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2018 Personal Letter about the Future of The Sexual Health Alliance

Dear SHA Enthusiasts,
We have come a long way in such a short time and that's all thanks to the many that support us, show up, volunteer and contribute. Great friends and enthusiastic professionals have contributed in significant ways to our mission through leadership and advocacy. We ring in the new year with new ideas, new team members and collaborators. We plan on this year being big and bright for the field of sexual health and here at the Sexual Health Alliance, we hope to play a role in the sea of change we have seen gaining ground.

We invite you to join us in our plans for 2018. First, we welcome Dr. Chris Donaghue as our Director of Clinical Education for the Sexual Health Alliance. We're excited to bring more radical inclusion and education through Dr. Donaghue. 

Second, we have centralized all major positions so that we can be more consistent in our efforts. We’re also working to become more efficient with time and resources; this also means less paper. One way we plan on doing this is streamlining evaluations and CEUs to all be online. Speaking of the web, we have revamped our website to make it easier to find events - check it out: www.sexualhealthalliance.com

As part of our core mission, we will continue providing the training that most therapists and healthcare providers never received through provocative dialogue and radical collaboration - our tag line. Radical collaboration means we are all inclusive and actively welcome all practitioners, partners and friends to our Sexceptional Lectures. Anyone that talks to clients, customers or peers about sexual health is encouraged to join in on the fun. The Sexual Health Alliance currently includes the Southwest, Great Lakes and Golden Coast Regions. Want one in your area? Start a Sex Nerd Book Club, Sex Nerd Trivia or more in your area.

Take a look below at our upcoming events in California and Texas. We hope to see you at a training or lecture in the near future!


Warmly,


Heather McPherson LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST                                                                                     CEO and Founder of The Sexual Health Alliance

Sex Book Club (February 2018)

Hey Sex Book Club Nerds,

I'm the new book club leader and so happy to have the book club starting up again!

The book we have selected for February 2018 is:
Sensate Focus in Sex Therapy: The Illustrated Manual (1st Edition)
by Linda Weiner (Author),‎ Constance Avery-Clark (Author)

When:    Sunday February 18, 2018 @ 11:30am-1pm

Where:   Heather McPherson's Office, 2525 Wallingwood Drive, Building 12, Austin, TX 78746   

RSVP required by February 11, 2018 by emailing me at drjennifermcadams@gmail.com

Here's What It's About:
Sensate Focus in Sex Therapy: The Illustrated Manual is an illustrated manual that provides health professionals with specific information on the use of the structured touching opportunities used regularly by Sexologists to address their clients’ sexual difficulties (Sensate Focus 1) and enhance intimate relationships (Sensate Focus 2). This book is the only one to: vividly describe and illustrate the specific steps of, activities involved in, and positions associated with Sensate Focus; emphasize the purpose of Sensate Focus as a mindfulness-based practice; and distinguish between the purposes of Sensate Focus 1 and Sensate Focus 2. 

Through the use of artful drawings and descriptive text, this manual engages mental health and medical professionals and their clients by appealing to both the visual and the analytical. It discusses how modifications to Sensate Focus can be applied to diverse populations, such as LGBTQ clients, the elderly, the disabled, trauma survivors, and those with challenges such as Autism Spectrum, anxiety, and depression. The book also offers suggestions for dealing with common client difficulties such as avoidance, confusion, and goal directed attitudes. This comprehensive approach to Sensate Focus will remind readers of the beauty and power of touch while offering suggestions for moving from avoidance to sensory transcendence. 

Please make sure you have read and/or are familiar with the majority of the text and come prepared with a few talking points! 

I'll send a reminder email about the book club meeting in early February.  

Thank you!!

Warmly,

Jennifer McAdams, Ph.D.

Sex Nerd Trivia & Bingo Bango @ Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

Sex Nerd Trivia & Bingo Bango @ Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

Press Release:

Southwest Sexual Health Alliance's Signature "Not Yo Mama's Game Night" is now at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller Location every 4th Wednesday bringing a ton of joy to Barrel O' Fun, the bar within. "Our goal is to bring high quality sex education that is classy, fun and entertaining - something that Austin is missing," said CEO Heather McPherson, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST. 

"Not Yo Mama's Game Night" is organized and hosted by Emily Bridge alongside hosts Adam and Samar. See more about the next night HERE. It's always free to play and you are guaranteed to learn something too! Expand your sexual knowledge and play for the chance to win awesome prizes, furnished by Package Menswear, Forbidden Fruit, and Barrel O' Fun!

 

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The Sweet Spot, Top Tips for All Lovers

We're gearing up for Charlie to be in Texas soon and he just shared 3 tips with us as a preview to the Sexceptional Lecture!

Dr. Charlie Glickman will be in DALLAS & AUSTIN November 3rd & 4th!

3 tips to be a great lover by Charlie Glickman, PhD

1.) Consistent and steady touch usually works better than fast and jarring. Whether you’re using your hands, having oral sex, giving a spanking, having intercourse, or anything else, find a good rhythm and try to stick to it. Play some music with a good beat, if it helps. As arousal builds, you can go faster but if you can’t stay on the rhythm, slow down until you can. Faster isn’t always better.

2.) When touching your partner, think about the landing and the takeoff. Just like in a plane, a hard landing or takeoff can be jarring, distracting, or annoying. Keep it smooth for a sexier touch and you’ll offer them a sexier, more arousing touch.

3.) Instead of picking one move and staying with it, change it up every so often. For intercourse, try a different position or angle, or change the speed. For oral sex, erotic massage, or G-spot/prostate play, change your technique, or the pressure, or the tempo. If you do the same thing over and over, your partner’s body is probably going to tune it out. It’s a lot like food- eating the same thing for every single meal isn’t as much fun as changing it. You don’t need a zillion moves. Find 3-5 tips or techniques and cycle through them. (Note: when your partner is getting close to orgasm, keep doing what you’re doing.

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We just launched Annual Membership!! Become a Sexual Health Alliance Member Today

Earlier this summer, we launched annual membership so that all of our members can formally state that are a part of a global organization that promotes sexual health. Many joined within the first couple weeks, and more join everyday. Join now and become a part of our family.

When you become a SHA member you get cool perks like: 

  • Access to exclusive members-only interviews from experts of the field
  • Access to members-only newsletter when new content is available 
  • VIP access & seating for selected events
  • Exclusive interaction with select lecturers
  • Access to members-only Facebook Group
  • And much more!

In addition to state licensure CEUs, we also offer AASECT CEs for those working toward becoming an AASECT Certified Sexuality Counselor, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Educator.

See more information here.

SexTech: The Future of Disability and Sexuality

Spark! Roundtable

TOPIC: SEXTECH & TOYS - THE FUTURE OF DISABILITIES

The Southwest Sexual Health Alliance will be holding a groundbreaking Spark! Roundtable on much needed topic, Sex Tech and Disabilities. Dr. Mitchell Tepper will be on the panel contributing his wealth of experience on sexuality and disabilities. He is also our Sexceptional Lecturer for the day! 

 

Panelist Deanna Theis' company, The It Collection will be on the panel discussing her personal and professional experiences with this issue. Deanna seeks to create truly inclusive sexual wellness products that work for all. Her first product, a hands-free toy-mount called the Perfect Pleasure cushion, was designed to foster sexual fulfillment and pleasure enhancement for every body, regardless of their shape, preference, age, or physical limitations. This product is appropriate for all sexual lifestyle and helps to encourage a healthy and creative approach to sexuality for individuals and couples. 

Inspired by the strong women who surrounded her growing up, especially her mother, Deanna has always had an inventor's spirit. Despite creating useful gadgets throughout her life, this invention is the first with real potential to make a difference in people's lives. Sex is a human need, after all. She first came up with the idea for a hands-free masturbation alternative in 2012 when she temporarily lost mobility in one arm due to a pinched nerve. Having recently purchased the Magic Wand Original®, the concept began as a simple handle for a vibrator. Over the course of the next two years, she refined her goal to simply, this: create products that provide the highest level of pleasure to any and all who use them, regardless of their shape, age, or physical ability. 

Creating a lifestyle line that could meet the needs of every body became not only a challenge but a personal mission. From Deanna’s passion, The It Collection was born and the Perfect Pleasure cushion was created. The first of many real solutions for real people. This mission goes so far beyond the personal struggles of Deanna, however, as there are millions of people who suffer from sexual dysfunction due to different kinds of disabilities. The Perfect Pleasure cushion is a unique solution endorsed by conference speaker Dr. Tepper that allows hands-free use of toys and positionary support for sexual intercourse. You can view the Positions & Possibilities Guide in advance of the event demonstration, which will include a special hands-on game for attendees. For more information visit theitcollection.com.

 

Our next panelist is Kalie Kubes. Kalie is a hard of hearing University of Texas graduate with a BS in Youth and Community Studies. In addition to having a hearing loss, Kalie has battled multiple chronic illnesses and chronic pain her entire life. She currently works as a Medical Assistant at Planned Parenthood where she enjoys educating patients on safe sex, healthy relationships, birth control, and prevention of STDs. Kalie will contribute to the conversation through her thought provoking experiences with having multiple disabilities.

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Panelist, Nick Winges-Yanez, MSW, PhD Candidate will be discussing intellectual disabilities and sexuality - After many years working in direct social services, Nick received her BSW and MSW from Portland State University and is currently completing her PhD. Her research uses the work of Foucault, proposing a genealogical framework to examine how sexuality has historically been used to define and oppress individuals labeled with intellectual disability.  Nick previously completed a qualitative study interviewing queer-identified youth about their experiences with sex education in schools. Currently the Education Coordinator at Q Toys in Austin, Nick approaches sex education with a background in queer and feminist theory and a focus on improved sexuality discourse and access to pleasure.

We are very excited for our final panelist, River of The Juicy Truth. River became a surrogate partner because her purpose in life is to promote the evolution of our species through healthy, authentic, sexual expression and intimate relationships. A surrogate partner works in partnership with a talk professional, such as a therapist, to support the client.  The surrogate partner is a substitute partner for clients who want to improve their sex and intimacy skills, but have no practice partner.  Clients have an opportunity to experience intimacy and develop new skills and capacities with a trained professional. River also founded and co-hosts the Surrogate Partner Salon, a free monthly gathering in Austin of therapists who work with surrogate partners or seek to work with surrogate partners, and two professionally certified surrogate partners.  The Salon is an opportunity for those of us within the field to hone our skills.  Find out more about the surrogate partner process, the Surrogate Partner Salon, and River at her site: www.thejuicytruth.net

Bethany Geham explains challenges and barriers Deaf community experiences with receiving sexuality education and quality sexual health services.

CARAS Conference 2017

By Alycia Williams, Great Lakes Operations Director

The 2017 CARAS Conference in Chicago brought together clinicians and researchers from across the country to share cutting edge information in the the field of alternative sexuality.  From the keynote address by Peter Chirinos and Caroline Shahbaz on The Wounded Clinician, to break out sessions on issues including consent, polyamory, BDSM as leisure, and personal growth through kink, conference attendees were exposed to thought provoking information.  The closing plenary was given by Richard Sprott and Anna Randall of TASHRA and presented the results from their first ever National Kink Health Survey.

The day ended with an award being presented to Russell Stambaugh by CARAS and NCFS for his significant contributions to and support for research, clinical training and advocacy on behalf of marginalized sexualities.  The entire auditorium was moved by Dr. Stambaugh's reflection on his long career as a pioneer in the field of alternative sexualities. 

The CARAS conference exemplified the vital and innovative nature of those working and living in alternative sexuality environments.  We look forward to meeting up again at the next CARAS conference!

 

Exploring the Petroglyphs & Sexceptional Webinar Series w/ Dr. David Ley on Ethical Porn

We were recently invited to explore the petroglyphs which inspired the drawings in Dr. Ley's latest bestseller. Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of the rock as a form of rock art. The ones in Albuquerque, like many, include fertility themes which celebrate ancient sexuality. Dr. Ley coined the phrase "PetroPorn" for these unique carvings.

Petroglyphs, cave drawings, geoglyphs and a variety of other "rock art" represent our ancestors views of the world, including sexuality. These ancient artists were just as interested in visual depictions of sex as we are today. They used chisels to depict their sexual desires, fantasies and adventures, the same way we use pixels and smartphones. Petro-porn includes group sex, bestiality, homosexuality and all of the diversity of sexuality that is visible on the Internet. This helps us put modern pornography in a broader context, seeing it as part of the broad diversity of human sexuality.

Dr. David J. Ley is an internationally-recognized expert on issues related to sexuality, pornography and mental health. He has appeared on television with Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Dr. Phil and others. He has been interviewed in publications ranging from the LA Times and the London Telegraph, to Playboy and Hustler magazines. Dr. Ley has published extensively in both the academic and “pop” realms of literature. His two books, The Myth of Sex Addiction (2012) and Insatiable Wives (2009) were revolutionary explorations of sexual issues which blended a powerful client-centered narrative with a rich understanding of psychology, biology and sociology.