Vancouver sex-positive conference Converge Con 2018 to discuss sex and consent in the age of #MeToo

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      While the #MeToo movement has brought sexual politics and gender issues to the fore, it has also revealed how much more issues about sex and sexuality need to be discussed in depth.

      One opportunity to do so is at an upcoming three-day conference dedicated to talking about all matters related to sex.

      Converge Con will be held this weekend from April 6 to 8 at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre (711 West Broadway).

      To be clear: although it is a sex-positive conference, it is not a sex event. In other words, sex won't take place at the sessions and, for instance, there aren't any play spaces organized.

      However, attendees can learn about and discuss a broad range of topics at a series of sessions presented by sex educators, activists, therapists, writers, artists, and more.

      This year's keynote speaker will be University of Alberta Native studies associate professor Kim Tallbear, who is also the Canada research chair in Indigenous peoples, technoscience, and environment.

      Other presenters include Metro Vancouver Kink president and Westcoast Bound Kink Conference chair Sara Blaze, therapist Trevor Warren, and mental-health advocate JoEllen Notte.

      Building upon the program of the inaugural year, the range of topics continues to expand and cover the gamut, including Indigenous perspectives, monogamy, polyamory, non-monogamy, and group sex; disability and accessibility; mental-health topics, such as depression, repression, and shame; cuddling; beauty standards; LGBT issues and perspectives, including trans bodies; gender; race; sex-work issues, including legislation and working environments; and more.

      On Saturday (April 7), they'll be holding a fundraising party for Vancouver-based Qmunity, B.C.'s nonprofit queer resource centre. All proceeds from the event will go to Qmunity.

      A final panel on the final day (April 8) will end things on a topical note. Consent in the age of the #MeToo movement will be discussed in relation to cultural impact, dating, and hookups in an effort to look beyond binaries and to address voices that may be silenced by oversimplification of issues.

      For full information, visit the Convege Con website.

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