All of us who engage in athletic, loveless, pornographic sex—epitomized by the Reverse Piledriving Cowboy—tend to forget that our freewheeling lifestyle is the goalpost for millions of Southern Californians for whom such feats may seem foreign.
If that weren’t enough, organizers of CatalystCon, a weekend conference coming to Long Beach in September, suggest that there is a whole range of issues—from women’s rights to community activism to sexual acceptance—that Southern Californians might be missing out on whilst mapping out rigidly structured gangbang hierarchies.
I talked with Dee Dennis, energetic co-founder of Washington D.C.’s annual Momentum Conference, about CatalystCon’s plans to bring discussions of positive sexuality to an area redolent of porn.
Gram: What can attendees expect from Catalyst that they couldn’t find at an AVN Expo, for example? Are you reaching out to a different crowd?
Dee Dennis: CatalystCon will be very different from what someone would find at AVN Expo or Exxxotica. The first thing is this is not an industry created show and the second is that my focus is on issues more than products or fans. CatalystCon, like Momentum, is the conference I wanted to attend but was unable to find [in California]. It is not a conference targeted to just sex educators or manufacturers or even one gender but is for everyone. My goal for CatalystCon is to bring together those who do business in the industry, sex educators, writers, activists, therapists, and anyone in the general public who would like to both have and see changes in the conversations around sexuality.
Gram: I am led to understand that there is something inside me and that there will be jam.
Dennis: I believe there is a an activist within all of us and that knowledge is power. Attendees of CatalystCon will find themselves with a jam-packed weekend that begins on Friday evening with Maria Falzone kicking off our opening with a portion of her “Sex Rules” show. The theme for the opening keynote will be Sexual Politics moderated by Lynn Comella.
Gram: Surely those climactic events will bring the conference to an end.
Dennis: CatalystCon will then continue throughout the weekend (September 14-16) with two days of sessions on sex and race, religion, media, relationships, gender, politics, and business to name a few along with Ducky Doolittle hosting her famous Dirty Bingo Saturday evening. I refer to this type of conference as cross pollination and what I personally feel is the most effective way of fighting the way our society and politicians deal and talk about sexuality in our country. It will cover a wide range of subjects with the overall theme being sexuality, activism, and acceptance. Someone may attend for the sessions on gender but will walk away learning something new in another area of sexuality.
Gram: Yes, but they will probably be walking funny, as no one can make sex sexier than sex educators. What are you looking forward to personally?
Dennis: Besides the beautiful sunny California weather? I’m looking forward to bringing some of the Momentum presenters to the west coast and having those I know on the west coast whom I have had on my wish list but have never been able to present at Momentum due to the travel be part of CatalystCon.
Gram: So are you saying that porn is different from sex? You blasphemer.
Dennis: The Los Angeles area is no stranger to the adult industry, but I think a conference that is strictly based on discussing and sharing knowledge about all areas of sexuality will be totally new and I’m hoping that the success I’ve experienced with Momentum in DC I will also see in Long Beach in September.
(But more than anything I am looking forward to you live tweeting CatalystCon.)
CatalystCon is accepting speaker proposals, due June 1. Read the following press release for more information.
CatalystCon Sparks Positive Discussions about Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance
Long Beach, CA April 19, 2012 – Dee Dennis co-founder of the revolutionary Momentum Conference held each spring in Washington DC is now bringing her talents and determination to spark open communication about sexuality, activism and acceptance to the west coast.
CatalystCon will be making its debut at the Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center in Long Beach, California September 14-16. “This conference is meant to energize, enlighten and exhilarate a positive discussion about sexuality, the current state of women’s rights, and to encourage people to take action in their local communities” says Dee Dennis founder of CatalystCon “Now more than ever we need to continue to educate ourselves and share that knowledge to help ignite change.”
CatalystCon is focused on reaching out and stimulating the activist within everyone to help transform the way our friends, neighbors, and politicians approach and discuss one of the single most important aspects of humanity. CatalystCon welcomes everyone to partake in the discussion and help to influence change in how our communities approach sexuality. “The fundamental principal of CatalystCon is that knowledge is power and sharing that knowledge is the first spark to igniting the change in conversations” says Dee Dennis “CatalystCon will bring that spark and energy to the west coast.”
CatalystCon will be accepting application for speakers until June 1st from anyone who has something to share and the desire to spark conversations in the realms of sexuality, activism and acceptance. Individuals, therapists, educators, media specialists, bloggers, activists, women’s rights advocates, health professionals, and others are encouraged to submit an application. To find out more about becoming a speaker at CatalystCon please visit http://catalystcon.com/call-for-speakers/.