Recently, I attended the Sex Down South Conference here in Atlanta. I have not attended a sex show since I lived in Berlin and I was nervous to go at first. I am never recognized from my former life as a sex worker, and I just knew it might be a problem attending something like this. However, they had such a great list of sex positive speakers and subjects that I felt it might be something different than what I was used to.
In order to go, you had to agree to the following:
1. The voices, feelings, and experiences of people of color should be prioritized.
2. I will not assume anyone’s gender identity based on their appearance.
3. Sexuality is beautiful and so very diverse—there is no shame in our sexualities, and I will not yuck anyone’s yum!
4. Consent and boundaries must be respected at all times.
5. Centering the experiences of survivors is critical to this work.
6. All relationships deserve the same respect, regardless of orientation or configuration.
7. People with disabilities and mental illness have a right to sexuality and sexy spaces.
8. All bodies, no matter their shape or size, have a right to pleasure.
9. Everyone has the right to confidentiality.
10. Violence – including physical, verbal, and emotional abuse – will not be tolerated.
See! I just had to go. It was not going to be the porn convention I thought it would be. I headed over to the location and bought a ticket. They were a little pricey at $60, but you got a little gift bag and great lectures.
I walked through the vendor area first, since I had plenty of time to attend the lectures. I was waiting for Afrosexuality. I looked up and saw a yoni egg stand. I just purchased some yoni eggs last month, and I figured I could get more, despite not having tried the ones I already had. She was very pleasant. She described some exercises I should do, and urged me to try some eggs. I ended up just buying some vegan vulva wash. I have used it, it’s very mild.
I then walked over to purchase this handmade dildo. The guy who made it was so happy to explain his process to me. I also purchased an outfit. I walked out to look for some food, and a woman came up to me who said I should take some pictures. I was shy at first but these are the shots from the photographer. He calls it the black box.
After the pictures, I went to the Afrosexuality talk. I walked in, there were mostly African American women, with one Euro-American lady and one A.A. male. They were talking about taking control of their sexuality as African American women in this world. It was interesting to hear the women’s stories. There were lesbian women represented as well as cis women. It was refreshing to listen. I sat back, happy and sad really that we have to have these issues in the first place, but it was nice to be in the company of such awesome women.
I walked over to my last session, I was going to the Religion and Sexuality talk, but I went over to Tantra and energy working instead. I did not regret that choice. Just having the tantra session, it was nice to get some more insight and perhaps some new techniques. She did an energy exercise where we had to pair off, and feel each others energy by placing our hands about 2 feet apart. She mentioned some breath work and gave a demonstration on chakra cleansing. After that, I had to get back home. I was there for far longer than expected. I can’t wait until next year. I hope to bring my partner along.
Have you been to a sex conference? What was your experience?