SexEd

Ccon: an immersion in amazing

I’m home! It’s not like I had an easy time with that though. If you follow me on twitter, you likely saw that I had a bit of a hard time with flights being cancelled AND delayed over 5 hours each way – this made for 12-16 hour travel days both ways – just to make it back to Winnipeg. So that sucked.

But you know what didn’t suck? Being surrounded by so many positive folks at Catalyst Con. I got to meet so many great new people, like Ruby Ryder, Lucas Brooks (Top2Bottom), Kara, Bex, the team from Lotus Blooms, Gwen from Secret Pleasures, Elena Kate aka radsexpdx, the Stockroom team, Artemisia FemmeCock, and so many more. Gram Ponante even said he was a big fan – though I think he may have been thinking of someone else, I’ll take it.

I also got to shake Annie Sprinkle’s hand, which was an incredible moment for me. She came to Winnipeg in about 2004 and gave a talk about starring in porn, representing female pleasure, and all kinds of things that, as it turns out, have shaped who I have become. My confession is that while I’ve always been an incredibly sexually charged human being, I used to be anti porn. My family was nearly broken up over porn usage, which I saw as being directly the fault of the porn. Turns out, the porn was just a catalyst. The lack of communication was really the problem there, but it’s hard for a 12 year old to see that. Anyhow. Flash forward 7 years and I’m at the University of Winnipeg to see a porn star do a talk. It was Annie Sprinkle. I went because a partner I was with at the time just really loved porn. I was trying to be open minded, so I went. All of my ideas were challenged. About a year later, I shot my first set of nudes, and a few years later I was launching my very own website. I should dedicate Cherrystems to her someday, if she’s into it.

The sessions that really stuck out in my experience from Catalyst were Lori  Adorable’s Positively Negative: How a Sex Positive Framework Hinders the Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights; the Ass Panel (Ruby Ryder, Lucas Brooks, CT Schenk [Aneros] and Tom Stewart [Sportsheets]); and Sex Toys: Past, Present & Future (Coyote Days, Sandra Daugherty, Suki Dunham, and Tristan Weedmark).

I’ll get into each session on its own as I go through my notes and compile my thoughts on each one, but just know that Catalyst Con did exactly what it should – brought people out to have dialogue and exchange ideas and innovation.

I sadly didn’t make it into the pool the entire time. My heart palpitations were acting up ridiculously badly, so I got a lot of sleep in instead. Well, honestly, not enough sleep, but more than I would have if I didn’t have this heart thing.

Hope your days are going well!

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I’m on my way!

I’ve left the beautiful springy weather in Winnipeg for different pastures for the weekend! I’m presently sitting in Toronto in an airport lounge, waiting to board at flight to Washington, DC, for Catalyst Con. So many amazing talks to attend, people to meet, connections to make, and things to experience. 

It’s so incredibly important to me that this event gets put on twice a year, and especially that it alternates between East and West coasts. Catalyst Con West tends to take place in/around LA, whereas Catalyst Con East takes place in Washington, DC. Rather, Arlington, VA – which is across the bridge from the big ol’ policy hill. This ensures that once a year, people from either coast are better able to make it out to the event. It’s little considerations like this that help it to be a successful event. Not to mention the attention to accessibility, and the community base that helps travellers connect with people to split hotel costs.

The event is really like no other. The atmosphere is positively.. Sex positive. In my personal, day to day life, I have a lot of non-queer cisfolk around me who have never had their ideas challenged. I do a lot of educating in my day to day life. I do a lot of tiptoeing, a lot of trying to make sure people don’t get mad at me when they use a slur (it’s essential to me as a cis queer femme-y lady in a hetero relationship that I stand up and be an ally in conversation so that I can stop the aggressions before they fall on the ears of someone whose lifestyle/entire life is being shit on because I have the privilege of having the world mostly cater to my ass). But at Catalyst Con? We’re cool. Suddenly I’m immersed in a space made of fucking sex positive fairy dust and happiness. 

And the people! The people! From presenters to attendees, everyone in the building is top notch. I’ve met so many people in just one conference that I can now think of as my ccon friendsies. There are too many to name – I’d be afraid of leaving someone out. It’s seriously the kind of environment you can walk into as a sex positive educator/sex worker/blogger/whatever, and feel totally welcome. 

Is that a great accidental PSA for ccon or what?

I can’t wait. Hope my flight stays on time!