I’m at Sex Camp, a weekend festival of workshops and classes held, somewhat improbably, on a Girl Guide campground in the Australian countryside, 90 minutes outside Melbourne.
‘Celebrating Sexuality is our media-friendly title,’ laughs Vanessa Florence, who founded the festival three years ago. It’s about giving yourself permission to explore what you want and like.’ To that end, there are workshops (many of which are ‘clothing- optional’) on tantric techniques, polyamorous lifestyles, blow jobs and bondage, a juicy mix of the kinky (clingfilm class at 4pm, anyone?
Boundaries duly established, the party gets going, with 30 of us, clothed, lying in a ‘cuddle puddle’, massaging each other, with plenty of chat and laughter; it’s a great way to meet fellow single Sex Campers.
I immediately warm to Belinda, a 49-year- old divorcee and mother-of-two from Sydney who works in publishing.
‘That’s been scary, but everyone’s here with the same aim, so there’s a sense of community and acceptance,’ she smiles.
Along with experimenting with floggers and furry mittens, my (female) partner in the class, Merisol, and I discover that the humble electric toothbrush can be an extremely erotic tool in sensory play.More rewarding for me than the art project itself, though, is the chat we have while crafting, about the pros and cons of foreskins.Unsurprisingly, there is a high level of intimate information shared at Sex Camp.After breakfast, I head off to the Art of Japanese Bondage, where my bunk-mate Dayna and I practice tying knots on each other’s limbs.The irony of the activity – which, when our instructor demonstrates it on his muse, is very hot indeed – being held in a Girl Guide hut, is not lost on any of us.