For (Romance) Authors

These are variations on a number of my traditional workshops that have been tailored specifically for writer workshops and author conventions. I was thinking about the romance world (of which I’m a giant fan) but they may be applicable to other genres too. 

About Winter

E Winter Tashlin (www.barkingshaman.com) is an presenter, photographer, activist, and pagan community leader who has been teaching and running rituals for over a decade, presenting to audiences ranging from private one-on-one instruction, to conferences and events across the United States. Topics he presents on include alternative sexuality & BDSM, queer/LGBT issues, spirituality, polyamory, and disability management. He was the keynote speaker for Transcending Boundaries Conference 2014, an LGBT politics & culture blogger for many years, and is the former assistant producer for Dark Odyssey Events. Additionally, Winter’s writing and photography have appeared in a wide range of LGBT and pagan publications. He has appeared in a variety of internet videos, on The History Channel and UK5, and on Kevin Allison’s Risk! Podcast. Winter makes his home by the sea in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, in a small freeform polycule along with his husband of fifteen years.

Workshops

What You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Male Anatomy

How many men’s genitals have you explored up close and personal? There’s a lot more to know than you might imagine, and what you don’t know, you can’t write. Building on his popular “Penile Anatomy for Play” workshop, Winter presents guys’ bits in a whole new light. Learn about the wide range of anatomical variations, the eight zones of penile sensitivity, many different (and sometimes unexpected ways) guys might want to be touched, and about all sorts of parts you might not have even know were in there! You’ll come away with tools to make your smexy scenes more inclusive, engaging, and of course, hot.

 

Communicating Erotic Desires

Most of us have erotic needs and desires, but the specifics often aren’t obvious or apparent, even to people we’re intimate with. This workshops is all about strategies for communicating about our own sexuality in a healthy way. Dialog around sexuality can be a challenge for many of us, whether because some of our desires are a little (or a lot) “out there,” because we may have been raised in a society or gender role that discourages talking about personal sexuality, or simply because talking constructively about our sexual wants and needs isn’t a communication skill we’ve ever been taught. We’ll talk about how, when, and yes, whether, to broach sexual topics, as well as how to hear and respond to other people’s expressions of desire.

 

Working with Disability in Romance & Relationships

Not everyone can be a perfect specimen of physical and emotional health. In our writing in fact, it is often the characters with significant challenges that are the most engaging for both authors and readers to experience. This workshop, based on Winter’s widely-taught “Sex, Kink, & Disability” class, looks at a wide range of ways that “disability” issues impact relationships, and specifically the erotic lives of ourselves and our characters. Additional topics we’ll discuss include finding satisfying substitutions for favored activities, how one can safely explore play with new personal limitations, how to talk to partners about physical and emotional boundaries, and how to avoid common pitfalls that authors fall into when talking about disabled characters.

 

Concepts of Kink

When kink/BDSM appears in romance writing, it is often portrayed in a narrow way, and by relying on a tired set of tropes and stereotypes. In actuality, the world of kink/BDSM practices and communities are infinitely more diverse, wonderful, terrible, and (most of all) whacky place. This workshop takes you on an informative and lighthearted tour through the mysterious and convoluted world of the kink/BDSM demographic. With sex and kink educator (and giant romance fan) Wintersong as a guide, we’ll discuss the myriad variation of what it is that “kinky” people like to do and why they do it, give an overview of various kink subcultures, address issues of gender and sexuality as they apply to common themes within the kink world, and of course, answer your questions. Whether “the scene” is a place you or your characters call home, or the very idea of kink sexuality makes you uncomfortable (and everywhere in between) you’re sure to learn something, maybe about yourself.

 

Navigating Poly

Poly and multipartner relationships have become more common both in fiction and society. These relationships can take a myriad of forms, each with their own challenges and joys. This practical workshop is designed to expand ideas of what forms of relationship dynamics are out there, while providing concrete tools for navigating the rocky shoals of various poly structures in life and fiction

 

A Whirlwind Tour of the Gender Spectrum

It sure isn’t a binary world out there! The range of people’s experiences, identities, and presentations of gender/sexuality are extraordinary, and yes, sometimes confusing. In this workshop, Wintersong will help illuminate the myriad of ways people experience and express their gender identity, with an eye towards deepening interpersonal understanding and relations. Intended primarily for people new to many of these concepts, there will be lots of time for questions and discussion.

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