Giles Carwyn and Ishka Shir
West Asheville, NC
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Gonna find my baby, gonna hold them tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight
My motto’s always been ‘when it’s right, it’s right’
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?
-Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band
The Un-met Need
We believe that all humans need affection, touch, belonging, and connection. We need these things almost as much as we need food, water, and sunlight.
Unfortunately we live in a world where the simple joy of sharing physical contact with other human beings is fraught with fear, doubt, and distrust. As a society, we simply don’t have that many ways to collectively embrace our intimate/sensual/erotic selves in a healthy and life giving way. In the places where sexuality/sensuality does show up, it is often expressed in unhealthy ways that do not include the heart, mind, and soul, making the simple joy of safely sharing intimate physical contact with other human beings something that is rare and hard to find.
There are many good reasons to keep ourselves protected and separate from other people. AND…. There are many good reasons to overcome those obstacles.
We believe there are plenty of beautiful, open-hearted and self-aware people in our community who would love to participate in a new way of being in the world together. The purpose of Afternoon/Evening Delights is to bring those people together and co-create a time and place where everyone feels safe, welcome, and wanted. A safe and intentional container where our innate erotic innocence can emerge, allowing our shared desires for physical, emotional, and spiritual connection to be mutually met in a delightful way.
Sound amazing? Sound impossible? Read on…
Have you ever been to a snuggle party where safe non-sexual touch is fostered and celebrated?
They are really wonderful.
Have you ever been to a play party where all forms of sexual interaction are fostered and celebrated? They are really wonderful.
And… It seems to us that there is an unexplored middle ground of a party where sensual and erotic ~ but not sexual ~ touch and interaction is fostered and celebrated.
In short, a make-out party–Afternoon/Evening Delights–The sweet spot between snuggling and sex.
It is an opportunity to meet amazing, loving, mature, respectful, like-minded people and:
- Laugh with them… if you want to.
- Cuddle with them… if you want to.
- Smooch them… if you want to.
- Meet them eye to eye, heart to heart… if you want to.
- Create spontaneous moments of delight with them… if you want to.
- Get some yummy… Skin to skin… One on one…. Puppy pile… Watching delighted from the corner time… if you want to. When you want to. How you want to.
Does that sound wonderful? Does it sound risky?
Both at the same time?
When it comes to embracing/exploring our playful, loving, sensual, erotic selves most people hold two polarized reactions. The yum. And the yikes.
Let’s start with the yum
- Are you looking to make new friends and build community?
- Do you not currently have/want a romantic relationship, yet still want to embody and enjoy the affectionate/sensual/erotic part of yourself?
- Do you have existing relationships, but also want to explore additional yummy interactions with others where everyone is open and in integrity?
- Are you ready to try something new and exciting?
- Do you want to feel seen, heard, valued and appreciated?
- Do you want to rebuild trust and confidence in connection with others?
Many of us are longing for more touch, connection, community, pleasure, validation, and delight in our lives.
Conversation is a wonderful way to connect with other people, but our soft animal bodies crave physical connection as well. The body’s bliss hormone, Oxytocin, is released by nurturing, welcome, consensual touch and is essential for the well-being of your body, your heart, and your spirit. Your nervous system, blood pressure, and emotional health all benefit from healthy, heart-full touch!
The human animal evolved over millions of years in small bands of 50-100 people where everyone knew everyone else. Touch was as natural as conversation and sexuality was as open and natural as food preparation or child care. Open-hearted embodied connection is our natural state of being. Infants who are deprived of touch fail to thrive, and we never outgrow that need.
Safe touch enhances our ability to connect with and trust people, our capacity to respect and care for ourselves, our creativity, and our sense of safety, comfort, and belonging. In today’s high-tech low-touch society, we especially crave the authentic connection, deep listening, and nurturing touch that we were born to receive.
Snuggling is a great way to get that kind of touch. And sometimes… you know… you want to do more than snuggle.
I remember when I was in high school before my first significant other and I started having sex. We would make out for hours. Kissing, touching, caressing, and exploring wasn’t just foreplay on the way to sex. Making out was the main event. It was wonderful. We had such a good time for such a long time.
I want some more of that magic back in my life.
Imagine how fun it would be to go back to your own adolescence knowing what you know now. As adults we are way more on the ball than we were as teenagers. Better communication. Clearer boundaries. Stronger sense of self. How fun would it be to go to a titillating, daring adolescent make out party without all the inherent awkwardness of adolescence?
Really fun? Right?
Let’s Look at the Yikes:
These are all pretty loaded and scary. Right?
There is no getting around it. We were all raised in rape culture. Intimate interactions can feel like a minefield. Much of the time it does not feel safe to share our hearts and our bodies, even with those we know really well. Sharing them with unknown others can seem reckless or even impossible.
Even if we try to rise above it, most of us fear rejection. Or we fear unwanted attention. Or we fear rejecting others. Or we fear reaching out to make new connections. Or we fear exclusion, judgment and prejudice. Or we fear feeling our own body shame. Or we fear triggering a traumatic experience from our past. Or we fear creating conflict in our current relationships.
There are a lot of legitimate reasons to shy away from an event like this. You may struggle to trust others, or to trust yourself. For good reason.
Even if you feel solid in yourself you might be feeling cynical of other people’s capacity to meet you in the ways you are longing to be met.
You might find yourself wondering, “What if there isn’t anyone there I want to make out with?”
“What if there isn’t anyone there who wants to make out with me?”
This leaves many of us stuck in a double bind judging ourselves for not being desirable enough and preemptively judging others as not desirable enough.
Really NOT fun? Right?
Enter Afternoon/Evening Delight
How can we co-create a space that is so safe that the things we are all longing for can naturally emerge?
We believe it requires five things.
- The right mix of people.
- An elegant structure that builds safety, intimacy, and excitement over time.
- A simple set of agreements about how we are going to treat ourselves and each other.
- Experienced facilitation.
- Perfect timing.
The Right Mix of People
Afternoon/Evening Delights are vetted events. Everyone on the guest list are people whose company we enjoy, we feel safe around, and we know will take care of themselves and everyone else. This event is queer-normative. The guest list will include all genders, orientations, ages, and personalities. If that’s not your thing… This is not the event for you.
If you wish to attend, you need to arrange to have an in person or phone conversation with Ishka or Giles where we will explain the spirit of the event and determine together if it is a good fit for you. If you are a woman or non-binary, please contact Ishka at HoldmeAVL@gmail.com. If you are a man, please email giles at firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number and a couple of good times for him to call you back.
We will start the event with about 75 minutes of container building. Ishka and Giles will share their visions for the event, and we will discuss the agreements we will be using to create enough safety to allow delight, pleasure, and authentic expression to emerge. We will lead the group through several communication and ice-breaker exercises to begin to establish authentic connection and awareness of our own and one another’s desires and boundaries.
Once the container is built, we’ll help ease everyone into the experiences by starting with fifteen minutes of fully clothed platonic snuggling.
After enjoying a bit of snuggling we’ll open thing up to more sensual interaction until the end of the party.
We’ll end with a short debrief.
1) Everyone keeps their pants on
Our intention is that this is a time and place for sensuality not sexuality. The object is to enjoy one another without trying to build our sensual/sexual energy toward orgasm. It’s not about trying to get someone off, it’s about enjoying being aroused, delighted and connected and letting that be enough. And… If you find yourself wanting more than that, great! We encourage you to enjoy that wanting. Delight in being turned on. Sit with it. Savor it for the whole party. But don’t act on it there. And take that energy home with you and enjoy it with an established lover or follow up with someone you met at the party.
2) We take care of ourselves and each other
Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Do (and ask for) what you want.
Accept yummy offers. Check in with yourself and others regularly.
Each person brings their own safety. And we all look out for each other
3) Be in integrity with your existing relationship agreements and partnerships
Afternoon/Evening Delights are all about authenticity, honesty, integrity, trust, and encouraging open and clear communication between people. If you are in a relationship then it is important to us that your significant other is in consent about you being here and that you will respect your relationship boundaries and partnership agreements. This not only honors your significant other, it also honors the rest of us here at Afternoon Delight and ensures that we are not unintentionally participating in violating any partnership agreements.
4) All of you is welcome
If you find yourself getting scared, shy, sad, stung, angry, goofy, withdrawn, dancey, theoretical, dreamy, hard, soft, wet, shaky. All of that is welcome.
5) Always ask for and receive verbal consent
Say yes, to what you want and feels good. Say no to what you don’t want and doesn’t feel good. If you’re not sure what someone wants, ask them. If someone asks you, tell them. If you are not a “Hell yes!” then it’s a “No.” It’s okay to change your mind at any time, for any reason.
6) Everything is an experiment and it is OK to be uncomfortable
You don’t have to know what you are going to want ahead of time.
You can change your mind as many times as you want.
Follow your authentic “yes” and authentic “no” in each moment. And celebrate others doing the same.
Trying something new is always uncomfortable. There will be awkward moments. Difficult feelings might come up. You may decide this isn’t for you. We are expanding our comfort zones. We are challenging social taboos. We are changing culture. There is no reason why that should be entirely smooth or easy. The only way to grow is to get out of our comfort zone.
7) Unconditional Positive Regard
Going into this event we recognize that we are all wounded people. We each struggle in our own ways to connect deeply and meaningfully with others. And… We are all beautiful, amazing, powerful, caring people with so much love to give and receive.
This event is an opportunity to set aside our feelings of “I’m not good enough/They’re not good enough”, and see the best in ourselves and others. It is a chance to let go of the hunt for a preconceived idea of “the one” and be alive to whoever and whatever is happening in the moment.
We respect each other’s privacy and hold in confidence everything that is shared at this event.
9) Enjoy the Delight
Sensual experience is beautiful, natural, and healthy ~ Embrace it! Celebrate it! Enjoy it!
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
-Wild Geese, Mary Oliver
Giles is a licensed Shadow Work® Facilitator and Coach who specializes in human sexuality. He is the co-creator of the Eros Work Sexuality and Shadow program, the Men’s Sexual Shadow Transformation Weekend, and Afternoon Delight: Conscious Sensually Party. He identifies as a cis, poly, kinky, bisexual, romantic, irreverent, love/sex/intimacy/spirituality nerd. He is also a novelist, screenwriter, husband, father, and leader in the Asheville, NC ManKind Project.
Why are some of them scheduled on a weekday afternoon?
For many people, weekends are usually booked months in advance, but weekday afternoons are often free. Asheville is full of wonderful people who are self-employed, work weekends or have flexible schedules. So weekday afternoons seem like a great time to sneak away from the work-a day world and find a little delight.
And… There is something about exploring our sensual selves in the afternoon sun rather than the dark of night that is perfect for the intended mood of this event.
Afternoon/Evening Delights are held twice a month in West Asheville, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.
Address and location details will be sent out with registration confirmation.
Please arrive early enough to get settled in so we can start on time. For evening events, you are welcome to arrive between 6:40 and 6:55. For afternoon events, please arrive between 10:10 and 10:25. The Welcoming Circle is an important aspect of the Afternoon Delight experience and creates a safe container for all participants. It is essential that everyone be on time. Once the Welcoming Circle begins, no late arrivals can enter. Doors will close five minutes after the scheduled start time.
Advance registration is required. Space is limited to 18 people and fills up quickly.
Wear comfortable, non-binding, clothing. (If you choose to wear a skirt or dress, please wear shorts underneath so we can stick to our: Everyone Keeps Their Pants On policy.) Try to strike a balance between comfy and sexy. You may change at the venue if necessary. This will be a shoe-free environment, so please bring and wear socks if your feet get cold. Out of consideration for other participants, please be fresh and hygienic and DON’T WEAR any strong fragrances, colognes, or perfumes.
Bring your open heart, and be prepared for the open hearts of others! Optionally, consider bringing a pillow and blanket or any other soft fluff to enhance your experience. We would love it if you also brought a snack to share. Drinks and finger food only please.
Cancellations and refunds:
*If you cannot make it, let us know immediately!! We usually have a waiting list of people who really want to come! We can only fill extra spaces if you notify us in enough time. Out of kindness to others who want to attend, please email us immediately if your plans change.
* Partial refund up to 72 hours in advance. $10.00 admin fee will be charged and you’ll receive back the rest of what you originally paid.
* If you decide by the end of the Welcome Circle that it isn’t the right time/event for you, you may leave and receive a full refund.
* If you are a no show, or arrive after the doors have closed, no refund.
* There is no below the waist nudity or sexual activity at this event.
* This is a drug and alcohol free event. Please respect the sanctity of this intention.
* Feel free to email Ishka (HoldmeAVL@gmail.com ) or call Giles (828-782-7110) with any questions.
We look forward to sharing the Delight with you!