WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — The CatalystCon sexuality conference has revealed the panelists for the Opening and Closing Keynotes, as well as the schedule of pre-conference events.
Created to inspire conversations about sexuality, CatalystCon West will take place in Woodland Hills, Calif, on Sept. 27-29, and will feature 40 sessions and panel discussions on sexuality-based topics such as sex-positive parenting, progressive swinging, sexuality activism, political organizing and sex and the media.
A complete list of sessions may be found at Catalystcon.com/sessions-west.
The Pre-Conference events begin on Friday with workshops from Tristan Taormino and Dr. Marty Klein. CatalystCon Creator Dee Dennis says she is thrilled to announce that Taormino will be returning with her Sex Educator Boot Camp, which will be done in two parts: Basic I and Intermediate II. Also on Friday, Dr. Klein will present a clinical seminar, Infidelity: After an Affair, Who Owns the Relationship, worth 4 CEUs.
Tickets to these programs must be purchased separately from CatalystCon registration and are available at catalystcon.com/register for $89 each.
On Friday evening, organizers say there will be an evening event for attendees who are shy, brand new to the event or traveling alone.
"CatalystCon prides itself on being an event where everyone is welcome, everyone is respected and everyone has something to offer," Dennis said. "We all have a voice that is valuable, but when you're shy it can be really hard to use that voice. And when you're stepping into something brand new, it can be hard to know where to begin."
The purpose of the event, called the "Shy/Newbie Get-together" is to give new and shyer attendees an opportunity to meet other newbies, get a feel for what to expect during the weekend and hopefully make a new friend or two in a low-key, low-pressure environment.
A private Sex Worker Meet & Mingle, hosted by CatalystCon's sex worker liaisons Savannah Darling and Sabrina Morgan, will also take place on Friday evening. Dennis and her staff are allies, but said they realize that some concerns can only be fully understood by other sex workers. Therefore this event is open only to current and former sex workers.
More information on both of these evening pre-con events may be found at catalystcon.com/schedule/meetups.
CatalystCon West officially kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with an Opening Reception, followed by the Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance at 8:30 p.m. The panel will include Jackie Strano, Shira Tarrant, PhD, Sinnamon Love, and Yosenio V. Lewis and will be moderated by Tristan Taormino. The panelists will address the ongoing debates over sexuality at the local, national and global levels and discuss how they've created their own sparks and been catalysts for change.
"CatalystCon brings together a vibrant, active group of sex-positive people from all different communities and industries," said author, sex educator and radio host Taormino, who will also be presenting two panel discussions on feminist porn in addition to bringing her radio show, Sex Out Loud, to Catalystcon West. "It's an exciting event that I just can't miss!"
The Closing Keynote Plenary Address: Afternoon Tea with Dr. Joycelyn Elders will feature remarks from the former Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service under President Clinton, followed by an informal interview of Elders by Lynn Comella.
"Last year I attended the inaugural CatalystCon West as a speaker. I'm thrilled to not only attend again this year, but to host an 'afternoon tea' with one of my idols," said Comella, a women's studies professor at UNLV. "What I love most is that CatalystCon brings a diverse group of people together over the course of a weekend to discuss, debate and think about issues that matter deeply to many of us, from sex education and healthy relationships, to sex worker rights and censorship."
More information on both of the Keynote Addresses may be found at catalystcon.com/sessions-west/keynotes.
Sponsors of CatalystCon West include ANEROS, Sportsheets International, Nature Labs, Tantus, Vibratex, Wet, We-Vibe, the FC2 Female Condom, Good Vibrations, Sex Out Loud, and Sexquire. For information on how to become a sponsor or program advertiser of CatalystCon visit catalystcon.com/sponsor.
CatalystCon West will be held September 27-29, 2013 at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA. Registration is now open at catalystcon.com/register. Early bird pricing ends on June 20.