It’s Playground weekend in Toronto, and I am super excited to see the return of my local sexuality conference. Education can be incredibly costly to access, and while ticket prices aren’t low, local events mean saving on things like hotel, transportation any many meals costs, which can make the difference between I can plan for this, and this is outside my budget.
I’ll be there presenting, but not, or at least, not directly about kink or BDSM. Instead, my talks are focusing on how we understand ourselves, so self-knowledge becomes a tool that we bring into our relationships. Ideally, we use that knowledge to build, maintain, and even end relationships in ways that better serve all the folks involved in them. It’s some deep nerdery, and I’m very excited about it. I also get to serve as moderator for a delightful panel that will dig into how ‘femme’ as a partial or full identity has opened up space for folks to express their gender, politics, style, and joy. I can’t wait!
Since I’m not talking kink this year, I thought I would put together a list of the workshops I would be going to if I wanted to create a kink-focused track for Playground. I’ve skipped any of the keynotes or entertainment events because those are mostly one off’s – but don’t you miss them!
11:15 – 12:30 Turning Fantasies into Reality
Taught by local gem’s Ten and Tormenta this sessions focuses on “the co-operative creation of great experiences” which is key in kink. Both of these presenters can balance risk awareness with what brings *you* a good time without being overly prescriptive. If I wasn’t teaching at the same time, I’d be in this room.
Bonus Lunch tip – There’s a yummy sharwma joint across the street from the hotel (Pita Way), or head a block west to Ritz Carribean (Yonge/College) fast and tasty options.
1:30-2:45 – Whoops can’t pick!
Three fantastic sessions are happening at the same time. So here are questions to help you decide:
Have you or a lover gone through a Big Change and are unsure of how to create a new normal? Hit Up Sex After a Shift in the Wellsely Room
Wanna nerd out deep about what research knows about your brain and body on BDSM? Join Melody Anne for The Psychology of BDSM
Got sexual shame struggles that you want to overcome? Check out Shame and Sexuality with Shadeen Francis
3:00-4:15 Free flow!
There are no kink-focused workshops in this time slot! If you want to say focused on kink, why not start your own discussion? The College Room is open for folks to gather and talk about whatever has been on their mind, so why not keep chewing on what you’ve been learning with other folks. If no one shows up, help free up some mental space for yourself by journalling your thoughts out. This is also a great time to take care of your inner introvert and score some quiet time to reenergize for the rest of the day!
4:30 – 5:45 Reclaiming Sexuality & Intimate Trust After Trauma
This session is not explicitly kink focused, but presenter Alex Morgan is an experienced kinkster, and I would say 95% of folks I know (in and outside of kink) have gone through some experience that has impacted their ability to trust others. This class would be the other ‘if I wasn’t teaching’ moment I’m sad about missing. Resiliency is such an essential skill for our lives and our relationships. Go learn some more of it with Alex.
10:30-11:145 Bangin’ BJs: Tips and Tricks for the Cocksucking Connoisseur
It’s not always easy to know how to work power and kink into sex acts. Bex is here for you though!
Embracing Discomfort: Striving to Be an Ally in Alternative Communities
Ness and Ten will be heading up this necessary conversation. It isn’t my top pick because heavy topics, no matter how important they are, in the morning can often overwhelm me and leave me too drained for the day. I do plan on following along on Twitter via the hashtag #pgconcomfort so I can partake in the smartness in a way that works for me!
12:00 – 1:15 Talking About It: Porn Literacy as Media Literacy
What does a porn workshop have to do with BDSM? A lot. Porn is a place many of us turn to with our erotic imagination. That Tumblr you share with your partner of things that look hot? Hardcore or not, that’s porn. Learning porn literacy helps you get clear on the difference between fantasy and reality, and stay clear about when you’re putting unrealistic expectations on yourself or your kinks.
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Safewords Won’t Save Us: Transforming Responses to Abuse & Assault
I’ve had the pleasure of attending this session before and I can’t wait to see this again. Aida and Andy are passionate and practically minded about building spaces of care and respect, making this an incredibly useful workshop for anyone who participates in BDSM community spaces.
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Brutal Affection: An Introduction To The Heat and Consent of Rough Sex
Doesn’t the title say it alone? Yes. Please!
Do my picks match up with yours? Let me know in the comments – AND if you’re just finding out about Playground Conference you’ve got 3 more days to get tickets (day passes and even per session tickets available!)