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The Forest: Touch & Embodiment Ritual

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M/F pairings

The Forest is a very special ritual built around touch, supporting your journey into yourself and your own body. Participants have described the experience as unexpectedly moving, sublime, ecstatic, freeing, trust-building, and as something that made a major contribution to a journey of sexual self-discovery.

This workshop begins with some fun introductions and group agreements. We then move into activities to explore and set our personal boundaries, and embodiment practices to help us arrive into the moment and our bodies.

After a break, the room is set up, and the ritual begins. An undressing ritual encourages you to remove as many or as few items of clothing as is right for you.

The group is divided in half. One half takes a position in the space and puts a blindfold on, forming a 'forest' of people. The other half of the group become creatures slowly making their way through the forest, engaging in touch exchanges according to the limits and boundaries of the individual 'trees'. Exchanges might be brief, or long, and are able to be ended by either party at any time. The group then swaps over.

The Forest is very special in the way that it supports your journey into yourself and your own body. It is very hard to project your experience onto another when you are blindfolded and don't know who is engaging with you! The Forest is also a stunning practice for overcoming the idea that touch is only enjoyable when it comes from particular people. (Although, that said, the workshop includes a mechanism where you can ask for someone that engaged with you to identify themselves to you afterwards, if they wish to).

This practice allows for a considerable range of activity. You may choose to experience the ritual fully clothed, and with strong limits on where and how you want to be touched. At the other end of the spectrum, you might choose to do it nothing but your underwear and with a fairly adventurous level of touch, noting that you are able to stop any contact at any time, without explanation. There will be some overall limits regarding levels of contact, and although it can be fun to take the undressing ritual to full nudity if you’re in the mood, the ritual itself requires that you at least have underwear on. (You can remain fully clothed throughout, if that’s right for you).

For this workshop, both sides of the group will have a quick practice run first, so that they know what it is like to be on both sides of the exchange before the ritual begins properly. Debriefing and integration are included. People that have attended ‘The Forest’ are invited to attend the ‘Deep Forest’ at another date, which allows the ritual to go longer and deeper.

Gender and sexual attraction: Two version of this workshop run at various times. In the ‘mixed gender’ version, no reference will be made to gender (or anything else) for activities. Therefore, to participate in this ritual, you accept that you may be touched (within the limits you define) by people of any gender. In the ‘male-female pairings’ version, folks that identify as women are paired with folks that identify as men, and the group is divided along binary gender lines for the ritual itself. Queer and trans folk often prefer the ‘mixed gender’ version, but it’s completely your call.

Participants have often described the experience as unexpectedly moving, sublime, ecstatic, freeing, sometimes challenging, trust-building, and contributing to a journey of sexual self-discovery. It’s surprising how much of a training ground The Forest is in getting better at setting and naming your boundaries.

Facilitator: Roger Butler
Version: M/F pairings

See full details of this event on the Curious Creatures' website.

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