I love intentional containers.
Moments where we deliberately create another context than the one we are in day in day out. I appreciate that it supports me in relating and connecting to myself and others in new ways. It takes me out of the normal and conditioned way of being with each other.
It can look like a non-verbal connecting game with a timer to have a start and beginning. It could be a certain co-working space where we have a structure that supports us to get in flow. Sometimes it's playing with question cards that invite for more vulnerability, or a massage exchange with a certain intention.
One other example relevant in my life is a temple. The word is used in different ways by different people and I've noticed that both for my intimate friends as for clients, it is a vague term. That's one reason why it can sound frightening. I wanted to tell you what I mean when I use the word 'temple'.
What is a temple NOT for me?
A temple is not a space where you have to feel sexy, horny and playful all the time.
It is also not a space where you have to enter with your wildest fantasies and make them come true.
Neither do you have to watch your partner get f*cked by someone else.
Apart from normal respect and group agreements, you are not expected to behave in a certain way and you are not supposed to feel a certain way. Actually the complete opposite is true and that is what draws me to joining and creating temples.
What is a temple for me?
A temple is a space where intimacy and sexuality can be explored consciously, possibly with an individual intention or a group intention. Beyond any levels of pleasure or peak experiences, it is about how free I feel to really express myself while being in a group of other humans. (Read: 'How I want to make love')
To me it is a space where nothing needs to happen. I'm committed to letting go of ideas of how things 'should' go and what I expect of myself. At the same time, it's a space where we are open to what arises. We want to feel free to communicate, ask and explore. This means any of the above of 'what it is not?' can actually happen - only, it is not a goal.
I create spaces with the focus on attunement and a curiosity for what wants to emerge from our connection and intimacy. To illustrate, I don't judge the outcome of a temple space on whether the condoms have been used or the clothes have been taken off. (Read: 'Why (not) go naked in sessions?') Far from it. I look at the faces, the eye connection, the group vibe, the afterglow.
I want to see if we could all show up for our limits and our desires. It pleases me to see someone dare to go and lay down by herself comfortably, not having to do anything. It relaxes me when the general pace of the group seems to match with most or all of the individuals. I value being able to check in with each other, to pause, to disengage consciously or to change direction just because that is what feels good.
Sex party, play party, orgy?
So what's the difference between a temple, a sex party, a play party, an orgy,.... I can tell you that everyone has different connotations and gives different meanings to those words.
What I appreciate about the word temple is that it implies some sacredness. The danger for me is that is sounds too serious. I also like the word play party. It's light and feels spacious, it's open for possibilities. Both of the terms bring a certain innocence to the theme of intimacy and sexuality that for many is still taboo. Depending on the group agreements and the set-up, both can include the possibility of it ending up in a sex party or an orgy. It is just one of many possibilities and for sure not the ultimate goal.
I have experienced temples that turned out to be a cuddle space or a cozy hangout with some laughter. I've also enjoyed being witnessed while making love with my partner, or watching someone being tied up while some others are sharing a 6-hand massage. Sometimes I've sit by myself, enjoying being in a field of permission without having to engage. Other times I was the centre of attention. All of these times I navigated myself in the group by checking in over and over what I truly need and what I truly want.