Speaker Spotlight: Cunning Minx

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Cunning Minx
Sep 032013
 

Cunning Minx is presenting How to be a Sex Positive Educator (When You Still Love Your Day Job). Check out Minx’s bio here.

 

Cunning MinxHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I actually see myself less as a catalyst for change these days and more as a documentarian of the change that is going on around us. Polyamory is becoming mainstream, which is very exciting! More and more folks are becoming aware of the term, and fewer are associating it with Mormon cults and polygamy. We are seeing more profiles of poly folks on television with less sensationalism. The change is happening, and I am very excited to be poly in 2013!

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

The one who introduced me to polyamory was Graydancer, my first poly love and partner. The one who first invited me to speak at a conference was Alesia, at the poly-friendly sci-fi relax-a-con Conflation. The one who first showed me the extraordinary audience that Poly Weekly had was Steve Eley, founder of the Escape Pod podcast, when we first hosted Escape Pod/Poly Weekly joint meetups at Dragon*Con. The one who first invited me to speak at a sex-positive, non-poly-specific conference was Amber Rhea, founder of the Sex 2.0 conferences. And the ones who’ve kept me from quitting when I started working 50 hours a week for the startup were the fans, who kept writing and asking for advice, for meetups and to share their Happy Poly Moments!

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

Even though DOMA has been overturned, gay marriage is still only legal in 13 states. More and more teen girls are reporting sexual violence in their dating lives. Congress is still regulating women’s uteruses and making abortions harder to come by. Poly-identified people still have to hide their relationship structures from friends, families and employers for fear of judgment, persecution or loss of parental rights. We should absolutely take the time to celebrate the wins in our battles for sexual equality–and then gear up for the next fight.

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?

DOMA being overtuned was a huge win, and two more states legalized gay marriage. Also, the fact that the show Polyamory: Married and Dating was renewed for a new season with new poly groups is a very good sign that polyamory is hitting the mainstream.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, How to be a Sex Positive Educator (When You Still Love Your Day Job), to CatalystCon West?

My topic this year is a bit different from the ones I’ve presented in the past, which tend to focus either on polyamory, podcasting or social media, my biggest strengths. What I proposed this year came from an experience I had last year: in canoodling with some of my favorite sex-positive educators, I realized that I was one of the few presenters that didn’t educate full-time. And what’s more, I have no desire to educate full-time: I love my demanding day job and all its challenges and rewards. But I also feel that educating folks about polyamory and creating an online space where the polyamorous, monogamous and poly-curious can share ideas, questions and experiences is incredibly important. The attendees I spoke with were all starting their own projects and wondering how to juggle being a part-time educator with their full-time jobs. And since the best sessions come from topics that I myself struggle with, it made sense to craft a session designed to help people like me join the activist/educator ranks while still keeping the day jobs that they love.

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

I was once kicked off a train in the middle of what was then Yugoslavia in the middle of the night.

 

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

Speaker Spotlight: Cunning Minx

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Cunning Minx
Feb 252013
 

Cunning Minx is presenting The Online Activist: Ready, set, TWEET!. Check out Cunning Minx’s bio here.

 

Cunning MinxHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I am a catalyst for change by letting anyone who has ever Googled “nonmonogamy” or “polyamory” that she is not alone, that others have done this successfully and continue to do so, and that there is a community waiting to embrace you and give you more support and advice than you ever wanted on the subject. My goal is to make sure that anyone who is comfortable sharing his polyamorous status has a means to do so–through email lists, as a podcast guest, by hosting a real-life meetup or just by coming out to friends and family.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

My poly and kink catalyst was one person, my first poly boyfriend, Graydancer. When we met, he was engaged, and while both he and his bride-to-be identified as polyamourous, they’d never had long-term partners. My choice was to explore an opportunity to love and be loved by someone extraordinary in a nontraditional way or to pass and go on with life as usual. I did not pass. The first year of our relationship was a hot mess, and we made what I later discovered to be just about every poly newbie mistake in the book. That sparked the motivation for the Poly Weekly podcast: to reveal our own poly mistakes so that others could avoid the poly relationship land mines. And so someone who had never considered herself political or anything of an activist started on a journey to engage both the monogamous and polyamorous to share insights on all types of relationship models, sexual preferences and open communication.

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

In the field of sexuality right now, there are still some huge challenges to face. Politicians are still fighting to legislate a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. Sex work is still illegal and viewed as shameful by the majority of the population. Gay marriage has made progress but still isn’t legal in most states. And many polyamorous folks choose to live in the closet rather than face the ignorance, prejudice or envy that revealing their lifestyle could produce.

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 Showtime series, Polyamory: Married and Dating has made tremendous strides in normalizing and demystifying polyamory. Group sex scenes and transparent shower curtains aside, the fact that real, modern people not associated with a cult are shown sharing activities such as cooking and chatting with family members is a far cry from sensationalized appearances on talk shows even just five years ago.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Online Activist: Ready, set, TWEET!, to CatalystCon East?

I’m really tired of people asking me, “Should I be on Twitter? Should my sex-positive site be on Facebook?” 🙂 I chose to bring Ready, Set, TWEET: Content Strategy for the Online Activist to CatalystCon East because I spend a good portion of my day-to-day job creating marketing strategies and most of my off-hours developing content for the podcast. In the seven years that Poly Weekly has been in production, the content strategy has developed as new social media tools became available. And these days, prioritizing presence and developing a strategy for engaging in the seemingly endless stream of social networks available can be overwhelming. Since I do this for a living, I like the idea of giving back to the community. And I define “community” as anyone seeking to be a sex-positive educator or activist.

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

I still sleep with my teddy bear, which I have owned since I was 17.

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