Speaker Spotlight: Dylan Thomas

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Dylan Thomas
Mar 092013
 

Dylan Thomas is presenting Sex With Benefits: Progressive Swinging. Check out Dylan’s bio here.

 

How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

When I look around, when I introduce myself and chat with random people, I hear a lot of people with hopes, dreams, desires, and preferences, and I hear a lot of people who aren’t confident, educated enough, or feel free enough to explore and pursue what or who they want.

The thing is, it doesn’t always take a lot to convince people to go for what they want and be who they want to be.

So I like being that person, the troubleshooter, the one that takes the time to find out everything that’s going on and find a path that makes everyone just a little more happy, or respectful, or open.

I see myself as a catalyst for change, a few people at a time.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

I’d been unhappy with my given religion for a long time. Working through that process also allowed me to examine my political belief system and made me realize that I’d been brought up by my religion and my politics for years to be someone I’m not. It’s motivated me to solidify and make consistent my own internal beliefs, and to explore how they effect other people and in my estimation almost everyone’s been poorly served. So, I don’t necessarily pursue one party, one agenda, but I pursue equal rights for every consenting adult and either bring different people together to talk, or aggressively call out those unwilling to.  My own upbringing makes me want to work to make it ok for others to dissent where I couldn’t.

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

Right now the winds of change are clearly at our backs, the lgbtq has slowly but surely been opening peoples hearts and minds for years and while it’s all been hard fought I feel like it’s finally inevitable.
What I fear are the holdouts, much like in the wake of the civil rights movement, the people left behind by history are going to continue to respond, loudly, vehemently, and occasionally violently. Between gay mayoral candidates in Mississippi being murdered and new same sex married couples being harassed outside the states they got married in, I hate to think it’s going to get ugly before it finally gets better for good.

I don’t know what the answer is, but for the moment my push is constant engagement and publicly exposing hate.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex With Benefits: Progressive Swinging, to CatalystCon East?

We’re speaking about progressive swinging.

I’ve never been a fan of labels, I started out not even wanting to call myself a swinger, but I found that labels don’t have to necessarily define or separate people, they can just be useful pieces of information and give people an idea of where you’re coming from. Some labels are terribly unhelpful, but we decided attaching “progressive” to the swinging label was useful.

When I identify as a progressive swinger, I want it to mean that I enjoy sex, no-strings attached, with an ongoing friendship, or regular deep connections with someone. I”ve made a decision not to separate emotions from my sexuality, but I’m ok if you do. I may identify as other things on occasion, but my identifying as progressive swinger feels like an expansion of  what a swinger is and can be and not a subset of what it currently is. It’s just another way to tell people I’m likely open to who and what you are, without having to explain myself  for a half hour., and a way to build a community around that.

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

I’m a -HUGE- fan of Roller Derby!

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

Speaker Spotlight: Cooper Beckett

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Cooper Beckett
Jan 312013
 

Cooper Beckett is presenting Sex with Benefits: Progressive Swinging. Check out Cooper’s bio here.

 

How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I’m a bisexual swinger that trends towards poly and I like to draw communities together that usually snark and snipe at each other.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Discovering Dan Savage at a time when my marriage was at a low was incredibly influential. It was through him that I learned swinging was “still a thing” – without him, I likely would’ve been divorced years ago and still incredibly sexually repressed.

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

Infighting. I see so many positive communities throwing other positive communities under the bus without hesitation to appear “more normal” than “those people.” There are more of us perverts than the vanillas think, and the moment we actually band together, we can affect real change.

Snarky comments aside, lack of true sexual education is a very real threat to our health and well being as a country. The above paragraph happening will allow us to begin to hammer away at the repression and opposition of true sexual education.

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?

A week ago when a president said in his inaugural address that gays and lesbians are equal. That is a huge moment, and a rally cry for all of us at a time when things sometimes feel like they’re going backwards.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Sex with Benefits: Progressive Swinging, to CatalystCon East?

I feel progressive swinging is very important because a nation of swingers hide by and large because they’re looked at as dirty hedonists spreading disease. Our thoughts on a new way to swing (and a way that a large number of swingers are already swinging) would allow for more openness and understanding, since we’re not so different.

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

I am currently knitting my third Dr Who 4th Doctor scarf.

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

 

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