Jul 162012
 

Last week, I had a great interview with Amber Strocel of Strocel.com for her popular podcast, and my episode covered everything from feminism to size positivity, authentic pleasure in pornography to owning your sexuality.

Part of her write up:

I had a frank discussion with Shanna about sexuality, feminism and body positivity. How do mainstream representations of sex and sexuality reflect on gender dynamics and the way we view women? Are adult films demeaning and oppressive to women? And how can we move past the negative feelings we have about our bodies and embrace ourselves as we are? Shanna answers all these questions and more. Plus she gives some great tips for improving your own sex life.

My podcast with Shanna Katz is not what you would call family-friendly, so if you have kids within earshot and you’re not up to answering some hard questions, you may want to save this one for later. But if you’d like to hear a smart, funny, feminist sexologist discuss how to love and enjoy your body, listen to our conversation here:

 

Click here to listen to us chat!

Jul 292010
 

For any of you interested in gender, sexuality, social/new media, identity, society, sociology, kink, LGBTQ, non-monogamy, diversity, education, sex ed, counseling, therapy, etc…read this!

I’d like to let you know a little about Momentum Conference 2011 — a conference discussing sexuality, feminism, new media and much more. Created by Tied Up Events and the community at large, and sponsored by Fascinations, it’s taking place in Washington, DC, April 1-3 2011 and should be absolutely wonderful!

Interested? Read below and check out MomentumCon.com for more information, to apply to present, and much more! I’ve already submitted my application, and I know others have too; it’s going to be an AMAZING conference!

-Shanna

The phenomenal growth of online communication has given rise to an amazing amount of sharing, learning and experimenting with different expressions of sexuality, relationships and feminism. MOMENTUM provides a safe place to listen, discuss and learn about the ways the web has impacted our sexuality without the fear of reprisal or shaming. It is a space for acceptance and appreciation of diversity, including for those in the LGBTQ, sex-work, BDSM and non-monogamous communities.

During MOMENTUM we will discuss ways to bridge the baffling dichotomies our culture creates around sexuality. While on one hand we have unprecedented sexual freedom, on the other we continue to police sexuality with a frightening vigor. Abortion laws, restrictions on gay marriage, abstinence programs, medicalization of sex, fear of pornography and prosecutions for teenage sexting are examples of one side of the spectrum. The discomfort that strives to make us keep our sexuality hidden conflicts with the use of sex — especially the female body — to sell everything from food to cars to “performance enhancing” products.

Each participant will leave the conference with new perspectives, new connections, and a plan to carry the MOMENTUM forward into 2011 and beyond.

Apr 052010
 

Reposted from my other blog. I thought it was important enough to share in multiple places.

-Shanna

Hey you.

Yes, YOU.

You know a sexual assault survivor…in fact, you probably know a whole bunch.

It doesn’t matter what gender you are, what your orientation is, how many friends you have, where you live, or even whether you have assault/harassesed/raped someone in the past, or whether you spent time working against sexual assault.

You still know people who have been assaulted. Don’t be an ostrich and pretend that you don’t. They could be friends, family, co-workers, lovers, partners, former partners, teachers, students, dog-walkers, etc. You know them.

And if you’re a good person, which I assume you are (or at least, want to be), you’ll want to support them in some way.  There are so many ways to help people who are victims/survivors (I prefer survior, not all people do), so why not give it a go.  Here are some ideas:

*Believe them. So often, people talk about false reports, how people make stuff up, how unless a penis went in a vagina while she struggled and shouted no that it’s not assault. All of that is bullshit. If someone shares a little or a lot of their story with you, BELIEVE THEM.

*Be there.  Be there whether they decide to tell you or not, whether they tell you just one sentence or the whole story comes pouring out.  Just be there.

*Ask what you can do to help. Some people need a shoulder, others need a place to crash, some just want you to hold them while others don’t want you to touch them. ALWAYS ask, whether this happened yesterday or ten years ago.

*Do NOT try to tell a survivor what they “should” or “have to” do.  They want to regain strength and control.  Be there to help, but let them make their own decisions, like who to tell (or n0t), what charges to file (or to not do so), etc. There is not right way to be a survivor.

*Do NOT add more violence to the situation, by saying things like “I’m going to kill that fucking asshole” or “that bitch is gonna die.” Violence is scary period. It is MUCH scarier after you’ve been intimately affected by it.

*For those who are dealing with legal or medical rammifications, help them.  Whether that is driving them to a court house, helping them film out school/police reports, googling info on local laws, statutes of limitations, finding them a SANE (sexual asssault nurse examiner) to help them find evidence, etc. It doesn’t have to be an all day event; any little thing is a show of support.

*Donate money, time or both to your local or national sexual assault organizations, whether they shelter surviors, run hotlines, train college campuses on how to change the climate towards sexual assault prevention, etc.

*Help compile lists of good therapists; get recommendations from friends, online, from sexual assault survivor support sites.  Make copies, or put them online.  If you’re in a more niche community (queer, kink, etc), help find kink aware therapists, and queer friendly professionals.

*Make lists of local sexual assault support organizations.  Have these available or hand or email to survivors.

*Speak out. On facebook, change your status to say something against sexual assault or that you support survivors. On twitter, tweet about it. Put up a blog post, or relink to posts like this on tumbler. In the real world, stand up and speak. Be part of Take Back the Night. When someone touches someone inappropriately, or says something that is harassement, speak out against it.  There IS strength in numbers.

It is only if we all band together that we can make change. Don’t be part of the problem, but worse, don’t be a bystander.  Bystanders are how people get killed because no one spoke up, or how sexual harassment becomes an acceptable norm, because no one spoke up. Don’t be that person.  Do whatever you can, however little or however big, to support sexual assault survivors, and to work together to eliminate and eradicate sexual assault.