from previous years

Vulnerability in Poly Relationships Lee Hencen and Murray Schechter
Note: No late entry. Society teaches us to be strong, to put our best foot forward and to not let others know what’s really going on inside. When we take this acquired behavior into our poly relationships, how does this serve us? Through discussion and exercises we’ll explore vulnerability. How do we feel being vulnerable and how does that play out in our poly relationships? What works about vulnerability and what doesn’t? There will be opportunities to be vulnerable in the workshop and each person is always at choice in what they do or don’t want to share.

How to Have a Difficult Conversation Lee Hencen and Murray Schechter
When there are issues in your poly relationships, how do you handle them? Do you have patterns? How do you have the conversation that puts you back in the greatest state of love? In this workshop we’ll look at laying the groundwork for a difficult conversation and give you some tools and some of our own examples of how to have what could be a very sensitive and/or triggering conversation.

Making Safer Sex (and play) Sexier Sarah Sloane
How do you use a condom without it spoiling the mood? How the heck do you use a dental dam? What was she using that saran wrap for? Does alcohol kill viruses off of play equipment? Really, how easy is it to transmit HPV? Want answers? Want a safe place to ask those questions you thought might be too ‘stupid’? Come on over for a fun tour of safer sex supplies and differently creative ways of using them – including how to easily put a condom on without using your hands! You will also get the most current information on how various diseases are transmitted and how easy they are to kill, so that you can make thoughtful choices on how and where you play. Bring your open mind, your questions, and your creativity out to have fun with us!

Still Here, Still Queer: The roots and practice of queer non-monogamy Sarah Sloane
Mainstream media (and yes, the mainstream poly community) often portray consensually non-monogamous people as primarily heterosexual married (or long term partnered) couples with assorted partners off to the side; however, this is not and has never been representative of the way that LGBQ folks often connect in relationships. Let’s take a look at why queer non-monogamy differs from the mainstream perspectives of polyamory, why queerness offers different ways to contextualize the meaning & practice of relationships, and ways that we can dismantle the assumptions and expectations of heteronormative polyamory & create a culture that integrates our queer experiences of life and love to build a more vibrant range of visible options for all of us.

Outside of the Fishbowl: Flirting with wit Sarah Sloane
Created in one night on a dare at Beyond The Love 2013, and refined by the educator’s attempts to connect with lots of new people in the name of research, this class will offer you a new way to frame flirting as a social skill that can be learned, as well as a pleasurable activity. We’ll discuss what flirting really is, goal-oriented versus recreational flirting, how to better notice when you’re being flirted with, as well as ways to move from flirting to deeper connections. We’ll also have some Live Action Flirting Demonstrations with you as the star of the show!

Boundary Setting in Polyamory: First Degree, Second Degree, and Beyond Page Turner & Justin Case
One of the trickiest aspects of polyamory is figuring out whether or not what you’re doing affects someone else. In this class, we’ll cover the basics of healthy boundaries and how to set them one on one, as well as some guidelines for doing so in more complicated polyamorous relationship systems.

What to Do When You’re Poly-Sensitive: Jealousy, Compersion, All the Feels Page Turner & Justin Case
Just because you’re sensitive, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be polyamorous. In this class we cover ways in which to cultivate compersion, build your personal sense of emotional security, and thrive in polyamorous relationships.

Relationship Anarchy Misconceptions (Spoiler: It’s Not Chaos and We do Commit!) Nicole Rohrkemper
How can a relationship operate with “No Rules!?” Are RA’s pathologically self-absorbed and insensitive to others? Will an RA show up for that coffee date? Why would you call it “Relationship Anarchy” when so many people have negative associations with that term? And time for your questions! Plus: Who puts messages about RA out there, who benefits from our misconceptions? What does the RA Manifesto actually say, and who defines “relationship anarchy”? As we dispel misconceptions, learn about actual RA practices that support autonomy and resist social conditioning, that you can apply in your poly relationships even if you’re not interested in becoming RA. This is a participatory discussion session, your questions and answers about Relationship Anarchy are welcome! The facilitator does not speak the one gospel truth about all RA, we will attempt to identify some worthwhile questions and answers together. We will have opportunities to interact in smaller groups – breakout discussions, helpful for those who are uncomfortable in one large group. Link to materials and follow up reading will be provided.

Relationship Practices to Increase Autonomy and Resist Entitlement Nicole Rohrkemper
From becoming aware of desirability politics (power and privilege), to being responsible for our own emotions/emotional labor, to making intentional commitments instead of operating from unvoiced expectations — let’s talk about practices to increase autonomy and reduce entitlement/oppression in relationships. Additionally, how can we all support the autonomy of others to develop their relationships intentionally? These practices can change how we operate in the world, beyond just our bedrooms: be the change! This is a participatory discussion session, your curiosity is welcome, as is sharing about your experiences of increasing autonomy and resisting entitlement in your life and relationships. We will have opportunities to interact in smaller groups – breakout discussions, helpful for those who are uncomfortable in one large group. Link to materials and follow up reading will be provided.

MonoPoly: Passing Go Natali Noir
Much like the actual game of Monopoly, this style of dating can destroy friendships and promising relationships before they’ve even started. If you or your partner is wanting to leave the monormative culture they’ve been tied to, this class will highlight the challenges and offer tips for those in Mono/poly relationships to arm themselves for success. (Would require a projector if possible)

Deeper Than Dick Pics: Online Dating for Polyamorists Natali Noir
We all love a good dick pic? Or do we? Just because we’re polyamorous doesn’t mean we want to be inundated with a slew of terrible one-liners and blurry genital photos. Here we’ll discuss how to poly-proof your own profile, the best dating websites and apps for poly people, or when to safely disclose your polyness. (Would require a projector if possible and paper and pencils)

Therapeutic Comic Drawing Tikva Wolf
Get some perspective through this drawing adventure! Creator of the poly webcomic Kimchi Cuddles, Tikva Wolf has always used comic drawing to process difficult emotions. In this workshop, Wolf leads you through a simplified drawing exercise using events from your actual life, enabling you to take a step back and see things from a whole new angle. In this hands-on workshop, you will gain some helpful new tools for navigating interpersonal dynamics and getting your own needs met. NO ARTISTIC SKILL REQUIRED!

Love Languages and LDRs Tikva Wolf and Ian Gould
Feeling loved and understood are important components of any relationship, but things become trickier when extra distance is added between you. If your main love language is touch, how can you express (or receive) love from 1000 miles away? Come join this hands-on exploration on how love languages can affect long distance relationships, and about how long distance relationships can even change your love language! Lead by Tikva Wolf, creator of the webcomic Kimchi Cuddles, and her long distance partner and pretty decent scientist Ian Gould.

Autonomy: Respecting Boundaries, Letting Go of Control Intimacy ConAmore
Polyamory is liberating. The freedoms to love many is also a responsibility to honor autonomy, boundaries, consent, and respect for self and others. Too often, we sometimes see or experience a fellow polyamorous friend or mate’s insistence on trying to control another person’s choices and desires in adjacent relationships. This is not okay. Everyone has the basic human right to choose for themselves, and then you have two choices, stay or leave. You do not have the right to give demands or ultimatums because you want to control their choices with others. This workshop is designed to spot light how we can better respect our own autonomy through group participation.

Empowering Your Compassionate Communications Intimacy ConAmore
Presenting support on positive ways to communicate with love in your relationships. LearningFocusing on mindfulness in your communications with lovers. Discussing differences in how communication skill sets have developed from childhood into adulthood. Examining the environments that have affected the level at which you communicate with loved ones currently. We will be brainstorming how to share mindful love communication. The goal is to leave you with some tools to be mindful about the way you use loving words and phrases to communicate at all times, even during the tough times when talking may get difficult. The more you do, the more more you learn. We are all human, we all can strive to be better at everything everyday. That starts with communication to self and then to others. Workshop attendee input is encouraged.

Ask Us The Hard Shit Karen & Dan & dawn
Welcome to Polyamory 401. The presenters of this class have experienced tears and anguish, dealt with advice like ‘you should get out while you can’; and been the subject of none too quiet whispers of ‘they’ll never make it’. Over time (11 years and counting) they have been able to build and maintain a stable, loving and growing “V” relationship, including buying a house together and running a polyamory event (and raising Ginger the poly puppy)! Leave the ‘define compersion’ and 101 questions behind – this is a no holds barred, vulnerable and transparent look into what we’ve done well (and failed miserably at). Come ask us the hard shit!

Do You Want to Be my Metamour?  Check Yes or No.  Or Maybe? Karen & RavenWitch
Metamour relationships can be as tricky to navigate as a winding road through a steep mountain pass. The view can be exhilarating and breathtaking, while at the same time, the potential for falling off that cliff is never far away.
RavenWitch and Karen are prior metamours who decided that even though the romatic relationship with their shared partner ended, their relationship didn’t have to.
Join them as they lead an interactive workshop designed to guide you through key questions such as:
What kind of metamour do I desire to be?
What traits are important to me in metamours?
What kind of relationship do I want with my metmours, including no relationship at all?
They will also share tools and tricks of the trade to navigate those hairpin curves and slippery roads when they occur and best of all, stories of joy!

Poly Parenting D’art & Michelle
Poly and a parent? Then this could be the class for you! This will be an interactive class where we will discuss some of the pros and cons of raising children while living a polyamourous lifestyle. We will also discuss some unique ways to manage our lives with children while sharing our lives with others. Got a parenting question? Bring it to us and we can brainstorm together and see what we can come up with.

The Solo Polyamorist  Master So ‘n So
Too obsessed with your job to make time for a Real Partner(tm)? Do you want to be focused on your own needs yet still have love in your life? Are you part of a couple and thinking about adding a partner who doesn’t have a primary partner? If so, this lecture on the joys and pitfalls of being your own primary partner may strike a chord.

Polyamory 101 John
The top ten things you need to know to get the most out of your weekend here at Beyond the Love, and maybe your poly journey. A lighthearted class that encourages questions and laughter.

Relationships Without Drama Michael Rios
Why do relationships that begin with such high hopes often lead to ongoing stress and disappointment? Why do we fall in love with this person, but not with that one? How can we deal with the storms of emotion that seem to follow connections of great joy? What does it take to create a relationship that is supportive and appreciative for both partners? The insights and techniques that are shared in this workshop are drawn from many sources, including the facilitators’ polyamorous paths, Eastern spirituality, and hard science. They can be applied to all our relationships and interactions with others, sexual or non-sexual, polyamorous or monogamous, casual or intimate. Join us as we discover how we can come to a place of power and choice in how our lives and relationships unfold.

Polyamory as a Path to Personal Growth Michael Rios
What would relationships with others be like if we really were “our own best friend”? The more
we do our own spiritual work, which is really about learning to fall in love with ourselves, the
more available and loving we become. We no longer approach our partners from a place of need, but from a place of appreciation. Painful emotions become opportunities instead of threats, and positive feelings can come without fear of loss. We are able to take delight in our connections whatever form they might take.

The Wheel of Consent Indigo Dawn
Stroking soft skin. Kneading sinewy muscles. Touching and being touched can be sources of great pleasure, if they fall within the Wheel of Consent. In this session, we will use touch to deepen our connections and explore what it means to “give” and “receive” consensually. We will practice setting boundaries and communicating what we want. At the same time, we will make our own touch into a more present, satisfying and downright delicious experience. Nobody is required to touch another individual in this workshop.

Exploring Our Differences Indigo Dawn
Who are you? Who am I? Who are we? In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we’ll find out more about the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of everyone present. We’ll explore curiosity and transparency as attitudes and practices that support healthy relationships, whether with lovers, friends, co-workers, or community members. We’ll have some short, fun exercises where people can try out sharing about themselves transparently and asking questions based on curiosity. And we’ll also talk about how curiosity and transparency go along with other attitudes such as compassion, non-attachment, being “at choice”, personal power and responsibility to create a way of relating that many of us think is sustainable, healthy, and reasonably drama-free.