Speaker Spotlight: Michael Aaron

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Michael Aaron
Sep 102013
 

Michael Aaron, PhD is presenting Sex Positive Therapy with Sexual Minorities. Check out Michael’s bio here.

 

Michael AaronHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

As a sex therapist, I help my clients to accept their sexualities and improve their sex lives. As a writer and speaker, I can reach a broader audience and plant some seeds of change farther and wider.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

I am motivated both personally and professionally. Coming to New York City at the age of 20 and immediately gravitating to several underground nightlife scenes, I spent my young adulthood exploring my identity through sexual exploration. Sex for me is a source of creativity, energy, and connectedness. As a therapist, I work with people who are cut off from this potential due to internalized shame and/or social stigma. So my life’s work is to help people access these aspects of themselves to which they have been previously denied.

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

Human ignorance, fear of change, authoritarianism and dogma, the Christian Right.

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?

Obviously the repeal of DOMA, the legalization of same sex marriages in a bunch of states, the changes in the DSM-V which depathologize paraphilias.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex Positive Therapy with Sexual Minorities , to CatalystCon West?

I’m speaking with my colleague Winston Wilde about sex-positive therapy with sexual minorities. That’s a pretty big umbrella, but I think the main point we will be making is that except for a small minority of problematic behaviors, the vast majority of sexual behavior is normal and healthy. Unfortunately, a lot of people are troubled by their sexualities for no good reason except for the negative crap that they learned, so a large chunk of my work as a therapist is to help people to depathologize and accept their sexualities as a unique aspect of themselves.

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

I have some kink-related tattoos on various parts of my body, but you are going to have to find out for yourself exactly where.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Winston Wilde

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Winston Wilde
Jul 292013
 

Winston Wilde is presenting Sex Positive Therapy with Sexual Minorities. Check out Winston’s bio here.

 

WinstonHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I seem to be a gadfly, pissing people off because I see ahead to how morality will shift, then I nudge it along. People often don’t want to hear that their social construction of moral beliefs is now archaic, and there are now other, better ways for us to all survive together in peace and equality.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Marching with Cesar Chavez at age 5 was a developmental milestone. I experienced the exhilaration of public demonstration and of a pueblo united. This carried into years of marching against the Vietnam war as a flower child. Gandhi and MLK were also profound influences on me as a child, learning that non-violent civil disobedience is the path to sustainable social transformation.

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

Certainly the sex addiction industry and their pathologization of normative experience is alarming. Getting better sex education to public school children at all levels is imperative. Ending the American mass mutilation of infant penises is something we must accomplish. Banning the practice of reparative therapy, and stopping its global exportation by American fundamentalists is also really important for world sexual health.

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?

It appears as though there is a proliferation of more accurate sexuality information.
There are fewer circumcisions being performed in America.
Plan B was finally approved for all women over the counter.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB-1172.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex Positive Therapy with Sexual Minorities, to CatalystCon West?

As a psychotherapist who is kinky and out, it is my duty to help protect sexual minority people from the ignorance or naivete of our mental health profession. Since the inception of mental health programs almost 200 years ago, people have been shamed and punished for sexualities that don’t match the morality of the times. By speaking at CatalystCon I hope to inform and empower sex-smart folks to plant seeds in their worlds that good psychotherapy can be had for erotic minority people.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.
If I shared it then it wouldn’t be unknown. : )

 

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

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