Jane Goes to Convention – Momentum: Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism & Relationships.

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll get to know more of my antics, thoughts, and whereabouts. On March 30th, I drove down from Staten Island to Washington, DC for the Momentum Conference 2012: Making waves in sexuality, feminism & relationships, and I was there till April 2nd (with a pit-stop at a college friend’s place). Apologies to anyone with me on their time line who didn’t understand my #mcon tweets- I’m going to explain though!

After I got my bearings (got there a little late), I had a good time. I caught most of the Opening Keynote with Dr. Charlie Glickman, Dr. Logan Levkoff, Audacia Ray, Bill Taverner and Dr. Carol Queen as moderator. Snaps, claps, moans and giggles erupted from the room as they pulled at our emotions and aroused our hot buttons with the power of what they were doing in the world. The pannel’s goal was to discuss the role of sexuality in today’s culture, how they make waves that help change perceptions and kick off the weekend on a “you can be a part of the change” message… and that they accomplished.

In the series of Momentum posts, I’ll discuss my thoughts and feelings about each of the sessions I sat in on. I promise I will try not to get link happy but I know many of my readers aren’t as “in it” as I am and other of my sexuality blogger “friends and coworkers” reading this are. There is an interview coming up with Brian Gross where I do go link happy but that’s what happens when two people who know what they’re talking about start only using first names of who they’re talking about.

Education was on the forefront of buzzwords said at Momentum. Educating ourselves, peers, adults, other teachers, doctors, children… everyone. To stop the ignorance, sadness and hate – educate!

And that is the point of conferences of Momentum… to open up the dialog, have the conversation, spur a movement and get the message out to people who don’t know.

I can say (aside from lumpy pillows) my only negative thought about the convention was, Not Enough “Civilians” attended. Everywhere I looked there were people like myself- wave makers, trailblazers, sex positive educators, bloggers, out in the world being themselves and helping others through their writing, workshops and outreach. Much like music fans see their favorite bands in concert and musicians get together to jam… Momentum was very much a bunch of sex geeks… jamming together (thank you Reid for this analogy). Sure, that helps us feel not alone and helps us educate you… but it was quite a love fest for the most part.

Which, was, AMAZING. Don’t get me wrong here! It gets a little lonely on this (Staten) Island. I LOVED being able to jam with fellow sex geeks, toy connoisseurs, trailblazers and all around awesome people. I am very glad Momentum has an ebook which YOU can buy to read the presentations and etc from many of the great minds who were presenting at the conference. I always bring a friend to cons whether they’re for porn stars or sexuality edu, but this time I couldn’t get anyone to come with me. From the start I knew what I would get out of the conference but it would be nothing in comparison to what a “civilian” would get out of it.

The closing keynote entitled Sex in America: Changing the Conversation Beyond Smut and Sanctimony was a powerful one. I could NOT take notes or tweet quick enough. The panelists Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Esther Perel and Lara Riscol blew my fucking mind. Blew my fucking mind, and if you know me, NOT EASY TO DO. I walked out of Momentum slack jawed wondering how to go home from this experience. But under my shock was 1000 squirrels on speed not knowing where to start or who would appreciate all the info I had needing to bust out of me. I had notes, upon notes, tweets, and even disjointed txt messages to friends to sort through.

I gave Momentum a wave goodbye, and hugged anyone on my way down to the car who I met. I was waiting for the elevator when Dr. Carol Queen stood next to me to wait too, and I just stood there. It was like an obsessed music fan standing next to their rock god idol.

Shifting nervously, still stupified by the  thoughts of having to leave Momentum, getting into the elevator, it was just us. I thanked her for being a pioneer allowing me to walk the paths in the grass and make my own. She thanked me for helping the movement and said to never give up. We had another floor to go… and all I could think of to say was (I mean… what do you say?) “Well, so long and thanks for the fish”. She, to my surprise, bursted out laughing and hugged me and we had a geek moment over the Douglas Adams quote and march birthdays. By far, this moment, is high on my list of “most amazing things EVER”. What a way to end a con.

Thank you Momentum and everyone involved, from the bottom of my heart. It was a wonderful weekend that I’ll be continuing to ride the waves of.


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