What is safe and sacred touch?
We are committed to creating a space for Safe and Sacred Touch in our conferences and in our community. We honor each person’s unique exploration of Spirituality, Intimacy, and Sexuality; we celebrate both the choice to stand apart in order to connect with ourselves, and the choice to reach out in order to connect with each other. Whatever choice each of us makes in any particular moment, we are committed to being present with each other in ways that heal, nurture, connect, encourage, fulfill and inspire. Each of us has the right and responsibility to express our needs of the moment, to ask either for the touch or the space we want, and to maintain our own boundaries.
Every event at a GSV gathering is voluntary and we each participate at our own discretion; it has been our experience that those events involving physical touch invite us all to be especially conscious in our choices. The Safe and Sacred Touch Circle will identify every Safe and Sacred Touch event by a “Level” indicating the intensity of eroticism in the experience, recognizing that different levels are appropriate for each of us at different times, for many different reasons. Our intent is to offer Safe and Sacred Touch experiences at a variety of levels, and by naming these levels in advance, we support the boundaries each of us chooses for himself, and we honor the safety and sacredness of our community.
Some gatherings have scheduled sacred touch events, while others do not.
Sacred Touch Guidelines for GSV Conferences
The foundation for safe and sacred touch is creating safety for ourselves and for each other. Each of us has the right and responsibility to ask for the touch we want, and to maintain our own boundaries. Every Sacred Touch event has both a Guardian and a Facilitator, and every conference has a Guardian and a Convener to support each of us in creating safety. Every Sacred Touch event is voluntary and we participate at our own comfort level. Our intent is to offer experiences for brothers at a variety of levels of awareness.
Every Sacred Touch event is identified by a “level” indicating the intensity of eroticism in the experience:
Level 1: Deep heartfelt conversation, gazing, hugging, friendly touch.
Level 2: Safe, intimate, non-sexual touch; hugging, cuddling, being tender and physical with each other without the expectation of explicit sexual contact. Participants are asked to refrain from deep kissing, body kissing, genital stimulation, and penetration.
Level 3: Safe, voluntary sexual touch in a structured environment with a facilitator and guardian.
Level 4: Intimate space for private sexual encounters.
Working Procedures for The Sacred Touch Work Group
In our commitment to safety, The Safe and Sacred Touch working group recognizes the importance of mentoring assistants, facilitators, and program creators in their roles. Therefore:
- Every Safe and Sacred Touch event will have at least one Facilitator leading the event and one assistant in the role of Guardian, providing safety.
- If a person is going to assist at a GSV Safe and Sacred Touch event, he needs to declare himself as Guardian to assist the Vision keeper of the The Safe and Sacred Touch working group before the conference containing the scheduled event.
- If a person is going to lead an existing Safe and Sacred Touch event, he needs to have assisted at that event at least once at a prior conference.
- If a person is going to lead a new Safe and Sacred Touch event it must be presented to the Vision Keeper three months before the conference, allowing time for the Vision Keeper to take it to the larger working group, and then to the Council for approval.
- All Safe and Sacred Touch events shall be created and delivered keeping in mind the theme of each conference.
- The Vision Keeper of The Safe and Sacred Touch circle shall contact the convener of each conference 3 months prior to the event to begin discussing the needs and themes of our community at each conference.