Jan 282013

This week on Sex Out Loud I talk to two of the leading experts in the sex toy industry from The Smitten Kitten: founder Jennifer Pritchett and general manager Clare Jacky. What is a toxic sex toy? What are phthalates and why are they bad? How do consumers find out what a sex toy is made of? What is The Smitten Kitten’s philosophy about safe sex toys? They discuss the organization Jennifer founded, the Coalition Against Toxic Toys, new products and trends in the sex toy industry, and Clare’s report from the Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo. Plus, Jennifer and Clare give their recommendations for some of their personal favorite toys and great Valentine’s Day gifts.

The Smitten Kitten is a hub of community activity. We consider ourselves sex-positive culture makers and community members. When we opened in 2003, there were only a handful of places like this in the country—in the world even. We were tired of scouring the internet for helpful and relevant information about sex, and we were totally exhausted by shopping online for toys and supplies that too often ended up being disappointing. So, for the better of our own sex lives, we opened our own sex toy store. What you’ll find at Smitten Kitten today is the place we wish we had when we were first adult retail consumers ourselves. Our store is welcoming. The folks who work here are friendly and honestly helpful. The products that we sell are well-researched, are good quality, and represent the best value in their class. Read some of our reviews online and you’ll see that it’s not only us who think we’re doing a pretty good job. What you will
find are wholesome, sexy Midwestern folks and visitors of all ages, races, abilities, sexual orientations, and genders shopping with common purpose: a happier, healthier, sexier and more inspiring love life.

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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: http://swellcon.com/category/submit-a-proposal/

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 clare@smittenkittenonline.com


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Nov 212012

Smitten Kitten is doing it big this year with multiple ways to save cash and bring some new vibes into your life!

**EARLY BIRDS IN-STORE: 7:00am-11:00am
Everything in the store is 10% off
Spend $20 and get a FREE vibrator (valued at $50!)
They’ll have hot coffee and fresh donuts for you and your friends.

10% entire online store
Spend $50 and get a FREE vibrator (valued at $50!)
+ FREE shipping!

Folks can pre-shop now at:  www.smittenkittenonline.com
And, check out the new live educator feature. Chat up all your shopping questions with one of our sex educators while you browse!

May 182012

Author, Sex Educator, Filmmaker Tristan Taormino to Host Show on VoiceAmerica Radio Network

Tristan Taormino, internationally acclaimed author, sex educator, college lecturer, and feminist pornographer “Sex Out Loud” on VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. The show debuts June 1 at 5 pm Pacific Time, 8 pm Eastern Time.

PHOENIX, AZ, May 21, 2012 – VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, Internet broadcasting pioneer, producing and syndicating online audio and video, today announced the debut of Sex Out Loud, hosted by internationally acclaimed author, sex educator, college lecturer, and feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel on Friday, June 1, at 5 pm Pacific Time, 8 pm Eastern Time.

Sex Out Loud explores the world of sexuality from every angle. Tristan Taormino will interview leading authors, educators, artists and icons and give listeners an uncensored, inside look at alternative sexual practices and communities. She’ll delve into topics from the popular to the taboo, including sex education and sexual health, erotic fantasies, BDSM, non-monogamy, the adult industry, and more. Tristan and her guests will also answer listeners’ questions live. Her first guest will be Dan Savage, sex advice columnist, author, co-creator of the “It Gets Better” campaign, and star of MTV’s “Savage U.” Upcoming guests include Kate Bornstein, Buck Angel, Jaclyn Friedman, Jessica Valenti, Bobbi Starr, Susie Bright, and her daughter, Aretha Bright.

Tristan has been educating and entertaining people for over fifteen years. A former columnist for “The Village Voice,” Tristan’s sex-positive attitude and sharp wit have made her a sought after guest on radio and television shows across the United States and abroad including “Howard Stern,” “Loveline,” “Ricki Lake,” and HBO’s “Real Sex.” Most notably, she was a recurring guest on “Ricki Lake” for two seasons, gave sex advice to Danny Bonaduce and the late Dick Clark on the NBC talk show “The Other Half,” and debated Dr. Drew Pinsky and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC. She is a widely recognized expert on sex education, GLBT issues, alternative relationships, and feminist pornography. She frequently lectures at top colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UCLA, and NYU.

“Tristan Taormino is known around the world for her honest, down to earth, sex-positive advice, books, and films,” says Karen Dana, Executive Producer of Sex Out Loud. “We are so thrilled that she’s joining the VoiceAmerica Network, and her show is sure to inform and inspire our listeners.” Sex Out Loud follows Sex with Jaiya, the Variety Channel’s most popular show, giving listeners two hours of exciting, informative sex education.

Sex Out Loud is sponsored by The Smitten Kitten, an award-winning progressive sex toy retailer; Astroglide, one of the leading personal lubricant brands; and We-Vibe, the most popular rechargeable vibrator for couples in the world.

Sex Out Loud airs live on Fridays at 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel. To read more about the show, go to sexoutloudradio.com. To access the show, log on at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2096/sex-out-loud. All shows will be available in Tristan Taormino’s Content Library on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel for on-demand and podcast download.