Meetings & Publications

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Sexuality ConferenceIf you’re like us, you may find that from time to time you’re running a little behind schedule. In case you were hoping to submit an abstract for the 4th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights – which has two abstract topic tracks relating to pleasure – you will be happy to know that they’ve extended the deadline!

Abstracts are now due by October 19, 2009. You can read the abstract submission guidelines here (pdf) and submit your abstract using the online form.

Hopefully I’ll see you in February in Addis!

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IUSSPI have to apologize for the paucity of blog posts this week – I’ve been attending the IUSSP International Population Conference. While there is lots of talk of sex, and one might argue that, in fact, sex is one of the key factors influencing population (haha), the act of sex, desires, pleasures, and the like have had scant mention.

On the other hand, euphemisms for sex abound. I was at a presentation earlier in which “coital dilution” was discussed. Coital dilution? Let’s consult the dictionary: sexual intercourse + adding a solvent to lower concentration. What on earth could they have been talking about? In fact, the presenter was referring to the fact that in polygynous relationships, a wife will have sex less, on average, than in a monogamous relationship. The hypothesis was that the man would have the same frequency of sex, whether monogamous or polygynous, only the sex would be spread, or diluted, between the wives. (Maybe “diffusion” would be a better term?) Hm.

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GuttmacherIn the latest issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a quarterly journal pubished by the Guttmacher Institute, there are two articles that focus on the role of pleasure and arousal in safer sex behaviors.

One, “Women’s Experiences with Anal Sex: Motivations and Implications for STD Prevention,” found that women in the study often engaged in anal sex out of a desire to pleasure their partners or increase intimacy in their relationships. When women perceived condoms as decreasing pleasure, they were much less likely to use them for anal sex. The authors conclude that more work should be done to find ways of promoting safe and pleasurable sex.

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The 4th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights will be held from February 8-12, 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. You can find general information about the conference on their website, but what’s really great is that this year, positive sexuality is specifically mentioned in the conference objectives.

The Call for Abstracts lists the following sub-themes:
Sexuality Conference

• Exploring positive sexuality and sexual pleasure as a strategy for combating HIV & AIDS.
• Pleasure, Positive Sexuality – What messaging for HIV & AIDS Prevention?
• Redefining Masculinities – How to engage men in positive sexuality.

There are also other objectives and sub-themes where pleasure can certainly fit in, though it is not explicitly mentioned.

The deadline to submit abstracts is September 30, 2009. You can read the full abstract submission guidelines by clicking here.

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Sexuality In Africa Magazine

Sexuality in Africa magazine has recently posted a call for articles for their Volume 6, Issue 1, which will focus on “Desire, Pleasure, and Wellbeing”. They write:

Contributors to this volume are invited to examine the intersection between desire, pleasure and sexual right on the one hand, and sexual health and socio-cultural wellbeing on the other hand. Are there, or should there be, sociocultural standards for sexual arousal or behavior? Should an individual living positively with HIV be free to explore sexual desire and pleasure? Should multiple sexual partnerships be abolished or sanctioned? Should persons with queer sexual orientation be free to express such orientation or subject themselves to societal restrictions? Would unlimited freedom to explore sexual pleasure guarantee wellbeing for the individual and the society?

Submissions for this issue are due by the end of September. For more information, see or email

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Then don’t miss our sexy Satellite Session at ICAAP9 (The 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific), featuring:

Sexing up safer sex, steamy (safer sex) film clips – Arushi Singh (The Pleasure Project)

Eroticizing safer sex in a devoutly Catholic country – Philippine sex columnist and radio host Anas (aka Ana Santos)

Juicy sexual health campaigns for MSM in Oz – Mike Kennedy (Victorian AIDS Council)

Making condoms and lube feel fantastic for MSM in India – Ashok Row Kavi (Humsafar Trust)

Condom social marketing with pleasure appeal – TBC (DKT Indonesia)

Wednesday 12 August, 17:45 – 19:15, BIC-Westin Hotel Auditorium, Bali. Download the flyer>>

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