Speaker Spotlight: Amy Jo Goddard

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Mar 052013
 

Amy Jo is presenting The Burned-Out Sexuality Professional. Check out Amy Jo’s bio here.

 

Amy Jo GoddardHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I thrive on thinking outside of the box and challenging others to do so. I have been actively seeking and creating new models for working successfully in the sexuality field, with paychecks that match the gratification of doing the work. I have totally transformed my life and business through my pursuit of business knowledge, changing my business structure and my mindset around money. I launched SPECTRA because I am now committed to helping other professionals do the same for their sexuality work so that more of us can thrive and be in the abundance that is energetically aligned with sexuality, which is truly about expansion and evolution.

I still hear people talk from a place of  “there’s not enough” or from a place of competition and I know it doesn’t serve us and that it’s just false. I am here as an example of how there is enough, and sharing the knowledge of “how” is what will make our field stronger and more visible in the world, which means we truly get to serve in the way we desire to.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

I’m so blessed to have so many amazing mentors—not just in the sexuality field but in all areas of my life. Watching many of my mentors, most of whom are women, struggle with money and not meeting their financial needs has been a huge catalyst for me. I knew there was something we were missing. I knew I could figure out what that was and that there is some piece of wisdom that I was not getting from my mentors, as much as I learned from each of them in many other ways. I actively sought out new mentors who I knew could help me get to the other side of the lack mentality that I had been steeped in so I could make the money I want to make AND do the valuable sexuality work I want to do. And now I am a mentor to others so they can have both.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

I think far too many people come to the sexuality field embracing the idea that they are doing the work out of their passion and goodwill, and that they don’t need to be paid for it, or that they “shouldn’t” because their devotion to the cause should be enough. I really want to challenge that. Our work is valuable, and we need to believe and understand that value in order to effect real change.

When we value our work and ourselves as professionals, we raise the bar for the entire field in terms of the professionalism, public visibility and financial solvency we’re able to work with. This is an amazing time for us: our field is growing and we have an opportunity to create and develop it in the way that will sustain us and our businesses so that we can truly serve the world with our gifts, because the world sure needs them.

I also think we are far too steeped in our own shame and that we need to begin to look at how we shame each other for asking questions, for raising issues, or for not doing things they way we think it should be done. I have watched many educators, advocates and activists use shame as a way to point out how wrong a colleague is or how problematic someone’s approach/language/point-of-view is. If we do not address the way we shame each other, then we simply reproduce the same shame that we are ostensibly here to help people with.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Burned-Out Sexuality Professional, to CatalystCon East?

We must address burnout and how to take better care of ourselves. We will not survive if we keep running ourselves down to the bone and not getting the return on what we give. Sexuality professionals are notorious for not taking care of ourselves and for a high level of burnout because we give give give, and don’t allow ourselves to receive what we need for our work. The irony (and incongruency) is that we teach people about giving and receiving!

In my session, I’m not only going to address the personal care aspect of taking care of ourselves; I will also discuss how we need to structure and do business in order to sustain our work and provide quality services and products to our clients, students, customers and constituents. Whether you own your own business, do it on the side, work at a non-profit or in some other capacity, this workshop will address the key components required to thrive in this field for the long term. I’ve worked in it for nearly 20 years and I’ve seen many of the pitfalls and I know a thing or two about what it takes to do our work well.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I am a novice surfer and I can stay in the ocean all day long and be the happiest girl on earth. I see surfing as such a metaphor for life: risk-taking, the power of thinking you can do it, and enjoying the ride. I’m currently relocating back to California to hopefully live the surf lifestyle I never got to! That’s self-care!

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Introducing: CCON East’s official photographer

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Mar 042013
 

We are thrilled to announce that CatalystCon East will have an official photographer on staff.

 

Tyler Grigsby Tyler Keegan Grigsby is a photographer, DC native and trans activist, all of which informs and motivates his artistic work. He has a passion for documenting and celebrating the lives of the amazing people he meets. He thrives on being able to work with people, especially people at the margins of society, to give them a platform to tell and share their stories the way they want they want them to be remembered.

Find Tyler at TylerGrigsby.com. Follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter.

IMG_8814CatalystCon very much understands and respects the need for privacy among attendees and speakers.  There will be a red “NO Photos” button available to all attendees at registration. The red “NO Photos” button means just what it says: no photos will be taken of anyone wearing a “NO photos” button without explicit permission.

This button should be pinned to your lanyard directly above your badge for best visibility.

Speaker Spotlight: Robin Mandell

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Mar 012013
 

Robin Mandell is presenting Why Talk About Sex And Disability Anyway? and Sex Work and Disability. Check out Robin’s bio here.

 

Robin MandellHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

Well, it feels a little self-aggrandizing to call myself a catalyst of anything, but I suppose that, in a way, I am—or at least aim to be.  As a woman with both visible and not-so-visible disabilities, I’m aware that as I talk about sex and disability I am a visible reminder that people with disabilities are real, not just theoretical concepts to fuel a subtopic for the sexuality field.  This visibility is what motivated me to start speaking up and speaking out about disabled people’s sexualities.   I use my knowledge and lived reality of the varied experiences of being disabled in conjunction with my sexuality and sex education knowledge, and vice versa.

In my other guise, as Volunteer Assistant Director of Scarleteen, I promote change every day through educating teens and young adults–another subset of the population who, no matter how visible they are in popular culture, regularly have their rights and existence as real people tromped on or forgotten.  It’s cliché to say that young people are our future, but they truly are, and promoting their sexual, physical, and emotional well-being (in other words, just plain happiness) is paramount.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

There have been so many catalysts in my life, some of which I wasn’t aware of until long after they happened.  I have Ducky DooLittle—her humour, smarts, and winning personality (and wonderful hugs!)–to thank for launching me into this field, but the seed was planted long before, at a body-positive, feminist, inclusive sex toy workshop run by Carlyle Jansen, the owner of Good For Her in Toronto.  She taught me where the clitoris is; need I say more?

Seriously, though, Carlyle’s attention to keeping the workshop emotionally safe for everyone, her friendliness and openness, her vacility with using her hands and a tam (a woolen hat with a pompom on top) to illustrate the parts of the vulva, all sent  a subtle message of acceptance.  She was a marvelous model of the educator I didn’t know at the time I would end up being.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

The political climate here in the US  has made people’s bodies, and access to healthcare such contentious issues that I do fear they threaten to tear apart people’s sense of autonomy and happiness.  I’m deeply distressed by the fear-mongering around sex and sexuality, and the impact I see this having on people’s mental health, not to mention affecting their ability to care for themselves physically.

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

I’ve been particularly pleased to see more resources and information emerging about the ways sex workers and people with disabilities are working together to enrich disabled people’s experiences of sexuality.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex Work and Disability, to CatalystCon East?

The more I read, and listen to—there’s been some excellent documentary work done on this topic—about the work that sex workers and people with disabilities are doing together in other countries, the more I realize how vital sex work or sex surrogacy is to the experience of being disabled in our culture.  We live in a society where sex isn’t seen as important for people who can’t “do it” the “normal” way, a society where the medical and rehabilitation systems are sterile entities, suppressing or ignoring the existence of sexuality, and where relationship models don’t support relationships where one person might need, and always need, substantially more (in terms of physical or emotional support) from the other.  Both the medical system, and intimate relationships, are considered sacrosanct, which makes it feel like a taboo to have written what I just wrote (which is why it needs to be written and spoken).

This is where sex work and sex workers can be so valuable.  Just as adaptive technology can lead to independence for disabled people, so to can employing a sex worker lead to sexual independence, not to mention the opportunity to explore sex and sexuality unjudged, and to enjoy adventure.

At Catalyst West, I brought some of these issues up during Sabrina Morgan’s session on client stigma, and that is where this session was born.  In offering this presentation, I do feel some mild conflict, as the illegality of sex work in the US makes it difficult for us to take this work into the margins of public discourse, either on sex or on the lives of people with disabilities.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Why Talk About Sex And Disability Anyway?, to CatalystCon East?

I’ve noticed that sex and disability is a popular topic these days.  It’s almost a buzz-word.  So I got to thinking about why we need to talk about it in the first place. What are some of the realities underlying the need to talk about sex and people with disabilities? What are some of the realities talking about disability brings to the discussion of sex?

People with disabilities have more social and occupational opportunities now than in times past, but that sort of inclusion has a blind spot (pun intended) when it comes to disabled people’s sexualities.

We really can’t have a good understanding of sex and disability, unless we look at understanding its components, “sex” and “disability.”  If we look at just two components, for example—the cultural beliefs of what “real” sex is, and culturally manufactured complications to social inclusion for disabled people—we see how complex the discussion can get.  Talking about sex and disability has to go so much further than talking about access to sex stores or events, or talking about toy accessibility (though those are both worthy and necessary–and to me, interesting—topics).

I’m excited to be able to present this talk again with Robert Lawrence, who has vast knowledge and personal and professional experience in this field.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I have memorized all of the two-letter words (there are over 100) “legal” to use in a Scrabble game.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Speaker Spotlight: Robert Lawrence

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Feb 282013
 

Dr. Robert Morgan Lawrence is presenting Why Talk About Sex And Disability Anyway? and the CatalystCon Closing Keynote Plenary Address: Afternoon Tea with Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence. Check out Robert’s bio here.

 

How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I’ve been teaching basic concepts of sexual anatomy, consent and freedom of sexual identity since 1979.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Dr. Maggie Rubenstein, San Francisco Sex Information, my mother, my grandparents. My mother taught sex classes, My Grandmother was a suffragette and Grandad was a drag performer in the 1930’s thru the 1950’s.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

A willing lack of care and organized knowledge about our history as sex educators, no national consistency in educational standards. Media mythologies and bias which are unsupportive of adult sex education in the US.

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

Publication of research done on the human brain.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Why Talk About Sex And Disability Anyway?, to CatalystCon East?

I am 100% disabled, permanently and completely. Yet it is still possible for me to have sex, even if you don’t recognize it as such. Let me tell you how.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, the CatalystCon Closing Keynote Plenary Address: Afternoon Tea with Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence, to CatalystCon East?

As a lecturer for the past 40 years I’m not published much but some bits of my original work are in use by nearly everyone who teaches adult sexuality.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I once turned down Rudolf Nureyve for sex.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

CatalystCon to Host Fundraisers for Scarleteen.com

 CCON East, CCON East 2013, Press Release  Comments Off on CatalystCon to Host Fundraisers for Scarleteen.com
Feb 272013
 

Sexuality Conference to Host 2 Fundraisers for Sex Education & Information Site!

CatalystCon founder Dee Dennis announces two fundraising efforts to benefit sex education and information site Scarleteen.com during next month’s CatalystCon East conference in DC-adjacent Arlington, Virginia.

“As a mother myself, I know about the lack of valid sexual information available to children and teenagers,” says Dee Dennis. “Scarleteen fits perfectly with the CatalystCon message of ‘knowledge is power.’ I am thrilled to give CatalystCon attendees the opportunity to fund their important work.”

Dennis has donated two tickets to a future CatalystCon Conference to be raffled off at CatalystCon East. Tickets are $5 (or five for $20) and will be available at the registration table throughout the entire weekend of CatalystCon East. The drawing will take place during the conference’s closing remarks, although attendees need not be present to win.

The second fundraiser is a special “masquerade” art project, sponsored by Artpulp.net. For a $5 donation, each participant will be given a mask and access to art supplies to create a mask that represents an identity. This identity could represent the mask they feel necessary to wear on a daily basis, the identity they feel the need to hide, or the identity of the creative and sexual force they have within. Every mask will be an effort to open the lines of communication about sexuality and freedom. All the finished masks created will be photographed at the conference and be viewable in an exclusive gallery at Artpulp.net/masks. Each $5 mask donation will include a “coupon” to purchase one raffle ticket at the discounted price of $1.

Information about both fundraisers may be found at CatalystCon.com/fundraiser.

“We’re so grateful to Dee Dennis and the attendees of CatalystCon for their generous help in sustaining our organization,” said Heather Corinna, Executive Director of Scarleteen. “As one of the pioneering sources of sex education for young people that’s not just about risks, but also about pleasure and the larger scope of sexuality, we’re delighted to be aligned with CatalystCon and the sex-positive community in our shared aim of understanding, framing, and celebrating sexuality in a positive, affirming way.”

The CatalystCon conference was created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. Throughout the course of CatalystCon East, more than 70 speakers from around the world will present 40 sessions on a wide array of topics, including: Los Angeles’ controversial Measure B, which mandated the use of condoms in adult video production; sex-positive parenting; toxic toys; a humanistic perspective on male circumcision; the impact of religion and media on sexuality and body image; sexuality from a trans perspective; how to help educators effectively teach sexual topics; and more.

Sponsors for CatalystCon East include ANEROS, Sportsheets International, The Pleasure Chest, Tantus, Wet International, artpulp, The FC2 Female Condom, Good Vibrations, “Sex Out Loud” with Tristan Taormino, Sexquire, and The Smitten Kitten. For more information on the official sponsors, visit CatalystCon.com/Sponsors-East.

CatalystCon East will take place March 15-17 at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. Registration is currently open at CatalystCon.com/Register. Full weekend tickets are sold out, but a limited amount of Saturday / Sunday tickets are still available.

Join the conversation at CatalystCon East!

 CCON East 2013  Comments Off on Join the conversation at CatalystCon East!
Feb 272013
 

CatalystCon East 2013CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk and treat sexuality.

We want to make it easier for CatalystCon attendees (and those who are unable to attend in person) to continue those conversations online before, during and after the conference. Join the conversation by using hashtag #ccon on Twitter and follow @CatalystCon for updates throughout the weekend.

We have also created individual hashtags for each session, keynote, workshop and special event to help facilitate these conversations. (You can find them below.) Our social media team will once again be rounding up all of the best tweets and using Storify to curate them and tell the story of CatalystCon. You can view all of the Live Coverage from the first CatalystCon here and the page will be updated after CatalystCon East with those stories as well. But without all of you who live tweet the conference, there would be no stories to tell here! So keep the conversation going…

“Knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.” This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon.

 Hashtags for CatalystCon East 2013

Keynote Addresses:

Pre-Con Workshops:

Sessions:

Special Events/Entertainment:

Speaker Spotlight: Carol Queen

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Carol Queen
Feb 272013
 

Carol Queen is presenting How to Become a Successful Erotic Writer, Slut Shaming in Sex-Positive CommunitiesThe Fifty Shades Phenomenon and Its Effect on Our Social Sexual Behavior and the CatalystCon Closing Keynote Plenary Address: Afternoon Tea with Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence. Check out Carol’s bio here.

 

Carol QueenHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I’m really fortunate to have a platform (or several) for discussing issues of sexual diversity, acceptance, sex-positivity, and all the other things I’m known for as a commentator and activist. I work with Good Vibrations, the Center for Sex & Culture, Robert, and solo, writing, speaking, and interfacing with the media, to try to give more complex and nuanced information about sexuality to anyone (consenting) I can get my hands on. I think that by both modeling lived sexual difference/diversity and also addressing these things in academic and lay terms, I can help catalyze others’ understanding of their erotic and relational choices as well as their abilities to act on those choices.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Becoming sexual as a teenager, with very little access to any kind of resources that would make that process easier, AND coming out as queer were the two huge issues that catalyzed me when I was young; just a little later, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and my move to San Francisco were huge influences on me. Finally, meeting Betty Dodson and Joani Blank, getting involved with Robert, and attending the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality majorly shaped my work, my perspectives, and my adult experience.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

I want to call out four things to answer this, though in reality I think this is a huge and important question with possible answers that go beyond what I’m going to address.

One: I think the world/field of sexuality is in the crosshairs of conservative politicians and others, and I believe a new battle in the so-called “culture wars” has begun; it’s especially obvious in the attention being given to porn, prostitution/trafficking, and “sex addiction.” Look at all the outrageous things being said about women’s sexuality, LGBT issues, etc. by right-wing politicians in the last political season and you’ll see that we are far from comfortable with sexuality in the US. It’s not impossible to imagine a really significant backlash, and I think we should all have our eyes on that as a possible challenge over the next few years.

Two: WAY more people are now interested in making a living doing sex education of some sort than there are jobs to held them. So we have to develop them, and people have to develop entrepreneurial skills. Obviously the health of the economy will make a difference in how easy this is to do, as will the “culture war” questions I mentioned.

Three: I don’t think we always do as well as we could about diversity issues within our community–things like race, class and culture, and in some cases more philosophical things. (See below.) I especially think this is an issue of access to the ideas and opportunities associated with sex-positive education; not everyone gets access to this information and these ideas. (This issue could certainly dovetail with my #2 issue, as well.)

Finally, I think there’s currently a really interesting generation gap in our community as younger activists come into their own and begin to establish some ownership and/or altered perspective over the issues we all work with. Most notable to me about this is the backlash against the term “sex-positive.” I find this really fascinating and also possibly a source of discord that could sidetrack us, as well as affect younger activists’ access to (and interest in) the history of our community/ies and movement/s.

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

I really love the discourse that happened about slut-shaming, LGBT issues, and rape/consent after the pack of right-wing politicians and commentators went off on their entertaining and scary tangents last year. The calling-out of those awful perspectives didn’t just come from us — lots of people in the culture were part of it, which is great. If our ideas *don’t* find their way into the mainstream on some levels, it marginalizes us in ways that may make our community/ies feel special, but also limits our ability to affect change. I also LOVE the new Feminist Porn Book and think it’s going to make a great splash. And though I’m not pro-marriage, I *am* pro-marriage equality, and this has been a pretty amazing year for that issue.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Slut Shaming in Sex-Positive Communities, to CatalystCon East?

Even without Rush Limbaugh and the guy who talked about women holding aspirin between their knees, the slut (or, more precisely, slut-shaming) has been part of the political discourse recently, and the SlutWalks have really made an impression. But when slut-shaming happens among us, it’s really a vital issue to talk about, and talking about it unpacks one of the core elements of sex-positivity: each person’s right to their own sexuality (that isn’t necessarily the same as others’ either in specific practices, frequency, or context).

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, How to Become a Successful Erotic Writer, to CatalystCon East?

Getting one’s work published is such an important part of establishing a voice about sexuality, whether it’s erotic work or other kinds of writing like essays, how-to, etc. Especially on the heels of 50 Shades of Grey, I think many people dream of hitting the big time as erotic writers, and getting more information about this field will be a great inspiration AND reality check! (And people who attend this should also come to the Saturday night reading that Rachel Kramer Bussel is organizing: In the Flesh.)

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, the CatalystCon Closing Keynote Plenary Address: Afternoon Tea with Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence, to CatalystCon East?

I am really excited to share this discussion with Robert and tell attendees more about our history of activism — and the sex-positive community in San Francisco, which is such a substantial influence on both of us. We’ve had amazing adventures that people will, I think, love hearing about. And we both have a great interest in the way this community is developing and how we move forward, and it’s a privilege to have this forum to share some of these thoughts. Plus, Robert doesn’t have as much verbiage in print as I do — and there will be people at Catalyst who haven’t met him or his thoughts before. They’re in for a treat.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I was once going to study historic preservationist architecture, which explains my dream of owning a chain of tattoo studios specializing in images of notable architectural detail from the city where the studio is based. But who has the time?!

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Speaker Spotlight: Harper Jean Tobin

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Harper Jean Tobin
Feb 262013
 

Harper Jean Tobin is presenting Sex and Sexuality from a Trans Perspective. Check out Harper’s profile here.

 

Harper Jean Tobin

How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

In my day job, I work to change public policy while setting an example as an out polyamorous, kinky person in my field. In the rest of my life, I work to change lives and communities as an ally, friend, mentor, and occasional writer and speaker.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Working for the Oberlin Sexuality Information Center in college, which introduced me to new avenues for education and activism and fed a lifelong passion for spurring conversations about sex.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

As a dabbler in the field, I will leave this question to the experts, except to say that perennial challenges of American puritanism, intersecting oppressions and gender, sexual, racial and other lines, quick-fix popular culture, and lack of supports for lifelong sexual literacy persist.

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

What seems like a big jump over the last year or two in public discussions about topics of consent, relationship structures, and less common sexual practices – albeit often within narrow or distorted parameters – has created some new opportunities and challenges. The prospect that many more Americans will have consistent access to routine health care in the coming years also underscores the importance and continuing challenge of improving health care providers’ roles in promoting sexual health and healthy sexuality.

Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic [the topic of your session] to CatalystCon East? 

Because the ways our culture thinks about gender and bodies in relation to sexuality can get in the way of… well, everything, and having nuanced conversations about the hows, whys, and well-what-thens is important for trans folks and our partners and allies as we build relationships and communities, negotiate sex and share sex-positive spaces.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I cut my teeth as a writer and activist working on a zine about radical activism and DIY culture with a bunch of punks, geeks, and anarchists in my high school days in Louisville, KY.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Two Fundraisers for Scarleteen at CatalystCon East

 CCON East 2013, Press Release, Special Event  Comments Off on Two Fundraisers for Scarleteen at CatalystCon East
Feb 252013
 

CatalystCon creator Dee Dennis has chosen Scarleteen as the recipient of two fundraisers to be held during the conference weekend.

ScarleteenRaffle2013FullPageAd-3Dennis is a supporter of Scarleteen and the important work they do. As a mother she knows firsthand the lack of sex education available to children and teens and understands the very important need to financially support Scarleteen, making it possible for them to continue the very important work they do.

Dee Dennis has donated two tickets to a future CatalystCon conference to be raffled off at CatalystCon East. The drawing will take place Sunday during the closing remarks but you need not be present to win! Tickets will be for sale all day at the CatalystCon Registration table for $5 each (or five for $20).

Artpulp

Also at CatalystCon East, will be a special “masquerade” art project fundraiser sponsored by Artpulp.net. Artpulp.net and CatalystCon embrace all creative individuals regardless of how they identify themselves, so for a $5 donation each participant will be given a mask and access to art supplies to create a mask that represents that identity. This identity could resemble the mask they feel necessary to where on a daily basis, the identity they feel the need to hide, or the identity of the creative and sexual force they have within. Every mask will be an effort to open the lines of communication about sexuality and freedom. All the finished masks created will be photographed at the conference and be viewable to everyone in an exclusive gallery on Artpulp.net/masks.

Each mask will cost a $5 donation, which also includes a coupon for a discounted raffle ticket. With your $5 donation with Artpulp.net, you will receive a “coupon” ticket that you can use  at the registration desk to purchase one raffle ticket for only $1 – normally $5. The drawing for two tickets to a future CatalystCon conference to will take place Sunday during the closing remarks.

Those who are not attending CatalystCon East can still support Scarleteen by visiting the donation page on their website.

ScarleteenLogoScarleteen provides millions of people in their teens and twenties with progressive, inclusive and original sexuality, sex and relationships education, information and support every year. Established in 1998, and continued since despite no federal, state or institutional funding, Scarleteen operates primarily via its popular, award-winning website — consistently the highest ranked sex education site specifically for young people since its debut — which includes articles, in-depth advice columns, external resources, and direct, one-on-one services which allow users to ask or talk about anything they need to, like their busy, moderated message boards and their SMS service. “Scarleteen’s model has always been strongly unschooling and youth-focused, both in what information is provided and how they provide it, but also within their organization itself: they make sure the majority of their staff and volunteers are always under thirty. At Scarleteen, young people are afforded the respect to be leaders, either within their organization or their own lives, including their sexual lives.

Speaker Spotlight: Cunning Minx

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Cunning Minx
Feb 252013
 

Cunning Minx is presenting The Online Activist: Ready, set, TWEET!. Check out Cunning Minx’s bio here.

 

Cunning MinxHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I am a catalyst for change by letting anyone who has ever Googled “nonmonogamy” or “polyamory” that she is not alone, that others have done this successfully and continue to do so, and that there is a community waiting to embrace you and give you more support and advice than you ever wanted on the subject. My goal is to make sure that anyone who is comfortable sharing his polyamorous status has a means to do so–through email lists, as a podcast guest, by hosting a real-life meetup or just by coming out to friends and family.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

My poly and kink catalyst was one person, my first poly boyfriend, Graydancer. When we met, he was engaged, and while both he and his bride-to-be identified as polyamourous, they’d never had long-term partners. My choice was to explore an opportunity to love and be loved by someone extraordinary in a nontraditional way or to pass and go on with life as usual. I did not pass. The first year of our relationship was a hot mess, and we made what I later discovered to be just about every poly newbie mistake in the book. That sparked the motivation for the Poly Weekly podcast: to reveal our own poly mistakes so that others could avoid the poly relationship land mines. And so someone who had never considered herself political or anything of an activist started on a journey to engage both the monogamous and polyamorous to share insights on all types of relationship models, sexual preferences and open communication.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

In the field of sexuality right now, there are still some huge challenges to face. Politicians are still fighting to legislate a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. Sex work is still illegal and viewed as shameful by the majority of the population. Gay marriage has made progress but still isn’t legal in most states. And many polyamorous folks choose to live in the closet rather than face the ignorance, prejudice or envy that revealing their lifestyle could produce.

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

The Showtime series, Polyamory: Married and Dating has made tremendous strides in normalizing and demystifying polyamory. Group sex scenes and transparent shower curtains aside, the fact that real, modern people not associated with a cult are shown sharing activities such as cooking and chatting with family members is a far cry from sensationalized appearances on talk shows even just five years ago.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Online Activist: Ready, set, TWEET!, to CatalystCon East?

I’m really tired of people asking me, “Should I be on Twitter? Should my sex-positive site be on Facebook?” 🙂 I chose to bring Ready, Set, TWEET: Content Strategy for the Online Activist to CatalystCon East because I spend a good portion of my day-to-day job creating marketing strategies and most of my off-hours developing content for the podcast. In the seven years that Poly Weekly has been in production, the content strategy has developed as new social media tools became available. And these days, prioritizing presence and developing a strategy for engaging in the seemingly endless stream of social networks available can be overwhelming. Since I do this for a living, I like the idea of giving back to the community. And I define “community” as anyone seeking to be a sex-positive educator or activist.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I still sleep with my teddy bear, which I have owned since I was 17.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.
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