Liberated Christians
PO Box 55045, Phoenix Az 85078-5045

Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality

COPYRIGHTED 1997-2002 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (updated 2011)


A stroking community is a support group for people who are getting in touch with themselves by getting in touch with others. Groups are committed to open communication, trust, personal growth, and taking charge of one's own life.

People never outgrow their need to touch and be touched, and suppressing those needs is hazardous to heath - physical and emotional health. The group provides a safe environment for giving and receiving physical strokes in a supportive, nurturing environment for friends to enjoy clothing optional massage respecting the personal privacy and boundaries of each individual.

The Stroking Community was originally a national network of groups founded by David Linton and four others based on massage workshops held in Philadelphia, in the 1970s, led by some of the prime developers of Esalen massage. Their motto was: "massage a way of love".

I attended, in the 1980s, Stroking Community workshops on the East Coast, enhancing both the physical and loving spiritual aspects of Esalen massage by doing group massage. I have a detailed description of Esalen massage available on request if interested.

Before moving to Phoenix I lived in Minneapolis all my life and was very active in the Minnesota Therapeutic Massage Network of professional therapists. At an annual meeting we had David Linton as the keynote speaker. He was outstanding in his expression of loving mankind and expressing it with massage. Sadly he died suddenly and unexpectedly soon after this presentation. The biography he wrote for the speech turned out to be his obituary published by The Stroking Times newsletter, March 1987. We use a short tape in the Liberated Christian massage workshop which shows David, a hunchedback older man with a heart of gold and filled with love which he taught and expressed through massage.

I have been trained in Esalen both from the Stroking Community and a professional massage school, but have never practiced massage professionally. I have used it extensively to help people get in touch and have led many intimacy workshops for couples in open relationships (responsible nonmonogamy) using massage as a part of the experience. My special interest is to share ideas about more loving intimacy, not just sex, to swingers and have been a presenter at five national swing conventions in the past three years.

I've also used Esalen to help women sexual abuse victims get back in touch with good loving, but non-sexual touch. The body holds the trauma of these events as I've witnessed very dramatically.

Laurene Bradford, a bodyworker since 1969, took over after David's death. As of 2002 the Stroking Community Network continues with its workshops and groups mostly on the East Coast. It also has incorporated the name Sun Strokers. Laurene can be reached at  NOTE: This is for the national group which has no relationship with Arizona Stroking Community below.

The Arizona Stroking Community * (Now Arizona Bodywork Exchange)

The Arizona Bodywork Exchange is a group of adult men and women that prefer the social atmosphere of Group Massage. Three to Five people, preferably 2 men & 2 women (for a balance of energy) gather at each massage table such that one person receives massage from the rest.


We meet at a Host Home on the second Saturday of each month at 6:30 pm. After a get acquainted time, potluck dinner and centering circle, we divide into groups for each table. (Individual preferences are honored). The environment is dim lighting, clothing optional and intentionally casual so that it will be an enjoyable evening for all who attend. There is a door fee of $5.00 per person. Guests & visitors are welcome. Couples are encouraged.


Knowledge of massage technique is not required. The emphasis is on touch and allowing touch in a non-sexual, caring manner. We encourage the unlearned to observe the experienced therapists in the group who perform a style of massage that soothes the body and stimulates the senses.


The group was started by Neil Baker & Jackie Davison December of 1988 at the home of Lee & Jan Brown in Cave Creek AZ. It is currently under the direction of Harold Gill.

Update from Harold Gill January 2011:


The Arizona Stroking Community,  is still much the same as you have posted, with some changes. It is now a ‘meet-up’ group and the Name has been changed to Arizona Bodywork Exchange (although we still posses the original name as an Arizona trade name) We can be found at: <>

Changes that you may note in the article are that we are learning to practice Sacred Lomi (Hawaiian Lomi Massage) which is much like Esalen Massage and is practiced with more than one therapist as is Esalen. The structure of the club is much the same as stated with emphasis on a safe, caring and loving environment.

We do not encourage single men to come to meetings alone, but to bring a female partner. Currently, we have many more male members than female, so are encouraging more female members to join.

Thank you for continuing to carry this information on your site.

Cheers, Harold Gill

(*) The Arizona Stroking Community is not affiliated with any other Stroking Community group

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