The Institute for 21st Century Relationships

Building Bridges - The Fifth Annual ITCR Conference
October 13-15, 2006 - Seattle, Washington

Featuring a lineup of great presenters, top notch keynoters, and a host of enjoyable opportunities for networking, idea exchange, making new friends, and just plain fun!  

The Institute will hold its 5th Annual Building Bridges Conference in October of 2006.  We are returning to Seattle, Washington - site of our extremely successful and award-winning 2003 Conference. 

The Conference will retain our theme "Building Bridges - Share Our Similarities, Celebrate Our Differences." In response to attendee feedback, the next Building Bridges will introduce several 3-hour long intensive sessions within the normal programming. This will give attendees and presenters a chance to explore complex topics in greater depth than previously possible.

Building Bridges will continue the groundbreaking effort to bring together people from a number of communities who share many common concerns and several common opponents – ignorance and intolerance foremost among them. 

By attending, you will:

Gain powerful insights into how to live your life more successfully, with less fear and more joy.
Have many opportunities to learn how to avoid the pitfalls that often accompany a relationship choice outside the norm.
Meet and connect with, through both educational and social activities, others like yourself who choose to set their own rules and configure their intimate relationships in nontraditional, but healthy ways
Meet your most important needs for information, techniques, and ideas that will make it easier to explore and practice intimate relationships of your choice, whatever form they take, by custom designing a set of sessions, featuring speakers of the highest quality (see below for examples).
Enjoy opportunities to interact and network personally with members of various nontraditional communities to share experiences, discover common ground, and learn from each other. Every community has something to teach; every community has something to learn!  We are all one tribe!

Unlike other conferences which primarily focus only on specific communities, Building Bridges seeks the broadest possible participation from all communities who experience oppression and intolerance because of their relationship configurations or practices, which are often closely linked to sexual identity, orientation, and core beliefs.  Each community brings a particular history and approach to the process of thriving in a world where relationship prejudice still exists as a powerful force.  Building Bridges helps you benefit from that diverse pool of experience in a manner offered by no other major event.


Thanks to a generous grant from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco, we have awarded several scholarships to GLBT activists to attend Building Bridges 2006 in Seattle.  The scholarships provide full Conference attendance, but do not include the cost of any optional events, travel, non-Conference meals, or lodging.  We deeply appreciate the support from the Sisters!

Who will benefit by attending this Conference?

GLBT persons in either sexually-exclusive or non-exclusive relationships
D/s, BDSM, Leather community participants
Polygamists (Persons ethically practicing consensual polygamy between adults [either polygyny or polyandry] pursuant to a religious or spiritual principle)
Persons choosing to cohabit without legally marrying
Researchers interested in any of the above communities
Professionals who desire continuing education credit - therapists, counselors, other helping professionals - and who work with clients who live in nontraditional relationships or who practice alternative modes of sexual expression
Social change activists and anyone supportive of the right of adults to choose intimate lifestyles or use domination phonesex & chat on a regular basis such as the above without governmental, social, or religious interference, prejudice or favoritism.

Networking among Conference attendees for room sharing, ride sharing, etc. will be facilitated via an exclusive Conference registrants' list serve. 

Conference Themes

A series of Conference theme areas allow attendees to spend some (though intentionally not all) of their Conference time in programs connected by a common programmatic theme. The six themes for 2006 will be:

Practicalities, Emotional Intelligence and Communication: The special emotional, psychological, and communications aspects of engaging in nontraditional relationships in a culture without models and guidelines for doing so successfully - jealousy management, gender roles, communications skills, etc., and the “meat and potatoes” issues that affect living any form of nontraditional lifestyle in a repressive, conformist, and sex-negative society - coming out, raising children, legalities, avoiding discrimination in the workplace, etc..

Activism and Change-Making: Thanks in no small part to the ascendance of religious extremists, your right to the relationship/orientation/mode of sexual expression of your choice is under increasing attack. Though many choose to try to ignore the threat, or live their nontraditional life "in the closet" or "under the radar," every passing day makes such a course more dangerous and less likely to guarantee your job, your custody of your children, or your freedom from arrest and trial for your "deviant" practices. These sessions help attendees understand how culture and social forces affect your private life and what can and should be done to protect and advance our right to configure our lives and our intimate relationships as we choose.

Cross-Community Awareness: Introducing various communities to others, emphasizing similarities while identifying differences; also sessions intending to raise awareness within the various communities by challenging internalized assumptions, bridging language/terminology gaps, etc.

Professionals/Continuing Education: Deeper, more intellectually rigorous programming aimed at the needs and interests of professionals engaged in counseling, therapy, research, legal, academic, or other professional pursuits involving nontraditional relationship forms and those who participate in them.

Lighter Fare - Experiential Programming and Relationship Enhancement Tips and Techniques: A track devoted to some of the lighter and more fun aspects of life that nontraditional relationships especially can foster, or which benefit from the more open, experimental, and adventurous attitudes frequently found among participants in nontraditional relationships. Experiential workshops, demonstrations, and similar offerings around enhancing sexuality and sensuality; entertaining or personal development presentations of a lighter nature, etc. 


Friday, October 13

12:30 - 6:30 p.m. -- Registration/Donor Information Open
1:00 - 5:00 p.m. -- Optional Intensive Workshop 1 - FLIRT SLUT! Proactive Flirting for Emotional Exhibitionists with LaSara Firefox (Separate registration) CANCELLED
1:00 - 5:00 p.m. -- Research Roundtable Meeting with CARAS  
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. -- Welcoming Reception Celebrating National Coming Out Day 
8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. -- Optional Intensive Workshop 2 - Shelter from Sexual Shame: Toward a Joyful Sexuality with Veronica Monet (Separate registration)
8:00 - 11:00 p.m. -- Optional Evening Event - Cuddle PartyTM (Separate registration) 
8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. -- Optional Evening Event - "Getting to Know You" Social and Play Party (Separate registration) - The Wet Spot

Saturday, October 14

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. -- Registration/Donor Information Open
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. -- Opening General Session and Keynote Address 
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Conference Bookstore Open 
10:10 - 11:10 a.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 1 
10:10 a.m. - 1:10 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 1a Intensive *New*
11:20 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 2 
12:50 - 2:20 p.m. -- Lunch in the Conference Bookstore 
2:20 - 5:20 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 3a Intensive *New*
2:20 - 3:20 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 3 
3:20 - 3:50 p.m. -- "Shake & Break" Refreshment & Movement Break
3:50 - 5:20 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 4
8:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. -- Optional Evening Social and Play Party - (Separate registration)  
8:00 p.m. -- Optional Evening Event - Gaia Consort Concert at the Meydenbauer Center (not exclusively a Conference event) for details, go to - (Separate registration)  

Sunday, October 15

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. -- Conference Bookstore/Exhibits Open 
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. -- Registration/Donor Information Open 
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. -- Second Day Keynote & Wakeup Session 
11:10 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 5 
12:40 - 2:00 p.m. -- Lunch on your own
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. -- Concurrent Sessions Block 6 
3:10 - 4:10 p.m. -- Closing General Session and Keynote

Headquarters hotel - The Red Lion Bellevue Inn

The Red Lion Bellevue Inn is a full-service hotel with 181 guest rooms decorated in a boutique-style with over-stuffed pillows, comforters and maple furnishings. In-room amenities include remote control televisions with over 50 stations including ESPN and CNN, pay-per-view movies, Nintendo®, two-line telephones with dataports, voicemail and free Net4Guests high-speed wireless Internet access available in all rooms and meeting space. Other amenities include a state-of-the-art business center, fully-equipped fitness center, seasonal outdoor pool, Hertz car rental office and complimentary parking.

To make your reservations, call 425-455-5240.  Our cutoff date for reservations at our discounted rate of just $105/night is September 21, 2006.  You must identify yourself as a participant in the ITCR Building Bridges Conference when you reserve. PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER VIA THE HOTEL WEB PAGE LINK ABOVE - IT WILL NOT RECOGNIZE YOU AS A BUILDING BRIDGES PARTICIPANT NOR CREDIT US FOR YOUR REGISTRATION. THANKS!

Please note: When our Conference attendees stay at other hotels, or don't reserve their rooms in the Conference hotel by the cutoff date, it actually costs ITCR in several expensive ways!  Please support ITCR and help keep our Conference registration fees reasonable by securing accommodations at the headquarters hotel. Thanks!

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