Feb 272014
 

Mark your calendars:

I”ll be on Tristan Taormino‘s Sex Out Loud radio THIS Friday the 28th at 8pmET/5pmPT (6pm MST) talking about Your Pleasure Map, sex & disability, and why sex ed should be more accessible, as well as some other fun and fabulous topics.

Click here to listen to the hour long podcast/online radio show.

Don’t worry – if you miss it, you can download it on iTunes and listen to me forever!

More info:

http://tristantaormino.com/2014/02/26/feb-28-shanna-katz-on-passion-for-queer-sex-open-source-sex-education-and-the-intersections-of-sex-disability/

Feb 152014
 
Shanna Katz Point of Contact

Shanna Katz: Point of Contact

Some of you may remember how I was so excited a few years back (I think circa 2010?) to be involved in a new project through Pink & White called Point of Contact. The premise? New up and coming videographers were given a Flip camera, and a microbudget, with the concept of creating a four-part series of hot, new, queer porn videos. Many of the other participants decide to follow themselves having fabulously fantastic sexual times by themselves and with others; I took the challenge a little differently. While I love much of the queer porn out there, very little focuses on masturbation or self love. However, I spend a good amount of my time educating people that they SHOULD masturbate and get to know their own bodies before they try and let someone else know what turns them on. Therefore, I decided for my project, to fill four different masturbatory scenes; a queer cigender femme, two cisgender gay men in a kink relationship, a queer soft butch, and an adorable set of a cisgender queer person and a transgender woman mutually masturbating. In addition, I did a post-scene interview with each scene, because that is something I love and value about many queer porn studios, in letting people actually connect with the stars, and to allow the stars to share their identities and experiences.

Anyways, all the footage went into the vault for a while, but now? All of it is finally available on Pink Label VOD. They have now been released, along with the sets of movies from Minax, Cyd St. Vincent, James Darling and Tina Horn (OMG y’all — can you believe my name is up there with some amazing folks like that?!?!). You can read this little write up of the project here on Xbiz.

Wanna watch these awesome movies? Here is the link to all FOUR of my different scenes; choose what you like and check out all of the other folks’ work (and all of the other amazing queer, feminist, ethical and/or sex-positive films on PinkLable VOD) – note, this is 18 only!

Enjoy your exploration of self lovin’,

Shanna

Oct 092013
 

We’re giving away 10 COPIES of Lesbian Sex Positions, by yours truly. It comes out November 19th, and you’ll be one of the first owners. Information below on how to enter!

-Shanna

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lesbian Sex Positions by Shanna Katz

Lesbian Sex Positions

by Shanna Katz

Giveaway ends November 19, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Oct 022013
 

Hey all –

Note: this is NOT my study, just passing on a call for transgender and/or transexxual identified participants. Please see the information below for more info (and address your questions there). Thanks!

Shanna

Are you, or do you know someone who is, a part of the trans-community?  Please participate in the Trans Study!

This is a valuable research study on the effects of discrimination/victimization in the trans-community.

My name is Sean Robertson and I am a trans-affirmative graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco.     

The requirements to participate in the study are:

1.     You must be at least 18 years of age and live in the United States

2.     You must speak English with intermediate or advanced fluency.

3.     You must self-identify as transgender or transsexual.

This study is a questionnaire that can be completed over the Internet.  The questionnaire will take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete.  Participation in this study is anonymous, and your responses are confidential.  Participation in this study is voluntary.

To access the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/transstudy.  

If you have any questions, please email me at srobertson@alliant.edu.

Dr. Shawn V. Giammattei and Dr. Valory Mitchell are co-chairing this study and are trans-affirmative as well.  If you would like to verify that this study has been approved, you can contact the Institutional Review Board at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco at 1 Beach Street, Suite 100, San Francisco, CA 94133; irb-sf@alliant.edu; or at (415) 955-2151.

 

Sep 222013
 

podcast

Want to hear me talk about everything from anatomy to sex & disability, sex education to how I ended up doing what I do? You’re in luck – check out my quick and dirty, 30-minute or so podcast with the absolutely fabulous sexologist Dr. Gloria Brame on the Gloria Brame show.

Click here to hear the podcast. It also is (or will be) on iTunes for download, for those of you who like to listen to sexual discussion while on the training, at your kids’ soccer practice, or while doing cardio at the gym (or any other time).

Enjoy!

-Shanna

Sep 132013
 

New Mexico Supreme Court sides with Pornotopia Film Festival and Free Speech

Albuquerque, NM (September 12, 2013) – Pornotopia Film Festival won. The NM State Supreme Court decided in a 4-1 decision that The Guild Cinema & Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center have a right to host Pornotopia Film Festival. The court was clear: hosting one erotic film festival, on one weekend of the year does not make the Guild an “adult amusement establishment,” just like a club that plays jazz music once a year would not become a “jazz club.” This ruling guarantees that Self Serve and The Guild Cinema can carry out their festival without fearing that free speech will be abridged. Self Serve is already planning the next PORNOTOPIA UNCENSORED festival for November 1st, 2013.

The Pornotopia Film Festival was a well-attended film festival in Albuquerque from 2007 to 2009. As Director & Self Serve Co-Owner Matie Fricker explains, “Despite its controversy, Pornotopia has received overwhelming community support for being a festival whose aim is to change the way people see sexuality portrayed in film.” She adds, “Much like the environment at our shop Self Serve, Pornotopia featured films promoting a positive, educational and empowering erotic experience.”

In 2008, the Guild Cinema was cited with a zoning violation for showing an erotic film. Today the state’s highest court reversed that citation. In overturning the lower courts’ ruling, the Supreme Court concluded, “Because the Guild engaged in only occasional showings of adult films, the Guild is not an adult amusement establishment as defined in the Albuquerque Code of Ordinances…”

Self Serve thanks to the ACLU of New Mexico, the Guild Cinema, supportive Nob Hill neighbors and all the volunteers who helped create Pornotopia Film Festival. About Self Serve: Self Serve is a woman-owned sexuality resource center & boutique. In a culture where sex is sensationalized and unrealistically represented in the media, we offer a space that is frank, honest and friendly. Our compassionate and non-judgemental sex educators give you the space to ask the questions that make other people blush. Self Serve offers bodysafe toys, intimate lubricants, natural skin care, locally made gifts, books, dvds, classes and private events.

###

Contact: Molly Adler

Self Serve: 505-265-5815

molly@selfservetoys.com

Aug 212013
 

This is a post by one of my Summer 2013 interns, Iradele. Find more posts from her and other current and former interns under the Intern Corner section. – Shanna

When we think of intimate bonds experienced by the self and others, it’s hard not to insinuate a sexual context or a soon-to-be sexual context in which these bonds grow. This notion has prospered excellently in much of the mass media we tend to follow, as intimacy depicted in film is almost always followed by physical attraction. I understand that sexual motivations carries a narrative with great strength (both on and off screen), but it fails to demonstrate that they’re other ways to enjoy intimacy that doesn’t involve a passionate kiss at the end of it.

Here’s the idea: if intimacy happened to be presented to strictly within the context of sex, then it conditions one to seek intimacy exclusively in sex. This could lead to a pattern of thought where sex is seen as the ultimate end goal, with intimacy maybe served as a side. However, it’s important to stress that intimacy proliferates in many different environments, and it’s healthy to acknowledge notions of intimacy that you have that doesn’t necessarily end in a situation where you’re not wearing pants. Furthermore, understanding and appreciating intimacy one can experience outside of a sexual context might also help you within one too. With that said, it’s not my place to detract against the idea of the different kinds of sex people choose to have (both encompassing and void of intimacy), but rather to demonstrate a point that the two could be just as mutually exclusive as they could be intrinsically related.

Speaking of which, what exactly is the difference between enjoying say an incredible meal or an incredible production or an incredible blow job? Physiologically, very little. All three undergo a similar neuronal trajectory in the reward circuit system that promotes a positive self-perception, which in turn releases the same neurotransmitters (more specifically, oxytocin and dopamine). Of course the evolutionary implication behind the motivations driving sexual behavior obviously holds much more weight than artistic behavior, but it’s still kind of cool to think about why these innate mechanisms exist. If it were not an adaptive behavior, the rewarding sensations found in relation to intimacy would’ve been a trait left behind with our ancestors. Intimacy serves a purpose to bring people together as a social unit, so that collectively, we may up our chances of survival and mental well-being. It is single-handedly responsible for the enormous growth in cortical mass, as it is also the reason why we are apt to interpreting and understanding emotion and why our language happens to be so varied and densely knit. We carry these skills not because they simply existed, but because our innate desire to be interconnected willed our species to form it. What I find to be particularly poignant about this theory that when you classify intimacy as the over-arching umbrella term, sex follows suit as a subgenre of intimacy, and not the other way around.

For example, there are plenty of people on this planet who live happily with little to no sexual activity in their lives. Does this make them incapable of understanding and appreciating intimacy? Certainly not. However, popular opinion is still tempted to imply this stereotype. We see it in how one might treat a friend or family member as being ‘perpetually single’. Are they lonely? Maybe, but it certainly would be presumptuous to assume. Are they incapable of sharing a deep bond with other individuals? Certainly not. People choose to be single based on a multitude of reasons, the large majority of which do not revolve around the disinterest or incompetence of being sexually intimate.

The most spectacular thing about intimacy beyond sex, is it’s unmitigated sweetness can be experienced anywhere at any moment between anyone. One thing that is important to keep in mind is that though the company of others most often creates intimacy, it is ultimately the individual that perceives and internalizes it. I appreciate the moment one has when you find yourself sharing a smile with a stranger in a public place, but the space that’s created between myself and this stranger is largely in part due to the space I have allowed myself to experience in my mind. This should not automatically equate to a “what-a-shame-you-let-the-moment-pass” conundrum if I felt the person did not need to be approached. It should be sufficient enough to allow the thrill to ride its course without having to imply anything else. Having a frank conversation about an interesting topic with a stranger at a gathering does not mean that a shade of romanticism is owed, especially if this person is “someone I could see myself being attracted to”. By accepting it’s existence at face value, you could spend less time tripping over ill-fated attempts to justify an emotion that might not be understood in mainstream opinion. Intimacy helps keep you in check with your own personal relationship, it allows you the opportunity to practice humility and curiosity that other spaces in life might not. It is possible to feel connected and involved without submitting to the social prescription of asking yourself how it’s function should be carried.

For more thoughts, I invite you to read this interesting article :

Aug 192013
 

It’s that time of month again…no, not Shark Week. It’s time for a giveaway!

What can you win? A Deluxe Bath & Beauty Product and Sample Spice Box by Spicy Subscriptions, which includes both full size and sample items that are body friendly.

Shanna Katz Spicy Subscriptions

 

How do you enter?

Step One: Like Spicy Subscriptions on FB (required)

Step Two: Comment here with your favorite things about bath or shower time (required)

Step Three: Sit back and wait to win (you can also pass the time reading, showering, having sex, etc)

Simple as can be. Must enter by August 31st. Shipping to the US only, must be 18+ to win.

In case you don’t win, or want your own subscription of sexuality products coming to your mailbox every month, you can get 5% off by entering the code SHANNAKATZ at www.spicysubscriptions.com.

 

Shanna Katz Spicy Subscriptions Discount

Enjoy!

Shanna

Aug 082013
 

This is a post by one of my Summer 2013 interns, Iradele. Find more posts from her and other current and former interns under the Intern Corner section.Shanna

It is nearly impossible to peel socio-cognitive development from exposure to media. It’s relevance echoes from our early infancy, where developmental researchers have found that children rely on these cues given by their caregivers to guide them on how and when act in ambiguous situations. The technical term for this is called anchoring, and it is a skill can be generalized well throughout the lifespan, as we are always subconsciously taking in information from our surroundings, and integrating it into our social network.  We pick up on these cues from the community we are affiliated with, the newspapers we choose to read and with the media we are exposed to. The lessons we learn from media echos in our daily interactions all the time. It tells us that if we keep a beer in our hand, we could be conditioned to feeling less nervous. It tells us what kind of clean crisp shirt is appropriate for a job interview. It also tells us it’s inappropriate to shout in art galleries and grocery stores, but not concerts and birthday parties.

With that said, pornography is no exception to this phenomenon. Even an individual who is exposed to a resourceful sexual education cannot magically neglect the information one takes in while watching pornography. Can you blame us? Human beings are physiologically inclined to perceive and internalize visual stimuli more strongly than other senses, so it’s no surprise that sex we see on screen is something that ‘sticks’ with us. Pornography has now become the norm for youth, with 87% of boys and 31% of girls reported being exposed to it at one point.

More and more, I’m finding the underlying message of how porn is talked about in regards to sex education is it emphasizes the importance of segregating porn as ‘fantasy’ and sex as ‘real’. With that said, it is very tempting emphasize the degradation and objectification found in mainstream pornography, or perhaps has dismissed it as being “for entertainment purposes only”. The idea is peppered in any intro level social psych or gender studies class, and fuels a few of the spicier Tedtalks. I have two main problems with this well-educated (and, let’s face it, slightly presumptuous) attitude:

(1) If research tells us that we are learning from porn, but education tells us we shouldn’t, then what are we supposed to do?
This sounds like a mixed message that could definitely leave the audience confused. If we feel like we are learning a skill by using a resource that has been told is unreliable, then it leaves room for guilt and shame to creep in, which really doesn’t help open up a dialogue. Information comes from all walks of life, and oftentimes not all of it comes from academia and research. It’s important to embrace the lessons we learn, and provide a space where people can talk openly and share these experiences with one another.

(2) It tends to generalize all styles of pornography and lump it into one type.

Of course we know this is not true and that there are in fact, a plethora of pornography that exists, each carrying it’s own brand and message.

Nina Hartley* is an incredible example of this. Both a porn star and a registered nurse, she has always been a strong voice advocating the importance of creating sex-positive pornography that strengthens and educates us about sexuality. This is a powerful message, as not only does it create an accepting environment as a consumer of porn, but also it celebrates that multi-faceted understanding of sexuality as a whole.

Keeping to this theme, Blue Artichoke Films** is a production company that also aims to make films more sex-positive, and focuses more on the intimacy and emotional unfolding of the interactions. This quality is seen down to the nitty gritty real-time editing, in an attempt to captive the heat of the moment.

However, it should be noted that I’m not in the belief that pornography is a substitute for sex education all together, but I do believe the subject could be incorporated in the curriculum with a little more warmth. Sometimes I feel like porn is a subject that is not sure how to be dealt with within the sex education curriculum because of it’s artistic elements of fantasy, but it is not to say that it’s relevance should be dismissed entirely.

With that said, we are slowly coming to the small space where fantasy and reality meet. The trends in media are working towards finding ways to make it more interactive with the audience. We see it in how we watch sports, how we take in news, and how we interact with our friends and family online. This is a really exciting time for us, because now more than ever, it is so easy to gain knowledge, and create a message that can be heard. By generalizing and dismissing pornography, it leaves very little room to make it constructive, and certainly does not leave any room for change in the industry.  Pornography is an industry just like any other, and akin to other industries, it changes and shifts based on our demands as a consumer. This leaves us with an incredible opportunity for us to support and direct it to a healthier outlet. This allows ample initiative as a consumer to educate oneself about what kinds of messages we want to see in pornography, and where we can go to support those who give this message.

*For more information on Nina Hartley: http://www.nina.com/

** For more information of Blue Artichoke Films:  http://blueartichokefilms.com/

For one of Shanna’s posts on Feminist and Ethical Pornography (including what it is, companies making it, etc), check this out: http://shannakatz.com/2011/02/21/what-is-ethicalfeminist-pornography/

Aug 052013
 

Dr. Jenni Skyler

Dr. Jenni Skyler of Boulder, Colorado is a sex therapist and sex educator because she has a passion for helping people reclaim their sexuality, have a healthy and affirming understanding of sexuality and giving people the permission of pleasure.

Quick Facts:

• Jenni loves hiking, biking, meditating, swimming and sitting on the back deck with her husband eating dinner and watching the sunset.

• Jenni’s favorite part about being a sex therapist and sex educator is having audiences light up with “ah-ha moments”, and walk away with a whole new way of thinking about sex.

• The most difficult part is accessing difficult audiences, either because they won’t come to talks or workshops out of fear, or they come but won’t allow themselves to be open to new models of thinking about sexuality.

Jenni’s journey of becoming a sex therapist and sex educator started out in high school. She says her friends would love over with questions and want to get answers. Together, they would look up the answers in The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort. Years later, her journey continued. She initially set out to help women; her mother is an incest survivor, and has never been able to enjoy her body or her sexuality. Jenni became an educator when she started doing therapy and found herself educating clients one-on-one. She then started to branch out and do more public talks, workshops and conferences all with the larger intention of helping women heal and reclaim their bodies and their sexuality in a healthy, safe and affirming manner. She expanded to helping people of all genders when she got her PhD in Sexology.

Jenni does not set out to change people’s belief systems, but rather invite them to expand the way they think about sexuality.

Learn more or contact Dr. Jenni here.

This piece is part of a series on sex positive and/or feminist identified sex educators in the field. Click here to see all of the featured sex educators.