Jul 202015
 

Good Vibrations Founder Joani Blank Heads List of Keynote Speakers for CatalystCon West Sexuality Conference

Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces the lineup of Opening and Closing Keynote speakers for CatalystCon West, which will take place in Burbank, CA, September 11-13, 2015. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, CatalystCon features more than 40 sessions and panel discussions on sexuality and related issues.

CatalystCon West officially begins on Friday, September 11 with an Opening Reception, followed by the Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance. The panel will include Dr. Chris Donaghue, Jenny Block, Alex S. Morgan, and Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, and will be moderated by Tristan Taormino. The panelists will address the ongoing debates over sexuality at the local, national and global levels and discuss how they’ve created their own sparks and been catalysts for change.

“Current culture is still unable to have a healthy conversation about sex,” said Donaghue, who is a nationally recognized sex & relationship expert, sex therapist, and author of Sex Outside the Lines. “CatalystCon creates the needed space for important and diverse conversations in the field of sexuality, that expand and push us all forward. CatalystCon is the much needed antidote and healing force that we all require for our sexuality.”

The Closing Keynote Plenary Address will take place on Sunday, September 13 and will feature author, educator, and Good Vibrations founder Joani Blank, who will be interviewed by Lynn Comella. “Joani Blank is a sex-positive pioneer,” said Comella, Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “She helped popularize the idea of vibrator shops for women, and I’m beyond excited that she’ll be the closing keynote speaker at CatalystCon West. We’re in for a treat.”

“I’m thrilled to take part in the Closing Keynote at CatalystCon West,” said Blank. “It will be fun to go back in time and talk about what motivated me to start Good Vibrations in 1977, and reflect on what’s changed the most—and least—over the past 40 years.”

More information on the Opening and Closing Keynotes may be found at CatalystCon.com/sessions/keynotes.

CatalystCon West takes place September 11-13, 2015 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport. Registration is currently open at CatalystCon.com/register. Regular registration ends August 30.

CatalystCon West Announces Sessions & Speakers

 CCON West, CCON West 2015, Press Release  Comments Off on CatalystCon West Announces Sessions & Speakers
Jun 222015
 
More than 70 Speakers Sign On for CatalystCon West Sexuality Conference This September
 
Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces a wide-ranging list of more than 70 speakers participating in CatalystCon West in Burbank, CA, September 11-13, 2015. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, CatalystCon will return to the west coast with over 40 sessions and panel discussions on sexuality and related issues.
CatalystCon West’s lineup of sessions will include Yes, All Genders: How to Normalize and Include Trans Bodies and Pleasure in Adult Sex Ed, The Limits of Sex Positive, Toys For A SexAbled Life, and Writing Sex & Pleasure, and panel discussions on slut-shaming, new views on pornography, social media best practices for sex educators, and kink as a sexual orientation. A complete list of sessions may be found at CatalystCon.com/sessions.
Speakers include sex educators Alex Morgan and jessica drake; academics Lynn Comella, Ph.D. and Mireille Miller-Young, Ph.D.; activists Yoseñio V. Lewis and Kristen DiAngelo; sex therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue, and author Jenny Block, plus sex writers, sex workers, and other experts in the field of sexuality. A complete list of speakers may be found at CatalystCon.com/speakers.
“CatalystCon continues to grow and has become THE go-to event for sex-positive professionals from a range of backgrounds and industries,” said Tristan Taormino, who is teaching a pre-conference Sex Educator Boot Camp, moderating the Opening Keynote panel, and recording Sex Out Loud Radio live at the conference. “You can’t miss it!”
CatalystCon West will be held September 11-13 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport in Burbank, CA. Registration is currently open at CatalystCon.com/register. Early Bird pricing ends on June 30.
Apr 092015
 

Founder Dee Dennis Announces CatalystCon West, September 11-13, 2015

Over 350 attendees gathered in Arlington, VA March 27-29 for the CatalystCon East sexuality conference. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, the event featured 40 sessions and workshops on topics such as body image, sex and aging, racial justice in sexuality education, and sex positive parenting, as well as live podcast recordings in the CatalystCon Studio. Described by founder and organizer Dee Dennis as a “melting pot of sexuality,” CatalystCon unites sex educators, sex workers, public health professionals, writers, activists, and others with a passion for creating change.

During the CatalystCon East Opening Reception, Francisco Ramirez was presented with the Catalyst Award by Dee Dennis. “Receiving the Catalyst Award was unexpected, touching and above all, encouraging,” said Ramirez. “Many of us working in sexuality function independently, rarely receiving formal praise of any kind, and many of us are attacked for doing the work we do. To be celebrated in a room among my peers and mentors was a uniquely humbling experience.”

CatalystCon returns to the west coast September 11-13, 2015 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport. Rachel Kramer Bussel will be returning with her pre-conference erotica and sex writing workshops, and CatalystCon West will also feature the return of Tristan Taormino’s sex educator boot camp.

CatalystCon West is accepting speaker submissions until June 7, 2015. 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 West, visit catalystcon.com/call-for-speakers.

“Interacting with participants at CatalystCon was a great reminder that we are stronger than the challenges we’ve experienced and the backlashes we’ve endured in our work,” said Ramirez. “More than ever, I feel encouraged to continue to be vulnerable and to take risks with my work. Attending CatalystCon reaffirmed my conviction to speak up around injustice—and more importantly—to continue listening to those around me.”
Dec 082014
 

Adam & Eve Founder Phil Harvey Heads List of Keynote Speakers for D.C. Area Sexuality Conference, March 27-29

Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces the lineup of Opening and Closing Keynote speakers for CatalystCon East, which will take place in Arlington, VA, March 27-29, 2015. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, CatalystCon features more than 40 sessions and panel discussions on sexuality and related issues.

CatalystCon East officially begins on Friday, March 27 with an Opening Reception, followed by the Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance. The panel will include Kristin Beck, Melanie Davis, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and Francisco Ramirez, and will be moderated by Lynn Comella. The panelists will address the ongoing debates over sexuality at the local, national and global levels and discuss how they’ve created their own sparks and been catalysts for change.

“There are few things in life that get me more excited than CatalystCon,” said Ramirez. “Catalyst has taught me how to be more open-minded and alive to the spectrum of experiences and realities of others, and I always leave the conference feeling reinvigorated & inspired to keep on keeping on.”

The Closing Keynote Plenary Address will take place on Sunday, March 29 and will feature Adam & Eve founder Phil Harvey. Harvey will be interviewed by Twanna Hines about his long career as an entrepreneur, First Amendment rights advocate, and philanthropist whose non-profit promotes contraception and HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

“Our closing keynote always has a focus on history and the lessons and inspiration that we can take from people who have been trailblazers in our community,” said Dee Dennis. “I’m thrilled to have Phil Harvey share the story of his work and activism with CatalystCon East attendees.”

More information on both of the Keynote Addresses may be found at catalystcon.com/sessions/keynotes.

CatalystCon East will be held March 27-29 at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Registration is currently open at catalystcon.com/register. Early Bird pricing ends on December 10.

Nov 182014
 

More than 70 Speakers Sign On for CatalystCon East Sexuality Conference This March

Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces a wide-ranging list of more than 70 speakers participating in CatalystCon East in Arlington, VA, March 27-29, 2015. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, CatalystCon will return to the east coast with over 40 sessions and panel discussions on sexuality and related issues.

CatalystCon East’s schedule will include sessions on sex work, nonmonogamy, adaptive sex and kink, asexuality, and body image, and panel discussions on sex toy materials, sex positive parenting, new views on pornography, pleasure and danger on campus, and public health. A complete list of sessions may be found at catalystcon.com/sessions.

Speakers include sex educators Joan Price and jessica drake; academics Lynn Comella, Ph.D. and Zhana Vrangalova, Ph.D.; activists Yoseñio V. Lewis and Melinda Chateauvert; sex therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue, and author and Tantra expert Barbara Carrellas, plus sex writers, sex workers, and other experts in the field of sexuality. A complete list of speakers may be found at catalystcon.com/speakers.

“I love being part of CatalystCon because everyone is so energized about their mission, engaged in the content and ready to learn, share and create,” said Rachel Kramer Bussel, author of Sex & Cupcakes and Philadelphia City Paper sex columnist. “It’s a unique, special environment where we get to connect across sexual subcultures. CatalystCon is one of my favorite places to teach erotica and sex writing because of the high level of insight attendees have into various aspects of sexuality, often ones we don’t hear enough of in the mainstream world.” In addition to her pre-conference writing workshops, Bussel will be moderating a panel discussion on Sharing Your Sex Life on the Page and the Stage.

CatalystCon East will also feature the debut of two pre-conference workshops with Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo of the Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment. On Friday, March 27, Dr. Dischavio will be teaching The Deep Yes: The Lost Art of True Receiving, worth 3 CE credits, as well as Getting Your Credentials: Options for Professional Jobs in the Sexuality Field. Getting Your Credentials will be a free workshop open to all CatalystCon East attendees.

CatalystCon East will be held March 27-29 at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Registration is currently open at catalystcon.com/register. Early Bird pricing ends on December 10.

 

Sep 292014
 

Founder Dee Dennis Announces CatalystCon East, March 27-29, 2015

Over 350 attendees gathered in Los Angeles September 11-14 for the CatalystCon West sexuality conference. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, the event featured 40 sessions and workshops on topics such as erotica, sex toy history and materials, sex work, and sex positive parenting, as well as live podcast recordings in the CatalystCon Studio. 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.

“I’m excited about the success of this conference and the continued growth and evolution of CatalystCon,” said Dennis. “From the debut of the CatalystCon Film Series on Thursday night and the presence of a true catalyst like Kristin Beck and her film Lady Valor through to the emotional and inspiring reunion of Club 90 at the Closing Keynote, I believe that this weekend sparked exactly the kinds of conversations that I hoped for when I created CatalystCon.”

During the CatalystCon West Opening Reception, Joan Price was presented with the Catalyst Award by Dee Dennis. “I could not believe it when Dee announced me as the winner of the 2014 Catalyst Award ‘for inspiring exceptional conversations in sexuality'”, said Price. “This extraordinary honor felt like the most valuable validation of my work to normalize, celebrate, and enrich older-age sexuality. I looked out over the audience of 300 people – many of whom are true pioneers and my role models – and I couldn’t believe that they were all standing and applauding me. Nine years ago, when I started talking out loud about senior sex, I felt like a lone voice. Now I’ve received the Catalyst award. I am honored and exhilarated.”

CatalystCon returns to the east coast March 27-29, 2015 at the Hilton Crystal City. CatalystCon East is accepting speaker submissions until November 4, 2014. 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.

“Dee Dennis and the CatalystCon crew once again succeeded in bringing together a diverse group of sex-positive educators, activists, and academics from around the country for this one-of-a-kind conference,” said UNLV professor Lynn Comella, who spoke on the Opening Keynote Plenary as well as on panels on social media and feminist ethics and the past, present, and future of sex toys. “Highlights for me included a session on the experiences of black women in the sex industry and the closing keynote, the women of Club 90. But the best part of the weekend was seeing so many people genuinely excited to talk about sexual politics and culture, conversations that spilled into the hallways, continued over lunch, and kept people up late into the night. To me, that’s the mark of a great conference.”

CatalystCon West Announces Pre-Conference Business Seminar

 CCON West, CCON West 2014, Press Release  Comments Off on CatalystCon West Announces Pre-Conference Business Seminar
Aug 082014
 
Piracy Stops Here Representatives to Address Trademark, Copyright, and Counterfeit Issues

CatalystCon West announces a business seminar to be held on Friday, September 12 from 2-3:30pm. Protecting Your Original Ideas: Trademark, Copyright, and Counterfeit Sales will be presented by Peter Phinney and Jeff Carter of the online piracy watchdog group Piracy Stops Here. 
 
The 90-minute “crash course” seminar will clarify the rights of business owners to protect what they create, and cover issues currently at play online that are undermining well-known brands and cutting into the bottom line of pleasure products manufacturers in all market niches.  Through hand outs, case studies, and anecdotes from the trenches, professionals fighting digital piracy, trademark and patent infringement, and counterfeit sales online will reveal what’s being stolen, how it’s being stolen, how the internet is helping to facilitate this illicit activity and ways of working to combat it.
 
“Counterfeiting is running rampant across the Internet and we think it’s time creators take back control of their products’ distribution,” said Phinney. “We’re stepping up to help them do so and this seminar will explain how.”
 
The seminar will be free and open to the public, but registration is recommended. CatalystCon West will take place at the Westin LAX from September 11-14, and registration for the conference and other pre-conference activities is currently open at CatalystCon.com/register.
Jul 102014
 

Slut: A Documentary Film and Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story to be Screened at CatalystCon West This September

Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces the lineup for the first annual CatalystCon Film Series. The film series will take place on Thursday, September 11 and will feature the films Slut: A Documentary Film and Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story.

Slut: A Documentary Film features the stories of girls and women who have been the victims of sexual bullying and slut shaming in the United States and Canada. Emily Lindin, creator of The UnSlut Project, and director Jessica Caimi spoke to women about their experiences with slut shaming, as well as media figures, sexologists, psychologists, and other experts including Drs. Carol Queen, Shira Tarrant, and Ebony Utley. “Slut” explores how we can all work toward change in our schools, communities, and culture, starting with ourselves. A director’s cut of the film will be screened for the first time at CatalystCon West, followed by a Q&A with Lindin and Caimi.

“I am so excited for The UnSlut Project to be a part of CatalystCon’s debut film series event,” said Lindin. “The informed, sex-positive community at CatalystCon will be a wonderful audience and a great source of feedback for ‘Slut: A Documentary Film.’”

In Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Kristin’s journey in search of the American ideals that she protected have a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman. Kristin hid her true identity throughout and after her service knowing she would lose it all if anyone were to know her secret. She came out publicly In 2013, a year and a half after her retirement. This film brings exclusive interviews from Kristin’s family and friends about her service, as well as their reactions to her coming out. It also includes exclusive footage of Chris Beck in training and combat. While many people have been supportive, some in the public have expressed more bigotry than she ever expected. After a lifetime of service, Kristin has learned that her fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness did not end on the battlefield. 

“I thank CatalystCon for including the documentary film “Lady Valor” in their film series this September in Los Angeles,” said Beck. “More importantly I wish to thank the entire staff of CatalystCon for their never-ending search for understanding in human sexuality and sparking the activist in all of us toward truth and enlightenment.”

“I’m so excited to be part of the evolution of CatalystCon,” said Carol Queen, who will serve as host for the Film Series and conduct Q&A sessions with Lindin, Caimi, and Beck after their films are screened. “Offering films that illuminate sex/gender diversity and issues is a logical next step for this terrific conference that brings people together to explore some of the most pressing and interesting sex-related topics of our times.”

CatalystCon West will take place at the Westin LAX September 11-14. Registration for the conference and the Film Series is currently open at catalystcon.com/register. The Film Series is open to the public, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Center for Sex & Culture.

 

Jun 252014
 

Stars of the “Golden Age of Porn” to Share the Stage at CatalystCon West This September

Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces the lineup of Closing Keynote speakers for CatalystCon West, which will take place September 11-14 at the Westin LAX. The panel, which will close out the four day event, will feature Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Hart, Candida Royalle, and Veronica Vera, moderated by Good Vibrations Executive Vice President Jackie Strano.

Along with Gloria Leonard, Sprinkle, Royalle, Vera, and Hart formed Club 90 in 1983 to support each other on their journeys as stars during the “golden age of porn”. They went on to pursue their personal goals and blaze new trails iunnamed-2n the fields of human sexuality, women’s empowerment, gender, erotic expression, and free speech, and all now hold doctorates in sexuality.

“The four of us combined bring 149 years of sexual exploration and creative expression to this keynote. We promise to dazzle and delight!” said Sprinkle, who is currently pioneering the ecosex movement and will be speaking on a panel on the subject during CatalystCon. Royalle adds, “At this point in my life and in my career, there is so much I want to share, and CatalystCon is the perfect venue. I can’t wait!”

The keynote panelists will offer a taste of the days when New York City was America’s sex film capital, movies were shot on 35mm film, making porn was cause for arrest, and Times Square was X-rated. The members of Club 90 will share the memories, the laughs, the drama, and the intimate stories of their controversial support group, as well as honoring the memory of founding member Gloria Leonard, who passed away earlier this year. Says Vera, “In sharing my personal sexual evolution, I hope it inspires you to trust yourself, and follow your own path, wherever it leads.”

“It is my distinct pleasure and honor to be part of this very special closing Keynote at CatalystCon West this year,” said Jackie Strano. “This fabulous group of women collectively represent a huge part of feminist and sex positive history and this panel will be our version of the Kennedy Center Honors. Buy your conference ticket and be in LA that weekend because you will want to be able to say one day that you were there.” Discounted early-bird registration for CatalystCon West is available until June 29 at catalystcon.com/register.

CatalystCon West Announces Sessions & Speakers

 CCON West, CCON West 2014, Press Release  Comments Off on CatalystCon West Announces Sessions & Speakers
Jun 112014
 

More Than 80 Speakers Sign On for CatalystCon West Sexuality Conference This September

Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announces a wide-ranging list of more than 80 speakers participating in CatalystCon West in Los Angeles, CA, September 11-14, 2014. Created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality, CatalystCon will return to the west coast with over 40 sessions and panel discussions on sexuality-based topics.

CatalystCon West’s schedule will include sessions on sex work, polyamory, sex positive parenting, sex and chronic illness, and business, and panel discussions on sex toy materials, erotica, social media and feminist ethics, and living with an STI. A complete list of sessions may be found at catalystcon.com/sessions.

“CatalystCon is more than an amazing sexuality-themed conference – for three days, we create the world we wish we could live in all the time: a world where people of all different areas of sexuality from sex researchers to grassroots activists all come to together to share information and viewpoints, express their mission and take on each other’s missions, and dialogue together freely, candidly , and nonjudgmentally,” said Joan Price, who is presenting a session on Senior Sex and joining a panel discussion of Envelope-Pushing Erotica. “I share the issues of older-age sexuality with young people. They share their issues with me. We embrace each other personally, professionally, and in the spirit of humanity. We come away bigger, better people because of CatalystCon. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

Speakers include sex educators Carol Queen and Robert Morgan Lawrence; academics Ebony Utley and Shira Tarrant, activists Cunning Minx and Emily Lindin, and industry icon Annie Sprinkle, plus sex workers, sex writers, sex therapists and other experts. A complete list of speakers may be found at catalystcon.com/speakers.

CatalystCon West will also feature the debut of a pre-conference workshop on Writing & Performing Erotika for the Stage with UrbanErotika’s Mo Beasley, and the return of Rachel Kramer Bussel’s writing workshops. “I had a wonderful experience teaching my erotica and sex writing workshops at CatalystCon East,” said Bussel, former Village Voice sex columnist and editor of over 50 anthologies. “I was impressed with the creativity, commitment and intelligence of the writers, published and unpublished, who took the workshops and am looking forward to teaching again and seeing lots of published pieces emerge afterwards. CatalystCon attendees are at the forefront of what’s happening in sexuality and have plenty to say about it.”

“It’s been exciting and rewarding to see CatalystCon grow and evolve so much in such a short time,” said Dee Dennis. “I’m thrilled with the lineup for CatalystCon West and look forward to welcoming returning speakers and adding new voices to the conversation.”

CatalystCon West takes place September 11-14, 2014 at the Westin LAX in Los Angeles, California. Discounted early-bird registration is available until June 29 at catalystcon.com/register.

%d bloggers like this: