What stops you from loving people?
Maybe you’ve been hurt by someone, or many people.
Opening yourself to love can hurt, because love can be taken away.
Maybe you’re afraid of letting people see the real you.
In a world where we constantly project our “best self” on social media, it can be scary to show people who we really are. Our pain, our insecurities — we want to hide the parts of ourselves we aren’t proud of.
So how do we navigate this thing called “love” that requires such a risk?
Maybe a better question is what happens when we avoid it?
We feel separate. Disconnected. Lonely.
Loneliness has become the silent struggle of our generation.
The quantity of our friendships is more than ever, but the quality has suffered, and we suffer with it. We don’t trust people with our hearts, or our bodies, and ultimately — we don’t trust ourselves.
IntimacyFest is a different kind of festival.
It’s a cultural rebellion. It’s a group of people who are tired of pretending, tired of the façades, and tired of wrestling with a culture that seems to make everything but intimacy a priority.
IntimacyFest isn’t thousands of people, or even hundreds. It’s a tribe of 50 strangers who come together from all corners of the world to experience the possibility of community.
It’s 50 people who are willing to do the hard, often messy work it takes to love someone else, and to love yourself.
It’s a place to experience growth.
It’s a place to experience togetherness.
It’s a place to experience family.
Thank you for sharing our vision, and from our heart to yours — welcome home.
Dave & Paula
What To Expect
- Gain real, applicable tools to deepen the connection and intimacy in all your relationships.
- Safely lean into your edges of self-expression, vulnerability and honesty.
- Experience being seen, felt, and known like never before.
- Three full days of well-facilitated practices, games and workshops.
- Meet new friends who share your values of openness and authenticity.
- Get feedback about your blind spots by receiving caring and honest reflections from other people.
- Plenty of personal time to recharge and enjoy the beautiful land & surrounding nature.
- Allow yourself to drop your armor, walls and masks so you can experience being fully yourself.
- A relaxing and meditative retreat center away from the hustle of every day life.
- The best damn food you’ve ever tasted, thanks to our head chef and cuddle-master Andrew Velasco.
- Join or watch our Impromptu Talent Show and cuddle jam.
- Feel good in your own skin, and learn to trust your body’s wisdom and your authentic desires.
- Become a part of a community of dear friends, chosen family, and allies who support who you want to be.
Food and Location
- The event is being held at Liberty Advance, a beautiful retreat center located in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, approximately 1 hour east of of San Diego. Below are some pictures from the location.
- All meals cooked and prepared by our Chef, Andrew Velasco. There will be six meals (and mid-day snacks), all are included in the price. In previous years the food has been vegetarian and this year it won’t be limited to that. All foods will be welcome and served.
Early Bird (Ends May 15): $450
Regular Price: $500
Your ticket includes all 4 days, all meals and space to camp. We also have additional sleeping accommodations if you’d like to get fancy.
Dorm (+$50): There is a 24 person dorm you may use, you will be provided with a bed, pillow and sheets (picture below).
Lotus Belle Tent (+$250): There are two beautiful glamping tents that sleep two people (see picture below). The price is to rent the entire Lotus Belle Tent so any other people that are staying in the tent only need a basic price ticket.
Private Room (+$400): There are 4 private rooms available (see picture below). The price is to rent the private room so any other people staying with you in the tent only need to buy a basic price ticket.
Friday & Saturday
8-9am—Wake Up & Personal Time
9-10am—Morning Movement (Facilitated)
8-9am—Wake Up & Personal Time
9-10am—Morning Movement (Facilitated)
11-1pm—Closing Circle & Activities
Pictures & Moments
Meet Some Past Participants
I accessed superpowers I didn’t know I had.
I healed wounds I didn’t know I had.
I fell in love with so many of you.
I am grateful for it all.
— Kenny B.
I am humbled by the incredible courage, generosity and capacity for love in our IntimacyFest Family.
Thank you for seeing me, thank you for your radiant smiles, your kind words, your passion and incredible role modeling of authenticity and responsible clear communication.
— Melanie B.
I feel full of love and life.
Meeting you so totally in the raw is changing the direction of my entire life. An amazing life. Thank you for guiding me closer to myself.
I look forward being in your radiance and presence soon.
— Buster R.
I’m still smiling.
Thank you all for making my world such a beautiful place.
— Sarah W.
Thank you Dave & Paula for having this vision, for holding the space to contain us all & all of our parts in IntimacyFest.
I’m very grateful as I’m reflecting this morning & letting all of the experiences from this weekend integrate.
— Jules M.
My heart got stretched, twisted and expanded in one amazing weekend.
After leaving the last festival disillusioned and disappointed at the lack of true human connection… this tiny event was exactly what head wanted and my heart needed.
Each day there were only two hours where you weren’t testing yourself and others to be as brutally honest and loving as humanly possible. At times it was uncomfortable, awkward and downright scary for a man like myself, but at the end I emerged a much better person.
35 people attended. I made 34 friends I’ll recognize by name next year from all over the world. The level of love, honesty, consideration, negotiation and consent was unprecedented.
Even Burning Man needs to see this level of radical inclusion.
The people were from all ages and walks of life. Incredible people who had so many amazing things to share. From the organizers, the teachers and each and every individual… each person contributed greatly.
— Adam C.
(Portrait photos by DJ Pierce)
Dave Booda is a writer, musician and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of TEDxCardiffbytheSea, co-founder of IntimacyFest, and he writes weekly at boodaism.com about relationships, creativity and happiness. He is the host of Darken the Page, a podcast about the creative process and he also moonlights as his alter-ego Boodananda, a spiritually satirical Kirtan singer who travels the world performing high-vibrational music for enlightened audiences.
Paula Padma is a healing artist, facilitator, and counselor. She has extensive personal and professional training in psychology, healing therapies, relational skills, and Tantra. She is the co-founder of IntimacyFest and has led hundreds of workshops on the topics of relating, communication, love, intimacy, and embodiment. Paula’s mission is to help people return home — by creating a safe space to melt their inner walls and barriers, revealing their true heart, their true beauty, and their raw pulsing aliveness.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I be attending with a partner?
Not necessarily. We typically have about half and half couples and singles. While attending IntimacyFest with a partner would be brilliant, it is by no means necessary. There will be many people there who are flying solo, in fact attending alone often gives you the chance to meet and connect with more people.
2. What if I don’t know anyone going? Is that okay?
Lots of people come to IntimacyFest not knowing anyone. Because IntimacyFest is a small festival (typically between 40-50 people) everyone gets to know each other very quickly. In many ways, this is a perfect festival to go to if you don’t know anyone, because the exercises and games are designed to create group cohesion and bonding.
3. Will there be nudity?
You’re welcome to be naked around the property. The land is very private and we will have it all to ourselves. None of the exercises or games will involve nudity.
4. Is intimacy about sex?
We use the word “intimacy” to describe a simple feeling of closeness, which can include sexual energy, but can also be very easily limited by it.
In the past we’ve experimented with different levels of emphasis on sexuality, including having a dedicated tent for it, and also a facilitated play party. This year there won’t be a play party, or any designated areas for sex — however you are welcome to enjoy whatever you would like in the privacy of your tent or room.
None of the exercises or events will involve any sex acts or intentional sexual energy.
5. Can I get a ride if I fly into San Diego?
While there’s no guarantee, chances are very good and we’re happy to help make that happen. In the last three years we’ve gotten everyone a ride that needed one.
6. Does this festival promote polyamory or open relationships?
No, this is a festival for people in all relationship styles.
7. What time does it start on Thursday? When does it end Sunday?
Guests arrive between 4-6pm, and our first event is a group meal at 6:30pm. On Sunday we do a closing circle right after brunch, and typically we’re done around 1pm.
8. Can I come for 1 day?
No, all of our guests arrive Thursday night and stay until Sunday, there are no one or two day passes. We start together, and we finish together.
9. Is IntimacyFest LGBTQ friendly?
Absolutely, we have people of all kinds of sexual orientations.
10. Are kids allowed?
No, we love kids but this is an adult-only event.
11. What is your return policy?
Life happens, we understand. You may get a full refund up to one week before the event.
Got another question?
Send Dave an email: email@example.com