Alex Wilson is presenting Make It Hurt So Good: Kink as a Space for Healing from Epigenetic, Personal, and Historical Trauma and Sexclamation Point!: Unpacking What “Good Sex” Means and How We Can Have More of It! Check out her bio here.
How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I have always been someone to move through an array of different spaces. I always had loads of arbitrary knowledge that was never quite specialized. I’d fixate on art, then jump to psychology, then literature, then science fiction all without picking one skill to hone in on. When I was younger I looked at this negatively. I felt in order to be successful one had to belong to something singular, that if I didn’t achieve success in one finite area it meant I was too wishy-washy. I thought about myself as indecisive, flaky, inconsistent, and weak. You know the saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none?” that’s what I saw myself as. It was only as I got older and challenged my own attitudes and beliefs that what I once knew as I weakness became my own strength. Indecisive became versatile, flaky became dynamic, and inconsistent became resilient. I learned to appreciate myself for fluidity, being able to move through different spaces as a skill. I
see myself as a catalyst for change as I am able to move through circles and space, take what I know out of the room and bring who I know into the room. It’s important to me to share with others what I know and what I learn- I work to use my ability to move between spaces to share information with others that they might not otherwise be able to access.
Who or what was a catalyst for you?
I don’t know that I can point to any one thing in my life and credit with being THE catalyst in my life, you know? There is no ‘one and only’ I think life is a series of changes and as part of that I think there is an endless series of catalysts potentially. What I will say is that something I come back to for strength time and again, for inspiration, for growth, for peace- is community. Community refers to a myriad of people, places, and things, and all aspects of my community have served as catalyst for me, once I opened myself up to others and what they felt and had to say I found myself in service to those around me. That love and that desire to serve have prompted my growth and development at every step of the way.
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?
As technological advancements are made people have gained access to spaces and conversations they’d otherwise never be privy to. I appreciate that via the internet there is a lot of wonderful information being disseminated surrounding sexuality for people. Sites like Scarlet Teen help teach comprehensive and unbiased sexual education, spaces like Twitter and Tumblr often allow people to communicate, organize, and learn. As
someone who think accessibility is one of the biggest barriers I encounter as an educator I am ever grateful for the way technology allows us to overcome obstacles. In general I’d say we have come a long way and made a lot of progress related to visibility for marginalized populations, discussions of sex work and the rights of sex workers, we have more complex and nuanced understandings of intersectionality related to gender, race,
pre-colonial identity, deviance from biological essentialism, and much more. I must be honest, though, whenever I hear this questions like this I do not know if the mainstream has benefitted or if my circles have just become smaller. While in my circles we are discussing topics like the aforementioned there are many spaces where these are still completely taboo. I have to ask myself if the world is truly becoming attuned to these
issues, or if it is only the spaces I am accessing and seeking out.
Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic important to you?
I spend a decent amount of time thinking about sexuality, when I am not doing that I spend a decent amount of time thinking about trauma, I also spend a lot of time thinking about intersection of the two. Most people who know me can attest that I’ve discussed either topic with them at some point. I consider myself to be both a trauma educator and a sex educator- the topics behind my presentation are deeply important to me. I consider
the topics I touch upon in both of my presentations to be a larger part of my life’s work.
Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself?
I once went clubbing with Cece McDonald!