#SFS19 Saturday Recap: Authenticity, Complexity, and Joy

Saturday afternoon we celebrated lifetime commitments to affirming sexual freedom with the Vicki Sexual Freedom Award. With both current and past recipients in one room, it was an inspiring moment to remember that progress is possible.

Octavia Bulter wrote, “The only lasting truth is Change.” We have to choose and take responsibility for the changes that we want to see in ourselves, our lives, and our movements.

We are committed to changing our collective future—and doing it by embracing authenticity, complexity, and joy. Saturday was the final full day of the Summit. Here are highlights.


This year’s Vicki Sexual Freedom Award winners were Nadine Smith—co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, the state’s largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity—and Kate Kendell, former Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“It has never been more important to hold this kind of meeting,” Nadine said as she accepted the award. ‘To push back to make sure there is no one out there who believes they are alone.”

Carmen Vázquez then facilitated a roundtable discussion with Nadine and Kate where they discussed identity, mentorship, and living authentically.


The ability to show up as we are—and have real, honest conversations about how our lives and sexualities have been shaped and influenced—is an important part of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Sexual Freedom Summit.


We’d love to hear from you! What does sexual freedom mean to you? Why is important in living a full, authentic life?


If we are going to achieve liberation, we have to go beyond the surface. We have to have difficult, challenging conversations. We have to be willing to grapple with the complexity and nuance of our lives and sexualities.

Saturday’s sessions got into it. Really into it.

From Fucking with Power Dynamics to Invisible Seniors—presenters and attendees began to scratch the surface about how our identities affect our sexuality in different ways.

Alex Wilson, an organizer, artist and trauma educator who focuses on community building, education, and leftism, led a workshop in the afternoon titled “From Cuckold To Raceplay: The Implications of Fetishizing Race.”

They spent the course of the session breaking down the answer to the question: How has pornography impacted our conception of race and identity and what is the extent of this impact?

Other sessions included topics on sex work and parenting, religion and sex, confronting the “whore-archy,” queer leathersex, and Black sexual epistemology.

The goal, of course, is that these conversations continue outside of the Sexual Freedom Summit and move from discussion to action. How can we take the information, relationships, and connections from here to deepen our work and advance sexual freedom? 


Like Kate said during her speech during the Vicki Sexual Freedom Awards—our joy is under attack. Liberation is more than surviving—it’s reclaiming love, sexuality, and joy as an act of resistance.

That’s why we close our Sexual Freedom Summit with Bubbles and Burlesque each year. Because what better way to end a weekend of networking, sharing, cultivating, challenging, and growing than with an unapologetic, incredible celebration of bodies, performance, and community?

Each year’s Bubbles and Burlesque is amazing, and this year was no different. Mindi Mimosa was fantastic host—and each performance was a beautiful celebration of sexual freedom.



As the Summit comes to a close, joy is embodied in the connections and relationships people are taking back home with them.

Joy is what we create when we fight for ourselves and each other. When we dare to build the world we want to live in. A world where sexual freedom is actualized and human rights are centered.


 The closing plenary takes place on Sunday morning. While the Sexual Freedom Summit comes to a close after that, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation continues to work to affirm sexual freedom as a human right 365 days of the year. Here’s how you can stay involved.

  • Did you catch Saturday’s workshop giving an update on Woodhull v. United States, our lawsuit challenging #FOSTA? We’ll be sending out updates in the coming month with slides and videos from the presentation. We go to court on September 20, 2019. Check our website for updates.
  • Stay connected to the fight for sexual freedom by signing up for our e-mail list. Sign up to receive e-mail alerts.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on what’s happening and continue to be in community with other people fighting for sexual freedom.

Thank you for an incredible weekend! The community we have built together is what makes the Sexual Freedom Summit so powerful.