CatalystCon West 2018 Speakers
Alex S. Morgan is a gender, sexuality, and relationship coach, a sexual rights advocate, and a genderqueer sacred intimate. Working directly with others’ sexuality since 2004 has given Alex a deft sensitivity to the needs of those exploring new facets of themselves and an understanding of the power of connection and authenticity in both our public and private lives. A believer in continuing education for all adults exploring sex, gender, and relationships, Alex presents internationally on relationships, kink, sexuality, gender, and related policy and social justice issues at venues ranging from private workshops to public organizations, Stanford to SXSW. They offer talks, private workshops, and inservice trainings by request. Alex is available for individual and couples coaching and sacred intimate work via Skype, at their practice in the Bay Area, or at your location by request.
Alex Morgan is presenting Healthy Boundaries, Healthy Business: How to Say No to Burn-Out and Say Yes to Your Perfect Clients and Healing Sex and Intimacy After Trauma for Sexuality Professionals. Follow Alex S. Morgan on Facebook, Twitter, or at alexsmorgan.com.
Alex Wilson is a 24 year old organizer, artist and trauma educator who focuses on community building, education, and leftism. Originally from DC Alex went to school in Jersey where they received their BA in Psychology from Rutgers University, returning to DC to work in public health. Professionally Alex works at HIPS as an overdose response specialist and as an educator Alex works to remove barriers that often separate people from sharing and receiving information and subsequently from understanding and from healing. As a non-binary black person Alex works diligently to prioritize the voices and experiences of the marginalized at every level. Through sex education Alex aims to engage in critical discussions about identity, trauma,sex, and sexuality ultimately working to know more about the way we as people perceive sex and why that is. If we can understand our attitudes and experiences surrounding sex we can move forward together into deeper understanding, acceptance and create stronger bonds of community that endure.
Alex is presenting Make It Hurt So Good: Kink as a Space for Healing from Epigenetic, Personal, and Historical Trauma and Sexclamation Point!: Unpacking What “Good Sex” Means and How we can have more of it!.
Alisa Sophia is a Sacred Courtesan who leads with her heart. One of the top rated escorts in the SF Bay Area, she has attained that status by practicing heart-open, connected sex work. Alisa is also a certified Intimacy & Relationship Coach and is a lifelong student of philosophies and spirit systems around the world. Some of her specialties include healing from childhood sexual trauma, navigating major life transitions, releasing from shame, and spreading love widely, authentically, and without discrimination. For the past two years Sophia has been working as a sex worker rights activist fighting alongside veteran activists for the full decriminalization of prostitution. She has helped organize for SWOP Bay and Sex Worker Fest and has spoken on multiple panels. Alisa has also been interviewed by Newsweek and photographed for the New York Times magazine, for articles focusing on sex worker related topics.
Alicia Sophia is presenting The Negative of Sex Positive: Shame, stigma and sex work acceptance in our community. Find Alicia Sophia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Attorney Allan B. Gelbard, Esq. is an active First Amendment, Intellectual Property, and Entertainment attorney in Encino, California.
Mr. Gelbard has represented clients in all areas of the adult entertainment and alternative lifestyle industries. In 2007 he obtained an eleven million dollar verdict in a federal copyright and trademark infringement action, the largest jury award ever in an adult entertainment case. In 2009, he succeeded in quashing a federal grand jury subpoena seeking the identities of numerous customers of an adult entertainment company. And in 2010, he successfully defended John Stagliano and Evil Angel against federal obscenity charges brought in Washington, D.C.. He is a board member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and the Los Angeles League of Arts, and a past board member of the Free Speech Coalition. He frequently speaks on industry panels, and has been featured in Wired Magazine, Adult Video News, X-Biz, California Lawyer, The Daily Journal, The National law Journal, and the LA Times.
Mr. Gelbard is presenting Sexwork and the Law: ESPLERP v Gascon – What Comes Next. Find Mr. Gelbard on Twitter and Facebook.
Allison Moon is the author of the award winning, critically-acclaimed sex-ed book, Girl Sex 101, the sexual memoir, Bad Dyke, and the Tales of the Pack series about lesbian werewolves. As a sex educator, Allison has presented her workshops to thousands of people around the US and Canada.
Allison is presenting Successful Self-Publishing for Sex Geeks and Sexual Justice Revolutionaries.
August McLaughlin is a health and sexuality writer, host and creator of Girl Boner® and Girl Boner Radio and author of Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment. Her work appears in Cosmopolitan, DAME Magazine, the Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG.comand more. She speaks publicly about surviving an eating disorder while working as a model, women’s sexual empowerment and more.
August is presenting The Ins and Outs of Sex Writing: How to Move Past Fear and Flourish Creatively. Find August on Twitter and Facebook.
Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a “cultural sexologist” because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple’s sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.).
Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and curating GV’s Antique Vibrator Museum.
She is also the founding director of The Center for Sex & Culture, a small non-profit sex ed and arts center, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes.
Carol is presenting Humor In Sex Ed: The Value In Laughter In Releasing Shame and Trauma, and When and How to Use It, Successful Self-Publishing for Sex Geeks and Sexual Justice Revolutionaries, A Sex-Positive Reckoning or a Sex Panic? Let’s Discuss!, The Slash Sexual Underground, and A New Way of Thinking about Sexual Disability. Find Carol on Twitter
Cassie Brighter is your typical suburban mom. Well, your typical transgender, pansexual, polyamorous, sexpositive suburban mom. She is the webmistress for SexPositiveWorld.com and the leader of Sex Geekdom Los Angeles, runs an annual digital conference for trans women called Empowered Trans Woman Summit, and gives classes on gender diversity and sexual consent around L.A. and Ventura County. She’s just launched a YouTube channel, and she’s ALWAYS on Facebook. Cassie is a top writer on Medium.com, on Feminism, Diversity and LGBTQ issues. Her website is CassieBrighter.com
Cassie is presenting Are Trans Kids The New Hot Accessory? and Intersectional Feminism – A Trans Woman’s Perspective.
Cathy Vartuli is a sex-positive Emotional Freedom Coach who helps people transform their traumas into their greatest strengths using love, laughter and inner guidance. She uses a practical yet intuitive approach to help people connect with their own power and guidance. Prior to establishing her coaching business, Cathy got her Masters in Physics at SUNY Binghamton and her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida, and works in major semiconductor companies doing R&D.
On topics around body image, shame reprogramming, and powerful self-expression, Cathy helps clients of all shapes, sizes, ages, and gender expressions break out of old patterns and find their voice.
As an all around geek who compulsively studies marketing and consensual influence… She also loves helping heart-centered sex-positive businesses find their unique voice and expand their audience and increase abundance.
Cathy is presenting Beautism and Sexuality: How Society’s Representation of Beauty and Image Impact Sexual Self-Expression, Humor In Sex Ed: The Value In Laughter In Releasing Shame and Trauma, and When and How to Use It, Shyness and Sexual Self-expression: How Shame and Trauma Impact Sexual Pleasure and Connection, Behind The Curtain: Running Multiple Day Events And Coming Out Sane, Part 2, and Giving Good Con: How You Can Make A Bigger Difference And Get More Out, Whether You Present Or Not!.
Charlotte C. Hill is a slash fan, slash fiction writer, former fanzine publisher, and slash convention organizer. She found slash as a teenager when printed fanzines were taboo and hidden under dealers’ tables at science fiction conventions. It was a happy (nay, ecstatic) accident that helped inform her feminist, writing, and sexual perspectives for most of her life. She co-published Manacles Press, a fanzine press that ran from 1991 through 2000, and was a major contributor to the press’s anthology zines. She also co-founded Escapade, a convention now in its 28th year. Panel themes were “P.C., or purposely controversial,” to affirm that when women get together, they have a right to discuss—and be turned on by—any aspect of sex and sexuality, even if it defies mainstream sensibilities (or the organizers’). EscapadeCon is a democratic body whose attendees determine its discussion topics, agendas, charities, and other works.
Constance Penley is professor of Film and Media Studies and founding director of the Carsey-Wolf Center at UC Santa Barbara. She is a founding editor of Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies. Penley, considered one of the originators of both porn studies and fan studies as academic fields, is the author or editor of ten books, including NASA/TREK: Popular Science and Sex in America and the forthcoming Teaching Pornography, based on 25 years of pioneering efforts to teach pornography as a genre and industry. With Tristan Taormino, Celine Parreñas Shimizu, and Mireille Miller-Young she edited The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure (translated in German and Spanish), the first collection to bring together writings by feminists in the adult industry with essays by feminist porn scholars. She is currently editing The Slash Book with Charlotte C. Hill and Megan Kent. Penley is a member of the GALA Committee, a 100- person collective of artists and TV producers (http://www.redbullstudiosnewyork.com/exhibition/total-proof-the-gala committee/). She won the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Award for “DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea” and co-produced HBO’s Porn 101 with Katie Morgan, continuing her dual research focus on popular science and popular sex.
Constance is presenting The Slash Sexual Underground.
Dean Khambatta is in his final year of a Master’s in Counseling at Palo Alto University and is the co-president of the Chi Sigma Iota Honor’s Society. He is currently working in a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility. Dean is primarily interested in working with the LGBT community and with other sexual minorities. He was previously a sex-educator with Good Vibrations where his interest in sexuality research and work was cultivated.
The will be Dean’s first – of many, to be sure – presentation as a counseling professional.
Dean Khambatta is presenting Kinky & Queer: Exploring the Experiences of Intersectional LGBTQ+ BDSM Practitioners.
An activist in the field of sexuality, Dee Dennis started her career as a sex blogger, writing about the end of her marriage and beginning the next chapter of her life. During this transition, Dee discovered her passion for a healthy, fun, and shame-free sex life and set out to share this message with the world.
Dee’s commitment to taking the conversation about sexuality offline and into the real world sparked an idea – a conference empowering people to come together and exchange ideas to further the discussion of sexuality. Her hope was to inspire people and motivate them to carry the conversation forward.
In 2012, Dee founded CatalystCon, which she regards as a “melting pot of sexuality,” uniting sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. To Dee, “knowledge is power, and sharing knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.” This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon.
Dee is presenting Behind The Curtain: Running Multiple Day Events And Coming Out Sane, Part 2. Find Dee on Facebook and Twitter
I am a trans woman. I am a femme top and pro domme.
I live in the Bay Area, but I am originally from London, UK. My professional interests are deep, from corporal punishment to psychological dominance to feminization. I welcome players of all persuasions and experience levels, and individuals and couples of all genders and sexual orientations.
I am also involved in sex worker activism with the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project (ESPLERP), which is a 501(c) sex worker led group advancing sexual privacy rights through impact legislation, advocacy, education, and research.
ESPLERP is the plaintiff in ESPLERP v Gascon, which challenges California’s prostitution statute 647(b) as being unconstitutional – effectively seeking the decriminalization of sex work. The case is currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
ESPLERP has also produced a Policy Agenda that provides a roadmap for legislators towards enfranchising all aspects of sex work – in tandem with, or independently of, the decriminalization of sex work. For example, it recommends repealing moral turpitude laws that impact legal workers like exotic dancers, adult film performers, and phone sex operators.
I am also a software geek, gardener and tankie (ask me what that means).
Ms Emilie Oxford is presenting The Negative of Sex Positive: Shame, stigma and sex work acceptance in our community. Find Ms Emilie Oxford on Facebook and Twitter.
Erica Garza is the author of the memoir Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction (Simon & Schuster). Her essays have appeared in The Cut, Salon, Narratively, BUST, Good Housekeeping, and the Los Angeles Review, among other publications. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
Erica is presenting The Ins and Outs of Sex Writing: How to Move Past Fear and Flourish Creatively.
The Dating Advice Girl, Erin Tillman, is a Dating Empowerment Coach, Certified NLP Practitioner, Author, Speaker, and Radio/TV Host based in Los Angeles, California. For almost 10 years she has helped singles successfully navigate through the early stages of dating through her book, The Dating Guidebook, over 100 dating-related articles for various lifestyle and dating sites, radio and TV segments and through her weekly radio show, The Dating Advice Girl Radio Show on 99.3 KCLA FM (voted one of the Top 10 Best Dating Podcasts on the Web in 2013 and listed as one of the Best Places for Dating Advice on Twitter). Erin hosts and participates in dating, self-help, consent workshops on college campuses and beyond, has hosted singles events in and around Los Angeles, and has gotten and given dating tips to celebs on at events and on red carpets. She has been featured on Buzzfeed, Lifetime Network, ABC7 Los Angeles, and mentioned in Men’s Health Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and interviewed on WGN 720 AM Chicago just to name a few media outlets.
Erin has built a large network of loyal followers in Los Angeles and beyond. She is the author of The Dating Guidebook: Tips for Living A Happy and Healthy Single Life Without Losing Yourself in the Dating Process.
Erin is presenting Beautism and Sexuality: How Society’s Representation of Beauty and Image Impact Sexual Self-Expression, Giving Good Con: How You Can Make A Bigger Difference And Get More Out, Whether You Present Or Not! and The Ins and Outs of Sex Writing: How to Move Past Fear and Flourish Creatively. Find Erin on Twitter and Facebook
Ethan Shattuck is a conforming non-conformist, a Combat Veteran and Holistic Psychologist, an outdoorsman and academic, a former boy scout and alumnus of a sorority. He is passionate about protecting human rights in every form. Ethan went with Vets4 Standing Rock to aid the Lakota Water Protectors in their protest against DAPL, has worked with several organizations to become more inclusive of queer people, and has led panel discussions on queer issues.
Ethan completed his Holistic Counseling Psychology Masters degree at John F. Kennedy University in 2010. Since his graduation, he has been battling acute agoraphobia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that came from being a queer person Serving in the US military under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy as much as serving in combat areas. He knows intimately the pain of being silenced and the struggle to reclaim ones voice. As a queer-identified trans man, he has lived the roller coaster of sexual identity fluidity and changes in personal identity. He wants everyone to know and live their innate power moreover, he hopes that everyone will stand for themselves and the things they care about even if their knees shake and their voice quavers.
Ethan Shattuck is presenting How the Sex-Positive Community Can Bring Healing and Growth to Our Country.
Fei Wyatt is a writer, Professional Cuddler, and Intimacy Coach, on a mission to bring people closer together. She is an avid advocate of platonic intimacy in a world where sexuality can be the only outlet for physical closeness. Part of her work involves training and educating cuddle professionals, where she teaches about the importance of sex-positivity in this work. Fei is the founder and president of CuddlExpo, and the Chief Cuddle Officer at Cuddle Sanctuary. Her work has been featured on 60 Second Docs, Comedy Central, TruTv, Good Day LA, and Buzzfeed.
Some labels she currently identifies with (but invokes the right to change at anytime) are queer, polyamorous, and graysexual.
Fei is presenting De-Centering Arousal & Sex: The Platonic Touch Takeover. Find Fei on Facebook.
Frenchie Davis is an authority on Human Sexuality with a focus on the African-American community. Frenchie combines her love and expertise of social services, education, and pop-culture to Entertain, Educate and Enhance the emotional and sexiological intelligence of her audiences.
Through talk and education forums Frenchie offers her audience a passport to understanding how sexuality impacts spirituality, sexual agency, sexuality development and diversity. When you combine a Masters of Education in Human Sexuality with 20 years of facilitation and presentation experience you are not only informed, but also transformed. Frenchie works both nationally and internationally through workshops, lectures, blogging and TV appearances and shares her platform on her edge cutting sexuality talk show, “Libido Talk” on WBAI 99.5 FM of New York City.
Frenchie is a board member for the Incarnation Institute of Sex and Faith (IISF). In 2015, she participated as a research scholar at the Cuba Delegation for Race, Culture, Gender, and Sexuality. Frenchie has also studied in Cachoeira, Brazil with the Decolonial Black Feminism School lead by renown activist and author Angela Davis. Frenchie Davis is ambitious in evolving the frameworks in which sexual health is learned and lived.
Heather Brewer, L.M.F.T. is an authority on somatic psychology and its heavy overlap with sexuality and gender. She believes that the body offers the clearest insight into one’s internal world, and that it is the source of the most sustainable healing. She is passionate about teaching a combination of emotional intelligence and critical thinking, especially amidst our current political climate. In addition to her private practice, she collaborates with local artists and scientists on various activist projects, and she is dedicated to spreading sexual intelligence and comfort in the world.
Heather received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2005, and her Masters in Clinical Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in 2010. Her psychotherapy practice is based in Santa Monica, California, and her therapeutic approach is based on humanistic, holistic, and intersectional feminist values.
Heather Brewer is presenting How the Sex-Positive Community Can Bring Healing and Growth to Our Country. Find Heather on Facebook and Twitter.
Hercules The Pleasure Coach is a sex, intimacy & relationship educator, writer, blogger, speaker, activist, coach and permission giver. He focuses his work & expertise on various topics of sex positive awareness, sexual and intimate practices, sex workers rights, Open Relationship & BDSM Lifestyles but never limits himself to talking about other areas of sex & life. Hercules is also an intimate bodyworker and a Pro Dom.
Hercules is presenting The Negative of Sex Positive: Shame, stigma and sex work acceptance in our community. Find Hercules on Facebook and Twitter.
Dr. Hernando Chaves is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego, and a Doctor of Human Sexuality degree from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Chaves’ clinical work focuses on individuals, couples, and families of unique erotic communities, sexual identities, orientations, and clients with sex therapy concerns. He is a past president of the Western Region for The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and former SSSS board of directors member. Dr. Chaves is a psychology professor at Orange Coast College, teaching introduction to human sexuality and advanced human sexuality courses. He is the resident sexologist at Askmen.com, writing bimonthly sex Q&A and sexuality articles. He has been featured on XM, online, and FM radio, magazine interviews, television shows, and has lectured nationally and internationally.
Hernando is presenting A Sex-Positive Reckoning or a Sex Panic? Let’s Discuss! Find Hernando on Twitter and Facebook.
Jack HammerXL has been in the adult industry since 2009. He started as a bottom for Kink.com. He is the former director for Insex’s website HardTied.com, assistant director, model, and grip for SexuallyBroken.com, and handler, photographer and grip for RealTimeBondage.com. He has also modeled for Pink and White Productions, Heavenly Spire, Dark Horse, Kickass.com. He currently is directing for his upcoming website InterracialBondage.xxx. Jack has also appeared in numerous nominated scenes and feature films throughout his career. He also does live suspension bondage performances.
Janet Trevino, Platonic Touch & Cuddling Specialist, is devoted to exposing and creating a brave space for one of society’s largest unspoken and unmet needs: platonic touch.
Janet is presenting De-Centering Arousal & Sex: The Platonic Touch Takeover. Find Janet on Facebook
Karma can mean many things to many people, but for jessica drake, it has always meant an abundance of success and concern for others. Her beauty frames a prodigious talent that has helped her earn AVN’s coveted Best Actress award three times. An exclusive Wicked Pictures contract performer, writer, and director, as well as a global humanitarian and emerging sexual wellness authority, jessica’s brilliant career continues to move forward with ambitious adult productions like Brad Armstrong’s “Underworld” and instructional releases for “jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex.” In the popular series, jessica brings erotic topics to life through intimate demonstrations performed by some of today’s hottest adult stars. Each volume addresses different aspects of human sexuality explored with a distinct blend of knowledge, experience, and good humor, which is refreshing for the sexual self-help genre. The series’ volume on ‘Fellatio’ earned AVN’s 2012 Best Educational Release award, while ‘Anal’ was named XBIZ’s 2012 Specialty Release of the Year. The same demand for her modern sex education DVDs also takes jessica around the world, presenting seminars and workshops at expos, retail outlets, and colleges, like the University of California – Santa Barbara and Chapman University, where she speaks to curious adults desiring to learn more about sex, romance, and communication.
jessica is presenting Beautism and Sexuality: How Society’s Representation of Beauty and Image Impact Sexual Self-Expression. Find her on Twitter.
Jimanekia Eborn is a sex educator with a decade of experience in mental health work. Her focus within sexual education is teaching adolescents sexual education via More than Sex- ED and through private classes, consultations media appearances and more. She’s also the Director of Education for a non profit called More Than “NO”.
Jimanekia is presenting Shyness and Sexual Self-expression: How Shame and Trauma Impact Sexual Pleasure and Connection. Find Jaminekia on Facebook and Twitter.
Joan Price calls herself an advocate for ageless sexuality. She has been called other things by the media: “senior sexpert” and—her favorite—”wrinkly sex kitten.”
Joan has been writing books about senior sex since 2005. Her latest is The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life (Cleis Press). She also wrote the spicy memoir, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty and the award-winning, self-help guide, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. She edited the steamy senior sex anthology, Ageless Erotica.
Joan Price continues to talk out loud about senior sex — partnered or solo – in speeches and workshops, and on her zesty blog about sex and aging — NakedAtOurAge.com – which includes senior sex news, views, and reviews of about a hundred sex toys from a senior perspective. She writes the “Sex at Our Age” column for SeniorPlanet.org. Joan travels throughout the US and internationally giving presentations and now also shares her expertise via webinars. She received the 2015 Catalyst Award for “inspiring exceptional conversations in sexuality.” Please subscribe to her occasional newsletter, “News, views, and events from Joan Price”.
Jupiter’s Slut is a writer, porn producer and sex worker. Her work centers around empowerment and sexual shame. Society shames us for being sexual as well as for being non-sexual. In offering non-sexual touch, Jupiter models choices in intimacy and makes touch accessible. Jupiter has a degree in economics and ethics from Smith College, a master’s in creative writing from Simmons and a master’s in education from Umass Amherst. She taught math for five years before producing porn and returning to somatic based work.
Jupiter’s Slut is presenting De-Centering Arousal & Sex: The Platonic Touch Takeover and Super Sluts: Personal Narratives of Reclamation. Find Jupiter’s Slut on Twitter
For over 30 years, Kathie Moehlig has been a public speaker, workshop presenter, nonprofit development coordinator, and support group leader. She is a certified life coach, an ordained minister, and a certified parenting instructor.
As a parent advocate for her transgender son, Kathie helped navigate his journey. As a result of their family’s ongoing experience, the need to help others was apparent to her. In early 2015, Kathie founded TransFamily Support Services, a nonprofit organization in San Diego serving transgender and gender nonconforming youth and their families.
Kathie provides individual and family coaching to facilitate acceptance and support, assists with healthcare and insurance issues, helps families navigate the legal system, and advocates for resources and support at schools for transgender
and gender nonconforming youth and their families.
At the school site and district levels, teachers and students become more comfortable and feel safer with open dialogue as educators are given language and tools to assist students and families in the broader community. Kathie provides workshops and training programs for faculty and staff in LGBTQ awareness, vocabulary use, understanding and implementing state and federal laws, and how to adopt best practices as policy.
Kathie works with medical and mental health professionals from the front desk receptionist to the physician in the back office pointing to resources both medically and procedurally. Providing emergency rooms and urgent care centers with knowledge about trans issues, and access to resources to support specific needs, creates prepared, safe, and effective treatment for all patients.
Kathie tirelessly advocates for transgender acceptance in the social, medical, educational, media, and legal communities. She serves as a board member of PFLAG, GLSEN, and Camp Laurel. Kathie is also a San Diego Trevor Ambassador. Kathie collaborates with the North County LGBT Center, the LGBT Center in Hillcrest, and many other organizations nationwide that serve transgender youth. She was San Diego Pride 2017 – Spirit of Stonewall Friend of Pride winner and the 2018 California Assembly District 78 Women of the Year.
Kathie is presenting Are Trans Kids The New Hot Accessory?
Ken Cosby is a writer, actor, comedian, and college professor. While teaching screenwriting at The University of Southern California, Ken was a champion for his POC and LGBTQ students by instructing them how to sell their work to Hollywood without selling out. With over 20 years as a performer and a professor, Ken’s main focus has been on comedy. He has performed at the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, The Burbank Comedy Festival, as well as several comedy clubs in New York and Los Angeles as both a stand up comedian and sketch comedy performer.
His stand up style can be best described as sex positive intellectual kink for your ears and for the past few years, Ken has performed at Catalyst Con as part of Urban Erotika with his good friend and college buddy, Mo Beasley.
Ken attended Howard University in Washington D.C., he holds a BFA and MFA, both from New York University, was one of the founding members of the Absolute Theatre Company in NYC, and is currently and Artists in Residence at Towne Street Theatre in Los Angeles.
Ken Cosby is presenting Humor In Sex Ed: The Value In Laughter In Releasing Shame and Trauma, and When and How to Use It. Find Ken at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
Kevin Patterson is an active member of the Philadelphia polyamory community. He’s been practicing ethical nonmonogamy since August of 2002 after opening up the relationship that eventually became his marriage. In April of 2015, Kevin was inspired to start Poly Role Models, a blog and interview series for people sharing their real-life experiences with polyamory. Poly Role Models is part of a drive and a desire to change the way our lives and communities are viewed. It is a platform that highlights the diversity of our relationship structures and the people within them.
Kevin is presenting Don’t Talk About It, Be About It: Creating Inclusive Sex Positive Spaces and You Let Her Do What? Examinations of Polyamory and Masculinity. Find Kevin on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook
Kristel received her Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University and holds a Marketing Certificate from Santa Monica College. She is currently the Marketing and Editorial Director at Grooby, the leading producer of trans erotica. With nearly ten years of experience, she has worked diligently as an advocate within her industry to promote visibility and empowerment through sex positivity. Grooby is also the creator of the Transgender Erotica Awards (TEA), which celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult community.In 2015, along with fellow board members Buck Angel and Steven Grooby, she helped create the non-profit organization TAIF (Trans Adult Industry Foundation). TAIF provides life-affirming support services and resources to trans people, with a specific focus on the needs of performers in the adult industry. In addition, she is the current editor of the longest running transgender magazine, Transformation.
In 2017, Penn started her own PR and marketing company, Ikigai Marketing, which emphasizes the importance of the Japanese concept of ikigai (reason for being). She is the 2017 XBIZ Industry Exec Award winner for Brand Ambassador of the Year and a 2018 nominee for Marketing Executive of the Year. Visit her official website at IkigaiMarketing.com and ShameKillsLove.com.
Rev. Lacette Cross aka Rev. L lives in Richmond, VA. She is the founder of Will You Be Whole that talks sex and faith for wholeness with black women and those who love them. She is an ordained Baptist minister and has twenty years of experience working in the church and community. Rev. L is a self-identified sex-positive Christian who is committed to informing, inspiring and influencing others to reconcile their sexuality and faith. She is an experienced presenter, speaker, and facilitator having participated in conferences, workshops, panels and summits throughout the country on topics related to sex, religion, gender and race. She is committed to creating brave space for people to heal and become their full authentic self. Her work is grounded in womanist theology and ethics that she uses to foster sexually faithful, faithfully sexual individuals. Rev. L holds Bachelors of Social Work, Masters of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees. She is the pastor of Restoration Fellowship RVA, an open and affirming church doing church differently, in Richmond, VA. Rev. L enjoys spending time with friends, trying out new restaurants and reading good books.
Leigh Montavon is a Sex Coach and Clinical Sexologist, as well as a writer, educator, and mother. She specializes in working with, and is strongly connected to, the LGBTQIA+, kink, and non-monogamous communities. Leigh offers sex and relationship coaching to individuals in the Los Angeles area and via Skype from anywhere in the world. You can read her twice monthly column, “Ask Sex Coach Leigh,” on the Take Back Your Sex blog. She also hosts and facilitates a monthly women’s/genderqueer polyamory discussion group. Leigh believes that a healthy sexuality is key to a happy life, and she deeply values body positivity, sex positivity, comprehensive sex education, intersectional feminism, and social justice.
Leigh is presenting Becoming Your Best Advocate and Queer & Trans Relationships: Building a Sex-Positive Foundation. You can find Leigh on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Dirty Lola is a storyteller, sex educator, sex toy peddler, and the creator and host of the live sex Q&A / go-go show and podcast Sex Ed A Go-Go. During the last six years, she has shared her distinctive brand of kickass body and sex-positivity and her personal journey into the kink and polyamorous lifestyles with the masses on and off stage. Lola has taken Sex Ed A Go-Go across the country from New York City to Los Angeles and beyond. She has performed and presented at various conferences and expos such as Catalyst Con, SHE and AVN, and during sex week at Baruch College and UNM. When she’s not traveling and spreading the sex positive gospel you can find her behind the counter at Shag Brooklyn where she also runs the workshop program. Dirty Lola is a storyteller, sex educator, sex toy peddler, and the creator and host of the live sex Q&A / go-go show and podcast Sex Ed A Go-Go.
Lola is hosting CCON A Go-Go: Welcome Q&A, and presenting Don’t Talk About It, Be About It: Creating Inclusive Sex Positive Spaces, Behind The Curtain: Running Multiple Day Events And Coming Out Sane, Part 2 and Super Sluts: Personal Narratives of Reclamation. Find Lola on Twitter, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Lynn Comella is an Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. An expert on the adult entertainment industry, her research explores a number of themes, including the relationship between gender, sexual politics, and consumer culture. Her work on the history of the women’s market for sex toys and pornography has been published in the International Journal of Communication, Porn Studies, Feminist Media Studies, The Feminist Porn Book, Sex for Sale, and New Sociologies of Sex Work, among other venues. She has also published more than 50 articles about sex and culture in local and national media outlets, including Bitch magazine and Pacific Standard. She is the author of Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure (Duke University Press) and co-editor of New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law (Praeger, 2015).
Lynn is presenting Sex and Social Media: The Politics of Free Speech.
Maxine Lynn is an intellectual property attorney with the firm of Keohane & D’Alessandro, PLLC. She splits her time between Chicago and Albany, New York, focusing her practice on patent, trademark, and copyright law, as well as adult industry and entertainment law.
Through Maxine’s company, Unzipped Media, Inc., she publishes the Unzipped Sex, Tech & the Law® blog and the Sex Tech Patent IndeXXX® bulletin. The blog features articles on laws relating to sex toys and porn, while the bulletin lists patents that issue for Sex Tech inventions each quarter. Maxine’s work has been featured in leading adult industry publications, such as XBiz World, XBiz Premiere, AVN news, and EAN Magazine.
Maxine is admitted to practice in the States of New York and Illinois, as well as the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. She is an innovator, herself, with one patent on a Sex Tech device and several others pending. Her free time is spent writing and recording music, traveling, and as she puts it, “dreaming up new technologies designed to elevate the human sexual experience.”
Maxine is presenting Revolutionary Changes in Laws Surrounding the Porn and Sex Toy Industries. Find Maxine on Twitter and Facebook.
Megan Kent is a Santa Barbara-based slash fan for 30 years. She has been a fanfic writer, zine editor, vidder, and (still is) a convention organizer. Together with Charlotte C. Hill, she launched Escapade in 1991, a convention run by, for, and about slash fans. Escapade, now the longest-running slash convention in the world, is known for its focus on meta-fandom issues and has influenced many conventions that have followed it. She is currently editing The Slash Book with Charlotte C. Hill and Constance Penley.
Dr. Megan Speciale is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA. Megan has worked as a professional counselor and advocate in a variety of community settings, focusing primarily on sexuality health and wellness and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Her research includes intersectionality, sex-positivity, and the pedagogy of counseling. Megan is currently a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New Mexico.
Dr. Megan Speciale is presenting Kinky & Queer: Exploring the Experiences of Intersectional LGBTQ+ BDSM Practitioners. Find Dr. Megan Speciale on Facebook and Twitter.
Melissa Joy Maven started exploring sexuality and non-monogamy over a decade ago when finding herself in a sexless relationship with her then-fiancée. The therapists didn’t know much about adult sex ed or open relationships, so she went on a quest to find her sex-positive community and help others who struggled with communicating their desires, letting go of shame and creating a satisfying sex life. She became a Somatic Sex Educator (CSB, Certified Sexological Bodyworker). She also completed the Urban Tantra training program, Like A Pro for sexuality professionals and attended HAI Sex, Love and Intimacy workshops. She formerly worked as courtesan which gave her real life “hands-on” experience. Her clientele were mostly married men who had sex in secret, didn’t have support or know how to ask for the intimacy they desired. Other clientele were married couples who wanted to explore ‘threesomes’ in a safe and supportive environment. Melissa became an activist to decriminalize sex work and volunteers for the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) to educate the public on the conflation of human trafficking with consensual sex work, fighting for human and labor rights of all sex workers and to end the stigma.
Melissa Joy Maven is presenting The Negative of Sex Positive: Shame, stigma and sex work acceptance in our community. Find Melissa on Facebook and Twitter.
Melody Anne is an international sex educator, workshop facilitator, sex researcher, kinkster, and all-around sensual adventurer. A shameless sex geek with a degree in psychology and sexuality studies, she is a graduate of Options for Sexual Health’s Sexual Health Educator Certification program, and juggles her time between coordinating studies at a sex research lab and teaching workshops on kink, sexual health, and pleasure. She has presented at venues including CatalystCon, The Citadel SF, Guelph Sexuality Conference, Converge Con, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia.
With over 11 years of experience in the BDSM community under her belt, Melody Anne identifies as a queer, pansexual, poly-flexible, hedonistic sexual masochist with submissive tendencies and a major rope fetish. Within the Muggle realm, she has a major weakness for coffee, cats, costumes, and concerts, albeit not necessarily in that particular order.
As an educator and advocate for healthy sexuality, Melody Anne believes that accurate information, clear communication, and continuous exploration are key to a life full of sexual celebration!
Mo Beasley aka The HeadMaster. This Performance Artist, Author, and Educator has been dubbed The Head Coach of Erotika, for founding, and producing, the live performance series UrbanErotika since 2001. This award-winning poet and playwright has been featured at the legendary Blue Note, Nuyorican Poets Café, BAMCafe, International Fringe Festival, Joe’s Pub, and erotic reading series: Rachel Kramer Bussel’s In the Flesh, Abiola Abrams’s Kiss & Tell Live, David Henry Sterry’s Sex Workers Literati, Jefferson Bites’ Bare!, and Lori Perkins’ Ravenous Nights.
When not at the mic, Beasley teaches poetry/spoken word and theatre, while also serving as Youth Organizer for FUREE (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality). His current and past clients include Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Kennedy Center, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, African Voices Magazine, Children’s Aid Society, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Penn State University, Congressional Black Caucus, Howard University, Planned Parenthood, and more.
Mo is presenting Shit Ain’t Changed!: Evolution vs Revolution in Sexuality/Freedom Movements of Yesterday and Tomorrow, You Let Her Do What? Examinations of Polyamory and Masculinity and How the Sex-Positive Community Can Bring Healing and Growth to Our Country. Find Mo on Facebook and Twitter.
Mona Darling has been a professional dominatrix and kink educator for over 20 years. She loves teaching women how to talk about, feel comfortable with, and embrace their kinks. She also loves to help couples bring play into their lives. Her book “Kinky Sex Tips For Curious Girls” provides a fun, shame-free introduction to kink and BDSM, modeled after the activity books you loved as a kid. It mixes solid advice about kink and BDSM with puzzles, games, and coloring pages. She also hosts #KinkWithMona every Monday evening on O.School as well as a lady’s only facebook group for women to talk about their desires. She lives in Portland Oregon with her husband and their 9yo transgender daughter.
Nathan Hale Williams is a storyteller. In traditional terms, Nathan is a multi-hyphenated entertainment professional who is an award-winning filmmaker, award-winning author, entertainment attorney, success coach and television personality. Nathan is the executive producer and producer of the NAACP Image Award and GLAAD Media Award nominated film, Dirty Laundry (FOX/Codeblack). Nathan also produced and starred in the award-winning film, The Ski Trip (MTV Networks). For television, Nathan is the creator and executive producer of “My Model Looks Better Than Your Model” (BET), hosted by “America’s Next Top Model” winner Eva Marcille (Pigford) and “Fashion Queen,” Bevy Smith. As well, he is the executive producer of “Leading Men” and “Leading Women” (formerly, “Real Life Divas”) (BET), which was nominated for a 2010 NAACP Image Award.
With critical acclaim Nathan has also created Ladies Who Lunch & Love (WHyN Press) an award-winning and best selling novelization of the popular ESSENCE magazine column he wrote, “The Girl’s Best Friend” where he gave love, relationship and spirit advice for nearly five years. Nathan is a contributing author to the book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough, which won the 2012 American Library Association’s Stonewall Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His next book, The Girl’s Best Friend has just hit bookshelves!
Dr. Flores is proud to be a lifelong product of the California public education system, which most recently includes her doctorate in Urban Planning from UCLA. She has written articles and book chapters about gendered public space, campus sexual assault, and using social media research methods. Her research about street harassment looks to how people use twitter to share, document, and organize against harassment. As an Assistant Professor with the Social & Cultural Analysis of Education program at CSULB, Dr. Flores uses critical pedagogy to engage students in deep analyses of wide-ranging issues related to the broader themes of justice, power, and resistance. She is a past fellow with The OpEd Project, and her public writing has been featured in national outlets such as the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine Blog, YES! Magazine, and Progressive Planning Magazine, as well as the OC Weekly.
Dr. Robert Morgan Lawrence has a Doctorate of Education in Human Sexuality and holds another doctorate in health care, which informs his sexological perspective. He’s served as a sex industry consultant, educator, media voice, and academic author, and has lectured both nationally and international member of the San Francisco Coalition for Healthy Sex. From 1979 Lawrence served on the switchboard and training staff, then as coordinator, of SF Sex Information. He and his partner Dr. Carol Queen left the organization to pursue their own projects, including the Center for Sex & Culture.
Lawrence has covered many sexuality-related topics during 35+ years of teaching. He has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities, and has appeared in places as far-flung as Amsterdam, London and Beijing. Lawrence and Queen have produced events of many kinds, including the live Masturbate-a-Thon. He has been active as a safer-sex educator since 1980. Since 1999 Lawrence has been disabled with a chronic pain condition that limits mobility.
Robert is presenting A New Way of Thinking about Sexual Disability.
Robin Wilson-Benson is a disability and sexuality health educator and writer, teaching the world to embrace and explore your sexuality, regardless of ability. She is a member of the Association of American Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN), and a certified graduate and member of the San Francisco Sexuality Information Training (SFSI).
Robin has been involved in sexuality education and awareness since high school. After acquiring a physical disability, she began in 2008 speaking on sexuality and disability topics and issues. She consults with individuals and organizations on issues of adaptive sexual support, and has had written articles and curriculum on this subject. Robin is a nationally recognized self and systems disability advocate. She is a deep-fried Southern girl, Sex Geek, comic book nerd, mid-century buff, and proud Mama of one amazing daughter.
Robin is presenting Beautism and Sexuality: How Society’s Representation of Beauty and Image Impact Sexual Self-Expression. Follow Robin on Twitter and Facebook.
Sam is a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern and a professional LGBTQ workshop facilitator. They are currently employed at a residential treatment center for teens in crisis called Paradigm in Malibu, CA. Prior to their work at Paradigm, they received their masters in marriage and family therapy from California State University Northridge (CSUN). At CSUN, they wrote their dissertation on trans experiences, providing insight on how to improve the quality of care trans clients receive in therapy. They have given workshops about working with trans clients and trans advocacy at Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic, the 2016 EDGY conference for LGBTQ youth, The Relational Center, Boeing Aircraft Manufacturing Company, and California State University Northridge, among others.
Sam is presenting Queer & Trans Relationships: Building a Sex-Positive Foundation.
Sara Kaplan is a proud mother of two transgender children, who lives in Berkeley, California. She has battled a lifetime of food addiction, obesity, shame, and self loathing. By taking her journey public, through her blog publicdisplayofselflove.com, she released 97 pounds and gained self worth. Sara now coaches others and teaches classes, to children and adults, on the transformative potential of self love and gratitude. Sara is a fierce and dedicated advocate helping families and schools love and accept their transgender children and students. Sara’s self-love journey has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Fast Company, Woman’s World magazine, Lucia, Prevention, Better Homes and Garden, Yahoo, and MSN. Sara’s had her own articles published on Elephant Journal, and Kveller.
Sara is presenting Are Trans Kids The New Hot Accessory?
Shadeen Francis, MFT, MSc, is a marriage and family therapist, professor, author, and public speaker specializing in sex therapy and social justice. She has spoken internationally on topics such as sexual self-esteem, inclusivity in medical care, and the intersection of power and social media. Her curricula on healthy relationships are implemented nationally, and her signature combination of warmth, humour, and compassion has allowed her to develop inter-professional training programs that raise the bar for humanistic healthcare. Shadeen’s belief is that the world is built on the strengths of communities. Her work allows people of all backgrounds to improve their relationships to live the lives they desire.
Shannon Lower is a NYC-based actor, dancer, producer, director and writer who has performed in the U.S., as well as Europe and South America. Over the past few years, Shannon has produced numerous theatrical shows and art exhibits, including co-producing UrbanErotika with Mo Beasley. Her company, Helluva Dame Productions, is all about “perspective,” how one views the world and, just maybe, changing that view.
Dr. Shira Tarrant received her PhD in political science from UCLA. She is a professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at California State University, Long Beach, where she teaches courses on the philosophy of sex and love, masculinity, pop culture, and feminist theory. Her books highlight provocative issues in gender and sexual politics, including most recently, The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press). Her books also include Men Speak Out; Men and Feminism; Gender, Sex, and Politics; Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style; and New Views on Pornography. Dr. Tarrant’s commentary is featured on global media such as AlterNet, the New Yorker, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Forbes, Sydney Morning Herald, and on radio stations around the country. Read more at shiratarrant.com.
Traci is a queer vegan femme-inist of color. Traci uses she|her|hers and they|them|their pronouns. They also have some letters after their name that include a Bachelor of Arts in Critical Gender Studies with a focus in Sexuality and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. They are a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) offering counseling, life coaching, education, consulting, and authenticity activism through their private practice. Traci is passionate about bringing friendly, affirming, knowledgeable and accessible services to LGBT, Queer, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, Non-Monogamous, and Kink-identified individuals, couples, and families. They really believe in the work of sexual freedom and are a strong believer that self-exploration and consciousness-raising are powerful agents in the process of healing. Visit Traci’s website to learn more at www.compassionaterevolt.com.
Yoseñio V. Lewis is a Latino of African Descent female to male transsexual who has been a social justice activist since he was 13 years old. A health educator, speaker, writer, performer, trainer, facilitator and spiritual hugger, Yoseñio is a Board Member of TASHRA—The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance. Yoseñio is on the faculty for the Sex Justice Track of the Creating Change Conference. He is also a frequent speaker at the medical schools of the University of California at San Francisco and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, as well as Stanford University. He served on the National Advisory Board for the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health. Yoseñio was an organizer of and Keynote Speaker for the OPEN-SF Conference (Open, Polyamorous, Ethically Non-Monogamous), as well as a panelist at the Transcending Boundaries Conference. Yoseñio was featured as one of the inaugural honorees of The Trans 100 list.
Keeping to his mantra that “There can be no art without activism and no activism without art” Yoseñio is the founder of Written In The Flesh Erotic Readings (an on-stage opportunity for the lifting up of People of Color voices in Erotica and Sexual Liberation), co-founder of the TransAms Barbershop Quartet and co-founder of Big Boys’ Ink Productions™, a theatrical writing and performing company.
Yoseñio has been featured in several documentaries, and in early 2016 he was featured in a Stop AIDS Project/Outshine NW PSA regarding safer sex practices/self-esteem practices for FTMs who have sex with other men.
Yoseñio is presenting Activism for Introverts and You Let Her Do What? Examinations of Polyamory and Masculinity. Find Yoseñio on Facebook.
Zach Beach is committed to building a world based on unconditional love and connection. He does that as a teacher, yoga and acroyoga facilitator, poet and writer, helping people lead happier and more loving lives. Author of the poetry collection Drinking Roses on Sunday and founder of The Heart Center, Zach is a regular speaker and leads Power of Love yoga retreats, workshops, and teacher trainings. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zach is a certified Yoga Teacher, Thai Massage Bodyworker, and Sex Educator, and he has an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Learn more at www.zachbeach.com.
Zach is presenting Sexless Love and Loveless Sex: Data, Myths and Magic. Find Zach on Twitter and Facebook.
Zyra Lee Vanity is an international burlesque artist as well as sex researcher, public speaker and sexual rights advocate from Toronto, Ontario. She has performed and competed all over North America at various events and burlesque festivals.
Zyra has also spoken at a variety of large expos and conferences on topics relating to sexual arts/performance, body positivity, sexualized labour, race, queerness and sex positivity. In 2014 she spoke at The Feminist Porn Conference in Toronto, Ontario, The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Playground Conference in Toronto, Ontario and Herotica Conference in St. Catherines, Ontario. Zyra currently holds a BA degree in Sexuality Studies & Political Science, and hosts bi-monthly workshops relating to sexuality and race in her home city of Toronto.
Zyra is presenting A Sex-Positive Reckoning or a Sex Panic? Let’s Discuss!. Find Zyra on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.