Beyond Boundaries – a meeting of the Scientific Study of Sexuality from Anastasia Eleftheriou

‘Beyond Boundaries’ was the theme of the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), in Albuquerque, that took place between 12-15th of November. Sex Researchers, therapists, doctors, educators, biologists and many more attended the conference to explore the emerging dimensions of Sexual Science.


Doug P. VanderLaan, recipient of the Ira & Harriet Reiss Theory award, opened the conference with his plenary talk on the development and evolution of male androphilia. Following plenary sessions included Debby Herbenick on Pleasure and Health, Stella Resnick on the Science of the Art of Romance and Stephanie Sanders on The Biology of Pleasure. Osmo Kontula, president of SSSS, gave a talk on the Determinants of Female Sexual Orgasms. Other plenary talks included Robert Hatcher on Condoms with Passion and So Much More and Walter Bockting on Transgender Health. Mandy Carter, an American Black LGBT activist, gave an exceptional plenary talk on Social Justice for which she received a standing ovation.


Attendees had a variety of choices of concurrent symposia and workshop sessions they could attend such as Sexual Health Issues, Sexual Experiences, Sex Education, Pornography, Non-Monogamy, LGBT Experiences, Sexual Development, Intimacy issues and Sexuality Among Older Adults. Sessions encouraged discussion between the speakers and attendees. Cynthia Graham, editor of the Journal of Sex Research, also delivered a workshop on publishing in and reviewing for JSR, the official journal of SSSS.


I would like to highlight that the conference atmosphere was very welcoming for first-time attendees and students. In addition, orientation events were organised to encourage them to network with professionals and take part in discussions. From my perspective as a student, I found the poster session an extremely useful opportunity to mingle with more experienced professionals. I received valuable feedback for my work on Perceived Attractiveness and Condom Use Intentions, from researchers working in similar areas but also from attendees who found the topic interesting and inspirational. I would encourage students and young professionals to consider presenting their work in future SSSS meetings.


The meeting wouldn’t be the same without the exhibitors, who provided the attendees with information about courses and certificates, sexuality books, art, jewellery, and the conference-popular vulva puppets! Additionally, the conference film festival, co-sponsored by Porntopia and Self Serve Toys, presented the films “Gender Affirmation” and “Politics of the Penis” that entertained the attendees during their last conference evening.


Save the date – The 2016 annual SSSS conference will take place in Phoenix, Arizona in November 17-20, 2016. Abstract submission begins in January 2016!


Anastasia Eleftheriou

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