Last month I attended the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit for the second year in a row. It’s an inspiring and exciting event as both a blogger and aspiring sex therapist. So many people and panels to learn from.
What makes the conference truly special though is getting to spend time with other bloggers. Together we attended sexy hangouts such as a Fistmas celebration and a spanking party, screamed in an elevator, Skyped our favorite burglar femme, admired Luna’s dildo collection, experienced the Neon Wand, learned the power of Jan, and most importantly laughed together and supported each other.
Once we got to the hotel, I went up and settled into the room I was sharing with Sugar. The view (pictured above) was excellent and gave me an opportunity to point my middle fingers at the White House and yell obscenities, which was very cathartic.
I was so excited to see my people IRL again (and some for the first time)! Not long after arriving, I went down to Luna‘s room to see her impressive toy collection again (a fraction of which is pictured on the right). Later that evening we hung out in our room with lots of friends; giggling, eating munchies, and freaking people out with sheet masks. We ended the night by cozying up in bed to watch the latest episode of Big Brother.
After breakfast I headed down to registration to get my badge. I recently started using gender neutral pronouns so it was really cool to see that on my badge, and to be around people who were happy to use them.
We all just chilled until the Blogger Meet n Greet and skill share that Lilly organized. Suz taught us about Instagram, Lilly shared tips on important blogging policies, Sugar discussed professional etiquette, Taylor talked about legal issues, and Crista Anne (not to be confused with Clitsta Anne) shared tips about going viral. And I won a Split Peaches Unicorn Horn!
We hung out in (and flopped into) the comfy beanbag chairs in the Blogger Lounge until we were kicked out, and eventually ended up in our room again. We chatted about Rick & Morty, vegan desserts, and relationships, and later we played with Sugar’s Neon Wand. This night was important because, thanks to some dude on Twitter, we all became “Jan” and Jan gets shit done.
I only went to one session on Friday, and boy was it a doozy. That session was the “Truth About Body-Safe” panel that inspired my post about inexpensive body-safe toys. It was a real shitshow (see Ruby’s post for more info on why) and we were pissed so on our way to one of our rooms to discuss it, several of us screamed in unison in the elevator. Once we got there we called Sarah Jane on Skype since they unfortunately couldn’t be there this year.
After the sessions, Kate and Bex did a live Dildorks recording (listen to the episode!) which, of course, was amazing and so much fun. Afterward some of us ordered some delicious and much needed Chinese food.
Sugar planned an event for that night that became known as Fistmas (it had a hashtag, so do yourself a favor and peruse #fistmas). Taylor and Sugar (pictured on the right, taking a break from all the fisting) played together before the audience participation portion of the night began. I didn’t do any fisting but it was rad to be there for; Sugar was having SUCH a good time!
I wasn’t awake early enough for the Femme as Fuck: The Devaluation of Femininity in the Feminist Movement panel (#SFS17Femme) which I was really looking forward to. Luckily a sweet baby angel named Taryn wrote a great post about it!
Fortunately I made it to the next panel I was interested in, Keep Giving a Fuck: A Conversation about Prioritizing Sex During Trying Times (#SFSGiveAF). It hit me precisely in the feels and was exactly the kind of conversation I needed to be part of as someone who has been struggling in many ways.
During lunch I hung out in the Blogger Lounge and colored some coloring book pages (mine is pictured above) that SheVibe kindly provided us. I highly encourage you to check out their NSFW Coloring Books if you’ve never seen them!
After lunch I went to Shame and Perfectionism: How They Damage Community and Impact Activism (#SFS17Shame). It gave me a lot to think about and there’s a handout available with some resources and questions to consider.
The last panel I attended was Visibility in a Time of Peril: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are (or Not) which I walked away from with a lot to reflect on and my favorite part was hearing people share positive consequences they’ve experienced as a result of coming out.
I stayed in our room for most of the rest of the night where a kink/spanking party, which Indigo cleverly dubbed “Spanksgiving,” was happening. Once most everyone left, it devolved into silliness as it’s apt to do with us bloggers. We got to hear Luna singing in a Grover voice and Kenton and Sugar choreographed a performance for us.
I had stayed up until 4am (hey, only 1am for my West Coast brain/body!) at the spanking party and having a bedtime blogger chat with Suz, so I slept in. I made it down just in time to get some brunch and took a seat at the Family Matters Roundtable. I wasn’t there for long so I didn’t catch this, but evidently there was some intense ableism going on from the panel (and tbh ableism was a recurring problem during the whole conference, something that needs to be addressed).
Not long after I left the roundtable I had to make arrangements for an early flight home due to a family emergency. I was feeling exceptionally lucky to be around folx who are so sweet and caring, and their presence made it possible for me to get to the airport and on my way home without devolving into a sobbing mess.
At the airport, Veronica and I saw a JAN sign (pictured on the right) which was just too perfect.
If Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit interests you, check out the list below to read about other folks’ SFS17 experiences, take a look at the conference hashtag (#SFS17), and read this helpful guide if you’re considering attending next year!
I cannot thank SheVibe enough for sponsoring me. Without their help I wouldn’t have been able to make it there. They are literal angels and very deserving of your business! And FYI their updated site is terrific.
SFS17 on other blogs: