Good Vibrations Sex Summit Videos Highlight the Politics of Pleasure
Academics, authors, researchers, journalists, pop-culture commentators, and activists came together on October 27th at the Good Vibrations Sex Summit in San Francisco to explore our current sexual state of the union.
See the conversation for yourself at goodvibessexsummit.com/video-excerpts where bite-sized nuggets of the provocative discourse and conversation from the keynote and panel presentations are now posted.
Broken down into four panels — censorship and politics, the media, health and pharmaceuticals, and popular culture –sexuality experts and analysts from around the country explored these themes along with three notable keynote speakers at the first event from trusted adult retailer and educational resource Good Vibrations.
Politics, pleasure, and the varying ways we learn about sexuality were on the table, and insights abounded. Keynoting the Sex Summit were three writers whose work, in substantially different ways, explores social elements of sexuality.
Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H. Keynote Presentation — Good Vibrations Sex Summit
Watch them all
Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H., opening keynote speaker, wove discussion of new, research-derived insights into women’s sexuality into the larger picture of this election cycle’s politicized discourse about women’s bodies and reproductive rights, emphasizing how much information we still need. “We’re a long way from having a complete picture of the truth about sex in America,” she said. Midday keynoter Dr. Marty Klein disagreed that the attack’s on reproductive freedoms constitute a “war on women,” rather, “it’s a war on sex.” In his closing keynote speech, Brian Alexander asserted that the sexual culture wars are over and the real struggles are based on economic change and displacement.
A series of panels, each with four panelists and a moderator, delved more deeply into four key issues affecting the public’s understanding and perceptions regarding sexuality.
Regulating Pleasure: Sex, Politics & Censorship featured Dr. Marty Klein, sex worker and HIV activist Maggie Mayhem, journalist and Harmful to Minors author Judith Levine, and community intellectual and LGBT activist Carmen Vázquez, moderated by Good Vibrations Education Program Manager Dr. Charlie Glickman. Censorship and about controversial sexual content — from within one’s own community or by the state, by the press or from financial institutions — had been part of each panelist’s experience, shutting down debate and making varying cultural perspectives about sexuality harder to access.
Outspoken/Unsaid: Sex & Media, with Brian Alexander, UC Santa Barbara Feminist Studies professor Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, sociologist, USC Visiting Scholar and Porn Valley Vantage blogger Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, Ph.D, and writer and founder/Executive Director of Women, Action & the Media Jaclyn Friedman, was moderated by filmmaker and correspondent Abiola Abrams. The discussion ranged from our expectations of media sources to tell diverse stories of sexuality (and, sometimes, their failure to do so) to the great range of media available now, from mainstream to online, from porn to popular, and how sex educators and activists can best access it.
Pills, Profits and Pleasures: Sexual Health & Pharmaceuticals featured Dr. Debby Herbenick, Scarleteen.com founder/Executive Director and RH Reality Check columnist Heather Corinna, Orgasm, Inc. director and Dartmouth Visionary Award winner Liz Canner, and health educator and transgender activist Yoseñio V. Lewis and was moderated by Dr. Carol Queen. From the medicalized, “permission slip”-circumscribed life of transsexuals needing hormones or reassignment surgery to the so-far-fruitless search for a women’s version of Viagra to the changing world of AIDS treatment and medications, pharmaceutical companies and doctors play a significant role in many peoples’ sexual experiences.
The final panel, Sexual Stargazing: Sex & Pop Culture, included Salon.com sex columnist Tracy Clark-Flory, University of Nevada Women’s Studies professor and Las vegas Weekly columnist Dr. Lynn Comella, Abiola Abrams, and Sex With Emily and reality TV personality Emily Morse, moderated by sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko. Talk ranged from the ways stars and pop media outlets shape sexual perceptions to the popular culture that influenced the panelists as they grew up, since — like many young people today — they mostly had greater access to TV, movies and magazines than to actual sex education sources.
See excerpts from each here: goodvibessexsummit.com/video-excerpts
The Sex Summit was made possible by co-presenter We-Vibe and sponsored by Aneros, Glyde Condoms, Trojan Vibrations, Blossom Organics, Vibratex, and the Museum of Sex, and supported by the Center for Sex & Culture.