Presentation Descriptions

Currently confirmed presentations

Bianca Laureano PhD

Bianca Laureano, PhD
Keynote Speaker

Humanizing Sex Positivity: Asking Harder Questions and Challenging Ourselves

As we are called on to do sexuality care work, we must acknowledge the world we have inherited and how our work is shifting. This current time of unpredictability, movement, expansion, world building, and afterworlds requires us to dig more deeply, ask harder questions, hold and honor the multiple truths we were trained to ignore — in short go all in and ante up! Together we will explore what has been missing, erased, and ignored from sex positive approaches and how to bring the human back into human sexuality. This keynote will discuss power, strategy, equity, joy, and celebration as vital to our work. You may leave with more questions than answers and with new paths forward to build the sex positive world you wish to be in and a part of creating!

Bianca Laureano PhD

Maya Moreno
Keynote Speaker

Humanizing Sex Workers

Epistemic injustice against sex workers is rampant historically, in our media, and our culture. With the growing films, books, podcasts, and other creative ventures on sex work by sex workers themselves, we are seeing much more diverse and deeper understandings on the industry and its workers. We are also seeing a larger willingness among institutions and media to include sex worker’s voices and lives. This presentation seeks to highlight various projects that collect and teach sex worker’s historical narratives, media made by sex workers, and how allies can help.

Friday

Sex for all: Intersectionality in Sex Positivity

by Apryl Alexander, PsyD

There is a growing movement to incorporate sex positivity into clinical and counseling psychology. Although sex positivity has a framework that promotes diversity and inclusion, intersectionality in sex positive research, training, and practice is practically non-existent. Critics of sexuality studies have noted that much of the sexuality literature is rooted from a White or Western perspective. The sex positivity movement appears to struggle from similar early beginnings of feminist and queer theories and movements in lacking the true integration of race/ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability status, etc. This presentation will analyze issues related to sex and sexuality from an intersectional sex positive framework. Discussion surrounding intersectional issues among subgroups, sexualities, and relationship structures will be discussed and examples will be provided. In order to fully adopt an intersectional sex positive approach, recommendations for research, training, and practice will be described during the presentation.

The science of positive sexuality and perspectives from Tantra

by Vera Ludwig

Sexuality is often avoided in public discussions concerning well-being. Even in the scientific study of subjective well-being, such as in positive psychology, sexuality has been largely ignored. The reason for this may be that our sexuality is still commonly seen as something shameful, impure, or harmful. In this talk, I will present an overview of scientific studies on the relationship of well-being with aspects of sexuality. I will also discuss evidence on the importance of a fulfilling sexuality for happy relationships, which are one key component for high well-being. I will then explore which interventions may be useful to foster a positive perspective on sexuality and for sexual fulfillment itself. For this, I will also report some insights from my interviews with Tantric teachers and practitioners which aimed to explore whether the tradition of Tantra can add interesting perspectives to the study of positive sexuality. However, I will also point out some potentially hidden, sex-negative viewpoints commonly held in (Neo-)Tantric communities. I argue, in line with the mission of the Center for Positive Sexuality as well as others, that scientific research should focus on positive aspects of sexuality. This approach can contribute to a healthier world- a world in which people can truly accept themselves as they are and, thus, feel whole.

Others believing we need to get laid: An asexual perspective on sex positivity

by Max Jenkins, Emily Karp, &  Kadie Craighead

Someone can say “positive sexuality is humanizing”, but what happens when your sexuality is “lacking, “uninterested”, or “non-existent”? Are you still human and worthy? This poster discusses how the sex positive movement does or does not include those who are asexual, sex repulsed, and/or happily celibate. We will provide information so that others may better understand asexual and similar identities, and will begin to design ways to better include these identities in advocacy.

Kink and its destruction of compulsory sexuality

by I. Nathan, Grey, & Bob O’Boyle

Compulsive sexuality is everywhere and impacts everyone – it is the social attitudes, backed up by institutions, that enforce the belief that everyone should and does want a socially acceptable form of sex. It impacts different people in different ways, depending on their identities and cultural context. While it is impossible to escape the impact of compulsory sexuality altogether, it is possible to engage with your own and others’ sexuality or lack thereof in a thoughtful and intentional way. One solution is kink, as it is founded on the premise of consent and questioning assumptions around intimacy and sexual expression. This workshop aims to teach participants both about the concepts of compulsory sexuality and kink, and explore the ways that kink can be satisfying in many ways, from sexual to romantic to aesthetic to sensory. We plan on using those concepts to help participants understand and develop their boundaries around various sexual and intimate activities. We will also discuss asexual and aromantic perspectives towards kink; the ways that people engage in non-sexual kink and how that can both reinforce an asexual orientation or be sexual in itself, as well as the ways people engage in non-romantic kink dynamics, and how relations free of compulsory romanticism can encourage a wider range of intimacy, sexual or otherwise.

Why your sex positivity needs to be anti-amatonormative

by I. Nathan, Grey, & Ghost

This presentation will teach participants about the basics of amatonormativity, the assumption in society that romantic coupledom is necessary for all people and the pinnacle of all kinds of relationships, and show how pervasive and damaging this idea is. We will do so by introducing the basics included in the concept, including relationship hierarchy, and showing how amatonormativity both reinforces and is supported by other harmful systemic prejudices, including white supremacy, misogyny, toxic masculinity, sex shaming, transphobia, and homophobia. We will share strategies for resisting amatonormativity, particularly ways that sexuality professionals can support their clients, patients, and students more effectively.

Reclaiming dehumanization: Revolutionary kink In transgender relationships

by Juniper Martin

The focus on positive sexuality is significant, especially within a society that is often sex negative. It is crucial to evaluate the standards of positive sexuality to assure it includes all peoples. This panel will focus on transgender and nonbinary sex positivity.

Transgender individuals experience systemic dehumanization every day, facing discrimination on every level: culturally, socially, and institutionally. This discrimination and dehumanization we face compounded with other marginalized identities that we may hold, often results in feeling inhuman. As a method of reclaiming identities, some transgender people will choose to proudly identify with this label of inhumanity that they have been given by society. Reclamation is unique, and every person explores these ideas in different ways. It is important that such exploration happens within a safe space, including in their relationships.

The whole body as a sexual organ. Rethinking what sex is and how it can be done

by Renita Söresndotter

Sex is commonly defined as something including genitals. By being born into a certain culture our bodies learn how to interpret and perform sex. But the body is plastic and constantly becoming. Accordingly to Spinoza we cannot know what our bodies can do until we test it empirically. What would happen if we did not limit the definition of sex to genital acts? In this presentation I will explore how we can understand sex and sexual pleasure beyond genitals as the primary sex organ. By doing this I want to contribute to a more open definition of how to interpret and experience bodies and sexuality.

I will use Deleuze and Guttariâ’s philosophy about bodies without organs, in which the use and experience of our bodies is open for exploration. If we understand our bodies as having sex organs everywhere, we can interpret and experience our erotic bodies differently. If we focus on sensations, pleasure, touch and bodily surface, instead of genital sex, we can change how we talk about, experience and practice sex. In a feminist future we can define sex by sensations, touch and bodily surfaces, and arrange our bodily organs in whatever ways that give us most pleasure.

An analysis of vulva appearance in mainstream vs. made-for-women pornography

by Samantha Maki

Media uses implicit imagery to tell women which genital standards are deemed acceptable by society. Explicit depictions of genitals are usually reserved for pornographic materials, which women often describe as depicting uniform vulva appearance. It is possible that viewing invariable images of vulvas could have a negative impact on women’s self-perceptions. To better understand the vulva representations women are exposed to, the current study collected images ( N = 743) of vulvas from video pornography via two websites: Pornhub.com and Bellesa.co. We categorized images based on the level of pubic hair grooming and labia minora protrusion. Bellesa did not differ from Pornhub for the labia minora feature. We found that the majority of images from both websites had barely any protrusion of the labia minora past the labia majora. Pornhub showed vulvas with no hair most often, whereas Bellesa had slightly more variation in level of grooming. It is evident that both websites are depicting mostly uniform vulvas: small, groomed, and tidy. Undeviating depictions could influence women’s genital ideals, pushing them to seek out extreme surgery and beauty measures in order to adhere to the standards presented. Much like clothing advertisements, which now present a range of body shapes and sizes, presenting a diverse set of images of vulvas could be beneficial to viewers. Makers of pornography should consider diversifying their search and hiring criteria when selecting actresses, while also providing image disclaimers for their viewers.

Graphic Sex Project: Arts-based research

by Jennifer Beman & Amanda Freise

The Graphic Sex Project was introduced at SexPosCon 2020 as a public interactive art installation to de-shame sex and de-stigmatize talking about it. Participants made “graphs” of a good sexual experience, and contributed over 700 to the project. Since then, the artist Jennifer Beman has collaborated with Dr. Amanda Freise to analyze the graphs and see what the collection has to tell us about people’s sexual scripts and what they value in their sexual experiences. The collection is cross-section of the sex lives of people of all ages, races, genders, and orientations. One major takeaway of the analysis is that within the tremendous variety of sexual activity represented in the graphs, people’s preferences aren’t determined by their demographic. Jennifer and Amanda will present their process, their findings, and discuss how this technique could be used to collect data about sexual scripts from people in marginalized communities. By creating a playful and de-stigmatizing social/sexual public space, sexuality research can reach a diverse community.

Saturday

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Sunday

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