I’m speaking at CatalystCon East! – DrZhana

[email protected]

send me an email

I’m speaking at CatalystCon East!


During my academic career, I have been to and presented my work at many academic conferences, where scholars present their research to other scholars in a very scholarly way.

This year, I will be going to my first non-academic sex conference, where non-academics (and some academics) present all sorts of sex-related knowledge to mostly non-academics in a less scholarly, more interactive and engaging sort of way. As described by founder/Creator Dee Dennis, CatalystCon is a “melting pot of sexuality that will unite sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, those in the adult industry and anyone with a passion for creating change. “Knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.”

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to share my knowledge gained from researching sex with people for whom this information would be relevant and valuable not just theoretically (i.e., from a scientific viewpoint), but personally and practically.

In two different sessions, I will be talking about my two favorite topics: casual sex and mostly heterosexuality. Presenting for non-academic audiences is a whole different animal than presenting for academic audiences. It is both scary and exciting to ponder this new world. I hope I can do a good job.

Here’s more info about, and links to, the two sessions.

Is Casual Sex Bad for You? It Depends

Panelist: Zhana Vrangalova

When: Saturday, March 15, 12:00 – 1:10 pm

Casual sex – sex without love – seems to be everywhere, and love it or hate it, everyone has an opinion on it. More often than not, casual sex is vilified as bad for your physical, mental, and social health. But what does research really say about this topic? And are things really that simple? Perhaps not all casual sex encounters are equally harmful (or beneficial) and not all people are equally sensitive to these harmful (or beneficial) effects. In this session, Zhana Vrangalova, a sex researcher who studies hookups among young people, will examine the scientific evidence linking engagement in casual sex to various health outcomes, and discuss different factors that this link may depend on.

“Mostly Straight”: A New Sexual Orientation Group

Panelists: Zhana Vrangalova & Ritch Savin-Williams

When: Sunday, March 16, 12:00 – 1:10 PM

The largest sexual minority group is not gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. It’s the “mostly straights” – those with a slight degree of same-sex interests who are not exclusively straight, but not same-sex oriented ‘enough’ to consider themselves or to be considered by others as bisexual. Mostly straights are typically ignored and lumped together with either heterosexuals or bisexuals in research, clinical practice, and education. However, recent research shows that mostly straights form a unique sexual orientation group that is distinct from both exclusive heterosexuals and more substantial bisexuals in their sexual orientation profile as well as a number of different personality characteristics, life experiences, attitudes toward sexuality, and health outcomes and behaviors. In this session, Zhana Vrangalova and Ritch Savin-Williams, two leading scholars in the area of mostly heterosexuality, will summarize the research on mostly straights and discuss ways in which this new knowledge influences how we talk and think about sexual orientation in research, theory, practice, and our daily lives.

If anyone is in or near Washington, DC/Arlington, Virginia, you might want to consider checking out CatalystCon, March 14-16, 2014. I hear it is not only highly informative, but also loads of fun!

Related Posts

  • Upcoming Events Update!

    I’ve got a couple of exciting live events happening in the next few weeks! Check out all the info below: ​​​​​​​​​​​​ THURSDAY, 12/6, 7PM: Doctor’s Orders: Real Doctors Debate Your Toughest Questions What happens when a biologist, physician, neuroscientist and sex researcher join together to answer questions you may have never felt comfortable asking your own doctor? Join us at The Assemblage (in NoMad) to find out in the new game-show like panel as we incite audience participation, ask hard, silly or downright strange questions and hear top experts in their respective fields discuss topics that feel taboo even in the privacy

  • A New Study Explains Why Many Lesbians Are Biased Against Bisexual Women

    Bisexual folks commonly fall victim to the “double stigma” surrounding their sexual orientation. Compared to heterosexuals, lesbian and gay folks still have more positive attitudes towards bisexual people, but compared to other gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, asexual and pansexual people, lesbians and gay men harbor the most bi-negativity. “So, why are many lesbians so anti-bi? A new study recently published in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity suggests that this might be due to what the researchers call the androcentric desire hypothesis: The fact that people (gay men and lesbians alike) perceive bisexuals as being more sexually attracted to men

  • Study Finds Queer Folks Are 20 Times More Likely to Be Activists Than Cishets

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are more likely to be activists in more than just the LGBT movement, according to recent research. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that people are most likely to engage in activism for their own group: There are far fewer men than women at feminist rallies, for example, and far fewer heterosexuals than queer folks at pride marches. But is there some crossover between social movements? In other words, are people who belong to one stigmatized group more likely to be also active in social movements that primarily affect other stigmatized groups? A new study using a

The Science of Sex Podcast

The Science of Sex Podcast

Listen to comedian, Joe Pardavila, and I sit down each week with a new sex researcher to talk about the latest information on anything and everything to do with sex.