My trip to Pasadena was a great success, and I think it's probably due to me finally meeting some iconic names in the "industry". Meeting Nina Hartley and Buck Angel were huge for me. I've admired and known of Nina for years (way before I was ever a sex educator) and became familiar with Buck Angel as I embarked on my sex educator training. In fact, I credit Buck as being the very first trans-man that I "knew", ok I didn't know him, but knew of him. Watching his videos and interviews really helped me feel comfortable with the trans community.
One of the most interesting and memorable times in my life was when I was working at BAY Positives and managed both a FTM (female to male) and MTF (male to female) trans staff at the same time. Having knowledge about Buck, who, if you haven't heard, pretty much describes himself as a "Man with a pussy", allowed me to not be weirded
out or uncomfortable around trans-men. I also figured out that I kinda have a "thing" for trans-men, and in my mind I've pretty much decided that I am someone who is particularly drawn to heightened levels of male testosterone. Seriously, it seems like I can "sniff" them out. However, I wouldn't consider myself to be a tranny-chaser.
Since the ANE 2011 expo was so sex educator and blogger friendly this year, I got to meet several people who I've been twitter and facebook friends with for over a year. Once you put someones face to their screen name, it's surprising how everything falls right into place and I had some pretty great face to face conversations with people I've only known of online.
Nina Hartley is beautiful and engaging, and was really sweet. I got the feeling that it didn't matter if I was a fan (I am) or a sex educator (I am), she is someone who really acknowledges the person she is speaking with.
However, I would be a total liar if I didn't admit that the high point of the entire trip was the live taped podcast. I was a guest on a new podcast that was held at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. There was a live audience, and me and my wonderful host, Sandra were on a raised platform speaking directly into microphones. This isn't like we were hanging out at her house and decided to tape ourselves chatting about the g-spot. There were a lot of great people working behind the scene as well as the podcast producer. The audience was awesome, and I've got a feeling that it will culminate into one rad podcast when all is said and done. I was delighted when an audience member came up to me after the taping and likened me to a "Disney-like fairy god mother of sex"! I have also heard that a audience member had already taken the g-spot information from the podcast and incorporated it successfully into their life. How cool is that? I don't have any links for you yet, but the podcast should be edited and available for download within the next few weeks.
Here are my take-aways from the trip:
- I'm definitely branded as Catherine Coaches and it's recognizable
- I'm getting much more comfortable with people recognizing me from my blog/twitter/facebook/website
- My online friends are just as amazing in person, and it made me want to spend much more time with them
- There are so many projects I need to start working on
- I absolutely LOVE what I do and my enthusiasm is infectious to most people and annoying to some
- Most people perceive me as being much more confident than I probably feel
- I'm ok with saying "I'm a pretty girl who likes pretty things"
- I'm learning to understand that there are things about me that don't make me the best "fit" for some sex educator communities, but make me totally embraced in others
- I've been able to build my business on my terms, and I don't need to be so concerned with getting approval or kudos from others
- I am, in fact, a very likeable and memorable person
- There is a place for every type of sex educator in the larger community
- I'm no longer nervous about doing live podcasts because it was so fun and not very scary
- I'm probably not someone you would call "camera ready" in relation to Hollywood standards
- I provide what I call sex edutainment (sex education + entertainment)
- I plan on being in the industry for some time and my goal is to someday build a little sex-positive empire