When it comes to matters of the heart, I believe there are no questions and answers, only questions and ideas. So one year ago, I started Touchpoint, a town hall about sex and partnership, as a space for people of all gender identities, cultures, and sexual persuasions, to share their ideas and experiences in bed, in love, and in life.
On April 7, 2016, I hosted the first Touchpoint on the Lower East Side with ten friends. The question the group voted to discuss was, “How do I introduce BDSM into my relationship?”
I was wildly uncomfortable with this question. After all, I had no experience with BDSM. I barely knew what it meant. And I had never facilitated a conversation like that before.
Ultimately, we spent five hours talking. One woman shared a story about her boyfriend handcuffing her to a kitchen table and having the best sex of her life. My mind was blown. I was inspired and decided to host Touchpoint every month moving forward.
Over the past twelve months, I’ve hosted Touchpoint more than 20 times, including special events in Mexico City, San Francisco, Miami (2x), and Montreal.
1400+ people have attended and 400+ questions have been submitted.
I’ve learned a lot about what’s working and what’s not for people in bed, partnership, dating, marriage, and more.
Below are some of the things I’ve discovered. So far.
I hope this is helpful while you are on your own journey.
Here. We. Go.
1. Many of us are looking for permission to be ourselves.
More than 20% of the hundreds of questions submitted to Touchpoint so far, begin with the phrase “Is it okay…”
Examples of this are: Is it okay to date someone significantly younger than me, Is it okay to sleep with someone I work with, Is it okay to tell my partner that I’m attracted to other people, Is it okay to wear women’s clothing under my clothing?
I was moved by the realization that nobody was asking for permission to do anything we may collectively consider to be wrong or amoral, i.e. Is it okay to have non-consensual sex with a minor?
All of these questions were posed by adults just looking for permission to be themselves and explore perfectly healthy experiences and relationships.
It appears that in some sense, many of us are looking for validation that we aren’t ‘weird’ or undeserving of love. Keeping this in mind as we navigate our lives and relationships is paramount to truly showing up for ourselves and others.
2. Slow the f*ck down.
We grow up learning that sex is basically a means to an end, a way to scratch an itch, the resolution of involuntary biological needs. So discovering Tantra through the Touchpoint community was life-changing for me.
Tantra redefined sex for me as a way to get as close as possible to another human being — and myself.
It’s not about where we go, but where we are. How conscious can we get in this moment, in this position, in this inhale or exhale?
Someone recommended a book that started my journey called Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving. It covers the basics of the chakras, breath work, and intimate, new ways to explore yourself and your partner.