Last weekend's conference, OpenSF, was the first-ever gathering of open, poly, and non-monogamous folks in the Bay area organized by a local, heavily Oakland-based group of sex-positive polyamorous activists and community members.
More than 500 people registered for three days of workshops, classes, and talks - and signed up for evening events ranging from a cuddle party to poly speed dating.
Workshops ranged from "So many honeys, so little money," a session on low-cost dating, to "Kink, Race and Class," a discussion of how race and class play out in the kink community, to "Balancing poly parenting," a session on building new family models.
"OpenSF has been an incredible experience," says Pepper Mint, one of the team of nine core organizers who worked with a team more than12 people to pull the conference together over six months of planning. "The success of this event shows the growth of this community in the Bay Area, and the need for new ways to connect."
InvisibleAnk, an Oakland-based organizer, told Oakland Local that the conference had made a commitment to diversity early on. Unlike some conferences for polyamorous people, Open SF had a notable age range and far more people of color than most conference of this sort. Sessions focusing on people of color issues within the open community as well as sessions focused on family, size diversity, and navigating poly/mono relationships meant there were rooms where people could be heard, an inclusive approach.
Among the Oakland-based presenters were the following folks:
Good Vibes educator and AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator, Dr. Charlie Glickman
Blogger, sex worker an sex-positive activist, Kitty Stryker
Sex worker and activist, Sandy Bottoms
Organizers and local community members Ned and Maggie Mayhem
Sex educators and writers Allison Moon and Reid Mihalko
For more information on SFOpen,visit the SF Open website.
For information on poly groups in the Bay area,visit here: http://www.polygroups.com/groups/Bay-Area-Polyamory-