Liz Powell is presenting Naming, Shaming, And Victim-Blaming: Practical Safety with a Sex-Positive Spin and Military and Veterans 101 for Sexuality Professionals. Check out Liz Powell’s bio here.
1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I’m working on keeping the sex-radical spirit of San Francisco alive through my work in my private practice and with the collective I helped found, the Embodiment Arts Collective. I also value being out about myself as polyamorous and kinky because, especially in the world of psychology, not many people are out openly. This can make clients feel like no one out there understands their life. I want to lead by example and show that normal everyday people can be successful and non-monogamous/kinky.
2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?
When I was first stationed in Savannah, GA I was looking for a couples’ counselor for myself and one of my partners and there were only 1 or 2 therapists in the whole state who spoke openly about non-monogamy; none of them were in Savannah. I knew then that part of my work had to be in reaching out to the less mainstream folks and providing a safe space for them to seek help.
3. What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable changes that have been made in our current society and the field of sexuality?
I’m really loving the push to normalize all consensual forms of sexual expression, especially regarding low and high desire. Asexuality and Megasexuality are not problems, they’re just expressions of our variance as a species.
4. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today?
Right now, I think it’s important for us to remain intersectional in our work. Empowering people sexually is always, for me, build on a foundation of social justice. Without this understanding and awareness, it can be hard for us to create true freedom of expression.
5. Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic importation to you?
I’m really passionate about both of my panels for very different reasons. For my panel on military and veterans, I’m a disabled veteran myself and I’ve found that so few people know anything at all about what life in the military is like. That experience can be very alienating and make it hard to transition out of service. While I was in the service, the regulation of the UCMJ made it challenging for me to express myself sexually as there could be repercussions (legally and professionally). For Naming, Shaming, and Victim Blaming, I’m someone who feels very strongly about the need to address rape culture and to also empower everyone to help keep themselves safe. I’ve struggled myself with how to handle “missing stairs” in the communities I’ve been a part of and I think this is one of the most important conversations we can have, especially in the light of the allegations against people such as James Deen.
6. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.
I was a figure skater from 8 to 16 and still love when I get a chance to get back on the ice.