It’s been a month since I left for Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit and I still miss being there! I sat down to write this thinking I would give you the highlights and then I realized that it was basically a weekend of highlights. I was worried before I went because I had 3 events on my agenda (a lot for me) and I thought that might be overwhelming and while it was a lot, it was wonderful. I had such a good weekend that I legit couldn’t handle it. I actually had to be put to bed early because I was overwhelmed. SFS16 actually made me feel like my life was too full of good things and I needed to rest. Seriously. I kept thinking the same phrase: “an embarrassment of riches”.
Anyway, below you’ll get the run-down of each of my events at SFS16 and a bit more too! Enjoy!
A Quiet Night In
The Sex Geek Salon was perfect! Everything I wanted it to be. Even in the early planning stages when I was struggling to figure out what we wanted it to be I knew what I wanted it to feel like and we nailed it! The folks from Woodhull were so sensitive to making the space welcoming – they actually had the room re-furnished an hour before the event because it was determined the big tables that were originally put in it made the room kind of cold – and they were spot on! They decorated with twinkly lights, dimmed our overhead lighting, and brought in small tables and cozy couches to make a hotel conference room into a cozy space. We broke out books, games, a ton of adult coloring books (thank you SheVibe!) and crayons, and a sex toy puzzle (I’m way too proud of that puzzle! My big regret is not snapping a picture of Nina Hartley working on it!) and I put on some Motown and we had ourselves a lovely, mellow opening night! My big lesson was that if put 30 “quiet” people together in a room, it still ends up loud! It was lovely.
Big shout out to Kenton, one of the Woodhull volunteers (and all-around wonderful person) who I reached out to during those early planning stages (and several times after) when I was panicking. He jumped right in, helped out, brought a ton of books, calmed me down immensely and was just generally fabulous! Thank you Kenton! Fun fact: Kenton also makes rad sex toys. You should check out his company Funkit Toys!
My mission was to create a space that was welcoming without being overwhelming, where folks could settle in and be comfortable and, if this tweet is anything to go by, mission accomplished!
people might want to be with their peeps in quiet, low light room. Yoga could be offered but also keep @JoEllenNotte vibe going
— Jenna (@dothesameforyou) August 5, 2016
Social Media Mavens
On Friday I got to present, along with two of my favorite colleagues, on social media bad-assery. I talked A LOT about blocking and as I was writing this I saw that the lesson actually stuck.
Remembered and channeled @JoEllenNotte earlier. Block early, block often.
— Lilly Delvaux (@dangerouslilly) September 1, 2016
Not only was the turn-out great but the attendees were so wonderfully engaged! You can check out the Wakelet below:
More on the Monster Under the Bed
On Saturday I once again teamed up with my professional partner in crime and one of my all-time favorite human beings, Stephen Biggs, to talk about navigating relationships when depression is involved. As I think is clear at this point, this topic is very close to my heart and this session was the the highest point in a weekend of high points! The room was full and folks were so engaged, engaging, brave, vulnerable, smart, kind, and quick to share wisdom, empathy, laughter, and some tears. It was awesome.
Also, we were trending on Twitter!
Yaaaaas! ? #SFSMonster is treading. ? @WoodhullSFA pic.twitter.com/ly2cqRJQ6l
— Josefina ??♀️ (@ItsJosefina_) August 6, 2016
The hashtag got so much traffic that spammers started using it- it was wild! Check out the Wakelet below- don’t worry I filtered out all the spammers:
Was there more? Of course! I got to fly to and from with Epiphora which resulted in much prepping and post-morteming as well as a trip to Alexandria’s Lotus Blooms when we were still in town on Monday. I attended some fabulous sessions like “Embodied Consent and the Cultural Lie of Sexual Desirability” with Elle Chase and Jaclyn Friedman. (I’d name more but this post is getting long…so, yeah, I’m only specifically naming my best friend’s session – good thing it was awesome! Seriously, though, everything I went to was strikingly well-done and there was so much that I missed that sounded amazing.) There was the SheVibe pajama party -an event that caused me to break my habit of not attending night-time events- where I got to spend real life time with folks who I usually only see as avatars. There was way too little time spent with the actual SheVibe crew who I love more than life itself. There was more encouragement than I ever imagined, including this gem from Metis:
Me: “I need someone to make me write the book. I need a book dom”@MetisBlack: “Those exist. They’re called editors”#awesome
— JoEllen Notte (@JoEllenNotte) August 8, 2016
Mostly though, there was just so much support. Support for each other’s work, support for important issues, support for each other, and support for the idea that we can all do more. I love Woodhull so much as an event because it feels like a place where we are challenged to do more, be better, push harder, expand out knowledge and support the hell out of each other. Did I mention I miss it already?
I’d do a bunch of individual thanking but as has been mentioned recently my brain is often foggy and stuff but I love you folks and treasure the time I spend with you, whether it’s a quick hello in the hallway, a long conversation over drinks, end-of-the-night cuddles, or even if we only caught each other on Twitter – you all mean the world to me. Thank you! Let’s do it again next year!
All the DOXY love!
None of this would have been possible without my amazing sponsors, Doxy! Not only did they make it possible for me to attend SFS16, they also brought over the awesome Girl on the Net (who I didn’t spend nearly enough time with!) and, frankly, were pretty big rock stars in their own right. For the second year running I managed to not take a picture with Ruby from Doxy (why do I keep doing that!) but I did rock my Doxy necklace the whole time and by the end of the weekend I think it was blossoming into a legitimate trend! Anyway, I love Doxy so much! They make my favorite wands (now available in GORGEOUS sparkly colors!), one of the rumbliest insertable toys around and are about to unleash upon the world a bullet vibe that I believe will be an industry game-changer. I always say that sponsor relationships work best when you work with companies you like and I’m always thinking of Doxy when I say this- I am legitimately proud to be connected to this company! Thank you Doxy!
Big shout out to Louis Shakleton Photography for a bunch of these photos! Louis is super-talented and shoots portraits as well as events, check him out!