Sacred sex retreats from the Body Electric School

The Body Electric School is hosting two sacred sex retreats for women and queers in May. The first is a residential workshop from May 13 to 15 in New York. This workshop is called "Power, Surrender & Intimacy" and is taught by Alex Jade. Here's a description of it.

This workshop explores techniques of BDSM practice, using the circle of women as a grounded, respectful container in which to discover and clarify edges of empowerment, liberation and embodiment. Learn to recognize aspects of yourself that are continually engaged in power dynamics, and hence become more choiceful about how you can share power with compassion and skill. Learn ways that power and sensation can be wielded for a healing intention, and experience the intense fire generated by a surrender to trust. Expect heightened awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation, a greater sense of personal empowerment, and appreciation for the connection between the divine energy of power and the human energy of surrender.

You can register online for this retreat.

The second retreat is called "Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women." It takes place in Oakland from May 20 to 22 and is taught by Lizz Randall.

In a safe, serious and playful space that respects boundaries, embrace pleasure and experience your body as powerful, expressive and sacred. The class expands awareness and sensation through a process of breath, movement and touch. Each woman's choices and rhythms are honored and celebrated. This workshop is for women of all sexual orientations and ages who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality and sensuality within a community of women.

Register online for this retreat as well.

Are poly parents “alloparents”?

In Sarah Blaffer Hrdy's book, Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding, the anthropological term "alloparent" is used to describe a caregiver who is not a biological parent. According to Hrdy's theory, infants learn to read the emotional experiences of others by interacting with alloparents.

In a very thought-provoking blog post, Valerie White wonders if Hrdy's theory of "alloparents" can apply to parents in poly relationships. She was so intrigued by the idea that she wrote to Hrdy.

Dr Hrdy graciously replied, “I did not have polyamory in mind when I wrote Mothers and Others but you are right. Our worldviews (mine primarily derived from the ethnographic literature on “Pleistocene-appropriate” hunters and gatherers, yours from personal experiences and accounts of compatriots) seem remarkably compatible. Many thanks for sharing yours, Best wishes, Sarah.”

White recommends Mothers and Others to anyone looking for validation regarding polyamorous parenting. She also shares some personal stories about her triad's children.

My triad's twins are nearly nine years old. They’re healthy, funny, lively, affectionate, bright and secure. They know they have extra parents, and they feel blessed to have them. One of the twins, reading this over my shoulder, remarked, "Having extra parents means less babysitters."

Review of Opening Up at Pop My Cherry Review

Domina Doll over at Pop My Cherry Review recently read and reviewed Opening Up. She gives a great run-down of the various chapters and topics covered in the book, giving it her stamp of approval:

The highlight of the book is the real life experiences Taormino uses with quotes, stories and advice from a diverse group of people who share their desires, fears, challenges, solutions, successes and failures with the reader to provide meaningful context. This book is really a thoughtful and comprehensive guide on open relationships of all kinds, leaving no stone unturned. Enlightening, inspirational, and practical, this book is for anyone interested in or already living in responsible nonmonogamous relationships. It is a huge resource that I’m sure would benefit anyone wanting to explore or are curious about how these relationships work.

Thanks, Domina! Go check out her review.

Poly Weekly podcast examines Charlie Sheen and reality TV

A recent episode of the Poly Weekly podcast tackled the theme of poly in the media. With all the hullabuloo about Charlie Sheen lately, along with the premiere of season two of Sister Wives, I found this topic very timely.

The podcast host, Cunning Minx, discusses whether the poly community should accept Charlie Sheen as one of their own, despite the fact that he is not "doing it terribly responsibly." She notes that in news reports surrounding Sheen's antics, the poly aspect of his life is sometimes "the smallest of his deviations from the standard," which could mean that polyamory is becoming more mainstream.

Cunning Minx also references this blog post about polyamory and Sheen, which has some advice for poly folks:

. . . we can set ourselves apart from this kind of thing [Charlie Sheen] by stressing at every opportunity the thoughtfulness, consideration, respect, communication, self-knowledge, and goodwill that are required to make polyamory work well. And by setting good examples.

The podcast also touches on the TLC reality show Sister Wives, which depicts one man and his four female partners.