You can listen to this musing here, or read it below.
What does it mean to be a volunteer or assistant at my events? I often get this question, so I thought it was good to answer it more in-depth in this musing. Most important is to be of service, which means that you are more interested in the experience of others than your own. And there are three essential aspects of this.
First, you must know your relationship to the subject of the event so that you can remain reasonably stable in your experience. Even if you want to assist a rope bondage retreat, you don’t have to be a subject area expert, but you must know if it will trigger the hell out of you. To do this, you manage your involvement so that your nervous system arousal stays within your window of tolerance, and you can stay focused on supporting the participants. Assisting at a retreat is not the place for you to have massive processes. However, you can still learn a lot because you can closely observe many different people going through a similar experience while you are in a rational and logical state of mind. Many volunteers journal their way through the experience to reflect how the participants’ journey reflects in their lives. It is a vast difference compared to participating when one tends to be all caught up in their own experience.
Secondly, you must be willing to share good vibes and be a bit sluty, in the most positive sense of the word. In a way, you will be an example for the participants. You can be a beginner at tantra or BDSM, as long as you can be authentic and vulnerable in your experience. So you kind of have to have scored some levels in self-development. The participants will probably watch you for inspiration or even ask you to do an exercise with them because you feel safe, as you are inside your window of tolerance and consciously able to reflect upon your experience.
Side note: never give advice unless it’s specifically asked for. Too often, the gift is to the own ego rather than the other. Think about the question; do you want a hug? Does it mean, can I share a hug with you? Please let me fix your emotions! Or I need a hug! It’s not your responsibility to “fix” anyone. All you have to do is to be authentic with your experience and a bit sluty.
So, it is not uncommon to be invited into a couple to let them experience the intimacy of a trio. According to the book The Erotic Mind, this is most people’s most common sexual fantasy, but never their peak experience. To navigate this, you must be clear with your boundaries and needs. Also, the participants must be able to trust you. So you don’t need to be the most experienced person in kink, tantra or whatever. But you need to know yourself. Also, having expertise outside the main subject of the event can be of great value to the participants. That way, you might be asked to hold yoga in the mornings or guide a meditation in nature during a break. However, most of the time, you will be doing exercises with other assistants, so your task is to represent a wide variety of expressions and experiences. This way, the participants get to see more examples and demonstrations than just me.
Thirdly, you will do practical things like placing mattresses, holding a morning practice (that you enjoy), and beautifying the space. The goal is always to keep this to a minimum because you are of most value to us when you have fun. You will also likely facilitate a sharing group for some participants, in a more fancy retreat for just one or two people, and in a more extensive retreat for up to five-six people. Your goal here is to pick up on their needs so we can tune the daily schedules accordingly. As well as getting a closer connection to some of the participants, they might feel safer inviting you to help in an exercise, and you might feel braver to say yes. It is a fairly intuitive process and part of how a group is forming, and it is welcoming you to be a part.
Curious about being an assistant or volunteer? First off, be clear that you don’t want to be a participant instead, and are just called by the very generous price. It is the number one reason for turning down people. Volouunering and participating are two very different experiences, so make sure that the being of service calls you.
Can you assist as a couple? Yes, but you will probably spend a maximum of 25% of the time with your partner.
Do you feel called? Send me an email at email@example.com