SEXx-positive collective returns with candid conversations

 SEXx Interactive is a mixture of personal, professional, academic, activist and creative expression about sexuality — and it’s returning just in time for National Masturbation Month. 

The event will take place May 23 and will feature five-minute talks 7-9 p.m. and live performances from 10 p.m.-midnight with the theme “Sextopia,” which one of the organizers said reflects a quest for a more-liberated sexual future. 

“In our current ‘Handmaid’s Tale’-land of doom and gloom, we need to keep manifesting a better tomorrow where people can be sexually free,” said Elicia Gonzales, co-founder of SEXx Interactive. 

Cofounder Timaree Schmit said the initiative offers a way for inspiration and future-minded perspectives to be showcased, not just discussions of what is wrong. 

SEXx allows everyone the right to sexually healthy and pleasurable lives, Gonzales said.

“We like that SEXx attracts all different types of people,” she added. “We want to create spaces for everyone to engage in conversations about all aspects of sexuality.”

Schmit said the event allows participants to see their sexuality and experiences in a non-mainstream way, which is more authentic.

“Sexuality is presented in very limited, narrow ways in most media — but people are clamoring for authenticity, diversity and more representative depictions; they’re desirous of learning and talking without fear of reprisal; they’re interested in celebration instead of shame,” said Schmit. “We have to carve out spaces for that because they won’t just appear on their own in this political and capitalistic climate.”

Gonzales said she and Schmit didn’t know they were onto something when they planned the first SEXx event five years ago, so they decided to have more TEDx-style presentations and add performance components to the event.

Schmit said there will be an opportunity for attendees to talk about SESTA/FOSTA and how they can fight the legislation. 

The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) became law in April. The legislation makes websites responsible if third parties post advertisements for sex work. Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act didn’t hold websites accountable. Both laws have negatively impacted sex workers, who have used websites to screen clients and work in safer conditions. 

SEXx has donated to organizations such as Project Safe, which has fought against legislation that could harm sex workers. This year, the beneficiary of SEXx will be The Womanist Working Collective.

Gonzales said she believes we are all sexual creatures from “the womb to tomb” and said that should be celebrated.

“This event is for everyday folks who have something to say, or want to learn about sexuality. What harm could come from giving folks permission to explore, love and seek pleasure from their own bodies?”

Tickets for SEXx 5.0: Sextopia can be found at No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.