Sex Positive School Helps with Sexual Healing
Sexuality is something that, especially in the queer community, is unfortunately synonymous with trauma. There are too many instances of rape and sexual assault to keep track of, and queer folks often face stigmas around their sexuality. This is where The Body Electric School comes in.
“In many ways, it has changed my life,” Craig Cullinane, managing director of The Body Electric School, said. “It’s an experience of welcoming, a journey towards connection with oneself, and also connection with other people in a really safe container, exploring erotic energy, in this case with other men. It broadened the experience of my erotic life and my capacity for intimacy.”
The school, Cullinane explains, is not a glorified orgy dressed up with words like “intimacy” and “healing.” The focus of its workshops, which take place all across the country as well as in Israel and Canada, is to hold sessions that involve intimate touch and communication rather than sex. There are groups for male-identified folks, female-identifed folks, and all genders, and the idea is to get over the shame and stigma that often comes with sex and get in touch with its healing properties in order to have a healthier intimate life.
Cullinane was so moved by the experience that he began volunteering, at first just assisting with the workshops, and eventually working his way up to the position of managing director. As a gay man, Cullinane believes the experience is especially important to the queer community.
“Certainly, LGBTQ people have been taught that how they express sex and love is shameful or less desirable,” he explained. “And I think that this experience allows people to shed some of that shame, to get in touch with what is pleasurable to them, and to really honor it, to be proud of it, and to express it in ways that are honoring of themselves and other people. It’s important, because we look at this moment in our culture and at how there is so much damage people can do when it comes to touching each other and sex. It’s about being able to support people’s boundaries and exploring healthy ways of expressing sensuality. In my opinion, this work is medicine for the world, because it invites people to connect with themselves and other people authentically.”
Because the events for the most part separate gender, they by nature cater more to the queer community. But Cullinane makes it a point to explain that all genders are welcome, and that there is no requirement to be LGBTQ or disclose sexual identification.
“The male events are for anyone who considers themselves male, and the female events are for anyone who considers themselves female,” he said. “Then, we have some events that are for all genders. Most of the people who come to the workshops are men who have sex with men or women who have sex with women, but we don’t ask, because it’s really not relevant. It’s about learning skills and how to give and receive pleasure with our bodies within our community”
For those who attend the workshops, Cullinane hopes that people gain a stronger sense of self and intimacy, both inside and outside the bedroom.
“I hope that the people who come to our events get to connect with themselves. I hope that they get to practice connecting authentically with other people; I hope that they can enter into a space where this experience allows them to do some healing work that they define as meaningful for themselves. I hope that they can broaden their erotic repertoire so they can both receive pleasure and give pleasure to other people, because pleasure allows us to heal. I hope that they can have fun; I hope that they can feel like they’re joining a community of people they connect with and feel good about.”
The Body Electric School will be in Denver June 8 and 9. For more information, visit thebodyelectricschool.com.