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 I  encourage you to subscribe to my blog so you can read updates to this blog through your email. The blog always has announcements and news about upcoming meetings of the Intimacies Discussion Group at BookPeople—and MUCH MORE:  You’ll get to read comments and questions about  matters pertaining to “Intimacies” that are great for provoking new thoughts, conversation and behavior. There may even be some video messages.

To subscribe, just enter your email address in the form field on the right side of http://trueintimacies.com/wordpress. You’ll spot it a couple of inches below my photograph.

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Alternately, if you don’t want to get email update everytime I update the blog, but you would like to get ONLY announcements about the meetings at BookPeople, you can join the Yahoogroup to get those email reminders. Reminders are sent 10 days and 1 day in advance of the event. To sign up for that, look for the purple button below the blog subsubscription form.

I hope you’ll spurn the Yahoogroup in favor of signing up for the juicier blog subscription. In any case, I hope to see you Sept 17 at BookPeople, when we’ll be talking about “Risky Love.”

Risky Love — Come talk about it at our next meeting, Sept 17.

For August, the  “Intimacies” Discussion Group is taking a break. Our next public meeting with be Wednesday, Sept 17, 2008. The subject:  “Risky Love.”

Join The Good Life columnist Karen Kreps and two special guests, therapists Annette Del Canto, and Kelly Ann Burnett,  for a conversation on the potential pay-offs of rocking the boat and taking emotional risks.  Learn how the ability to be intimate with others goes hand-in-hand with one’s ability to care for oneself. Annette offers psychotherapy couples and individuals in all phases of relationship.

Meet Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 7 pm-8:30 pm on the third floor of BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar.  Audience members will be encouraged to share their personal experiences.  No charge, just   bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

This event is co-sponsored by The Good Life magazine and BookPeople.

Open Marriage, Then and Now

In response to the announcement about the upcoming “Intimacies” Discussion Group on Open relationships with author Jenny Block, I got this email:

“Interesting topic.

“One word-nerd suggestion:  perhaps note then that the original Open Marriage book advocated freedom in interests and communication, but not sexuality?  At least that’s my recollection from reading it, -years- back.  My thought is that the author’s intended meaning/vocabulary has shifted in popular culture, to including, perhaps even being primarily interpreted, as multiple sexual/emotional relationships.  At least “show and tell” the old book’s cover could be an interesting beginning to “class” <g>.  Thoughts?

“best,

(name withheld on request)”

I asked Jenny for a response and she sent this:

 “Thank you so much for your email. The book you are referring to, “Open Marriage” by Nena O’Neill and George O’Neill, was indeed much more about freedom in terms of communication, interests, and maintaining one’s individuality within a marriage. It does, however, devote one chapter to the subject of sex. In it, the O’Neills say some wonderful things about jealousy being a “learned response” and presumed sexual ownership of a partner being the demise of many a marriage. They explain that “Man (and we mean both sexes) is not sexually monogamous by nature.” Indeed! That doesn’t necessarily mean they prescribe non-monogamy. “We are not recommending outside sex, but we are not saying it should be avoided either. The choice is entirely up to you…Outside sexual experiences when they are in the context of a meaningful relationship may be rewarding and beneficial to an open marriage.” In other words, to each their own. The bottom line is this: People deserve happy marriages and marriage shouldn’t be the one-size-fits-no-one convention it in many cases is. So, yes, I do believe this book would be an excellent conversation starter and I have plans to bring my copy along with me to the event. As for the vocabulary, that is indeed a problem. I chose the expression open marriage because it seemed like the lesser of the evils. We aren’t swingers. We weren’t poly then. Though I would describe myself that way now. So, open marriage felt like the best fit. It allows for a number of different permutations, which is exactly what I think marriage in general should do.”

Seems to me that the issues haven’t changed since the book by the O’Neills came out with their book in 1972, but the conversation about it is now more candid and direct.

Any more comments or questions in advance of our discussion on July 16? Foreplay’s good.

Open Relationships for Open Minds at the Discussion Group July 16

If you’re gearing up to celebrate Independence Day, think about how independent you are when it come to sex. My next guest at the Intimacies Discussion Group, Jenny Block, has just written a book, Open: Love, Sex & Life in an Open Marriage. It’s about sex within the confines of an open marriage. And Jenny will be talking to us about the many ups and downs she has had as well as the consequences and lessons she’s learned from having made the decision to open her marriage. It’s  a decision she says just may have saved the marriage that she was struggling sexually to survive in. Participants will have plenty of opportunity to share their own stories and ask questions.  If you’d like to join the converation but can’t make it on July 16, please post your stories and questions in reply to this. I’ll pass them on to Jenny and you’ll get a reply.

When we had an Intimacies Group discussion in the past on the topic of polyamory, there was a particularly high turn out. So plan to come early to get your seat. Last time, those who weren’t open to polyamory left with a much more tolerant and supportive outlook toward those who choose to have multiple loving relationships. Curious? It’s only natural. Hope to see you on July 16 at BookPeople.

See http://jennyonthepage.com/openbook.html

The Erotic Life–Intimacies Discussion Group June 18

Join me and my special guest, Charla Hathaway of the BodyJoy Intimacy School, for a conversation about how to keep Eros strong in your daily life and nightly lovemaking. Charla’s new book, 8 Erotic Nights: Passionate Encounters that Inspire Great Sex for a Lifetime, follows her success with Erotic Massage (both from Quiver Press).

Meet Wednesday, June 18, 2008, 7 pm-8:30 pm on the third floor of BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar. Audience members will be encouraged to share their personal experiences. No charge, just bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

Got questions for Charla, ask them now even if you can't make it to BookPeople, and I'll get her answers for you.

This event is co-sponsored by The Good Life magazine and BookPeople.

Discount for Remarkable Women’s Conference and our SEX panel.

Remarkable Women Gathering Soon!

I am a panelist at the upcoming Remarkable Women’s Conference, June 6th – 8th. Our discussion is titled, “A Call for a New Sexual Revolution,” and our time frame is on Sunday from 2:45 – 3:45. I would love to see you at our presentation.

I’m excited about the conference and being a part of it – they are really creating a first class experience for everyone involved. The conference is a fantastic opportunity to connect with resources in our community, to meet new friends and contacts and to hearing current information on relevant topics.

One of the benefits of being a speaker is that I get to give a discount to my friends. You can find more information about the conference at www.RemarkableConferences.com <http://www.RemarkableConferences.com/> and when you register just enter coupon code SPKR08 to get $20.00 off the price of registration. You do need to register online by May 15th to get the discount, otherwise the price goes up to $149.00, so act NOW. Men are welcome! The networking alone is worth the investment.

The “Intimacies” Discussion Group–In the Mood for Love?

Join The Good Life columnist Karen Kreps and special guest, Neil Stegall, LCSW, for a conversation about how to keep moodiness from mucking up your love life. Learn how to deal with the emotional fluctuations that affect all relationships. Neil practices psychotherapy to help individuals and couples find practical solutions to improve communication and relationships.

Meet Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 7 pm-8:30 pm on the third floor of BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar. Audience members will be encouraged to share their personal experiences. No charge, just bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

To join the email announcement list of this group, send email to p2paustin-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
This event is co-sponsored by The Good Life magazine and BookPeople.

Is Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) for You?

Excerpt from the pamphlet “An introduction to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous” Copyright 1985 : S.L.A.A. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a fellowship based on the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. With established meetings in many cities in the United States and several cities overseas, this self-help fellowship is open to people of any age or sexual preference. Members include both those who suffer from a compulsive need for sex, and those with a desperate attachment to one person. What all members have in common is an obsessive/compulsive pattern, either sexual or emotional (or both, in which relationships or activities have become increasingly destructive to all areas of their lives — career, family, and sense of self-respect).

My guest at BookPeople on Wednesday, March 19, will be Michael Johnson, PhD a therapist who counsels people about sexual addiction. We’ll be talking about discerning the difference between intensity and intimacy. Got any questions for Michael? Post them here.

Sex talk at the Remarkable Womens Conference

I’ve been invited to speak on a panel at the Remarkable Womens Conference along with Gayle Michaels, Robin Heart Shepperd and Jade Beaty. The title and description of our hour-long program is:

SEX! Now that we have your attention

Everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to…well, you get the idea. When we think of intimacy we generally think of time shared with a partner but it’s about more than that – it’s about falling in love with yourself. Our panel of experts will create a fun, safe environment where you can start to explore some paths to better relationships – not only with your partners but with yourself!

The panel will cap the weekend-long conference. The Remarkable Women’s Conference was created to fill a void in local conferences by providing a space for women from all cross-sections of the community to come together, make meaningful connections, and provide support and encouragement for one another while attending first class break-out sessions and keynote addresses from the best talent that Austin has to offer. The Conference provides a vehicle for women to grow their whole person and includes amazing speakers in topics such as family, workplace, health, relationships and business ownership.

The inaugural event was a huge success and its unofficial motto “Go Big or Go Home” continues to inspire and guide us. This year’s conference is being expanded to include a Friday all-day workshop intensive and a Friday night reception for last year’s participants. The conference itself will take place over Saturday and Sunday and include a Saturday Night networking reception and happy hour.

My book, Intimacies: Secrets of Love, Sex & Romance, will be available for purchase all day Sat and Sunday in the conference bookstore.

Intimacies Group — Bodily Attraction, Apr 16

Join The Good Life columnist Karen Kreps and special guest, Lee Khoury, for a conversation about body image. How you relate to food reflects how you relate to others. Lee is a licensed counselor and marriage therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders. Meet Wednesday, April 16, 2007, 7 pm-8:30 pm on the third floor of Book People, 603 N. Lamar. Audience members will be encouraged to share their personal experiences. No charge, just bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

This event is co-sponsored by The Good Life magazine and Book People.

Between these covers, find secrets to great relationships! Buy the book now and learn about love.

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