As president of the American College of Sexologists International, I get to meet countless fascinating therapists, experts, researchers, students, teachers and practitioners. But rarely do they all come together in one place as at this year’s a CatalystCon “conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality.”
Founder of Institute for Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality, Dr. Ted McIlvenna, and his son Randy drove down from San Francisco for the event where we shared a booth promoting the Institute as well as the ACS. Ted himself worked the booth for two days and wowed people with his vast knowledge of sexual history, erotic art and film, and many languages – not to mention giving away vintage porn posters! Also representing the ACS were board members Dr. Patti Britton, Dr. Robert Dunlap, Dr. Leanna Wolfe and Dr. Marylou as well as my mentor, clinical sexologist and therapist, Dr. Marilyn Lawrence.
There was an incredible array of speakers and lectures to attend, from Sex Surrogate Partner Therapies to Eco-Sex, to Black Pride in Sexualized Communities and Labor. I would have liked to attend them all! However, I was working hard with director Paula Tiberius and erotic videographer Mike McCormick to capture as many personalities at the event as I could on film, asking people to speak about themselves and their work. We will be featuring members on the ACS site monthly, and will use this footage as a marketing tool and enticement for new members.
We were lucky enough to film some of the world’s legendary sexologists like Dr. Annie Sprinkle who is promoting ecosexuality, Dr. Candida Royalle, who is currently raising funds for her life story, While You Were Gone so please help her if you can, Dr. Veronica Vera and Dr. Jane Hamilton who uses her expertise to educate women in the U.S. and China on issues of pleasure, aging and self-esteem. They spoke on a panel together at the keynote closing event discussing the early days of porn in New York City, and their experiences as feminist pornographers and advocates for sex workers, gender fluidity and more. I encourage you to click on their names and discover the amazing work they are doing in these fields. Another pioneer of sexology is the always fabulously dressed Dr. Susan Block whose new book The Bonobo Way will be out in November. I cannot wait to read how these primates use sex to subvert violence in their society. We could learn something from them!
We also interviewed many other established and up and coming sexology stars, like Elle Chase, who has recently founded the L.A. Academy of Sex, board certified Dr. Claudia Six, and Akio Maroon, an educator and organizer who celebrates sex positivity in an LGBTQ21 space for BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color). Charlie Glickman was an inspiration to film as well, as he is a giant in his field of bodywork, which includes training, coaching, speaking, writing and more. We shared our shooting space with filmmaker Robert James, who is working on, among other things, a documentary on slut shaming, in association with Emily Lindin and the beautiful and talented Jessica Drake.
Another highlight was appearing on Sex with Emily with Dr. Hernando Chaves, my friend and co-host on our upcoming Penthouse Sex Academy videos. It was fun to get to know the delightful Emily Morse who asked me how to have a nipple orgasm, among other things. I even ventured out into the convention floor and met the other sponsors of the event on camera, such as Sex Positive World who promote sexual “empowerment, education, community and exploration,” as well as giving out free massages and beautiful pink feathers! Wet International and We Vibe were there too, as well as a harness-free dildo company called InJoyus who were very enthusiastic about their great new product that features hands-free strap-on technology. Last but not least, the ingenious Revel Body was there, showing off their beautiful orb-shaped toys that can submerse in water. After interviewing the other sponsors and having my photo taken with Tiny B. Hiney who entertained everyone with her burlesque dancing, there was just one big highlight and that was meeting the winner of my $3000.00 gift basket that included a scholarship to Loveology Univeristy. Congratulations to Ophilia Tesla who reacted to her win with tears of joy.
I thank Dee Dennis, founder of CatalystCon, for putting on such an all-inclusive event that truly captures the spirit of sex positivity and creates a community of like-minded people who want to make the world a sexier and better place. See you next year!