Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wow! I won an award for my contribution to sexual freedom

I’m utterly thrilled and very very proud to have been honoured by my peers in the sexuality world with a very special award at the 22nd Sexual Freedom Awards in London last week.

I was so blown away to receive the award
The Sexual Freedom Awards, now in it's 22nd year, honours and celebrates pioneers in the field of sexuality and promotes excellence in erotic performance and sexual services. They were created by Tuppy Owens, a pioneering British sex therapist, writer and tireless campaigner for sexual rights especially for those with disability. Famous for their Golden Flying Penis Trophies, hand carved for the event in Bali this auspicious event was originally entitled the Erotic Oscars, then the Erotic Awards and now the Sexual Freedom Awards. The proceeds of the Awards ceremony are used to fund the work of the Outsiders Trust – a charity, which supports disabled people to find partners.

Tuppy set up the Awards to counter negative messages in the media about people working in sex and eroticism. She invited nominations for the Awards from the public, and, to judge the nominees, appointed a diverse panel of sexuality experts and enthusiasts that have included an art historian, a fan of striptease, a fetish club owner, a sex worker, and a writer.

My award amongst a very vulvic workshop altar
Being selected as a finalist in these awards is a glorious accolade and I was delighted to be in such an illustrious line up. Amongst those shortlisted were several of my esteemed colleagues and teachers: 

Ellen Heed is part of the teaching team for the Sexological Bodywork training and has developed an incredible body of work around scar tissue.
Barbara Carrellas is the founder of the Urban Tantra® Professional Training Program, and author of the the world’s first LGBTQ and kink inclusive Tantric sex book: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty First Century.
Joseph Kramer, Ph.D., is the foremost teacher of erotic massage in the world. Founder of the Body Electric School, the Erospirit Research Institute and The New School of Erotic Touch he also created the profession of Sexological Bodywork and obtained accreditation for it from the State of California.  

Also in the list is the fabulous Deej Juventin who brought the Sexological Bodywork training to Australia and to the UKDeej was one of the other finalists in the category of Somatic Sex Education of the Year. Which was why I attended the Awards evening, feeling confident I wouldn't actually win an award. 

Sister A was amazed at the goings on back stage!
I’d also been nominated as Performer of the Year, however, and although I couldn't be shortlisted in more than one category I was invited to do a performance of one of my ‘Vaudeville of the Vulva’ characters at the awards ceremony. Sister Augusta had great fun not taking her clothes off, discussing the "preponderance of penii" on the awards table and singing her rap number 'Finger on the Trigger'!

Imagine my surprise then, when the judges returned to the stage, after Deej’s award had been given, to announce the creation of a special award in recognition of someone who'd been nominated in four different categories. Yes - it was me! It appears I’d also been nominated as Pioneer of the Year and Activist of the Year and in recognition of the many and varied ways I work I gained the fabulous title of ‘Multitalented Contributor to Sexual Freedom’. 

It's very very good feeling and I want to send out a big Thank You, especially to Anando Bharti, Andrew Cox and my mum, and indeed to all of the awesome people who support me in so many ways to do what I love to do.

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