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Weekly workshops (2020)

Welcome to the weekly workshops on the theme of the in-between space. We will meet on Tuesdays between 19:00 and 22:00, and you are welcome to all or just one evening. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a veteran as long as you are curious about the subject of the week.

History

The in-between space (or GRÄNSLANDET in Swedish) has been an ongoing project for the past four years. I started it because I encountered BDSM in a very magical place called Schwelle7 in Berlin during the decade of 2000. In this community, we were dancers, sex workers, and artists, and we shared a question:

“Why can BDSM give more presence, creativity and togetherness in a heartbeat than several years of professional training in various other modalities?”

The simple answer could be “It’s my sexuality, and it makes me horny”, but I believe that the rabbit hole goes so much more profoundly deep. It opens up the entire experience of being a human existing among others, and it gives access to playing in a space where rules are different than everyday life. It forks into a hundred places where I can meet many different sides of myself – if I’m open to it.

The encounter with this community sent me on an impossible quest to understand, and it took me through theatre, body and breathwork, tantra, shamanism, ritual magic, psychology, dance and of course various BDSM practices. Because they all share a desire to figure out what makes us tick, and they are all embodied ways of doing so.

The pinnacle of my Berlin-era was the Aristocracy of Desire, a play party that took place every full moon independently of weekday or season. These nights were otherworldly dreams and meetings melded into each other, like a dance, in a wild variety of expressions of desire. There was beauty, grace, humour, sadness, disgust, meditation, and celebration.

The in-between space is my attempt to bring this attitude to Stockholm. It has taken a few different shapes over the years, all from big parties to retreats, and this setup with a series of workshops that acts as a narrative of what I encountered in Berlin almost 20 years ago.

An important aspect is the sense of community and tribe; that I’m here to interact with other people. My main goal is not to build social contacts to meet with later, I’m not learning a skill that I can apply in the privacy of my home, and I’m not catching up with an old friend that I didn’t see for many months. These things might and probably will happen anyway because we are social human beings. But the most important reason to join this journey is to share and explore who you are in the community and tribe at this current movement, concerning this specific subject.

Structure

The season contains five different blocks of three weeks each.

First block is about embodiment, and it’s all about here and now. The mind lives in the future, present and past at the same time. Remembering stories, analyzing what is currently happening, or dreaming about what is to come. The body can only be here and now. Through history, humans have invented techniques to change the experience of our physical self and to help others to do the same. And I believe that they build the foundation of the more bodily expressions of BDSM. So in the first block, you will practice to learn and speak the language of the body.

3 MAR – BDSM AND BODYWORK – The relationship between embodied trust and surrender. Using trigger points and the symbolic understanding of the body and moving between pain and pleasure, tension and release. Working with hands and tools (floggers suggested).

  • FOCUS: SELF / partner
  • SWITCHING: Recommended
  • WITNESS: No

10 MAR – PAIN & BREATHWORK – A meditative journey through slow pain playing breathing techniques to enhance our experience in the relationship between breath and trust.

  • FOCUS: SELF / partner
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: No

17 MAR – NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION – Leading and following, developing body language. Listening to and training our instinctive reactions to move in-between trust and challenge, gently playing with power and hierarchy.

  • FOCUS: PARTNER / self
  • SWITCHING: Recommended
  • WITNESS: No

Second block is about the connection with others. We form a temporary relationship with roles and rules of engagement, under the name of a scene. When this happens in a tribe or community, then we share the time and space with others. And this opens up for both new opportunities and challenges in more complicated play scenarios. We learn from each other and create a culture. We move from being a body into a social creature — hierarchy, roles, and power growths into a central theme. As a result, consent becomes more critical. So in the second block, you will discover all the ways you can be in relationship with others.

24 MAR – RITUAL PLAY – Establishing many scenes with “strangers” to play with power and hierarchy. Witnessing and being seen in a ritual. Bring the tools that “define” you.

  • FOCUS: GROUP / PARTNER / self
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: Yes

31 MAR – SHARING THE SCENE – Establishing a single scene with the whole group. Moving the focus between you, your interactions and the room. Being inspired and inspiring others, creating a culture to enter and leave with empathy and care.

  • FOCUS: GROUP / self / partner
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: Yes

7 APR – CONCEPTUAL THREESOME – Pain and pleasure in fixed threesome. Operating with well-defined actions in a hierarchy of three levels – bring your tools.

  • FOCUS: TRIO / self
  • SWITCHING: Recommended
  • WITNESS: No

Third block is about the notion that man exists in-between the gods and animals. Or the idea about growing up, with rights and responsibilities. In BDSM terminology this block is about pet play, age play, objectification, and being a “slave”. We will look at the idea of power. Who is the most powerful – A god based on faith and belief? A human-being playing among equals? Or a beast following its primal urges? Of course, there is no right and wrong answer to this question. It only opens up new possibilities to play with ourselves. So in the third block, you will get to experience yourself in relationship to power.

14 APR – HUMAN, ANIMAL, OBJECT – A journey through age and pet play into objectification. Experience how your rights and responsibilities changes. Slow and meditative.

  • FOCUS: PARTNER / self / group
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: No

21 APR – GOING PRIMAL – Reconnecting to more primal desires; eating – sleeping – fucking. A feeding and nurturing ritual that sometimes wild and crazy.

  • FOCUS: PARTNER / self
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: No

28 APR – ART OF SUBMISSION – Introducing submission to serve another in a long ritual, possibly edgy but interacting only with the ones where you feel an intense interest.

  • FOCUS: PARTNER / group / self
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: Yes

Fourth block is about ritual. It builds on preparation, dedication, and inheritance. We sacrifice our time and energy to prepare, and then we hope that something magical will happen. If we know what we get, then it’s not a sacrifice but a trade. So we prepare, and then we let go. And we dedicate or submit ourselves to the process, and this helps us to have the perseverance to make a complicated scene. Finally, rituals often build on inherited knowledge of those before us. For me, the ritual approach to BDSM is what has influenced and developed my play the most. In one way, this block is about tying all the previous subjects together and creating something grand. So in the fifth block, you will get to develop a relationship to ritual.

5 MAJ – QUEEN OF MOTHERFUCKING EVERYTHING – Building a group scene, finding what attracts you. Topping many people or submitting together. Scary and empowering, or sharing an experience.

  • FOCUS: GROUP / self
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: Yes

12 MAJ – A JOURNEY TO NOWHERE – Forget your sexuality, gender, body, and everything to rediscover yourself again, in a long slow, meditative journey.

  • FOCUS: SELF / group
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: No

19 MAJ – BODY DRUMMING – Following the drum in a fixed trio. Receiving pain and pleasure. Bring your tools.

  • FOCUS: SELF / TRIO
  • SWITCHING: Recommended
  • WITNESS: No

Fifth block is about endings. BDSM is for me, usually related to the libido, the creation, the arousal, and about building something up. This block will focus on the opposite – the mortido; it is about goodbyes, melancholia, and the end. I love endings, and to celebrate something that is coming to final breath. It opens up an almost sacred relationship to something often seen as negative. It provides a space to explore the more foreboding aspects of our sexuality, and of course, therefore also of ourselves. So in this final block of the season, you will get to say goodbye.

26 MAJ – MUMMIFICATION AND BURIAL – Wrapped in plastic film, sensory deprivation in ceremonial burial and mourning for you.

  • FOCUS: SELF / PARTNER
  • SWITCHING: Recommended
  • WITNESS: Yes

2 JUN – REJECTION – Owning your space, following desire while learning to reject and be rejected by begging to please.

  • FOCUS: PARTNER / self
  • SWITCHING: Recommended
  • WITNESS: No

9 JUN – DEATH – Playing with fate before it’s too late to indulge in nihilism and hedonism.

  • FOCUS: GROUP / self
  • SWITCHING: Optional
  • WITNESS: No

Explaining the symbols focus, switching, and witness

Focus explains what is in the centre of the workshop.

SELF: Mostly focused on you and your experience; you might interact with a partner or the group as a tool. Lower-case indicates a little bit of this.

PARTNER: Intimate connection with another person; you might want to come with a fixed partner. Lower-case indicates a little bit of this.

TRIO: Intimate connection in a threesome; you might want to come with a fixed trio. Lower-case indicates a little bit of this.

GROUP: Intimate connection with the entire group; but there will always be ways to shape the experience that you want. Lower-case indicates a little bit of this.

SWITCHING: Recommended means that the structure gives time to try different roles; if you want to stick in a position, then maybe you can switch partner instead. Optional indicate that you follow what feels right for you in the movement.

WITNESS: Yes means that you can join the workshop and only watch. No indicates that you might have to leave the room if you can’t participate.

Practical information

The in-between space is very much a passion project of mine so I’ll try to keep the prices as low as possible. Sadly the new location is not as cheap, like the old place in Gamla Stan. Drop-in rates will be 200SEK per workshop (in cash), or you can buy a season card for 1500SEK that covers all fifteen workshops.

You can come alone, or with a friend/lover/partner. Depending on the workshop theme, you will be encouraged to work only with one partner or to switch partners, or maybe even in a trio – I will announce this before each workshop, so you know.

If you are “only” a top or a bottom or see yourselves solely in one specific role, then you are welcome to participate as much or little as you like. But it depends on the theme of the week, wherein some workshop having witnesses is perfectly fine, and even beneficial, while in others it destroys the experience for the rest. But I’ll announce this also before each workshop.

You can bring any tools and toys that you already know how to use. Depending on the workshop, there will be different opportunities to use them. Since the themes are more conceptual, they are open to more or less any practical kink.

Each evening will follow the structure of about one-hour warm-up and introduction, one-hour more strictly on the subject, and finally one-hour of more open play. You are also welcome to drop in half an hour before the workshop starts if you want to socialize.

The in-between is a sex and emotional-positive space. That means that I welcome all expression of sexuality, including asexuality, and all your emotions. You can cry, laugh, moan, snore, or whatever. But this is not an orgy, not a swingers club, nor a grinder or tinder meet up.

Finally, the in-between space is a place to be safe enough to be brave. Everything is voluntary and in the end, you are the dom-i-li-dom-dom of yourselves and your own experience. Also, these workshops are not therapy, and if the subject might be triggering for you, you are welcome to leave whenever you want to.

Manifesto

I wrote this manifesto a few years ago, and I think it’s still valid.

We thrive in the
in-between space

Private <–> public
Safe <–> brave
Sexuality <–> creativity
You <–> me

Because
in-between things
we dear to

Take up space and be seen
in emotional and physical nakedness

Explore our boundaries
in meetings with others

Say YES, NO, and I’m sorry.

The in-between space is NOT
a fetish disco
a discussion club
nor a munch.

Welcome to
wordlessness, presence, and intimacy.

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