Cathy & Conferences…
Have an upcoming conference that you’d like Cathy to speak at? Looking to add Cathy to your discussion panel? Here’s a list of Cathy’s previous appearances and talks… Enjoy!
Curious which conferences and summits Cathy’s presented at? CLICK HERE to jump to the entire list.
CONFERENCE & SUMMIT TALKS
Confidence & Shame Related
Business & Marketing
Beauty, Shame, and Sexuality: Self-acceptance for Better Sexual Expression
The sense of one’s own beauty can be deeply linked with one’s sense of sexuality. Shame almost universally reduces one’s feelings of sexual desirability and attractiveness. The determination that individuals lack beauty and desirability almost invariably creates shame. Modern media constantly bombard the population with unattainable visions and says that striving to achieve them yields sexual desirability. Breaking that pattern and creating self-acceptance can dramatically improve sexual expression and freedom. Objective(s): At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: identify images and language that create the beauty, status and sexual desirability dilemma; and list at least two specific techniques to rebuild self-acceptance and feelings of unique beauty.
Beautism and Sexuality: How Society’s Representation of Beauty and Image Impact Sexual Self-Expression
Sexuality is core to self-identity. It’s easy to think that desire is authentic to that identity. And yet the impact of how someone compares to social beauty standards, and how their potential partners measure up can have a profound effect on how confident and desirable the interaction appears.
For better or worse, how we interact with others, who we find attractive, and who we choose, or wish would choose us, for sexual interactions is largely influenced by what society says is beautiful. Those not seen as beautiful by those standards are all too often deemed non-sexual or second rate. And those who fit the standards are generally over-sexualized and have challenges being seen as a whole individual.
Becoming aware of the lenses we use to view ourselves and potential partners, and the ways that subjective value is applied is the first step to breaking free and discovering the preferences each individual has. Understanding the difference between social expectations and status, and what is actually attractive to the individual can allow freedom and authentic connection. Allowing individuals to explore what is desirable to them while discovering potential partners that might be dismissed otherwise.
We explore the challenges and strictures of beautism as it impacts sexual expression across racial, ableist, sizeist and age divides and share personal experiences and insights from different perspectives.
Where Sex Meets “Isms”: From Shame to Self-Expression
Each person’s sexual self-expression is unique, and requires courage and self-knowledge to experience and embody. Sexuality is an area where the –isms can radically impact our expression and beliefs. Sizeism, racism, ageism, ableism, sexualism and genderism are just a few of the boxes society and conventional media try to put us in. By examining the approaches used to ‘normalize’ us, and understanding our own fears and limiting beliefs, we can regain our power and freedom.
Beauty and Power: How Cultural Stereotypes Can Influence Our Self-Esteem and Our Relationships
How people perceive influence and power, how we’re able to get people’s attention in ethical ways, can be strongly impacted by social definitions of beauty. Studies show how closely we resemble cultural ideals of attractiveness can subconsciously sway the primitive parts of people’s brains and strongly determine how much authority and value our words and actions are given.
And that constant, subtle pressure can cause us to conform to others’ expectations… Sometimes moving us off the path we believe in or reducing our confidence or conviction.
There are privilege, stereotypes, and social pressure on all sides of the fence. We’ll discuss issues around beauty, race, size, ability and gender.
Beautism isn’t going to go away, but the higher the consciousness around it, the more people are aware, the easier it is to counter. We’ll lead specific exercises to bring awareness, identify the patterns, and give perspectives that allow more choice and self-expression.
We all have value, and a powerful voice and transformational ideas should not be ignored because the person sharing them doesn’t conform to societal ideals of beauty and status.
Subtle social pressure exerted repeatedly over time can influence even the most passionate voice, and crush activism that would bring self-expression and freedom, or give undue influence to others. And everyone can be caught in the trap of these expectations.
The human mind naturally and efficiently will make decisions about the worth of ideas and projects based on external looks, unless we bring awareness and insight and hold space for everyone’s voice and value.
Shame, Perfectionism & Redemption: How Our Community Can Clean Things Up, Restore Justice, and Heal
In sex-positive communities, we have a strong focus on inclusivity and compassion. While we have a deep caring for justice and supporting victims, very valuable focuses, there is also a tendency to use perfectionism and shame-based enforcement that can create a cycle of disempowerment and blame. This can create spaces where instead of compassion for humans who are fallible, or instead of understanding the nuances of the situation, all too often we see a dichotomy of victims or villains that have to win or lose.
When we have a good/evil mentality, it can be hard to see the difference between “a person who messed up” and “a messed up person.”
In this makes are often judged as harshly as intentional perpetrators of boundary violations. This can leave members of the community isolated and with little space or support to come clean about their own mistakes and clean up the relationships affected. It can also leave no room for clients and community to grow
While there certainly are people with whom our clients and our community need to set firm boundaries, not all offenses or messes are equally mal-intentioned. When the options of response are limited to banning or doing nothing, clients and communities can feel trapped and paralyzed. With fear of social judgment affecting many, the nuanced discussions most needed are often stifled or shut down.
In this panel, we will discuss the delicate balance between support in community and necessary accountability and offer suggestions on how to approach difficult situations as they arise.
Shyness and Sexual Self-expression: How Shame and Trauma Impact Sexual Pleasure and Connection
It can be hard enough to encourage and foster authentic and healthy sexual self-expression and connection in extroverts. Introducing shyness, shame and trauma, especially for those with more socially taboo desires, and the road to sexual pleasure can become very rocky. Some people find it hard to talk to others on a social level and any discussion of sex may seem too painful.
Deeply rooted patterns of avoiding the discussions or experiences around sexuality may have left them feeling hopeless and shut down. Some may feel like they can never succeed and unwilling to attempt connection.
Trying to get these people to be extroverted can result in a sense of being false, which can hinder relationship building. Finding ways to allow their natural expression and encourage the practice of sharing, starting with smaller issues, can break the shame cycle and help them feel more empowered.
We’ll discuss best practices to empower the shy and introverted (and how shy and introverted people share some of the same challenges from different perspectives) and reduce shame for clients who are longing for powerful connections. We include exercises that help them lean into the discomfort of speaking up and let them gain confidence.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to distinguish the issues their clients may be struggling with around shyness and sexuality, and using the guidelines provided, formulate effective plans to break the shame cycle and have their clients step out of the silence of shyness into an authentic self-expression.
Using Video and Youtube to Reach New Audiences, Inspire Your Followers and Touch Lives (Even If You Never Want To Be On Camera)!
You have a message you want to share. You have an approach and an understanding that inspires and makes people’s lives so much better.
How do you get it out in the world in a way that touches lives, adds value, and builds connection and recognition for you?
Videos, and especially Youtube videos, are powerful ways to reach new audiences, keep your existing fan base engaged and on track, and build excitement and interest for new programs and services.
There are key steps and tips that can make this process easy and fun, and not sucking up every ounce of spare time you have! Learn how to quickly draw people into your videos, and keep them engaged. Discover how to spend 5 minutes to as much as triple traffic from your Youtube videos to your website and product pages.
And explore how your authentic style on videos (even if its never to appear on video at all) can work for you and your unique audience so you can make a difference in their world while you grow your business and get more people clamoring for what you teach.
Knowing Your Sex Ed Business Style So You Can Move The Needle
There are tons of different ways you can grow your sex-positive business… And
Rather than picking this teacher over that, and technique A over approach B, and feeling confused about how to implement them, there’s an approach that will align your business with your personality and your goals so doing the business of Sex Ed is fun again.
The key is to know what your business style is, learn your natural self-expression and flow, and then build your business around that. Once you understand these key principles, decision making becomes much easier and you can choose the actions that will let you move the needle for yourself and your clients!
Finding Your Unique Voice and Brand to Wow Your Perfect Clients (and Create Bigger Value)
How can you reach the clients you love working with AND establish the value of your time and products at the same time? It’s actually easier and more natural than you think…
Just like the sex and relationship skills you so patiently teach, the secret is in being authentic and sharing the very quirks that you think will cause people to run for the hills. The reason so many businesses sound alike, and why the courses they offer start sounding trite, is because most business people think that being professional is all about hiding quirks and “flaws,” or they don’t share in an empowering way.
We’ll discuss how sharing the “imperfections” can help people see if you’re exactly the right person for them, (and we’ll share examples including how Cathy sharing her 320lb weight with her list – the thing she thought she needed to hide- helped inspire and encourage thousands) and how that can help them see you as a unique and valuable resource rather than a commodity to be taken for granted.
We’ll discuss the boundaries between privacy and self-expression, the difference between sharing vulnerably and being a victim, and how to share your quirks and “flaws” while still being professional.
Humor In Sex Ed: The Value In Laughter In Releasing Shame and Trauma, And the Art of Using It Appropriately
When dealing with sexuality, especially the taboo aspects of sexuality, trauma, fear and shame can shut the brain down and put the client into a flight, fight, freeze mode where learning and growth is hard and survival mechanisms kick in. Humor can be an effective tool to break the cycle and allow powerful growth and healing. Laughter can bring perspective and can introduce a sense of safety and ease to the learning process.
Using humor in appropriate doses and in ways that are responsive to the clients needs can be challenging without guidelines and understanding. Misuse of humor could potentially retrigger shame and fear and break down communication.
When and where is it appropriate to use humor when educating clients on sexual education and when helping them through trauma and fears. How do you know when to introduce humor when dealing with the deep shame around taboo subjects of self-expression or abuse? While many in the sex-positive education and healing world use humor, creating a conscious understanding of how and when to implement this tool can add confidence and strength to the technique.
We’ll share guidelines and best practices for working with clients with different needs and interests, from casual interest to deeply rooted trauma. We’ll discuss types of humor and when each might be appropriate and share personal experiences and learning points. We’ll also show how to clean up missteps around humor with clarity and ease.
How to Romance Your List And Build Engagement So You Can Take Over The World and Still Have Time For Piña Coladas
Instead of worrying that people aren’t reading your emails or posts, or that you’re mailing too frequently, wouldn’t be wonderful to have people complaining that you aren’t sending enough? Wouldn’t you like to know that you have people reading to the bottom of your messages and consuming all your thoughtful and heartfelt words?
We can’t promise that will happen every time, but there are 3 simple but unexpected steps you can take to have people feeling warm and fulfilled when they hear from you.
Your message matters. And people are busy and have a lot of issues pulling at them. This approach, when used ethically and authentically, can help your followers feel empowered and cared about, seen and heard. When their tanks are “full,” they have more energy and attention to share on human rights issues and making the world a better place.
We’ll include examples and a handout with specifics you can incorporate in your next email. The steps are surprisingly easy, but rarely used.
Don’t let your message end up in the trash or spam folder… Let the world hear what you have to say with an open heart and a curious mind.
Story to Create Engagement and Participation in Campaigns and Business
Whether you are raising money for a cause, or offering a product or service, sharing story in a specific way can create powerful engagement and dramatically increase participation. Learn how and when to share stories in your campaign, and how to create a story out of your campaign. Simple changes can take people from casual participants to passionate supporters.
The Revolution Will Be Drawn At Random: Leveraging Contests and Social Media To Raise Awareness, Inspire, and Promote Action
Are you afraid that your current and future constituents can’t hear your message and call to action above the screaming of bullet points in today’s social media and press “echo chamber,” where the loudest voice wins? Do you struggle to keep people engaged and inspired? Wonder how to harness your passion and keep your movement’s momentum building and the word spreading?
Activism can be challenging at times when large portions of the community are overwhelmed and fearful of the changes taking place. Fear can create feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty on what will make a difference. And activism often has no deadline because the goals sought after are often hard fought, incremental, ongoing, and produce no quick results.
When people are uncertain and can’t see how their actions will yield measurable results that create completion, most take no action at all.
And this is where contests work wonders!
Contests, by their nature, are invitations with clear directions for participants to take specific actions by a deadline with a built-in resolution of completion: announcing the winner(s).
Well designed contests can put a new twist on activism, generate massive amounts of engagement, increase visibility across social media platforms, invite more diversity, raise the volume on the sex-positive voices, and entice those who might normally be silent to engage powerfully. Contests are a powerful way to re-ignite passions, re-energize morale, and break freeze responses of uncertainty and inaction.
Contests can also be an easy way to increase the number of voices and diversity of faces speaking on the same topics. As each participant shares their individual perspectives on a subject, a contest can legitimize a multitude of lived experiences while it amplifies the power of a movement’s overall message.
Designing a contest to happen inside of social media allows organizations to harness the personal networks of individuals and creates low-entry participation by allowing “bystanders” to participate via the Share and Reposting factions. This way, friends of friends can boost a movement’s signal turning a trickle into a swell that helps inform and inspire while countering feelings of powerlessness.
As more people engage, there becomes a wealth of “social proof” that helps give a movement’s message credibility. Perhaps it attracts the eye of a celebrity who further boosts the signal with the push of a re-tweet button, or your contest informs or inspires a potential donor, grant writer, or influential, future board member.
Behind The Curtain: Running Multiple Day Events And Coming Out Sane
Running a multiple day event for large groups can be challenging, especially when you encourage self-expression and independent thought. How can you leave your attendees, sponsors and speakers feeling appreciated and inspired?
Get a behind-the-curtain look at the intricacies and approaches that have worked… And learn about the ones that didn’t.
Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to, and discover the thought process behind some of the things you wondered about. Learn best practices and things to avoid when gathering support staff, and how to help them feel empowered and excited about the sometimes routine, sometimes frantic work involved in pulling an event off.
Learn what protocols, guidelines and suggestions bring calm and clarity and which ones create noise and conflict, and what you can do to upgrade and enhance peoples’ experiences while you create a safe container.
We’ll also discuss self-care before, during and after the event, and how to combat con-drop when the crowd goes home and you’re left trying to tie up loose ends.
Giving Good Con: How You Can Make A Bigger Difference And Get More Out, Whether You Present Or Not!
Attending a conference, whether you’re in a seat or presenting, is an investment in time, energy, and money. How can you get the most networking, learning, engagement, and value? And what is your focus for attending the conference anyway?
It’s all too easy to get swept up in the talks and meeting new people at a conference, and when someone asks you what you learned to have little specific to share, no matter how good the talks. Or maybe you spend weeks getting your presentation ready but feel your message might have been lost in the noise of everything going on.
Small changes can make a large difference in the impact you can make at a conference, how well you’re remembered, and how well you remember what you’ve learned.
We’ll go through best practices for anchoring knowledge, doing self-care (so you come out less exhausted and ready for the week ahead), and networking from both the perspective of an attendee and a presenter. We’ll lead exercises to help participants tune into their goals and values for attending a conference. And we’ll give action items and a checklist so that each participant will know how to stack functions for making a difference for themselves, other participants and presenters, and the conference as a whole.
Transitioning Business Relationships With Style and Grace (or Not)… Breaking Up (In Business) Is Hard To Do
Making a difference in the world is often a lot easier when we have partners, collaborators, and assistants. They can extend our reach, give us new ideas, and lighten the load on days when hope is dim and it seems like we aren’t making the progress we hoped for… And working with partners and peers can introduce whole new challenges as well. Too many great ideas flounder or fail because the partnership stagnated or got locked in a battle of wills, where the work relationship can’t change and can’t die.
Knowing how to build a team, how and when to introduce new people, and how to transition or end business relationships can give a confidence and cohesiveness that lets you make a bigger impact in the community and with your clients. Just like knowing where the brakes are in romantic relationships, setting up partnerships and work relationships to detangle easily can let you go deeper and create more.
Partners in Change: A panel with and honoring those who support people in sex-positivity
Changing the world is not a one-person job. One of the biggest supports is the partners that help in the household, provide emotional support, and sometimes do thankless jobs behind the scenes. In this panel, we will hear from 3 people partnered to people in the sex-positive world, who support and are supported by people on the front lines. We can hear about their trials, successes, and what they need to support others.
CONFERENCES, SUMMITS & RETREATS
HAS PRESENTED AT
CatalystCon 2018 (scheduled to speak)
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2018 (scheduled)
CatalystCon LA 2017
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2017
Guelph Sexuality Conference 2017
ConvergeCon Vancouver 2017
Sex Geek Summer Camp 2017
CatalystCon LA 2016
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2016
Sex Geek Summer Camp 2016
CatalystCon Midwest 2016
I Love Men Experience- Summit 2016
CatalystCon West 2015
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2015
Sex Geek Summer Camp 2015
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2014
Sex Geek Summer Camp 2014
Living Energy Secrets Summit
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2013
CatalystCon East 2013
EFT Hub 2011