SXSW, and Other Adventures in Cowboy Boots

brown and dark grey cowboy bootsI've finally mostly recovered from South By Southwest, a big event where I presented to a bunch of geeks on sex work and social media, in a church no less.

You can stop laughing.

It was an amazing event, and I'm glad I went. A solid week of walking around, sometimes in the pouring rain, chatting with some fascinating people. I got to talk to LJ Rich about Essex, tech guys, and the best sushi ever. I got to hang out with both the founders of Suicide Girls, drinking beers and shooting the shit. I got to sing karaoke in the middle of the Austin night with a bunch of SF-based peeps on the RVIP bus, which was an epic adventure. I watched bands with Courtney Riot. There's so many awesome people I got to talk to, leaving me with a feeling that it was like Burning Man, except I spoke to people I would actually look up and talk to again later.

There were a surprising number of talks relating to sexuality, as it turned out. I particularly enjoyed a panel on pick up artistry and feminism, where I really got curious about Clarisse Thorn's new book "Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser: Long Interviews with Hideous Men" (expect a review soon!) and Charlie Nox's online guide to personal ads "The Babe Hack"- I was impressed that pickup artist coach Adam Lyons came to speak on the panel as the only guy and was incredibly decent and surprisingly pro-feminism. I would've loved to hear more from Adam's wife Amanda, who also does PUA coaching.

My "panel" was misleading, as it was honestly just me sitting behind my laptop talking about how sex work taught me about social media marketing and branding, the pros and cons of social media for sex workers, and the ways social media has become the new "street corner" according to the police. It was a decent presentation, if I do say so, though I didn't have fancy visuals and there was a sudden church organ playing in the middle of my talk. I felt pretty good about it and hope to have a panel (of more than one person) for next year- perhaps on internet porn? Maybe on the internet as the new wild west? Who knows? But I feel like I accomplished something rad and got compliments on it, so good for me!

There was tons of crazy food, including a savory waffle cone stuffed with jicama slaw and pulled pork- yum. And I had dinner with a bunch of women from the Huffington Post- I'm hoping I get to write for them soon. There was free booze everywhere. Man o man. I was glad, though, because it made asking a bunch of app developers what their position was on adult content a lot easier. Also, I ruled the roost at dartboards and beer pong. ;)

I also had fun talking about Ladies High Tea and Pornography Society in front of a cool crowd at a fabulous venue- all thanks to Femina Potens and Madison Young! It was amazing to sit on a panel about porn, art, and queerness with Dylan Ryan, Jiz LeeCoral Aorta, and Rozen DeBowe. Talk about loving my life! Sometimes, I just have to pinch myself.

Next week I'm off to Momentum, the feminism and sexuality conference, where I'll mostly be talking on consent culture. I'm looking forward to it in some ways, but also kind of dreading it if I'm honest. There is a blog post brewing that will be a little sad and very personal about how talking about consent culture has impacted my relationship to sexuality... but the time for that is not quite yet. I'll need some quiet time and solitude for that particular post to emerge, I suspect.

Hopefully I'll be back to blogging more regularly. I underestimated how much Austin would take out of me! But there's exciting things ahead- the Pampered Princess Pageant (read more on Fetlife here, and keep an eye out- voting is involved ;) ), the second Cum and Glitter (on June 2nd! mark your calendars!), possible trips to Vancouver and Atlanta... it's going to be a crazy summer.

Categories: consent, current events, geekery, travel

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