Sex::Tech Conference on New Media, Youth and Sexual Health 2011 (Armchair Coverage)

SexTech Lloyd Dangle 2010

This past weekend saw the Sex::Tech conference here in San Francisco, which I regrettably missed. Sex educators from all over the world (but mainly North America) converged on The City for the 4th annual conference on new media, youth and sexual health. Many friends and people I admire were in attendance (I am home fighting flu.) Fortunately, Sex:Tech is attended by very tech-savvy people (and there was a Sex::tech Drupal meetup!).

Major props to Sex:Tech 2011 sponsors – a special shout out to my friends at for visible support of a truly cutting-edge and exciting conference. That is so cool.

I’m not going to miss it next year. I’d like to rally some of the Bay Area’s tech innovators and power players to get involved and chip in on strategies and high-tech solutions for sexual health education and STD/HIV prevention. Think about it. Over 80% of teens sleep with their phones. They want accurate sex information. I know we can make a difference.

After the jump is my armchair coverage, with videos and resources for all.

Watch live streaming video from sextech at

  • Another great place to start is the ISIS white paper. This white paper, which was completed in March 2011 and funded by the Ford Foundation takes a deep dive into how youth, particularly youth of color, use technology for their sexual and reproductive health. It also identifies opportunities for new digital programming.

Here is the (then-live) presentation of the white paper, with slides – what a great talk:

Watch live streaming video from sextech at

  • Sex::Tech partnered with Funny or Die to raise awareness with humor in the searing video, Sex Advice From Adults:

  • Tres Sugar has a great post about the start of the conference, Modern Ways to Teach Today’s Youth About Sexual Health. “[Founder] Deb Levine said that “while we’re reaching some youth with messages that work, we’re not reaching our most vulnerable youth.” Luckily, she proposed some solutions.”

There are many liveblogged panels and presentations concisely written on Sex::Tech’s blog, including these highlights:

More great links via the weekend’s #sextech Twitter hashtag:

  • This looks like a great resource of short films for parents who want to jump-start conversations or explore difficult sexual topics with teens: All 22 Scenarios USA films address communication, relationships and decision making. Film topics include Pregnancy Prevention, HIV/AIDS, Body Image, Sexual Identity and many other themes.
  • For people who run WordPress blogs and want a simple way to link sex terms to sex-positive definitions, the Simple Sex Positive Glossary WordPress plugin might be the way to go. The plugin links words on your blog to a combination of About: Sex and Scarleteen definitions (only), so we know they’re actually vetted sex-positive definitions. One strange thing I noticed about it is that it has been set to override Scarleteen’s definitions with About’s. It’s still a great resource for people who want to offer it to readers.
  • Flipside: The Pushback is a website that offers community and support to young women who are teen moms; an invaluable and respectful resource for young parents, and includes sex education, links to teen mommybloggers and more.
  • It wasn’t just Nirvana that had the feeling: Everyone Is Gay is another great teen resource (and parents can enjoy it too!) Kristin and Dannielle (founder of Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber) are “girls who like girls, and who give advice to those who are confused about sexuality, gender-identity, dating, falling in love, or even dressing up like Super Woman.”
  • This is the Sex::Tech Flickr account; they don’t have pics up yet but there are albums of past years, including one of the Bay Area’s top comic (illustrator) satirist Lloyd Dangle, who does live sketches every year (and did so this year). Post image via.

Share This Post

  • Hi Violet!

    Thanks for this enthusiastic coverage of Sex::Tech! I’m Katherine, ISIS’s community manager (and the live blogger, and the voice of @sextech).

    We would LOVE to connect with you and strategize about how best to get more Bay Area tech movers involved – we’ve had widespread interest in this idea and I’ve talked to some enthusiastic tech people in the wake of the conference. Sex::Tech is only as good as the network who attend and support it, and we are always looking to engage more folks!

    Two quick and small factual corrections: MTV’s show is 16 & Pregnant, not 16 & Under, and the Funny or Die partnership was with ISIS (Sex::Tech is a branded project of ISIS and not its own organization).

    I’ll be putting up new posts on the sex::tech blog – including conference coverage, and an original guest blog from Clarisse Thorn – all day today, so check back. It is my goal to eventually edit and sift through some of the tweetstream but that may take a while.