11 Sep Talking Sex-a Weekend at CatalystCon West
I’m sitting in my hotel room in the LA Airport Westin, having the most expensive breakfast in the world (room service!). Catalyst Con starts tomorrow and I’m preparing for my presentation and doing a little writing. I’m also getting revved up for the fun—meeting new people, reconnecting with colleagues and some serious learning! This is how founder, Dee Dennis, sums up Catalyst Con:
CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. The conference mission is to reach out and stimulate attendees to create important conversations within communities and change discourse and acceptance of sexuality within society. These conversations are intended to stimulate the activist within us all and spark transformation and growth for all adults and children in one of the humanity’s most important aspects; sexuality.
….a “melting pot of sexuality” that unites sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, sex therapists, writers, activists, sex researchers, those in the adult industry, and anyone with a passion for creating change. Knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change. This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon.
Checking in last night the desk clerk asked me to describe CatalystCon. I imagine they’re all wondering about this sexuality conference; I know that each time I’ve mentioned the conference there have been questions. A whole conference dedicated to sex? Can one talk sex for two full days and nights? What am I going to be talking about?
I was in a taxi with two securities/investment guys for almost 2 hours yesterday as one airport shuttled us to our connecting airport and the conversation came up there. Maybe part of the curiosity is in trying to sort out the individual and understand her, or his, connection to the topic of sex. No one blinks an eye if you say you’re giving a presentation on social media or the newest trend in elementary education. But sex? And a graying ‘old’ woman like me? I pride myself on not quite resembling Dr. Ruth but I’m still a bit over the hill to some, I’m sure. What am I sharing, how did I get my training and a myriad of other questions, asked and implied.
I answered some questions, talked a little about my view of sex and our role in creating a sex-positive environment…and I gave them each a card. One of my fun business cards.
I was interested in their reactions to the card and the statement. I gave the older one the ‘deliciously improper’ card–which, now that I think about it, seems more fitting for a female. Because I think that women hold back in expressing desire and may need an invitation. I wish we hadn’t been in a cab and could have talked a little about their perspective on the topic of sexuality and male desire.
In the everyday world we don’t talk as openly about sex as we will here at CatalystCon. Because we work and related to sex in such an open way we don’t filter our conversations in public–totally a good thing in my mind. It’s an ease and comfort with the topic that is refreshing to experience.
I am presenting again at CatalystCon, I spoke about sex education for midlife women back in March. On Sunday Will Fredericks and I will be giving a presentation on Working with a Sexological Bodyworker. We will be talking about the benefits of this work and reasons people might choose to see a practitioner. I can share my unique perspective of having worked with a Sex Bod, as they’re often called. Our goal is to show how useful this kind of work can be for individuals, men or women, who want to go deeper in exploring their sexuality. There are many avenues to working with issues or body image, healing trauma and expanding our capacity for pleasure–this is one modality.
Learning and sharing is vital to any practitioner’s work, regardless of the field. At CatalystCon we do just that, through conversation, lectures and networking. We come from all walks of life with that unique goal of creating positive change. I’m honored to be a part of the conversation. And, I’m excited about being an eager student, all over again.