I am a trained sexuality counselor and educator ( http://ignitewell-being.com/what-is-sexuality-counseling/ ) and recognize how impactful sexuality is to our individual and collective well-being. Yet, many of us had terrible sex education (and this pattern continues, ex. https://nursing.usc.edu/blog/americas-sex-education/ ), religious trauma around sexuality, and/or harm from intergenerational family patterns, and we do not have safe spaces where we can discuss sexuality openly to rectify our disparate education, trauma, and harms, and heal from the misinformation personally, collectively, inter-generationally. My pleasure café (TM)is an attempt to meet this societal need and be that brave space.
Pleasure cafés (TM) mirror death cafés – we have no set topic and move through discussion as directed by the needs, questions, concerns, and joys of the participants. I facilitate the conversation by engaging participants, posing questions, and providing specific education and resources……and always anchor the conversations in joy (ex body joy, queer joy, trans joy, affirmation joy, belonging joy). Essentially, pleasure café is small-group sexuality counseling meant to undo cultural harm, intergenerational patterns, and religious trauma around the body and sexuality.
As a part of or in addition to counseling, these spaces offer up ways to educate; normalize what has historically been seen as deviant (ex any sexual activity outside of procreation); allow for self-reflection and consciousness-raising; reclaim personal power and confidence through validation and practicing communication; and dismantle sex-negativity (shame, silence, dismissal, etc). After café, I send participants an email with my notes on topics covered and resources mentioned.
At the moment, we are offering the space for those with marginalized identities (women, nonbinary folk, gay or bi/pansexual men, etc)
Past topics examined at pleasure café (TM) have included desire, menopause, masturbation, pleasure and joy, the erotic beyond the sexualized, body image, addiction and sexuality, use of toys in partnered experiences, relationship diversity, racism and sexuality, and sex-positive parenting.
Interested in joining us? Please see future event dates on the events page, familiarize yourself with our ground rules (below), and email me to rsvp (firstname.lastname@example.org). Participants are required to fill out a waiver and submit payment 48hrs prior to joining café.
Pleasure Café (TM) ground rules:
- We will create brave space where we will be respectful and kind to all. Ex.,
- “don’t yuck someone else’s yum”, share what you wish to share, respect the confidentiality of what is shared, practice self-care and self-awareness if any of the information or content is upsetting or overwhelming to you
- We are sex-positive – we recognize sexuality (and this includes asexuality) is an important part of the human experience and well-being; diversity is respected and encouraged
- Harm or unkindness are not tolerated (participants will be muted or kicked out of our zoom), though we have never had problems with this in the past
- We won’t record sessions to protect participant privacy
- Please keep cameras on to ensure privacy of the space; if participants need to turn their cameras off, please let me know prior to or during café in the group chat
- Take what you need and leave the rest –
- This group allows for the sharing of information and experience and some experiences and resources might not appeal to or speak to you, and that’s ok. Sexuality is diverse and meant to be diverse. We are just happy to learn from each other and glad to have you at café.
- Mind your environment
- While not all content of pleasure café is adult-oriented, much of it can be. If you have young or sensitive people in your home, please choose your virtual set up accordingly so that you can manage the needs of your household members.
In addition to our pleasure café (TM), you might consider joining our Savor Book Club and/or Yoga and Mindfulness for Sensuality. Sometimes a specific and neutral medium, such as a book or a training, can assist with discussions about sexuality, as opposed to the vulnerability some might feel without a set topic or discussion. Please refer to the events page for book club dates. Also, see my bookshop: https://bookshop.org/shop/ignitewellbeing for additional book recommendations.