UPDATE May 10: A Canadian national held responsible for the controversial event has been deported from Indonesia, after officials deemed the event “disrespectful” to local customs. Read the latest update here.
Original story follows.
A “tantric full body orgasm” event scheduled for this weekend in Ubud has caused some online hubbub as news about the retreat makes national headlines, prompting an official investigation by immigration authorities today.
The event, initially posted on Eventbrite, appears to have been taken down at the time of publication. It was initially scheduled for tomorrow for 10am to 6pm, with participants being charged €20 (US$24) to attend. The event page hints on an intensive sexual education to reach “orgasmic awakening,” highlighting how “your brain focuses on cumming – not your body,” and said participants will be able to take their orgasms to “a deep level.”
The event markets itself as being open to everyone, noting that there will be potential for touch that is non-genital and that people should be mindful of not wearing perfume because it’s “a (chemical) scent-free event.” Though the session does not have any sexual objective, the page says, it “does create a space where erotic orgasmic experience is allowed.”
If all that sounds somewhat familiar, that’s because a different “orgasm retreat” almost took place back in March (also in Ubud) but it was canceled as soon as it went viral and widely condemned by Indonesians. This includes Balinese designer and politician Niluh Djelantik, who described the retreat as a “modern-day sex business.”
This time around, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest Islamic clerical body in the nation, is among those who condemned the event, with Deputy Chairman Anwar Abbas describing it as “opposing culture and religion.”
Jamaruli Manihuruk, who heads the Bali office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, said in a video statement today that the event organizers have been summoned for questioning.
“After the news went viral, we dispatched our officers and they have summoned the organizer and his sponsor, hopefully they will show up,” Jamaruli said, adding that based on initial investigation the event has actually been canceled for at least a month.
Meanwhile, the founder of Karma House — which was listed as the location for Saturday’s event — told Coconuts that his place is not hosting the tantric full body orgasm event, contrary to what the event page claimed.
“We aren’t even open, we’ve been closed since August last year from COVID crushing Ubud’s businesses,” Karma House founder Aren Bahia said.