CatalystCon Aims to Educate, Spark Change in Societal Acceptance of Sex

Ariana Rodriguez

LONG BEACH, Calif. — CatalystCon will be making its debut at the Hilton Long Beach and Executive Meeting Center in Long Beach, Sept. 14-16, with the mission of sparking open communication about sexuality, activism and acceptance.

Organized by Dee Dennis, co-founder of Momentum — an annual Washington D.C.-based sexuality, feminism and relationships conference, — the first annual CatalystCon is a West Coast progression of Momentum.

“I kept hearing requests to bring it to the West Coast,” Dennis told XBIZ. “It’s similar to Momentum — but different. It’s all about inspiring change, being a catalyst. The key difference is that Momentum [in D.C.] is attended primarily by East Coast, however much of the subject matter is similar.”

According to Dennis, CatalystCon is designed to reflect a “melting pot of sexuality” with networking and 40 educational sessions covering a wide variety of topics to serve adult industry professionals, sex educators and consumers. Sessions include “America’s War On Sex and the 2012 Election,” “The Buck Angel Effect,” “How to Succeed in the Online Adult Business by Really Trying,” “Toxic Toys” and “Fat Sex Works,” among many others focusing on all aspects of sex, from business to body image.

“There’s something for everyone,” Dennis said. “Knowledge is power, and the lack of knowledge makes people scared — the overall goal of Catalyst is to remove the stigma from sex, and if everyone that attends each does one thing to promote change — it could be very effective. Now more than ever, particularly with this year’s elections, we need bring people together that are interested in sexual rights to makes connections and inspire change.”

With an expected attendance of 350 guests, the adult industry-heavy West Coast is slated to draw a mix of consumers and industry professionals to CatalystCon.

“It’s not necessarily a B2B event, but it will offer great networking opportunities,” Dennis said, “Retailers, manufacturers and consumers will all have the opportunity to get direct feedback from one another.”

Among the special events planned for CatalystCon is a Gloryhole anniversary party for legendary adult retailer The Pleasure Chest on Sept. 13, as well as Bawdy Storytelling and Dirty Bingo hosted by Ducky Doolittle.

CatalystCon will kick off with an opening keynote featuring Marty Klein, Megan Andelloux, Maggie Mayhem and Francisco Ramirez, and ends with a closing keynote featuring Constance Penley, Alann Gelbard and John Stagliano to discuss the U.S. vs. John Stagliano case.

Dennis was quick to point out that CatalystCon’s speakers and the conference in general would not have been possible without the passion and support of the event’s sponsors and speakers who have volunteered their participation.

“They’re making it possible for this to happen,” Dennis said. “It’s their beliefs, they’re doing it for the message and their passion, and it really means a lot to me that companies and the individuals are willing to contribute out of their own profit.”

CatalystCon’s sponsors include Masque, Aneros, Tantus, Kama Sutra Closet and Good Vibrations, among many others.

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