This week I will be at the Sex Down South conference spreading the message of enjoying your desired pleasures safely and with non-judgement. When I was initially contacted by my friend Tia, the co-founder of the event I was only asked to do a short 2 minute sizzle reel on the behalf of the event. The Sex Down South conference is an annual event held in Atlanta that hosts a myriad of work shops, panels, safe healing spaces, meet ups, and erotic after parties over the course of 5 days.
Get paid to come to explore the event, shoot the things i found interesting and cut a short piece together speaking about the experience was an easy sell to say the least. After accepting the gig I realized this was more opportunity to do more and spread my message of body positive living, expose people to my style fine art shoots, and sell some custom products. When I pitched the idea it was well received but accommodations needed to be made so she had to get back with me.
A week later I get a counter offer to join as a panelist on of an all day pleasure mapping workshop in addition to my two day photo shoot offer. My first question was what the hell is pleasure/desire mapping? My second was what made you think I would be good for this because I never openly talk about sex in my work.
The answers were simpler then expected. Desire or pleasure mapping is the road map of your personal sexual experiences starting at the beginning of your exposure to sex. It relates to your personal identity, things you like, don’t like, traumas or unpleasant experiences, sexual play that you would like to try, or acts you haven’t quite gotten right yet but still want to explore further, and a host of other topics we rarely honestly explore within ourselves. Which surprisingly was a topic I had explored extensively on my own through personal development.
The reason I was asked to join the panel was because they needed a ses heterosexual male of color (basically a man that only likes women and identifies as a man) to round out the guest speakers. She felt I was the perfect candidate because years prior she did her first and only professional impromptu nude shoot with me and felt entirely comfortable in the experience.
During the shoot I remember her saying it was the first time a man saw her naked without try to sleep with her and it was such a freeing experience. We also worked together with a sex magazine a photographer and PR so she was familiar with my ability to carefully shoot or cover subjects in a thoughtful way. To Tia it is of the utmost importance that her guest feel safe and comfortable at her event so choosing the right person to represent them was critical. With this reasoning I was honored to accept her offer.
We are now a day away from the event and final preparations are being made. And it’s actually kind of exciting going through the creative process of writing my pleasure mapping, promoting my services and making content to let attendees know I’ll be there and available to work with them. Can’t wait to see how things goes. `