Our work is informed by twelve guiding principles, which run through everything we offer. On this page we share a bit about the guiding principles. We hope you enjoy reading more about them and we really welcome your feedback on how they relate to your journey.
Most of us are taught to focus on work and self-improvement at the expense of pleasure. This is particularly true around sexuality, towards which our society has a schizophrenic attitude. On the one hand sex is everywhere: walk down any city street and you're bombarded by eroticised images to sell you stuff. On the other hand sexual pleasure remains shrouded in moral judgement from centuries of fear and repressive religious beliefs.
As our friend and mentor Dossie Easton puts it, we operate under the revolutionary principle that 'sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.' Our pleasure-first approach is about getting touch with what you want and embracing pleasure as a force for good in your life.
Developing good boundaries
As well as knowing what you want, it's vitally important that we learn to recognise what you don't want and practice saying no. Many people believe that boundaries constrain and restrict us. We believe the opposite: good boundaries are a compass that orients us towards freedom, helping us to feel more safe and become more confident in ourselves. By getting in touch with what we want and what we don't, we become braver in all our interactions. In a society where pressure and coercion are the norm, developing good boundaries is a vital part of living and loving better.
We live in a rugged individualist society where we're encouraged to express many things - but not vulnerability. Through pioneers like M Scott Peck and Brené Brown, we are learning how much damage this does individually and collectively. Being in touch with our vulnerability and learning to share it with others creates space for intimacy, connection and authenticity. By welcoming vulnerability we become kinder, more compassionate and more human.
As we get in touch with what we want, get more confident with our boundaries and welcome vulnerability, our communication becomes more aware and more holistic. Instead of splintering parts of ourselves off, we start speaking from our whole selves, including the tender parts and the parts that have challenging or uncomfortable things to say. As we learn to communicate holistically, it invites others to be more honest too, allowing connections to deepen and grow.
Fostering creativity and play
As we get better at communicating our needs and desires, something wonderful happens: we begin to play again. Creativity and play are tonics for a work-obsessed society. Playing as adults is a precious gift, helping us to relax and return to the innocence we felt before we were hurt. Fostering creativity and play, particularly in an erotic context, allows us to express ourselves in new and exciting ways.
Taking sex out of the bedroom
Society keeps a stronghold around sex by keeping it 'behind closed doors'. In our workshops we return to a more natural way, where sexuality is explored in public and in community. Taking sex out of the bedroom helps to dissolve shame and enables us to learn from each other in beautiful and touching new ways. It also opens the door to new possibilities, such as threesomes and group play, making them feel easy and natural in a way that's both surprising and delicious.
Exploring kinky desires and fantasies
A big part of our work at Sacred Pleasures is about supporting you to explore your kinky desires and fantasies. For many people (though of course not everyone), kink is a natural and healthy part of their sexuality - yet the taboo around it means that it often gets suppressed and remains unexplored. By bringing it into the light and giving ourselves permission to explore our kinky desires and fantasies, we free up a huge amount of energy and feel more alive than before. We also learn a great deal about ourselves, as our kinks hold many keys to self-awareness and personal growth - particularly when they've been hidden and suppressed.
Befriending our shadow
As we go deeper on the journey of exploration and self-discovery, we inevitably meet parts of ourselves we don't like so much. These shadow aspects play out unconsciously in our interactions; but because they're not easy to see, we often remain unaware of how they're affecting our relationships with others. By working with and befriending our shadow, we become more aware, kinder and more loving people.
Step by step, through daring to explore ourselves and live closer to our true nature, we become braver. In a society that's keen to make us cower in fear, it's vitally important that we find the courage to step into our power. As we become braver, we start to become masters of our own destiny rather than pawns in someone else's game.
If all this sounds like it breeds arrogance, you might be pleasantly surprised: we find that the deeper people go in this work, the more reverent, respectful and caring they become. Those who usually took learn how much joy there is in giving; those who gave too much learn to balance their needs with the needs of others - and above all, we all learn that life is a gift that deserves our daily gratitude. Cultivating reverence helps us to recognise our essential inter-dependence with all of life and take more care in everything we do.
Living in tune with our untamed spirit
Life wants us here as we are, living our truth in tune with our untamed spirit. Society prefers us timid and afraid, because that way we're easier to control. As we begin to live more in tune with our untamed spirit, we can affect real change, both in our own lives and in the world around us. What we came here to do starts to become apparent and we are less afraid to speak up for what matters.
Belonging in the fullness of who we are
There is a huge difference between fitting in and belonging. When we fit in, we have to cut bits of ourselves off to conform to what's expected of us. When we belong, we do so in the fullness of who we are - including all our complexities and our contradictions. This belonging is so precious and so rare - yet in communities like this one, we glimpse the possibility of a world where that might be the norm. As we learn to accept our uniqueness and celebrate difference, the deeper belonging we long for becomes a lived reality.