Vulnerability is a difficult thing for most people. Whether we are carrying past baggage or not, opening up to those close to us about difficult topics is one thing. Opening yourself up to a group of strangers – that takes amazing amounts of courage. February 23rd through 25th I attended Playground in Toronto and I was surrounded by so many amazing people. Each and every session offered was full of vulnerability. People talked about their lives in such a real manner that I was honoured to be listening to the struggles and triumphs of these people. Here is my Playground post after taking a week to process everything and formulate how to articulate the amazing connection and learning that occurred.
For those who don’t know, Playground is a sex-positive and inclusive 3 day conference in Toronto focusing on a variety of relationship, health, and kink related topics. There were sessions aimed at increasing skills such as blow jobs, to panel discussions, as well as several live podcasts. Attendees came from as far as Norway to connect and learn from each other. These attendees included sex educators, sex writers, bloggers, and many others. I connected with kinky folk, vanilla folk, and every flavour in between over the weekend.
As a first time attendee I did some research going into the weekend. I read other blogger’s pieces on conference attendance and the things they suggest to others. Although all of the tips were helpful (even if not exactly followed) it can be difficult not to feel like you have to do everything. Preparing for the weekend I created a bullet journal spread indicating the sessions I was going to attend, what I was going to wear, as well as meals and things to pack. This helped me ensure I had what I needed and wasn’t lugging around a fuck ton of useless crap. My top recommendations are to pack a water bottle, schedule quiet time to reflect, and it is okay if you don’t attend everything.
I got to interact with so many awesome people and so many people whose work I follow. I chatted with Kate, Bex, Suz, Puspus Girl, Eva, JoEllen, Indigo, Dr. Liz, and so many others. I attended sessions such as Keep Giving a Fuck – A Conversation on Prioritizing Sex in Trying Times, Turning Fantasies into Reality, Sex After a Shift, and Processing Mortality in Relationships. I attended the recording of Life on the Swingset, Sex Ed a Go Go, and Tell Me Something Good. I laughed, I cried, and I learned so very much.
Life has been kicking my ass recently so sadly I spent all my down time hiding in my room. My spoons were spent and I needed the quiet time, a drink, or a joint to process and this was hard for me. I wanted to be out there interacting and meeting new people. I wanted to network and learn about these new people. It just couldn’t happen. I met a few people who smiled and said hi each time we passed, a few I chatted on twitter with, and so many that had small conversations with me. I gained twitter followers and have followed some new amazing creators. I also had the best month of blog traffic to date! This is still great – now it is time to integrate what I learned into not only just my blog but my daily life. I have examined my privilege in a different way, reflected on my own experiences, and had passion to further explore so many topics. I want to explore some more ways I can bring my passion to the community by finding some more local events, supporting more creators, and sharing it all with my readers. My reviews are more popular than my personal ramblings but maybe I can add something to the conversations or make you think about your own experiences.
At the end of the weekend I was sad to leave but very ready for my own bed and some proper nutrition. I continued to revisit vulnerability in my mind and how much vulnerability was shared over the weekend. The sex positive community is the most accepting community I am a part of. It is a place I can be authentic, vulnerable, and learn so very much. I hope that I can foster some more of these relationships and add more to the table. My FOMO for all other conferences is going to be much worse now – but attending them too are goals to start considering for next year.
Thank you so very much to Samantha for organizing this event. I was also lucky enough to have my ticket covered when Samantha did a Giving Tuesday giveaway on her twitter. Your hard work in putting together this event is so very much appreciated.