This is by CP facilitator Edie Weinstein, and posted on SMINGLE, a website for singles.
SMINGLE: How do cuddle parties play into boundaries and communication?
EDIE: Cuddle Party is a 3 1/2 hour workshop designed to offer a safe space to learn about communication, boundary setting and nurturing, non-sexual touch. It includes what I call ‘portable life skills’ that allow participants to practice immediately saying yes to what they want in life and no to what they don’t want. The workshop begins with The Welcome Circle which sets that helps people get to know a bit more about each other and establishes the rules, including that clothes stay on the whole time and that verbal consent is necessary before anyone is touched.
SMINGLE: How does sexuality and sensuality differ?
EDIE: Sensuality is about immersing in each experience with senses fully alive and engaged. Enjoying an orange, for example, can be a completely sensual experience as you gaze at it, noticing the color of the rind and the pulp and the fruit itself, and then smelling it, taking in the sweet and tangy aroma, listening to the sound of the peel coming away from the pulp in a slight ripping manner, feeling the bumps on the skin, tasting the juice as it sits on your tongue and licking it off your fingers and from your chin as it drips downward. Doesn’t it feel like you just ate an orange?
Sexuality is greatly enhanced if you allow all of your senses to be turned on. The most powerful aphrodisiac is the imagination and the most important sex organ is the mind. We are each responsible for our own pleasure and cannot expect a partner to provide us with that.
I encourage women and men to get to know what they enjoy and then share that information with any others with whom they are involved so that no one need be a mind-reader. You are more likely to ‘get what you want, when you know what you want’
SMINGLE: What role does body image play in sexuality?
EDIE: These amazing bodies we are given at birth have receptors that can take in all manner of sensations. A healthy, vibrant body is able to offer and receive immense amounts of pleasure. Unfortunately, in many cultures, there is the mistaken impression that only certain body types are attractive. That belief limits people in terms of their willingness to be visible. Shame, perhaps from childhood messages about our bodies, trauma or abuse history may play a role in how people view themselves. The more you love the skin you’re in, the more you will enjoy sexual interaction.SMINGLE: How do cuddle parties play into boundaries and communication?
Cuddle Party is a 3 1/2 hour workshop designed to offer a safe space to learn about communication, boundary setting and nurturing, non-sexual touch. It includes what I call ‘portable life skills’ that allow participants to practice immediately saying yes to what they want in life and no to what they don’t want. The workshop begins with The Welcome Circle which sets that helps people get to know a bit more about each other and establishes the rules, including that clothes stay on the whole time and that verbal consent is necessary before anyone is touched.
SMINGLE: What advice would you give individuals embarking on a new relationship with someone that has different spiritual beliefs?
EDIE: Openly share with a potential partner, what your beliefs are and the ways in which you live them. Spirituality is not simply what you do in a house of worship on a particular day of the week. It is about the influence it has on your values and principles. If either person’s beliefs are so rigid that they leave no room for those of the other, then perhaps there is not enough synchrony between them. If there is flexibility and understanding, then peaceful co-existence is possible.
SMINGLE: What advice would you offer divorcees re-entering the dating scene?
EDIE: I would first encourage them to love the man or woman in the mirror. No one will ever love you enough to make up for you not loving yourself. Treat yourself the way you would want to be treated by a partner. Know that you are whole and complete, whether or not you are in a relationship. If you feel wounded by divorce and are still carrying anger and resentment toward your former partner, it will have an impact on any new relationship. Enter into the experience with a healing heart. Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else; it is a gift you give yourself. Dating is a way of getting to know another human being AND getting to know yourself. I was widowed and since then, have had wonderful lovers and relationship partners. I have few regrets and find that love is never wasted.
Rev. Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a Renaissance Woman and Bliss Mistress who delights in inviting people to live rich, full, juicy lives. Her business is called By Divine Design, the title of which came to her in a dream. Edie is an internationally recognized, journalist, interviewer and author, inspirational speaker, licensed social worker and interfaith minister. She speaks on the subjects of wellness, spirituality, sexuality, loss and grief and is a frequent guest on radio and television. Edie is a contributing author to the book Sunshine Sisters: A Celebration of Legacies http://www.mollysunshinetour.com/. Check out Edie’s daily Bliss Blog at http://blog.beliefnet.com/blissblog/