Oct 162013
 

Founder Dee Dennis Announces CatalystCon East, March 14-16, 2014

Over 350 attendees gathered in Woodland Hills, CA September 27-29 for the CatalystCon West sexuality conference. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, the event featured 40 sessions and workshops on topics such as feminist porn, sex education, body image and sexuality, sex work, and political organizing in the sex positive community. Described by founder and organizer Dee Dennis as a “melting pot of sexuality,” CatalystCon unites sex educators, sex workers, health advocates, writers, activists, and others with a passion for creating change.

“Dee Dennis and her crew have created a compelling and affirming gathering dedicated to continuing the conversation and sparking the change we all want to see in the realm of sex positivity, pleasure activism, and sex education,” said Jackie Strano, Executive Vice President of Good Vibrations, who spoke on the Opening Keynote Plenary.  “I was proud to represent the core mission and values of Good Vibrations while there, which is a focus on communication, education, and being an agent of social change.”

During the CatalystCon West opening reception, Drs. Carol Queen and Robert Morgan Lawrence, co-founders of the Center for Sex & Culture, were presented with the first Catalyst Award. The award was given in recognition of Queen and Lawrence’s decades of work as sex educators and activists and their leadership in the sex positive community.

The Center for Sex & Culture was also selected as one of the fundraising partners for the conference, along with the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education. Dr. Elders was the CatalystCon West Closing Keynote speaker, and her chair at the University of Minnesota is the first of its kind in the country. Over $1000 was raised for these organizations during CatalystCon West. For more information on CatalystCon’s fundraising program, visit catalystcon.com/fundraiser.

Sponsors who exhibited at CatalystCon West included ANEROS, Sportsheets International, Wicked Pictures and Wicked Sensual Care, Tantus, Wet, We-Vibe, Vibratex, Nature Labs, Crave, and Slixa. “One of our core values at Sportsheets is education, and this was the perfect forum to discuss and learn about the latest issues in sexuality and share our knowledge and experience with the attendees,” said Julie Stewart, President of Sportsheets. “The caliber of speakers and attendees was exceptional.”  For a full list of sponsors and further information about them, visit catalystcon.com/sponsor/sponsors-west.

CatalystCon returns to the east coast March 14-16, 2014 at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA. CatalystCon East is accepting speaker submissions until November 27, 2013. The conference welcomes anyone who has something to share and the desire to spark conversations about sexuality, activism and acceptance. To apply to speak at CatalystCon East, visit catalystcon.com/call-for-speakers.

“When it comes to open conversations about healthy sexuality, CatalystCon is one of the most important things happening today,” said Shira Tarrant, PhD, author and Associate Professor at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Tarrant spoke on the Opening Keynote Plenary as well as on a panel about teaching sex on college campuses with some of her students from the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. “This conference draws together a diverse group of scholars, practitioners, activists, and fun-lovers who are all concerned about promoting sexual pleasure and sexual safety. In our locked-down culture where people are afraid to talk about sex (or simply don’t have good information), CatalystCon is vital.”

[View Original]

Sep 262013
 

Mona Darling is presenting Infamous! A Celebration of Sex Workers Who Changed the World. Check out Mona’s bio here.

 

Mona DarlingHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I feel like, as a sex worker, and a vocal mommy blogger that I have a unique audience and I would like to take advantage of that and educate and inform women about sex, sexual health and sexual shame.

And yes, I love to use the term Mommy Blogger. I love the juzposition of being a Dominatrix and a Mommy Blogger. I also like to reclaim.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

For this particular talk, the catalyst was being told in a very public forum that I had no right, as a Dominatrix, to take offense at a sexist remark, because as a Dominatrix, I am responsible for failure of feminism.

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

I actually think this is a great time for sexuality. People are talking about sex a lot more and the internet offering easy access to sexual and sexy education. My main concern would be to get the correct info to people.

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?

As much as I hate Fifty Shades of Grey, I love the fact that it has so empowered so many women to talk about their sexuality and embrace their desires. I hope that we can keep this momentum moving and continue, as women, to open up. The more we talk, the less alone we will feel. This applies to all aspects of sexuality, from sexual abuse, to atypical sexual desire.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Infamous! A Celebration of Sex Workers Who Changed the World, to CatalystCon West?

I’ve been a sex worker for twenty years, and despite the fact that sex is a hot topic right now, there is still sex worker shaming. I would like to show people that sex work can be a viable career. That sex workers aren’t the victim. That often, the opposite is true. That women who work in sex work are strong amazing women who have made some big changes in the way women are able to live, but their career always over shines that work. I feel it important to acknowledge those women.

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

I used to be a Tupperware lady.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Ebony A. Utley

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Ebony A. Utley
Sep 252013
 

Ebony A. Utley, PhD is presenting The Mindset of a Mistress and Moral Panic. Find Ebony’s full bio here.

 

Ebony UtleyHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I’m most proud of being a catalyst of change for myself. When I was an undergraduate, I decided I wanted to become the woman I wasn’t able to study with—young, cool, fashion-forward, opinionated, outspoken, but qualified to research and write about black people and women in a way that respects the past but isn’t mired in respectability politics. I’m finally at a point where I look at my body of work and say, “I am that woman.” Whenever I feel insecure, I access that badass intellectual part of me, and she gives me courage. I hope I am also that kind of catalyst for other women.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

When I started grad school, I signed up for an everything-is-free-for-30-days-cable package during February. I watched documentaries and movies about black people the entire month and was exposed to a whole new world that my education in predominantly white institutions had completely glossed. Television is mired in stereotypical representations, but experiencing the diversity of those representations saved my life by shifting my interests and refocusing my work.

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

Because I’m working in infidelity, I’m concerned about it as a public health issue. Most of the public discourse is about who cheated and why, but I would like to focus more on the health consequences. Twenty percent of the women in my study contracted an STI because of infidelity. There’s even more shame and silence surrounding sexually transmitted infections than there is around infidelity. We rarely see campaigns for committed or even married partners to use condoms and get tested regularly. Out of every four infidelity stories we read about in blogs and tabloids, one of them could involve an STI. That demands for more outreach to be done.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Mindset of a Mistress, to CatalystCon West?

Very rarely do mistresses get to talk about their experiences with infidelity on their own terms. Yes, mistresses titillate audiences with the when, where, when, why, and how but very rarely do these interviews include conversations about the mistresses’ experiences. We want the mistress to tell on him not to tell us about her. I’ve been collecting stories from women who have been the other woman. I’m excited to present them at CatalystCon within the context of mistresses throughout history and contrast them with the mediated mistresses that we’ve all become familiar with via television and the tabloids.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself

For nearly 20 years, I’ve been an avid fan of The Young and the Restless and/or The Bold and the Beautiful.

 

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

ANEROS Unveils Redesigned Evi at CatalystCon West

 CCON West 2013, Press Release  Comments Off on ANEROS Unveils Redesigned Evi at CatalystCon West
Sep 242013
 

Platinum Sponsor To Debut Refined, Hands-Free Kegel Exerciser
At Woodland Hills Event

CatalystCon creator Dee Dennis is pleased to announce that Platinum Sponsor ANEROS will unveil its newly redesigned hands-free kegel exercise, Evi, at the CatalystCon West sexuality conference September 27-29, 2013.

At the inaugural CatalystCon conference in September 2012, ANEROS launched its first female product, Evi, to rave reviews. Although the original Evi was a proven success, ANEROS used feedback from its loyal customers to create a skillfully refined model for an even more comfortable fit and improved experience.

aneros_evi_largeLogo“Evi was originally designed to be used in a stationary position but we found that many women enjoyed wearing it for long periods of time utilizing various movements and positions.” said CT Schenk, CEO of ANEROS. “This feedback prompted us to make a few precise refinements which make Evi more comfortable and effective than ever.  To amplify the pleasure derived from Evi, we extended the handle to better reach the clitoris and provide constant contact and stimulation.”

The anatomically designed Evi by ANEROS requires no vibration and offers a sensual, hands-free experience. Evi also offers the ability to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which help a woman perform a strong vise-like grip during intercourse; enhance arousal through increased blood flow; have multiple, more intense orgasms, more often; enhance bladder control; and facilitate healthy pregnancy, leading to easier delivery and post-partum recovery. For more information, visit aneros.com/evi.

Dennis is thrilled that ANEROS has chosen to debut the new Evi at CatalystCon West. “It was groundbreaking for ANEROS to launch the original Evi at a conference that promotes sex education, instead of at the traditional industry trade show,” she said. “The message ANEROS sends by debuting the redesigned Evi at CatalystCon as well is that their first priority is the sexual health and wellbeing of those who will buy their product.”

Dennis regards the conference as a “melting pot of sexuality” that brings together sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. Topics include sex work, feminist porn, and polyamory, as well as discussions of “toxic toys” and the role of manufacturers and retailers in the promotion of sexual health. The high quality, body-safe Evi will be a valuable addition to the conversation.

CatalystCon West will be held September 27-29, 2013 at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA. Pre-registration is required and is available at catalystcon.com/register until 12pm PST on Thursday, September 26. Use code ANEROS for $10 off the price of registration.

Speaker Spotlight: Tristan Taormino

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Tristan Taormino
Sep 232013
 

Tristan Taormino is presenting Sex Educator Boot Camp with Tristan Taormino, Feminist Porn 101: What it is, What it isn’t, and Why it matters, The Politics of Producing Pleasure: Feminist Porn in Industry and Academe and the Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance. She is also recording Sex Out Loud with Tristan Taormino live at CatalystCon West. Check out Tristan’s bio here.

 

Tristan TaorminoHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I am committed to educating and empowering people around their sexuality, and I do so through several different mediums: my books, lectures and workshops, my radio show Sex Out Loud, and my feminist porn movies.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

For sex education, there are so many people who paved the way for what I do today: Betty Dodson, Jack Morin, Carol Queen, and Nina Hartley immediately come to mind. In the arena of porn, one of the very first porn films I saw was How to Female Ejaculate starring Deborah Sundahl and produced by Fatale Media. Fatale Media (which was made up of Sundahl, Nan Kinney, Susie Bright, and the folks at On Our Backs) produced some of the earliest feminist porn, and that film showed me that it was possible to make revolutionary, educational porn.

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

Abstinence-only sex education is still a dominant model in schools; not only has it been proven ineffective, it’s very disempowering to withhold information and give misinformation to young people about sex. The lack of comprehensive sex education is the U.S. is appalling. The campaign by the right wing to pass anti-choice legislation throughout the country is an ongoing problem. When women do not have control over our own bodies and health, we cannot be equal. As a feminist pornographer, one of the biggest challenges I face is the rhetoric of anti-porn feminists like Gail Dines. Dines gets a lot of air time arguing about how awful all porn is; she does not allow for the possibilities of alternatives nor will she listen to sex workers who don’t fit into a victimization narrative.

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?

Quite frankly, it’s been a rough year for sexuality. If I had to point to some glimmers of hope, I’d say that the landmark Supreme Court decisions striking down DOMA and Prop 8 have really propelled the GLBT rights movement. I also think that the increased public discussions about sluts and slut-shaming have been productive, and I hope they continue because they have the opportunity to affect real change in the way our society represents and seeks to control women’s sexuality.

Why do you feel it is important to bring your pre-conference workshops, Sex Educator Boot Camp with Tristan Taormino, to CatalystCon West?

I feel very passionate about my Sex Educator Boot Camps. As I developed a career as a sex educator, I had very few role models. There are plenty of people who have incredible ideas and are amazing thinkers, but there are few people out there teaching business and marketing skills to the next generation of sex educators. It’s so important to me to pay it forward and share my knowledge and experience to help the sex educator community learn how to create sustainable businesses.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topics of your sessions, Feminist Porn 101: What it is, What it isn’t, and Why it matters and The Politics of Producing Pleasure: Feminist Porn in Industry and Academe, to CatalystCon West?

Since the publication of The Feminist Porn Book, there has been a huge increase in curiosity and awareness about feminist porn. I feel really lucky to be a part of two different presentations about feminist porn at CatalystCon West. Feminist Porn 101 is really a primer for folks about the history and context of it and The Politics of Producing Pleasure puts porn scholars and porn producers and performers in conversation with one another to discuss feminist porn as a philosophy, a practice, a movement, and an industry. These are such vital discussions to have, especially right now. The challenges we face in feminist porn—activism, accessibility, visibility, censorship, sustainability—are core issues that I think lots of people at CatalystCon West are interested in.

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

I am severely allergic to perfume and cologne—if someone’s wearing it, I usually cannot even hug them.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Charlie Nox

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Charlie Nox
Sep 202013
 

Charlie Nox is presenting Cancer is My Wingman. Check out Charlie’s bio here.

 

Charlie NoxHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I make it a point to share the things that aren’t perfect or popular with my clients, both online and in private. I’ve always had a slightly greater than average willingness to say the things other people are thinking but aren’t saying, and I find speaking up about body issues, sexuality, dating, etc. in order to reduce shame and open up dialogues is probably the best thing I can contribute to my community.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

So many things and people! One of the original and most powerful influences was an Indian poet named Shailja Patel who led a workshop I was a part of when I was 18. She talked about the importance of writing on taboo subjects and left me with a profound sense of duty to bring light to the dark corners.

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

Personally I find it difficult to straddle (tee hee) the line between arguing that it’s ok for women to be sexual creatures, without over sexualizing us in the same breathe. More widely, I think sexuality educators can’t seem to find a safe home in any field. Feminism (which many people, including myself promote and participate in) often ignores, disowns, or blames sex workers and slutty folks for societal ills. We also get attacked by politicians, Men’s Rights Activists, and religious groups. Sexual health and knowledge is tied into so many important issues, but we are in the dark ages in many places about this normal, crucial part of life.

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 increase in number of vocal sex-workers is awesome. I am also in love with the rising popularity of porn stars speaking at college campuses and out Queer politicians (in Texas we have lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker and pansexual Texas Representative Mary Gonzalez from El Paso). I think the growing attention and inclusion of trans-rights as an issue is pretty indicative of massive progress as well.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Cancer is My Wingman, to CatalystCon West?

When I was diagnosed with cancer I took to the internet to find out how people were including cancer in their dating life. What I found was that mostly they weren’t. Everything I saw said either that dating is impossible with a chronic illness, or that you have to be lucky to find your one shining knight who will graciously look past your huge flaw. Yuck. The more I connected with other survivors, the more I saw that there was a huge demand for conversations about how to be sick and sexual at the same time. Sex is good for you and given the rise in cancer outbreaks, this is a topic almost everyone will need to deal with at some point in their lives – whether as a survivor or a partner.

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

I’m a 4th generation massage therapist! I don’t do it professionally any more, but if you can find me, a massage table, and a bottle of coconut oil all together at the right moment, I’ll share some family secrets with you in the form of elbows in your knots.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Sherri Shaulis

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Sherri Shaulis
Sep 192013
 

Sherri L. Shaulis is presenting Managing Your Message: Can You Really Control What Gets Published?. Check out Sherri’s bio here.

 

Sherri ShaulisHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I like to think I am an approachable person. I think it has something to do with being a middle-aged fat white woman who grew up in the Midwest. People seem to listen to me, which makes it easier to get positive messages about sex and sexuality out there to some who might not otherwise listen or pay attention.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

My catalyst was the chance to work at AVN. I have long known of the publication, but now, being on the inside, I am aware of materials and manufacturing processes for pleasure products, and I can impart that knowledge to everyone I meet.

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

Honestly I think the biggest concern is the government overstepping its boundaries and trying to have a say in how women and men control their bodies and what they do in the bedroom. I look at places like Texas and Virginia and think, “This is where we are in 2013? Really?”

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 think awareness of what’s going on in other parts of the country has been a big change this year. When Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis made her stand for women with her filibuster, people from all over the world were watching, and held the Republicans accountable when they tried to doctor the time stamp. Hopefully it sent a message that women want the male politicians to stop making decisions about their bodies for them.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Managing Your Message: Can You Really Control What Gets Published?, to CatalystCon West?

Most people have a negative image of “the media” for one reason or another. And while mainstream publications are fascinated by anything sex related, many want to get out a certain story rather than listen to the story being told. This panel will help people learn to use the media to their advantage.

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

Before joining AVN, I spent almost 20 years as a newspaper reporter, designer and editor. Many of those years were spent on the cops and courts beat in cities and towns all over the country. I think partly because of that I developed an unusual interest and fascination with serial killers. I know more than any person should about them. It freaks some people out, lol.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Kate McCombs

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Kate McCombs
Sep 182013
 

Kate McCombs is presenting Sex Down Under: Lessons From Studying and Teaching in Australia. Check out Kate’s bio here.

 

Kate McCombsHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

One of the things I’ve written about, and that we talk about in Sex Geekdom, is the idea of being a “beacon of permission” for discussing sexuality. By that, I mean I want to inspire in others the confidence to talk about things they might otherwise not. Most sex geeks I know have had some kind of experience of being a beacon of permission, sometimes in surprising ways. For example, when people find out that I’m a sex educator, I tend to be met with curiosity and sometimes confusion – but more often than not, the same people end up asking questions that seem to have been brewing for years. By implicitly saying that it’s okay to talk about sex and learn about sex, it gives others permission to ask questions and receive answers.

In the more formal teaching that I do, part of my intention is to encourage participants (even the less sex-geekily inclined) to become beacons of permission in their own lives, to their own groups of influence. There’s a lot of informal peer education that happens naturally, and I love to give people the tools that will allow that organic process to create more widespread access to accurate information.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

During my first semester of college, I signed up for my first English class – which was daunting since I hadn’t yet felt competent in either my academic or professional skills at that point. I had always been a “sex geek” (although I lacked the language to describe myself as such) but had never found a community around it or been encouraged to explore it academically. For one of our first English assignments, we had to do a research report and we could choose the topic, as long as we cleared it with the professor.

I really wanted to write it about a sexuality topic. I’d recently learned about the G-Spot, which was particularly powerful education for me, and I wanted to research it more. However, I wasn’t sure if my conservatively dressed, few-years-shy-of-retirement professor would find that an acceptable topic. But I really wanted to do it! I figured there was no harm in asking. So I said to her, “I wanted to ask you about a topic, but I’m not sure if it would be okay with you. Would it be all right if I did my research paper on the G-Spot?” To my surprise, she gave me an immediate and enthusiastic, “Of course!” Not only did this solidify a delightful relationship with a professor, but it gave me a catalyst to study sexuality in a more formal, academic capacity (and I got an A on the paper!).

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

Right now, the public demand for quality, comprehensive sex education lags disproportionately behind the need. Clearly, there is a huge need for accurate sex education which includes content about healthy relationships, communication, and other things we know are crucial life skills – but the spaces for getting people that information are not as abundant as they need to be. Compounding this fact is the abundance of poor “sex education” in pop culture and mass media, which creates a sort of fatigue for messages around sex. My hope is that, in my career, I can create more opportunities for good sex ed to happen – particularly for adults who may be expected to “know everything” and are not part of an institution like a school or university, where they can take a class or workshop more easily.

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’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) was incredibly powerful. I still squee a little every time I think about the New Yorker cover with Ernie and Bert cuddled in front of the TV.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex Down Under: Lessons From Studying and Teaching in Australia, to CatalystCon West?

I think it’s important to give an account of what sexual health looks like when you have a culture that considers healthcare a right, regardless of one’s attitudes or orientation. Although Australian leadership is currently conservative, religion has significantly less influence on policy than it does in the US. As a result, even Australia’s more conservative politicians typically wouldn’t take the stances that some high-profile US politicians have on contraceptive access and other issues. That’s not to say Australia is perfect – it has some strangely incongruent policies around same-sex marriage, for example – but given the similarities between our two countries, I think Australia serves as a useful example of where our own policy could be headed given a bit more open-mindedness.

Also, being the sex geek that I am, some of the things I’ve learned about Australian wildlife reproduction have been fascinating and LOL-worthy. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the dulcet (read: terrifying) tones of koala mating.

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

I make a mean Crème Brûlée.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Tom Stewart

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Tom Stewart
Sep 172013
 

Tom Stewart is presenting The “Ass Panel”: The Ins and Outs of Anal Pleasure. He is also co-hosting CatalystCon Game Night: Sexy Trivia. Check out Tom’s bio here.

 

Tom StewartHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

Without knowing it, we’ve been a change agent for 20 years in the sex toy industry. We introduced a higher end product to the market. We took a different approach to BDSM products and the market responded positively. We made it accessible, appealing and safe for people that weren’t into the “scene” to try. We continue to add new products and concepts to our line that improves people’s sexual experience.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

David Letterman was the inspiration for the Sportsheet. The night he jumped onto a Velcro wall and stuck, changed my future.

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

Globally: Acceptance. I think the challenge of sexuality has always been acceptance. That’s been the case for hundreds of years. The Puritans screwed us on that deal.

In my backyard: As a manufacturer in the sex toy industry, the challenge I see is the need for overall improvement of product quality and safety and in the retail sector, education.

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’ll list two.

1. The Pope’s comment on gays “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

2. And, the Sportsheets Door Jam Sex Sling. Pope Francis won’t be attending CatalystCon West but the Door Jam Sex Sling will be on display at the The Sportsheets Discovery Center.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The “Ass Panel”: The Ins and Outs of Anal Pleasure, to Catalyst Con West?

We are talking about “Pegging”, sex in the ass. I want to acknowledge what’s going on with this trend. This is the one thing no one discusses or even admits and yet people are doing this more and more.

Share one known, or little-known fact about yourself.

I was a Marine and Navy helicopter pilot and retired as a Commander in the Navy.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: J. Daniel Ford

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: J. Daniel Ford
Sep 162013
 

J. Daniel Ford is presenting Political Organizing in the Sex Positive Community. Check out his J. Daniel’s bio here.

 

J. Daniel FordHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I am a catalyst for change because I empower others to find their voice as an activist and facilitate their efforts to be forces for positive change.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

My first catalyst was the 2004 elections. I struggled to believe that after the previous four years our country had voted for another four years of the Bush administration. That is what led me to get involved in politics as an activist and then a professional operative. Through my work in politics I then met many people who, either through their activities or by facing down obstacles of institutional prejudice, inspired me to continue working to create positive and progressive change.

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

I feel the biggest challenge facing the field of sexuality right now is the eagerness with which many parts of our society embrace an ignorance of sexuality coupled with the pervasive believe that sexuality is something that should be considered primarily in a negative light. This creates a society that is disinterested in education and growth regarding the subject of sexuality.

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 am excited about the strides made in the last year regarding equal rights regardless of a persons sexuality. This can be seen not only in the number of states that now allow same sex marriage, the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently in New Jersey’s ban on conversion therapy. Additional movement in the area of the rights for transgender people has been mostly positive; one notable place this is true is Philadelphia where the Mayor has committed to making Philadelphia an inclusive city for people regardless of sexuality or gender identification.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Political Organizing in the Sex Positive Community, to CatalystCon West?

I feel that the topic of Political Organizing is an important one to be considered for the sex positive community and for sexuality educators because, even as positive change is occurring, there is tremendous pushback from many parts of the community. This can be seen in many state laws regarding sex education in schools, an example of this is a North Carolina law that requires health teachers to lie to students regarding the effect of abortion. Indeed, looking around our country and the world, we can see many positive changes for the world of sexuality but many causes for concern as well. The best way to combat these causes for concern is an organized effort to engage in public education efforts coupled with the finding of a political voice which can impact legislators, courts, and other policy makers throughout the nation.

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

One of my favorite hobbies is cooking, usually without the benefit of a recipe, and I would love to compete on the cooking show Chopped.

 

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

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