Police investigate Bali ‘orgasm retreat’

Police investigate Bali 'orgasm retreat', Australian organiser questioned - NZ Herald

An Australian man running an “orgasm” retreat in Bali has cancelled the workshop, after the idea caused outrage on the holiday island.

According to the The New Daily, Andrew Irvine Barnes faced three hours of police questions on Friday night after locals pushed back on the workshop.

Officials say Barnes, described online as a “facilitator of Tantric sexuality and relationship retreats around the world”, was set to run a four-day yoga “Tantric full body energy orgasm retreat” in Ubud at a cost of $650 per person.

The general manager of the hotel which was to be the site of the planned orgasm retreat, said the workshop had been cancelled because of the backlash it had received on social media and from locals.

The retreat with Andrew Barnes was cancelled. Photo / Facebook.com
The retreat with Andrew Barnes was cancelled. Photo / Facebook.com

“The hotel stated that there will be people carrying out activities, namely yoga, because there are also yoga mats and so on. But one day before the event, the person in charge had cancelled due to the backlash received on social media,” Head of Criminal Investigation Unit of Gianyar Police, Lusa Lusiano Araujo told local media.

Barnes, who facilitates Tantric sexuality and relationship retreats worldwide, explained the retreat as “exploring Tantric and Taoist practices” which “guide people in cultivating a profound depth of vibrancy and intimacy in their daily lives, relationships, sexuality and careers”.

It is understood six people had registered for the event.

Barnes reportedly has had his passport seized by officials over immigration issues, according to the Daily Mail. The Australian expat was questioned over whether he had the appropriate KITAS work visa to be operating the retreat.

Indonesia has been cracking down on foreigners without work permits. Photo / Unsplash, Artem Beliaikin
Indonesia has been cracking down on foreigners without work permits. Photo / Unsplash, Artem Beliaikin

Gianyar Police confirmed that on Saturday Barnes had been questioned but was not arrested or detained and has been returned to his villa with no criminal charges.

In January Bali deported an American expat for working as a consultant while living in Bali without the appropriate KITAS visa. Kristen Gray who had been self-publishing e-books from her Bali address, said the move to deport her was motivated by her LGBTQ lifestyle and “promoting queer-friendly culture”.

Indonesia has temporarily restricted foreigners from coming to the country since Jan. 1 to control the spread of Covid-19, and public activities have been restricted on Java and Bali islands.

– With additional reporting from AP

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