How many people will be there? What will they be like?
Portals of Pleasure is limited to sixteen participants (and four staff!). We hope this means your experience will be intimate, and you'll be able to dive deep into your work.
We expect a wide range of ages, from people in their 20s to people in their 60s, from all over the US and Canada. Because this workshop is advanced, it is necessary for participants to have some experience with erotic circles and community, so you may encounter people from a variety of backgrounds—from acupuncture to shamanism, from tantra to BDSM.
What is the diversity like at Portals of Pleasure?
Part of our philosophy as an organization is to make our work as accessible as possible for the people who are drawn to it. That means we work within a framework of survivor and trauma concepts, that we honor everyone's gender identities as they express them, we do our best to make our spaces accessible to all kinds of bodies, we work on awareness of our own holdings of privilege (including white and able bodied privileges), and we are dedicated to a sliding scale option. We also fully expect to be imperfect in this effort and that fallability is part of what it takes to move forward.
Can I trade or do some work-study to help assist me in paying tuition?
Not this time. The Portals of Pleasure staff LOVE trading for goods or services in order to make workshop costs more accessible to limited budgets. However, because we are trying to keep the cost low to participants and we want to ensure that the staff gets paid for our time, we do not have any options for trading in this retreat. We do have a limited amount of scholarships available.
Why are you using gender as a qualifier? Who can come to this workshop? Is my special snowflake unicorn gender invited to attend?
Yes, we are using gender as a way to filter what kind of bodies are in attendance at this workshop, and that's complicated. Ask any of the staff to elaborate on the intersections of gender, social justice, and doing work with bodies.
Genderqueer folks outside of the gender binary and people who identify as women are welcome at this workshop. We use "woman" here in the broadest possible way: whether you are cis or trans or genderqueer, butch or femme or androgynous, queer or straight or questioning, or none of the above, we eagerly welcome you. (It is our pleasure to work with the power of women, and to be in the lineage of women's temples.)
The staff has a variety of complex relationships with the identity of "woman." We were all assigned female at birth, but identify more as in-between, gender fluid, or genderqueer. We are eager to keep working with people who see themselves as the in-betweeners, people who are neither "men" nor "women" but who are carving out a space just for them. If you are genderqueer, gender fluid, in-between, or whatever your special word is for your own gender, we welcome you to this workshop, regardless of what you've got between your legs.
The next step in registering is to talk to one of the Portal Opening People!
How do I get to Peaceful Mountain?
Don't worry! Shuttles will pick you up from your plane or train in downtown Bellingham, WA. It's also possible to catch a ride with another participant coming up from Seattle; get in touch and we'll help coordinate that.
What's my room & board like at Portals of Pleasure?
Your Portals of Pleasure experience includes three meals daily, snacks, and shared housing (about three to a room).
What happens if I'm really triggered? How do you deal with Big Things coming up?
Portals of Pleasure and the erotic embodiment rituals and experiments we offer is through a "trauma-informed" framework. The staff has a wide variety of experience with survivors, sensitivities, triggers, holding, and care, and we have all worked with big surges of emotion and memory in (and out of) these kinds of retreats. We will do our very best to hold your experience gently, with respect and tenderness, and to get the kind of assistance you need. If you have particular concerns, needs, or circumstances, please let us know.
Portals of Pleasure Values Radical Inclusivity
We recognize that the staff holds privilege (being able bodied and white, for example), and that many social injustices affect access to embodied erotic work. We are aiming to be as inclusive as possible.
About gender: This workshop is for straight, queer, masculine of center, undecided, trans, butch, femme, cis, self-identified women, and the many other kinds of “women” in the broadest sense of the word. And: this workshop is for genderqueer folks outside the gender binary, regardless of how you were assigned at birth.
About race: The four producers of this workshop are white and actively working with anti-racist practices. This field of work is still dominated by white people, and we aim to actively include all people of color and to encourage POC to be leaders in the realms of erotic embodiment.
About accessibility: The workshop will not be interpreted; please contact us if you have specifics around hearing and we will work with you. Space is not wheelchair accessible, has stairs and outdoor gravel paths. We ask that the retreat be a scent-aware space. We also know there are a variety of other accessibility needs that we may or may not be aware of; please contact us and let us know what yours are, and we will gladly work with you.
Still have questions for us? We'd love to hear 'em. Shoot us a note through the form and we'll get back to you.