The Beyond Intimacy reader community is diverse and yet we share many of the same values.
Sex positivity is a attitude that sees consensual sexual expression as a healthy and natural part of being human. Sex positive people affirm the freedom to pursue and benefits of curiosity, sexual pleasure and erotic experimentation. All consensual sexual activities are considered inherently healthy and pleasurable even if they result in behaviors that a particular sex positive person would not personally engage in.
People are encouraged to make wise choices about safety. However, consensual sexual activities are not prohibited simply on the basis of not meeting an arbitrary definition of safety. Each person is expected to make their own informed choices.
Pleasure is a Healing Force
Pleasure is enjoying the moment right now. It is so much more than sex. It can be present in any area of life.
When we experience pleasure, we are connected to the goodness of life.When we bring conscious awareness to the pleasure, we can experience ecstasy.
Pleasure and play affects our body, our mind, our mood, even our hormones. In this state of feeling alive we are able to experience wellbeing, to heal and strengthen body, mind and spirit. Pleasure is the most potent healing force in the universe. It’s something well worth making a priority in our life.
Being conscious means to be present and aware in the now moment. Awareness means paying attention and careful noticing without judgment. The mind processes, labels, distracts and rationalizes. Conscious awareness is simply being present, seeing and noticing what is, without judgement. If you’re not conscious you are caught up in thought, ego and the stories (interpretations) your mind is making up.
Conscious intimacy means to be fully present and aware of what’s happening in the present moment. This includes being aware of the impact of your actions and inaction on yourself and others.
Embodiment and Body-Mind Integration
The mind is a wonderful gift, and we need it. Our deepest wisdom, however, is in our body. The path to intimacy, pleasure, well being and success is through the body. We need both body and mind, and transformation requires addressing both. While some topics are more suited than others, we encourage you to do your best to address both mind and body in every article.
Exploration, Experimentation and Self-Discovery
We encourage people to do their own exploration, to experiment and learn for themselves. This is how scientists approach their work and it has value in our personal lives as well. Whether it’s some kind of erotic exploration, approaching dating in a new way or trying out different communication strategies, self-discovery and learning through doing is worthy and worthwhile.
An important part of conducting experiments is that one needs to pay attention to the data, the results. Not every experiment gives a useful result the first or even second time. In conducting experiments in our own lives it’s important to be consciously aware of the many factors at play, some of them subtle ones.
Our readers and community members value relationships and want their relationships to succeed. Some seek monogamy. Others prefer or are exploring various forms of ethical nonmonogamy, including open relationships, polyamory and alternative sexual and relationship expressions including kink, leather and BDSM. While some may be exploring things you consider edgy, remember that everyone wants to be heard, seen, understood, acknowledged, loved and appreciated – and to offer that to those they care about.
Supportive yet Challenging (a Coach Like Approach)
For many sex, intimacy and relationships are a challenging life area. Many of the topics we discuss at Beyond Intimacy are provocative, especially to some people more than others. Many in our community are seeking answers, growth, change and healing.
For all these reasons, reading or hearing what someone else has to say can for some prompt feelings of vulnerability or even shame.
While we aim to be supportive and accepting of people, we also recognize that often we need to be challenged in order to grow, change and heal. Few people move forward without at least an occasional kick in the pants.
Thus our aim is speak, teach and write in ways that are both supportive and challenging. We want to encourage people to grow. We recognize there is never only one right way to solve a problem. Want to support people in making their own choices.
We encourage people to be curious, to experiment, explore and decide for themselves. Rather than tell them what to do our authors and teachers aim to engage them in a learning and growth process. How this shows up is somewhat dependent on the context and topic.
Our writers and teachers may have data or experience that indicates certain behaviors lead to certain outcomes or create risks in certain areas. We encourage them to share these things. We want them to let their enthusiasm show. Rather than being prescriptive and telling the reader what to do, we aim to be coach like.
As a reader or participant you may be asked empowering questions or offered an exercise or learning activity. We may suggest a way to think about an issue. Our writers and teachers will share their experience, expertise, excitement and insights, but stop short of telling the reader what they should do.
Inclusive and Accepting
At Beyond Intimacy we have a very diverse community that represents all genders and sexual orientations, and many different values. Thus, we have a strong preference for publishing articles, books and resources that is neutral with regard to sexual orientation. Being inclusive means that we do our best to ensure the tone of our writing (including the choice of pronouns) reflects acceptances of differences.
With respect to differing values, so long as harm is not being done we encourage people to examine their beliefs and values, to choose consciously and to understand the consequences of their choices. One example of how this shows up is we do not take any position on monogamy vs. open relationship other than urging people to make well thought out, clearly communicated choices.
Our articles and resources include topics like relationships, dating, understanding male or female bodies, about touching or being in relationship with a man or a woman. In limited circumstances we will publish material written for a specific sexual orientation. It should go without saying that we won’t tolerate biased or harmful comments based on race, spiritual belief, gender, sexual orientation, ability or disability, lookism, fat shaming or other characteristics.
Affirming of Sexual and Gender Minorities
We recognize that certain groups have been marginalized and for many years have not had access to the resources they need and deserve. While this is starting to change, there is still not enough helpful, affirming and knowledgeable educational resources available.
Thus, while most of our content is – as much as practical – gender and orientation neutral, we want to provide a space to serve the sexual and gender minority communities, especially the LGBT, BDSM-Leather-Fetish and polyamory communities. Thus some small portion of our content won’t apply to everyone.
Partial Emphasis on Men and Their Partners of Any Gender
This is not so much a value as it is simply an acknowledgement that Mark Davian, Founder of Beyond Intimacy, has worked with people of all genders and sexual orientations, he has had significantly more experience working with men and their partners of any gender than he has with (especially lesbian) women.
Thus, if you notice our content more often emphasizing men of all sexual orientations, this is not intended to be a negative message towards women, or lesbian women.
We welcome guest bloggers and guest authors to submit articles. If there is a group of people you feel is under served by our content, please feel free to consider writing for us in these areas, or encouraging appropriate people you know to do so.