#SFS17 – Response to the Community & A Few Words From Me.

#SFS17 Statement

We Really Do Try To Be Responsive – #SFS17

#SFS17 – Woodhull Respons to Our Communities: Full Statement Addressing Recent Concerns

We at Woodhull strive, always, to be responsive to the needs and concerns of members of our community. Because of that commitment, we responded quickly to a situation that occurred concerning our acceptance of a workshop for the Sexual Freedom Summit from a presenter who had admitted to abusing someone. That situation has been resolved. The presenter canceled their workshop and will not be attending the Summit. Because of what happened, we are now reviewing our policy for future Summits. We will be sure to include community input as part of that process.

We welcome input from the communities we represent. We don’t blacklist, marginalize, or attempt to censor any detractors. We take concerns and criticisms seriously and try to work with individuals and communities to continuously improve our conference. Rather than censoring, our practice is to engage those who have concerns and we are often fortunate that they partner with us to address the concerns they brought to our attention.

That approach has led us to wonderful collaborations. For example, we are proud to work with a dynamic group of writers who feared marginalization because of their experience at other conferences to create the “Blog Squad” and ensure a welcoming, censorship-free space for all. We established an Accessibility Committee, headed by Crista Anne and Val Orenda, to make our spaces are as accessible as possible. We haven’t been able to make the Summit 100% accessible to all, yet, but each year we get closer thanks to the committee’s efforts.

Recognizing that the Summit was not as diverse on many levels as it needs to be, we launched a program where we partner with a different organization every year to create programming that is relevant and important to their constituents and to make the Summit as accessible to their members as possible. Our first year we partnered with Women of Color Sexual Health Network, this year we are partnering with In Our Own Voices and in 2018 our partner will be SisterSong.

In an effort to provide the highest quality workshops and presentations we can, we reach out to people we consider knowledgeable on the various issues covered by the Summit. Those reviewers volunteer their time, in exchange for a free registration, to evaluate workshop proposals and share their opinions with us. It is not unusual for those experts to be selected because they helped us see a gap we’d missed in a previous year.

We are not perfect, but we get better every year because we do respond to input from attendees and we do learn and grow along with every one of you.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us, to everyone invested enough in the Summit to hold us accountable, and those of you who have offered to work with us to make the Summit even better moving forward. We are very grateful to you all.

Ricci Joy Levy

President, Woodhull Freedom Foundation

I have more to say on this topic and what is going on around it, but I’ll be doing so as Crista and not as WoodhullCrista.

That being said, it’s 2 am and my brain isn’t at a place where I can articulate my thoughts to the high level this situation demands. Again, if you have questions, comments or want to say something you can do so with or without your name via my Contact page or Reminder; You Can Reach Out to Me Anonymously.

An open letter to the Universe, from a Joyful Girl

An open letter to the Universe, From a Joyful Girl

I have battled for years now, battling hard. Fiercely with righteous anger. Been filled with anger, hatred and spite. I have bared teeth, stood ground. Fierce protection and a closing of ranks. Did anything and everything I could to protect. It consumed me.
 
It also brought me down. It brought me down in ways I didn’t know I could be taken down. Down I went. Anger, fear, loathing.
 
That’s not who I am though. That isn’t what I want to be. That is who I’ve stopped being. Stopped months ago. When I made the choice, not to forgive, but to stop the fighting. Stopped carrying around the weight that is righteous rage and all the rest. Life instantly was brighter.
 
Because why? It doesn’t fix anything. It doesn’t change the past. I did not and will not forgive he who abused me before my age had two numerals. I’ve let go the hatred because I didn’t do anything wrong, it was not my fault, and now he cannot hurt anyone ever again. Same with those who harmed and abused me as an adult. I probably will never forgive, but I can let go. I have let go.
 
The hurt doesn’t instantly go away, but life feels better. Brighter. There is a future for me, a bright one even. I have an incredibly diverse skill set and a natural way with people who opens doors. Doors I’ve walked through and am now doing so much good work.
#sfs16 is going to be Joyful

#sfs16 is going to be Joyful

Good work not just for me, but work that allows me to change the world one tiny bit at a time. Work where I get fan mail, letters from people who are kind enough to share how I’ve helped them. I write, I support, I speak, I give time and myself to causes larger than I. I’m doing the work of my dreams. My peers in this work of my dreams are idols turned friends, larger than life stars, brilliant revolutionaries all around me. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?

Why would I want to squander a moment of that joy – this is my year of Joyful – on petty battles. On underhanded moves to make a bad situation worse? I wouldn’t, I didn’t. We didn’t.

I have plans for the first time in too long. Joyous and terrifying. I’m going on stages to speak truth, to educate, amuse, connect via shared experience in person. Face fears large and small. I am Mighty.

My home life has been wonderful. As our kids have moved into being independent amazing people. They allow me some space to be creative again, they inspire my creativity. We play, we learn, we jointly clean up the messes and make our house a home. Of course, as our family is spread across many households, we don’t see them as often as we’d like, but there was a wonderful peaceful path towards a reasonable change. A path where we can start building trust and moving past the past. We all have different lives that work better for us. We’re in places we need to be. All I want is for that to continue. I want interaction across the biological lines. We may never be close friends, but I am on the path of peace. A path where all our children and our children’s extended siblings are benefitted. Where they get important lessons and experiences at different homes, because those experiences combined are going to make amazing adults who are ready for the complexities of the world. They need all of us, and of course we all need them.

My path is the one that leads me through doing beautiful, messy, and at times scary work. Where I leave my mark on the world, hopefully one that lasts. The path of peace between co-parents, where we all are on the same page that we all want what is best for them and are coming from a place of that desire. A path of flexibility and openness. Without secrets and shame.

I cannot make choices or force my will upon anyone else, but speaking for me – I am no one’s enemy. I have been in the past to many people. I choose to lay down arms so that I can open them to what is to come.
I do it for the joy it brings, because I am a joyful girl
because the world owes us nothing, and we owe each other the world
I do it because it’s the least I can do, I do it because I learned it from you
And I do it just because I want to
Because I want to

Rumble – A Vibrator For Every Body

Tantus Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for the RUMBLE – A Vibrator For Every Body!

Tantus Rumble Vibe

While enjoying a few quiet moments inside the Bloggers Lounge at Woodhull, Metis took me aside and handed me the prototype of this beauty. A few second of Vibration against my thigh was all I needed to beg for this beauty to be reality as quickly as possible. See, I love wand style vibes. They are the types of vibes that work best for my body, especially since I began to experience anorgasmia. My Magic Wand and Magic Wand Unplugged have been absolute life & orgasm savers as I’ve made my way through #OrgasmQuest.

I do love both of those wands, and the Magic Wand will forever hold a place in my heart because of its history in bringing femme masturbation via Betty Dodson into the social consciousness. That being said, they are imperfect. The size and weight of the wands make them difficult for extended use, cleaning them can be a nightmare, and they are not remotely discrete. Smaller vibes can do the trick for me and many others, but they often have buzzy vibes versus the deeper rumble that works for a wider variety of bodies.

There is also the fact that many, if not most of these wand vibes are marketed with binary gendered language, which erases the ever-increasing number of folks with non-binary genders or dissuades others from trying because “That’s a sex toy for *blank* gender, not for me.” Now, if a vibrator isn’t your thing period – that’s perfectly fine. If you are one of the millions of people who enjoys the pleasure from a strong, deep rumble though – I’m betting this will be the vibrator for you.

From the IndieGoGo Page:

Tantus, Inc. is a small company with a big commitment to sexual health.
For nearly 20 years, Tantus has manufactured the safest, most pleasurable silicone toys possible for a diverse set of needs and body types. Like all of our sexual health products, we believe vibrators should be accessible, user-friendly, and should work for any body. But we couldn’t find a tech savvy vibrator that met our standards.

That’s why we’ve made Rumble, a vibrator to please every body.

Rumble 2

I love crowdfunding across the board, and am thrilled to see my beloved Tantus making this incredible vibrator possible via IndieGoGo. In case you missed the many links above – visit here for more information on Rumble, how to support the campaign, and the excellent incentives they are offering for donations.

When one of these beauties hits my doorstep I’ll give a more in-depth spotlight and let you know if this moves to the front of my vibrator queue. If those 15 seconds against my leg is any indication though, I’m positive that the Rumble will hit my list of sexual accessories that I cannot live without.

Make Rumble a Reality:

You can support Rumble financially from their IndieGoGo page or through shares.

Of course, I vote you share this post cause I like site traffic, but straight from their page is also awesome.

Spread the word far and wide my darlings!

Breaking News & Info For @WoodhullSFA #SFS16!

We’ve Got the Quick and Dirty Facts About #SFS16, August 4-7, 2016!

The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance is thrilled to announce that we’ll be returning to the Alexandria Hilton Mark Center for the 7th annual Sexual Freedom Summit (#SFS16) from August 4-7, 2016. Mark your calendars!

Just to give you a little insight, we’re excited to be returning to the Hilton Mark Center, a hotel intentionally committed to collaborating with our Accessibility Committee and working to ensure that the needs of our attendees are met wherever possible. Plus, they’re okay with us having the word ‘sexual’ in our name. Unfortunately, this is a big deal.

Read The Rest Here

Now that the change of venue and date for #SFS16 has been announced, I can publicly jump for joy. As the press release states; we are thrilled to be staying at our “home” hotel for next year’s amazing Summit. As part of Leadership for the Accessibility Committee, I am beyond thrilled that we will stay at a hotel that shares our goals for inclusion and accessibility for all.

Shortly after the breaking news hit, a number of people reached out about food options at the Hilton Mark Center. We know that having a wide selection of dining options is important to our attendees​. To be clear, our hotel has no problem with ordering in food to be eaten in the lobby or other common spaces. For everyone’s convenience dining options and menus will be available at registration.

The change in venue for #SFS16 highlights our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. This is a decision we feel that all of our attendees will support; safety and accessibility for everyone who attends. Further questions, comments or suggestions can be sent to our Accessibility Co-Chair, Crista Anne. (You can also comment below or tweet to @Pinkness)

More from the Press Release:

Interested in speaking at the Sexual Freedom Summit? Follow us on Twitter (@WoodhullSFA #SFS16) and Facebook for updates on the call for proposals!

Feeling as sexy and excited as we do, and want to contribute to Woodhull to help make #SFS16 the best it can be? Donate here!

Microblogging: @metisblack gave me a tool without knowing it

Metis and I had been on a wandering mission to pickup/close down the bloggers lounge, stopped outside the ballroom because I was planning on filming an “I am Woodhull” video. Instead, Nina was there. I’ve met Nina briefly and had lovely chats with her, but this was my first long conversation with one of my idols. Always fantastic. Metis brought up how long we’ve known each other, and then informed Nina that “This woman right here talked over Dr Drew on live TV because she wasn’t done speaking”. Which got me Nina high fives and a long winding conversation about various Sex Related Famous Folks. It was grand and glorious. (While I didn’t experience imposter syndrome at that moment, part of me did want to evil villain laugh about the company I was keeping.)

This morning a blogger friend posted about how Depression Lies and how they were going to keep that in their head all day until it became truth. We exchanged a few IMs checking in on each other, and at one point I empathized by mentioning how loudly depression was lying to me now and how hard it was to talk over that voice.

…But I talked over Dr Drew (without thinking) because I wasn’t done speaking on live TV. That’s louder than the lying depression voice in my head.

Thank you Metis <3

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s almost here. Just over two weeks and we have the custody trial. Whatever the outcome will be, this horrific chapter of life closes. What the next chapter entails? I am not foolish enough to guess. It’s out of my hands, all I can do is what I have done. What we have done. Trying our best. Giving our everything to keeping our world together and stable.

I’ve been quiet here. With the absurdity around me, there has not been time or the mental space to write. My time, precious spoons have been needed elsewhere. Also, I needed the media attention to go down. I do not do what I do to be “famous”, I do this work because it is what I was born to do. World wide media attention was a little too much for this inverted pleasure revolutionary, at least in this period of my life.

What has happened while I was away? We took the kids on vacation to our beloved Brushwood for part of their Sankofa festival. Celebrating the creative spirit. They made new wonderful friends, played in the woods and explored fairy gardens. Val, the kids and I arrived before most of our family there, so the intense setting up of camp – our home for the next two weeks – was mostly on us. He was amazing. Thanks to our glorious GP that we found through Planned Parenthood, the course of medications he’s been on has done wonders. I was hesitant to go on our yearly vacation because I feared that he wasn’t physically up to the task, but he was able to accomplish a wonderful set up for us with a small bit of help of our more able-bodied friends.

I’ve always stood with Planned Parenthood, in my twenties they were the only medical care I had financial access to. Now with the wonderful Doctor we both see there, amazing woman who found an anti-depressant that works for me and who finally took Val’s pain seriously. life is improving. He’s still on sticks or on bad days in a wheelchair, but we’re getting answers. He’s improving with his current treatment plan. Improving across the board, even with the tortuous stress we’ve been under with custody. When we don’t have this horrible weight on our shoulders anymore, I see him getting even better. Having a Doctor who cares is everything.

More recently, we’ve taken a shorter vacation to see the newlyweds – My Mom and her long time Partner just got married. We took the kids to their house to spend time with them, my Sister and her kids, as well as getting to spend time with my almost 93-year-old Grandmother. 7 kids, age 9 and under, was stressful – don’t get me wrong – but it was also wonderful. I cried a great deal over having most of my family together.

Now I prepare for Woodhull, which is another post entirely. Woodhull ends, three days later we have the custody trial and one outcome or another there will be some closure to these months of horrible uncertainty. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m able to breathe again.

So Thrilled to be Speaking @WoodhullSFA #SFS15

With everything else happening in my life, it’s incredibly important for me to continue working. This year I am branching out and speaking at Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit. (@WoodhullSFA with the hashtag #SFS15) This is thrilling in a number of ways, I’d previously considered the Summit above my “pay grade”. It’s a chance to spend time with so many people I hold dear, not to mention the Summit itself is going to be an absolutely incredible learning experience.

I’ll be speaking with my love JoEllen Notte, & the fantastic Stephen Biggs  on the workshop: “The Monster Under The Bed: Starting the Conversation About Sex and Depression

At some point in every person’s life they will either experience depression or know intimately someone who has depression. Currently the most prevalent forms of treatment are pharmacological, and the focus is often placed on the alleviation of symptoms like low mood, apathy and amotivation. Relief in any of these areas constitutes success, however, for some there are unwanted sexual side effects to treatment, which unfortunately are seldom addressed. Similarly, when sex is affected by symptoms of the depression itself, the issue is rarely addressed at all. This workshop will discuss how sex-lives are impacted by depression symptoms and current treatments, with a view to empowering both clients and professionals to better address the issues that arise when sex and depression collide.  Specifically, we will share the results of JoEllen Notte’s Sex and Depression Survey and follow up interviews conducted over several months beginning in the Fall of 2014.  Incorporating both mental health consumers’ perspectives and the most current information regarding treatment impacts and side effects on sexual functioning we hope to provide consumers and their sexual partners with practical information that can help them give voice to their concerns.  It is our hope that the information we’re gathering will also inform the way health care providers provide a space for sexual concerns in the treatment of depression, and we also hope to offer some concrete practical direction in this regard.

When: Friday, August 14
Where: Walnut B

I’ll be sharing much of my experience with #OrgasmQuest along side JoEllen’s findings and Stephen’s expertise, with a strong focus on finding a health care provider who respects the importance of sexuality while treating mental illness. This workshop is going to be incredible, so make your plans for attending and put us on your Must Attend list.

(Also, having my own speaker page along side the rest of the absolutely incredible people who will be there makes me want to attempt a backflip of joy, even though I’d wreck myself.)

 

Aside

Things are rough here/Birthday!

Yes I know, the vibe is more effective a few feet lower.

Yes I know, the vibe is more effective a few feet lower.

Only stayed up till 3am working on this little love of mine. Progress is being made.

Everything should be mostly working, though most sections need a revamp and rewriting. Much of the copy was written when I was still deeply depressed – in a defiant stage – so there is that to do.

Tonight the baby that made me a Mom comes home as tomorrow is her birthday, She’s FIVE! Obviously, I won’t be online then. I’ll be working on being silly with her, for I am already on the cusp of being embarrassing. Hey! You there!

Mads is the kiddo who is the most like me, the most understanding that when I’m on my computer I’m working, and the most introverted. Maybe, if this isn’t too odd an request, leave a comment with a happy birthday or silly *VERY SAFE FOR WORK* cute animal meme? She’d be really thrilled.

While I am fixing things here, a few updates that will be expanded upon soon:

  • The full version of my interview for an upcoming magazine article is up on Sexational‘s website: Fact and Fiction Series: Interview with Crista Anne of Dildology.org
  • #OrgasmQuest has had ups, downs and everything in between. See what’s been going on from the twitter hashtag #OrgasmQuest
  • I’m planning on attending Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance in Aug. My plans are to belt out Bette Midler’s bathhouse repertoire theatrically at Metis Black, for she is a wonderful friend who indulges me.
  • Also, Finally, SERIOUSLY: Have you bought Erika Moen’s Oh Joy <3 Sex Toy book yet? No? DO IT HERE

<3 you all

-C