ARLINGTON, Va. — More than 350 attendees gathered for the CatalystCon East sexuality conference on March 14-16, where events included 40 sessions and workshops on topics such as sex education, sacred sex, sex work, and sex-positive art, as well as live podcast recordings in the CatalystCon Studio.
Described by founder and organizer Dee Dennis as a “melting pot of sexuality,” CatalystCon unites sex educators, sex workers, health advocates, writers, activists, and others with a passion for creating change.
"A movement is underfoot at CatalystCon" said Mo Beasley, who spoke on the Opening Keynote plenary. “A movement where open and courageous sex-positive conversations, advocacy, action and fun happen.This exceptional happening will inevitably flow over into the world at large.”
Beasley also moderated the panel PRIDE & Prejudice: Confronting Homophobia in Communities of Color, and hosted UrbanErotika during Saturday evening’s entertainment. During the CatalystCon East Opening Reception, Tristan Taormino was presented with the Catalyst Award by Dee Dennis.
“Tristan has been a catalyst for me and for so many others in the CatalystCon community and beyond, and I wanted to recognize her for her inspiring career and all that she has done to spark communication and change in the field of sexuality,” Dennis said.
CatalystCon returns to the West Coast Sept. 11-14, at the Westin LAX. CatalystCon West is accepting speaker submissions until May 14. The conference welcomes speakers to discuss sexuality, activism and acceptance. To apply to speak at CatalystCon West, visit catalystcon.com/call-for-speakers. CatalystCon West will also mark the debut of the CatalystCon Film Series, which will take place on Thursday, Sept. 11 and will feature screenings of documentaries on topics related to sexuality. The call for submissions for the film series will officially open next month.
“CatalystCon is like the TEDx of Sex,” said Jackie Strano, executive vice president of Good Vibrations. “For queer folks it’s like their Michfest or how it should be. Academics, writers, bloggers, educators, performers, industry professionals, and others come together for a weekend of potent concentrated mash-up of ideas, conversation, workshops, panels, keynotes, training sessions, and connection. I have thoroughly enjoyed and have been deeply inspired by every session I attended and not just the panels I was on or participated in, every aspect reminded me of why I do the work I do and confirmed my belief in education and activism as the road to freedom, liberation, and justice.”