Frequently Asked Question
Q. Just how “intimate” (i.e. sexual) do things get?
A. One of our main intentions is to distinguish between intimacy and sexuality more clearly. It is a source of confusion for many men, gay, straight, and everywhere along that continuum.
First, we promote intimacy with ourselves through conscious breathing, stretching/moving, meditation, and journaling: all are ways to turn within and get to know ourselves better. Then we offer opportunities to speak from the heart, revealing our more vulnerable selves. And finally we offer guided touch rituals, which are primarily nurturing in quality. Some of these also focus on exploring the connection between the erotic and the sacred, between the genitals/heart/spirit. However, our intention is never “sexual” in the sense of stimulation toward ejaculation. Participants consistently report this to be a profoundly healing experience: caring touch from other men that honours all of who we are.
Q. Aren’t your events really just for gay guys?
A. No, not “just.” As originally conceived by Sequoia and Doug Fraser in 1987, these retreats were specifically offered for gay men, largely in response to the AIDS crisis, to provide a context for exploring quality intimacy with a spiritual intent. In the 90s, we perceived an evolution among men of diverse sexual persuasions toward a more open exploration of our relationships with ourselves and each other. Since then, we have advertised the retreats as “for Loving Men.” “Loving” is both an adjective describing the kind of men who choose to come, and a verb describing what we are doing: exploring together how to love one another, regardless of sexual orientation.
While the majority of participants identify as gay/bi/queer, we also have had many men who are/were married to women, and are fathers, as well as some who describe themselves as “beyond labels,” “straight but not narrow,” and “questioning.”
Our common interest is wishing to be physically, emotionally and verbally open, honest, and as intimate as each man feels comfortable exploring.
Q. Looking forward to the workshop and meeting you … Excited about Sunday! I read about it in your page… I know the focus isn’t ejaculation but what happens when it does?
A. Glad you’re excited about the Sunday experience. For many men, it’s a whole new way to be with our own and other men’s arousal: the focus is on deeply relaxing instead to building the genital charge. So the energy has a change to spread all over the body, creating a quiet glow of well-being. Sometimes guys will have a spontaneous ejaculation even without the usual stimulation, and that’s fine, too. What we’re encouraging, both as the Giver and Receiver, it to let to of that sometimes all-consuming goal we men can get caught in, and to have an open attitude to experience other, subtler delights.
Do you know of any questions and answers that you think should be listed here?
- If so, please contact us at menintouch @ outlook.com