“Wellness” is more than an Instagram buzzword. In 2019 it encapsulates a whole gamut of self-care activities: everything from mindfulness and mediation to nutrition, fitness, serums and face oils. The wellness industry is now a multi-trillion-dollar juggernaut, and it’s not just the realm of hardcore yogis and devout vegans.
New festival Super Bloom is testament to this; it’s a diverse two-day event coming to Abbotsford Convent this April encompassing exercise, nutrition, sexuality, meditation, inspirational talks, art and more. There will be vendors selling smoothies, raw food and other nourishing snacks, market stalls stocked with artisan wares, dance performances, art exhibits, and a “Healer’s Grove”, where you can visit mediums, astrologers and healers. About 50 practitioners will present across six different stages and six large rooms at the convent, says festival founder David Strong.
“It’s a beautiful, magnificent space and a bit of an urban oasis,” Strong says of the venue. The convent appealed for other reasons too; it’s central, there are indoor and outdoor spaces, and “in its origins, it’s a spiritual place”.
Wellness enthusiasts can attend for the whole weekend and single-day tickets are also available. “Most presenters are there both days but they’ll be speaking about different topics,” says Strong. “So people don’t need to feel like they’re missing out if they only come for a day.”
One of the participating practitioners is sexologist Vanessa Muradian, who runs female-focussed sexuality and wellness business Mia Muse. When Muradian launched Mia Muse 10 years ago she was filling what she saw as a crucial gap in the market – sex-positivity that was neither far-out nor tacky.
“Sexual stuff was quite intimidating, it was either this big hippie fest or it was quite esoteric,” she says. “There weren’t many places … that allowed this beautiful space of exploration for women to embrace their sexuality.”
Mia Muse was born after Muradian attended a “Fuckaware” party (like a Tupperware party, with your host spruiking sex toys instead of microwaveable containers). “I remember thinking that I could do it a lot better and it was a beautiful opportunity to open a meaningful conversation,” she says.
Muradian wanted to showcase the newer, more aesthetically pleasing and thoughtfully designed sex toys as an alternative to the plastic, often animal-themed and, frankly, unsexy toys typically sold in sex shops. The Mia Muse business began with toys but soon expanded to include workshops, sensual yoga (Muradian is also a trained yoga teacher) and one-on-one coaching sessions to facilitate open conversations around sex, pleasure, vitality and love.
At Super Bloom Festival, Muradian will be presenting two sessions in the “Orgasm Room”, a section of the festival devoted to sex talks and workshops over the weekend. Objects of Pleasure is a sex-toy talk, and Know Your Pleasure explores how we can experience pleasure in the body as well as “change the way you see and engage with your world”.
The beauty of hosting a sex workshop somewhere like Super Bloom is that it’s the perfect environment for the curious to have a stickybeak without having to “sneak into a sex dungeon”.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for people to feel permission to explore what is in front of them and to enquire where they feel curious,” says Muradian.
It ties back to Strong’s idea of wellness as something that, when embraced on an individual level, has a positive ripple effect on the community. In giving ourselves permission to explore our sexuality, we’re encouraging our partners and friends to do the same. (Strong says that Muradian’s workshops are known for being “really fun” and are as much about “people enjoying themselves as it is about learning”.)
“We want to be this best version of ourselves and if you’ve got something you can’t talk about that will be one kind of block to your full expression,” says Muradian.
“Sexuality often just relies on a willingness to be curious and honour your vulnerability – generally your partners are feeling the same way.”
Super Bloom is at Abbotsford Convent on April 13 and 14. More details here.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of Super Bloom Festival. If you buy one ticket to Super Bloom Festival, you will receive an extra ticket to gift to a friend courtesy of Broadsheet. Follow this link to purchase your ticket or alternatively, go to www.superbloomfestival.com, click get tickets and enter access/promo code SBBFF2 to purchase your ticket and receive your complimentary second ticket. You can purchase two single day tickets for $160 or two full weekend tickets for $270.