A while back we announced that Slixa was going to be sponsoring both the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit and Catalyst Con West, and that the Slixa Squad would be roaming the conferences, passing out goodies, making new friends, and praising our favorite revolutionary online adult directory (of course). After lots of travel, swag snafus, and wild back-to-back conference weekends, we’ve returned to our respective homes, and I am so excited to share my favorite parts!
Our first conference weekend was spent at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, in Washington D.C. The program statement by Ricci Joy Levy, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance’s Executive Director, opened with the Alliance’s success over the past ten years, and how it represents the energy and effort of each person working in the sex education movement. The goal of this particular Summit was to focus on how sexual freedom is fundamentally intertwined with human rights, and each session was oriented toward that discussion.
Sessions like “Where Sex Meets ‘Isms’: From Shame to Self-Expression,” “Debunking the Legal Myths about Children in Polyamorous Families,” and “End Demand and How the Anti-Trafficking movement is Hurting Sex Workers, LGBTQ Individuals and the Sex Positive Community,” explored the different ways that sexuality, sex education, and activists can work to change the ways that people are stifled and marginalized in tangible ways every day.
My favorite session was the Sex Work Roundtable that was put together by a fetish companion, advocate, and educator who spends her life dropping knowledge in unassumingly soft tones. Rather than merely presenting, Morgan brilliantly facilitated a conversation that covered myths and stereotypes about sex work, why sex worker advocates are pushing for decriminalization (as opposed to legalization), and what it means that sex workers are often acting as frontline sex educators.
Acting as both a moderator and contributor, Morgan led a discussion that allowed space for everyone who walked in that room, from seasoned sex workers to bright-eyed, bushy-tailed civilians (and everyone in between), to have a positive, constructive discussion. I said this on Twitter, but I’ll say it again: Any person who walked into that room with a limited understanding of sex work, sex workers, and their movement, walked out with an extremely complex perspective.
Woodhull also hosted some nighttime events, including a screening of Mr. Angel, a documentary featuring Buck Angel, Bubbles and Burlesque, and a cigar bar. Check out the photos of some of the events over at Woodhull’s Facebook page, and if you’re feeling bummed because you missed it, check out their website for information on getting some recorded sessions from the conference.
Catalyst Con doesn’t have the same structure as Woodhull; there isn't an official theme other than the conference’s primary goal, which is to create what founder Dee Dennis calls “a safe, non-judgemental space where we can...expand both our knowledge and understanding of the issues that influence sexuality today.” Even though this is only the third official Catalyst Con (formerly known as Momentum Con), it has EXPLODED!
This conference has grown from a small but well-organized gathering of misfits to a mass of experts, sexperts, and aspiring sex educators who are all working to be the catalyst for change. Whether the sessions are covering tips for sex-related businesses (“Top 10 Myths About Business,” by Sexquire’s founder, Davis), dissecting the nature of infidelity (“The Mindset of a Mistress,” by Ebony A. Utley, Phd), or covering how parents can raise sex-positive, media-savvy kids (“Parenting, Sex and Media,” by Sinnamon Love, Juba Kalamka, Airial Clark, MA, and Krista Arendsen), Catalyst Con’s offerings were plentiful and varied.
At this point, I was beat, and I fell asleep at a time that would be embarrassing to confide (old lady alert!). That said, I heard wonderful things about Catalyst Con’s Game Night: Sexy Trivia, with Tom Stewart and Metis Black (of Tantus!), and Bawdy Storytelling, with Dixie De La Tour. The Slixa Squad also got a chance to score some amazing swag: The new Thrill from We-Vibe, a cock ring from Tantus, lube samples from Nature Labs, and some Stockroom goodies that the Slixa Squad couldn’t resist giving a test run IMMEDIATELY. Wow! Talk about making out like bandits!
If you didn’t get a chance to make it to Catalyst Con, don’t fret! It takes place every six months, and each one trades off coasts. The next one will take place in Washington D.C. in March, so keep an eye on their Twitter and website for more announcements.
Whew! After passing out our own rad Slixa goodies and meeting so many new people, the Slixa Squad is plumb exhausted. Time to hibernate and dream of a sexually free world! Just you wait, though -- the Slixa Squad will be making appearances again very soon. You can count on it!
1/2 of the Slixa Squad