I know my blog has been quite the past few months (read: 4) – 2018 has turned out to be one of the busiest and craziest years I’ve ever had and between adventures and study it was left loveless for a while. But I’m back with a queue crammed with fun reviews, my favourite essays and some exciting announcements just waiting for you to read. I’m going to start actually using my mailing list so sign up on the top of the blog or at sensiren.com for exclusive news and updates. I also have some amazing teaching and presenting things coming up so stay tuned for those!
So as a quick catch up for you – here’s four things I did while I wasn’t blogging!
Felt Inspired in MELBOURNE
Earlier this year I was invited down to Melbourne to teach for Nikki Darling – an amazing Australian online sex toy retailer who also run workshops for sex-positive Melbourians. I’ve shopped there a bunch and it was so thrilling to be asked. We booked in my workshop Sex, Art & Dirt: Exploring EcoSex and a screening of Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens’ documentary Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story on May 28th and since I was travelling over 800 km, I figured I’d make a week of it.
It was an amazing and exhausting week. Things looked grim when Jetstar lost my bags but beyond that things definitely got better. Lots of meetings with brilliant colleagues and organisers, solo aquarium and gallery adventures, coffee catch up with old friends, amazing conversations with my lovely hosts who made me feel like family, so much great food, a special connection and mind-blowing sex, personal achievement and obligatory fatigue attacks because my body doesn’t appreciate when I’m really busy and can’t be horizontal all day.
The first of my two biggest highlights was obviously my collaboration with Nikki Darling. The workshop is quite different to my usual skills based one and the amazing attendees were so passionate and enthusiastic and I left feeling really positive about the experience and inspired to dedicate some time to my body’s connection with the earth. The other was self-producing my first workshop as a sexuality educator.
In over 4 years as an educator, I’ve always been asked or applied to teach for other people or organisations. It’s been relatively simple on my part and there is way less pressure so I never really took the next step and run an individual workshop myself. I knew it was something that I wanted to start exploring and this extra time in Melbourne presented an opportunity. I produced a two-hour workshop called “The Divine Femininity of Sex Work” in response to frustration with how sex work/ers are often treated in sacred sex spaces. It was part gender/queer theory deconstruction and part erotic embodiment exercises, autonomous for current and former sex workers and after many years of trying to find a place in sacred sexuality where I felt at home I was able to create it – even if only briefly. I’m so grateful to the amazing humans who came along and took a chance on my concept. The co-ho drinks after were also a blast! I quickly learnt that this is going to become a half-day intensive instead and time was definitely a challenge but I left even more passionate to make the spaces I want to see in the world… (Stay tuned Sydney!)
I pushed myself a lot this trip and every beautiful human I got to share it with inspired me so much. It was truly a magical week!
Felt Accomplished at KinkOn
KinkOn was a really amazing opportunity and inspiring event put on by my dear friends at Studio Kink. Consisting of three days of workshops and panels on a whole spectrum of BDSM activities and elements, I ran my sensation play workshop with the lovely Miss Ella as my demo bottom. The class was packed and I felt so pleased with how it worked. Sensation Play was the first workshop I ever wrote and to have it really come into it’s own really felt special. The whole event really helped me reconnect with the BDSM community and remind me how much kink means to me. Thank you to SK and Ella for all your hard work.
Felt Exhausted but Exhilarated at SEXPO Sydney
Fucking SEXPO man… It’s one of my favourite but most exhausting weeks of the year. Going into my fourth or fifth event, I was lucky enough to MC the very same Sexy Cosplay competition I won back in 2015 which started my ongoing relationship with SEXPO and amazing pal Lucie Bee. It was terrifying and thrilling and I had such an amazing time bringing some incredible humans onto the main stage to show off their sexy, nerdy selves. I also taught three new workshops: responsible sluttiness (casual sex self-care), how not to suck at online dating and how to host a sex party.
I love SEXPO as a chance to see all my industry pals and make new ones and this was no exception. I was extra thrilled as the Fetish Room was being run by some of my absolute kink idols and I got to hang out in their awesome presences and absorb their genius. I get to do some really crazy and exciting things in my work and I’m so grateful when the universe throws something like this my way.
Felt like ‘The Imposter Syndrome is real’ at LGBTQAIWHC
Having now spent several years exploring the world of sexuality education, I often spend a lot of time thinking about where I want to end up and over the past 12 months I’ve really developed a connection to public health and health communication. I was lucky enough to attend the Australian LGBTQAI Women’s Health Conference in Sydney last year as a delegate and this year I was even luckier to have a presentation abstract on social media engagement for inclusive health promotion accepted for the Melbourne event.
In conference spaces I am very used to being the ‘weird sex girl’ teaching a spanking class next door to people talking about policy, so presenting on communication and engagement to a room of health promotion experts really challenged me. Despite time constraints, I feel like I held my own and the feedback I received really made me feel like I can really contribute to this space. Don’t worry, workshops and talks aren’t going anywhere, but I felt good to have my knowledge and ideas heard and validated in a very different environment.