Sex 2.0: It's not just a conference, it's an attitude
After this introductory post, I promise I won't be constantly shilling for my conference; but I do think I need to provide a little background.
Over the past several years, the internet – especially that of the web 2.0 variety – has been enabling people to learn, grow, and connect sexually. As an unapologetic geek and an unapologetic sex fiend, the worlds of sex and technology naturally dovetailed for me. As I began paying attention to what was happening on the web, it seemed like inspiring new projects were popping up left and right, largely led by women.
Unfortunately, though, there was something else happening. If you were a sex blogger, for example, you were marked – not with a scarlet 'A,' but with four other letters: 'NSFW.' And once your endeavors were deemed not safe for work (we'll leave aside, for now, the rather glaring question of "Who's work?"), well, good luck crossing back over.
I was extremely discouraged to see harmful societal stereotypes and arbitrary barriers (e.g. "porn" vs. "erotica") being reinforced on the web. And as someone who attends a lot of tech conferences, I was downright livid at some of the conversations I heard among other geeks, even those who considered themselves open-minded and transgressive. I either had to hide my views and involvement with sex on the web, or I was put in the uncomfortable position of having to be its sole defender.
The debates about how to "present yourself" online and the warnings to not look "unprofessional" – because apparently, professional is synonymous with asexual – seemed endless. The last straw came when, during a conference session entitled Women and Blogging, a participant loudly opined, "If you work nights as a stripper, you deserve to get fired from your day job!" The rest of the audience solemnly nodded in agreement.
That's when I decided there needed to be a new conference that would focus on the unique, inspiring, awesome things women are doing online – the ways we are owning our sexuality, learning about its various manifestations, connecting with others, and sometimes making a buck or two. So, in addition to this being the last post shilling for my conference, it's also the last post that will devote so much space to negativity. My posts from here on out will be focused on celebrating high-tech sex-positivity!