When an acquaintance casually asks what you’re up to at the weekend and the answer, if you cannot 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.
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.
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.
But there are certain questions everyone always wants to know – let’s deal with those first: