Monday, April 27, 2009

Sex 2.0 Con in Washington, DC May 9



Note from Anita: Come see me, I'll be speaking. This is going to be a great con and registration is affordable, only $40!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Match
email: match@playwithmatch.com

The second Sex 2.0 to focus on the intersection of social media, feminism and sexuality.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 27, 2009. Now in our second year, Sex 2.0, a one-day unconference, will take place on May 9, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Sex 2.0 will focus on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality. How is social media enabling people to learn, grow, and connect sexually? How is sexual expression tied to social activism? Does the concept of transparency online offer new opportunities or present new roadblocks — or both? Sex 2.0 is an unconference, which means that sessions will be informal conversations organized by people attending the event. Session leaders with some knowledge in a subject area facilitate conversations among the participants.

Sessions will include: “Internet Advocacy for Sexual Freedom” with Ricci Joy Levy of the Woodhull Foundation; "Polyamory in Media’s Spotlight” with Anita Wagner; “Craigslist Red, Craigslist Blue: Why we should dismantle the “internet red light district” with Melissa Gira Grant and Joanne McNeill; “Kick Ass Twitter Apps” with Cunning Minx; “Revenge Porn” with Maria Diaz; and “Sex Writing Beyond Erotica, Beyond Porn” with Jack Murnighan, Nerve.com editor-at-large. The keynote speaker will be Nikol Hasler, creator of the Midwest Teen Sex Show. A complete list of sessions may be viewed here.

Sex 2.0 will be held in a Washington, D.C. hotel. (To ensure everyone’s privacy, location information will be email once you are registered). It will offer five conference rooms, a lounge (with free WiFi), vendor area as well as space for various sex-positive outreach groups to set up informational displays and tables.

The event is managed by volunteers and funded by sponsors. We are pleased to have SEXTOY.com as our presenting sponsor this year. SEXTOY.com has been focusing on building a relationship within the blogger community with the recent start-up of its sex toy reviewer program. SEXTOY.com is honored to be the official sponsor for Sex 2.0 and looks forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with the blogger Community. Two SEXTOY.com associates will be attending Sex 2.0 this year: Erik Van Riper and Domina Doll; who both look forward to meeting everyone, attending the talks and participating in discussions. Sex 2.0 is also pleased to have community sponsor Bound Not Gagged, hospitality sponsor Kimberleecline.com and technology sponsor PosAlt.com supporting this years conference.

While the event itself is on Saturday, May 9, there are participant-organized meetups, outings, and parties being planned for Friday night and Saturday evening, as well as a Sunday brunch. For more information, visit the Sex 2.0 website or follow us on Twitter.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jonas Brothers Fans "Celibate and Polyamorous at the Same Time?"

In a recent Orlando times article a journalist tries to identify teen idol stereotypical roles for each Jonas Brother and says,

"Best not to examine these Disney sensations too closely. We're not sure how they got an entire generation of pre-teen girls to embrace celibacy and polyamory at the same time, but we're as impressed as we are confused."


Another step forward for polyamory (said mostly tongue in cheek). Celibacy is a good thing for pre-teens - it's feeling romantic love for more than one that the writer thinks makes it poly in this case. I've never thought of the teen heartthrob phenomenon as poly. Still, it' not really a new thing - I and many other babyboomers loved John, Paul, George AND Ringo.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon's "Cataloging Error" of Polyamory, LGBTs, Other Books

UPDATE: Amazon has restored the books I reference below to their normal searchable ranking status. We're still learning how the LGBTQ books have fared. It seems that others are still in limbo, with the authors still pleading with Amazon to do the right thing. An example is Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson's tantra books in hardback and paperback - somehow the "glitch" never excluded books available on Kindle, Amazon's electronic reader.

Here's what the New York Times says Amazon has reported. Apparently whatever happened, it was genuinely inadvertent, an admittedly "embarrassing and ham-fishted cataloging error."
-----------------------------------------
In a highly disturbing attempt to make their searches more "family friendly" (not to mine, certainly) Amazon implemented over the weekend a new policy that uses its ranking system to derank and exclude from searches on the topics "polyamory" and "open relationship" just about every contemporary book on those subjects. In particular this includes the just released new edition of the Ethical Slut, Tristan Taormino's Opening Up, Jenny Block's Open, and Pete Benson's Polyamory Handbook, all published within the last year. Also affected are, of course, books with erotica, on sacred sexuality and tantra. And then there are all the LGBTQ books also affected. I am very concerned about this appallingly ham-handed attempt at being family friendly that is in effect censorship, especially considering that Amazon is the largest book vendor anywhere.

I have so many author friends who are seriously adversely effected by this, including but not by any means limited to those listed above. It is frightening to think that this can happen so easily, thus resulting in polyamorists being unable to find the most basic texts on polyamory on Amazon without knowing the name of the book they need. Ironically, apparently if you already have the URL for what you want to buy, it can be found and purchased that way. So Amazon will still gladly take our money. If Amazon were a realtime store, this is analogous to their selling our books from a back room only to customers who come in and ask for it by name.

As many people know, I frequently give workshops on various aspects of conducting polyamorous relationships, and Amazon has just deranked what amount to MY TEXTBOOKS. This is very serious, especially if it becomes a trend with other book vendors, both for our valued authors and for our community.

As of Sunday night Amazon's customer service people have been telling concerned authors who call them that there was a glitch they are going to fix in the next 48 hours. No public statement has been made as of yet, and it's looking less and less like a glitch is really responsible. See here for more on that, and also search for the hashtag #glitchmyass on Twitter.

In the meantime, there are no such issues at Barnes and Noble and Borders, who at least as of now are surely glad to take our money. Plus, you can usually order these texts directly from the authors on their websites or from other sources, as the links above demonstrate. If you do a Google search for these books by name and/or author, the Amazon links come up and you CAN still go there and buy the books, but I urge you not to and instead too patronize less abhorent vendors.

This event quickly went viral over the weekend. Social networking site Twitter saw the search term #amazonfail quickly rise to the number one topic of Easter Sunday tweets, even more than "Easter" and "Masters". The hashtag #amazonfail is being used as a form of protest. Twitterers who have an opinion or more at stake include #amazonfail in their tweets so a thread is created. Just put #amazonfail in the Twitter search field to find those tweets.

Excellent explanations and analyses of all this can be found here and here.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS at Change.org here and on The Petition Site.

Let's hope that Amazon can be persuaded to come to its senses. No doubt LGBT activists are already making Amazon's management's life miserable. Especially if you ahve an Amazon account, please do all we can to help by, as I have, writing to Amazon expressing the unacceptable nature of their decision, the value of the materials being deranked, how long you've been a customer, how much you have spent with them (a guess is fine for these purposes) and how it is that you will be cancelling our account very soon if this problem is not solved to our satisfaction.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Polyamory on YouTube

In addition to the video bar here down the right column, there is another resource for finding the best of polyamory on YouTube. My friend, Alan, who provides the valuable resource, Polyamory in the News, has just put up a post itemizing the best of the poly videos on YouTube. Check it out.