August 17, 2012

Sexual State of the Union Summit

Events No Comments

Good Vibes 2012 Sex Summit San Francisco

The San Francisco-based sex toy and education emporium Good Vibrations is holding a forum in San Francisco this fall to discuss the sexual state of the union. Their panelists and keynote speakers (which read like a Who’s Who of sex education, research, journalism and commentary) will examine the awkward relationship between sex and mainstream media, pop culture and national politics on October 27. Day-long intellectual intercourse will be followed by a cocktail party, and, well, who knows where that will lead? We can be sure a fair share of attendees will conceive a book or two during the proceedings.

The day will kick off at the Marriott Marquis at 10:00AM with remarks from renown sexologist Dr. Carol Queen, shortly followed by a keynote by Dr. Debby Herbenick, a research scientist and Associate Director at The Center for Sexual Health Promotion. Herbenick is also a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University. Oh, yes. Welcome to the major league of sex.

At 11:00AM, the first panel –moderated by Charlie Glickman, will commence, discussing the regulation of pleasure with panelists Marty Klein, Yoseñio V. Lewis, Maggie Mayhem, and Judith Levine (don’t know them? Read their bios here). Per Good Vibration’s Sex Summit site:

Sex is regarded differently from other elements of life and is arguably regulated more than anything else, whether it’s restrictions on sex education, limited definitions of relationships, censorship of sexual images, laws against certain kinds of sexual expression, or circumscribed civil liberties. Our opening panel will explore some of the causes and effects of this social bias, including trends in censorship and sexual politics, and how some people are bringing a more sex-positive slant to this anti-sex playing field.

Following a short break, the second panel will come together to discuss sex and the media. Abiola Abrams will moderate this lively conversation among Brian Alexander, Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, Emily Morse, and Chauntelle Tibbals.

Sex and the media have a complex relationship. How does the use of sex to sell products affect sexual attitudes? When movies and TV become substitutes for sex education, what happens to our relationships? Why does porn get blamed for becoming more explicit, while sexy images elsewhere get a pass? In a society without real media literacy, what role do communications play in creating our sexual attitudes? Our media experts will explore these and other questions and discuss what they see happening on our screens and in our publications.

An hour lunch-break will follow at 1:15PM and, an hour later, a keynote from Dr. Marty Klein, a 31-year-veteran of marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, whose only career goals are to tell the truth about sexuality, help people feel sexually adequate and powerful, and support the healthy sexual expression and exploration of women and men.

At 3:00PM, Dr. Carol Queen will moderate a conversation among Dr. Debby Herbenick, Heather Corinna, Carmen Vázquez, and Liz Canner about sexual health and pharmaceuticals:

The increase in pharmaceutical and medical treatments for sexual concerns has shifted the definition of “sexual health” even further towards a performance model. But for all of the challenges that sexual medicine creates, it also can have the potential to change lives and improve sexual experiences. This panel will explore how our sexual lives are shaped by the medicalization of the erotic body and the workings of the medical industry, what benefits and challenges medical science can offer, and how alternative perspectives can contextualize the pharmacological point of view.

A ten minute break will follow, before Emily Morse takes the floor to moderate a discussion among Jaclyn Friedman, Tracy Clark-Flory, Lynn Comella, and Abiola Abrams about sex and popular culture:

Cultural attitudes about sex are changing faster than ever before and popular culture, fueled by technological changes, help create these shifts. What is it about celebrities that makes us so interested in their sex lives? Do we really want them to serve as role models? Who’s using the spotlight of fame or their pop culture platform as an opportunity to send a different kind of message? How can we use the contemporary folkways of mass culture to create different representations of sex? And how can media literacy help us understand sexual messages?

This last panel will be followed by a closing keynote from award-winning jounalist and author Brian Alexander. Alexander is a contributing editor at Wired and Glamour and author of America Unzipped: The Search for Sex and Satisfaction and the upcoming The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction, which was co-authored by neuroscientist Larry Young.

Cocktail reception commences at 6:00PM at the View Bar. You dying to go yet, or what? Our editrix is practically already packed, if that’s any indicator of how great this first ever summit is going to be.

How much to ride this ride? Tickets will cost you $69 until October 1. After that they’ll be $99 — that’s less than most conferences even when you factor the plane ticket! As for the hotel, if you book your room before the first, you’ll get a nice discount by providing the code GDV or asking for the group rate for Good Vibrations. So? You coming or what?


We're your creatures, putting to words things to inform you, amuse you, educate you and move you. Be nice to us, we already have a cruel mistress in our editrix. We say that with love, of course, we do love her whip.

More Posts


Add our page on Google+!

Keep up with everything we're covering right in your stream. Please note this page is limited to users 18+.


Gamers Won’t Be Seduced, Will Stare At Random Cleav Instead

That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.

FetLife Is Not Safe for Users

That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.

Why You Should Vote No On Prop 35

Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?

Pretty and Calls Herself a Geek? Attention Whore!

If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.

Cuddle Chemical? Moral Molecule? Not So Fast

Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.

How to Avoid Pissing off a Stripper

Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.


Send us news!

AV Flox

In-House Theologian:
Robert Fischer

Eros and Desire Scholar:
Dawn Kaczmar

Scientific Consultant:
Jason Goldman

East Coast Liaison:
Jackie Summers

Barbie Davenporte

Read about the contributors we've had over time on our staff page.

Follow SAT405 on:


Hosted by (mt)


Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...