Languages: German, English
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As long as our society does not accept forms of consensual sexuality between adult human (and by that we mean well in the family, among friends and colleagues, as well as at work or job search, etc.) this drastic step for the protection of oneself is sometimes unfortunately necessary.
One often thinks of listening as a passive, docile activity, one that is secondary to speaking and acting. However, it is possible—even necessary—to reverse this order and affirm that listening comes first, that without listening, there would be no speech. Moreover, it is the quality and energy of listening which creates speech. Poetry in Greek means creation (poesis). The speaker is always indebted to the listener, who he or she most often doesn't see. The philosopher Martin Heidegger once defined listening as the most elementary gesture of thought.
In this workshop, we will take the path of listening. Listening is not only restricted to the ear, it may include all the senses. What I dream of is a new way of communicating, a new speech, that would come from an experience of absolute vulnerability. But this is possible only by first listening. We will seek out the places where it is painful, impossible and/or maddeningly difficult to listen. For each person, this will be different. My argument is that it is only when one lets oneself be confronted by the limits of one's capacities that anything creative or new may happen.
Within BDSM culture and elsewhere, great emphasis is often given to the spectacle—to what can be seen. Listening, however, is not always visible. In the first moment one does not know if it has taken place, but only later—perhaps never. Listening thus resists the tendency to identify the event with what seems to be revealed in the here and now. Listening can teach us the virtue of waiting.
Many people give up their plush animals well before they go into puberty. However, there are also quite a few who never give them up, and courageously carry them into adulthood. For me, they are not toys, but living creatures, with unique personalities, likes and dislikes, and even sexualities. Beyond giving emotional comfort and reassurance, they create magical worlds of intimacy that it is possible to share with others.
This workshop is a unique opportunity to “out” yourself as a plush animal lover, or otherwise open yourself to an experience that is warm, funny and intimate, and which is for some more confronting than the most bizarre SM practices. I will talk about the role they play in my life, and in my relationships with others. Then they will introduce themselves. Circumstances permitting, we will let them take over, and lead us.
They are very anxious to meet new play partners. Choose your favorite one, or bring along all of them!
Photo: © 2008 Mélanie Derouetteau