Interview with Allena Gabosch – Sex Activist, Relationship Coach and Educator
“Allena Gabosch, Executive Director of both the Center For Sex Positive Culture and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture from their creation until retiring January 1, 2015” (in: www.strangertickets.com/events/24765102/allena-gabosch-and-nekole-shapiro-on-sex-relationship-and-intimacy).
How important was it for you to have been the executive director of the center and foundation for positive sexuality?
Being part of creating the Center and the Foundation and being the executive director for 16 years transformed my life. I was blessed by being part of one of the largest organizations of its kind. I met some incredible people (including several partners) and had the opportunity to truly make a difference in the world of sex positivity.
In your writing, “My Sex Positive Beginnings”, you go through different times of your sexuality, first as an adventurer and after as enjoying a more positive sexuality. How were these two different phases important for you and your sexuality?
I’ve never thought about this. My early sexual adventures, while much of the time were fun and exciting were also filled with my insecurities and fears about sex. I am a child of the hippie generation so there was this expectation that free love meant saying yes all the time. Most of the time that worked, however there were times, when I look back, that I wish I would have said “no”. The best part of my early years, were that I discovered my bisexuality and my polyamorous self. While I didn’t know the word polyamory, the concept of loving more than one person openly and ethically resonated with me.
I would also ask you how were you introduced to BDSM, how did you first learn about it and how do you continue to learn more about it?
Well, back in the 70’s it wasn’t called BDSM. There were a lot of euphemisms for it (D/s, S/M, Kink, English, Bondage etc). I’ve always been attracted to the edgier side of sex so when I read about bondage I thought it sounded like fun. So, in 1974, at the age of 21 when I was working in an office in Portland Oregon, I saw an ad in a swingers magazine (which was a way lots of people met kinky and sex partners those days) from a guy who wanted to tie women up. It sounded awesome so I wrote him a letter and we arranged a date. There was no community nor did I have any concept of safety when I arranged to meet him at my office, on a Saturday when no one else was in the building. He was probably in his late 40’s. I don’t remember much about the initial conversation, however I was soon tied up very firmly and that’s when I realized that I was completely helpless. I started to cry because all of a sudden I thought that I could die here and no one would find me until Monday. To his credit he stopped immediately, asked me what was wrong and when I told him, he untied me and left. Because of that, I didn’t explore any type of BDSM until the late 80’s when I met Jake.
Jake and I were lovers and one day we shared fantasies. It turned out that we both had fantasies involving kinky things. And we started enacting those fantasies a lot. We both were kinkd of switchy so we’d take turns doing things to each other. In hindsight, we were lucky we didn’t hurt each other badly because we didn’t have any idea of safety, just that what we did was sexy and hot.
It wasn’t until 1990, when I met Steve (who I eventually married) that I found out there was a community of people who did kinky stuff AND did it for the most part safely and consciously. What a great discovery. I’ve never looked back. I’ve been part of the BDSM community ever since. I’ve been teaching BDSM since 1992 in colleges and at conferences. I still play and learn at conferences and workshops and parties. In fact, I just got home this week from a conference in Rome where I presented. I talk and interact with people from all over the world, and we teach each other how to be conscious, safe and happy kinky people.
You are a former Producer of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and still an erotic coach. How has it been, the experience with eroticism first as a producer and now as an erotic trainer? What have you learnt from it all and how important as it been for you?
These are two very separate things. The Seattle Erotic Art Festival is about celebrating all forms of erotic art. We are one of the most successful Erotic Art Festivals in the world, selling a higher percentage of art that any other art festival that specializes in erotic art. Being part of this has made me much more aware of the various types of erotic art out there. I’ve got to meet some of the most amazing artists from around the world. I’m in awe of the bravery of artists from countries that do not support sex positive work.
What is the erotic trainer work about? And how can eroticism open the doors to an improved sexuality?
My coaching is about teaching people about how to be in good relationships. How to stay connected both physically, intellectually and emotionally. It’s important that healthy relationships and healthy sexuality contain all three, the physical, the mental and the emotional. Erotic connections can make that possible.
“She is a past board member of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and a former commissioner with the Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities.” (in: www.strangertickets.com/events/24765102/allena-gabosch-and-nekole-shapiro-on-sex-relationship-and-intimacy). How fundamental was it for you to have been commissary for the sexual minorities?
I loved being a commissioner because it gave me a chance to advocate for the LGBT communities and to have frank and open conversations about sex with people who normally do not discuss sexuality.
Nowadays you deliver conferences and speaks in universities on BDSM, polyamory and relations. How enriching was your work while comissary for your present work as a speaker?
I started teaching and speaking about sexuality years before I became a commissioner. I love speaking at universities and at conferences.
Aging and BDSM; Sex Week: “Sex, Intimacy, & Relationships” Workshop with Allena Gabosch, Solo Poly, Beyond Polyamory, The Good The Bad and The Poly. How can one learn about improving relations and sexuality from these poliamor, BDSM, sexuality and relationship workshops?
All my classes involve teaching about healthy sexuality and also imparting knowledge that not everyone does it the same way. We get to be the sexual beings we chose. I give people tips on how to have a good relationship based on many things I’ve learned over the years.
How fundamental is it for you to be able to approach these topics, open minds and arrange opportunities so that other people may experience a more positive sexuality?
I have a personal mission statement. That is to bring joy to sexuality and to make a difference in the world. I do this by teaching my workshops, coaching and speaking at universities.
Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.
Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality
Interview: Pedro Marques
Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia
Project “Let’s talk about Sexuality”
This project aims at giving different people who are specialised in different areas related to the sexuality subject, to be given a voice and be promoted in what they do. Alongside this, this project intends to clear any questions related to the subject for all of you who follow this blog.
This effort to bring the subject of sexuality closer to you requires time and dedication devoted to studying and researching the incredibly diverse fields of sexuality. This is what I dedicate my time on so that, hopefully, we can all learn more and contribute to develop the sexuality subject.
I would therefore like to ask for your contribution towards this effort. If you would like to help and contribute to this project, please follow the link below:
I am very gratefull for your contribution, whichever it may be.
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