The last time I talked about a kink conference was the first KinkForAll back in March. I wrote then how I hadn’t been to many events of this nature. Well, having one kinky unconference under my belt I headed out to our nation’s capital to see what Sex 2.0 was all about.
Match, who I’d met once or twice and read about quiet a bit, was running the event and so I was excited to see what his awesomeness would come up with. Plus it pretty much assured debauchery because every time I’d met Match he’d gotten naked within minutes. I was also excited to meet lots of people I’d read a lot about and tweeted/emailed/corresponded with.
Let’s not beat around the bush, I wanted to meet Jefferson. Pretty much every kinky affair I’d been to had at some point broken down into a gossip session about him and we certainly have a lot of… friends in common, not to mention his rather significant association with my girl. A man is bound to be curious.
I’ll leave my thoughts on that particular character to another post, but let’s just say that within a good half an hour every expectation I had, both good and bad, were surpassed. We fell into a very interesting banter that seemed to last the con. Not to mention my aid in his rather unorthodox use of dairy products. He is quite a character.
I had originally planned to go down to DC early Saturday morning and then leave late that night. In my mind this was just a conference and all the excitement would be the presentations. On this as on many points about Sex 2.0, I was wrong. I was convinced to at least come in Friday night. I booked a Bolt Bus (which I somehow kept referring to as Bang Bus, because I have on occasion partaken in horrible porn) and got to the hotel just in time for the Porn and Brownie Party.
Viviane, Match, Miss Calico, Jefferson, Furry Girl, Molly Ren, and a gaggle of others were in a decent sized hotel room watching porn on two televisions, eating chocolate and eventually descending into indecency.
In a style that I soon learned would embody all of Sex 2.0 there was a lot of sex and a lot of tech. It was amazing to be in such close contact with such kink and such nerdery at the same time. At one point I was standing around with a group of people watching a bit of oral sex while tweeting about it. I looked around and everyone else was tweeting about it. That was Sex 2.0.
I went back to my big room and went to sleep wondering what amazing things were going on in the rooms around me and sad that some of them were probably going unrecorded by any media.
The first presentation I want to was Avatar Koo‘s talk on Romantic Erotica, which I had been wanting to hear. I’ve been considering trying my hand at more romantic erotica because there seem to be a lot of publishers looking for that. Also Avatar seemed adorable and I wanted to meet her.
She is indeed adorable and her presentation was educational and fun. I’m not sure if romantic erotica is for me, but I am always up for learning more about genre, publishing and writing in general.
Her presentation also calmed me down a lot about my own because I’ve never given a presentation in any sort of conference setting and certainly not anything in the erotica landscape so I was panicking a little. The give and take of Avatar‘s presentation let me know that I could ask the audience questions and have a discourse as opposed to a lecture.
Next up for me was Nobilis and Ellie‘s podcasting panel. Since I am trying to get my other project readingdirty.com off the ground I had to hear that one. A good basic podcasting 101 class, though there were a few technical and organizational bumps I think everyone learned a lot about what a podcast is and how to get one started.
My own presentation went very well. I was scared shitless, standing in front of a pretty packed room holding tentacle porn in one hand and a bullet list in the other. I stumbled a bit, I think I may have went a little too obscure (not a lot of usenet fans out there I guess) but once we got into slash fiction’s effect on America’s feelings towards gay culture and online erotica as more of a writing exercise than literature people really started taking hold of the conversation and a lot of interesting points came up.
Right after I finished Jack Murnighan from nerve.com came up and with the practiced ease of a college professor he gave a really amazing talk about bringing sex into literary fiction, journalism and personal essays. He made some great points, had lots of quotes to back things up and taught me things that have been bouncing around in my head since. Specifically showing and not telling. This is very difficult for me, because for one erotica is very much a telling medium, though it shouldn’t be, also I grew up reading science fiction, noir fiction and later postmodern fiction, all of which use a lot of narration and a long of inner monolog. Anyhow, that battle is for another post.
It didn’t hurt that the guy was so charming at one point I called him “Han Solo who could quote Joyce.” Seriously every girl and boy in the audience was swooning. It was like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the student writes “I Love You” on her eyelids.
Not that I’m jealous or anything. Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t go on after him.
That was another great thing about these presentations. I called out a lot of points Avatar made and Jack talked about a lot of the points I made. It was all so fluid and friendly. Everyone seemed to want to learn and share information.
It was a good and lively talk, though to be honest it was the only session I went to where I felt a bit like an outsider since it was specifically about feminism and sex work and men’s places in either were not really discussed.
They did bring up some good points that should be discussed more, like finding allies in movements with similar goals. Plus I got in a funny quip when Furry Girl mentioned that she wasn’t a feminist (see her new site Feminisnt) and how you could take any post about feminism and replace the word with “awesome” and it would basically have the same meaning. I asked if she was an Awesomist and she said she was. Thus a new movement was born.
Strengthening Alliances between Group with Similar Goals
One thing Sex 2.0 seemed to say to me is that we (feminists, sex workers, BDSM, poly community, LGBT, creators of explicit art and media, anyone ostracized, marginalized, disadvantaged or persecuted because of their sexual identity, choice or profession) may be part of different movements, but we have a lot of similar goals and we should come together and learn how to be better allies. We are all fighting first and foremost to have our voices heard, thus it makes sense for us to create forums where all voices can be heard.
What makes the right strong is that there is little diversity and a lot of conformity. This makes directing their groups to do things very easy. Both the strength and (strategically at least) the weakness with the left (and even moreso with the far left) is that we are disparate and free thinking. We have many ideas and many goals and many backgrounds. We want a lot of change, but we also want that change to take place in specific ways and for specific reasons and that really hinders our ability to get anything done.
That is an extreme simplification, obviously.
I hope a lot of these discussions
can will be picked up in up coming KinkForAlls in DC, Boston and specifically the next one in NYC, which I am trying to help make happen. PS, anyone reading this should read about KinkForAll and see what you can do to make it happen where ever you are.
So that’s it, right? I planned to go home after the presentations. I was again convinced by a variety of smart and pretty people that I needed to stay for this party in so-and-so’s room and that brunch the next day. What is a blogger to do? I missed my bus and I found a room to stay in with a good friend. Then another friend ended up staying in the room as well. Then… cough… yeah anyhow…
That night Vera from For Your Nymphomation. had a most ridiculous and fun game in her room. This was good because it got my mind off the fact that a lesbian porn was being shot in another room.
The game itself was good clean fun. There was a bag of buttons with a variety of messages or logos on them, all having to do with Vera‘s company (the girl is always marketing), and each having an “Truth or Dare” type instruction. The most common button had the picker spin a bottom and kiss whom ever the bottle landed on. Another had the picker flash a body part or take off a piece of clothing.
Now, I’m not putting the game down, it was a lot of fun, but this was a room full of kinksters. I would say half of the people in the room were frequent patrons of sex/swinger/BDSM parties and a lot of them were looking around at the tame kissing and giggling sex stories and wondering when the fucking was going to start. Personally I was very amused at the whole situation. It was like being a freshmen in high school again, in my neighbor’s basement playing 7 Minutes in Heaven in hopes of feeling a girl up. Still at the edge of Vera‘s game was the idea that it could go way farther at any minute.
The next day I went to brunch with a whole cadre of sex bloggers. Fun and informative conversations. Then I got to feel like the king of the cool kids when I swung back to Match‘s awesome apartment with Furry Girl, Sabrina Morgan and the brilliant and lovely Sascha K.
Then, finally, I found a bus to take me on the long ride home. I spent the ride with Furry Girl who decided we should be bus boyfriend and girlfriend because people will think we were anyway because she was going to lean on my arm. So in between our conversations about fisting, feminism, the NYC sex blogger political animals, open relationships and recycling we give each other cutesy names and she attempted to feed me some sort of vegan brownie (it was delicious dear, I swear).
Other Sex 2.0 Roundups, Breakdowns and Media:
Many more links to Sex 2.0 grooviness can be found in the Sex 2.0 2009 Followup: Links, Presentations, & Resources list in the Google Group.