Old Tech, New Tech, Same Old Sex?
In the 70s porn theaters were a social space; in the 80s VCRs made viewing private; the 90s saw the rise of internet porn and online forums, allowing a still private but more social anonymous space; in the 2000s we are online with porn; meeting, mating, and educating, and very, very social--but this may or may not lead us to greater comfort and ability and pleasure in live, skin-to-skin and face-to-face sexual space. A mix of old and new technologies lead us to ever-increasing ways to connect, share, learn, enjoy. Today we can bridge technologies to create a social sexual experience that balances the risk of exhibitionism and exposure with the presumed safety of anonymity. Historically, media representations of sex have generated new sexual identities and helped redefine existing ones. Mingling identities real and virtual in real and virtual spaces may let us synthesize the best of old and new... or will it shape our knowledge and expectations in increasingly unreal ways?
Carol Queen, PhD is a writer and cultural sexologist and is the Staff Sexologist and Curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum at Good Vibrations (goodvibes.com, AntiqueVibratorMuseum.com).
She directs and co-founded the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco (sexandculture.org). Her erotic stories are being collected into a book; her erotic novel The Leather Daddy and the Femme (1998) won a Firecracker Alternative Book Award; a “director’s cut” edition came out in 2003. Her first book, Exhibitionism for the Shy (1995/2009), explores issues of erotic self-esteem and enhancement. Her essay collection is Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture (1997, 2002). She’s also edited several volumes of erotica and essays and has appeared in explicit educational videos, notably "Bend Over Boyfriend."
Queen regularly serves as commentator for TV and documentaries about sex; she has addressed many scholarly as well as community-based conferences, including the International Conference on Prostitution and the International Conference on Pornography. In 2009 she debated the question of promiscuity (“Virtue or vice?”) for the Oxford Union at Oxford University, England.
She has been speaking publicly about non-mainstream sexualities, from lesbian to leather, for over 30 years. She addresses sexual diversity via experience, sex information, and informed cultural commentary. For more: www.carolqueen.com.
Julie Gillis is a writer, producer, and speaker focused on social justice, civil rights, and human sexuality. She is a professional with over 15 years experience in theater production, event coordination, and organizational facilitation.
Her work has ranged from non-profit arts organizations to higher education, advancement and student affairs, and she has a broad skill set from development, community relations, coaching and mentoring, to performing and improvisational comedy.
She has written for The Good Men Project, Good Vibes Blog, The Austin Chronicle Gay Place Blog, elephant journal and Persephone Magazine. She also is a performer and a co-producer of the popular monthly show, Bedpost Confessions and produced the Austin based Ladies Are Funny Festival. Julie uses theater and storytelling to bridge the space between social justice advocacy and the everyday.
Her personal focus and passion is with LGBTQ, women’s rights and sexual education health. She believes in sexual literacy and education for all, and that sexual rights are human rights which should be honored and respected.
She serves as a member of the UT Pride and Equity Faculty And Staff Association and a volunteer for the UT Gender and Sexuality Center and the UT Interpersonal Violence Committee. A parent who has served in public schools in Austin, she is also an advocate for comprehensive sex education.
She fights against sexual abuse and assault and she supports the intersections and impact of social justice and the arts in many arenas such as race, class, age and ability, equal rights for workplace benefits, marriage equality and safety in schools and the workplace.
As co-founder and director of CineKink, an organization that recognizes and encourages the sex-positive and kink-friendly depictions in film and television, Lisa Vandever curates and oversees an annual film festival and touring series, now in its tenth season, designed to promote and showcase such works.
Michael Stabile is a journalist and filmmaker who has worked in and written about the porn industry for over a decade.
As a filmmaker, Stabile is the director of "Smut Capital of America" (2011), about the birth of 'hardcore' in the late 60s, and "Seed Money," an upcoming feature about pornographer-philanthropist Chuck Holmes. He is currently in pre-production "The World According to Holly," a documentary about Warhol Superstar Holly Woodlawn.
Stabile's work on sex, sexuality and obscenity has appeared in Playboy, the Daily Beast, Salon and Buzzfeed. He does media consultation for adult companies including NakedSword and Kink.com.