There are an ever increasing number of amazing events and festivals of tantra and conscious sexuality around, yet there is also an awareness that these can tend to have a dualistic nature – the phrase “this workshop will be gender balanced” occurs on a regular basis and there are often requests that people form two queues, one of “men” and one of “women”.
To me, tantra is about removing all definitions, labels, and preconceptions. It is about connecting with the universal energies that we all are. Two humans can connect, embrace the beauty and uniqueness inherent in all of us and this happens by moving past the old concepts of form and physicality and just opening up to embracing the energy of love and life. Even though we are all part of the same energy of the universe, we are also magnificent in our individuality and this is to be celebrated. We are all truly divine beings of universal energy!
So a few years ago when I read an article by someone suggesting it would be fantastic to create a festival of tantra and sexuality that would be an inclusive place where every combination of sexualities, genders, body types and beliefs was truly accepted and celebrated, I felt a calling to this and I found my own sexuality and beliefs blossoming to the point where I felt I needed to do this, to get the ball rolling and to put out the call to everyone that finds this idea amazing. I was deeply touched by the amazing responses I had from people who offered whatever they could give to this project so as to help open up a place where everyone can be just who they want to be and who they truly are.
2014 saw this amazing yet fundamental idea of a festival celebrating life, love, compassion, spirituality and artistic expression come to fruition with the first summer festival. The name Quintasensual comes from Queer Inclusive Tantra Sex but also from the word Quintessential which has a definition "of the pure and essential essence of something" and the definition of the word Sensual of "enjoyments derived from the senses"
The Quintasensual website has grown from those energies and supports both the Festival of Spirituality, Sexuality and Tantra and also events that celebrate pleasure, learning, understanding and exploration whilst being open to all people, be they Queer, Bi, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Straight, Curious, Poly, Married, Single, Adventurous, Old, Young, Big, Small....
Quintasensual is the name of a festival, but it is also encapsulates an ethos. A belief that, fundamentally, the entire world is spiritual and "queer". In the Quintasensual view of the world, Queerness is just a way of being that understands and accepts that everyone is unique in their own ways. People have different views on sexuality; have different sexual preferences; have their own gender definitions and identities. We can all celebrate how we are and how others are.
In the Quintasensual ethos, we believe that tantra guides us to remove all definitions, labels, and preconceptions. It teaches us that there are universal energies that are a part of us and we are a part of them. By embracing the uniqueness inherent in all of us through moving past old concepts of form and physicality we can open up to truly feel the energy of love and life. We can move from duality to polarity. No dividing into "good and bad", "them and us", "right and wrong" - instead we slide fluidly along the spectrum, perhaps stopping here or there, perhaps moving all the time, always respecting that others do the same at their own paces - a musical, magical piece of divine harmony.
Safety - we strive to make all that we do safe and supporting for all involved. We understand that sometimes "being safe" and "feeling safe" may be subtlety different when you are looking to find ways to connect, discover and grow, yet we will also aim to bring the divide between the two as close as we can.
Privacy - we understand and respect that everyone has a right to be able to control and know what happens to any and all personal information they ever hand over to anyone.
Acceptance - we accept that everyone has a right to be "them" in whatever way that manifests itself. We also acknowledge that sometimes there may be a need for people to change behaviours so as to ensure that everyone is accepting of each other.
Names - we see names and labels as something that can be fluid and dynamic, technical and spiritual. Something that can be respected in what it means to the holder and the giver at any given moment.
Difference - we believe that at a core level, we are all one, yet at a more fundamental level everyone is unique. We see difference as something to be celebrated, acknowledged and honoured, but also as something that means even though we sometimes may have to behave in different ways for different people, that does not make anyone better or worse than anyone else.
Autonomy - we acknowledge that as an adult you are entitled to your own autonomy, to be able to decide what you wish to do and not to do provided that you also respect the autonomy of others.