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Transcript for the Naked Talk with Beyond the Bedroom and special guest Monique Darling:
0:05 Dan: Hello and welcome to another episode of Naked Talk. We’re here today to talk with a woman from the Sacred Sex community, Monique Darling, and we’re really excited about it. She’s gonna be in Boulder, Colorado coming up in the near future and we’ll get into that shortly, but one of the questions that we wanted to really throw out for you is– things that we’re gonna answer are things about what is energetic sex and how can you get some of that? We’re also gonna talk about her Pink Puja
0:35 , what is a Pink Puja? I’ve had so many questions about that already, it’s been fun to really answer those but we’ll get it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
0:45 Elizabeth: So welcome to Beyond the Bedroom– I’m laughing because I love how he starts this compared to how I start this– Welcome to Naked Talk with Beyond the Bedroom. I’m Elizabeth Wood.
0:56 Dan: And I’m Dan Powers.
0:58 Elizabeth: And we are here, as Dan said, to talk with Monique Darling. Naked Talk is where we get naked in a conversation of sexuality, intimacy and relationship. We strip down and expose the bare facts so you can learn what it takes for your love to thrive. So welcome to this episode, we’re gonna get right to it. Dan, would you go ahead and introduce Monique and then we’ll bring her on board.
1:27 Dan: What can we say about Monique? She’s very unique. We met her at the Sex Geek Summer Camp and she’s got, just such beautiful energy for the whole thing and we met her at Dallas Airport and then got a ride with her on the bus and then saw her for the entire week and she’s a very interesting woman. A former mormon, she’s been getting into Sacred Sexuality, she’s been part of the–
1:55 Elizabeth: ISTA
1:55 Dan: ISTA
1:55 Elizabeth: training
1:57 Dan: You know, those trainings that were down in Sedona and we’re gonna let her tell you a bit more about that but she’s also been going around the United States teaching and creating a large number of smaller communities that I think is even growing. So I’m very excited to hear more about what that has to offer for us. You have anything to say?
2:16 Elizabeth: Well, actually, I came upon Monique in– I think it was the year 2009. I was actually at a conference with, out in Sedona, at Sedona Temple, I think it’s former Sedona Temple, and there was this gorgeous redhead in the background. She actually wasn’t part of the conference, she was behind the scenes as part of the residential community living there and I was just mesmorized by when she was popping in and out. So when I saw her at the Dallas Airport, I had a sneaking suspicion that I’d seen and been around this energy before. So I now formally know her and look forward to spending much more time with her. She is just, I mean, talk about pleasure and passion. In Monique’s beautiful body, she has more pleasure and passion than, I think, a handful of other people combined. So I’m really excited to see what fun we’re gonna have today, what fun we’re gonna have during the weekend she’s here and I just can’t wait to share her with all of you. So Monique, come on board!
3:26 Dan: Yeah.
3:28 Monique: Hi guys! I’m so excited to be here! Thank you for that beautiful introduction.
3:35 Dan: You’re welcome and thank you for being here. We’re really excited to have you here and there’s so many questions that I know I have and hopefully our audience will have as well. But, first of all, let’s just kind of jump into it– unless you have anything you wanna get started with?
3:49 Elizabeth: Well I think your history is so interesting, Monique, can you share a little bit about how you started on this path?
3:58 Monique: Well, I spent my first thirty-three years being very– well I grew up Mormon and so I was following that dream and so I got married in the Temple, I had three kids, my husband and i were the first ones on both sides of our family to make enough money to get a house and, you know, we had the white picket fence, we had a dog and cat and all the things I was told. “Oh, this will make you happy.” And I love my children, I love my husband and my dog and cat and having a home, but there was still something that was missing and when I turned thirty-three then I started going out to conventions in L.A. and working behind the scenes for, like, Joss Whedon was our family’s hero ’cause he worked with women’s empowerment. And so I started meeting these stars and later I realized, “Oh this are people that were working close to their soul-purpose.” But at the time it was just, “Oh there’s something different”, like, “I feel something here.” And so I started creating my own version of cuddle party for all of these people that would come from around the world for conventions and they wanted to have some way of intermingling with each other that was intimate without being sexual and so I started creating my own little groups for us to interact, and then they sent me a link to a actual cuddle party and that’s where I met Reid Mihalko and he began my whole journey.
5:19 Dan: OK. So that’s really interesting, you created your own version of cuddle parties before they even started. Now I know you are an official cuddle party facilitator, tell me what’s the difference between what you did in your cuddle event and Reid’s and the whole cuddle party genre?
5:39 Elizabeth: Yeah and I think it’s really important to explain what cuddle parties are, you know, because they are newer, if you will, to our area and they’re fascinating and it’s a unique opportunity so I’ll let you share more.
5:53 Monique: OK, well cuddle party itself has– it’s comprised of eleven rules and it’s actually interesting ’cause I’m working on a book now with those rules and how you can take them out into life, but the fantastic part about cuddle parties is the first forty-five minutes are using those rules to create a container for people to be able to interact with one another and it was really what gave me back the gift of my voice. Like it starts teaching you that in order to get to a powerful ‘yes’, you really have to be in touch with your ‘no’, because otherwise you can’t trust your ‘yes’ and other people can’t trust your ‘yes’-es and, you know, rule number five is if you are a ‘maybe’, say ‘no’. Like that cuts through so much time and pressure and when you say ‘maybe’, people are sitting and hovering around you, just waiting for an answer, and that can incur as pressure. So if you just say ‘no’, then that let’s them free to go find someone who’s a ‘hell yes’ in the moment and it gives you time to realize, “Oh, you know, if A, B, and C happen then I am a ‘yes'”, or even more important, you can realize before you’re more than halfway when you’re in the middle of an activity that you really are a ‘no’ and so there– why even start doing it? So cuddle parties, themselves, are a way to get strangers, it doesn’t have to be complete strangers but even people who don’t know each other very well, and within that forty-five minutes, they start feeling intimate enough to be able to cuddle, to be able to have conversations. And like another unique thing about cuddle parties is no one has to cuddle ever, and I’ve had cuddle parties where people sit and play board games all night and they sit and have conversations all night, so you get to have this safe space to create the evening that you want, where touch is available and it’s completely non-sexual. And so many people have (_?_)7:35 sex with touch, that it gives you this experience to give you your voice, ask for what you want, without sex being on the table so you have this whole other avenue and doorways to be able to exlor what touch is for you.
7:46 Dan: Wow.
7:46 Elizabeth: That’s fantastic. I know there are a lot of questions around, what do people wear? Are they naked? Do they come in pajamas? Could you answer that question?
7:58 Monique: I’m sorry– you guys froze for a second. Could you ask me again?
8:01 Elizabeth: It’s about what people wear at cuddle parties– do they wear pajamas? Do they get naked? I think that’s a big question.
8:08 Monique: Yeah, no, rule number one is that clothing stays on the whole night. So that’s the easiest way to keep it non-sexual, so yes there’s no nudity at cuddle parties. People can wear pajamas and some do, some drive in the car and think that’s awesome to arrive in pajamas. Others will just bring pajamas and change in the bathroom before we get started, and other people just wear jeans or sweats and so it’s whatever feels comfortable for you to be able to come to– but usually 3/4 of the room are in, like, flannel ‘jammies, onesies, just these fun pajamas.
8:40 Dan: That’s really cool. I know there’s something recently in the news that’s talked about these organizations called ‘Snuggle…’– something around snuggling. And there was a judge that ruled that the snuggle facilitator was actually, you know, was creating sex. They kind of viewed it as prostitution even though all people were really doing is cuddling together, they’re not taking off their clothes, that isn’t sex. But people are still so afraid of that that they’re even taking it to court and in the ‘snuggle’ realm, not in the cuddle parties, that I’m aware of. ‘Cause this is just an open party that is available and facilitators run these and they’re highly trained…
9:27 Elizabeth: Yes.
9:28 Dan: — in what it is they’re doing. It’s not like somebody’s just coming in off the street saying, “Hey let’s get together and do this.” They’re people that are really trained in it. Can you talk a little bit about that training process?
9:39 Monique: Absolutely and for me, I’m so passionate about cuddle parties, I just finished my 327th one last week. So, that’s in four years, that’s how many I’ve done. It’s just, I love it and I love the feeling of having people come from all around and be able to– and even if they’ve already known each other in community, there’s just something special that happens as they walk out of the room. Like, first you have oxytocin that flows through, it’s like the cuddle drug, so you feel loved and held, so you have that. But as you walk out of the room, you just feel so radiant and so worthy just because, just for you being there. But the training process, when I went through it, we had a facilitator weekend training. And so we get together and have three days of really intensive training of being able to hold space for people and then you go on from there to have phone calls with a smaller group of people. And so now you can do all of it online, but it’s still, like a, twenty-four hour– you still have twenty-four different single hours that you have with the– with Lynn, or with Marsha, with one of the trainers so that they really drill you and go through the things and make sure that you’re available to hold space. You also have to be CPR-certified so that you can hold that– so that you really are holding this safe container and then each of us sign an integrity statement, that we’re gonna follow all of the rules and the things that we’ve agreed to hold for people. And then we practice with each other, we have three practice cuddle parties where we have feedback from our peers, of all the people that come to the cuddle parties and you have to have a specific level of feedback in order to even move on and start holding your own cuddle parties.
11:17 Elizabeth: Wow. I mean, even though you’ve facilitated hundreds, I know that’s only a small part of your work. So, I wanna let everyone know that this is gonna be your first time here, with us, in Colorado. We’re hoping to launch multiple return trips, but you’re actually not going to be facilitating a cuddle party this time. What you are going to be facilitating is what’s known as a “Pink Puja.” What is a Pink Puja and how does it different from any other color Puja?
11:53 Monique: Well pink is in the tantra realm, then white is completely non-sexual, it’s very spiritual, red can go into the sexuality realm and so pink is somewhere in between. So it’s being able to be spiritual and you also taste your sensuality. So it’s really a total embodiment, is how I like to explain it, and so that we’re able to feel into our bodies. And so we’re going to dive into that through our five senses and so there’ll be feeding and there’ll be touch and the touch is so fantastic ’cause I bring it from two different types– from one my dear friends Betty Martin, that’s from Seattle, and so she has this circle of consent that talks about giving and receiving and also taking and allowing. So we have an exercise in the Pink Puja where you actually get to touch for your own pleasure and so the person that you’re touching negotiates with you where it’s OK for you to touch on their body and then they just relax and you get to touch them for your pleasure. And so how often in your life to you really take advantage of the gift of someone offering you their body. Here’s this beautiful, blank canvas and you get to touch it the way you want to. And some of the gifts of that exercise is you get out of your head, you stop wondering, “Am I touching them right?” You know, “Am I doing this right? Is it OK? Do they like it?” And you just start getting to go from your own joy and 99% of the time, the person that being touched, when you touch that way, they’re in absolute bliss, in heaven, because they can feel that you’re touching from your joy and they get to get out of their head too. So that’s just one of the exercises. We have about fifteen of them. So with Puja itself then, Puja is a devotion or an offering and so during my Pujas, then, you get the opportunity and the invitation to fall in love with everybody that comes and sits in front of you. And so if couples come, they have the option of staying with their partner, or they can go through a rotation and be able rotate with everybody that’s in the room.
13:50 Dan: I think that’s really key too. A lot of people who are familiar with Pujas here in Colorado, there’s a rotation. It’s typically been an inner circle of feminine, outer circle of masculine and there’s some people that’ve been a little bit worried about that. So that’s great to heat that people can stay out of the rotation if they want but still get the value of all the different exercises you’re doing.
14:15 Monique: Yes, it’s just a whole other experience. Like if you come with one partner and you go through the entire rotation together, then you leave with this huge depth. But hopefully, if I done my job right, then even if you stayed with that same partner, when you walk out the door then you’ve realized that you’ve fallen madly in love with you. Because, for me, that’s the intention of Puja, is that you have these different reflections that sit before you that are all reflections of you and so each different aspect brings out more and more of this devotion and this adoration for yourself.
14:45 Elizabeth: So a lot of times we hear, what I heard you say was that couples, as well as singles, are welcome and included. What about gender balance? Because that’s something that you do slightly differently and I will, as a disclaimer, let everybody know that Dan and I have participated in one of Monique’s Pink Pujas…
15:07 Dan: That was private information!
15:08 Elizabeth: And it was one of the funnest Pujas that I’ve ever experienced…
15:13 Dan: And we’ve done a lot.
15:14 Elizabeth: So, again, it’s something that you do– I don’ know if it’s specific to you, Monique, but I know that you talked about it at the beginning of the Puja that we attended.
15:26 Monique: Well, a lot of my peers now are doing some of these similarities. Like, when I got into Tantra, then every single Puja I went to was gender balanced. And when I started doing Pujas it was that way too but I had a lot of people that didn’t fit in either gender and they didn’t feel comfortable just having to sit across from a man or a woman or a– they wanted to really be able to have the freedom to explore what it felt like with different energy types and a big part of my work, in general, is being able to get people past labels and be able to just identify with energy. ‘Cause for me, we’re all energetic beings and so we’ll talk about that in a little bit when we talk about energetic sex, but for the Puja then, I just give people numbers– so you’re a one or a two and you get to sit across, again, everyone’s at choice. Like, it’s so huge for me is that everyone’s at choice. Anything I offer is all invitation and so people can sit out, they can do any exercise by themself or with their partner. But if you choose to rotate and if you choose to have a different experience, then I’ll give people numbers and then, sometimes, you’re gonna be sitting in front of the same gender, sometimes you’ll be sitting in front of opposite gender and depending on who shows up, maybe it’ll be someone that goes back and forth throughout the night of whether they’re a god or goddess and that’s awesome because you get to have these different experiences and for me, the most opening thing was when I had a man sit across from another man and he was holding his tears– like there’s one exercise where you trace tears down the persons face and hold their tears for all the times in their life that they were not able to have that emotion held or respected and afterwards, in our closing circle, and the man that was having his tears held was just sobbing and he said, you know, when he grew up, not only would his dad say, “Go shut up, go in the corner. You’re a sissy”, but he would actually be punished for crying and the man that was sitting across from him looked just like his father and for him to hold those tears was one of the most healing experiences he’s ever had.
17:22 Elizabeth: That’s so beautiful, I’m really excited. That’ll be really fun. I want everyone to know that that’s Friday night of Monique’s four day journey with us.
17:33 Dan: Yeah, so let’s go back a day because on Thursday we’re doing a pleasure panel at Naropa University. That’s gonna be moderated by Carol Clements, who is the, I believe she is the Dean of undergraduate students at Naropa, and just an awesome woman. She teaches a class called erotic intelligence and it’s just– it’s a phenomenal class.
17:57 Elizabeth: We wanna audit it.
17:57 Dan: Yeah, we’ve had an opportunity to go in a number of times for different things and it’s been fabulous.
18:02 Elizabeth: Her syllabus is rich.
18:04 Dan: Yeah.
18:05 Elizabeth: Anyways, she’s the moderator.
18:06 Dan: She’s the moderator. Elizabeth and I are going to be on that panel as well. And also Deb Azorski who is a sex therapist here in Boulder, Colorado, and then Jenna– I forget her last name, I should look these up…
18:20 Elizabeth: Jenna of Burlesque, Boulder.
18:22 Dan: Yeah, Boulder Burlesque.
18:23 Elizabeth: That’s probably why you forgot her name, ’cause of her job. Anyways it’s gonna be a really amazing panel. Monique, we’re gonna be talking about–
18:32 Dan: So Monique’s on that as well.
18:34 Elizabeth: And Monique, yes. So it’s free at Naropa University on Thursday, November 20th. Check out BedEvents.com for all the details and which campus it’s at. But it’s gonna, you know, we don’t know the questions yet we just know we’re gonna be talking about pleasure, passion, eroticism, arousal and, I mean, who better than Monique on that panel. I’m not really sure what to ask you about that, Monique, but how much fun do you think we’re gonna have?
19:05 Monique: Oh, I love panels, in particular, because every single one is so different according to who shows up and what questions they ask. And so when I started doing conferences or Q&As, I would sit up there with my heart pounding, ’cause I’m all, “Oh no! What question’s gonna be asked?” And so I kept getting myself up there again, and again, and again ’cause, you know, that’s my way. If I’m scared, I’m gonna keep doing it. And now it’s just beautiful because the questions are so unknown and there’s this beautiful depth that can come out from each of us, anyone who’s on the panel, plus usually in the room, too. Every time a question is asked, then everybody in the room starts answering it in their own head, so you get to have this incredible experience of the unknown within each other and then often there’s an underlying theme where, especially when we share a lot of the same underlying framework with our teachings, then it’s this beautiful dance that we’ll all get to combine and share our wisdom around any of the things and, for me, any question, the best answer we can offer is an even better question so then people can just keep on asking deeper and deeper questions around whatever it is they’re curious about.
20:10 Elizabeth: Yeah, that’s fantastic. We anticipate– so, Naropa University, for you, it’s– we have a graduate and undergraduate schools, two of them. It’s also open to the general public so I think we’re gonna gather a wide audience. Some may be familiar with you, some may not, definitely people will be familiar with Dan and myself, we hope. You know, it’s been broadcast everywhere. So that’s gonna kick off the entire weekend. Again, that’s free. So come and ask your questions and, who knows, maybe you’ll then join us for any of the activities throughout the weekend.
20:50 Dan: Yeah. Yeah and it’s gonna be really fun to be there and like Monique said, these questions that come up to us, we have no idea what’s gonna be asked of us and we’ve all got different experiences and a lot of crossover as well. I’ve already hear Monique talk about touching for your own pleasure, which is something that we’ve talked about a number of times, even on these Naked Talks. So, you know, it’s really gonna be a lot fun, I’m really looking forward to that. So let’s jump in to Saturday. Saturday we’ve got three different classes that are coming up and you can sign up for all of them or take them individually. The first one is around shame, why don’t you tell us a little bit about that, if you could.
21:30 Monique: OK. Well, in order, in my experience, and what happens is when you’re able to dive into your shadow pieces, and some of the pieces that we feel are unlovable or unspeakable or really hold a charge for us, and then you’re able to dive into those together and be able to own and accept those pieces, the on the other side is so much room for joy and ecstasy which we will travel in later on in the day. So in the morning, then, we’re gonna talk about the differences between guilt and shame and be able to dive into places where it may have been handed to us from parents, from teachers, from society, from churches and be able to start unraveling other people’s voices with our own inner voice, which is actually silence and feelings. So if you’re hearing voices, they’re not your voice. So it’s like being able to weed through all the voices and get to that inner, calm, feeling that’s really you and that’s what– so that’s what the idea of the morning class, is that we’re gonna do some tools, we’re gonna dive in, we’re gonna have a vulnerability circle where we all get to share and we get to see how closely related many of our shame stories and our guilt stories are to one another and then be able to repair in ourselves, and each other, so that in the afternoon, then we’re able to step forward into our dream life.
22:49 Dan: Yeah, now that’s really cool ’cause we taught a couple classes on shame, recently. Shame for men and shame for women during our monthly events in Denver and vulnerability is– you can’t be–
23:04 Elizabeth: You can’t get rid of shame without being vulnerable.
23:05 Dan: Right. Exactly. So, that’s really gonna be exciting to see a different perspective on–
23:11 Elizabeth: Yeah!
23:11 Dan: On how to go through that…
23:12 Elizabeth: And we get to participate!
23:13 Dan: Yeah, we get to participate in that one too. So then, the next class we’ve got is ‘Waking Up To Your Dream Life’, so tell us a little bit about that one.
23:22 Monique: Well for that, so often in life, then, people come up to me and say, “How do I do this? How do I do this Monique?”, or they’re, like, trying to get other letters at the back of their name or another training, or another workshop under their belt and so the idea of this class is that you’re already ready right now. So it’s being able to give yourself permission and so it’s all of us inspiring one another. We get to talk about different poetry and so we divide– one part of the class we divide into three different groups and there’s three of my favorite poems and so we get to read them together and come up with our own points and then we all get to teach the class from each of these differing perspectives. And so you have your little group, that you the become your own leaders so you’re gonna do a five-minute workshop, all your own. And so there’s many different tools and aspects of this class where you’re getting to step into your own greatness because it’s already there, and it’s not the ‘how to’ it’s the ‘what is in the way’ of you being the amazing, magnificent self that you are.
24:19 Dan: Hmm. Nice. And so how long is that gonna last?
24:23 Monique: That’s three hours.
24:25 Elizabeth: OK.
24:25 Dan: OK, we’ll have a little bit of time for that, nice.
24:28 Elizabeth: And again, all of these are– come single, come with a partner, those– everything, the whole weekend is fully clothed. There are no ‘clothing optional’ events this weekend. Wanna make sure that everybody feels safe and comfortable and… Anything else in terms of the details about that one?
24:48 Dan: No. Find out at our website.
24:48 Elizabeth: Again, BedEvents has the specifics, at greater length, on all three of the classes for Saturday. So let’s jump into energetic sex.
25:01 Monique: Well energetic sex is a fabulous way of being able to expand the playground on what ‘sex’ means to you, or means to all of us and so this is a class that I’ve taught with Reid Mihalko, with Lauren Clanoff, and it’s actually– ’cause cuddle party I trained, and I learned how to do that from facilitators and my own energetic sex class was mine. Like, I’ve been playing in the realm of energetics since I was three years old and so that was the first one that I stepped out and it was a whole-being weekend, here in California, and they’re like, “OK, what do I have to offer?” And my dear friend Sid, said, “Monique, go do this!” Because I just felt like there was– it was really hard for me to able to step into my own dream life and be able to offer what I felt like, “Well there’s so many other people doing this.” And the room was over-flowing, we couldn’t fit anymore people in there and it was so much fun and so what the idea is, is energy resonance. And so you take the idea of two tuning forks and so you strike one tuning fork and then another tuning fork of the exact same frequency, even if it’s a football field length away, will start vibrating. And so if you can strike this one hard enough, then this one vibrates hard enough, then you create this circuit so that you’re make this entirely new pleasurable circuit that, then, when this one stops vibrating, this side also stops vibrating and so that’s the same with us. And so when we can hit on another person’s energetic frequency, then we start creating this experience together that’s not chording in or, like, pouring energy into each other, we’re just resonating with each other. And so, really, the whole evening is about being able to tap into, first, our own chords, our own notes, and how energy occurs to us, and then how to be able to tap into each other. And so, again, the idea that you’re playing the other person’s note from within your body so that then you’re creating this experience and then when you tune off of their note, then the experience goes down, and you’re both able to walk away. Like it’s such a clean way to be able to play with energy and then my favorite part that’s all my own and now many of my peers play around with it is– can I say the ‘F’ word on here?
27:14 Dan: Of course! This is the internet! No FCC here.
27:18 Monique: So it’s called the ‘Heart Fuck’ and it’s really being able to pull all of the active energy or you pull your energetic ‘cock energy’ up through your body, through your heart, and be able to penetrate your partner and your partner turns into their receptive or, you know, their vulva, their ‘pussy energy’ and their able to really be perceptive and receive that and then there’s many different positions and ways that you can play with that. And, again, the whole evening is just about being able to find more ways that energy can be fun for you and it’s being able to have some words for the skeptics out there that are just like, “What is happening right now? Are people–“, ’cause, you know, especially me, I’m very demonstrative, and so I’ll start getting twitchy and the energy just pours through my body but other people, they don’t feel anything but they’re still offering these huge experiences, so it’s being able to let people feel, “Oh well the nothing with the energy feels a little bit different than the nothing when I’m just sitting by myself.” So it’s being able to allow people to know that any way you play with energy’s OK, you’re not broken, there’s not– and the whole idea is, whether it’s real or not, are you having fun? And are there more ways to be able to play with your partners?
28:27 Dan: Yeah I really think that that’s great, to have fun. Don’t you think that if it’s not fun, have fun, go forward with it. And for people who are kid of on the fence, like, “I don’t know about this weird stuff I’ve never heard of. I mean, sex is supposed to be man, woman, penis, vagina, that kind of intercourse-type thing”, I would really offer that there’s so much more out there that’s available and, you know, what’s the harm in trying some of the stuff. We’re not gonna get naked in here, so you get to learn a new experience in a very safe environment, very female-friendly as well, so… A lot of the trainings that she’s done with, or that you’ve done, Monique, with cuddle parties, I assume, facilitates in this as well. So I’m very excited about that.
29:18 Elizabeth: And again, this is a non-sexual touch. It’s just people touching with energy, correct?
29:26 Monique: Yes, yup. And this was at Burning Man this last year, then we had three hundred and fifty people show up for this class.
29:34 Elizabeth: Wow!
29:34 Monique: We could not fit one more person there, so it’s– anyone that comes to this class, they tell all their friends about it. It’s definitely my most popular class out there.
29:43 Elizabeth: Are you the one that said– that three hundred and fifty person group– is that the one that set the man on fire, or was that a different day?
29:50 Monique: No that was a different night. But no, we were at Sacred Spaces, so we were outside on the stage and just had this incredible experience people all being able to tap into energy at the same time. It was so beautiful.
30:04 Elizabeth: Wow, that’s great.
30:05 Monique: I’ll send you guys a video. We have about a five-minute video about that experience, you can see all the people, so I’ll send that to you so you can share it with your groups.
30:13 Elizabeth: Oh that’s great! ‘Cause when Dan, after this airs, Dan does a little bit of editing and he can attach that video so that’d be fun for that audience who doesn’t see this live to, then, be able to do that.
30:27 Dan: Yeah.
30:28 Elizabeth: That’d be great.
30:28 Dan: Yeah. That’d be good.
30:29 Elizabeth: It’ll be fun. Might blow up the computer screen, who knows, there’s so much energy.
30:33 Dan: Well, no, we can’t blow up the internet ’cause somebody else already did that, apparently. But…
30:39 Elizabeth: Well good, we’re not the first. And then that leads us to Sunday which is an all-day, women’s-only even so do share the juicy details of that.
30:50 Monique: Well Sunday is the one day that there will be some nudity involved and you don’t have to get undressed but there is going to be a live demo and, in the afternoon, that will include some nudity and then people are at choice, well the women are at choice as to the level of undress that they want to go to as they work with each other. But what the idea of the Dakini Circle again, this started three years ago, I did this in Toronto, and it’s an incredible space that we spend the first two– two and a half hours of dropping competition and comparison and being able to be ultra-vulnerable with each other, as women, because so often in our life then, at least for me, that I felt like, “This isn’t my species. Like, what am I doing here?” ‘Cause I did not feel, at all, like there was no– I don’t like playing games! And I would just be so direct and, like, all the women in my life just felt so different from me and so this has been so healing for me, in general, and like, all the women that I’ve come across, for us being able to go from, “Oh, there’s all these stories and things that are up”, to, “Wow, who is this beautiful person across from me?” And so by the end of the event, then everyone’s just in total and utter joy and you realize that the idea of competition or comparison is just ludicrous because we’re so unique and it’s so beautiful to just be able to celebrate wherever we’re at. So that’s the first two and a half hours where we do that through speaking and through a silent Puja where we get to see each other without words and through some tools and some fun exercises that we really drop in with one another. And then I get to walk the ladies through road mapping of our Yoni, of our pussy, like, Yonni is a Tantric word for that area of our body and so often, any type of trauma, whether it’s sexual, physical, emotional, that’s our softest tissues and so that’s where the memories go to. And so this is a way of being able to do clocking or road mapping through the Yonni, through hands-on work that’s so beautiful if we can do that as woman-to-woman (_?_)32:53 ..stuff that we’ve had stored in there for much of our life so that then we open up all of these different pathways of pleasure and connection. And so I have a beautiful full-color copy and showing people how you can use sound, breath and movement to be able to move those blocked energies in our bodies.
33:12 Dan: Sounds exciting, too bad I can’t be there.
33:14 Elizabeth: Nope. He’s barred from the house.
33:18 Dan: Well you get to come later on in the evening because then after the demo then we have a little bit of time that the women get to work on one another to the level that they want to and that can look like observing and I have– again, that first Dakini Circle I had in Toronto, I had one woman that had not been touched in over thirteen years. Like, she had really, really strong sexual trauma and she just sat up on the couch with me and had me hold her heart and her Yonni while she watched the women work on each other and she just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and, like, released all of this stored stuff, just by watching and now, three years later, then she has a fiance. Like, all these things shifted and changed in her life and she didn’t get undressed– she just sat there and had the experience. And so for some people, it might look like that. For other women, then, they’re like, “Yes! I can’t wait to jump in!” And so they pick partners and pair off and take their pants off and are able to work with one another and for some people, it’s the receiving that’s really, really on the edge and for other people, it’s actually giving and it’s like, “Oh, can I really touch another woman this way and what does that mean about me?” And at the end, again, whichever or however you decide to do the hands-on experience together, everyone just feels so close and so– you’re just cheer-leading one another and it’s changing the dynamic and every single time I’ve done the Dakini Circle, the dynamic changes from that competition or comparison or any stories that we told ourselves about each other to just love and joy and “I’m so here for you, sister”. And then, Dan will get to come, ’cause then we’ll invite the men to come and honor the women after they’ve been blown open and had this vulnerable experience and so then they get to be adored with roses and with adoration and– I can’t remember, are we gonna have some musicians, some drumming? We’re gonna have some fun stuff to have the women be adored.
35:05 Elizabeth: We may have just the music, it depends. So– but we will have some fun as the men parade into– I don’t know, welcome us more deeply into our femininity. Yeah, that’ll be great. Alright, that’s a lot of stuff going on. Are we gonna rest at all, are we gonna have time to eat? I know there’s gonna be food during the Puja. No, just kidding. There will be breaks throughout both days. The Puja is only a three-hour long Puja, there won’t be– there’ll be potty break and stuff like that, but don’t worry. You’ll be taken carry of with water, later snacks, for the all-day event on Sunday there’ll be a lunch break, we’ll take care of that, all those details after you sign-up. So, again, that’s the weekend-long introduction to Monique. We are hoping to create a community for Monique here, with Monique here. Really look forward to having her teach and share, in all of her abundance, with pleasure, passion and play. So definitely check it out and we hope to see you all– I know that there were– Oh… I’m looking over at our question wall, so, let me see…
36:25 Dan: I just had a question, in general. So you started off in Utah and you went to some of these workshops out in California, and then with Reid Mahalco, but you’re traveling all over the United States now, from what I understand. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
36:39 Monique: Yes, for about three years I was driving from Utah to California and I’d spend a week in California and then go back home to Utah and eventually my family joined me in California where we lived for five years and then just, last year, then they decided they wanted to move back to Utah and so my boys went back to live with my mom and so my husband decided to move back and then I was free to go out on the road. And so I have nine communities now and then I just opened up Boston and I’m coming to you guys so I’ll have eleven communities that are all over the United States and Canada that I get to travel to, like, every six to eight weeks. And so I just feel like I have family all over and so we get to go deeper, and so, whether I’m coming by myself, or I like to bring, you know, my favorite collaborators like Reid and Laurence and Eugene and Kai and just give people all these difference experiences from that total ultra-spiritual– like we do Eastern Pujas that are total adoration and it’s exactly what they offer to the deities in Hindu religion, and then you’re offering that to the goddess and so it’s just these amazing experiences all the way to play parties and to, like, ultra sexual events and everything in between and so people get to come in at their own level and feel what it is that they want to explore. And the underlying theme of all of it is permission and consent and using your voice and being able to express yourself. Give yourself permission to express yourself and however you are because you’re the gift. Like nothing that you do, nothing that you say, nothing you can ever impress or give to people, none of that matters– those are all just aspects of us, it’s who you be that that’s– all that’s the theme in underlying for all the events I offer, is you getting back to yourself and giving yourself permission to just be that.
38:32 Dan: Nice, and all about choice, as well. So people don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do, they’re more enlivened with what it is that you have to offer, so that’s really cool. So we’re number eleven, huh? We’re getting in late in the game with you.
38:46 Elizabeth: We’re not amongst the top ten.
38:48 Dan: Yeah. Well maybe we can make up with that with the people that show up. So speaking of people that show up, what kind of people do attend your events?
38:57 Monique: Oh, you guys, it’s the full gambit. And so I have burners from burning man, I have Tantra people that are really wanting to gain skills, I have people that have never heard of any of this stuff before and they’re wanting just some communication skills. You know, they’re wanting to know more about themself and I’ve had ex-porn stars, I’ve had swingers, I’ve had like all these people that are wanting to have a different type of experience because it does combine sexuality and spirituality in a way that a lot of people haven’t experienced before. And so, I’ve had from eighteen years old, all the way up to eighty-eight years old and everything in between. I have a lot of the gender fluidity community that love to come and anyone that doesn’t identify as just male or female or transgender or however– everyone’s welcome. Like, there’s no– nobody’s turned away– everybody’s just so– the only people we would ever, ever turn away is someone that’s not willing to hold the container of permission. So like if someone’s coming and they’re pushing boundaries and they’re not– I have no problem, at all, asking them to leave, but we like to be so inclusive in allowing a safe space for everyone to be able to find themselves.
40:06 Dan: Yeah, we actually have a release form when people come to our events and that’s actually one of our things– we have the right to ask anybody to leave for exactly that reason; if they’re not able to hold a container of safe space–
40:20 Elizabeth: Or respect other participants or, heaven forbid, not respect themselves…
40:24 Dan: Right.
40:24 Elizabeth: We will ask them to leave, as well. So we’re right there with ya on that policy. So I have a question ’cause it’s very– I’m very curious. You are one of the most successful women in terms of this kind of work, so what do you think contributes to your success? You have eleven communities. I recently read, on one of your posts, how many classes and workshops you’ve actually facilitated, it’s in the hundreds, there you go with your cuddle parties, alone. You’ve got speaking engagements. What is it about you? Or maybe we should actually say– or maybe we should actually say– but what is it about you that you can actually attribute to your own business and your own “mission” success?
41:08 Monique: Well part of it, definitely, is stepping in to any of the places that scare me and a huge part that a lot of my peers now are starting to do also, was vulnerability and so, for me, I felt like a fraud. Like I felt like all these people– like the biggest thing for me was four years ago I had a big birthday party down in San Diego and Reid was there and Kamala and, like, all these Dak and Dakinis and Sacred Sexuality workers and they were all like, “I love you Monique!” And I’m up here and everyone’s pouring their hearts out ’cause we had, like, hot seat up at the front and I really got vulnerably naked in front of everybody like, emotionally naked and just shared that, with everyone here, I’d never felt so alone. And from that point onwards, I started just being able to speak those unspeakable parts and those unlovable parts on myself and it would so scary and, like, Facebook has been the greatest platform for me as I’d sit and write, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes a long journal entry, of, like, the scariest things for me and people just started resonating and even to this day I have people write and say, “Monique, I was so stuck in this marriage”, or, “Life didn’t feel worth living”, or, “I felt so trapped in these spaces and because you were able to speak about it, then I’ve come up and been able to speak about it with other people in my life.” So, I would say vulnerability and, like, the being able to step into this fearlessness or being– people call it fearlessness, I still feel scared, of being stepping into it even if I’m afraid. And then just loving people, like, really being yourself because the more that I am myself and just step into those shoes, then the more people are, “Oh, wow, Monique!” And the other people around me start being themselves, too.
42:52 Dan: Yeah, one of the things I really love about you, when I was first talking to you about coming out here, is there was no hesitation on your part. Not– first question I get a lot of times from people is, “Well how many people are you gonna have access to? How many people can we get there?”
43:07 Elizabeth: “What can you promise me?”
43:08 Dan: Right, “How much money am I gonna be able to make out of it?” And you were like, “Yes! Let’s do it! I don’t care if one person shows up or a hundred people show up, let’s just do this and we’re gonna have fun and play with it.” You know, so it’s so refreshing to be able to do that ’cause we have so many people that are coming at this from such a business-orient that I just love that.
43:27 Elizabeth: Yeah and you’r’e– just your excitation and your willingness to just dive in, you know. We’re sort of relative unknowns to you. I mean, you may have heard of us through the extended community and the circles that we all travel in, but you were just like– your enthusiasm was just– Sold. I’m in. Sign me up. So we’re really glad that you’re coming. When you were talking about that vulnerability piece, I just wanna loop that back to the topic of shame. Because you were willing, as I heard you say, you were willing to be absolutely vulnerable, emotionally naked, and actually share and communicate about your fears and those are the remedy to shame, which is one of the classes that you’re gonna be teaching. So, right there. I mean, you walk your talk– you walk the walk, and you talk the talk. Because you stood up there, probably, I mean I can imagine you’re just shaking, and trembling, with all these names– you know, they are the biggest names, you know, Reid, Kamala. But you stood there, in all of your fear, and when you released that– not all of it, because you still, you know, said that you had some fears, but you were willing to walk down that path and be seen as a vulnerable, amazing being and that’s actually the connection that we all crave. And that’s the remedy for shame. So I love the fact that you are a complete example of how to eliminate shame and feelings of absolute terror. So congratulations on that. I wanna get back to your back, you mentioned it at the very beginning. Tell us a little bit, how’s that progressed since we last saw you? When can people expect it? And, more importantly, what’s it all about?
45:13 Dan: And no pressure.
45:15 Monique: Well it’s a 2/3 of the way done. Like, I’m taking all of December off to be able to finish writing it and getting it to my editor and to be published and so the goal is to have it out February 1st and the book tour’ll begin March 1st. So it’s called Free To Be You: Rules to Live By and it has taken all of the cuddle party rules, my own personal stories and stories that I’ve seen of other people at cuddle parties or how cuddle parties have changed their lives and then being able to take the rule out into the real world use, because, for me, that’s the whole– whether it’s cuddle party or whether it’s any type of workshop, it’s being able to not have to go back to workshops. It’s like taking that workshop you out into the world so then the world starts behaving differently because you’re different. And so that’s what the whole book’s about, including exercises at the end of each chapter so that there’s some different ideas for you to be able to take this rule out and start using it and have real world experience. ‘Cause workshops are fantastic, I love them, but they’re just a container to be able to start brewing ideas and giving you reference points for you to be able to start living your life differently.
46:24 Elizabeth: Now, in order to understand the book, do readers have to have experience to cuddle party?
46:31 Monique: Nope. No, it talks all about cuddle parties and during my book release tour, then we’ll be having a cuddle party in every city. So hopefully I’ll come have one at your city too and so people can experience it. Anyone that wants to can come buy the book at that time or who has pre-ordered the book. But, no, you don’t have to have ever had experience to cuddle party, you may want to after but the idea is that’s the whole point is that the rules of cuddle party are the rules for life and, like, of course they go way beyond that but just doing those eleven things can totally and absolutely transform and change your life.
47:05 Elizabeth: Cool.
47:07 Dan: Nice.
47:08 Elizabeth: So let’s talk a little bit about how you and I or how I came upon you the second time at Sex Geek Summer Camp, that’s something that all three of us are very passionate about. It’d be really fun to express, you know, what that’s all about, what’s been planned for 2015 and get some people excited about it. So you wanna give it a shot, Monique?
47:34 Monique: Sure! I just barely saw Reid last weekend and we were talking about some of his ideas for next year and I’m just– I love that man so incredibly much anyway, but like Sex Geek Summer Camp is just one example of his genius out-of-the-box ideas. And so it was so incredible to be able to experience with the two of you and to watch your brains start firing and imagination but it’s this huge network opportunity for anyone that’s out there doing sex-positive work. And so Reid’s gotten behind the scenes and last– you know, we went this year together and next year is gonna be even different teachers so his idea is that each year he’ll have different teachers that’ll bring in different business sides so that then we’re able to take the things that we love and the stuff that we’re wanting to offer and present and network with each other so that we’re all helping each other on this journey and that we have the greatest tools available to be able to make money doing what we love. And it’s all in this camp with the lake and the different classes and the connection with each other that’s priceless. Like, you can’t put a price on it, it’s incredible.
48:40 Dan: Yeah it was really great, for me, to network with the people that are there. I come from the business world but more the high-tech business world so I was going to a lot of networking meetings with that. You know, meeting people from all sorts of big companies, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple, all that stuff and there wasn’t really anything out there for people in this industry, in the sexuality industry that aren’t porn. I know porn has their AVN Awards– I think that’s a big networking thing for them. But for us, this is really the only place for us to be able to network as somebody working in the industry, trying to make a living doing this, trying to bring it out to people, it’s something that’s so needed in our world– just to reduce the repression that we have around our own sexuality is just so phenomenal. It was great meeting all the people that were there, including you, Monique.
49:35 Elizabeth: Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
49:35 Dan: Yeah.
49:35 Elizabeth: So I just heard you say, as we know, that Reid is going to be creating a different roster of facilitators. Are you gonna be there?
49:46 Monique: I will be there. I don’t know if I’l be teaching this year but I will definitely be at Sex Geek Summer Camp and I am looking forward to it, I cannot wait.
49:55 Elizabeth: So it actually, we took over the entire campground, so that was really fun. It was private to just the Sex Geek Summer Camp campers, that’s redundant, but us campers, and we had all the elements including rain–
50:11 Dan: Lots of rain.
50:11 Elizabeth: A lot of rain, but it didn’t prevent us from eating the s’mores and marshmallows that Reid was so excited about so if, for nothing else, come for the s’mores that Reid just– I mean it was the highlight of his day. So there will be more and, again, after Dan has a chance to edit it, we can put in some information about Sex Geek Summer Camp. It’s for sex educators, sex-positive retailers, coaches, advocates, all of those who are out there trying to get the message of relationship education, intimacy skills, communication skills that will help people actually, as the beginning of the Naked Talk spiel says, truly thrive in their love. Whether it’s their self love or with their partners or in their communities. So look for that, it’s not to be missed if you’re– and you’re gonna meet some fabulous people.
51:13 Dan: Yeah, but it is for those who are working in this industry. Not just people who want to–
51:18 Elizabeth: Not just fans.
51:19 Dan: Yeah, attend. So that’s– so it’s not for everybody, that’s for sure.
51:24 Elizabeth: Yeah.
51:24 Dan: Alright so we need to go ahead and start wrapping things up, is there anything that you’d like to add that we haven’t covered, Monique?
51:31 Monique: Is it OK for me to say my website?
51:34 Elizabeth: Of course!
51:35 Dan: No! Of course.
51:36 Monique: So my website is JuicyEnlightenment.com and you can go there, it has my calendar, it has videos and different things about my classes, or something that I just did this year ’cause people were like, “You’re everywhere, Monique, so how do we find you?” You can go very quickly and find my schedule at whereintheworldismoniquedarling.com.
51:57 Elizabeth: Oh that’s fantastic. Well we look forward to having you. We’ll talk details about the airport pick-up, you’re coming in town next Thursday. I will meet and greet you and bring your muck-lucks– right? Are they called muck-lucks? Because it’s cold out here and I saw a–
52:14 Dan: It’s cold at the moment, we don’t know if it’s gonna be cold next week.
52:16 Elizabeth: We have a lot of snow so plan to be a snow angel and we’ll make it work. We look forward to hosting you and, you know, everybody– again, there’s not enough I can say about Monique and her energy so please come play during any one of the–
52:35 Dan: Pick one, pick all…
52:35 Elizabeth: Four or five different opportunities that you have to get a taste of Monique and one taste and you’re gonna be sure to be coming back. So…
52:44 Dan: Yeah.
52:44 Elizabeth: That actually about wraps up tonight’s Naked Talk. We wanna thank everybody for being part of this really potent conversation. We wanna thank our guest Monique Darling for being, you know, just a fabulous co-facilitator, I don’t know, co-speaker–
53:01 Dan: Guest.
53:02 Elizabeth: Yeah. Willing to get naked, in a lot of different ways. So we also wanna thank our sponsor, Tantra Dakini. Tantra Dakini is a online resource for materials relating to spiritual and sacred sexuality so check that out at TantraDakini.org. All of the events are listed at BedEvents.com. Those coming up throughout the remainder of the year, we look forward to seeing you guys here and any other events that you wanna talk about?
53:33 Dan: No, but I do wanna say that, like Monique said, for her, she’s gonna take the month of December off, we’re gonna do that as well. We’re gonna take a well-deserved break, get some sleep and really kind of figure out–
53:47 Elizabeth: Get some other things too…
53:49 Dan: Uh-huh, about time! But anyway, we’re really gonna start working on what our offerings are gonna be for next year. We expect to have a very big internet presence, so we’re very excited about that. So stay tuned for that, my voice is starting to go out.
54:06 Elizabeth: Stay tuned for that.
54:08 Dan: Stay tuned, yup. Alright, well thanks everybody. Have a great night. Thank you Monique.
54:12 Elizabeth: *blows kiss* Kisses!
54:13 Dan: Thank you Monique! Love you!
54:14 Elizabeth: Kisses, hugs, can’t wait to see you next week! It’ll be a really, really good time. We’ll keep each other warm and cozy.
54:20 Monique: Can’t wait, thank you sweet hearts!
54:23 Elizabeth: See you soon!
54:24 Dan: Bye.
54:23 Elizabeth: Travel safely, bye!