Part of my trip to NYC and Washington D.C., continued from The Beginning: New York City. There will be more posts after this as well.
Somehow (after going the wrong way) I made it to the Bolt Bus with my stuff with about 15 minutes to spare before the bus was supposed to be there. I got a little to eat before heading out to the bus only to discover it was the wrong bus. That didn’t matter so much as I met up with Mollena, Essin’ Em, and MayMay before heading onto the bus. Not long after we were met by AvatarKoo and Sascha and the six of us headed on what was affectionately called the Sex Bus!
While there was a lot of chatting there was also a lot of quiet on the five hours that it took for us to go from NYC to D.C. and I got a bit of sleep (I had been kept up late the night before talking with Onyx and Marla). Bolt Bus has power plugs and wifi, which is why we all wanted to take it, but both stopped working halfway through the ride, which was highly annoying. I used that time to sleep, though, and it was no big deal.
Once we got to D.C., Mollena, Essin’ Em, and I took a cab to the hotel and got settled in. We had learned while on the bus that the pool and drinks activity scheduled was canceled as the pool was not open! This was highly disappointing to me as I had been dreaming about swimming for a good while, luckily I was able to that weekend but that’s for later.
The wonderful Domina Doll was gracious enough to let me share her room, and we ended up meeting up in the hotel restaurant before heading up to our room and settling in. We chatted for quite some time while I was tweeting with Carnivalesq and texting with Onyx and Marla.
After getting to know each other offline a little bit Domina and I headed to Carnivalesq’s room to meet her and her boyfriend Ripley both of whom I already knew I was going to like but I immediately loved them! I felt like we all got along very well and was super excited to meet them. The four of us went out to get thai food at a nearby restaurant, then headed to a liquor store and bought wine for the evening/weekend.
We headed back to our respective hotel rooms and Domina and I broke out the wine while chatting some more. I really enjoyed talking with her, and there was a little drama going on with Marla, mostly me feeling bad and worrying, so we talked about that among many other things. I was so glad to have met her and I felt like we hit it off as well, though I knew that was going to happen.
We headed up to the Brownies and Porn event happening in Match’s room and there met lots of other people, I can’t even say who all was there, but that was the first time I met Jay and Ellie and so many other people were there. At the time I was busy worrying about meeting Marla, I had not yet bought our hotel room for the next two nights either, and I was just in anxiety-mode, which made being in a room full of people I didn’t know too well who were also being loud something that I didn’t want to do.
I headed back down to my room, made hotel reservations for the next two nights at a hotel in Alexandria, VA on the other side of D.C. (technically we were in Silver Springs, MD) and called the hotel to make sure their pool was open. It was. Score! Carnivalesq and Ripley came along not too soon after, there was chatting for a bit until they were tired and decided to head back to their room. It was a strange night all around, really.
I ended up staying up super late (read: 5am) talking on the phone with Onyx about my own fears and insecurities regarding meeting Marla, and so I also ended up sleeping until the keynote had already started. Quickly I woke Domina up, showered, got dressed, and headed down to the main floor where the conference was being held. I opted for breakfast instead of the first session but then opted for talking with Marla on the phone instead of breakfast. She was already on her way up to D.C.
The first session I went to (which was actually the second session) was Mollena’s “Flying Your Freak Flag” session, I came in late with Carnivalesq, then Ripley followed not long behind. It was a wonderful session, Mollena is absolutely wonderful and I really was glad that I had chosen to go to hers. There were several wonderful quotes which i couldn’t help but tweet and just generally enjoyed the session immensely. It was basically about the decision to be “out” about being part of a community, how being out can help others around you not just yourself. Every session I participated in seemed to come back to person vs. personae in one way or another, something I definitely want to write about at a later time.
After that session I talked with Marla and Onyx briefly before settling down to actually eat something since I had neglected to do so before. Carnivalesq and Ripley kept me company and Carnivalesq discovered the sugar packets were njoy brand (njoy being also the name of a sex toy company we all lust for). It was highly amusing. Can you tell I clung to them a bit the entire conference?
This entire time, also, Marla was getting closer and closer to D.C. and my excitement for that was building and distracting as I was also enjoying everything else.
I stuck with Carnivalesq and Ripley and updated briefly during Jack Stratton’s session “History of Written Erotica on the Internet” which was highly awesome and included a snippit from a tentacle porn story which was pretty awesome. I tweeted a few choice quotes from that session as well. It talked heavily on the difference between person vs. personae and the ability of having anonymity on the internet but that also evolving into a personae of it’s own. Quite interesting, and for another post.
She was even closer by the time the session started.
We stayed in the same room to participate in Jack Murnighan’s session “Sex Writing Beyond Erotica,” which discussed various types of sex writing and also ended up touching on person vs. personae as well as various other things, such as comfortability in sex writing (“If I’m really comfortable writing this, it probably isn’t going to be interesting” tweet), the ever-evasive (for me) showing vs. telling, and all sorts of other usual suspects when it comes to issues with sex writing/how to write sex/etc. Again, there were many quotable tweets.
That session was also especially amusing because, as I tweeted, I was sitting next to Carnivalesq, one row behind AvatarKoo, two rows behind Ellie Lumpesse, and also across the room from Minx, all of us with our laptops, all of us tweeting. After the session I stepped away from my computer for less than 20 minutes, when I came back there were 60+ tweets under the #Sex20 hashtag on twitter. We were also trending on twitter, meaning so many people were using the hashtag it officially became a trend. Crazy.
The final session I attended was “Revisiting Naked on the Internet” with Audacia Ray, FurryGirl, Melissa Gira and Amber Rhea. It dealt a lot with the person vs. personae idea again, as well as feminism or not, sex work, and living your life on the internet (kinda similar to person vs. personae also).
After the session I went to the vendor room with Carnivalesq, where Ripley had already bought a necklace from Vera for me! I didn’t know they were going to, and it was so sweet of them! I am currently wearing it, and haven’t actually taken it off since it was given to me, it’s a simple chain held together with a heart-shaped lock kinda like the one on my wrist. I had mentioned liking it earlier in the day. It was so super sweet of them, I’m still kinda floored by it!
Marla was so close I could almost taste her, so I said my goodbyes to Domina Doll (who I barely saw all day), Carnivalesq and Ripley, headed up to the hotel room, packed up my stuff, went downstairs and impatiently waited for her to get to the hotel.
Part of me is sad I didn’t stick around for that night and the next morning, but I had something more important to do. Heaven forbid having sex actually interfere with a conference about sexuality! I really enjoyed all the sessions, and I have a lot more I want to write about each of them but specifically under the topic they raised in me: person vs. personae. In Jack’s Sex 2.0 post he mentions the point of the conference, which I will gratefully
“One thing Sex 2.0 seemed to say to me is that we (feminists, sex workers, BDSM, poly community, LGBT, creators of explicit art and media, anyone ostracized, marginalized, disadvantaged or persecuted because of their sexual identity, choice or profession) may be part of different movements, but we have a lot of similar goals and we should come together and learn how to be better allies. We are all fighting first and foremost to have our voices heard, thus it makes sense for us to create forums where all voices can be heard.”
I couldn’t have said it better. It was a wonderful experience and I’m excited for the next Sex 2.0 to be held here in Seattle and further participation in it next year.
Meeting Marla, heading to the hotel, and the rest of the weekend? That will have to come in the next post…