Preparing for SXSW Interactive – Sexuality Panels

In my last post, I wrote about some of the panels I’m looking forward to attending at SXSW this year that relate to technology, health, and relationships. In case you thought I’d forgotten to mention the ones that relate to human sexuality, be assured that I simply thought they deserved their own feature. I believe that sexuality is one of the most important aspects of a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological health. So, let’s dig into the sex panels that I’m looking forward to attending this year.

The first is Sex Ed Online: How Teens Self Savvy. In this panel, Karen Kreps and Karen Rayne will share how kids sort through sexual information online. I think this is useful information for all sex educators as well as for parents who may want to know where their kids are likely to turn for information.

In Sex Lives of the Microfamous, Nick Douglas and Melissa Gira Grant will talk about the exhibitionism and voyeurism that occurs when people talk about their sex and dating lives on the internet. Who does it? Who reads it? Can it help your career or hurt it? These are good questions for the internet famous, those who follow them, or anyone who has considered documenting their sex and dating life online.

Violet Blue will be presenting Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Expression and Self-Defense. In this panel, Blue asserts that sexual exploitation and sexual expression are intrinsic to the online experience of everyone, whether intentional or not. Blue claims that knowing how to protect yourself from a sexual crisis is crucial information that we should all be equipped with and it’s hard to argue against such logic. She plans to discuss legal issues, cyberbullying, and sexual expression. This promises to be a great follow-up to the Sexual Privacy Online panel that I attended last year. I look forward to hearing her strategies for self-protection.

Lastly, Touching Me Touching You: How We Feel Technology is an exciting panel that will focus on computer-mediated touch, including interactive clothing design and teledildonic sex. Interactive technology is changing how people sexually interact and this panel seeks to explore a number of questions related to new sexual technologies and our emotions related to them. This panel is jam-packed with interesting speakers, including Kevin Alderman, Yin He, Michelle Hinn, Thecla Schiphorst, and Cory Silverberg.

One of the challenges of SXSW is that it’s sometimes hard to make it to all the interesting panels that you hope to attend. The upside is that if you miss a panel or can’t make it to the Festival, many of the panels are podcast so you can hear them later. Some of last year’s podcasts are available on the SXSW Coverage page and many more are available on Odeo. This year promises to have even fuller coverage of panels and Core Conversations, so chances are good you will be able to hear some of these presentations later if you’d like to hear what you missed.

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