Come talk about toxic people and community health. We'll dabble in psychological theory, examine what "toxic" can mean, and turn the lens inside to examine our own potential for behavior that damages the self and others. Learn tools to help you identify folks who can be toxic to you. Join in to collaborate and develop ideas on how to navigate the difficult community waters that seem poisoned to some -- and fresh to others. The boat may rock, but life jackets? There's plenty.
The Miles Class Offerings
Misery Loves Company: How Toxic People Affect the Community
PERV, Providing Education with Respect and Vision
Join us for an invigorating class on vocabulary, common sense (that isn’t so common!), etiquette, expectations, and safety. New to the kink/Leather/BDSM/fetish community? This class is for you! Been around for awhile? Come for a refresher! This class can be taught by Sera and/or Frida, solo or together.
Playing with Gender Variant People (guided discussion)
What do you want me to call you? You will be wearing a what? How do I address your genitalia? These are a few of the questions that come up when we play with people who are gender variant. There is no universal formula to follow and every dynamic is magically unique, but it always helps to discuss among those who share your experiences. This facilitated discussion will include a group exercise that helps us more deeply imagine how to prepare for playing and successfully engaging with gender variant people within our community.
Polyamory 101: Rethinking Relationships for a Radical Future
New to Polyamory? Love someone who’s polyamorous? Ready to learn about life outside of the dominant relationship paradigm? Want to better support your polyamorous friends and family members? Join Sera for this incisive primer on Polyamory! Learn terms and concepts common to the Polyamory community, as well as the tenets of functional non-monogamy. Shake off common misconceptions about Polyamory, then examine the joys and pitfalls of engaging in multiple meaningful dynamics. Sera approaches Polyamory as an orientation, and attendees have appreciated Sera’s no-pressure, straight forward approach to imparting information that can enrich the landscape of your love life, and beyond.
Power Dynamics for Radical Relationships
What if we could negotiate all of our relationships from a place of self-truth and self-love? What if we stopped placing dominance on romantic dynamics and embraced the sanctity of each interpersonal connection? What if we believed our needs were valuable and facilitated getting them met? We’d have to be real honest with ourselves about who we are, what we want, and what we’re willing to give. Let’s work on believing we deserve every morsel of what we crave. Let’s develop relationships while consciously questioning the tenets of monogamy and polyamory. Imagine the dynamics you could enjoy, thrive in, and create if you trusted your vision. Join Sera to uncover ways to stop pretending, to express what you want and risk not only that timeless fear of humiliation and rejection, but also risk actually getting it all, risk feasting at the table of your dreams come true.
Presenting Yourself with Polished Prose
No matter how many kink events we attend, we meet many people for the first time on-line—and they meet us, when they read our profiles on FetLife, Alt, and the like. Whether you’re using social networking to find partners, friends, work, or community, your on-line profile creates a first impression. And those pesky first impressions? Almost impossible to change. In this workshop, we’ll discuss tools and tricks to help you develop the best first impression possible. Writing, proofreading, brainstorming, and celebrating ourselves in prose are all on the menu. Book editor Sera will share insider tips on developing and executing the best writing possible, while also discussing how to figure out not just how to write about yourself, but also what to write about yourself.
Privilege and its Influence in the Kink Communities
Within Kink there is the assumption that due to our preferences a certain level of subversiveness and enlightenment is innately part of our consciousness. But the reality is that all of us are influenced by social norms and behavioral expectations that began at birth and continue throughout our lives. Obedience and subscription to such norms and expectations grant and or deny individuals access to privilege. Privilege is defined as special rights, advantages, or immunities granted or made available only to a particular person or group of people. This workshop will address the influence that privilege plays in the Kink communities and the roles that we as members perform in the perpetuation of system of oppression. As most workshops that address issues of race, class and gender this workshop could potentially be triggering for some individuals. It can enhance already present emotions and or reactions; therefore please be aware of your needs.
Sex and Self-Love for Survivors
Can sexuality heal our trauma? Is self-love and erotic love possible after our physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries are violated? If we are broken, can we ever be whole? Though perfect answers may not be possible, there are always possibilities. Join Sera Miles for an excavating journey through theories of narrative fulfillment, attachment, neurology, and complex defense mechanisms. Trauma distorts our frame of reference, and can occur at any moment in our lives. This workshop will keep in focus that trauma of any sort affects our lives in whole. Discover techniques that may lead you to let go of what you cannot recapture, and thus allow you to reclaim and freshly claim your erotic, sexual, and personal sense of self.
Sex, Lies, and Infidelity
Ever felt like your best friend was cheating on you with a new acquaintance? Did secrets shred the ties of your extended family? Have you committed an indiscretion for which you still bathe in self-loathing? Secrecy, infidelity, and mendacity occur in all relationships -- familial, platonic, and romantic. Heteronormative. Pansexual. Power exchange. Monogamous. Polyamorous. Why? Join Sera Miles for a discussion of what constitutes infidelity and an in-depth examination of the main reasons why people cheat. We’ll pull apart how secret-keeping patterns, shame, negative self-image, and toxic familial pathologies lead us into behaviors based in mendacity -- as well as into relationships in which we tolerate infidelity. Mendacity and boundary-crossing are deadly, to ourselves and others. You can create new patterns for your relationship and learn how to better negotiate the sickness that secrecy has wrought in your life.
The Art of Storytelling: Incorporating Fantasy Tales into Your Play
We grow up telling stories—in fact, some scientists and linguists wager that the desire to create and tell stories is a critical part of what makes us human. How, then, could storytelling increase the intensity of your play? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the building blocks of spinning a yarn and delve into how storytelling-as-play could work with a partner who is sensory deprived and/or bound. We’ll also consider how storytelling can add erotic intimacy to a long distance relationship. How do you know what story to tell? What do you do if you can’t finish the story? Learn how to troubleshoot the art of storytelling just as you would any other play technique. Best of all, learn how your words and voice can amplify every scene you create. Your mind and imagination has long been in your toy kit—now, let’s add your voice. Note: The workshop as detailed above is crafted for couples. It can easily be modified for single people. Also, the workshop can be adapted for storytelling in various contexts, such as body positivity, disclosing identity, and the framework you have in mind.