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May 09

Dr. J.’s Spotlight: NYC Whirlwind

I had a glorious week in the Big Apple. What did I learn?

1) Let’s get basic. If you want to jump start your exercise program, this walking city is the way to go. I averaged 15,000 steps a day.  When I headed out the front door of the hotel, boom, I was in cardiovascular exercise mode—for the whole day. The theme of this trip was to experience vibrant people, places, and energy.

2) The people made the city. My first people connections involved seeing old friends. These long time friends moved to NY from our little world of Tallahassee. Experiencing the city from their perspective was wonderful. My group picked interesting restaurants and attractions that continued our previous sharing together—food and drinks and art. It was also nice to be a tourist with them.

3) From my current writing world, I met three author/editor friends. It was surreal to meet Jill C. ShannonF. Leonora Solomon, and Rebecca Brooks. I covered breakfast, afternoon drinks, and dinner with this crowd. We discussed writer topics and then many others. We chatted about train rides, work areas like the NY Public Library, and theories of people picking up other people in social places which we observed carefully. I was intellectually stimulated, engaged, and playful.

4) The impetus for the trip was the AltSexNYC Conference. I still have my finger on the pulse of sex research even if I don’t do it anymore. There is a special energy in that work. AltSexNYC may well be one of the best research events I have attended. I met three super cool sex education/therapy/research folks from my Twitter life. Check outMichael AaronDavid Ley, and Heather McPherson. I shared with Michael Aaron that I believe the future of sex research is in good hands with his generation. Now that I’m home reflecting on it, it is so true.

5) While I was in NYC, I received my contract from Best Women’s Erotica of the Year. It was dreamlike to be out of my usual space and receive it. I am looking forward to working with Rachel Kramer Bussel and Cleis Press on this endeavor. My feelings were all over the place.

In conclusion, go to New York City. Dreams do come true there. It was incredible to combine all the different parts of my life into the experience of one week. It was a real getaway. Life does seem bigger and brighter from the Big Apple.

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