As many of you know, my beloved, Matthew, and I attended a workshop recently. Not just any workshop, but the Tantra Meets BDSM one that has been swirling around both the internet and in “conscious” communities!
For context’s sake, we orient to the tantra side of things. My background is all things sacred sexuality - tantra itself, the psychology of sexuality, taoism, sex magick, etc.
What it is not in, though, is BDSM…
(Well, with exception of that one dungeon we went to with a couple of friends, just to see what all the hype was about. We got dressed up in vampy, black attire…only to show up and have the event be filled with a lot of people in wrinkled khakis! Ha.)
Sure, we have a few saucy playthings around the house, but are rather tame with it all. (Personally, I never understood the draw to pain and far preferred to flood my body solely with pleasure.)
Buttttt despite being firmly rooted in the “reaching god through divine pleasure” camp, we couldn’t ignore the amount of friends who were, not only attending the workshop, but also singing its praises!
It was already very much on our radar when we found out it was happening here in Austin. When Alexa and Jordan invited us personally and we learned a handful of other friends were attending as well, I decided to really start digging!
I’m super picky (aka discerning), when it come to events I attend, as it is.
- This topic is an edgy one and I do feel that (as with most areas that involve sexuality) there are many containers that have an undercurrent of misaligned/leaky energy.
- We hold containers/workshops ourselves and, as such, we have a whole different standard for what that looks like.
And so I asked alllll the questions…
- Who are Laurie Handlers and Om Rupani + what do our mutual friends/people who had attended the workshop think of them? (GLOWING recommendations from every single person I asked FYI.)
- How is the workshop held (boundaries, consent, leaky energy, etc.)
- Is it simple to opt-out of exercises we might not desire to participate its?
- What type of crowd typically attends?
After hearing all positive/affirmative things from our friends, we ended up deciding to attend!
Now, I won’t go into the details of all the practices - 1) we vowed secrecy ;) and 2) mystery is delicious - but I will share our overall experience…
I was actually surprised by who attended! In my mind, I thought it might draw in a more “fringe/edgy” crowd. In reality, the majority were a “hip” group of 30-something year olds, who knew a bit about tantra and were into self-growth. Half of the group were couples and most local to the area, with a handful of who flew in specifically for the workshop. (In hindsight, this does make sense, seeing as those already in the BDSM world wouldn’t actually be the target audience!) The event was full, but in a way that made it feel well-attended vs. overly packed. Now, naturally, I can’t attest to how it will be at all of their events/who will attend, but they do seem to attract certain crowd that I personally do resonate with.
Om and Laurie were quite true to how they show up online. Definitely a no fluff “New York” vibe. While I’m used to both attending and imbuing my own events with lots of feminine essence, this is a preference type of thing vs. a dealbreaker…simply something to note if you also are used to “softer” tantra events.
It was a mix of practical education and then hands-on practices. They clearly are knowledgeable about the topics and quite familiar with being in the teacher roles. The tantric philosophy and BDSM energetics did indeed flow well together! There was a lot of information shared in the two days and there admittedly could’ve been more time allotted to a couple of the practices, but that also is just the nature of packing loads of info into a short event. All that said, I’d be remiss not to mention that some of the demos and practices were far from tame. (There was one in particular that I almost chose out of. I ended up deciding to lean in, though, and was pleasantly surprised to realize I’d built it up in my mind a lot more than needed.) Be prepared that it will likely bring some stuff up for you… Some of the viewpoints shared are raw, edgy, and certainly not PC. Consensual nｕdity was involved in one of the demos given and about half the class chose to be nｕde for our partner practices. If you attend, you’ll get to filter all the things shared through your own moral compass and decide what you’re willing to do/not do.
And - probably the most important…
Who I Feel It’s For/Not For:
THIS. EVENT. IS. NOT. FOR. EVERYONE.
I feel this is the most important thing to preface.
Because of the sensitive nature of the topics being worked with, I strongly believe that it’s only truly aligned for a select group of people to attend.
- Are highly attuned to their boundaries and are practiced in maintaining them. (This is true for everyone who attends, but especially applicable if you’re attending as a single person.) It’s vital that you are wholly able to own your yes/no and say things like, “Actually, I don’t desire to participate in this practice” or “Thank you for asking, but I’d like to work with a different partner.” Please do not enter into a container like this with wishy-washy boundaries.
- Have a level of a familiarity with events of a sexual/sensual nature and how to navigate them. As I mentioned earlier, varying degrees of nudity are involved in some practices and some people will be in their turn on. (Nothing “overtly sexual” was happening, but there certainly was sexual energy being charged up.) It’s important that this a) isn’t a massive trigger point for you and b) that you know how to conduct yourself in these situations. One of the paramount thing that Matthew and I teach first in our tantra workshops is how to keep your sexual energy sovereign - you can be turned on and in a room full of people (yes, even naked people!) and not being leaking your sexual energy all over everyone. This wasn’t something that was specifically taught here, so, in my perspective, it’s on you to already be familiar with this going in.
- Are masters of discernment and navigating their triggers. I spoke into it earlier, but even for those who like us who have a lot of experience being in and holding “edgy” containers, things still came up. (There was a moment where Matthew and I stepped outside to breathe together and drop in, because we had a trigger arise. It wasn’t actually related to the practice happening, but it did arise, which meant we got to work through it on the spot!) It would be highly unlikely that you would make it through the workshop with not a single trigger. As such, I think it’s necessary that anyone going into the container both know that and be fully prepared to move through it. I also will invite you into the knowing that you don’t have to agree with or go along with every single thing to glean loads of wisdom (there are 100% things that I didn’t take on). Release what doesn’t land for you and receive what does!
All of that said, do I recommend the Tantra Meets BDSM workshop?
>>> I do…for the people mentioned above. <<<
It was a highly educational and super fun experience to have with my partner! It also opened up my eyes to a lot of new practices we can incorporate in our love life and clarified some misconceptions/judgements I had around the BDSM community. The couple triggers that I had were far outweighed by the wisdom shared and clear teaching style. (Learning about the BDSM piece specifically was an edge for me and I can’t really see myself having learned about it in a different container.) You very well might even see us at a level 2 workshop in the future!
And, if you do decide to attend any, you’re welcome to receive discount by using the code: Andrea
I’m curious to hear if any of you have attended a Tantra Meets BDSM workshop and what your experience was!
(And, if there are any questions I missed in the above.)