Two Days in Sex:Tech Heaven

Cory Silverberg at About.com: Sexuality talks about our presentation at Sex:Tech!

Sex and Politics

There wasn’t a lot of open political debate at the conference, and the shared political agenda was about doing more help youth protect themselves from STDs/HIV Politics emerged more in the spaces between people working in different environments: The freedoms enjoyed by individuals running their own sites or blogs who didn’t have to worry about insurance, investors, or boards of directors getting in between them and their target audience; the privilege of the relatively well funded organizations or government agencies, the ones who get paid for their work, probably own homes, and weren’t paying for their own hotel rooms; the differences between organizations for youth and those by youth. None of these differences prevented attendees from connecting, but that may in part be because the differences were generally kept under wraps.

The most overtly political presentation at the conference was a fascinating talk given by two sex work activists who presented on a blog project called Bound Not Gagged. The project, which is a group blog by and for sex workers developed out of a frustration with the medias portrayal of sex work and sex work issues, and fear that coming out as a sex worker can make you a target for arrest or prosecution. The blog, which I’m now an avid reader of, collects the opinions and voices of sex workers on a variety of topics. They have also done some exciting things using online collaboration and actively dealing with the media through their blog.

While the Bound Not Gagged presentation used sex work as an example, it was just as relevant to questions people working with youth need to be asking about tech tools:

  • How can technology give disempowered and disenfranchised people a voice?
  • Can technology stretch the limits of anonymity to allow us to hear from those we serve who might not otherwise speak up?
  • What role can technology play in shifting the public discourse on youth and sexuality?

Thanks for the link Cory!

2 Responses

  1. Stacey, There is no doubt that your and Melissa’s presentation at the Sex::Tech conference was a highlight for many people. The work that you’re doing on this blog and at St. James’ Infirmary is so excellent that it’s important for as many people as possible to know about it.

    Thanks for your hard work and excellent professionalism and hipness.
    Deb
    Exec. Director, ISIS-inc.org

  2. Wow Deb! Thank you so much for the praise! Thanks also for your contribution to making Sex::Tech a welcoming environment! It was an amazing experience!

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