Whew! What a great experience. I was exhausted at the end of both days, mostly because I think there was a lot to process. Most the conferences I go to are of the “academic nerd” type, and focus mostly on research. The sex::tech conference was mostly about what people are DOING. I liked that change of pace, but sometimes I struggled with it because I wanted to know if things actually WORKED.
Best overall resource goes to Sexuality and U, based out of Canada. Lots of interactive tools as well as information — I especially like the contraceptive choice tool, but it’s hard to pass up the Sex-Fu Challenge — who doesn’t want to become a Master in that domain? The representatives of Sexuality and U were very open about admitting to the lack of diversity on their site, especially in relation to sexual minority populations. But they are working on it! It was also cool to hear that Advocates for Youth will also be updating their site, adding more interactive features.
One of the big take-away messages for me was that we are all struggling to figure out the best ways to use technology to help youth live safer, happier and fulfilling lives. The emphasis on positivity as opposed to fear was refreshing. And the abundance of youth present at the sessions kept us honest and in-check. If, after all, we claim to want to help these folks, not including them in our discussions is a big mistake. A special thanks to all who attended and extra kudos to those who were brave enough to speak out.