conference in Washington DC and to Audacia Ray and Sex Work Awareness for the excellent Speak Out! media training where Calico learned to be a whiz with a Flip cam.
Here is the session that Renegade Evolution and I co-facilitated: "Building Bridges & Alliances between researchers, sex workers & clients":
Link to this blog: http://tinyurl.com/pphl9f
Video courtesy of Calico. You can find more at her Blip.tv page.
Sex 2.0 2009 is one week away, and I'm very excited about it. Here is the list of sessions and as soon as I see an actual schedule I'll post that. I hope you'll join us if you can, if not in person at the event, then online by following any of the twitterers or livebloggers who will be sending out real time updates during the day. There's still time to register. Click here for the registration page.
Last year, in Atlanta, under the guidance of Amber Rhea, a brand new grassroots conference was born. Its goal was to bring together smart people interested in sex, technology and social media in a space where we could talk to each other as equals, no hierarchy, and with the agenda being driven by the community. It was a very successful event.
This year, in Washington DC, under the guidance of Match, the conference will again bring together a group of people from a wide range of backgrounds to discuss sexuality, society and technology. It is going to be a great mix of sessions. I'm co-leading a session with Ren of Renegade Evolution about how to build trust and alliances between sex worker communities, researchers, client communities, and others. I'm especially looking forward to sessions on community building (MayMay), dismantling the internet "red light district" (Melissa Gira Grant and Joanne McNeil), advocacy for sexual freedom (Ricci Levy and David Phillips), community-academic alliances for research (CARAS), polyamory (Anita Wagner) and on sex work (Audacia Ray, Kimberlee Cline, Furry Girl, Sabrina Morgan, and Ellie Lumpesse. Really the whole lineup is pretty impressive and I wish I could see everything!Click here to read more on Sex 2.0, feminism, and intersecting communities.
"The Business of Sex" is the title of this year's meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (Eastern and Midcontinent Regions) in St Petersburg, Florida June 5-7. We think it is important that there be representation from all realms of knowledge, theoretical, empirical and experiential, and that there be free dialogue between researchers and practitioners.
Sex 2.0 was amazing.
What do you get when one exceptionally talented organizer and her team bring together 80 or so people to talk about sex, feminism and social media in a gorgeous and very well appointed dungeon? You get Sex 2.0, which took place this past Saturday, April 12, in Atlanta.
It was a really amazing event. (Note: this was a conference, not a party. Despite the number of desirable and skillful people, and the amazing equipment, we all kept focused on the important discussions taking place.)
It was amazing because it brought together people will a huge range of connections to sex and the 'net. There were sex workers, BDSM practitioners, bloggers, academics, sex educators, community organizers, outreach workers (please note that many people fit in more than one of those categories). It was amazing because of the range of topics covered.
I led a discussion about building and maintaining the sex commons, and you can read a brief outline of my remarks here.
I've been looking forward to this weekend for months. If airline glitches don't stop me in a few hours I will be in Atlanta for this weekend's Sex 2.0 conference.
Sex 2.0 will focus on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality. How is social media enabling people to learn, grow, and connect sexually? How is sexual expression tied to social activism? Does the concept of transparency online offer new opportunities or present new roadblocks — or both? These questions, and many more, will be addressed within a safe, welcoming, sex-positive space.
Thursday night I was at a reception in honor of the launch of a new nonprofit organization called "Sex Work Awareness." Formed by the amazing folks at $pread Magazine, SWANK, and PONY it promises to make truly important contributions to sex work advocacy, research and community organizing. I think they're definitely an organization to watch!
And tomorrow I'll be on a panel at the Left Forum with one of Sex Work Awareness's founders, the seemingly indefatigable Audacia Ray. Also on the panel are some other sex worker advocates I admire deeply: Ignacio Rivera and Amber Hollibaugh also of Queers for Economic Justice and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, and Antonia Levy from the Graduate Center at CUNY. Here's the panel info:
SAVE THE DATE: The 2008 Sex Worker Convergence is hitting Chi-Town!
On July 16-20 of 2008, hundreds of sex workers and sex worker activists will converge on Chicago at the Desiree Alliance Conference:
"Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work, and Social Justice"
The Desiree Alliance is a diverse, volunteer-based, sex worker-led network of organizations, communities and individuals across the US working in harm reduction, direct services, political advocacy and health services for sex workers. They provide leadership development and create space for sex workers and supporters to come together to advocate for human, labour and civil rights for all workers in the sex industry.
The time is NOW to get active in the movement, so click on the link above to join the yahoo group mailing list!
“Empowering Sex Workers to Ensure Safety, Health and the Protection of Human Rights”
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 52nd Session
Parallel Event Sponsored by Sex Workers Project, Urban Justice Center & International Women’s Health Coalition
February 27, 2008 Time: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Church Center (Across the street from United Nations, 44th and 1st) Hardin Room (11th Fl.)
777 United Nations Plaza NY, NY 10017
As leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS and trafficking, sex workers are integral to educating their clients, their communities and the public about safe sex practices and to helping prevent forced sex work. Panelists will discuss how sex workers rights must be protected to ensure access to health, legal, educational and social services. Taking the Pledge, a short film about USAID funding restrictions in regards to sex workers, will also be shown.
Twice in the last week I had chances to talk to groups of people face to face about what we're doing here at Sex In The Public Square, and twice I got a tremendous sense of support and encouragement. The building of spaces on the Internet where sex -- of all sorts -- can be discussed openly, and where the connections between sex and the rest of our lives can be explored instead of studiously ignored, is so important. I know I'm not speaking just for myself when I say we're glad to be part of that effort.
And part of that effort involves, happily for us, stepping away from the computer and meeting face-to-face with other folks who are doing related work. In the next couple of months I'll be talking about different parts of this work in four very different settings. They are:
You may have noticed that my contributions to the square have been a bit sparse since September. What's up with that? For one thing, I finished my first semester back in the classroom (what an adjustment!), spent two separate weekends at union conferences (union work being another of my passions), and just got back from a trip to Georgia to see family.
So, one New Year's Resolution: To get better at combining blogging with my other work, and next semester a lot of my other work is related to this site, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic!
What's up for next semester? Well, for one thing I'll be teaching a course in Sociology of Gender, being offered for the first time at NCC. That's very exciting, and one way that I plan to integrate some of my blogging and some of my teaching. In addition, I'll be speaking at a bunch of conferences about stuff we discuss here. (If you're local to any of them, drop by!) Here's where I'll be: