Hella Suderow and Christian Schumacher At the beginning of this year, twelve couples from the ZEGG community took part in a special 7-day “time out” for couples: the Making Love Retreat from Hella Suderow and Christian Schumacher. This was the third intensive community time in close succession, following the internal seminar with Clinton Callahan and the community’s own intensive time focussing on the issue of love in December.

The retreat had a very clear structure, combining lots of bodywork with relaxation, meditation, theory relating to healing, and sharing of experiences. All of the couples involved made a commitment to step out of their everyday ZEGG routines for this period.

In the mornings yoga, self-perception and anchoring exercises all helped us to increase awareness of our inner self and our body. This awareness then characterised the couple’s encounters and “heart-to-hearts” during the rest of the day, as well as the group sharings and inputs from the retreat leaders on “slow sex” and tantra. The afternoons included time together in the couple’s rooms dedicated to private exploration of the “keys to love” that had been taught – instruments to increase awareness during lovemaking – or to simply be with whatever had arisen, whether issues, blockages or a need to clarify things for oneself. Then we came together again for a one-hour kundalini meditation. In the evenings Hella and Christian graced us with the chance to participate in rituals of touch and tantric encounter.

In slow sex, orgasms are not the priority. Instead, the practice creates a relaxed, intention-free, sensual-sexual space. This allows an increase in intimacy and closeness to arise, deepening the connection and meeting between the two partners. Making love becomes a space of healing.

A particularly interesting and fruitful exchange took place when it came to the issue of how different forms of relationship (monogamy, polyamorous, open etc.) enable us to experience this tantric sexuality. Hella and Christian have been a couple for nine years and live monogamously. They experience this consciously chosen space of commitment as supportive and helpful. In this way they can immerse themselves together deeply into the inner spaces made possible by slow sex and explore them.

The knowledge they imparted on the dynamics of male-female polarity opened up the potential for healing in love-making – and their opinion is that this generally needs a very protected space. It is the receptive poles which often close up ­– the male heart and the female womb. The dynamic poles then generally harden: for the male lingam this hardening occurs via the strategy of unconnected “discharge sex” and for the female heart via overbearing emotionality.

When a couple is prepared to consciously recognise and accept the personal and collective pains and wounds that appear, this can result in the opening up of a space of quiet ecstasy, which we do not need to discharge or “bring down”. Instead, it nourishes our connection and leads to an increase in love which manifests as more energy available for us and our everyday lives.

This process is a path of deceleration, looking inward, deconditioning and, in fact, cultural work. As Christian explains, “Our culture today is fixated on the dynamic pole. The receptive poles are constantly being wounded.” Nonetheless, it is not a question of “either-or”. Rather, it is all about awareness: “You can do anything you want to. Just be aware of how you feel during and after what you do. And learn from that!”

At the end the participants expressed great appreciation for Christian and Hella – for their caring, humorous presence, the beauty of the spaces they created, the female-male balance in their group leadership, the week’s choreography and the wealth of skills and knowledge they passed on.

The strength and beauty was tangible as two people passed on something which is very important to them and which they love and practice themselves whilst remaining open for new insights and aware of the cultural dimensions of healing work such as this.

For us, this couples’ retreat had a very special note because we were able to have these experiences as couples who live together in a community and have been exploring and experimenting with love and sexuality for a long time already. Especially during the group sharings we had the opportunity for a clear and sometimes new perception of each other and to gain mutual inspiration from our experiences.

Hella Suderow and Christian Schumacher are authorised by Diana Richardson to teach their approach to SLOW SEX. Information on their work (in German): www.paarweise.info



ZEGG – Center for Social and Cultural Design

Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 89
14806 Bad Belzig

Telefon: +49 (0) 33841 595-100
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The ZEGG is a community of about 100 adults and children. How can we create a sustainable and creative life and an awake awareness to promote issues of love and sexuality, ecology, community, and create policy. We invite you to visit us, especially our summercamp.

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