On the Way to CatalystCon West


On the Way to CatalystCon West CatalystCon West will be my third Sex Positive conference. My third time amongst throngs of people who feel the way I do. At least on the subject of sex being a right, sex being awesome, and sex needing more positivity surrounding it. That's it, right? Why we do what we do? To educate, and enlighten, to demystify hedonism, to showcase the reality that the world lives in every day, that a great many people decide, post marriage, ethically or not, that they'd like to have the sex with people they don't call the spouse. That growing numbers of people are opting not to marry at all, are following Dan Savage's monogamish term to the experimentation well. It's happening, it's changing. And there are groups fighting back.

I feel as though I refill myself at these events. Wherever I can hang around a group of people that I can just as easily talk about where sex toys fall short and excel, the logistics of DVP*, or navigating your first experience with jealousy when your partner is dating/fucking/cuddling someone else, as I can wax poetic on the Whedonverse and why I need a TARDIS. Are so many sex educators geeks? Or do so many geeks gravitate toward sex education? It is our nature, after all, when we find something we love, to (perhaps over-) share it with those we love (and those we simply see on the street minding their own business. [By the way, did you see The Agents of SHIELD?])

My life has not been easy, this past year, dear friends. There have been peaks of fun, inspiration, even transcendence. But stress has a hold of me in ways it never has before. I've burnt out, truth be told. My enthusiasm has waned.

But I don't want it to be like that. And refilling my cup at the font of events like CatalystCon, and Open-SF, our trip to Desire, meetups that Sex Positive Chicago hosts, the knitting nights at Pleasure Chest Chicago, this reminds me why I started this whole site in the first place. Reminds me of how amazing it is to spend time with people who expound the joy and enthusiasm that most in our community have.

So I go. And I get to a couple sessions, of course. (The Ass Panel has my interest for this weekend. So thrilled it's not during our panel Saturday morning.) But the real reason I fly across the country isn't to speak (for we are largely preaching to the choir, I know), isn't to attend and listen (though I ought to do that more, but then I'm the choir being preached to), but it's to meet, and talk, to press the flesh, to learn one on one, to have those intimate little chats at the back of the cafe in the hotel lobby. These are the things that remind me of the pure and unbridled joy that I have felt about Life on the Swingset, about ethical non-monogamy, about educating people on non-mono, on safer sex, on what sex toys they ought to try, on chasing those orgasms, and on things they'd never even considered trying.

And, because I get to spend quality time with some of the most important people in my life, who are so very rarely within a couple hundred miles of each other.

And my cup runneth over.

*double vaginal penetration, for those not hip to the lingo


About Cooper Cooper S. Beckett is the co-founder and host of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast since 2010, author of swinging & polyamory novels A Life Less Monogamous and Approaching The Swingularity, and memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory. He teaches and speaks on swinging, polyamory, pegging, play parties, and coloring outside the boundaries of your sexuality. He is a graphic & web designer, photographer, and voice over artist, has been a guest expert on Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast, & is the announcer of Tristan Taormino’s radio show Sex Out Loud. He is currently working on two instructional non-fiction books, one about beginning non-monogamy, and another about pegging.

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