Beginners R Us

Transcending Shame – Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti

Do you regularly feel inferior, or “not good enough,” especially because of your race, gender expression or sexual orientation? Do you constantly compare yourself to others? Do you see yourself as defective? Do you experience tremendous guilt around your sexuality/sexual expression? This workshop will provide you with tools to: identify shame, recognize shaming behavior, and transcend shame. Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti is someone who, until recently, believed there was something inherently shameful about her because of being a black bisexual femme woman with mental illness.

This workshop tackles the topic of personal shame and the damage that it causes when left unchecked. People will occasionally (or frequently) use words and phrases that cause the listener to feel shame, whether intentionally or accidentally. If these individuals (e.g. parents, romantic partners, bosses, ministers, politicians, etc.) are not confronted, then their use of shaming speech continues. For participants to create self-safety, it is necessary to interrupt shaming language. This interactive workshop gives participants the opportunity to: understand the meaning of shame; gain awareness of shaming phrases and behaviors that are commonly used; recognize when they are being shamed; and learn ways to confront others who shame them.

Needles 101:  Practicum – Najalaise

Want to penetrate a partner in new ways? This introduction to playing with hypodermic needles will have a substantial practice component, so that you’ll leave with knowledge, skills, and new muscle memory. You’ll learn to set up your scene space, decide on needle placement for pain or aesthetics, minimize risks, and add the extra touches to make your needle scenes memorable. Supplies and (inanimate) practice bottoms will be provided.

Flirt Like You Mean It – Q Wilson

Are you the shy type? Looking for ways to re-ignite the spark in your relationship? Just getting back into the dating scene and want to brush up on your skills? This workshop is for you! We’ll cover everything from the history of flirting to bad pickup lines, and give you usable tools to make flirting fun and easy. This class will be a safe and relaxing atmosphere to come learn, explore and have fun. Flirting may not be the most natural thing for you, but I bet you’re better at it than you think. 

Service and Technology – Q Wilson

Technology has helped our community flourish in ways and places not imagined by the fabled “Olde Guard”. In this class we’ll discuss some of the ways we can use technology to enhance our service whether across the miles…or just across the living room.

Some Assembly Required – Q Wilson

Fucking with a cock can be hard. It can be even harder when you’re trying to do it with a cock that’s not factory installed. Wouldn’t it be great to have some help figuring out how?! Which cock should I choose? What are my style and material choices when it comes to harnesses? Which positions might work best? There will be in class demos so bring your questions!

Selfcare & Aftercare: Who Needs ‘Em? – Mollena

The intensity of SM play often results in emotional vulnerability for the top and the bottom. Often, the period of “Aftercare” post-scene is intended to provide closure for all parties involved. Though much discussion and lip service is often paid to the importance of aftercare, how many of us insure our emotional needs will be met after the toys are safely packed away? Who among us makes sure that we negotiate aftercare when planning that hot scene? Who among us has walked away with a “less that fulfilled feeling” after a scene, and later realized out aftercare needs weren’t met? How often is the top or dominant’s need for aftercare overlooked? And for goodness sake, what do you do when there is no chocolate to be found??

In this discussion, we will explore the reasons, physiological, psychological and spiritual, that people often need to have a “cooling down” period post-scene. We will explore suggestions for ways to include aftercare in your negotiations, and what to do if you aren’t getting your needs met. We will also investigate the ramifications of scenes that deliberately eliminate the aftercare aspect, and how you might approach processing the energies released within your play when you are left to your own devices. The physical and emotional facets of post scene processing will be discussed, and participant participation will be actively solicited. Please come share your experiences, and open yourself to learn from the practices of other Leatherfolk.

Canes 101 – The Basics  – Trailmaster

There is an old saying: In order to master anything, you must first understand it and learn the BASICS. 

While many people own canes and use them now and again,  most people have no idea what canes are truly capable of. 

Canes 101 will be the first step to becoming proficient.   You will learn:

  • What is a cane (materials, dimensions etc)
  • How a cane works
  • The history of canes
  • The physics of caning
  • Anatomy of the body 
  • Basic brain chemistry

This workshop will give you a solid foundation to start building your own cane magic and style.

Building you Scene with Impact Play – Dr. Bob

Impact play: spanking, paddling, flogging, caning, and rough body play.  Okay, you understand how to use all these activities for punishment and also for scening, but what about combining all of them and more for a sensual scene or a rough scene?  This demo shows how to switch between these tools/toys and to add other sensations to help you develop a skill-set designed to build up your partner’s SM pain/pleasure level. Learn to be creative – used a credit card as a knife?  Used a butcher knife as a paddle?

The variables for impact play are similar regardless of the implement used.  You’re concerned with rhythm, intensity, strike location, amount of the tool/toy you use, and so forth.  You’re also concerned about learning how to read your partner’s reactions to your actions and knowing when to allow your partner to process the pain or when to push through to a new level.  Come to this presentation and learn of many different kinds of impact implements that you can use, including your hands, fists, elbows and head.

Longevity: Independence & Interdependence – Lady Catherine

How do we protect individuality within D/s or M/s without breaking down the dynamic in lasting relationships? We deliberately create relationships where we are dependent upon one another. We form relationships where permission (granted or received) and a clearly decided division of task or duties are an everyday occurrence. When we grow together as a tightly formed unit what are the future repercussions of living in power exchange? If we are a tightly formed unit how have we insured that all parties are able to function beautifully and not create co-dependence. We will have a lively discussion to foster healthy long-term M/s relationships which also render individual health.

Fistastic! Giving Your Lover a Hand – Melody Anne

Do you enjoy the feeling of being filled by a few of your partner’s fingers, and wonder how their whole hand might feel? Maybe you’re already a fisting enthusiast and can’t get enough, or perhaps you just want to figure out how to get past that last damn knuckle! In any case, fisting can be a physically intense, deeply intimate, powerful, and even transcendental experience. Join Melody Anne – a self-proclaimed fisting slut – for a unique, bottom-led live demo workshop on the ins and outs of fisting. Learn all about anatomy, sexual response, safety, lube, and hands-on (hands-in?) techniques, all while delving into the depths of what makes fisting so hot! While this class will briefly touch upon anal fisting, its primary focus will be on fisting of the vaginal variety, Melody Anne’s area of sexpertise.

Sick Fuck: Navigating Kink and Chronic Illness – Melody Anne

Are you a sick fuck? 44% of Canadian adults live with at least one chronic illness, so the odds are pretty high that you or a kinkster you care about are figuring out how to deal with this often-unsexy reality. Chronic pain and illness, whether physical or mental, can be challenging at the best of times. But what if we could use the skills we’ve learned through BDSM to better manage our illnesses? What are some ways that we can work around pain or medical issues during play, or even work through them? This workshop will explore these questions and more, touching upon topics such as chronic illness and sexuality, trauma, disability, mindfulness, and self-care.