In about two weeks, I’m heading down to Washington, DC to participate in a conference that I’m so freaking excited about. It’s Momentum: Making waves in sexuality, feminism and relationships.
It’s two days of panels and presentations about a hundred different aspects and iterations of sexuality, with a list of amazing presenters as long as my arm. You’ve got Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Jaclyn Friedman, Nancy Schwartzman, Audacia Ray, Abiola Abrams, and so many more. Check out the whole list of presenters here.
This conference is remarkably timely, and I’m sure the organizers couldn’t have imagined that in the two or three months leading up to it, we’d see events like the Susan G. Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle, the Limbaugh-Fluke to-do or the recent attacks on birth control availability, all of which have made it clear just how badly we need to have a nuanced and thoughtful conversation about feminism, sexuality and relationships.
And then, there’s the role the internet plays in all this. As the organizers explain,
The phenomenal growth of online communication has given rise to an amazing amount of sharing, learning and experimenting with different expressions of sexuality, relationships and feminism. MOMENTUM provides a safe place to listen, discuss and learn about sexualities and gender without the fear of reprisal or shaming. It is a space for acceptance and appreciation of diversity, including for those in the LGBTQ, sex-work, BDSM and non-monogamous communities.
During MOMENTUM we will discuss ways to bridge the baffling dichotomies our culture creates around sexuality. While on one hand we have unprecedented sexual freedom, on the other we continue to police sexuality with a frightening vigor. Abortion laws, restrictions on gay marriage, abstinence programs, medicalization of sex, fear of pornography and prosecutions for teenage sexting are examples of one side of the spectrum. The discomfort that strives to make us keep our sexuality hidden conflicts with the use of sex — especially the female body — to sell everything from food to cars to “performance enhancing” products.
I’m going to be on a panel with the amazing Hanne Blank, author of Virgin, Straight and Big Big Love, and with Therese Shechter, the brains behind the documentary How To Lose Your Virginity. We’re talking about body weight, size, and sex online and I am so excited to be sharing a stage with these amazing people.
The conference is March 30-April 1, and while regular registration has closed, you can still get yourself a ticket for three days of smart, sexy conversation. Do it today, and I hope I get to see you there!