This summer’s California polyamory gathering happens in a lovely clothing-optional resort in Northern California called Lupin Lodge. The event is intended to be primarily educational, social, and experiential. It will focus on the exploration and deepening of skills such as clarification and expression of desires, jealousy management, expansion and deepening of intimacy and multi-partner relating. It will also address other practical concerns related to polyamory, such as vital communication skills and negotiation tools.
If you travel in polyamorous circles, you will occasionally hear of rumors a poly gathering at which people run about naked in conference halls and common spaces, engage in affectionate interactions with multiple partners, and sometimes even make love in plain sight of other people. Some of the more puritanic members of the poly community vigorously disapprove of this, and spread all manner of distortions and exaggerations about such events that can make it sound both better and worse than it actually is. (We don’t know why they feel the need to do this, but when you are trying be both polyamorous and puritanical at the same time, I suppose you have to do something). The truth of it is that, even allowing for distortion and exaggeration, most of these rumors are at least partially true.
However, it is important to understand that just because someone attends this event, this does not necessarily mean they are interested in participating in orgies in front of other people. In fact, only a small fraction of the people who attend this event are interested in such provocative activities, and no one is pressured to do such things. Even so, if you are a person who is shocked, aghast, affronted, offended, or scandalized by the sight of other people being nude and/or making out in your presence, this is probably not the kind of event you should be attending.
The central theme of this poly gathering is different than that of most other medium/large scale poly gatherings. This event is specifically focused upon experiential, interactive social activities, rather than academic presentations or lectures. Instead of simply giving you a lecture about jealousy management, and why telling you why it is important in polyamorous relationships, we will offer specific training experiences and guided practice in the use of such techniques. Instead of merely explaining why enhanced communication is so vital to polyamorous relating, we shall offer training experiences and supervised practice in the use these techniques. No one is required to participate in any particular session, and there will be plenty of educational presentations about numerous different poly-related topics for those seeking a less participatory experience. However, the main focus of this event is to make such experiential activities available to those who seek them. Unlike events held on university campuses, public auditoriums, and suburban environments, this one is held at a secluded, clothing-optional resort which is conducive to sensual expression to a degree not possible in most ordinary settings, and we take full advantage of this opportunity.
Social interaction in a clothing-optional setting requires people to be more respectful than in ordinary settings — not less. Polyamory and open relationships demand that people be more sensitive to the feelings and desires of the people they interact with — not less. Exploring polyamory tends to require a level of trust, honesty, emotional vulnerability, and a willingness to confront uncomfortable feelings than is required in more conventional relationship styles. Unless you are a person who is willing and able to behave in such a manner, this event is probably not something for you.
Not everyone has the temperament or level of sophistication to enjoy such an environment. For practical reasons, we need to maintain an approximate gender balance, and therefore, much as we would like to do so, we cannot necessarily accommodate everybody who expresses an interest in attending.