I was really anxious about going to Woodhull, but going was one of the best things I could have done for myself. There were so many incredible bloggers there, and I’m confident that they do far better and more factual recaps of the event, so I’m going to talk more about how being at Woodhull made me feel because that feels like the most important part of my experience.
Woodhull Gave Me Some Serious Feels
Sex has fascinated me since I first learned about it as a kid, which is saying something considering I didn’t actually have sex until I was 19. There wasn’t one specific thing, act, or story that really caught my interest… it was just everything about it (although, I loved living vicariously through my friends’ debauched stories). It’s really not all that surprising then that became a sex blogger, but it wasn’t until Woodhull that I was sure it was the right fit for me.
In the last couple years, I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and I kept coming back to wanting to do something related to sex or sex education, so starting a sex blog felt like a step in the right direction. Running this blog has brought up a bunch of insecurities for me, including ones I didn’t realize I had, and I’ve spent a lot of time doubting myself and wondering if I’m even any good at any of this. I don’t consider myself to be a writer, it takes me hours or days to write each post (I often make way too many revisions), and I struggle with the limitations my body and how it affects my sex life and my ability to test toys or even keep up this blog.
There are a lot of established and incredible sex bloggers out there, and they’re a difficult act to follow. It’s hard not to compare yourself to bloggers who have been doing this for years and make it look so easy, and I was a bit nervous about meeting them all at Woodhull. Thankfully, they’re all amazing. Like really, really awesome people. And, thanks to Tantus’ Blogger Lounge and SheVibe’s Blogger PJ Party, I got to spend lots of time with them (thank you to both companies!)
Being at Woodhull, I felt comfortable and like I belonged in a lot of ways, and it confirmed how right being part of the sex-positive community felt to me. There was a positive energy about everyone and the Woodhull attendees are a community of people who are inclusive, understanding, accepting, and non-judgmental. I’m not sure who wouldn’t want to be a part of that. I felt strangely at peace being at Woodhull, as and a very high-strung person who has no idea what relaxing is, that’s a huge thing for me.
I struggle with a lot of things, most of which are directly due to my medical issues (FYI, I never know what to call it… illness? disease? ugh.) I’ve developed an ever-worsening sensitivity to fragrances/chemicals that can make it hard to be around people (because there are fragrances in EVERYTHING…yup, even unscented stuff) and I’m happiest when I’m being social, so that’s kind of a big dilemma. So I was equal parts excited and terrified about attending Woodhull because I was afraid I’d get really sick being around everyone. Much to my surprise, Woodhull works very hard (and I believe Crista Anne (@pinkness) had a lot to do with this) at making sure the conference is accessible, which also includes asking people to be considerate about what scents they wear. While not everyone made this their priority (my nose knows who you are), it made it fragrance free enough for me to be able to sit through parts of the lectures and really enjoy the conference as a whole—so a heartfelt thank you to everyone who had a hand in making it more accessible for everyone.
Woodhull confirmed for me that I want to continue to be a part of this amazing community and that I want to find bigger ways to be involved. I have no idea if I want to be a sex educator or therapist or sex toy designer or continue being a sex blogger, but I know for sure you’ll see me at #SFS17!
Okay, now it’s time for less feels and more facts:
Truthfully, I didn’t make it to nearly as many of the lectures as I wanted to. That’s actually the main criticism I have about Woodhull; that there were too many presentations happening at once that I wanted to see. This is a good problem to have, but still kind of a bummer. I also had to skip out early from some of the larger events like Bedpost Confessions and the Keynote speeches because fragrances were inevitable when so many people are in a room together and I was getting sick. None the less, the bits and pieces I was able to catch were fascinating, and I heard wonderful things from other convention-goers.
The entire conference was being live tweeted by someone, which was pretty awesome because it made me feel like I could be in multiple places at once by being in one workshop and reading the live tweeting from another. If you’re looking to relive the experience (do it, or better yet, just come to the conference next year) check out the twitter hashtag #SFS16, but I’d suggest setting yourself up in a comfy chair with a snack first, because it is a LOT to read through (it’s worth it though).
Just in case you don’t have the time to read every single tweet from #SFS16, I took the best from some of my favorite workshops and storified them for you! Check them out here, or check it out below.