Dec 202012

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Media has an enormous impact on how we view and engage in conversations about sex and sexuality.  Broadly defined erotic media can be a tool for social change but can also reinforce stereotypes and promote a sex negative cultural backlash. Whether it is a porn film, a book of erotica, mainstream news coverage of sexual issues, social media bringing together sexual communities, or a sexy picture from a photo archive illustrating a news story, it is clear that the intersection of sexuality and the media is rapidly changing both discourses on sexuality and the media landscape itself. SWELL is a conference devoted to critical conversations about these forms of media, conversations that need to be dynamic, challenging, and creative. This meeting is meant to be a space for discussion, synthesis, and collaboration, a praxis on erotic media which in which we share both broader theoretical frameworks and practical skills. We invite presenters who engage with erotic media in any way:  in their business, in their activism, as a side project to other callings and disciplines, or as their central passion and life’s work.

SwellCon is a project hosted by The Smitten Kitten, a progressive sex toys and supplies provider and community resource located in Minneapolis, MN, USA. We are organizing this conference in honor of our 10th anniversary. It is very important to us that under-represented voices and communities be able to present and attend SwellCon. To that end, we will be offering honorariums on a sliding scale to cover travel and lodging costs as well as to pay you for your unique contribution to the success of SwellCon! We especially encourage people of color, differently-abled people, sex workers, LGBTQUIA folks, people of faith, and non-academics to send proposals and attend!

Deadline for Submissions: February 28th, 2013. Details are below or the link to the submission guidelines is here:

Submission Guidelines:

You may propose either an individual presentation or a pre-constituted panel.  Please note that because of limited time and space, we will be unable to accommodate all proposals, and we reserve the right to reconstitute some panels for reasons of time, space, and non-duplication of topics.

Please send us a proposal with the following information:

Session Title:
Equipment Needs and Special Considerations (AV, room layout, etc.):
What topic(s) of interest does your session address?
In a paragraph, describe your session topic:
What is the main thesis of your presentation? What do you hope to achieve during the session? What is the take away?
How would you describe the format of your proposed session? (roundtable discussion, lecture, small group work, skill share, etc.)
What learning styles will your session utilize (visual, oral, tactile, etc.)?
Please note that we are unable to accommodate live, explicit demonstrations in the conference area. Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss alternatives spaces.

We are interested in a wide range of topics for SWELL. These include, but are not limited to:

Media Skill Share
examples of topics that may be covered:
DIY Erotic Media, DSLR Photography and Videography, Editing in Free Software, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro, Writing, Blogging and Web design, Podcasting and Internet Radio

Finding the Erotic Muse in Your Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Writing Erotica, Humor and Comedy in Sexual Media, Innovation and Idiosyncrasy in Erotic Video, Performance and Sex Education, Crafting a Public Persona

Erotic Media and Social, Cultural, and Economic Change
examples of topics that may be covered:
Historical Perspectives on Erotic Media, Technological Change and Perceptions of Sexuality, Second Wave Feminism and New Media, Future Perspectives on Erotic Media

Censorship and The Politics of Erotic Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Sex Work and Media, Education and Erotic Media, Censorship and Online Payment Technologies, Age-Appropriate Educational Media, Media and Sex-Positive Parenting

The Business of Erotic Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Erotic Media and The Law, Making Money While Making Erotic Media, Using Media as a Tool of Your Business, Accounting for Your Media

Consent Culture and Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Privacy and Social Networks, Fetlife, Privacy and Photo/File Sharing, Is Anyone Up?, Instagram, Facebook Posting Guidelines, Online Sexual Bullying and Harassment

Self-Distribution of Media Content
examples of topics that may be covered:
Sex Education and New Media, Podcasting, You Tube, eBooks, Digital Piracy, and the Artisanal Media Maker

Diversity and visibility in sexual media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Interlocking Oppressions and Erotic Media, Sex, Identity, and Bodily Autonomy in the Erotic Media age, ability, race, gender identity, Representing Kink and Non-Monogamy

Sexual media and the mainstream
examples of topics that may be covered:
Daytime Talk TV, Portrayal of Porn and Sex Work in Hollywood and Indiewood, News Coverage of Marriage Equality, Sex Worker Rights, California’s Prop B and Prop 35, Sexual Panics and Right-Wing Media Backlash, Pop Culture and Erotic Media

Please email question and submissions to Clare Jacky at


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