A Sexy Secular Conference

Here’s something you don’t see in the religious world: A group of college students are putting on a free conference dedicated to sex-positivity. It’s called the Sexy Secular Conference and it’ll take place at the University of Akron (Ohio) this October:

It seems that even though many Atheists think they have it all figured out, remnants of sexual repression, guilt, homophobia, incoherent morals, and more, still linger. We are confused on what is right, wrong, and natural. The Sexy Secular Conference plans to eliminate this guilt!

Speakers include Dr. Darrel Ray, Katherine Stewart, and Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Because the conference is free, the organizers would love your donations. It’s impressive that a student group is putting on a free conference; it’s even more impressive that they’re tackling such a heavy, important topic. So if you think this event is worth supporting, send some money their way.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Gregory Shefler

    After all the anti-harassment drama of the last few years, having a conference that explicitly covers sexuality is not going to go over well.

    • Gus Snarp

      With who?

    • http://profiles.google.com/brotheratombombofmoderation Steve Caldwell

      Gregory … why would one say that? After all, the folks who are worried about harrassment in atheist/freethinker communities are anti-harrassment, not anti-sex.
      As a person who thinks that our conferences should be safe and welcoming settings for all, I’m OK with a conference that explores sexuality issues because I recognize that a discussion about sex in a conference with healthy behavoral boundaries is not ethically equivalent with the gender-based harrassment we witness online and offline. I facilitate sexuality education workshops for secular groups and liberal church groups (Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ) using curriculum that was developed using the best available public health and medical guidelines.
      Are you suggesting that religious groups are capable of behaving more decently than atheist/freethinker groups when it comes sexuality workshops and conferences?
      If a person has trouble distinguishing between a non-consensual abuse of power (sexual or otherwise) in a conference setting and a consensual and healthy discussion of sexuality in a conference setting, then that person might have a problem with a sexuality conference. But they probably have other problems in life when it comes to setting healthy and respectful boudaries in other settings as well.

      • Gregory Shefler

        I never mentioned religion or religious people in my post. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

        Aside from the obvious harassment issues, there is a contingent of people who take issue with any language, imagery, signage, etc that suggests sexuality. The reasons are vast and beyond the scope of this conversation.

        My only point is that harassment is the biggest hot-button issue in the s/a movement right now, and the topic of sex is absolutely tied up in the fray. Having a conference focused on sex, with all that baggage, is like poking a hornets nest.

        Not all secularists or atheists have a good relationship with sexuality or are sex-positive. It is a very sensitive topic and I don’t envy the organizers of the event.


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