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:
Are the people at sex camp naked?
People weren’t naked in the workshops.
Do you have sex in the workshops?
No, there was no sex in the workshops. People were experiencing orgasms through breath work in the Tantric workshops I attended.
How many people attend the camp?
There were 180 people in attendance and anyone could go.
A silent disco (music was played via headphones that each attendee was given. The headphones played music and you had an option of three different channels/playlists), 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 fun, light hearted, playful experiential social event designed for adults to explore affection, intimacy and touch) 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.
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.