Well folks, I apologize for promising something without delivering it on time. That’s not like me. But let me tell you something: sitting in various rooms in a hotel for two and a half days straight, listening to people you admire talk about their personal theories on sex-positivity, new media, and other things dear to your heart is really surprisingly exhausting. I wasn’t prepared for this. Of course, staying out with a dear friend until at least 2:00 every night drinking, then dragging my ass out of bed before 9:00 each morning before sitting in said room and listening didn’t help, but my brain and blogging heart have been seriously put through an endurance test this weekend. When I got on the train (an hour and a half late–again with the drinking, except this time at 6:00 pm) back to NYC last night, I had every intention of writing an effusively worded blog about how much I loved Momentum! Instead I passed out and didn’t wake up until almost Trenton, at which point I was so confused I just stared out the window for the next hour until NYC came into view.
So, dear readers who were not lucky enough to attend Momentum this weekend, I apologize for my laziness. I will try, over the next few days, to make up for it in small, reader-friendly bits about what I learned and pondered this weekend.
But first: business.
This was the first time the Momentum conference was ever held in the history of the universe. Ever. One might reasonably expect, therefore, that there’d be some hiccups along the way, maybe not enough seating, breaks in the schedule, confusion about exactly who’s supposed to be doing what and where and when, not enough water or coffee… You know, first timer mistakes. But no. There weren’t. On behalf of all the attendees I talked to about the topic of first-timing, and all those I overheard discussing the same topic, I’d like to tell the organizers of Momentum that we were all astonished by how well the proceedings went. I only attended one session that had even the slightest of technical glitches, and that was only because the presenter had planned to use a Mac and didn’t have the right adapter to plug into the projector, which was made for PCs. And she still (Jamye Waxman, by the way) NAILED her presentation about female masturbation, using a PC that wouldn’t show any of her pictures or videos. That’s professionalism.
Furthermore, for the price of attending (a very negotiable, and tax-writeoff-able $55), the amenities were fantastic. Not only did the price of my ticket put me into a room with virtually the entire North American sex-positive blogging and educational community and give me an open forum in which to talk to as many of them as I wanted, but it got me snacks and coffee throughout the day, ice water in fancy cups as often as I wanted it, $10 off the price of a ticket to FetFest this summer, incredible performance art, movies, and comedy, and a schwag bag the likes of which I have never seen anywhere. I’m talking a vibrator, a vibrating cock ring, lube, a dental dam, a male condom, and a frickin pen, all in a complimentary bag from Fascinations. Like. WHAT! That’s at least $55 right there! Momentum, I salute you for making an insanely inspiring, worthwhile conference on a shoestring budget. You did GOOD!
The only major glitch I can name from the weekend’s festivities was not the fault of Momentum itself, nor its attendees. It was the hotel. The Crown Plaza was very gracious to host such a possibly-controversial conference, and they provided us with nice accommodations, but they weren’t so excited about hosting as they could have been. As a matter of fact, the management saw fit to host not only our sex-crazed (but very professional, let it be said) group… but also a youth group there for some kind of Church Thing during the same weekend! We were actually very specifically asked to please behave ourselves so as not to offend the church people! On the one hand, as the organizers pointed out, this was an excellent opportunity to prove to everyone involved that even–gasp!–sex bloggers, educators, and workers can be civilized and stay for a weekend in a hotel without throwing a chandelier-swinging orgy (or at least if we did, we cleaned up afterward very nicely and didn’t wake anyone up), and it’s important to show the world that though we may be horny, we’re not complete degenerates. But seriously, who would book both these groups and then ask one not to be too sexy? Why would that seem like a good idea? And hey, why not ask the church group not to be too churchy? “Please, youth group leader, can you make sure to keep your children away from the sex-positivists? We don’t want any offensive proselytizing or confrontations.” That would have been nice. And anyway, we all know what goes on at Youth Group retreats in hotels away from home… let’s not be coy about this: sexual experimentation in the wee hours! Whether it’s a single-sex or coed youth group, you can count on at least one room being “the makeout room” where a bunch of budding breasts are fondled for the first time. Frankly, I think it would’ve done the young things a lot of good to sit in on some of our sessions at Momentum! They’d have learned more about how to be safe, responsible, and healthy than I bet their prayer leader taught them.
I’m off to work, and here I’ll leave the logistical analysis of the conference behind. Next up: the amazing fucking panelists, presenters, and moderators. Like holy crap, people. Stay tuned!