Hey, it’s Jo, festival director of Celebrating Sexuality
I have some BIG news, both exciting and perhaps a little hard to deliver but you need to know.
Firstly, the exciting news is we are only 3 months away from the 8th Celebrating Sexuality Festival well over half the tickets are sold and limited numbers are remaining.
Our presenters are locked in and you can check them out on the website – www.celebratingsexuality.com
The other big news is that..this November will be the final Celebrating Sexuality Festival – as I have decided to take a year off
This event has been a huge part of my life for coming up to 8 years now so it is kind of tough news to deliver.
Back in 2012, I said yes to running this event, and, with an amazing group of people, have grown it into the much-loved festival we have today – and I have absolutely loved every minute.
But I want to reach and help more people like you, and that needs some consideration and planning in order to create something even better for you.
So, if you know you want to experience this amazing event before it ends, you have a chance!
We have our last festival – the 15th to the 18th of November this year, just 3 months away
So, are you coming?
I should mention that as this is our last one, all tickets will be at the special rate – all-inclusive – and you can read about this over on the website.
But I know at the special price, these won’t last long so jump over as soon as possible
Tickets >> Click Here
As I said, well over half the tickets for the upcoming festival have gone – and, would you believe, a large number of those have been bought by people returning!
Many attending, not just for their second time – but their third, fourth – all the way up to eighth time!
Many travelling from all over Australia, the USA, Europe and Asia.
I truly believe there is no stronger testament to the positive experience of our attendees, the community we have grown, and the value we provide ...than people coming back!
I know some of you may be thinking – why stop now? Especially those who have been and know how special this event is.
Since 2012 the landscape of contemporary sexuality education has changed... massively!!!
There is a definite increase in tolerance and acceptance for exploring sex and relationships,
Education has gone from an underground – to visible, available and understood as a necessity.
As a community, we are also having more open conversations than ever before..
This has helped grow tremendously our understanding of sex and relationships in general,
As well as helping more people to understand consensual sex..
What has been – and still is often unique about Celebrating Sexuality Festival is that
Consent, alongside self-responsibility, have underpinned the teaching and conduct of the festival from the beginning
For most of us, consent was sadly underrepresented and even non-existent in our sex education and it is too often neglected in the education of our kids, even today.
There are of course still barriers..
People and organisations who are not yet ready to understand this as a human experience and a human right
We will continue to strive for this to change and for the kind of information we provide to be available to everyone.
What has been especially important to me is the festivals openness and acceptance of people where they are on their journey.
Providing a space for people to be able to explore, pick what they want, and express their sexual self without feeling they need to conform to the ideal of others.
You don’t have to dress a certain way or know all the language – it doesn’t matter how old you are, you don’t have to be one of the cool kids to be part of this accepting, intelligent, fun and dynamic community.
As I said, I haven’t delivered this all alone. The festival itself has been sustained by the love and support of a bunch of legends,
too many people to list here but if you come in November, you will meet them. You can also meet some of them >>here
Suffice to say, I have made many, many amazing friendships over the last 7 years. Family really. And I will continue to treasure that.
So, while the festival won’t happen again in the same way
The next 12 months is time for me to rest a little, create some more, curate and deliver you something even better.
Continue to look after each other – and watch this space!
Oh, and of course, we still have this November!
I cannot wait to see you there.
Last 2019 Tickets >>Click Here
Are you in Melbourne on the 4th of May? You Asked We Listened…Finally!
[MELBOURNE Couple and Singles] have been asking ‘what actually happens’ at Celebrating Sexuality Festival – and finally! you can find out…
On Saturday the 4th of May 9 am to 1 pm – for the FIRST TIME – I will be hosting a Live 4-hour workshop for people in
Melbourne: Time to Explore
AND (OMG) I am so excited to say I will be presenting this with the amazing Myola Violet Woods!
CLICK ON THE BUTTON TO FIND OUT MORE AND BOOK, THIS WILL SELL OUT!
Together, We Are Doing Amazing Things
Hey, how are you?!
2018 Celebrating Sexuality Festival
Such a fantastic weekend! I am absolutely blown away by all the amazing people who helped to make this weekend so special. Certainly one of my favourite weekends! ..so far ;-)
This year's attendees have been sending me feedback and this will help enormously to tweak some things as we strive to make 2019 even better. Photos will be posted on the website soon and all the thank you's below :-)
For the first time ever, I offered tickets for the upcoming year during the weekend and I am excited to let you know we sold over 20 tickets during the festival to those people keen to attend next year.
How amazing is that?!
The official 2019 ticket launch date is not yet confirmed (likely late January) and ticket prices in 2019 will rise however..
I am blown away by the number of people who wished they had secured their ticket so.. I have decided to offer a limited number of pre-sale tickets - if you would like to access them, email me ASAP!
The offer is strictly limited and I would love to see you there :-)
>>email me if you would like notification of limited pre-sale tickets - there will be payment plans available.
2018 AfterGlow - Come and Hang Out!
As is our tradition, we are having a post-festival meet-up – AfterGlow. Come down and chat all things 2018 - and 2019! Festival with me, some of the crew and attendees.
You are absolutely welcome to meet even if you didn't make it this year
Another way to stay connected - especially throughout the year - is via our Celebrating Sexuality Community Facebook group - you are all welcome to join wherever you are in the world >>Click here
Okay...I also have some Thank You's!
First of all, to our fantastic presenters, you are doing amazing work! Thank you for all the time and effort to provide such high-quality workshops. Highly appreciated by the whole community.
Mark, Ben, Huw, Purple, Reece, Anne, Nussy, Hernan, Candi, Shunya, Erica and Samantha.. Hey! I absolutely could not do this without you all!
Our 2018 counsellors, Mark, Craig, Evon, Ren and Richard for holding the much-needed spaces for our attendees and crew during the weekend. Such an important aspect of the weekend – we love you!
My amazing crew – supporting set up and pack down and all the things needed to make things comfortable for everyone – thank you for stepping up and helping the weekend run so smoothly :)
Rola for her fabulous spinning of tunes and Jac for her gorgeous photos (coming to the website soon!).
Vegilicious, Geo’s fabulous crew looking after us and keeping us going with food and coffee. Look out for them at festivals around Victoria, and definitely visit the restaurant in St Kilda if you can – the menu is completely vegan and fantastic!
OMG! The Fashion Parade crew Leonard, Nathan, Fig and Vanessa – and especially all of you who strut their stuff!
Thank you to our generous supporters of the Fashion Parade, Adult Match Maker, Nikki Darling, and Adventurous Couples 69 - please check out their websites.
Thank you also to Dianne Mallice and her team for hosting us at OzKink Festival in September.
Big appreciation to our suppliers of safe sex products, Glyde Health and Calvista.
And a huge thank you for the promotion and support from one of our longest supporters, Adult Match Maker.
You are AMAZING ❤️
A reminder for those that attended, if you have any questions that follow on from the weekend for the presenters, counsellors or me - please contact us either via our individual contact details on the website or email us and we will pass it on.
Also, any lost property can be found on the Ticket Holders page.
And..don't forget, if you have questions about 2019 please reach out! See you at the meet-up and...definitely...next year! :-)
Kindest, Jo xx
p.s. >>Click here to email me if you would like notification of limited pre-sale tickets - there will be payment plans available.
On Saturday night we welcome comedy performances by internationally recognised special guests.
In 2018 we are very pleased to welcome Laura-Doe performing her one-woman show, “Vaudeville of the Vulva”.
Very much at home on any stage, Laura-Doe has a natural talent for acting and comedy. We cannot wait!! You can read more about her below. We are also excited to let you know, Laura-Doe will be bringing her yOniversity resource tent with Vulvalicious Cushions for folks to explore, a library of books and an invitation to chat!!
Vaudeville of the Vulva is an hilarious one woman comic cabaret, entertaining and educating about female sexuality with humour and song. A contribution to the genre that includes the Vagina Monologues, the Vaudeville is written and performed by actress, comedienne and sexual health activist, Laura-Doe.
It features a host of ingenious characters including, The Vulva Underground – a troupe of unusually vocal velvet vulvae! Not to be confused with Puppetry of the Penis, this show is funny, sexy and wise, yet involves no nudity – instead it seeks to entertain, inspire and inform about an important but under discussed topic. More info here
Laura-Doe wrote and performed her first one-woman show, a feminist commentary entitled ‘The Dangers of Being a Princess’ at the age of 9. It took four decades for her second work, “Vaudeville of the Vulva”, to emerge, but in the meantime she kept herself busy honing her performance skills as a lecturer, corporate trainer, actress and MC, developing her singing talents by writing and performing with The Voices of Gaia and being generally hilarious in the privacy of her own home.
Her interest in effective communication led her to a career as an educator which has spanned two continents and both the academic and corporate worlds. Very much at home on any stage, Laura-Doe has a natural talent for acting and comedy. She has been involved in theatre productions since school and trained in the 90’s with Penelope Chater, who has offered invaluable directorial advice on the ‘Vaudeville of the Vulva’ productions to date.
A professional somatic sexologist and sexual health activist, Laura-Doe is passionate about supporting women and men to understand and appreciate their unique erotic nature and to respect the beauty and power of their sexual energy.
Two decades ago she first published yOni.com, a women’s e-zine that has been celebrating the feminine amidst the rather masculine world of the internet since its early days. More recently she founded The yOniversity, providing sexual education, workshops and sessions, both online and in person.
She creates and distributes the Vulvalicious® Cushions, anatomically accurate 3D fabric art pieces, and has produced an entertaining and informative DVD, The Art & Science of Female Arousal, essential education for all vulva owners and those who love them.
If it’s meant to be – it will work out. Won’t it? At 37 years old I began exploring what I wanted from sex and relationships. Prior, I travelled with an expectation that I should know how to be intimate with other people. Deep down accompanied by competing doses of fear of being alone, and unwillingness to go there.
To be fair, being a good person with positive intentions and expectations coupled with conditioning: ‘This is how things are done/my parents did it’ – can take you quite far in a relationship. It took me to 13years and I suspect it’s what has kept many more relationships going.
If I waited long enough, the frustration that occasionally surfaced from not feeling seen, from not connecting and feeling disconnected – would pass. We would continue on. After all, I was in love, and love is all you need.
It is fascinating that I lasted so long with this frame of mind. This, in the context of knowing that when I finally look back over my life, what I owned or achieved at work will count for nothing. What will matter most is relationships, and especially anyone I shared an intimate relationship with.
I think about this from the position of 8 years later. It seems my intimate relationships are the only part of my life where I was on some level content to work from trial and error. Unconsciously and conveniently in collusion with my partners.
In my 25year career in mainstream and alternative health, and more recently through events; caring for people with the benefit of an evidence base makes so much sense to me. Studying formally at high academic levels, I worked as a nurse for twenty years, mostly in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The NHS culture during this time strongly supported life-long learning and practice development. I lapped this up.
But how I related to those I was sexually intimate with, my friends, even people I worked with; had not made it into my plan for learning. Nor had it been included in my early sex education which focused on procreation – or avoiding it.
With hindsight, my belief was that wanting to learn more about sex and relationships was for those people who were broken, whose relationships were on some level, failing. I lived with good intentions and good enough. The other option would be admitting I was a failure. A failure is how I felt when my 13yr marriage began to crack and eventually broke down.
Motivated now to learn more about intimacy, I found a focus on counselling therapies, a plethora of books and magazines. This was helpful to a point. The reality of these formats was they couldn’t communicate how it feels to connect, how intimacy feels. It could not teach me how to be more present, nor integrate previous experiences. They ignored essential elements of adult learning: clarity of purpose, an experiential component and respect for past experience.
Around my hometown of Melbourne, I visited groups and clubs where sexuality was a focus. I found some had dress codes, asking me to change the way I presented myself. Or exploring your sexuality meant being sexually promiscuous. Some had rules or ways of interacting which the other attendees just seemed to know. Others were highly experiential, with little or no information shared to facilitate learning.
I felt uncomfortable and confused. I wasn’t after a quick fix but it felt like it could take years to understand and I didn’t feel like I wanted to change the way I looked or behaved to fit in. I’d already resisted doing that during my high school years.
In 2012, persevering, I attended a weekend event exploring the spectrum of sex and relationships. In one of the first workshops, I had to simply look into and hold the gaze of a stranger – and breathe. For all our discomfit we may have standing in a busy supermarket under fluoro lights. Naked. I was seeing them and I was being seen – and I knew it.
I now understand I was experiencing connection without sex and without an agenda. It was an experience that was initially uncomfortable for my mind, but my body knew this was what I had come for. That weekend event was to change my life on a personal and professional level, more so than I could have imagined.
Later that year I began running that same event under its new name, Celebrating Sexuality. Parts of the structure remain, however, over time I have gained more clarity about the impact of the event, not just on individuals, but also the wider political and social agendas.
Commonly people arrive in a similar way as I did, with little to no clarity as to why they are there. What they have in common is a willingness to share their curiosity, learning, fears and struggles; aiming to live their lives more fully.
Yes, I am providing people with an amazing weekend experience; but also with strategies and tools for moving forward. I am regularly contacted by the attendees, months and now years later, describing their experience as life-changing. They also keep coming back.
The most important thing I learnt thus far is that connecting with myself first is the enabler to connecting more deeply with others. It is not always easy, but loving myself has allowed me to love others more deeply in return.
Indeed, love is all you need.
little peek at our 2018 festival site visit today...
Festival site visit today - such a peaceful place!
We have indoor accomodation as well as glamping.
Huge indoor workshop spaces as well as some that allow us to be more outdoors - like this one by the lake!
General tickets NOW on sale 😍😍😍
The Sex Camp Crew are a dedicated group of people you will meet on the weekend. Without our amazing crew Celebrating Sexuality would simply not happen!
Thought I would start off introducing our crew by wishing this guy a very Happy Birthday! Much love from us all! xx
In service to the soundtrack of our weekend, Shunya travels from the Northern Rivers each year just to be with us!
He will tell you he's only providing the speakers, mic's and cables for the workshops - but it's soooo much more than that - and we know it!
During the weekend, Shunya will be serving up chilled and spacious music in the main arena, as well as providing in-the-moment audio for the high-energy fashion parade.
You may even get to hear some of his own work during the weekend.
Please have a listen to his latest album Rescue Flares, out now on Bandcamp https://shunyaamritadevi.bandcamp.com/releases
Celebrating Sexuality Festival
p.s. Celebrating Sexuality has helped hundreds of individuals around Australia to feel more confident & free to express pleasure and desire, learn more about how to please their partner or future partners, learn more about what pleases them; and to feel safe to experiment.
If you feel you don't know where to start, or you just want more, now is your opportunity to take a radically different approach and understand how you have been standing in your own way.
Let us help you to finally experience sex & relationships in a way you deserve.