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Orgasmic meditation, BDSM classes at Bedroom event not educational enough for Lakewood PD?

Beyond the Bedroom is described by co-organizer Dan Powers, aka Daka-Dan, as an October 16 educational event about sex. But police in Lakewood, where Beyond the Bedroom was originally scheduled to take place, weren't so sure, due in part to a possible live demonstration of orgasmic meditation, not to mention a BDSM class and videos featuring female ejaculation.

"They didn't say we couldn't hold the event there," Daka-Dan recalls. "But they did say if any of the presenters did anything illegal, they'd be arrested, and me and my partner" -- pro-polyamory nonprofit Loving More's Robyn Trask -- "would be arrested, too."

Steve Davis, spokesman for the Lakewood Police Department, puts it differently, maintaining that only what he refers to via e-mail as "live sexual acts" were described as forbidden. But Daka-Dan and Trask were freaked out enough to relocate Beyond the Bedroom to Westminster anyhow.

Daka-Dan.
Daka-Dan.

According to Daka-Dan, "Beyond the Bedroom is a spinoff of what used to be called the Sex Show or the Sex and So Much More Show. That event was half adult-entertainment and half adult-sex education -- and the combination didn't work that well for the adult-education part.

"A lot of people didn't know education was available; they came for the porn. And even though they were appreciative of the education, it was hard to do a meditation-type class about slow orgasms when a screaming-orgasm event was happening onstage. So my wife at the time and I decided to put together an all-education event, with presentations about everything from relationships and how to communicate better to the wilder side of the lifestyle -- swinging, polyamory, and other things people might not have heard about but would want to learn more about."

With that in mind, Daka-Dan began looking for a hotel at which to base Beyond the Bedroom, and he eventually settled on the Sheraton at 360 Union in Lakewood. He says the sales manager at the Sheraton was kept fully informed about what would be taking place, and his fellow organizers went out of their way not to offend the sensibilities of other guests -- by, for instance, arranging for vendors of products such as dildos and vibrators to be located in a side room to which members of the general public wouldn't have access.

Along the way, the Beyond the Bedroom crew had an idea about including a live demonstration of orgasmic mediation, a presentation by Kelly Notaras. "It's a fifteen-minute-long meditation focused on the woman's clitoris," Daka-Dan explains, "and it's really more powerful if you can see what's actually happening. The stroke is really minute; the giver only moves his or her finger maybe a centimeter at a time, but the woman can have massive orgasmic energy going throughout her body."

With this in mind, Daka-Dan reached out to the Lakewood Police Department, "because I know sex can be a touchy subject." He says he consulted by e-mail with a detective, and after at least one exchange, he penned a long note pointing out that the city ordinance focused on guidelines for adult-education businesses rather than one-time educational events. "I asked him for guidance," Daka-Dan says, "but I never heard back from him."

Afterward, Daka-Dan says he went to the hotel with the idea of securing more rooms, because the number of presentations had expanded from twenty to 25. That's when things got complicated. "We talked to a different sales manager than we'd talked with before," he recalls. "After telling us they didn't have any more rooms, he said the police had come to him and said we were going to be holding some illegal activities in their hotel and they should be cautious."

 

Orgasmic meditation, BDSM classes at Bedroom event not educational enough for Lakewood PD?

Concerned, Daka-Dan and Trask set up a meeting with Lakewood Sergeant Donia Amick.

"The first thing she told us was that Lakewood is a very conservative place, and we should probably hold our event somewhere else," he maintains. "Now, this was less than three months before the event, and we had all this advertising out. It was a little late to change venues. But she said, 'We've been to your website, and we object to a lot of things,'" including the live-nude orgasm demonstration, a BDSM class taught by the Sanctuary's Love Slave, featured in the recent Westword feature "Kink of the Jungle," and even the initial price of $69.

When she mentioned this last concern, "I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Daka-Dan says. "It was just a number. It didn't have anything to do with the sex act. We just picked pricing on the nines -- and it's not even the price anymore." On October 1, the cost rose to $79 in advance, $89 at the door.

Just as frustrating for Daka-Dan, he says, is "the fact that they wouldn't come right out and tell us what they would see as illegal. Like, we have a video of a woman expressing female ejaculate" as part of a presentation on the topic by Deborah Sundahl. "It includes a scientific analysis of what the fluid is, where it comes from, how it's expressed, but it does show it happening. And she wouldn't tell us that it would be illegal, but she kind of hinted at it."

In the view of Lakewood PD's Davis, the underlying message may have been misinterpreted. "Sergeant Amick and our attorney got together on this when the organizers contacted us to see if there were any issues with what they had planned," he writes. "As a result, our attorney felt that the only issue was the live sexual acts. It seems that they were told they could do everything else but.

"The fact that they are a business that charges people money to come in and view those live acts is a violation of the City of Lakewood's municipal code," he adds. However, "the attorney felt that a onetime event was not really an issue, but if it was a reoccurring event, it would then fall under the definition of an adult business operation in the city."

Whatever was said, Daka-Dan and Trask weren't reassured by their meeting with Sergeant Amick. "Our feeling was, there were going to put [police] plants inside the audience. And Robyn and I felt, 'There's no way we can do this event there. We'd have to dumb down the content we wanted to present too much -- and we couldn't bring in presenters from all over the country and tell them, 'Be careful what you say and do, because you might be arrested and charged with some kind of sex crime.'"

Hence, Beyond the Bedroom will now take place at the Westin Hotel in Westminster, where Daka-Dan says the management has been very cooperative. And while he hasn't contacted local Westminster police to make sure everything's jake there, the orgasmic-meditation session will now go forward without a live demonstration.

"We're not really upset with the City of Lakewood," he insists. "We're saddened by it. This is something the people there could really benefit from, and I'm sorry they're not going to get an opportunity as adults to make informed decisions about what they want to attend. Because we're not portraying the seedy side of sexuality -- and they're preventing people there from getting accurate information about things that could potentially save their relationships."

To learn more about the event, click here.

More from our Lists & Weirdness category: "A glossary of kink terms you didn't want to know but now will."


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