I’m Pretty Sure Tristan Taormino Heard Me Pee (link heavy)
And Other Memorable Moments from Catalyst Con East
No matter how I start this post, nothing I can say seems to do that weekend any justice. The atmosphere, the people, and the knowledge flowing through that space will forever be my white whale…or at least until the next Catalyst Conference I have to privilege of attending. For those who are not familiar, Catalyst Con is a gathering of the sex-positive minds. It happens on the West and East coast in order to open communication between educators, bloggers, sex workers, activist (and many more!) and keep conversations going. That is the cliff notes version. For a better idea, keep the next Catalyst Con on your radar.
Despite how quickly the weekend passed us all by, it was full of new experiences, knowledge, and people. If I were to actually list everything that happened last weekend we would be here for a long while, so I will share for now some highlights which stick out in my mind. I filled at least 1/4 of a new Moleskine reporter pad with notes. There will not be a shortage of topic materials for some time to come.
Friday, March 15th, 2013
I lucked out upon checking in and was settled into my room long before my original 4 pm check in time. (Arrival time at the hotel = 9:30 am)
Had a moment of fangirl ‘gasms (one of many that weekend) while attempting to explore the mezzanine at the hotel. After stepping off the elevator there is a little area and everything branches off down two hallways, one to the left and the other to the right. I had no idea where I was going so I looked around, immediately saw Reid Mihalko chatting with Cathy Vartuli, and pretty much got right back on the elevator. It was silly, but I went back to my room to geek out about seeing them. A similar incident happened while eating lunch at the hotel restaurant, but I managed to contain myself and finish eating before taking a walk around Crystal City.
Before the opening keynote started, I met @DirtyLola and @DirtyHusband, who were so lovely! And sat at the same table as Ducky Doolittle, who was also very lovely. Kiss and shy band from Maria Falzone during Social Foreplay. The opening keynote panel was amazing, and I took a few notes, but I primarily came away from the experience with that initial feeling of togetherness and validation that stuck with me the entire weekend. All the energy pretty much wiped me out as well, so I went up to bed for a good night’s rest before the fun Saturday had in store.
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
The day was full of amazing sessions and panels which makes picking one or two very difficult. It was a treat though to see the tiny Pittsburgh contingent together for a day of knowledge sharing. One in particular I do not get to see as often as I would like so it was very special to have them there for the experience.
More fangirl ‘gasms! Saying “hi” to Reid Mihalko in passing, sitting right behind Dylan Ryan at Charlie Glickman‘s How to Be a Top Presenter session while also sitting right next to Cunning Minx during that same session!
Evening fun! Sexy Soiree, In the Flesh reading series, Take It Like a Man workshop, Dirty Bingo, wine, quick investigation of the pool (but sadly it was closed), and bed!
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Hugs, hugs, and more hugs!
Got my very own Sex Geek t-shirt for being an early bird at Reid Mihalko’s When To Give It Away and When To Charge For It session. Such a sweetie!
Rode the elevator with the one and only Carol Queen! And was quite nearly on the verge of tears turning the entire closing keynote.
Was invited to sit with Cooper Beckett (of Life on the Swingset) and gang during the closing keynote, which led to dinner with a large group of swingers and poly folk, like Shira B. Katz from Pedestrian Polyamory. We had a blast and they made this shy, little mono-girl feel so welcome. That dinner will maintain residence in a special place in my heart for some time to come now.
Day Four (yes, four!):
Monday, March 18th, 2013
One last moment that made me really appreciate the weekend was chatting with a woman outside of Union Station about the con and my career goals, completely out of the blue. This would seem a little mundane except for the fact that she works with the Child Death Review in PA, and was very much a fan of what I want to do with my education and career. It was just another reminder that by opening the floor to many types of conversations it can lead to a plethora of connections, especially those least expected.
I opened up more than I thought I would at Catalyst Con East, and I am thoroughly enjoying what these connections and knowledge might lead to next.