Thank you to those who sent your thoughts and feedback from the AltSex NYC Conference! If you haven’t yet done so but would like to add your voice to the mix, fill out our contact form or send an email to us at info@AltSexNYCconference.org.

Following are a few excerpts from what attendees had to say about the conference…

Holy crap, just got back from AltSex – *mind blown*.  It was more than just a conference, they are pushing this to a new place.  Spirituality and shame erasure and identity regeneration at the same time.  Genuinely impressed.  It somehow occupies a place that is in between so many of its components – e.g., between kink, binary, trans, therapists, research, shamans, sex workers, pro dommes – and somehow seems to transcend all of them. ... [H]ere you felt equally that sex positive vibe but with a *very* deep sense of healing / regeneration / spirituality and energy and an equal focus on shame and pain and containment. … It’s a bit hard to explain how powerful the group was – the whole was much greater than the sum of its parts.”

– J.S., NYC

“Excellent conference! The speakers held the attention of the audience with interesting content and engaging presentation style. I hope that this conference is offered every year. I will encourage my students and colleagues to attend.”

– Sabitha Pillai-Freidman, PhD, LCSW, CST

“A most worthy program, noteworthy not only for the quality of the presenters, the AASECT accreditation, and the substantial attendance, but for the inclusion of both professional and community members.  About 150 attended, including one ambitious soul who traveled all the way from Seattle!  Kudos well deserved to conference organizers Michael Aaron and Dulcinea Pitagora.”

– Russell Stambaugh, PhD

“Firstly, I want to thank you for an excellent experience at the recent Alt Sex conference. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. It must have taken a tremendous amount of time and energy to organize it….

Again, thanks for a great conference and I look forward to next year’s alt sex. It’s already in my calendar!”

– Wendi Dumbroff, MA, LPC

“Thank you to Dr. Aaron and Dulcinea Pitagora for taking on the responsibility of organizing this important and groundbreaking clinical opportunity.  Looking forward to next year already.  Really got a lot [out of] the presenters and appreciated the sharing and developing of such a diverse community of providers… I’ve been in practice for close to 25 years and started my long journey to ASSECT certification 7 years ago at a workshop on kink with Marty Klein.  I’ve also been a leatherdyke for forever and specialize in the queer kinky poly community, but see folks with a wide range of sexual issues in addition to mental health and substance abuse.  You really are both pioneers in this field and I appreciate your leadership in facilitating a much needed renewal of this conversation in ASSECT and elsewhere.”

– Eve N. Bogdanove, MSW, LICSW

“I wanted to share my feedback with you about the conference…

In a word, Awesome! Truly. One, I think it was very cool (for lack of a more professional adjective) that the conference attendees were a combination of professionals, students, “civilians”, and practitioners of kink, BDSM, etc. There are so few conferences that are open to all folks, so I thought that was a positive aspect of this and opens up greater possibilities to educate and support.

Two, [Michael] and Dulcinea selected an excellent group of presenters ([them]selves included!). I am admittedly a huge fan of Margie Nichols so anything where she’s presenting I automatically think is wonderful. I knew of Roz but hadn’t heard her present before, and thought she was fantastic. All of the speakers shared in a very relatable, professional, and understandable manner.

Three, the content of the presentations were also really appealing personally. As a sex therapist and non-practitioner of kink and nonmonogamy (though ever wishful to be involved in the latter had I owned up to this part of myself before I married my very monogamy-oriented wife), I appreciated learning more about both on a deeper level. As you all mentioned various times throughout the conference, this wasn’t intended to be a “101” type of conference, and I was grateful for that because I personally felt I already had that piece down. I think it will continue to be helpful for already-supporters to have this ongoing level of depth in learning and detail about working with clients around kink and nonmonogamy.

I already have next year’s conference in my 2017 calendar and can’t wait!”

– Kyla Black, LCSW

“I wanted to thank you both for all your work in putting together such a fantastic conference!  It was such a pleasure, and so affirming, to spend the day with like-minded folks thinking critically and creatively about alternative sexualities.  

I was especially interested in the discussions around a kind of transcendence or spiritual component to kink.  An area of specialization in my own practice is working with clients around their spiritual identities, and often the relationship between their spiritual and sexual identities.  It was great to get the wheels turning on how kink fits into this particular component of my work.

As I told Dulcinea at the conference, I’m so pleased to be included on Manhattan Alternative, and have loved the clients who have come to me through the site.  I’ll be opening up another office day in June and will have more availability, so I look forward to seeing more great clients.

Thank you both again!”

– Sarah Brook, LCSW

Just a quick shout out to Dr. Michael Aaron, PhD, LCSW and Dulcinea Pitagora MSW, LMSW, who organized and hosted the 1st annual Alt Sex NYC conference in Mid-Town Manhattan on April 22. The speakers included Dr. Margie Nichols PhD, Dr. Zhana Vrangalova PhD, Dr. Michael Aaron, PhD, LCSW & Dulcinea Pitagora MSW, as well as Dr. RozDischiavo Ed.D, and David Ortmann MSW, LCSW. The presenters were engaging and knowledgeable and discussed cutting edge topics related to polyamory, BDSM/kink, shadow play, edge play, the evolving nature of queer identities and sexuality, as well as topics relating to consensual non-monogamy and age play; all topics germane to the practice of contemporary sex therapy. The audience represented a disciplinary cross-section of professionals including social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychoanalysts, psychiatry, nursing, mental health counselors and lay people, providing for rich exchange of voices and perspectives not often heard in other professional venues. It was also good to see and re-connect, and make new contacts, with so many colleagues from AASECT, SSTAR and CARAS. Great job and conference Michael and Dulcinea, looking forward to what next year brings!

– Joe Winn, LICSW

I just want to say how much I appreciated what you shared on Friday at the AltSex Conference. The way that you presented the information and the education you provided was truly valuable to me. The entire day opened my eyes to the diversity within the field, as well as the constant need for therapists with such empathic and non-judgmental understanding.

– Amy Resnik MHC-LP

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