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Welcome to the Center for Sex Positive Culture — Tonight:  BLANKET FORT!

THURSDAY: In the Main Space tonight at 9, Blanket Fort is a non-sexual, non-BDSM party featuring a facilitated cuddle party, a knitting corner, all the tea you can drink, and, of course, a blanket fort we can all build together. We offer a flagging system to help you negotiate intimate service interactions: perhaps you’ll find someone who wants to bring you cup after cup of tea, or someone whose feet you would like to rub. This event is designed to be a calm, restorative, peaceful end to your day. We hope you’ll make it part of your self-care plan. This is a non-sexual, non-BDSM, underwear required event. For more information, about this and other CSPC events, go to our Event Calendar and click on the event name for details.

THURSDAY: In the Annex tonight, also at 9, The Chill. Sex and BDSM both welcome in this mostly-mellow space.  See the Event Calendar for details.

Both events are for members and their invited guests only.

New Member Orientations: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Check out our Event Calendar for more specifics. 

Events Open to the Public

A few of our events are open to non-members and the public, age 18 and over.

These include:

  • New Member Orientation, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Game Play Social Night, the 2nd Tuesday of Every Month
  • The Hump Social, Every Wednesday 6-8
  • The Passport Meeting, 1st Friday of the Every Month 7-8
  • On the Market, 1st Friday of Every Month 8-1
  • Myself! Every 4th Sunday, 5:30-11
  • The Getting to Know You Potluck, Every 5th Sunday, 4-6:30
  • Try It, You’ll Like it, Every 5th Sunday, 6:30-11

See Event Calendar for more description and details!

Member News

Building Project Plans:

We recently saw a notice go up for the approval of a building project plans. We contacted the property owners on 1/21 and they told us there is no offer on the property at this time. As an organization we had already decided that looking for a new property (that is a better fit to our long-term needs) is in our community’s best interest. Our lease ends in 2018. Even if an offer were to come in the near future, we are legally protected with a generous amount of notice required before our lease could be ended early.

If you would like more information about the proposed project for this space you can find it here: https://www.seattleinprogress.com/project/3022095.

If you’d like to give input about what we should be looking for in another space, please fill out our long-term goals survey.

Shower Remodel:
I have been hearing questions about why we decided to remodel the shower if we are thinking of finding a new space at the end of our lease.  This is something that our Staff and Committees have looked at closely before making a decision.  The reason we decided to go ahead with the remodel was two-fold.

First the shower needed to be repaired, this was not a problem that we could continue to ignore.  Second, our leadership discussed and agreed that it was worth giving our membership an improved space even if it only lasted 2 years.  As an organization we are working hard to improve the quality of our space for our membership.  We felt this was worth improving for our membership, and it needed to be done.

When it comes to all future improvements, the board and staff have decided each project will be evaluated based on if the project can be moved with us to a new location.  Basic maintenance and upkeep will continue, but no major projects that will not benefit us in another location will be undertaken.

In the process of improving the shower we discovered that there was greater internal repairs than we anticipated.  We assessed that it was going to take an additional $500 to finish the project.  I am excited to report that when this was brought before our Board, they all stepped up and raised the remaining funds between them.  So a huge thank you to our Membership and our Board for making this project possible.  The project is relying entirely on volunteers and we are hoping to have everything completed by the middle of February.

If anyone is interested in helping out with painting or other tasks on this project, please email facilities@thecspc.org to see if your skills and availability match our needs.  Thanks to all who are working so hard on this project!

–Jeanette Aprato, Managing Director
 

Stepping Stones to Sex Positivity

Stepping stones at the River RothayI had just been through a heart-wrenching breakup with my girlfriend. I was pretty mopey. My wife was very supportive, but she was tired of hearing about it.

That was a story I couldn’t tell around the water cooler. It was 2010, and except for the first few years of my marriage, I had been non-monogamous all my life. When I married my wife nearly 30 years ago, the term “polyamory” hadn’t even been coined yet. We were just “open.” But not “out.” The end of an important relationship that I couldn’t talk about with anyone but my partner – well, it made me realize I needed something I never had before: a community.

When I found the CSPC, I knew no one, and felt like I knew nothing. I was an introvert and found it hard to talk to people. One of the first things I did was find other members just as new and curious as I was. We went to parties together, and met long-standing members of the community.  

Once I started approaching veteran members – and especially volunteers – I found them very welcoming and willing to share their experiences. And the new folks like me could support each other. So I learned and explored. Six years later, with the help of this community, I’m still exploring, still discovering.

Among the things I discovered was how to get involved. There are many paths to walk, but these are some steps I took.

  • I Learned. I got to know the culture of the community and the wider sex-positive world. When you visit a country, you should get to know the language – it helps you make friends with the natives. I found workshops from the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture. So many different things to learn, no prior knowledge necessary! At workshops I found other people who wanted to talk to about that particular subject. So we did.
  • I Connected. In talking about shared interests, I already had a connection to people, no matter our relative levels of experience. We found how we were different, and how we were the same. I learned to speak the language from others: vanilla, poly, non-monogamous; Top, bottom, switch; transgender, gender queer, cisgender; sensation, impact, suspension. We talked terms and how to avoid restrictive labels.  We talked practical techniques of sex and BDSM and how to approach them with care and consent.
  • I Joined. There’s so much to do when you’re not a member, but I admit this was one I jumped into right away. Orientation sucked me in, and I wanted to see it all, even what seemed like secret and privileged experiences reserved for members. My membership opened just about any door I wanted, and it was up to me to walk through.
  • I Partied. Membership had its benefits – and there was so much variety to choose from. From cuddling to heavy BDSM, from public sex to simple socials where nothing was expected except to interact. And you know, at all of these, it was still okay to just sit back and watch, take it in until I was ready to participate. And participate I did, in short order. I like to say I came to the CSPC for the poly and stayed for the BDSM.
  • I Volunteered. The CSPC, it turned out, doesn’t make anyone rich. It only exists because of members who give their time and energy to make events happen. Volunteering was the most fantastic way to get to know the Center “behind the scenes.” I started “shadowing” trained volunteers, and I learned about the parties, and about various volunteer roles. I learned how the CSPC worked, and how it served so many communities. Plus, working a short volunteer shift meant I could enjoy the rest of the party free. If I put in a reasonable number of hours, I didn’t have to pay for most events at all. Volunteering is the most rewarding way I’ve ever found to be kind to my wallet. And the more I got involved, the more I wanted to give back – and the more I enjoyed contributing to and shaping the community where I had found a new home.

Everyone’s path is different. But these steps are how I found myself moving forward. To those brand new, or still learning new things, I say: don’t be afraid to take those first or next steps. Just use the stepping stones the community provides to keep your feet firm and your eyes ahead. And enjoy the journey.

Panda is a long-time volunteer and a founder of the Passport Program, a service for newcomers to the CSPC. He leads a discussion group about sex positivity and CSPC & FSPC activities every first Friday of the month. He can be contacted at passport@thecspc.org.

 

Sex, Intimacy and Relationships

Too often people conflate Sex, Intimacy and Relationship into one sticky mess. And then they wonder why their lives get so complicated. Nekole and I realized that we needed to take apart these three subjects and that’s why we created our workshop.

In our workshops over the last year, we’ve discovered that everyone has different definitions of these three words. We did separate workshops about all three subjects and the Intimacy and Relationship classes were always full. And then we came to our What Is Sex workshop and we had the smallest attendance of any of our classes.

I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve got several theories as to why that might be. The first theory is that everyone thinks they know what Sex is. They think they don’t need the class. But from the conversations we had during that class and at the other classes, that was obviously not the reason.

The second theory is that Sex is laden with guilt and shame and people just don’t want to talk about it. Now we’re getting somewhere. Sex is a hot button. It’s volatile and scary and no one really wants to admit that they do it (I know, I’m exaggerating; however, it is the one topic that people will giggle uncomfortably about, even those who consider themselves sexually enlightened.) It’s the most challenging of our subjects.

The irony is that of the three, the most misunderstood is Intimacy. It’s kind of a “I know it when I see it” type of encounter. It’s the most conflated with Sex of all three and it’s the one that scares most people the most. It’s the vulnerable part of Sex, Intimacy and Relationship.

Relationships are all around us. They vary in Intimacy and in Sexual encounters and we truly couldn’t exist without them. For me, they bring the most satisfaction. One of our take-aways from the individual workshops was that all of us have one of these three that is more prevalent in our lives. For me, that’s Relationship. For Nekole, it’s Intimacy. I need Relationship more than I need the other two.

What do you need? Join us this weekend for our first Sex, Intimacy and Relationship Intensive and find out. You’ll walk away with all kinds of insights and discoveries.

–Allena Gabosch, Founder of the CSPC, will be teaching this intensive with Nekole Shapiro, author of the EmbodiedBirth curriculum and sex eduator.

Volunteer Orientation January 13th

Happy 2016! The Center for Sex Positive Culture is bustling with activities and events seven days a week. Just check out our Event Calendar for details. Member volunteers are actively planning special events for you, and you can join their ranks!

Volunteers receive great experience planning and running events, and helping with office work, orientations, outreach, or facilities. Running an event isn’t your speed? Try laundry detail, food preparation, or set-up. Or maybe you have a particular skill-set and imagine how you can contribute that to the Center. Attend the next Volunteer Orientation Wednesday, January 13th, from 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Annex.

Volunteer benefits include getting to know people in the community, stretching your skills, and free entry into the events you volunteer for, before or after your shift. Learn about more perks, the community of volunteers, and how you can get involved at the Orientation.

Monday Madness, Every Monday at 7

Where Everybody Knows Your Name! Cheers CSPC style!

Where: Main Space
When: 7pm-Midnight
Who: 18+. Members and invited guests only.
Cost: $10 (guests $20)

Monday Madness welcomes you to our family! The party is filled with an amazing group of regulars who are open to sharing their extensive knowledge and socializing in our very laid back style. There’s plenty of room to spread out and have intimate long scenes. A great place to meet others, sit back, relax, and watch some incredible scenes.
You can hear over the music and see who you are talking to. Volunteers and staff often attend Monday Madness! We allow any play sanctioned by the Center.

Ethereal Embrace Thursday 1/14 at 9pm

Ethereal Embrace invites you to explore intimacy and connection without a physical focus.

Who: CSPC Members and Invited Guests Only
Cost: Member Price: $15, Guest Price: $25
When: Every 3 months on the 2nd Thursday, 9pm – 12:30am
Where: Main Space

Ethereal Embrace invites you to step outside the box, share your mind and emotions with another, and explore ways to cultivate intimacy that aren’t physically focused. In particular, we challenge you to set aside sex, physical pain, and cuddles for an evening, experimenting instead with other ways to develop and express closeness with another person. Whether that’s sharing a dream with a stranger, or being forbidden to speak on a leash by your Master’s side – or anything in between – we’d love to see what connects your minds and hearts, when you’re not connecting your bodies.

Here are some of our favorites, for those of you looking for inspiration (though we’d be happy to get inspiration from you, too):

*Hypnosis

*Objectification

*Behavior training

*Mental bondage

*Intimate discussions or negotiations

Please note that Ethereal Embrace is one of three quarterly parties that cater to the asexual demographic and to those who​ are uncomfortable being around traditional expressions of sex. We ask that you be respectful and cognizant of that and refrain from overt sexual behavior, even if you’re incorporating nonphysical connection.

If you have questions about whether the play you’d like to do fits with the energy of our party, please contact us at ethereal@thecspc.org.

Happy New Year!


Good Day!

The New Year is almost upon us and we are going out with a bang (or maybe a slap, and punch and a smack and . . . ).  Join us New Year’s Eve and then come back the next day for more parties to start 2016 out right!  We’re partying all week long.

I want to give a shameless plug for my Workshop Intensive on Sex,  Relationship and Intimacy coming up in January.  Nekole Shapiro and I are very excited about our first weekend long workshop January 16&17More info here.

I’ll see you next year!

Allena dd@thecspc.org