May 032017
 

Hello fellow Sex Workers! It’s time to start planning CatalystCon’s Second Annual Sex Worker Summit and we need you! The Sex Worker Summit is about Sex Work and for Sex Workers, so it only makes sense that Sex Workers would shape and plan it.

That’s where you come in. Do you have an area of expertise that you’d like to share with the community? Is there a current issue impacting our community that you’d like to teach on? What do you want to learn about or be taught? Is there someone you think might be interested in educating our community? What issues are most important to you right now?

The beauty, wisdom, and strength of our community is in its diverse makeup. Like last year, we want this year’s SW Summit panel to continue to reflect the face and experiences of our community. This means we’d like to see POC, Transgender, Queer, those living with disability, BDSM/Kink, exploitation survivors, and survival/street-based SW to the front, leading and helping us grow as a community.

We’d love to plan a day that reflects and looks like YOU, so tell us what you’d like to teach or see your community learn about. Send your thoughts and ideas to swl@catalystcon.com by June 1st.

We look forward to hearing from you!
Meg Munoz & jessica drake

Sep 082016
 

Headshots at CatalystCon

Robert BurkhartLiz BlackfordMary Prescott

Catalyst Con’s photographer Erika Kapin is offering a limited number of discounted headshot photo sessions for attendees of CatalystCon 2016!

Reserve your session by prepaying for one of the following packages:

–15-20 minute session. 1 Look/outfit. Includes 2 retouched high res image of your selection. $100 prepay. $130 registration at conference.
–1 hour session. Up to 3 looks/outfits. Includes 5 retouched, high res images of your selection. $200 prepay. $250 at conference.

Work samples at www.erikakapin.com

Email erika@erikakapin.com reserve your space or ask any questions!

Check out Erika on Instagram and Twitter

 

Speaker Spotlight – David J. Ley, PhD

 CCON West, CCON West 2016, Speaker Spotlight, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight – David J. Ley, PhD
Aug 192016
 

David is presenting Ethical Porn For Dicks: Encouraging Users to Embrace Mindfulness in their Porn Consumption and speaking on Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance. Check out his bio here.

David LeyHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

Each of my books has been the first of its kind. Insatiable Wives was the first scholarly exploration of the cuckold/hotwife fantasy and fetish. Myth of Sex Addiction was the first popular book to challenge the concept of sex addiction, as morally-based, shaming model. Ethical Porn for Dicks (EP4D) is the first book to approach the men of our society with a model for responsible use of pornography, in a way that does not demonize either porn or male sexuality. I’ve been deeply humbled to have my work honored as an inspiration by the many people who have been shamed for their sexuality, and have felt that my writing and advocacy has led to them being able to challenge social elements who shame and suppress sexual diversity. When Myth came out, I was one of only about 3 people who were publicly challenging the notion of sex addiction – now, dozens of writers, therapists and researchers around the world are publicly attacking the concept as dangerous, ill-informed, and harmful. To have their support and encouragement in this fight has been one of the great successes of my life.

Who or what was a catalyst for you? 

Truthfully, I’ve had any number of mentors and catalysts. But the ones who have meant the most to me have been the countless people around the world who have reached out and told me about the shame they have experienced at the hands of counselors, doctors, media and writers. These people’s stories spurred me to advocate on their behalf, challenging our society’s use of mental health and addiction diagnoses to enforce morally-determined sexual values. I believe strongly in the values and ethics of my profession as a clinical psychologist – but, I believe equally strongly that we must be ever mindful of the intrusion of morals into clinical practice, especially around sexual issues, lest we replicate the many times through history when our field has harmed our own patients, by labeling women as nymphomaniacs or homosexuality as an illness.

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable changes that have been made in our current society and the field of sexuality?

Recent research on the role of religious/moral values conflict with pornography is one of the biggest, most recent bombs which as gone off, revealing that the majority of people who struggle with their porn use, are doing so because of a moral conflict between their religious values and their sexual behaviors. The implications of this are huge, as it helps us to now better help the many people who struggle with porn use, even when they use less porn than other people. Those folks deserve assistance – but the simplistic “Blame porn” approach has been ineffective and often worsens the problem. Now, we can begin to help them, and society, understand that a lack of sexual education, lack of sexual self-understanding and acceptance, and a basic fear of sex that these people (and their religious communities) hold, leave these people desperately ill-prepared to deal with the modern world of sexuality available to them. Educating therapists, religious leaders, societies, policy-makers, porn-users, porn-producers and parents about ways to understand and resolve this conflict is one of our next biggest hurdles. But it’s also at the same time, a very positive way in which we can now begin to address peoples’ pain and struggles MUCH more accurately and effectively.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today? 

I say often that we are in a “sea-change” environment when it comes to sexuality. Core beliefs about sexuality, orientation, gender and what sex actually “means” are being rocked by changes in our society and world, mostly wrought by ripples of the Internet and increased private, independent access to information, community, and acceptance. These are scary times, for those people who fear sexuality, both their own and that of others. Many religious people believe that internet porn and transgender bathroom issues are greater social concerns than are gun violence or racism. These feelings reflect their deep fears of these changes, and what the changes might mean for them and their understanding of the world and sexuality. Currently, I don’t think anyone is doing a good job, understanding and acknowledging these fears, and at the same time, presenting a courageous and informed way in which we can help people move beyond their fear.

Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic importation to you?

Men who use porn have been deeply shamed and isolated by the modern porn panic. EP4D is the first text that is written for them, for the layman, that acknowledges both the positives and risks of porn, and empowers men to make decisions from places of self-knowledge and integrity. I hope that my work serves  in some small way to empower both men and porn producers/performers, to push back against the shaming, attacking elements who pathologize all porn, and want people to fear it. Ethical Porn is a way we can all rally together, to protect our sexuality, or free expression, and our own determination of our sexual values.

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

I was born with one hand. It’s a very obvious physical disability, which has not been that disabling. But, I have a lifetime of feeling, and looking, very different, and being singled out for that difference. As a result, I am very sensitive and attuned to those who shame others for differences, particularly differences in sexual behaviors or preferences. I view such shaming tactics as akin to those bullies I’ve experienced all my life, who shame others for being different in some way. Throughout my life, I’ve always aggressively fought such bullying, whether it’s directed at me, or others. My writing is a unique expression of that aspect of my personality.

 

Tributes to Candida Royalle

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Sep 082015
 

Tributes to Candida Royalle

unnamed-33

1950-2015

6pm on……

Come join us for a tribute to the life and works of Candida Royalle. After a brief docu-video, hosts Dr. Patti Britton and Dr. Robert Dunlap will facilitate a sharing of your stories of how she touched your life!

Will be held in Academy Four 

 

9:00pm – 10:00pm

Your hosts and commentators, Dr. Patti Britton and Dr. Robert Dunlap, will show a retrospective tribute to the works of filmmaker, Candida Royalle, with trailers from all of her Femme Productions films from 1985-2007.

Will be held in Academy Four 

 

CatalystCon West Book Signings Schedule

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on CatalystCon West Book Signings Schedule
Sep 062014
 

Stories Books & Cafe is returning as the official CatalystCon West bookseller and will be located in the Concourse Ball Exhibitor Hall. They will also be hosting book signings throughout the weekend.

Book Signing Schedule:

Saturday, September 13th:

10:45am – Cunning Minx

4:15pm – Joan Price

Sunday, September 14th:

10:45 – Dr. Carol Queen

12:15 – L. Renair Amin Covington & Allison Moon

1:45pm – Dr. Ava Cadell, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Rebekah Weatherspoon & Shawna Kenney

*Schedule is subject to change

Aug 122014
 

Kait Scalisi is presenting Sex, Dating, Kink, and the ‘C’ Word and How to be a Sex Positive Warrior in Public Health. Check out Kait’s bio here.
Kaitlyn Scalisi

1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

My goal is to bring sex-positivity to the fields of public health, medicine, and violence prevention. I want to cause broad shifts in how practitioners in these fields think about, talk about, and approach sex, pleasure, health, prevention, and response. I’m doing this by taking a broad approach to reach people at various points in their training and in a multitude of settings.

2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Megan Andelloux, Debby Herbenick, and Kate McCombs are my three biggest sex ed catalysts. Seeing their work affirmed for me that my ideas, dreams, and goals are both valid and achievable. Additionally, because each has a very different approach to sex ed, I knew I could do it “my way.”

Beyond that, the cancer patients I worked with inspire me each and every day. Their sharing their sexual stories is the reason I began researching sex and chronic illness. I carry their stories with me to this day.

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

Not approaching our work as a business as well as the lack of business resources available that incorporate solutions to the unique challenges created by this field. I’m so excited that resources like Tristan Taormino’s Sex Ed Boot Camp and Reid Mihalko’s Sex Geek Summer Camp are now available and really think they are just the beginning of a shift within our field to making this work sustainable and fulfilling on all levels.

4. 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 last year has seen some incredible and exciting policy changes and recommendations. These include the WHO’s endorsement of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), Medicare lifting the coverage ban on gender-affirming surgery, and Obama signing the LGBT nondiscrimination order. Additionally, we’ve seen more and more states allow same-sex marriage and an increase in the conversation around campus sexual assault.

5. Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic Sex, Dating, Kink, and the ‘C’ Word and How to be a Sex Positive Warrior in Public Health” to CatalystCon West?

Dating, Sex, Kink, and the ‘C’ Word
Simple: people have questions and not a lot of great places to find answers. When I worked with cancer patients, I experienced this massive divide between what the patients wanted to know about sex and what the healthcare providers knew and discussed. It really showed me that healthcare providers needed more training and patients needed more resources and places to ask questions. So for this panel, we wanted to reach both providers and patients to offer some guidance around common issues and what to do about them.

How to be a Sex Positive Warrior in Public Health
During my public health training, I spent much of my time lamenting about how the field was so sex-negative. I understood a lot of the ‘why’ behind this, but that didn’t stop the fact from bothering me. When I found others who had similar views, I knew it was time to really start doing something about it! Since Catalyst draws such a varied audience, we wanted to create a space to share our experiences and ideas as well as to see what’s worked for others. After all, the more of us who work towards this goal, the more likely we are to bring about impactful and lasting change.

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

I adore Latin music and my favorite rhythm is the salsa (followed closely by cumbia). I don’t get out and dance enough!

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here

Urban Erotika is holding a casting call for CatalystCon West Performers

 CCON West, CCON West 2014, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Urban Erotika is holding a casting call for CatalystCon West Performers
Jul 162014
 

We are looking for 1-2 dynamic, eclectic performers to join us for our evening performance at CatalystCon West on Saturday, September 13, 2014

What is Urban Erotika? – Mo Beasley’s UrbanErotika is a monthly performance series celebrating erotic love through poetry, spoken word, music, dance, and theatre – as expressed by New York City’s diverse cultures.  Each performance is composed with four Suites of Eros and starts with the most soft and sensual, ending with the most wild and explicit. The Infatuation Suite, Seduction Suite, Sweet Bliss, and the Raw Suite are the full spectrum of romantic and sexual love at UrbanErotika.

What kind of performer are we looking for? UrbanErotika has hosted all types of performance artists such as Puerto Rican tap dancers, Korean folk singers, West African dancers, Jewish musicians, South African singers, European poets, as well as the tri-state area’s best-known African American poets, dancers, singers, and musicians. We are seeking 1-2 CatalystCon attendees who can blend their unique art with ours.  We are exceptionally excited to combine the open and honest communications that CatalystCon performers/panelist and communities continue to embrace and the beauty of open-minded eclectic art that UrbanErotika champions.

The Specifics – Who are you? What do you do?! Are you interested in adding to our collective?  We are looking for dancers, singers, musicians, or any other unique creative to be a part of the show. Please be aware the selected artists will have between 5-10 minutes of performance time.

If interested please send a link or attachment (between 5-10 minutes) of what you do best along with all requirements, such as time, space, etc.., and any additional information to :

UrbanErotika@gmail.com. We will respond to all inquiries. We look forward to rocking the stage with you.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, August 11, 2014.

Mar 132014
 

Robin Mandell is presenting The Nuts and Bolts of Accessibility. Check out Robin’s bio here.
Robin Mandell

1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

The mere fact of my existence as a visibly disabled woman in public spaces is a reminder of disabled people and the real and equal role we play  in this world. While I don’t publicly express myself in explicitly sexual ways, I’d like to think that in talking about sex I’m challenging assumptions about the role sex plays in disabled people’s lives.

As a disabled person, I can freely, as a peer, enter spaces inhabited by disabled people, both cyber and in-person, to talk about sexuality and relationships, to provide support and education around sexual trauma, to promote reproductive justice activism, and more. As a voice in the sexuality field, I can and will continue to bring the lives of disabled people to the forefront of discussion and education in spaces like catalyst.

2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?

So many people; so many things. Of late it’s been the articulate voices of disabled activists on social media. There are so many smart, creative, active folks there. You can follow Gimp Girl (@GimpGirl on twitter) to find a small sample of what and who I’m talking about.

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

Most of what we hear or read in the news, or watch on TV and in movies, about sex, whether it’s consensual sex or sexualized violence, is sensationalized to the point of being wrong, insensitive, misleading, or all three. There have been too many reports of the criminal justice system not treating sexualized violence as the serious crime it is. Mainstream society isn’t a safe place to talk about healthy, pleasureful sexuality, to seek support as a survivor of sexualized violence, or to coalesce around reducing the incidence of violence. While sex, and violence that is sexualized, are two different things, I think that society’s inability to coherently talk about either is what is at the root of a lot that is wrong right now.

4. 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 hopeful that the FDA’s decision to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter for everyone will improve access to it and result in increased knowledge about what EC does and doesn’t do. It’s a valuable tool for reproductive justice and for people’s health care.

I’m also really pleased to see activists calling universities and colleges to task for the way they’ve historically handled (or not handled) student safety and sexual violence prevention on campus.

5. Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic The Nuts and Bolts of Accessibility to CatalystCon East?

This is going to be a little bit of a ramble; it’s too important to me to work up soundbites.

Disability is something a lot of people fear, and that fear can translate to uncertainty around people who have disabilities. This is often a gut-level fear, one that people may not be consciously aware of. There are also a lot of misconceptions and prejudices out there around living with disability and being a sexual being; there’s overlap here with reproductive justice and sexualized violence concerns.

As professionals in sexualities and relationships fields, we’re not immune to prejudices and misconceptions.

Ensuring that people with disabilities or illnesses can access our sexuality and relationships related services or products isn’t as simple as just deciding to include us and—poof–it happens. It’s not difficult, either. Including people with disabilities does often require changes which typically have not been part of the way mainstream society goes about its business. In other words, making services available isn’t just about shedding prejudices and expanding philosophies; it may take real changes in how things are done.

Changes to laws and  requirements for institutions to comply with those laws are terrific. I want to take it down to the individual and small business level. My goal is to take the realm of disability “accommodation” from something “special” to something run-of-the-mill.

In other words, I want for all of us to build the things we would do to give disabled people access to our services or materials into everything we offer, whether we know for sure it’s being accessed by someone with any given disability or not.

I don’t have all the answers, but I will raise the questions and provide practical tools.

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

Not many people know that I have an excessive fondness for the baby corn cobs often found in stir-fries at Chinese restaurants.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here

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