Touching the Heart | Retreats FAQ
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Retreats FAQ

What kinds of men attend these retreats?

The men who attend our retreats come from all walks of life. Often they are looking for new experiences, they want to explore themselves and others and learn new and exciting ways of being in the world.

Anyone over 18 can attend with average ages ranging between 25 and 50. Gay and sexually diverse men are our usual participants. There can be anything from 10-20 men on a retreat.

How do you deal with boundary issues?

Our intention during our retreats is to support you in finding and exploring your boundaries and developing your agreements around consent. Your ability to say ‘Yes, No or Maybe’ and to express your desires and needs contains an important aspect of your Self. It can be very healing to consciously recognise one’s boundaries and to show them. Only then can others begin to recognise your boundaries and to respect them.

As well as your own boundaries, learning how to meet another’s boundary and the possible emotions of rejection or excitement that can emerge from this are also important aspects to explore.

Sometimes distractions to a process might surface and get in the way of further pleasure or development. It might then be useful to find out what is going on behind the resistance. It might also be useful not to continue the exercise and simply bring awareness to what is going on inside of you.

There will always be opportunities to talk with the facilitator one on one should you need support.

Do you have sex in the retreat?

Our retreats are sex positive without being predominantly focused on sex. We work with the whole body; erotic, sensual, sexual, intimate, spiritual, relational, emotional and our minds. The degree of intimacy will depend on the workshop, the exercise, your personal boundaries and your definitions of what sex is.

What about nudity?

We live in a body shaming culture that often interrupts our longing for contact and sensuality, with a fear of judgment and getting hurt. Our attempt is to create a normalising and humanising atmosphere in our workshops that can help you with fears you might have around your body. During different exercises on the retreat there is the invitation to be naked, however we guide people into this process gently and respectfully.

Do I get to choose the partners I want to work with for exercises?

When we habitually choose to connect with people purely through a lens of attraction, we miss out on opportunities to try different things with different people. When we step out of our comfort zones we feel challenged, we experience something new in ourselves, we grow and feel alive.

Our workshops are a practice space to experiment with new people. We therefore frequently and playfully assign random partners, which keeps things interesting, fun and respectful.

It is possible that you might not feel attracted to the person who you are partnered with. This provides an opportunity to practice boundaries and negotiate consensual agreements. Although this process can lead to difficult feelings, these are important emotions for us to explore so that we can navigate our lives with more authenticity and freedom. It is a gift when a person says ‘No’ to us, just as it is when they say ‘Yes’. It means we are no longer prepared to endure things we don’t want.

Ultimately exercise partners are there to practice with and have an experience with you; that experience might be mind blowing, mediocre or anything in-between. You don’t have to move in with him! Essentially, it is about growth experiences you have with yourself and also about learning skills that you can use with other partners of your choice in the real world.

Relationships: can I come by myself or should I bring a friend or a partner?

You can participate in our retreats by yourself, as an individual or whilst being in a relationship or with your partner or partners.

It can be a great experience to attend a retreat together with your partner. Supported by the group dynamics, the exercises and touch sessions, relationships can feel revived and enriched. If you want to work exclusively with your partner this can be arranged.

On the other hand, the presence of your partner might also limit or inhibit your process. This is why men sometimes consciously choose to attend on their own. No matter if on your own or with someone else, our groups are an opportunity to meet other men in a very special context, potentially developing intimate bonds and friendships.

Are there any prerequisites to participate?

Anyone over 18 can participate in our retreats. However due to the nature of our work you may be required to massage and touch participants for long periods of time, therefore a general level of health and fitness is required. You can discuss this further with the facilitator before attending. If you have any current skin conditions, allergies to oils or topical transmittable conditions, please discuss these in advance with the facilitator.

What are the sleeping arrangements on retreat?

All rooms are shared and some have ensuites, these are allocated on a first come first served basis, although if you attend with your partner we will try to put you in your own room. When attending a retreat it s always advisable to bring earplugs and eye masks for a comfortable night sleep. If you know you are a snorer please tell us in advance.

What else do I need to know about retreats?

On retreat everything is done for you, so you can just focus on yourself and your process. Food is vegetarian and we can cater for gluten or dairy free if you tell us in advance. We cannot however cater for specific food likes and dislikes, but we endeavour to create wholesome and delicious meals.

No alcohol or drugs are to be used whilst on retreat so that you can be focused and clear in your interactions with other participants.

Retreats are an opportunity for you to step out of your usual lives and experience yourself and your world differently.

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