by Furry Girl

05.13.09

sex20matchandi

Conference organizer Match and I at the porn and brownies party. We're 2 of only 4 people at the conference of 166 who don't call ourselves feminists. Photo by Diva.

Since the weekend in DC, I've been decompressing in a friend's place in Manhattan, objectifying his body and eating the city's most delicious vegan foods.

This year's Sex 2.0 conference had at least 50% growth since last year's event in Atlanta. There were a lot of awesome faces, a sexycute porn shoot, tons of cupcakes, a strong representation of sex worker issues, oodles of intelligent conversations, and very few creepers. On the down side, I barely got to say hello to some people since there was just so much good stuff happening. For a reclusive pervnerd like me, it was overwhelming, but in a positive way. FurryGirl.com has been online for over six years and receives over half a million unique visitors per month, but this was the first time I really felt like anyone has ever heard of me. Even when not wearing my name tag, I had some people do the "O hai, you're Furry Girl, right?" Strangeness.

In my mind, Sex 2.0 2009 kicked off online, with a critical post by previous conference organizer Amber Rhea. Coupled with the many comments, it was a perfect microcosm of why I longer identify as a feminist. It was like playing a game of Cliche Bingo, down to how the commenters (basically) split apart into two camps of opinion: The Feminists and The Sex Workers. (And, of course, it didn't occur to any of the feminists that if the sex workers and a transwoman felt unwelcome by feminists, then maybe the problem wasn't that the sex workers and transwoman were the ones who needed to modify their beliefs.)

There was a pinch of other random bitching and moaning here and there at the conference- complaints that carried as much weight as freaking out about how unfair it is that Wikipedia's entry on your favorite subject is only a stub. While I do plenty of criticizing the world myself, I'm not one to knock a transparently-organized unconference for not reading my mind and creating the panels I wanted to watch. One of my greatest hot buttons is when people complain about that which they have taken absolutely no steps to positively remedy, instead, choosing to pick at people who are doing something.

Moving on- I was a part of two panels. (See the list of the all talks/panels here.) I even wore my Inter-Web Debaters Club shirt so as to solidify my commitment to not fighting too much with people in person. I experienced not one real clash, bless my caustic little heart.

The first panel, Customer Relations for Sex Workers (with Sabrina Morgan, Renegade Evolution, Kimberlee Cline, Monica, Ellie Lumpesse, and David) started in a really solid direction to address issues of safety, how we've changed how we relate to our clients over the years, and a bit about how to screen clients for sex workers who do offline work. The conversation got a bit derailed into a discussion on one's rights when arrested and how to deal with the police, but it only goes to show how many different sex work topics the audience was interested in talking about. A group of us later convened in the hotel bar over champagne to get into a lengthier discussion about the ways in which we stay in touch with clients, the development of genuine friendships, fantasies we feel uncomfortable with (forced feminization and race play were two topics), and an annoyance with sex workers who engage in shit-talking on clients with "weird" fetishes.

The second panel I was a part of, Revisiting Naked on the Internet (with Audacia Ray, Amber Rhea, and Melissa Gira) had me as a bit of the odd-duckling-out. Not being a professional writer or someone who's changed a lot in the two years since the book's release, I didn't have much to give as an update. Dacia turned the conversation to online feminist spaces, where I had to try and not panel-jack by briefly explaining why I no longer identify as a feminist and why the term doesn't mean anything to me any more. (The writer from Feministing.com didn't even jump out of her chair and stab me in the eye with a fork, which was pleasantly surprising.) I told the group, "I was sick of seeing 'feminism' as a euphemism for 'awesome'." Jack hollered out at me, "Are you an awesome-ist?", to which I replied, "I am a militant awesome-ist!" (Thank you, dear Jack, for helping me inject some levity.) One of the other issues brought up in the panel was how profoundly exhausting is is for sex workers (and their allies) to always be on the defensive and doing "101" work. Surprise: We get tired of having to justify our existence to feminists who can't be bothered to educate themselves about our real issues and demands.

All in all, an excellent fucking weekend.





5 Comments

  1. I want a "Militant Awesomeist" tee shirt.

    Comment by Nobilis — May 13, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

  2. Since I am straight male I am obviously unable to be a feminist nor a sex worker, but I still had fun at this conference. Our joint creation of the new movement known as Awesomism will surely take over.

    I was nice to hear you proudly proclaim your non-feminism, but sadly the audience and the panel pretty much ignored your comments. They had bigger fish to fry and the jaded ranting of some longhair wasn't going to slow them down.

    Comment by jackstratton — May 13, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  3. Also I shouldn't type comments on the bus.

    Comment by jackstratton — May 13, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  4. "FurryGirl.com has been online for over six years and receives over half a million unique visitors per month, but this was the first time I really felt like anyone has ever heard of me. Even when not wearing my name tag, I had some people do the “O hai, you’re Furry Girl, right?” Strangeness."

    Hey FG,

    I certainly knew who you were and was trying my best not to be the creepy fan-girl whilst still really excited to meet you. Love your site and your words, you're awesome!

    Comment by SequoiaRedd — May 19, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  5. Comment by Trackbacks — September 1, 2014 @ 6:45 am

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