LOVING OUR BEAR BODIES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
+ What if I am late?
The beginning of the workshop usually involves talking. During this time we usually keep the door open and you can come if quietly and join the group. Once the doors are closed, we ask that you respect the container and not enter the space.
+ What if I get scared or uncomfortable?
Are you scared and uncomfortable because you are stretching and growing, and doing something you are not used to? If so, we encourage you to take a deep breath and lean into your discomfort a bit to discover what might be on the other side. If what you are being asked to do is somewhat traumatic for you, please take care of yourself by saying no, setting a boundary or stepping out. We want you to stretch, not strain !
+ Is this workshop for couples?
Although the workshop is primarily designed for individuals, many men in couples have done it together. Due to the nature of the exercises and what we're trying to accomplish, we usually make sure that the men in a couple end up working with new people. We want all of the participants to have an experience of exchanging affirmation and touch with a variety of men. It can still be great for many couples to go through the workshop at the same time, in the same room, but working with just your partner would defeat the purpose of the workshop, so be prepared to have an individual experience.
+ What if I have physical limitations?
If you are in physical pain or discomfort, please take care of yourself. We can modify the exercises to suit your needs. Don't be afraid to ask for a chair or to move in a different way that is more comfortable for you!
+ Are Trans men welcome?
Bear Your Soul events and workshops are open to all men, including Trans-men who live and identify as male. (Our work is aimed at men who identify as male, but we will not decide for anyone else what a man looks like. It is about self-identification)
It is always possible that you will encounter trans-bodies in our workshops. If you are not sure what that means, if it makes you nervous, or if you are concerned with how you present or how your body will be received in the group for whatever reason, we encourage both cis-gender and trans-men to contact us for a brief conversation, so we can do our best to make sure everyone has an empowering and connecting experience.
+ Do I have to get completely naked?
Please do not attend the workshop unless you are ready and willing to move through any fears you may have about being naked in front of the other men. Allowing some men to remain partially naked would defeat the purpose of the workshop.
+ What about attractions and boundaries?
This workshop calls on you to provide touch and affirmation to a wide variety of men in the room. It is only natural that we will be more attracted to some men that we are working with than others, and that's OK, but we are here to affirm the beauty of our diversity, so we ask you challenge yourself to be as generous as you can with the man in front of you. This does not mean you are ready to hook up with this man after the workshop. We also don't want to force anyone to do something they dont want to do, so again check in and ask yourself if you can show up in this moment for the man you're working with. If you are asked to do something, and you need to set a boundary, instead of just saying no, offer an alternative, for example: "I can't rub your knees right now, can I rub your elbows instead? Sometimes we dont want to BE touched in certain ways, so again say something like " I'm really ticklish there could you rub my shoulders instead"?
+ Are the exercises sexual?
People define sexual in many different ways. Some of the exercises can be arousing, and we do use erotic energy for affirmation. Some of the exercises use touching and light stroking of the gentials as an affirmation of our erotic energy. None of the exercises allow any kind of penetration. We use our hands, our words and our energy to affirm and celebrate one another's bodies
+ What if I get hard? What if I DON'T get hard? What about orgasms?
As we said before, this workshop can be arrousing, and some men naturally show their arousal, and some don't. You can be arroused and not show it at all. It can also depend on the situation or the environment. See if you can let go of worrying about whether you are hard or not. We like to say "Erections are welcome but not required" Some of the exercises can be very stimulating. Ejaculation is not our goal in fact we prefer that nobody does, but it is a reflex, so if it were to happen, we do not want any man to feel ashamed of his pleasure, so.. please don't try, but if you can't help it, please enjoy it!