A partial listing of seminars I lead and workshops I facilitate are described below. Please contact me to discuss booking arrangements. For more examples, have a look at other things I’ve done. I particularly enjoy offering custom-prepared presentations for groups and events, so feel free to ask me about that, too. :)

On Dichotomies That (No Longer) Jail Me: Breaking Binaries and Why That’s Empowering

Publicity-ready description:

Dichotomies, a set of things that are exclusive of an opposing set of things, are useful but are also necessarily polarizing and can often be disempowering. In this light-hearted slideshow, maymay will help you recognize which dichotomies are useful and which are not. Using a mix of personal and historical storytelling, he’ll reveal how society is filled with many more dichotomies than you may have thought, especially when it to comes to sexuality. You’ll learn how to instantly spot false dichotomies, gain some tools for breaking out of them, and explore why breaking these binaries can be personally empowering. After the slideshow, stick around for an interactive Q&A.

Programming details:

Seminar portion:
~20 minutes.
Facilitated discussion portion:
30 minutes minimum.
Suggested total session time:
approximately 1 hour.

View and download free seminar material samples.

Anti-Censorship Best Practices for the Sex-Positive Publisher

Publicity-ready description:

What do bananas have to do with censorship? What do polyamorous people have in common with fax machines? How can you help your ideas have cyber-sex?

In today’s age of postmodern warfare, information itself can be a “weapon of mass destruction.” As corporations and repressive governments track, monitor, and ultimately crack down on their own citizens, employees, and independent publishers, information about sexuality, STI prevention, and more is becoming increasingly rationed and ever more tightly controlled. The online spaces once heralded as among the safest and most valuable for sex-positive publishers like sex bloggers, public health professionals, librarians, and relationship educators have become hostile to the free flow of information while governments from China to Australia to the United States censor the Internet and companies like Facebook, Amazon, and PayPal arbitrarily enforce vague Terms of Service policies.

In this far-reaching seminar, join Social Justice Technologist and free software developer maymay as he explains the 101′s of how to make keeping your content up easy and taking it down hard. More important than merely a crash-course on tools, learn the fundamentals of how to build anti-censorship techniques directly into your publishing process using nothing more technologically complex than copy-and-paste. Whether you’re a non-technical individual or a savvy multi-national organization, you’ll discover how you can put data portability, distributed publishing, and censorship circumvention tactics to use right away in order to stay one step ahead of those who would call you “obscene.”

Programming details:

Seminar portion:
~45 minutes.
Optional facilitated discussion:
30 minutes minimum.
Suggested total session time:
approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

View and download free seminar material samples.

Visualizing Sexual Self-Identity: Gender’s Big Bang

Publicity-ready description:

Man and woman: that’s it! Or is it? In 1948, Alfred Kinsey suggested that there were gradations in sexual orientation, breaking the stranglehold of a heterosexist society on the validity of sexual experience. Shortly thereafter, gay people and (to a lesser extent) bisexual people began entering public awareness, no longer forced into the invisibility of the closet. However, notions of sexual orientation are still tied to being either “a man” or “a woman.” What if you’re neither? Today, transgender individuals are on the forefront of challenging the gender binary. Going far beyond a simple scale like Kinsey’s, new theories suggest that the shape of gender may actually look like multiple scales, a scatterplot, a color wheel, or even a “gender galaxy.”

In this session, join maymay as he takes you on a trip “across the universe” to literally see the sights of sexual self-identity. Using an interactive white-boarding session featuring visualizations of theoretical gender models, he’ll showcase the vast diversity of human sexual self-identity both within and beyond either sexual orientation or gender identity alone. We’ll explore the “final frontier” within ourselves, and boldly go where no man, no woman, where NO ONE has gone before!

Programming details:

Suggested total session time:
approximately 1 hour.

Watch pre-recorded video of “Visualizing Sexual Self-Identity: Gender’s Big Bang”.

Remaking Male Submission: Confronting sexism in BDSM

Publicity-ready description:

Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” In this interactive seminar and slideshow, we’ll examine the nature of sex and power by exploring common cultural depictions of sexually dominant women, and especially submissive men. Join maymay, a sexually submissive man himself and curator of the crowd-sourced erotic photography blog MaleSubmissionArt.com, to tackle deeply-held beliefs about gender and challenge assumptions about “kinky” sex. Just how prevalent, or lacking, is imagery of submissive men? Further, does the existing imagery really offer an alternative to mainstream sexual stereotyping, or does it actually serve to reify the—pun intended—dominant paradigm of male power? Is the public BDSM subculture a haven of free expression, or simply another cage of rigid gender roles dressed up (often literally) in different clothes?

Programming details:

Workshop length:
~2 hours.
Alternative configuration:
1 hour long “101″ level, plus 1 hour long “201″ level.

Publicity-ready description:

How would your laptop negotiate a one-night stand? Can safer sex practices apply to network engineering or software development? Why is giving your partner a checksum for your fantasies key to having hot sex?

Although few people seem to realize it, the Internet is a very sexual technology. It functions using the same principle as love: abundance is more valuable than scarcity. Not only were modern computer networks developed during the “sexual revolution” of the 1960′s, their fundamental operating principle is consent. As the Internet becomes an increasingly ubiquitous part of our lives and our society, what lessons can we take from its successes, and its failures? What does the Internet and computer networking technologies, like the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), teach us about successfully negotiating sexual relationships?

Programming details

Suggested total session time:
approximately 1 hour.

Freedom to Connect: Polyamory as a Social Network of Compassion-Moving Devices

Publicity-ready description:

Although few people seem to realize it, the Internet is a very sexual technology. It functions using the same principle as love: abundance is more valuable than scarcity. If you drew people as dots and the relationships between them as lines connecting the dots, the result would look remarkably similar to the topology of telecommunication networks like the Internet, wherein dots represent telephony devices (phones, fax machines, computers, etc.) and lines represent interconnections between them. However, a telecommunication network in which each device could only be connected to one other device—a compulsorily monogamous worldview—would not be very useful. Why buy a phone that can only call one other phone in the world? This freedom to “connect” with whomever we choose, to exchange ideas with others regardless of geographic constraint, undeniably enriched our intellectual experiences. Is it so hard to imagine the same phenomenon holds true when we exchange bodily fluids or emotional adventures?

Non-monogamous (and polyamorous) culture has ancient roots, but modern technologies have dramatically changed how people behave. The inverse is true as well: polyamorous culture encodes discrete ways to “packetize” empathy and emotional communications, forming a peer-to-peer infrastructure for the transmission of information about human relationships—a literal social network of compassion-moving devices.

Social behaviors are influenced by the technologies we have available, but the technologies we have available are also influenced by social behaviors, or embedded cultural scripts. How would Western society change if the “pair-bonded sexual-romantic couple” were no longer its central organizing social construct? In this session, explore the myriad ways polyamory’s key tenet—that a relationship involving more than two individuals is a good and valuable thing—was influenced by and can be applied to everything from social media marketing, social justice activism, and, of course, sexual freedom.

Programming details

Suggested total session time:
approximately 1 hour.

Power, Privacy, and Privilege: Internet safety for sexually vocal laypeople

Publicity-ready description:

A social networking website isn’t the same as your favorite physical-world hangout. That sounds pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s not. As philosopher and scholar Marshall McLuhan noted, many people “approach the new with the psychological conditioning and sensory responses of the old.”

Even after making an effort to hide one’s identity online, a huge amount of most people’s personal information—such as legal names, addresses, phone numbers, and employment records—can be found using trivial searches that anyone can do in less than 10 minutes. In this workshop, long-time digital civil liberties activist and Internet privacy advocate maymay will use scenario-based role-plays and, with participant consent, a live demo, to explain what you need to know to protect your privacy online—all in plain English. You’ll learn how to find and use Internet privacy tools, evaluate social networks based on your personal needs, and determine the riskiness of posting different kinds of media online.

Despite what you may have been lead to believe, never posting personally identifiable information to the Internet isn’t a solution because what makes social networks valuable to users like us is just such information. Come with questions, leave with a solid understanding of the ins and outs of Internet safety.

Programming details

Suggested total session time:
approximately 1 hour.

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