A few of our volunteers and Board Members attended Catalyst Con, recently held in Los Angeles. We thought it would be nice to post their reflections on the event.Cupcake, Educator

Cupcake (CPS Educator): “Catalyst was an amazing and inclusive experience, both on and off the panel. The environment was welcoming and all of the topics presented were not only thought provoking but unique and memorable. For my first time, I was thoroughly impressed and wish I had attended earlier years.”

Victoria (CPS Board Member and Educator): CatalystCon is a conference unlike others I’ve attended that creates a wonderful cross-section of the sexuality community, sex workers, therapists, researchers, porn performers and creators, educators, bloggers, podcasters, community members, and others.

Victoria Reuveni, Board MemberCatalystCon 2017 was a whirlwind weekend of connection, sex positivity, diversity, and inclusion. One of the downsides to a conference like this is that there is never enough time. Concurrent sessions always make me wish for Hermione’s time turner so I could be in more than one place at a time. Conferences like Catalyst are unlike other spaces in a lot of ways. Strong emphases on consent (including photography), asking for people’s pronouns, it’s a heightened space of sex positivity. Some sessions are light hearted, others more heavy (like the one with two of CPS’s volunteers: RT This: How Cyberbullying on Twitter is Impacting Women of Color in Porn), and still others leave us with some amount of hope and calls to action in our communities. This was a great weekend for connection, inspiration, and motivation.
Julia (CPS Outreach Coordinator): CatalystCon was monumental, in my opinion.  There were a lot of sex-positive subjects that might have been touched on in the past but have never fully been discussed until now, bringing this conference to life.   First, the conference started out with the Product Pleasure Symposium.  The symposium was a space where sex educators, manufactures, sex shop retailers, sex workers, therapists, sexologists, and more came together to begin the conversation on how to support each other in our shared mission to educate and provide sex-positive resources for the public.  In the end, this discussion proved there is more than enough room for everyone at the table but showed the need for improved communication and support between each profession.  Second, Dr. Lynn Comella released her book Vibrator Nation that talks about how feminist sex-toy stores, such as Good Vibrations and Babeland, “changed the business of pleasure” forever.  She tells the story and history of how the mission to empower and educate women have shaped sex shops and the conversations we have today about sexual consciousness.  Lastly, CatalystCon was lucky to witness a panel, all of whom were women of color, who came to discuss the cyberbullying sex workers experience through Twitter, which is the only platform adult entertainers have for marketing themselves and being able to reach their fans, as well as Twitter’s flawed reporting system.  Overall, it felt like CatalystCon was making history holding discussions about the revolutionary sex-positive movements of the past and those that are still happening today.