“I came primarily for the healing...”
I am writing to thank you and your team for all the hard work you put into organizing the Sex Down South conference that I attended last month. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very impressed with how well-organized the event was and how smoothly the registration process functioned.
I came primarily for healing, but the range of panels truly offered something for everyone. The presenters were all highly professional, deeply knowledgeable, and skilled at creating a sense of supportive community. Exploring the vendors’ booths was an education in and of itself!
Remembering how the threat of unisex bathrooms was used to discredit the Equal Rights Amendment back in the seventies, it was very liberating to use the gender-neutral bathrooms.
All in all it was very inspiring to see so many committed activists carrying on in the struggle for true liberation of all people.
I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to spend three days in such a powerfully healing space and I am deeply thankful that you all have committed to present this empowering event again next year.
With awestruck appreciation,
— Paulette Richards
“The people I met, the classes I took, and the conversations I had will affect my work in sex ed going forward.”
This is slightly belated, but I want to convey how absolutely AMAZING Sex Down South was. Unlike other sex conferences I go to year in and year out, this one was different for many reasons. It had a clear anti-oppression mission (and those weren’t just words, producers enacted that mission). I got to see so many fantastic classes that were centered around and led by people of color. I was told more than once as a white person to not take up space in a room right off the bat (yay!). There were lots of people there who work in reproductive justice, social justice, economic justice and other movements; obviously, there are tremendous intersections in the work we do, but I rarely see some of these people and presentations at sex conferences. We’ve got to be in the same room more often, and SDS made that happen. The people I met, the classes I took, and the conversations I had will affect my work in sex ed going forward. Oh, and it was FUN!! I recommend this conference to EVERYONE working in sexuality in some way. I’m looking forward to next year! Thank you from the bottom of my heart Tia Marie, Marla Renee Stewart, and everyone who worked on the event.
— Tristan Taormino
I am never more in my element than when teaching about using sexual pleasure as medicine for healing and awakening more of our human potential. Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers, presenters, and fabulous attendees of the 2015 Sex Down South Conference in ATL this past weekend, for giving me the opportunity to share my passion with you. SOOOO Much LOVE to you!
— Devi Ward
“It was warm, loving and welcoming...”
Sex Down South was absolutely incredible. It was warm, loving and welcoming, and that comes from the tone the organizers set, and the teachers follow. I’ve never seen a sexuality conference with so many people of color and that is groundbreaking, phenomenal and so needed. Hats off to all of the organizers who worked so hard to make that happen–that’s how we break down barriers and create the things our hearts and communities most want.
I just attended two conferences inside of a week that were focused on sexuality where people of color were a huge presence and part of the events. In my 20+ year history in the sexuality field (and a whole butt-load of conferences under my belt) I’ve never seen this -ever. I have strong hope that things are shifting, that the hard work many people are doing to represent a multitude of sexualities and cultural and racial representation–creating a real seat at the table for people who have been left out and disenfranchised–is paying off. We will be stronger for it and the conversations we need to have about racialized sexuality and all the intersections of identity that impact sexual freedom and true agency and liberation are happening. I want to acknowledge the organizers of both Sex Down South and the Widener Sexuality Careers conference and all those raising their voices so this could become a reality. #talkaboutrace #thesetimestheyareachangin
— Amy Jo Goddard
“Sex Down South Conference was the phucking bomb!!!”
Sex Down South Conference was the phucking bomb!!! So many phenomenal educators!! OMG!!! The workshops were very informative. The parties were off the radar! LOL!! I’m going to need a day just to recover! #SDS2015 great job Tia Marie & Marla Renee Stewart it was such a healing experience!
Looking forward to facilitating my very own workshop there next year!!!!!
— Hasina Ifra
“...workshops were a combination of sapiosexually titillating and intellectually inspiring. ”
The first year of this conference was genuinely amazing and mind expanding! The speakers, performers, and workshops were a combination of sapiosexually titillating and intellectually inspiring. I left the experience feeling as if my brain had expanded ten fold & with every chakra in my being electrified. To the coordinators and sponsors & all involved: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! – Namaste
— Tracy Holley
Check out #SDS15 and #SDScon16 for additional testimonials!
We asked folks what the best thing they experienced at the conference and here are there answers!
- I learned so much and made great connections that the “best” is hard to narrow down. Perhaps the inspiration I’ve gotten from meeting and speaking with so many writers and people who are working at the forefront of sex education in our country. Also, the best “worst” thing I experienced was NOT being allowed into some workshops (those restricted to women of color). The signs telling me that was not welcome were a slap in the face that touched my heart it a good way. It really made me feel good about the whole premise. The principles also made me feel very safe and being reminded about them made me more self-aware.
- Tristan’s workshop on Anal 101! And deep throat workshop!!! Yess!
- The wonderful warm energy. Really happy that POC and Queer people were front and center
- The diversity and the flow between all types of sex professionals, no hard distinctions between tantra folk, poly folk, sex workers, etc etc
- The Healing Space
- Being surrounded by like-minded, supportive and creative people for three days!
- Workshops that were interactive.
- wonderful interactions with amazing people that were a ton of fun and made me think lots of cool thoughts
- Big Bang was super fun and panel wise the one with the lady who wrote the book about polyamory and the one with lee Harrington. And the masturbation party!
- I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the workshops by presenters I’d never heard of. I honestly thought they were so much better than the sex celebs. Maybe thats because I chose to attend workshops specific to my interests. I also loved the quality of discussions in individual workshops.
- Interacting with presenters as enthusiasts and talking one on one with everyone.
- The workshop on sex positivity and black girls
- I think that the diversity of attendees and presenters was my favorite part, and just the ground rules/guidelines were SO thoughtful and really set the stage for an amazing weekend.
- Devi Ward, Rope Yoga, Dance and intimacy.
- This conference had some amazing presenters. There was so much to take away from this conference- proud to be apart of it and meet some amazing representatives of the important work sexologist do. Thanks SDS!! Frenchie Davis
- Meeting so many people new to me, experiencing Southern Hospitality
- The best thing I experienced at SDS was the positive energy. It was everywhere and evident in every interaction – from the conversations in the workshops to the vendors in the hall to the hallway conversations. It was wonderful, too, to hear voices not often heard and to get to meet so many people who are new to me and who are part of the sexual freedom movement.
- I have never been to a more open or more diverse conference in my life. Everyone involved made such an impressive effort to not only include, but uplift marginalized voices and presences. Which is an amazing thing to see.
- I loved all of the keynotes by the sex celebs. I loved all of the evening main events – all very well done. I was pleased with all of the workshops I attended. I especially enjoyed Tristan’s keynote and workshop on Opening Up, as well as Devi Ward’s interactive workshops on Tantra. Having an opportunity for free movement was excellent.
- Getting a chance to meet a community in this area of my life
- All of the wonderful energy and accepting people
- Being surrounded by sex-positive folks.
- The staff/ healers/ first responders were AMAZING! And there were soooo many poc folks. So awesome!
- Unity and Love
- I absolutely loved the interaction with the other presenters and attendees. It was amazing to be around so many like minded people and be so sex positive.
- Being in a space with so many sex positive people of color. Very beautiful site to see
- How friendly and welcoming everyone was. Those running the event were very helpful the workshops & speaking with people that I admire in the sexuality field