You can listen to this musing here, or read it below.
Two more weeks until the sixth edition of the Point of Surrender, the five-day couples retreat I do with Lin Holmqvist, “Where BDSM meets Tantra”, is one point of surrender. And I’m always so curious about what duos will attend this time. Over the years, I’ve seen three different categories with three different challenges.
1. The first type of couple is the newly-in-love. Sometimes they are young, and this is the first big one, the love of their life. Or at least it feels like it. Or they are older and often coming out of a longer previous relationship without kink and polarity. And now they found the thing that has been missing for so long. So there is firey and thunderous passion. But they don’t really know each other, and they are usually afraid to be deeply vulnerable together. They want guidance, vulnerability, deepness, and the core of the other being. So our tantric rituals and play parties mean a lot to them, as it gives them a chance to take a chance and be what they want to be together. This new love also brings a lot of forgiveness, acceptance and pride in gifting themselves with this opportunity.
2. The second type of couple is the busy-with-life. Usually, they have kids, careers and plans for the coming ten months. On the surface, there are not many conflicts because they have often sacrificed parts of themselves to become this efficient machinery. But in the process, they also killed the polarity and the passion it brings. So coming to the Point of Surrender can be a resurrection of old memories and desires, but that can bring old conflicts along. Another way is exploring new paths, so they often seek inspiration from others. Either from other couples or from our assistance team. Sometimes they tend to split up and work with others for an exercise or two to fulfil their personal needs before they dig back into their shared dynamics. Having five guided days together without kids and work, sometimes even with the phones turned off, feels like an ocean of time to reclaim their relationship.
3. The third type of couple is the fun-before-death. Their kids have moved out, the big house is sold, and the career has come to a peaceful phase. So they want to have fun before they, metaphorically speaking, die. Since they already have their basic needs met with both time and money, they usually have a lot of space for giving each other love. If anything, maybe the old routines have become a bit boring, so they are often curious about BDSM and Tantra to find new ways of intimacy other than just sex. And they know each other inside out by now, so they are brave to play along with the group. The challenge is often related to ageing and performing when everything isn’t a youthful hot party any longer. But when they start to see the sea of subtle details in Tantra and BDSM, they realize that slowness, presence, and experience are oh-so attractive. And having been through life, there is often little shame and pride holding them back.
Every time we make this retreat, I realize that Tantra and BDSM become more and more of a modality to understanding the dynamics of a relationship. So ceremonially scaling down the noise of the surrounding everyday life makes space to experience the many seedlings that continuously grow into the foundation of a relationship. And that making of space, of silence, and sharing it with other like-minded has given birth to some of the most touching expressions of love I’ve ever experienced. And also some of the saddest realizations about what a relationship really is. But that, I guess, is the nature of things.