Beyond EGGPLANTS & PEACHES: rELATIONSHIP cOMMUNICATION irl

Popular culture likes to remind us that the key to a successful relationship is communication. But what does that look like at the moments when you're feeling ashamed, self-conscious, avoidant, worried about loss, jealous, attracted to multiple people, or feeling trapped in domesticity? This interactive and experiential workshop will begin with an exploration of some of the unique experiences queer guys face when seeking both casual sex and long term relationships. We will then delve deeper into our own attachment styles, approaches to open relationships, experiences of jealousy, and the nitty gritty of relationship communication. 

CONTENT

This 5-hour workshop includes four (4) key parts; each one is comprised of psychoeducation, individual or group work, and facilitated discussion. A breakdown of content is provided below:

Part 1 Mixed Messages, Rewards & Challenges
Participants will explore the specific messages queer guys receive from dominant straight culture and queer men’s communities about casual sex and longer term relationships in order to establish the presence of conflicting “scripts”. We will then examine both the rewards and challenges queer guys experience when pursuing both casual sex and longer term relationships. Attention will be given to the various issues that arise at various stages of LTRs: seeking, beginning, maintaining. Finally, we will discuss two scenarios and consider what it could mean to reconcile seemingly conflicting scripts.

Part 2 Sexual Interest Inventory
Participants will reflect on their own awareness of personal (and others’) sexual interests. We will discuss themes of body boundaries, use of words and terms in sexual contexts, relationship models, sexual health concerns and preferences, approaches to sexual response, and finally, the range physical and sexual activities that spark interest. Individual reflection and larger group discussion will be facilitated.  

Part 3 Attachment Style, Relationship Orientation
Participants will receive an overview of attachment theory and the various attachment styles. We will use a checklist to self-assess our own tendencies toward anxiety and avoidance in the context of sexual and romantic relationships. We will then consider the connections between attachment style and relationship orientation (on a spectrum from monogamous to polyamorous). Finally, we will review questions to consider when creating “rules” for open relationships.

Part 4
Managing Rejection & Communication IRL
Participants will examine ways to manage the impact of rejection and then will be provided with question cards suitable for couples, friends, and strangers. Instructions will be provided for navigating this communication exercise. In pairs, we will ask one another questions and attempt to answer as honestly as possible with the option to pass and with the overall objective of self-discovery. The larger group will share final reflections to end the day.

Contact us to book this community / health promotion workshop!