Perhaps it was because this was my 3rd CatalystCon, or maybe it was because I've been gradually getting to know my tribe ever since May of 2010 when I first started my blog and my own personal adventure in this sex-positive world began, but this event felt a little like getting together with family. There were so many people I knew and even more people that I knew of and got to meet for the first time. That was happening a lot amongst my friends, too, I think because of the bi-coastal nature of CCon. (Every six months it is held on the opposite coast.)
Lucas Brooks shared a room with me and was SO excited to discover Sex Nerd Sandra was going to be there (who I get to see on a somewhat regular basis). Raul Queue, an amazing LA based HIV & STI awareness guy, was SO excited to discover I was going to be rooming with the man behind the blog Top2Bottom, Lucas Brooks. There were a lot of us who felt like fan girls and boys because we had an opportunity to meet people for the first time whose work we loved and followed eagerly, but never had the chance to meet because they were based somewhere else in the country. That's the magic of CCon - the coming together of so many sex-positive people in one place at the same time. One of my fangirl moments was during my ass panel when the first question was from Strap-on Jo!
Shortly after registration began I saw a slender, beautiful woman walk by whose smile was as dazzling as the sparkly heels she was wearing. She gave me a friendly hello and walked gracefully by with an air of...I don't know, being someone who is someone. So I asked my friend standing next to me who she was.
“That's Jessica Drake,” my friend replied. I don't watch much porn, but I know the name well enough to know of her work and how much she has contributed to the industry (her sexy instructional videos have received rave reviews). In fact as I wrote this, she was on the plane with me. I use the phrase 'with me' loosely because she was in first class and I was near the back of the plane. After seeing her at registration, we crossed paths again Monday morning because of flight delays.
When the storm was predicted Sunday, some of my CCon friends from places that get serious snow were laughing about the way "DC freaks out about a little bit of snow and shuts everything down". Being snow-ignorant, I asked for elaboration. According to them 2-3 inches is a shrug of the shoulders, whereas 12 inches is a respectable cause for shutting things down.
Sunday at about 3pm, sure enough it began to snow in DC, big floaty flakes that I wanted to stand outside and just revel in. I had never seen snow like that, and only seen snow fall a couple of times before (#bornandraisedinCA). By the time I finished dinner with friends, an inch or two was on the ground. I was so excited (squealing) that one of my new friends, Adrial Dale, scooped some snow off the ground, made a small snowball, handed it to me and turned around, presenting his butt to throw it at! And a very fine butt it was! Sadly I aimed a little high and got the small of his back – and much hilarity ensued.
Adrial is doing some amazing work. He created the Herpes Opportunity movement and leads 3-day workshops to help herpes-positive people move through shame and into self-acceptance. I love his tag line - “Because who you are is more important than what you have.” His website includes a blog, e-book on disclosure, audio podcast and community forum. So any and all of you folks out there who are herpes-positive – check out Adrial’s work here.
Another of my dinner companions was Mellody Love of Sex and Cupcakes. The card she gave me had attached to it a small bag with body lotion and a small vial of scent, both of which not only smell like cupcakes, but contain pheromones! Can't wait to try it out at the next party I attend or date I have...(There's an 'eat me' joke in there somewhere.) Besides her online retail store offering a great selection of the best sex toys, Mellody also offers sex coaching; one-on-one conversation about your love life, sex-positive interests, or even just a once-over of your online dating profile. She is based in the Houston area but will work with people from all over the country!
So back to the storm...Airlines are pretty good about notifying you regarding flight delays, but when that flight is suddenly less delayed - they are not so good at that. The departure time fluctuated about 4 times from noon to 12:30, from an initial 9am flight. So at 5am, after a long night of endless conversations, drinking and goodbyes, I felt safe setting my alarm for 10am, as we were only 5 minutes from the airport. For some reason I awoke at 9:37am and checked the flight again to find it was 11am!! Luckily I was packed, had clothes laid out and was pretty much ready to go. In 10 minutes I was out the door and in the lobby, to find the lovely Jessica Drake, looking far better than I, both of us with little sleep and no makeup. We were on the same Alaska airlines flight, and at that point we became a bit united in our quest to make that plane.
We were taken by the hotel shuttle to the airport. A hotel shuttle to the stars, it was. Besides Jessica there was Tom Stewart of Sportsheets, International and his lovely wife Kimberly. Also, Greg DeLong of njoy toys fame sat right in front of me. He and I had a conversation the night before. Greg told me that he had an engineering background and although he hadn't tested his toys on women, he "just knew" they would work for himself. Proving once again that the prostate and the G-spot are pretty much the same. And that Greg DeLong is perhaps a sex toy prodigy.
The airlines shot Jessica and I through the TSA screening (I didn't have time to do the pat-down so for the first time had the full body scan) and we walked our bags to the bag check people, hustling down to gate 21 where, despite the Delta signs everywhere and no mention of the Alaska airlines flight on any of the signs - they were indeed boarding the plane to LA, and we finally left DC. I have to say, Jessica was friendly, approachable and sweet. I found myself wondering if anyone on the plane recognized her.
And now, as I write this, I also feel a bit of wonder and gratitude that I am able to enjoy such a remarkable, dedicated and diverse group of sex-positive people in all their various focuses and niches. What an amazing weekend. What an amazing life I have! Thanks, CatalystCon. And thanks, Dee Dennis, from me and all those other sex-positive people who gave you a standing ovation at the closing keynote. Without you, CCon wouldn't exist and our lives would be far less rich without the ripe possibilities created by the coming together of our tribe.