Frequently Asked Questions
What is your group about? We explore connection and communication on different levels, building skills, practicing, and releasing fears and blocks. Just like people play and practice in a martial arts dojo, we play and practice skills around authentic, vulnerable connection. We have workshops, Cuddle Parties, and other events ranging from G-rated to R-rated. We also have more explicit events that are by application only. All events are clearly labeled to help you decide what’s right for you.
Where can I find your events listed? You can find events listed here. You can also join our meetup group to be notified of new event postings.
Where is the event? Unless otherwise posted, events are held in San Jose, CA 95112. The exact address is sent once tickets are purchased.
Where do I park? There is ample parking along the street out front and on the next block.
When should I get there? “Doors Open” times are posted in each event. Some events also have “Doors Close” times. These will be stated in your confirmation email when tickets are purchased. The basic rule of thumb: Doors generally open 15 minutes before the event’s start time, and close to new attendees 15-minutes after the start time. For many events, no one arriving 15-minutes after the start time is allowed in. Please check the policies for your event in your confirmation email if you have questions. Still have questions after checking your confirmation? Contact us at the email and/or number given in your order confirmation.
What is your Scent Policy? Please do NOT wear scents or perfumes. Many people are sensitive to them, and sitting all together in a workshop can make scents impossible to escape. It’s a good idea to bathe/shower if you’ve been active or sweaty during the day!
What clothes should I wear? Wear what makes you feel happy and playful… You can change here if you need to. If you’re unsure, lean towards comfortable things like loose fitting clothes that you can chillax in rather than thinking you’re at a fashion show or testifying before Congress. 😉
Who is welcome? You are welcome to attend our classes and events no matter what your gender, your age, your sexual orientation, relationship status, race, ability or size. For some events, you must be at least 18 years old (Cuddle Parties) or 21 years or older (more sexually explicit classes and workshops) for legal reasons.
What if I think I’m too old to attend? We’ve had people in their 70’s having a good time. Please, don’t let age be an excuse! You are always the perfect age to keep learning and having more fun!
What if I’m gay/lesbian/bisexual/pansexual? Wonderful! Please join us. Cathy considers herself queer/pansexual and a number of the attendees and facilitators are as well.
What if I’m a POC? You are most welcome. There are a number of attendees who are POC and we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for you.
What if I’m transgender? You’ll fit right in. We have a number of attendees who are transgender and we are committed to a safe and welcoming space for you.
I consider myself gender fluid. Will I fit in? Yes! Please join us.
I’m afraid I’m too fat, skinny, shy or awkward to attend. What should I do? Join us! Cathy weighs 320lbs and is committed to creating a space where people of all sizes and shyness levels can discover their voice and expression. We often give out “shy bracelets” to help those of us who identify as shy and/or introverted signal to other attendees that we are approachable and nervous about reaching out.
What if I’m monogamous? What if I’m poly/in an open relationship? Welcome! Courageous explorers of intimacy and connection of all types and orientations are welcome whatever their relationship expression.
What if I’m disabled? Please let us know if you need special accommodations well in advance, we will do our best to meet your needs. (Due to the private location, no service animals can be allowed, our apologies.) There are 3 steps with a railing leading into the venue. We have an outdoor area set aside for quiet-time (weather permitting).
What is the refund policy? For tickets under $300, we do not offer refunds. You may transfer your ticket to someone else of your choosing, as long as they meet the entrance requirements (age, and/or previous class attendance, or accepted application for play parties). For tickets over $300, we offer a 30-day refund, as long as the event is more than 30 days away. Within the 30 day window before the event, we cannot offer refunds as money has been outlaid to pay for the venue, support team, and supply costs. You may transfer your ticket to someone else of your choosing, provided they meet the entrance requirements.
If there are documented medical reasons for your inability to attend, we may allow you to attend a future event on the same topic at our sole discretion.
What about fetishizing people? We welcome all consent minded humans to our events (age minimums are set for some events for legal reasons). Please do not fetishize or objectify people with different attributes. It is not okay to treat people as if they are only a skin color, a size, an ethnicity, ability or the like. As Maiysha Kai says in the linked article: “Treat me like a human being entitled to the same rights and protections as anyone else.” Useful information can be found here.
“Reducing a marginalized group or individual to a set of characteristics like personality, attitudes and body types is, in fact, racist – even if it’s meant to be a compliment.” ~ Breeshia Wade
Treat people like individuals who are worth getting to know, not objects to be experienced. This is valuable whether you’re at an The Intimacy Dojo event or not.
Do I ever have to do anything at these events? Is participation mandatory? The only rules we have at our events are those of consent and respect. As long as you ask and get verbal permission for activities permitted at the event, (the rules of consent) you never have to participate in any activity or exercise. You are welcome to say no to all invitations and requests to participate. You are responsible for your own choices and we ask you to take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually when choosing what exercises and activities to participate in.
Should I bring anything? You can bring whatever you’d like to drink (most events are alcohol-free, check the order confirmation page). For some events, we invite you to bring a snack to share, and blankets/pillows for cuddling. Filtered tap water is available.
What if I have allergies? The venue is home to one, adorable and very shy cat. I have wood floors and vacuum regularly, so most people are fine. However, if you have severe allergies, please bring appropriate medicine as a back-up if you choose to attend.
How accessible is the venue? There are 3 steps to the front door. The bathrooms are not handicapped accessible, but have no steps from the main house into them. Please contact us at least 24 hours before the event if you have special needs, and we will discuss if we can accommodate them.
We have an area outdoors that is set aside for quiet-time (weather permitting).
Can I sell or pitch things at these events? NO. This is for people to play and practice connection and communication. Do not try to sell your services, events, products, books, etc at The Intimacy Dojo events, unless specifically agreed on in advance by the organizers. Occasionally the organizers will let people put out flyers for things that might be a good fit for the group, at their sole discretion.
What if tickets are sold out? There is often a waiting list. You can sign up on the waiting list and if there are cancellations or additional tickets released, you will be informed in the order you signed up. Many of the events are held in Silicon Valley. There are a lot of single men here, and the single male identified tickets sell out fast. We encourage you to purchase your tickets quickly. If you are a single male-identified person, please do NOT purchase Other identified, Couple or Female identified tickets. You will be turned away at the door.
If tickets are sold out, can I call/text/email and get a ticket? No. Please do NOT do that. There is a waitlist for a reason. Repeatedly asking after hearing “no” is a sign you may not be a good fit for a consensual event.
What’s your photo policy? For most events, no cell phones are allowed in the interactive space (other than the ones the facilitators use to track time and play music). At the end of an event, we will often invite attendees who would like to be in a group photo to gather for a picture. Occasionally, we will record the facilitators teaching; however, filming is always announced in the ticket description page and restated on the order confirmation page. Attendees are never filmed unless explicitly asked before ticket purchase, and a video release is signed. If you have questions, feel free to contact us via the email and/or phone number in your confirmation email.
What about confidentiality? Privacy is important to us. We ask all attendees to agree to not share about other attendees’ experiences and attendance. You are welcome to share your own experiences and share about the facilitators, but please keep the experiences of others private. Thank you in advance for this!
What if I have feedback I want to share about the events and/or facilitators? We welcome all kinds of feedback. We want to know where we could do better. We are committed to hearing whatever you want to share and will consider all feedback carefully. You can provide feedback directly by emailing Cathy@TheIntimacyDojo.com or if you would like to submit feedback anonymously, go here: https://theintimacydojo.com/feedback/
Is there Internet? For day-long events, we do have high-speed internet available on site.
Will I be able to charge my cell phone? We do have a charging station for cell phones.
Can I charge my car? There are no places to charge your electric or hybrid cars at the venue. Our apologies. We are not aware of locations near the venue. Please charge sufficiently before arriving.
Does the ticket cost include lodging? No. You are responsible for your travel and lodging.
Where can I stay? For people from out of town, or attending several day events, there are numerous Air BnB locations within the San Jose 95112 zip code. There is also a Quality Inn within ~ 10 minutes walking distance of the venue. You can look for hotels nearby that location.
What about food? For some events, we will have some snacks available. We also invite attendees to bring food to share. There is limited refrigerator space. For longer events, we’ll take meal breaks and send you off-site to go grab lunch and/or dinner. Since few people in Silicon Valley cook, there are many restaurants. Japantown is 4 minutes away. You can see a partial list here.
Can I stay at the venue over food breaks? Generally, the venue is closed during food breaks and we lovingly “kick” you off-site (this also gives the facilitators a much-needed break, too). You are always welcome to ask, and please be prepared to take care of yourself off-site if the answer is that we’ll be locking up the venue during the break. We do our best to model great self-care, which includes downtime for the facilitators between teaching!
What if someone asks me to do something I don’t want to? You can 1) Say “no.” 2) Raise your hand for support. 3) Make an excuse of needing food, drink, the bathroom, talk to someone and get one of the facilitators or assistants.
What if someone doesn’t listen to my no? We practice and model consent. If someone doesn’t listen to your “no,” please either 1) Come get one of the facilitators or assistants, or 2) Raise your hand for help. You can also excuse yourself by saying you need food, drink, the bathroom, or to talk to someone and find one of the facilitators to help you. We will address the issue with the person in question and either clarify the rules or ask them to leave at our discretion.
What is your no harassment policy? TheIntimacyDojo is committed to offering experiences as free from harassment as we can make it regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, age, race, size, religion, nationality, or social class. We do not tolerate harassment of participants or staff in any form. Anyone violating these rules may be expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the organizers.
These events are designed to be “brave spaces” where you can challenge yourself, lean into your growth edges, feel vulnerable, and empower yourself to learn. Feeling unsafe because you are growing and pushing your own edges is not the same as being harassed.
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to any characteristics mentioned above, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following and failing to respect someone’s no, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention.
During an event, do the facilitators participate in free time/play time? We often do participate at events during the free time/play time after welcoming circles. We do not initiate physical connection other than platonic touch. Facilitators at TheIntimacyDojo may not date participants they met at events for a minimum of 6 months. Pre-existing relationships can and may continue.
Why do you have gendered pricing for some events? I dislike gendered pricing and tried not to use it for a long time. For some of our events, there is significantly more demand from male-identified people than from female-identified people. When we didn’t use gendered pricing, we had to lower ticket prices to get enough female-identified people to attend to make it comfortable for most people, so much that we weren’t covering costs for the event. The choice was to either start gendered pricing or stop running those events. Since the events were adding a lot of value, we went with the lesser of the two evils and use gendered pricing for those events only. We hope to build a strong community over time, where female-identified people feel safe attending, so we won’t have to use gendered pricing.
In order to accommodate those who financially can’t afford tickets, we have a few scholarships and volunteer spots each time. These spots go very quickly. Please note that prerequisite classes still apply to volunteer and scholarship tickets.
Do you gender balance? NO. We don’t. We don’t even try. Since there are more than 2 genders, we consider it impossible. For the comfort of attendees, at some events, we do try to keep numbers of female-identified and male-identified folks somewhat near each other.
What is “Other” under gender options? Other stands for people who do not consider themselves male-identified or female-identified. People who consider themselves as gender queer, two-spirit, gender fluid, non-binary, etc., can select “Other.” Each of the terms used are important and unique, and the forms on many sites we use are limited, so we use “other.”
Why is there an application for Play Parties? We want to make these events the most comfortable and as safe a place to explore and discover yourself as possible. We are using an application to make sure people are ready for our play parties and understand the language and rules we use. It takes about 5-10 minutes to fill out the application. We review them every 2 weeks or so, (more frequently before an event). If you’re accepted, you’ll get an email saying so, and will be sent links to tickets when they become available. If you’re not accepted, you’ll get an email and something you can do if you want to reapply in the future. Information is kept confidential and will not be shared. You can apply here.
In your application, what is “Other” under sexual-orientation? Most people know “Straight” and “Gay” and there are lots of variations that don’t fit into those labels. Queer, Pansexual, Bisexual, Flexible, etc are all distinct identifiers with unique meaning. Each term is important. And the forms we use often have limits, we sometimes use “Other” to indicate people who are interested in playing with people of any gender or are flexible about it.
Will I be assigned a partner for the event? No. For some icebreaking exercises, you may be in pairs or small groups for the exercise, and people can adjust the activities to what is a yes for them, including opting out. You are not assigned a partner for the event.
What do volunteers do? We have a limited number of volunteer spots for our events. Volunteers must meet the prerequisites for the events (have attended a Cuddle Party previously if that’s required, for example). Generally, volunteers arrive an hour early and stay about an hour after, to help set up and clean up after. They also help check people in, get them settled, and make sure things stay tidy during the event. They are allowed to participate in the event like regular participants. There is generally a lot of demand for volunteer spots. Come to an event first and let us get to know you. Offer to help with a few things at the event, and let us know that you’d like to be a volunteer. It’s a great way to get to know people, and we need reliable and consistent people to help out. If you have financial challenges getting tickets, there are limited scholarship tickets. Email early for both volunteer and scholarship spots! (Prerequisites apply for scholarship tickets as well).
What about Scholarships? We have a few scholarship spots for events for people with financial challenges. Email early, these tend to go fast. And please only ask if your finances make it an issue to attend. (Prerequisites apply for scholarship tickets as well).
What if I have other questions? First, please read the entire FAQ, most questions are answered in the FAQ or in the event description. While we want to help, its very frustrating to answer the same questions over and over, if they’re already answered in the FAQ. I’m very busy and my time is limited. If you don’t see your answer in the FAQ or the event description, and its more than a few hours before the event, please email me. I try to get back to everyone within a couple days, and I frequently check email right before an event. If it’s an urgent question just before an event, please text or call the number in your order confirmation.
Please do not share my phone number or my address with other people without my permission.