On the 10th of October 2015, I was privileged to host my first Sexual (Real)ity workshop, attracting 3 brave women to the space. I call them brave because they arrived in the space ready to divulge and openly share where they were at with their sexuality journey’s. Brave because I have promoted these workshops for the past year and have had many enquiries from women to participate but when it came to crunch time…3 brave women showed up. I call them brave because on some level, sexuality in South Africa is a) still very behind with being openly explorative about sexuality and sex in a healthy way and b) there is much fear around embracing ones sexuality (especially in South Africa) because of the layers of complex issues: cultural, generational, sexual violence, the media, religion, family etc.
The way The Creativity Revolution frames sexuality is broad. Sexuality is inclusive of but not limited to: gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, sensuality, the way sexual energy is channeled and expressed and probably much more to be discovered. The way that I imagined this kind of workshop space was a playful, sensual and quirky one. However, this is not exactly how it turned out. Much was shared, but to summarise here are the observations/thoughts/questions that I was left with:
- Deep pain was expressed around how challenging it is to embrace ones sexuality, especially when a person’s husband or partner is part of the journey but is reluctant to participate. Can one really detach/attach their sexuality journey to another person?
- I noticed similarities between Sexuality and Diversity as themes: post-apartheid, South Africans were suddenly expected to interact inter-racially after being brainwashed against each other for decades. Similarly during and post the sexual revolution (notably in the seventies and later-this is me assuming-) society was bombarded with all this new information about sex and sexual expression and the onus was on you to search more. Would you really go searching further for something that has been infused with fear and repression for most of your life?
- The space itself represented a microcosm of the rest of society in that there was much purging of built up feelings around sexuality, most probably because there is a lack of space to dialogue and experience interactions related to this theme, even in friendship circles.
- Balance within one is needed between the pain and the beauty and pleasure of sexuality and sexual energy. From my experience South Africa carries much pain around sexuality, definitely related to sexual violence specifically, but I see a future when the beauty of it will arise and bring much healing.
Begin with taking a step into the beauty and pleasure…
My next Sexual (Real)ity workshop will be held towards the end of November. Currently the workshops are a space for women only, however in 2016 there will be workshops for men only and later on couples. For more information, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org