March 17-19 and April 8-9 at the Unitarian Centre
This spring, facilitators Natasha Salaash and Dale Jack will be hosting a two-weekend course that provides a safe, non-judgemental space for participants to learn about sexuality, ask questions, discuss sexual values, and explore ways in which these values influence our relationships and ways of interacting with others in the community.
Facilitators: Natasha & Dale
This is part of the Our Whole Lives lifespan sexuality education curricula, and provides accurate information about sexual health, human development, sexual behaviour, relationships, communication, and cultural influences on sexual identity and behaviour.
Participants are encouraged to use the program’s core values – self worth, sexual health, responsibility, and justice and inclusivity – in decisions regarding their own sexuality and relationships.
Friday, March 17, 5 – 8 pm
Welcome and Introductions
A time for participants to get an overview of the program, get to know each other a bit, and together set some guidelines for the group. This will be a relaxed evening of breaking the ice! Dinner is provided.
Saturday, March 18, 9 am – 5 pm
Workshop 1: Sexuality and Values
“Values are tapes we play on the walkman of the mind” – British Chief Rabbi. This session focuses on examining our attitudes and values about sexuality and where they came from. We will look at media messages, societal and personal values.
Workshop 2: Mind and Body
This workshop explores the connections between our minds and bodies in three areas: the language we use to describe sexuality, our feelings about our bodies, and our sexual values. Each of these is connected to the attitudes and values we hold regarding sexuality.
Workshop 3: Sexuality and Communication
Even though sexual references are pervasive in our society, it doesn’t mean that sexuality is widely discussed or understood. Effective communication about sexuality is rare at all levels: personal, familial, institutional and societal. This is unfortunate because sensitive and sensible communication is essential to understanding sexuality as the central life force it is. This workshop aims to help participants become comfortable with open communication about human sexuality, language surrounding it and sexual anatomy.
Workshop 4: Discovering The Sexual Self
Sexuality cannot be isolated from the rest of ourselves; it is an integral part of who we are, how and why we live, and what we say and do. This workshop helps participants gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of their sexual selves by naming important events that mark sexual development.
Sunday, March 19, 1 – 5 pm
Workshop 5: Experiencing The Sexual Other
This workshop focuses on interpersonal physical sexual activities such as intercourse and provides participants with the opportunity to discuss these and place them on lovemaking continuums.
Workshop 6: Exploring Gender and Sexual Orientation
This workshop explores the roles of sex and gender in our own lives and the lives of others. Participants will learn about gender identities beyond male/female. This workshop will seek to build empathy for non heterosexual people and ask participants to explore their own sexual orientation, their comfort with others sexual orientations, and the ways that they can help create a more supportive environment for people of all sexual orientations.
Saturday, April 8, 9 am – 5 pm
Workshop 8: Sexuality and Committed Relationships
This workshop explores some of the problems that committed relationships may encounter, and considers ways that these relationships can be nurtured and sustained. This workshop recognizes that sexuality is just one thread in the complex web that partners weave together.
Workshop 9: Sexual Diversity
“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other” — Jane Austen This workshop attempts to build acceptance and celebration for the diversity of sexual activities and behaviours. Many people are less tolerant of sexual diversity than they like to think or say, and we attempt to achieve a greater level of tolerance and understanding with this workshop.
Workshop 10: Sexuality and Family
This workshop asks participants to consider what family means to them — but, even more so what the family does, particularly in regard to sexuality. Gender roles and expectations, family communication about appropriate sexual behaviour, and family education about sexuality and sexual diversity are all explored.
Workshop 11: Sexuality and Aging
This workshop explores some of the physical, behavioural, and attitudinal changes that occur with aging. Participants will consider the stages of sexual life, then focus on the later ones; ponder the impact of various disabilities and conditions on sexual attitudes and activity, and share personal thoughts about their own aging processes.
Sunday, April 9, 1 – 5 pm
Workshop 12: Sexual Health
This workshop discusses the topic of sexuality and health on a personal, social and relational level. This will include discussion and information on STI’s, pornography, sadism and masochism. Participants will have the opportunity to take a fresh view of their own health, consider society’s definitions of healthy behaviour, and refresh their ideas of healthy sexual behaviours.
Workshop 13: Boundaries and Boundary Violations
This workshop helps participants identify situations of abuse, assault and rape, take action to prevent them and understand some of the emotional consequences for those involved. This workshop specifically addresses personal healing and helping friends heal.
Closing and Goodbyes
Final thoughts on the two weekends, as well as reaffirming group commitment to confidentiality moving forward.
5 things to know about Adult Our Whole Lives Workshops
- You will not be asked or required to disclose your own personal sexual history. There will be times that you may choose to disclose personal information as it is relevant to a topic, but this is not a must at all.
- Our Whole Lives presents sexuality as a good, creative force with enormous potential to enrich as well as to generate life.
- These workshops are for adults ages 18 to 100+ (middle aged and seniors welcome!) of any gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. All are welcome.
- Being nervous is normal as the workshop topics are not ones often spoken of in everyday life. We hope to normalize some of this.
- This workshop is secular and will not touch on religious views at all.
To register, or for more information, contact Natasha Salaash at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dale Jack at email@example.com.