My fellow workshoppers consisted of twelve people: 2 male-female couples (four people), the workshop presenter and his sex therapist friend from California, one married woman without her husband, two single women, a divorced man (straight), a single man (bisexual), and me (gay). We all gathered in a meeting room to sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and what we hoped to get out of the workshop.
The heterosexual couples said they didn’t want to have other people working on them, just their partners. The workshop facilitator agreed to that plan, but did note that this was a safe place to experiment with having other people touch you in intimate ways. The two couples balked at the idea. The rest of us were ready to do whatever the workshop called for.
Bright and early the next day—actually, right after breakfast—we gathered in the meeting room fully clothed to begin our exploration of erotic massage for men and women. Step One: Remove all your clothes, fold them and put them against the wall. Step Two: Turn up the heat in the room.
We made two circles, one inside the other. The inner circle faced outward. The outer circle inward. We stood face-to-face with another person. We were told to look at that person’s body from head-to-toe. Start with the face and then lower our gaze ever so slowly until we saw the feet and then come back to eye level, bow to the person and stare into their eyes until we received an instruction to move.
It’s funny how uncomfortable staring into another person’s eyes can be. Looking at their private parts is nothing really. It’s all in the eyes.
When we finished, we selected a partner of the opposite sex for show-and-tell. The facilitator and his assistance sat on the floor facing one another. She began her physical inspection of his body focusing on his penis and scrotum. He followed with an inspection of her labia, clitoris and vaginal opening. We wore non-latex gloves for our explorations.
I learned that women’s personal parts don’t break. The labia are extremely flexible and stretchy. My partner (the unaccompanied, married woman) had me give her lips a good pull until I thought they’d break off, but she assured me they wouldn’t.
She examined my penis and balls and damn near pulled my scrotum off. I explained to her that was painful for me. She laughed. “My husband loves me to do this.”
I opined that her husband must have balls of steel while mine were still living tissue.
By the time the hour was over, I knew her inside and out (if you’ll excuse the pun).
That night we all climbed into the hot tub and soaked. The scene reminded me of kittens rolling around together. I slept like a rock.
The next morning we started with our first erotic massage. We worked two on one with the two massagers changing tables every fifteen minutes. This proved difficult for the two married couples who wanted to work with just the two of them. One woman announced that she and her husband had decided to go with the flow. That left the one married couple to decide what to do. They had a private conference and decided to open up to other people massaging them.
I should, at this point, tell you that one of the married couples came from a small town where he was the minister of a Lutheran church and she was the minister’s wife. They had signed up for the workshop as a way of bringing fire back into their marriage, not other people. For them to agree to physical intimacy with strangers was a great leap for them.
The other couple was more open to new experiences. They fit right in.
We watched as our instructors gave us lessons in erotic massage for women. We practiced stimulation processes, location of the G-spot and overall body massage with an emphasis on erotic touch. After an hour, the women on the tables were humming with energy.
Erotic massage is not about orgasm, although they do happen. The idea is to raise the sexual energy from the genitals to the top of the head and to fill the body with this strong energy for use by other chakras (energy centers). Boy howdy, does it work!
That afternoon we practiced on men. I had already taken Erotic Massage for Men so I knew what to do.
That evening we gave massages to everyone who hadn’t had one during the day. Then we retired to the hot tube for more kitten-like behavior.
Day Three with improved our techniques before our graduation party which consisted of dancing, erotic massage, hot tubbing and general joy. I received my diploma plus a testimonial letter from one of the women who was there with her husband. I had been her masseur when she drew in her sexual energy and pushed it up her spine. She was very grateful for my assistance.
The next day we prepared to go back to our usual lives. We gathered in the meeting room to talk about the experiences we’d had.
The minister and his wife looked especially youthful. She said, “I’ve had such fun with so many people. It will be difficult to go back to meetings with the women’s group in the church. They will ask about my ‘spiritual’ retreat and, quite frankly, there’s not a one I can share this experience with. I want to thank you all for restoring my sexual feelings to me and my body.”
Her husband agreed with his wife. I wonder what happened to them when they returned to their small town church. They both seemed over the “small town church” experience.
Each of the women talked about how safe they’d felt being touched by men they didn’t know, how respectful everyone had been of their feelings and their bodies, and how much they dreaded going back to the “real” world.
The men talked about how emotionally connected they had become with the women (and men) on the tables. The massage techniques opened them up to the humanness of the person on the table, not their genitalia.
My friend, the married woman who arrived without her husband, said, “The workshop affirmed my need to expand my sexual expression.” She later divorced her husband and moved into a women’s house where she practiced sexual healing for women. Last I heard she’d joined a triad: a man, woman and her.
I told them I’d had doubts about my choice to only have sexual relationships with men, but I’d learned it was who I really was. I enjoyed my experiences with all of the women in the workshop, especially being able to engage in sexual massage, but my sexual turn-on was men. The workshop freed me from a lot of my issues about touching a woman’s body.
We exchanged email addresses, snail mail addresses and phone numbers. We promised to stay in touch after we returned home. We hugged and kissed (pretty tame things considering what we’d done with one another).
I climbed in the rental car and headed back to Newark, about three hours away. The weekend had made me feel connected to my fellow human beings again. As I drove along the interstate the landscape seemed more beautiful than before probably due to my reduced fear level.
Traffic slowed to a stop in the middle of nowhere. Twenty minutes later I saw what other drivers had wanted to see: about ten cars surrounded by men in camouflage were tying dead deer to the tops of their cars. The blood from the animals was running down the windows of the cars. The men, all hyped up from their hunting, looked like ancient hunters filled with lust after a successful hunt. I sped on as soon as I could. It was a welcome back to the “real” world.
That workshop changed my life in so many ways. Of course, we didn’t stay in touch. I have their contact information somewhere in my papers, but I’m sure they’ve moved on with their lives. The facilitator and his assistant still teach positive sex techniques in California. Maybe it’s about time for another long weekend in the Catskill Mountains.