versions of Cathy Bates in Misery. Sorry for that visual.

    Being a sexologist, yes I was excited about the possibilities, but I too am a victim of our society’s views and nurturing of sex and sexuality, particularly in the media which is predominantly sex negative. It seems as though the focus of our attention is always on sex crime and sex deviance. Where are the sex positive celebrations and all the wonderful stories of life-changing moments through sexual healing?
    Well, such stories are to be found at Sex Camp, with 200 other like-minded souls, and no drugs or alcohol to falsely loosen inhibitions.
    The attendees weren’t those that you may be imagining – they were beautiful, honest people of all ages, looking for a starting point, some invigoration or expansion within their individual sexual journey. It’s a journey that’s so important to our quality of life, in how we interact with others and ourselves. Love for mankind and respect for personal boundaries there was one word a plenty, which is obviously so important in a place like Sex Camp.

    Sex Camp is about exploration and revelation, and to create a safe space for that to happen there is a focus on safety and boundaries. No one is allowed to take photos, no one is allowed to open their eyes and stare at other attendees during workshops that involve pelvic gyrating and deep breathing. The camp is all about being present in your own experience. Shout-outs to the instructors and organisers who were really good at making sure all involved felt safe.

    A silent disco, live performances and delicious vegetarian meals kept everyone happy, but the back-to-back workshops were what we had come for. They included everything from a “cuddle party” (a beautiful way to ease into the weekend on the Friday night) to Ejaculation Control and How to Last Longer, to Tantra for Ecstatic Living. Other workshops included Female Ejaculation, Dynamic Kink, Genital Show and Tell, Healing Sensuality, Sex after Childbirth and Yoni (vaginal) massage: a strict how-to guide minus the live demonstration. A full list of the workshops is available on the Sex Camp website.

    Firstly, wow! Wow to exploration and sex positivity. So many of us are restricted in ourselves and our relationships because of the armour we build around our harder experiences in life, with not many places to go so that we may expand, grow and heal via our own physical body. This was the essence of the workshops: connecting to my body and my spirituality in a world where we are so often taught to work through our issues mentally, if at all.

    All the workshops were amazing for different reasons. However, one titled Sex Beyond the Genitals was life changing. As a sexologist and business owner, I am on a constant journey to experience sex within myself. Having experienced a few of life’s little hardships recently I am on quite the emotional roller-coaster. And hey, sometimes emotions can be just plain hard. So I was ready: ready for something other than some counselling sessions. I wanted to connect, and reconnect with my path and myself.

    The Sex Beyond the Genitals workshop was held by Eyal and Emma from Tantra is Love and began with an open discussion and lesson on the energy that relates to each chakra and the sexual position that relates to connecting and revitalising each of these, to energise our physical, emotional and spiritual form. We then chose a partner to work with; my partner who came with me was by my side for most of the weekend, so we got to experience everything together, setting boundaries around our beliefs during the first workshop. The discussion went something like, “obviously don’t do anything that crosses the line…” “Yeah, totally.” However, neither of us in this honeymoon phase of the relationship have any real desire for outside exploration – so that conversation was easy. Anyway back to Tantra. (Yes, please.)
    We were instructed to sit face to face and look into the eyes of the other person and honestly see them for the “divine” being that they are. Mind you, we’re already in ‘The Zone” by this stage. It’s Sunday afternoon and we’ve now been at Sex Camp for most of the weekend. Music begins to play, we are instructed to breathe from our PC muscle through our body, up through our chakras and ultimately through our partner. In connecting the dual energy of both people, you ultimately become one. All the time, you are in a present state, seeing them for so much more than you ever have.

    Now, I’ve always had a tendency to dance with the “hippy shit” as my father (a man of science and practicality) says. However, true connection to another person like this teaches ultimate compassion and also, potentially, orgasm without genital touching. Who doesn’t want that? So in a room of various flavour, people around us were crying, moaning, shaking and rocking; connecting with sound and breath to take them to that level. My body is something I struggle to connect with in massage, let alone in a room of people practicing tantric breathing for the first time – essentially what sounds like a giant orgy. While I found this challenging in a previous workshop, in this one I felt connected. I felt heat run throughout my body and a connection with my partner like I hadn’t experienced before with anyone.
    I left feeling like my eyes were wide open. I could see things from a fresher, brighter perspective. At one point when I was driving home on Sunday night, I felt as though I was sitting outside of my body, yet completely connected to it at the same time. My feet felt so light, yet so grounded. The connection to my genitals, I also learned, is attached completely to my heart and my heart is connected completely to my life and the armour I’ve created to get through those trying times (oh, and of course, love). I am on an exploration to break down this armour and release my heart, so I can better connect to the world around me. For me, Sex Camp was the beginning of living life in this way.

    I would encourage anyone who is up for challenging themselves and uniting with their sexual energy (an energy that we all hold so secretly in a society that doesn’t nurture its expression) to find friends and a renewed love for life at a Sex Camp near them – celebrate the sex positive.

    •    Thanks to the wonderful Vanessa Florence who put this event together and all the people that attended and shared their hearts with others. All the information regarding the weekend can be found on the website as well as the people and companies that held the workshops which extend outside of Sex Camp.
     

    Majority of this article originally appeared on Mamamia 

    Find out more about Sex Camp.

    Image is by Edward Aninar

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