Cheers Sexy People!
Hello bravehearts! As you may have been able to tell from my updates, I have been doing a fair amount of traveling recently. 2018 is shaping up to be another banner year of travel. I will admit it is taking its toll on me, challenging my sense of organization, structure, and timing. My beloved who is also my IT guy (hi baby!) has been helping me get organized with such apps like Trippit on my phone to help minimize my confusion on my various travel itineraries. Yet with a mishap this morning, it’s the final push that maybe 2018 is the year that I get an assistant to further help me make a bigger impact on the world with our Loving Without Boundaries (LWB) mission – so that I can focus on the larger vision, while someone starts to assist me with some of the details that I have been managing for years now.
Quick funny story to illustrate.
I am now on my way back from Utah where I both collected a kickass interview with my colleagues and friends Mango (episode 61 on LWB) and Bryce (a newb here who plays monogamous interviewer! So cool!!). I was also busy lining up workshop presentations throughout the spring to help me serve this community even more. This morning with all this information in my head, I had a… um… “brain fart” I’m a bit embarrassed to admit (but we are all about authenticity and honesty here at LWB), and got confused on my flight departure time. I didn’t realize my mishap until a text notification came in at 7:13am informing me of a gate change for my 8:30am flight! I was in my jammies (pajamas) happily texting one of my two sweeties at the time! You want see a girl move fast? Tell her that she has ten minutes to pack, get dressed, call a cab, and check out of a hotel or she will miss her flight home to her beloved family! Wow! Was my heart pumping fast! I got the job done though arriving at 7:32am, partly thanks to smarty pants Mango booking us a room right near the airport (thanks Mango!). I also whole-heartedly thank both the universe for the gate change notification (or I would have surely missed my flight), and for my Uber driver who calmed my nerves telling me I was probably fine to make my flight. That dude got five stars indeed!
Anywho! My point is I can’t seem to keep ALL the balls in the air apparently by myself in my efforts to serve this community. I plan to do my damnedest to find strategies to continue to make a solid commitment to the excellence of LWB, what we offer, and how we give it you. I love you, community! You are brave, amazing pioneers, and I aim to serve your needs!
With that, I’ll share my most recent workshop experience that blew my mind several weeks ago.
NATIONAL SEX EDUCATORS CONFERENCE – DECEMBER 2017
I had the privilege and honor of presenting at the National Sex Educators Conference (NSEC) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Honestly I was surprised that I got this speaking gig as I had a bit of “imposter syndrome” about little ole me essentially teaching educators about polyamory. But as the weekend wore on, I started to very clearly see a hole in the sex education field that I am suited to help fill! What an absolute privilege and honor to get to speak to this intelligent, dedicated, and passionate community!
My presentation was entitled: Polyamory In Practice: Understanding Consensual Non-monogamy. I worked on my presentation right up until the very minute I uttered my first words to a fairly packed room that Friday. In the months leading up to the presentation, I started preparations by doing short informational interviews with sex educators that I respect, admire, and hold in high regard, such as LWB interviewees Jules Purnell, Angel Renee, Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, and Shadeen Francis (who also presented at the conference), as well as upcoming interviewees Kait Scalisi. They were invaluable in helping me get my mind more into the headspace of the attendees. Upon arrival, I further studied both the presentations and the language of some of the other workshops, receiving nuggets of wisdom from each. Thank you, presenters!
One of the reasons I accepted the opportunity to present at NSEC was my excitement at seeing Dr. Ruth Westheimer – one of my idols – speak as one of the keynotes. I have been following her work since the 80s when I was an impressionable, naíve, monogamous-minded person trying to figure out how sex and pleasure fit into my young life. I always loved her assertiveness, candor, and hilarity at never hesitating to tell it like it is from her expertise. In my opinion, she did not disappoint. Whether I agree with everything she stated or not, I highly appreciate this nearly 90-year old, concentration camp survivor and pioneer in sex education offering us her wisdom.
The devilish Kitty in me vowed before even arriving that I would get a selfie with Dr. Ruth, even if she was 30 feet away from me. After we arrived early and got front row seats, I saw my opportunity in purchasing her latest book and having her sign it. I jumped in line for an autograph where I was thrilled to see she would not only sign on stage, but have a brief conversation with each customer as she did so. My heart was pounding as I approached my idol. We made pleasantries, and I tell her how her work helped make me orgasmic thus changing my life. Then this is what transpired:
Dr. Ruth: “What do you do in Washington, DC?”
Kitty: “I’m a polyamorous relationship coach.”
Dr. Ruth: “What’s polyamory?”
Kitty: “It’s multiple intimate relationships at the same time with consent from all parties.”
Dr. Ruth: “What about the sex? How do you not catch diseases?”
Kitty: “Well we get tested for STDs, have open conversations, and generally practice safe sex. Just like a monogamous relationship.” (I’m dying inside now and giggling despite myself because I can’t believe this is happening!)
Dr. Ruth: “What about jealousy!?”
Kitty: “Funny you should ask! I just wrote a book about it. Would you like a copy?”
Dr. Ruth: “What do you do about jealousy!?” (persists for an answer right there – I am now holding up the line of customers who want her autograph!)
Kitty: “Well you do internal work to work through that emotion, and use communication techniques to discuss your feelings with your partners. Would you like a copy of my book? It goes into detail all about it.”
Dr. Ruth: “OK!” (photographer snaps pictures, I grab my signed book, float off stage, skip through the hall on Cloud 9 high-fiving my friend, and return with my signed “Jealousy Survival Guide” book.)
SHUT UP! Did that just HAPPEN? Wow! This is earth shattering, thrilling, and a pivotal moment in my life, and for polyamorists everywhere! If Dr. Ruth is open to change, creating awareness, and learning about alternative, non-traditional ways to DO relationships, who else is? Many more I bet. Who says you can’t teach an “old”-er (person) new tricks? That is bull. Dr. Ruth: You are my HERO even more now! Thank you for your inquisitiveness, your life-changing important work, and your open mind. You rock, sweet awesome lady!
As far as my presentation went, I am absolutely thrilled and elated to say that it was well attended, had great participation, as well as great questions including by another keynote speaker, Steve Brown, author of Streetwise to Sexwise. Upon completion of the presentation that felt so damn good to give to these passionate educators, many attendees came up to tell me their thoughts. A wonderful representative from NCSF, Judy Guerin, who stood up to share NCSF’s support of polyamorous families, told me she thought the presentation was excellent. Thanks for your support, Judy! Another attendee was quite emotional saying how much my story resonated with her, and how did I get to a point where I was sharing my transformational story in front of an audience? We shared some thoughtful and heartfelt words to each other. Also a now new colleague and interviewee on my podcast, Lindsey said:
“I actually thought you had the best presentation in the entire conference, your slides were awesome and flowed nicely [and were not “dry”]. I’m extremely critical of workshop presentations because I study the craft of them for my own business, so I thought you did great! Your topic is, of course, very interesting and I thought you did a great job giving a great introduction to it – it felt normal and very authentic. My only feedback is that I was left with wanting more! I had so many questions to ask you. So if you only have an hour for a workshop, you may want to invite people to a virtual Q&A session and have them sign up when you are finishing up, and then have that session a day later while the topic is fresh in their minds.”
Wow, I appreciate that, Lindsey!
Thank you to the organizers of NSEC for accepting my application to share this important information to further relationship equality, education, as well as support for those who need it in regards to alternative relationships. I highly value the work you are all doing as we so need this now more than ever!
Wishing you peace, love, happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)