How does sex influence a transmasculine person’s identity? And how can a healthy sexuality diminish body dysphoria? Therapist Mike Giordano, LICSW joined activist, educator, and educational and adult filmmaker, Buck Angel for a workshop exploring transgender men’s lives and how mental health professionals can assist in building positive self-regard and promoting pleasurable sex lives, while attending to issues around body and gender dysphoria. Utilizing Mr. Angel’s sexually graphic documentary, attendees will engage in a frank discussion on queer sexualities, dismantle stereotypes about transgender narratives, and become more culturally adept at working with this population.
In this study, 200 self-identified Tops and bottoms completed a 23-item scale psychological drivers and 42-item scale on “turn-on” intensity, known to be associated with Top/bottom dynamics, as well as open-ended questions exploring preferred traits in partners. The results created a clear Top profile, as well as a less distinct and more varied bottom profile. Consistent high-intensity preferences were found to be significantly associated with less sexual dysfunction and higher desire. Click to view PDFs of slides.
10:45 to 11:15AM — Samuel Hughes
Pathways to Becoming Kinky—Patterns and Idiosyncrasies in Kink Identity Development
Grounded in an empirical mixed-methods study of the retrospective life histories of 292 kinky adults from 29 countries, this talk described a new model of the development of kink identity that represents the substantial diversity of identity development experiences held by kinky individuals. Topics included media experiences, childhood play, differences in the search for a label to describe one’s kink desires, kink community involvement, religious communities, kinky/vanilla relationships, and the complex role of capitalism in shaping kink identity. Click to view PDF of slides.
11:30AM to 12PM — Stephanie Lykes
“I Do See Color”: Shedding Light on Race Play
Race play has long been viewed as a taboo kink in BDSM practice. The cultural history of the United States is enmeshed with the intersecting domains of racism, violence, and the policing of sexual mores. As such, the lines between behavioral play that is perceived as being acceptable or abhorrent are often blurred, especially for people of color in the BDSM community. This presentation will focus on race play from the African American perspective, and the potentially burdensome impact of history on such persons. Click to view PDF of slides.
12 to 12:30PM — James Lawer
Effective Use of BDSM within Adult Male Psychological Development
The presentation describes three cases of men seeking transformational, experiential BDSM work. Two described internal family systems dynamics needing to be understood and healed. The third asked explicitly for an extended process supporting male initiation. James described individualized sessions involving sequential experiences over time. Some techniques were used with all three, but in each case, an individual approach was designed that was based on that man’s patterns of arousal, intimacy, sexual history and psychology. Click to view PDF of slides.
12:30 to 1PM — Samantha Manewitz
Kink, Trauma, Transformation
The intersection of kink and sexual trauma is a source of perpetual angst and controversy, within and outside of kink communities. Given the prevalence of sexual trauma in the general population, paired with the growing interest and cultural awareness of kink, it is inevitable that people with trauma histories will be drawn to BDSM. Drawing from research on trauma work and evidence based practices, this workshop dispelled harmful myths about the intersections of kink and trauma, and examined how survivors can find profound healing through kink. Click to view PDF of slides.
2:30 to 3PM — Avigail Hurvitz-Prinz
Sex and Sexuality of Formerly Ultra-Orthodox Jews
An examination of the unique dynamics and difficulties faced by formerly Ultra-Orthodox Jews as they transition into the secular world, especially around sexual health. Highlights included specific ways in which formerly Ultra-Orthodox Jews understand their own sexuality, how they would define “healthy” and “unhealthy” sexuality, and what they thought of those experiences. This presentation offered guidance to practitioners in order to better serve these clients with increased cultural competency and more thoughtful engagement around assumptions about “healthy” sexuality. Click to view PDF of slides.
3 to 3:30PM — John Marchini
From Sex Addiction to Kink Redemption—My Life as a Recovered Sex Addiction Therapist
According to one ongoing study, 75% of respondents were aware of their kink by the age of 12. I’m one of the 0.4% who recognized it at 41+. I explored with joy and gusto; however, soon came confusion, shame and the sex addict label. I became a certified sex addiction therapist, but slowly came to understand my journey not as one of pathology but rather as personal growth, development, and freedom from repression. Realizing the danger of the myth of sex addiction inspired me to help others who were facing a similar crisis. In discovering my kink I have been able to liberate myself and others from soul destroying sexual oppression.
3:45 to 4:45PM — Herukhuti Williams
Beyond Sexual Identity Politics—The Bisexual as Sex Radical, Sacred Whore, and Revolutionary
Using autoethnography, Dr. Herukhuti performed a critical self-reflection of his personal experience in challenging oppressive social forces using sex, spirituality, and cultural production. This presentation served as an invitation to consider a role that bisexuals can play in the struggle for a more socially just and ecologically well world. Through an approach to the use of Self that is informed by West African indigenous knowledge, socially engaged art practice, and decolonizing revolutionary praxis, Dr. Herukhuti offered a provocative, embodied approach to radical individuality for social change. Click to view PDF of slides.
5 to 6PM — Panel Discussion & Final Words: Alt Sex and Individual Expression
The post-conference networking happy hour mixer was held at Latitude Bar & Grill, 783 8th Avenue, NYC.
photography by Ben Goodwin
Save the date for the 4th Annual AltSex NYC Conference: Friday, May 10, 2019!
See you next year!
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