Jan 102011
 

I’m baaaaaack!

That’s right. After having spent five days in the city of sin (being incredibly NOT sinful), I’m back in slightly warmer Arizona, with my nose to the grindstone.

First and most important announcement: I am now the proud owner of an Njoy Eleven, thanks to Greg and Deanna, two of the wonderful Njoy gang. I cannot wait to try it out, and then give it an important and prominent place on my bookshelf d’art.

I was so happy to get to see many of my old friends, including Jamye Waxman, the JeJoue Crew, Tess and Diva from Tied Up Events, Clare and Riley from Smitten Kitten (and FINALLY got to meet Jennifer, the owner), Molly and Matie from Self Serve in New Mexico, Tres from SpareParts, Jackie Strano and Carol Queen from Good VibrationsGram Ponante (who I forgot to tell that I DO teach blow job classes!), Jacq Jones from Sugar, Shine Louise Houston, Syd Blakovich, Dylan Ryan, Tina Horn, Courtney Trouble, April Flores and more.  Also, I got to meet the Jimmy Jane Crew, folks from Sliquid, more folks who will be presenting at Momentum in April, Laura and Hudson from the Tool Shed in Wisconsin, Buck Angel and his wife Elaine, and more. The sheer number of sex positive folks at the show this year was phenomenal, and continues to grow, making me happy, and making it totally worth going to what has traditionally been a very mainstream porn convention.

The awards show itself was only entertaining because I sat with Deanna from Njoy and Jamye. Except for Joanna Angel winning best solo girl site, there were very few surprises, and most all of the porn awards went to very traditional mainstream companies and movies. I was happy for JeJoue, Good Vibes, Babeland, Tristan Taormino and New Sensations for their wins. For the most part, it was same old, same old. I wonder how long it will take for it to change…and I know it will, because sex positive, queer AND ethical companies got nominations the last two years…it’s just getting that trend to continue and go further into actually winning awards.

All in all, the trip was totally worth it, albeit exhausting. Shout out to Kimberlee Cline for letting me stay with her father for the second two nights, and to Lynn Comella for hosting a wonderful party of smart people on Friday night, as well as to everyone who made time to say hello to me, and helped me to welcome and part of the community.

And there is no sleep for the sex educator; I’m back in the office today, trucking away.

-Shanna

Jun 032010
 

Today, I’m flying to Pittsburgh, PA, for the annual conference of AASECT; the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

I’m a bit nervous. I’ve never been before. Why? Because I often feel quite a bit of a black sheep in the field.  Because I teach adults about how to add a variety of pleasure to their sex lives, from communication to fisting, safer sex to fire play. Because I don’t work in a “traditional” area of the field. Because I’m often told I’m too “risque” or “on the edge” by many of my cohorts. Because I was alienated during my time at Widener for working in both the feminist porn and sex toy fields.

So we’ll see. I want to learn and grown and network, and meet other interesting educators.  I want to be a small part of this community. But on the other hand, I’m also not looking to be judged. I LOVE the type of education I do, and each time I teach, I feel on top of the world.  I love it when someone emails me a question they haven’t been able to have answered, or approaches me after a class, telling me they’ve never had an orgasm, and want a toy suggestion.

I do so much more than sell toys. I educate the community. I speak at colleges and universities, educating students and educators alike. I do outreach online.  I love my “job” and what I do.  And I hope to bring some of that passion to the academic world.

Wish me luck!

-Shanna