Archive for the health Category

October Gathering: Sex, Love and Relating in an Intercultural World

Posted in culture, education, entertainment, events, health, politics, queer, relationships, straight on September 24, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

We all have identities, some chosen, some implied, some assumed and some explicit. Each of these may (or may not) form part of who we are and how we interact with the world. How do we experience sex and dating, eroticism and relationship when we  have identities or cultural influences that buck against the norm? Or how do we manage when our multiple cultural influences are at logger heads just within ourselves?

The October Panel on Sex, Love and Relating will aim to shed light on what  this is like for them and how dialogue, self inquiry and red hot rushes have led them through uncharted waters and onto new ground. Hosted by Cyndi Darnell , please join us on Tuesday October 8th for what promises to  be an insightful, poignant and possibly hilarious discussion of the nature of cross cultural intimacy and sex in contemporary Australia.

Panelists

Asiel is a medical student and a self-proclaimed wanker at The University of Melbourne. He was born in Mexico and will celebrate his 6th year in Australia on 7th October. He lived in Mexico for about 15 years of his life and in the US for about 3, which makes for a rather interesting and sometimes unintelligible accent. He is currently in a long-distance non-monogamous relationship after deciding gay marriage was too overrated. He is also one of the founders of MD Queer, the only med student group for the promotion of LGBTI health in Australia and is currently working on a national policy on LGBTI health for the Australian Medical Students Association. If you’d like to have a say in either of those, come say hi after PFA or email at asiel.adan@hotmail.com

Budi Sudarto is the Peer Education Coordinator at the Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre. His work involves establishing strong partnerships with various GLBTIQ multicultural support groups, such as Yellow Kitties, AGMC and Helem Melbourne. He is also the convener of Gay Asian Proud, a social support network for gay Asian men in Melbourne. He wrote a Master’s thesis on the lived experiences of gay Asian men in Melbourne, as well as conducted a research project on Asian/White gay couples in Australia. Budi is passionate about advocating multiculturalism as an integral part of Melbourne’s GLBTIQ community.

Born in Pakistan, Rubina has lived 26 years of her life as a second-class citizen. Rebellious by nature, she was called a slut, crazy and many other names you can think of. In 2000, she broke away from that culture where sexuality is suppressed and expression of affection is limited to a bedroom only. A mechanical engineer with an MBA, she has held many regional positions over the years and is now working as an IT consultant. She has lived in Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne and has created a new life by reinventing herself. She is proud to call her a free sexual woman.

Kath Duncan is a Researcher and Sexuality Producer with especial interests in disability, Deaf and non-normative ppls experiences. Kath is a writer, multimedia producer, artist and arts manager (Heist egalleryhttp://www.heistegallery.com.au/), performs with Australia’s only queer Deaf disabled Unexpected Cabaret troupe Quippings (https://www.facebook.com/groups/594622963911898/) enjoys working with  other creative freaks @ Living Art (http://artsaccess.com.au/news/livingart/) based in Melbourne, from Sydney and northern NSW.

 

Loop Map

When: Tuesday October 8th. 2013
Where: LOOP Bar 23 Meyers Place. Melbourne CBD
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: $10

In Other News

To see our upcoming panels for the rest of the year click here

If you feel that you have something you’d like to contribute and be on the panel, please emailpleasureforumaustralia@gmail.com outlining which panel you’re interested in being on and what you have to share. Ideally you would be experienced and well-versed in your subject area, ( though not necessarily an ‘expert’ or an academic) reasonably articulate and bring a level of passion, integrity and professionalism to the event and Pleasure Forum Australia overall.

Female Arousal Anatomy with Cyndi Darnell

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After a sell out event in Melbourne earlier this year and repeated to acclaim in London Cyndi is thrilled to be offering this seminar again in Melbourne.
Have you heard how much of a mystery *women are and that women’s bodies are just so confusing? While

for some that may be true the good news is there are some tried and true methods that ‘wow’ women every time, demystify the myths and this seminar will share these methods with you.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL Click here for more details

May Gathering: Sex Workers and the Sex Industry

Posted in academia, education, events, gender, health, queer, safer sex, sex work on April 25, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

It feels like forever since I last wrote to you all, and I guess it was as we had a little lapse in our scheduling to coincide with the use of Loop bar for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We are now back to our regular schedule, ( 2nd Tuesday of the month).

Our April Gathering Gender? Where? was a warm and intimate exploration of the notions of sex, sexuality and gender. Thanks to all of your support  we were able to raise $1160 for Kate Bornstein’s cancer treatment fund. We sent off the funds to her 3 days later and you can see her tweet to us here.

KB

Thank you Kate. We Love you! Huge thanks to all attendees and especially our panelists, door bitch Lauren and video dude extraordinaire Andy for all working FREE for the night to raise money for Kate!

May Gathering: Sex Workers and the Sex Industry

One of our most popular topics, the mysterious and sometimes misunderstood world of the sex industry and sex workers is hotly debated in the media and among feminists, academics and lay people. For the third year in a row, Pleasure Forum Australia brings together passionate members of the sex industry to explain through their own words and experiences how it is to be a sex worker; the good  the bad and the ugly. Poignant, intimate, challenging and powerful these four panelists will be discussing the sex industry as they see it and live it in an open and respectful public forum. Hosted by Cyndi Darnell this event will highlight and explore everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the life of a sex worker and more!

Panelists

Christian

Christian is no stranger to Pleasure Forum Australia.  A long time sex worker and advocate for his community, Christian is highly active in promoting the human rights of sex workers. Having worked for over 15 years including on the street, for an escort agency and now himself.  He loves sex workers; they are his friends and his community and he wants you to love them too. His latest projects include producing and presenting the Vixen hour and the Festival of Sex Work.
You can check out the Vixen Hour here http://joy.org.au/thevixenhour

Anise
Anise is a self-professed fierce high femme who celebrates queerness in all forms, body positivity, slut pride, Femme solidarity and polyamory. She is a career whore who takes a lot of pride in her work and has no intention to quit the industry any time soon. She is currently working on being staunch, and the politics of being “out”.
On the Vixen Hour, Anise discussed the questions, Is Sex Work Queer? You can isten to the podcast o that show: http://joy.org.au/thevixenhour/2013/03/is-sex-work-queer/

Riley
Riley Alexander is a Melbourne based sex worker, who started out 12yrs ago doing erotic massage, then a few years later got into full service, and 3yrs ago became a private independent worker, where she feels she can give of herself in a way she really loves. Whilst being in the industry for 12yrs, she is only just cutting her teeth on advocacy. Taking part in the Vixen Hour on Joy 94.9, talking about Sex work and Health, as well as also being instrumental in organising a fundraiser for a colleague to fight an anti-discrimination case. Raising $20,000 in 3wks, with the help of clients and colleagues.”
Hear Riley on the Vixen Hour, talking about sex work and health here http://joy.org.au/thevixenhour/2013/01/sex-work-health/

Anastasia
Anastasia has worked in the sex industry for over 18 years; in her career as a sex worker, including being Mistress and a submissive, full service and erotic massage, stripping and pornography. She is also an 18 year survivor of mental illness. On the Vixen Hour, she discussed the issues surrounding mental health and sex work. A member of the VIXEN Collective, the peer-based, non-profit organisation for sex workers in Victoria, she is helping put together the Festival of Sex Work, to be held 30 May to 3 June this year.
Anastasia will be on the Vixen Hour on Monday the 22nd of April.  Tune in via www.joy.org.au/listenlive 

When: Tuesday May 14. 2013
Where: LOOP Bar 23 Meyers Place. Melbourne CBD
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: $10

Loop Map

In other news…………………….

PFA Host Cyndi Darnell is presenting a seminar on another highly misunderstood topic, Female Arousal Anatomy. Come along to this gentle, tantalising and informative  expose on the not so mysterious mysteries of female genitalia. Bookings required.

book now

Also……………………………….

From the FABULOUS team that brought you our Erotica gathering at Pleasure Forum Australia in July last year we are proud to support  Little Raven’s first eBook anthology of erotic fiction – Little Raven One.
 
A poet muses on housemates and soundproof walls. Mr Sweet Tooth gets treats in a cake shop. Two friends find passion in a club, a taxi and a pizzeria. A lonely zombie gets lucky in a post-apocalyptic world. The beast is let off its leash.
 
Featuring stories and poems by Aimee Nichols, Sara Dalle, J.McLaren, Ana Malcolm, Koraly Dimitriadis, Jack Voltaire, John Bartlett, T.J.Minogue, Stu Lynch, Van Roberts, Megan, Thomas Caldwell, Steve Smart, Mardi O’Connor and Randall Stephens.

 littleraven_frontcover

April Gathering: Gender? Where?

Posted in burlesque, education, events, gender, health, men, politics, queer, relationships, trans, women on March 20, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Our March gathering on Polyamory was indeed our biggest to date! For those who ventured out in the heat to hear the tales of wonder and then some, we salute you!
April coincides with our 3rd birthday at PFA, (counting from the night we officially started to launch with speakers. )PFA has grown over the 3 years into the event you know and love today that aims to fill the gap where conventional sex education just doesn’t go.
Completely unfunded, PFA survives on your door contributions and the generosity of the panelists, so we value your attendance each month and your support for the variety of topics we bring you.
Please note that our APRIL gathering is the first Tuesday of the month ( April 2, immediately after Easter) as Loop Bar is fully booked throughout the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

All funds raised from the APRIL gathering will go towards Kate Bornstein’s cancer treatment fund . Read her response in the Huffington Post article.

GENDER? WHERE?

Are you a man? or Are you a woman? or Are you someone inbetween? What does it mean to be a man or a woman and how will you know when you get there? Gender and even sex extend beyond genitals, but many of us get tripped up when what we see and what we’ve been taught about gender don’t necessarily play out as we expect!
For more and more people the prescribed versions of masculinity and femininity no longer fit, but we are left wondering what models are available to replace them. Can you be of one gender and attracted to the same but not label yourself accordingly? This night at PFA explores what gender is and can be from a pleasure and relationship perspective. Exploring cultural and social implications surrounding gender and the experiences of those who identify and trans, gender queer or just enjoy playing with gender stereo types ( and we’ll define and explore the difference), we’ll discuss how gender affects sex and sexuality and how your own concept of gender can be (re)defined.
Hosted by Cyndi Darnell this event will highlight and explore what gender can look like and why so many more people are questioning what gender even means.

Panelists

Sally Goldner
Sally has been actively involved in Melbourne’s queer community for the last fifteen years. This includes ongoing involvement with TransGender Victoria, 3 CR’s “Out of the Pan,” Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, and Bisexual Alliance Victoria.. She is the focus of an autobiographical documentary “Sally’s Story” and was noted in The Age’s Top 100 most creative and influential people in Melbourne in 2011. She is also a spoken word performer and stand-up comedian.
Aaron
Aaron is best known at PFA as our dashing door dude & he loves a good GenderFuck! He’s worked in the sex industry for about 6 years. His gender journey started at year 0 and after years of denial, he has now been on testosterone for about 14 months! He still considers himself a baby trans cub puppy feminist and is loving his gender journey that this lifetime has afforded him ( even with all the ups AND downs.) You can pretty much ask Aaron anything to do with his transition from sex and attraction, to life pre and post T ( testosterone )

Agent Cleave
Part pirate, part mermaid, part pony, part religious icon, AGENT CLEAVE stokes desire and blurs the gender line with his sharp and sexual performances. Grotesque and beautiful in equal measure, the AGENT has captivated audiences from all walks of life by evoking a sense of rock and roll sexuality that appeals to anyone wanting to have fun.
From hard working beginnings in Melbourne’s Queer party scene, AGENT CLEAVE has relentlessly carved a niche laying somewhere between Drag, stripping and rock and roll, this peculiar signature style culminating in an ongoing DJ collaboration with recording artist PEACHES that has allowed him international exposure at major music festivals and events, his work critically lauded for its high energy, intricate design and joyful exploitation of sexual stereotypes.
Jez Pez
Jez has been actively involved in the LGBTIQ community for over a decade. He is the creator and Editor of DUDE MAGAZINE. Jez is a passionate community organiser who has co-curated exhibitions about trans men and trans masculinity for Midsumma in 2008, 2009 & 2012. Jez also works as a consultant, providing gender diversity training to the health and education sectors.
Lisa Sinclair
Lisa is a genderqueer trans person who has rejoined the community after 10 years finding themselves. They should have just looked behind the couch. Lisa co-facilitates Genderqueer Australia, runs a freelance web and graphic design company, studies and also volunteers with another community organisation as IT support. This leaves Lisa with a couple of hours a week to sleep.

WHEN: TUESDAY APRIL 2. 2013

WHERE: LOOP BAR 23 MEYERS PLACE . MELBOURNE CBD

Loop Map

TIME: 7.30

COST $10

Agent Cleave

February Gathering 2013

Posted in academia, education, entertainment, events, health, politics, safer sex, sex work on January 31, 2013 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Greetings All

WELCOME to 2013. So we’re back………(from outer space…….♫♫♫)

And we’re looking forward to bringing you another year of PFA panels providing you with some of the most easily-digestible, informative and sex positive news and info in Australia all wrapped in a (school-night timed) night out!

Our panels for this year are already looking great with panels & presentations on a range of topics including (but not limited to) Polyamory, new Australian erotica, and even sex in the animal world, gender-fluidity and  Trans culture along with your favourites on local Australian pornography, Sex Workers and the Sex Industry, Tantra, Kink and (almost) everything you’ve ever wanted to know about orgasms, relationships and beyond.

PFA is created and hosted by Cyndi Darnell and aims to be an inclusive sex-positive space for folks of all genders and orientations to get the opportunity to discuss adult themed sex education and provide intros into worlds you may never have encountered before!

As usual we’re open to suggestions for topics and themes, so drop us an email (pleasureforumaustralia@gmail.com) with you ideas.

UPDATES

We have been warmly welcomed back to LOOP where we enjoy a warm and cosy atmosphere and delicious drinks & snacks provided by the oh-so-sexy staff, all in a wheelchair accessible and user-friendly venue. If you have concerns regarding accessibility please drop us an email.

AND for 2013 we will be gathering on the SECOND Tuesday of the month

( we had previously been the first ) but found we were clashing with too many other great Melbourne events, so we changed.

February Gathering: Are you a Sex Geek?

What is a sex geek you might ask? One definition is someone with a voracious desire to learn everything there is to know about sex and sexuality: from science, to folklore, to trivia, to nature.

The four members of this panel are all members of the group Sex Geekdom, a community for sex educators, researchers, and other folks who fall under the sex geek umbrella.

Louise, Gareth, Kate, and Alex each work in several different areas of sex by day, including HIV/STI prevention, sex education, abortion, sex blogging and sex toy retail. By night, you’ll find them geeking out over the latest sex research, or sharing new sex discoveries with other sex geeks over a beer.

Try your luck answering the panel’s Sex Geek quiz questions to win some sex themed prizes.
Bios:

Louise Bourchier:
Louise is a confirmed Sex Geek. She is a sex educator who teaches workshops on a variety of different topics related to sexual health, sexuality and sexual pleasure. She is also a sex toy peddler at D.VICE, the sex-positive sex toy shop in Richmond. A further claim to her Sex Geekiness is that she has recently completed her Master of Public Health specialising in Sexual Health.

 Gareth Durrant:
Gareth has spent more of his adult life in Taiwan than at home, where he learnt how to say double-ended dildo in Chinese (among other things) Since moving to Melbourne, Gareth has enjoyed working on the front line of sexual health education, family planning and HIV/STI prevention as the local team leader for YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS), a youth-driven non-profit and at an abortion clinic in East St Kilda.

Kate McCombs:
Kate is a sex educator, blogger, and speaker, specializing in sex-positive approaches to sexual health promotion. Originally from California, Kate moved to Australia to get her Masters in Public Health, which she finished in 2011. Currently, Kate facilitates sexual health workshops and works as a teaching/research assistant and guest lecturer for Melbourne Uni’s School of Population Health. She’s also the managing editor for mysexprofessor.com, a sex education blog, and is the founder of Sex Geekdom.

Alex Tanglao:
Alex found his way into sex geekdom-ness whilst studying Queer legal theory. It was through which, he fell in love with the nuances of sex, sexuality and gender, and the way they interact with the legal system. Alex’s love for sex geekiness also brought him to Melbourne, where he manages YEAH’s (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) national peer education program. He loves working with young people to champion locally-focused sexual health awareness, and to provide practical ways to make sex-positive choices.

When: Tuesday February 12

Time: 7.30pm

Where: LOOP bar. 23 Meyers Place. Melbourne CBD

Cost: $10

Loop Map

December Gathering 2012

Posted in anal, education, entertainment, erotica / porn, events, health, kink / BDSM, men, open relationships / polyamory, queer, relationships, safer sex, sex work, straight, swinging, women on November 26, 2012 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Greetings Pleasure Lovers

Tuesday December 4th  2012marks our final gathering for 2012 where we have invited back our panelists from throughout the year to give us a summary of their best work to date and whatever else they may have to share with us.

Come an experience some of the highlights from 2012 (and  even a few from bygone years)  and of course the usual shenanigans and door prizes from our wonderful sponsors! See you there!

When: Tuesday December 4th 2012

Time: 7.30pm

Where: Loop Bar

Price: $10

October Gathering: Women Sex & Orgasm

Posted in education, events, health, kink / BDSM, Orgasm, politics, queer, relationships, straight, trans, women on September 20, 2012 by Pleasure Forum Australia

Steeped in mystery? Not enough consideration? Just plain frigid?  Slutty? ………………..or………………………..

Women’s sexuality is a hot bed of debate and opinion. Orgasms, squirting, menstruation, multiple partners, fluidity, fisting  and beyond, these four panelists who make up the team for Pleasure Forum Australia’s Women Sex and Orgasm will inspire, educate and possibly divide! Hosted by Cyndi Darnell, this event is going to be a no holds bared exploration of women’s sexuality; real &  raw.

This is a PFA event for all women and those who love them!

Panelists

Mista Samsam is a woman fond of sex and orgasms. A kinky queer fond of all kinds of sex, sometimes with no orgasm. A nerdy genderqueer warrior fond of sex with all their clothes on. An amateur BDSM player fond of mind games and power exchanges. A tart. Aloof. Shy. A sassy introvert fond of curvy femmes and angular bois. A lesbian passionate about people’s right to make informed decisions about their own sex lives without legislative or religious interference.

Clementine Ford is a writer and loudmouthed feminist living in Melbourne. She discovered masturbation early on and, consistent with her severe hypochondria, thought the resulting orgasm was the first signs of a stroke. She is a strong believer in people being able to take care of their own sexual needs. She occasionally tumbles at www.clementineford.com.au and tweets incessantly from @clementine_ford.

In 1996 Maureen Matthews decided to open a bookshop and ‘sex shop’ for women, and their partners. Bliss for Women operated until Jan 2010, but then closed (after the GFC). However, the online business, bliss4women.com, continues to offer the same services. She has done a lot of public speaking on the subject of women’s sexuality. She’s taught at the Royal Women’s Hospital at both their ‘Menopause” and ‘Living With Cancer’ courses. She also works with Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. 6 years ago she started writing her popular weekly column – ‘About Last Night’ in the Sunday Age. She answer questions about sex and relationships. Her focus has always been on empowering women and couples to enjoy their sex lives, regardless of their age, background, orientation, faith, race or cultural background. She tries to approach everyone’s situation in a non-judgemental way, combining compassion and humour with respect and honesty.

Pornographer, sexy-feminist-rant blogger and an obsessive documenter, in words, art, porn and self portraiture (more often than not, nude) Hyperballad otherwise known as Jane, has operated in circles of totally amazing, switched-on women, both personally and professionally for a great many years now. She is also a woman herself. Over 4 years working at Feck, the past several of which devoted to the Beautiful Agony project, she has shot hundreds and hundreds of regular everyday people having an orgasm, from the shoulders up and in turn interviewed them about their sexual and masturbatory experiences. This space sparked a personal interest and engagement in sex positivity, feminism, shameless self pleasure and purposeful self love.

When: Tuesday October 2nd

Time: 7.30pm

Where: LOOP 23 Meyers Place. Melbourne CBD

Cost:  $10

September Gathering

Posted in education, events, health, kink / BDSM, men, politics, queer, relationships, straight on August 23, 2012 by Pleasure Forum Australia

For the Love of Men

Depictions of men in mainstream sex and sexuality are often brutish and cavalier. Rock hard bodies and rock hard cocks are favoured over insightful conversation about lesser known inner workings of thought, feeling and beyond. Alternative depictions of ‘conscious’ men have taken over from the image of the SNAG of the 1990s, but what is there between the rougish footballer and the yoga-loving tantra dude? Is masculinity accurately represented in the eyes of men? While the images that complement the gender referred to as men may be accurate in some ways, the picture is nowhere near diverse nor complex enough to include men of varied orientations, identities or persuasions. We often hear about how men are supposed to behave or should behave rather than how they examine and experience their own behaviour. How do men feel about processing their inner workings, particularly when it comes to sex? Can we reconcile being rock hard with being soft, do we even have to and what’s the pay off if we do…………… or don’t?

The September gathering of Pleasure Forum Australia looks at men and how men see themselves as part of a sexual culture and the sex positive movement within Australia. Straight, gay and kinky the men who have agreed to be part of the September Forum have been busily working on their collaborations to bring you what will be an insightful , poignant and humourous look at the role and function of Australian men in modern Australian society, through the filter of SEX!

Panelists

Roger  Barnett is a passionate advocate of equality for men as well as for women. A facilitator of groups by trade (including conflict work around gender), he also writes about equality and is a long-time student of psychology and sexuality (including bdsm, tantra, and creative relationships).  His twenty years of training and experience has given him some radical and compelling perspectives on how we might achieve equality.

Dr Christopher Fox is a Sex and Relationship Therapist.  He also works as a Senior Lecturer in sexual health counselling in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney.  Christopher’s PhD explored the relationship between perceived body image and penis size.  Christopher’s interests are in gender, sexuality, and men’s health.  Christopher previously lectured in health promotion at La Trobe University.

Hebari has practised rope bondage over the past 16 years with particular focus on Japanese style bondage over the past three years. In 2011 Hebari established the Peer Rope Australia association which runs Peer Rope workshops monthly, giving everyone the chance to access affordable rope education regardless of background, gender, sexuality or kink.

Tuesday September 4th

7.30pm

LOOP 23 Meyers Place. CBD

$10