(The photo above isn’t something that happened at Momentum. It’s a picture from my FetLife profile, taken during my photo play session with Fireguy. I’ll get to why it’s relevant in a sec.)
Momentum Con was exactly the right thing to go to. It really helped me to understand how I can contribute to the overall project of sex-positive feminism. Getting to meet some of my sexpert idols filled me with courage and, yes, momentum.
I liked my first foray into live tweeting: you can see what I said at @kittencalendar and what everybody said at #mcon .
I’ll say more about the larger themes of the conference later in the week, and I’ll post a reference list, too, but the experiences that are most relevant to this project were both very personal. They both happened yesterday as the conference was starting to wind down.
The first was: I skipped the fist set of sessions to take advantage of the big, fluffy hotel bed with Sweetie. As we were getting started she said “Remember, we’re in a hotel, so….”
And I said “So?”
We had a fantastic time and I was just as loud as can be. (If we’d been in the host hotel, it would have been even more fun.) While we were spooning afterwards, Sweetie said (all mocking-affectionate)
“You’re just a show-off.”
And what else could I do but tweet about it to the con’s live feed?
The second thing was this: One of the things I was most excited to go to was Cunning Minx (Polyweekly.com) giving her talk on “How Not to Be a Douche on FetLife” I’d heard parts of it already on the podcast (and, in fact used it in building my FetLife profile) but I love etiquette talk of all kinds and I was excited and starstruck to meet Minx.
When she asked for volunteers to share on the big screen and use as examples, my hand shot up. She’d mentioned being a smiley sub, and I wanted to show her that we had that in common. It felt so, so good for my profile, and especially my picture gallery, to be up there in front of all those nice polyamorists. It was a moment of pure joy and recognition, especially when someone in the crowd piped up “Great ass!” Thanks. It also makes me superproud that Minx pronounced my profile “adorable.”
She thanked me for volunteering, and people kept being really sweet and saying I was brave, but honestly I’ve never felt so indulged in my life. That burst of joy from being a show-off was such a big epiphany.
I was thinking about those two experiences on the way to therapy this morning, and I realized that wanting to show off is a big part of my earliest sexual experimentation. When I first started getting boobs (around 12) I was completely obsessed with them. (That sure hasn’t changed!) I couldn’t get enough of touching them. When my family was away from the house, I would stand in the upstairs window, pull up my shirt, and just play with them for hours. We lived in the middle of nowhere and it was extremely unlikely that anyone ever would’ve seen me.
Once or twice, I even wrapped up in a sheet, went outside, dropped the sheet and walked around naked in the middle of the day. Apparently I was close to my inner Bettie Page before I even knew who that was!
My childhood was not a sex-positive one by any definition. Our house was full of anger, shame, criticism, fear, and abuse. The fact that young me was able to find enough inner safety to want to be exposed, to take so much pleasure in it, seems like a miracle to me. I am very proud of that person and so encouraged by the way pleasure can overcome such adversity sometimes.
The power of pleasure was one of the overarching themes of the conference. It’s a wonderful blessing to feel it so deeply within my own body. Thanks.