I was in Long Beach, California for the first time this weekend at CatalystCon and a full summary will have to wait because I have 3 days to get ready to go to Dubai. But I met some amazing women, who totally inspired me. A few I'd met before, but I was so impressed with these ladies and highly encourage you to follow them. Catalyst will now be hosting Catalyst East and Catalyst West conferences, the former taking place March 15-17 in the Washington, DC area and the latter I believe in fall of 2013, so check their site and follow @CatalystCon on Twitter for details.
Megan Andelloux (@HiOhMegan) - Megan is a sexologist and sex educator and runs the The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Rhode Island. She told a story at Bawdy Storytelling involving her first fisting, gone very, very wrong, and did it so flawlessly that she had the whole room agog. I can't even do it justice by summarizing it because it was just one of those brilliant live moments where nobody could figure out what was going on and the room was utterly silent waiting to find out.
Jessica Drake (@thejessicadrake) - Jessica is a porn star with Wicked Pictures and sex educator and this was the first time at one of Dee Dennis's conferences a porn company was a sponsor. Apparently, some people didn't love this idea, but I thought it was great and I caught Jessica on a sex education panel and she talked about how her audience has changed from mostly men to lots of women and couples. She is the force behind the Guide to Wicked Sex line of educational DVDs and was also incredibly nice. If you are going to CatalystCon East, I highly recommend you go to any panel she's on and if you want to know what a smart, sex-positive porn star actually thinks, ask her.
Amanda Hess (@amandahess) - Amanda was covering Catalyst as a journalist (check her out on Slate) and we had lunch and talked books and freelancing. I've been impressed with her writing since she was blogging at Washington City Paper; she writes smartly about sex and current events and porn; one of her more famous pieces profiled porn star James Deen for GOOD.
Lidia-Anain (@SexLoveJoy) - I met Lidia-Anain at Bookshop Santa Cruz earlier this year when I read there with Susie Bright, but had no idea she was such a powerhouse and awesome person. She runs the show Sex With Others with Jamye Waxman, is involved with Bawdy Storytelling, and I look forward to reading more of her work and meting her again. She also, I must add, had on a killer black and white dress and amazing heels at Bawdy Storytelling. I'm not saying you should go to Catalyst East for the fashion, but there was a lot of awesomeness inthat regard.
Allison Moon (@TalesofthePack) - Allison is the author of the lesbian werewolf novel Tales of the Pack and is working on a sequel. We'd met briefly before and I'd heard her tell a story at a Bawdy Storytelling event in San Francisco, but we got to actually chat about the ins and outs of self-publishing, which was fascinating and she told a story about a furry lesbian orgy that was utterly hilarious. Also, she was wearing, and is selling on her site, "Eat Fuck Howl" t-shirts!
Sex Nerd Sandra (@SexNerdSandra) - Sandra produces a podcast called, yes, Sex Nerd Sandra. She also spoke on the sex education panel and told a hilarious story about oral sex, dental dams, and the pressure to live up to society's, and her own, expectations at Bawdy Storytelling that was brave and wonderful.