Apr 072011
 

So Sunday I had both breakfast and lunch with AAG and her awesomely funny roommate Heidi (I first mentioned her here) and others. More good conversations and laughs. And coffee. Jesus we drained pots of coffee that morning.

The Sunday sessions started out with the Feminist Connection by Lillith – she’s also a really great educator. I went into that session thinking “I’m not really a feminist” but yeah. She changed me. She changed my whole outlook on things. Again though, that’s a whole other post. But I want to say here (and will repeat) a fact that hit me hard from her session:

Research has shown that you get more of a happiness-boost from being with a group of your friends once a month than having your salary doubled (obvs paraphrasing here as I can’t recall the exact wording, and note that the salary thing doesn’t apply to poverty or the rich).

YES. This is what’s been wrong with me and why I haven’t truly enjoyed the last couple NYC events like I feel I should have AND why I’ve been feeling disconnected from the blogging/twittering community lately. At those events I didn’t get the cerebral connections – it was too loud, too chaotic, and too triggering to my anxieties. They were parties where it felt kind of like a collision of egos and pomp; where being dramatic and trying to hit on everyone was all but expected. That’s not me. But this? Momentum was like a dream. It changed me. And yes, it recharged me. It made me happy. I now more than ever need this move and need to surround myself with sex-positive, supportive, nurturing friends who care about me, who include me, who make me a better person and vice versa. Not once at Momentum did I feel like I was outside of a circle looking in, tagging along, invisible. I’m at the point where yeah….I’m a sex blogger and I love sex just as much as everyone else but Momentum wasn’t *about* filling up your fuck card and I liked it like that. I’m not dissing those other events; if that’s your thing and you feel comfortable in that, great. But it’s not for me anymore.

Another panel I went to that day was the Ethics & Responsibilities for Sex-Positive Writing; the panelists brought up some really good points. (broken record time: this will get it’s own post) I learned a lot from them and will be making some changes with my blogging and my blog itself.

The time for check-out and the closing remarks came too soon. I needed to get home to my hubs and take care of him and his poor impending root canal the next day but yet I wanted to stay in the bubble of the con. It was actually a good thing that I rushed to leave right after the closing remarks because if I lingered on the goodbyes I’d have cried.

[box]I can’t stress this enough: No matter what you do online, no matter how big or small a fish you are….if you read the #mcon tweets and wished you were there… GO NEXT YEAR. Get over your fears, save up your money and GO. It’s the best thing that happened to me in a long time. I want these people I spent time with to be in my real life and see them more often; I got all mopey yesterday as con-drop started to wear off and my irritation with those surrounding me in real life hit fully. I miss all of you. I want back in the bubble of happiness. This conference changed me, for the better. Diva and Tess did a huge huge amazing thing in creating it.[/box]

I am usually very introverted and prefer to blend in. But this conference did something else…..I feel like I want to be part of it next year even more. I’m truly considering submitting a session proposal. However I’m still not entirely convinced that I have enough to share that people would actually want to listen to. I keep bouncing around a few ideas but I’m afraid they fall short or wouldn’t fit in with the conference. And of course I couldn’t possible do it alone, no way in hell would I stand up in from of a room full 7 people by myself no no I’m draggin somebody else’s ass up there with me. Or maybe someone else will create a panel type session on which I might have something to add to. Who knows.  Any thoughts?

Also: If you took notes at sessions I didn’t go to, can you email me? I might be interested in reading your notes.

Apr 062011
 

Like so many others, going to Momentum has sparked a lot of things in me. There is so much I want to talk about; the conference itself, the people I met; the discussions we had; the things I learned in sessions. It’s almost overwhelming, really.

It wasn’t just a conference for bloggers, or sex workers, or feminists. Sure there were a lot of niche-related sessions going on but it was about more than the sessions, even. It was about being in a place where you looked around and felt….normal. Welcomed. Accepted. Understood.

I had a really good roommate, too. He is more outgoing than me and so by proxy I let down my social anxiety guards more and through his easy-going friendliness I had meals with people I didn’t really know and one hour (or two) later knew I’d gained another friend or three. The event was kicked off on Friday first with an ice cream social – where people sat at big tables and either knew some, or knew of a person, or knew no one. And we sat there and probably each privately wondered and worried if we’d be liked. (I was actually shocked when someone else admitted it to me the next day because I’d pegged her for being a fearless, confident woman. Knowing she’d felt intimidated at first made me feel better.) Then things kicked off with a wonderful comic who does sex ed talks to colleges and comedy clubs, Maria Falzone. She had me laughing so hard I was crying. Then there was the perfect opening keynote panel of Tristan Taormino, Carol Queen, Jenny Block, Reid Mihalko and Lynn Comella. The discussions and stories from the people on the panel further opened everyone up. At some point after that a group of us stumbled off to a nearby diner where we relaxed and had good food. Unfortunately, my brain was so wired from the night and for looking forward to the next day that I stupidly didn’t take my sleeping meds – I thought I was exhausted enough to sleep without. So I didn’t get much sleep that night, and ended up looking exhausted most of Saturday (and oh joy, I retained my “I just woke up 5 minutes ago” hoarse voice all day, too).

Saturday’s sessions for me kicked off with awesome sex educator Megan Andelloux‘s “Odd Girl Out: Straddling the Fields of Sexual Health and Sexual Pleasure“. I learned a lot, and I think some of what I learned I’ll be able to use when I host my sex toy education parties – I’ll have to realize that the people I’ll be talking to aren’t toy reviewers like us who are fully at ease discussing sexual pleasure. After that, I had an interview with Tristan fuckin Taormino and her partner, Colten (for a job that I don’t actually expect to get, realistically, but it was fun to talk to her and god she’s amazing!!). Afterwards, a last-minute replacement session where Greg from Njoy rattled off on tangents about the toys he’s created. Guess what? Those who know and love the Pure Wand and are all enthralled at how it feels like the weight and the weight distribution perfectly aid and enhance the toy? It’s a fluke. He was simply trying to design a better dildo for G- and P-spot stimulation, thought that the curve would make it more accessible to people with different bodies (like me!) and would aid in massaging those spots. He thought it was dumb to have both sides be the same size, which just happened to lead to the weight balance thing. We finally got to see at the end some really interesting prototypes that I hope he gets to work on, soon!!

Jay and I then went out for lunch with an amazing couple he met in a session, they’re on Twitter as _Uncensor and _missalex_ and I just love them to bits. Between Friday night and Saturday I got to meet/hug/love so many people that I hope I don’t miss any. Crista.Ann is SO cute and sweet and so is @spunquee, who’s shirt topped me on Saturday. We hugged and laughed and bonded. Lillith Grey and her partner, Synn (I think I have a crush on them both) were amongst the Saturday night dinner companions. The food wasn’t great but the conversation fucking rocked so we stayed there 2 hours – talking about so many facets of gender, butch/femme identity, perceptions, cooking, sex, disabilities…wow. So much sexybrain intelligence and laughter and fun. @b_playful and Ten and others for Friday’s late night dinner and Ten was passed around like a doll on Saturday night in the bar, lol. I met AAG! Famous AAG! Saw my NYC friends Mia and @Insomnias_Bitch and N (her and Lillith did a Fabulous session on Burlesque) and Missy and Brandon. Finally met SilverDreams and oh! Shanna Katz! Another Famous! She’s so adorable and funny and a great teacher. (her and Lillith fuckin made me blush during the keynote speech twittering about my boobs) She gave Lillith a lesson on how to store things in your bra while we were at the hotel bar. Shanna was also responsible for numerous people being caned on the ass (or tits) in the bar, too. Of course by then many of us had started drinking (some more than others, ahem) and things got a little rowdy, a lot sexy and terribly fun even if I was half asleep for the last hour of it.

*deep breaths, Lilly*

whew. That’s a lot! And there’s more. I didn’t even get to mention the session I attended Saturday afternoon on anonymity  & blogging, but that’s going to be a whole other post. The panel was awesome and gave me a LOT to think about. I’ve never been to a conference of any sort so it was just…unreal. And the twittering! jesus! I sucked at twittering during sessions because I’m not a good multi-tasker like that. I left it to the pros. Shanna tweeted a lot of really great tidbits, so did Reid and others.

That was all so rambly and disjointed, I’m sorry. But there’s just so much. So many wonderful people, wonderful conversations, jam-packed into 48 hours that it felt like it was longer than that (in a good way). The “real world” felt so foreign to me, even my own kitchen felt foreign when I got home Sunday night. But my point.

My point. It’s epic.

A good friend was assuring my stupid social anxiety nerves on Friday evening (he wasn’t there, I was just hyperventilating via IM) by telling me to just relax, lighten up and have fun – that these were my people and it would all be okay. That sunk in Saturday. YES omg THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. *wistful sigh* YOU are my people. Don’t you all see that? Sure, as a collective we may disagree with each other be it one on one or bigger events. But we are all intertwined and like-minded; we should be building each other up and supporting the collective as a whole, not competing and eating our own.

Part 2 will come soon, as will a number of other #mcon related posts. More sexy people to tell you about, more wonderful conversations. To be continued…..

Feb 242011
 

I’m really looking forward to my upcoming long weekend in D.C. to attend MOMENTUM, a sexuality conference bringing together many types of talks and speakers and topics relating to sex, sex work, feminism, and new social media. From the site:

With nearly 50 presenters, among them Megan Andelloux, Jenny Block, Susie Bright, Dr. Lynn Comella, Twanna A. Hines, Dr. Carol Queen, Tristan Taormino, Dr. Shira Tarrant, and Jamye Waxman, and 34 sessions covering a wide range of viewpoints on sexuality, MOMENTUM’s jam-packed program has something of interest to everyone.

A lot of fellow bloggers and twitter friends are going and hopefully even more that I know can go! The creators of the conference, Tied Up Events, is having a contest this week to win two tickets AND goodies! Check out all the wonderful sessions they’re having and you’ll know that it’s going to be great and informative. I hope to see some of you there!

What’s better than attending a conference that brings together notable sexuality experts such as educator, activist & icon, Susie Bright, author and feminist pornographer, Tristan Taormino, author & FoxNews sex columnist, Jenny Block, professor and author, Dr. Shira Tarrant, speaker and coach, Reid Mihalko, Good Vibes staff sexologist, Dr. Carol Queen, founder and director of the The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, Megan Andelloux and… (I could do on and on but you can read about all of these amazing people on MOMENTUM’s presenters page)? Attending it for FREE, that’s what!

Since at MOMENTUM we’ll be encouraging you to think, to talk and to act, we’re going to encourage you to start doing just that by giving away two tickets to MOMENTUM. All you have to do to have a chance to win is write a post, by Saturday, February 26th at midnight EST, about why you’re attending MOMENTUM, which session you’re most looking forward to and why (see the Session Details page to read all about them). Then, leave us a comment with your link on this post and also tweet the link to @momentumcon. That’s it! On Monday, February 28th, we’ll announce two winners who will each get one free admission to MOMENTUM, a gift basket from Wet (you can pick it up at the con) and a $50 gift card from our premier sponsor, Fascinations.

Don’t fret if you’ve already purchased your ticket, if the winner(s) already is a ticket holder(s), we’ll refund you the purchase price.

 Posted by at 4:39 pm