Home > Articles > EROS EVOLVING: the Future of Love, Sex, Marriage, and Beauty (April 5 conference)

EROS EVOLVING: the Future of Love, Sex, Marriage, and Beauty (April 5 conference)

Posted: Tue, April 01, 2014 | By: Conferences

Will Romance Be Revolutionized in the Future? When We Understand Sexual Attraction - Neurologically - Will We Mutate and Manipulate It for “Transhuman” Advantages? Can Emerging Science & Technology Obliterate Loneliness? Is Marriage in Crises? Can it Be Chemically Revived? Will Cosmetic Surgery Enable Everyone to be Beautiful in Any Gender They Choose? Are Sexbots a Threat in the Bedroom? Is Pornography a Gift or a Plague? Are Artificial Wombs a Feminist Necessity? Do We All Want to Be Hermaphrodites? Or ASexual? Is the Internet Enhancing or Annihilating Intimacy? Is the Potential of “Sex Education” Still Unexplored?

on April 5 (Saturday) from 9:30am - 9pm at Piedmont Veteran’s Hall (401 Highland Avenue, Piedmont) these topics will be discussed at a symposium called:


Tickets can be purchased via EventBrite HERE.

Cost is only $20-$30 - discounts for seniors, students, previous “TV” ticket buyers, IEET members, polyamory organization members, etc.

FIFTEEN SPEAKERS! FREE CHOCOLATE! FREE OXYTOXIN! topics Include: Does The Future Need ‘Beauty’? / Sexual Preferences / Polygamy / The Future of Family Planning / Cousin Marriage / Cloning / Quantifying the Crises of Intimacy / Cosmetic Enhancement / The End of Marriage? / Pleasure Robots / Religion and Sexual Repression / Sex-Positive Feminism / Neurobiology of Love / Porn Addiction / The History of Whoredom + much much more

Lead Sponsor: The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. IEET.org is a nonprofit think tank which promotes ideas about how technological progress can increase freedom, happiness, and human flourishing in democratic societies. IEET generously donated funds for Valerie Tarico’s airfare, and it provided publicity to the EROS EVOLVING conference via its website and mailing list. Many of the conference speakers are IEET Affiliate Scholars and contributing writers.

Secondary Sponsor: Center for Sex and Culture. Provides judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, a community center, classes that run the gamut from informational to experiential, sex-positive advocacy and research, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum. Provided publicity assistance for the EROS EVOLVING conference.

Secondary Sponsor Good Vibrations (a sex toy store that has been “creating a buzz since 1977). Provided publicity assistance for the EROS EVOLVING conference.

Speakers: Grace Walcott, Ginger Murray, Nicole Sallak Anderson, David Fitzgerald, Valerie Tarico, Zoltan Istvan, Riva-Melissa Tez, Adam Safron, Hank Pellissier, Kevin Russell, Bill Softky, Carol Queen, Andrea Kuszewski, Sue Bratton, Jay Bookhouse, Susan Kuchinskas

Produced by Hank Pellissier and the Brighter Brains Institute

Dr. Valerie Tarico is an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. She’s a psychologist with a passion for personal and social evolution. In 2005, she co-founded the Progress Alliance of Washington, a collective of future-oriented donors investing in progressive change. She also is the founder of WisdomCommons.org, an interactive website that showcases humanity’s shared moral core via quotes, poetry, stories and essays from many traditions. Tarico’s book, Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light, offers personal insight into how we can apply “constructive curiosity” to our most closely guarded beliefs. As a social commentator, Tarico writes and speaks on issues ranging from religious fundamentalism to gender roles, to reproductive rights and technologies. A primary focus is on improving access to top tier contraceptive technologies. To that end, she serves on the board of Advocates for Youth, a D.C. based nonprofit with wide-ranging programs related to reproductive health and justice. Tarico co-chairs of Washington Women for Choice, serves on the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest Board of Advocates, and is a Senior Writing Fellow at Sightline Institute, a think tank focused on sustainable prosperity. Her articles appear at sites including the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Salon, AlterNet, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and at her blog, AwayPoint. Her presentation will be on “The Future of Family Planning.”

Carol Queen is an American author, editor, sociologist and sexologist active in the sex-positive feminism movement. Queen has written on human sexuality in books such as Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. She has written a sex tutorial, Exhibitionism for the Shy: Show Off, Dress Up and Talk Hot, as well as erotica, such as the novel The Leather Daddy and the Femme. Queen has produced adult movies, events, workshops and lectures. Queen was featured as an instructor and star in both installments of the Bend Over Boyfriend series about female-to-male anal sex, or pegging. She has also served as editor for compilations and anthologies.

Queen serves as staff sexologist to Good Vibrations, the San Francisco sex toy retailer. In this function, she designed an education program which has trained many other current and past Good Vibrations-based sex educators, including Violet Blue. She currently works for GV as The Staff Sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer.

Andrea Kuszewski is an Affiliate Scholar of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. She lives in San Francisco and works as a researcher and manager with VORTEX Research Group, investigating the neuro-cognitive factors behind human behavior. This includes topics such as creativity, intelligence, sociopathy, and x-altruism. She has published papers on the neuroscience of creativity, intelligence, and the analysis of illegal behavior and the creative rule-breaking process.

As well as being a researcher of creativity, she is herself a fine artist and has been trained in various visual communication medium, ranging from traditional drawing to digital painting, graphic design, and 3D modeling and animation for the medical and behavioral sciences. Andrea is also a popular and widely published science writer and a science communication activist, writing for Scientific American, Discover Mag, Qualcomm Spark, WIRED UK, and others. Her blog, The Rogue Neuron, addresses a variety of current science topics, but is mainly focused on cognitive neuroscience and psychology.

Andrea’s current research focus is morality and heroism, or extreme altruism (x-altruism). She is investigating not only the altruistic personality, but also how to enhance and encourage these behaviors through early intervention in emotion regulation, cognitive control and resilience training.

Grace Walcott is a writer, director, actress, producer. She has written, produced and starred in numerous solo shows, such as “Fall from Grace”, “Grace Under Pressure,” “What’s Wrong with This Picture” and “Redressa: Cowgirl of The Open Plains.” She’s been a principal on “Nash Bridges”, appeared in numerous local TV and commercials, and her short film “Ginger Snaps” - which she wrote, directed and co-stars in - has played in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Germany, Seattle, Orlando, and San Jose. She is currently writing a memoir titled “Grace Comes First: Adventures in Polyamory, Family, and Living on My Own Terms.” She lives in Northern California with her former husband Hank and her current husband O, and their children. Her memoir about her “modern family” will be released in the spring of 2015.

Ginger Murray is the editor in chief of Whore! magazine, a journalist and performance storyteller. She was also a columnist for the SF Weekly and the creator of the cabaret series the Cat’s Pajamas. She has appeared just about everywhere and done just about everything, including a stint as talking head on the History Channel, an interview subject of In Deep with Angie Coiro and a strutter upon the stage with the likes of La Pocha Nostra and Red Hots Burlesque. She is an avid lover of bad girls, thinkers and radical idiots. Her presentation is on “The History of Whoredom and Why Whores are Important for our Future.”

Nicole Sallak Anderson is a Computer Science graduate from Purdue University. After graduation, she developed encryption and network security software, which inspired both the storyline and the science behind her transhumanist novel, eHuman Dawn (Story Merchant Press, 2013.) She currently lives with her husband and two teenaged sons on two acres in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California, where she indulges in a variety of homesteading hobbies, from beekeeping and raising chickens and goats, to gardening, canning, spinning, and knitting. She blogs and speaks on singularity, transhumanism, internet privacy, data manipulation and human consciousness. Follow her at www.ehumandawn.blogspot.com or on Twitter @NSallakAnderson.

David Fitzgerald is the Secular Student Alliance’s campus organizer for California & Nevada, co-founder of the world’s first Atheist Film Festival and (with Greta Christina) the Godless Perverts Story Hour. He is also a historical researcher; and the author of “Nailed” and “The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion. ” He also writes sexy, heretic-friendly erotica under the name Kilt Kilpatrick.


Bestselling visionary author Zoltan Istvan, an American-Hungarian, began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world at the age of 21. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He’s explored over 100 countries—many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate, Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Animal Planet, and the Travel Channel. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his daughter and physician wife. Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, a fictional thriller describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. The novel was recently a #1 bestseller in both Philosophy and Sci-Fi Visionary & Metaphysical on Amazon. Zoltan also blogs for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post.

Riva-Melissa Tez Riva-Melissa Tez studied Philosophy at University College London and has a track record of entrepreneurship and social innovation, including the co-creation of a social network for children.

Riva’s passion for philosophy got her interested in the deeper implications of technology and she founded Berlin Singularity - a group focusing on bringing and promoting pro-longevity and futurist discussions to mainland Europe. Now living in San Francisco, she co-runs Kardashev Communications a German/US consultancy group promoting and connecting funds to emerging technologies. Riva is also Associate Director of Longevity Intelligence Communications.

Riva is a lecturer at the DAB university in Berlin and regularly presents and writes about the absurdity of death, and the different approaches that science and technology groups are using to tackle this problem worldwide.

Adam Safron is an independent scientist with over 10 years of experience in fMRI research, with most of his work focused on human sexuality. His current investigations are focused on looking at the neural correlates of preferences in bisexual, homosexual, and heterosexual women and men.



Kevin Russell also goes by the moniker “The Techno-Optimist.” He is a transhumanist, philosopher, futurist, researcher, lecturer, founder of Simulet.com, and the Executive Director of Serious Wonder Media. Simulet’s mission is to empower one’s subjective experience of reality by using the latest discoveries to fuel conversation and deepen perspectives. Serious Wonder is a progressive futurist technology and consciousness website obsessed with the future. Their mission is to provide readers with the best information in futuristic ideas, technology, robotics, science, consciousness, philosophy, psychology, space travel, and modern design. Kevin enjoys educating and debating positively about technology, using pragmatic optimism to push perspectives about a probabilistic future.

Bill Softky holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, where he discovered a still-unsolved paradox about the firing patterns of brain neurons. His subsequent career in Silicon Valley (including biophysics, human-computer interaction, and signal processing) has given him a unique perspective on the software and hardware architecture of human brains, including new insights about our deepest (yet most deeply-hidden) high-bandwidth method of somatic communication. His presentation is on “Quantifying the Crises of Intimacy.”

Susan Bratton believes great personal growth can come from informed sexual maturation and is focused on taking the shame out of desire for intimate physical connection. Bratton is co-founder and CEO of Personal Life Media, an online publishing company specializing in heart-centered adult sexual education home study programs. She is also an award-winning speaker and internationally-renowned author of over 1,000 articles on intimacy. She is the creator of the highly-acclaimed Revive Her Drive program — a self-paced home studycourse for men all over the world who want to bring passion back to their relationship. She is also the author of 30 Romance Tricks That Work Like Magic among many other books and courses. Susan has been featured media outlets as wide-ranging as the New York Times, CNBC and Playboy Radio. An innovator and change-maker, Susan champions men’s rights for shame-free sexuality and creates tools and techniques that help men open intimately to their partners for more passion.

Hank Pellissier is an Affiliate Scholar of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology, where he was Managing Director in 2012. At Salon.com, he was the daily sex columnist (“Naked World). He’s written numerous articles on sexuality for IEET, including “The Ukrainian Human Barbie Doll - Valeria Lukyanova - is this the future of cosmetic enhancement?”, “Andrej Pejic - Androgynous Model - heralding a post-gender future?”, “Japanese Asexual Activist-Artist Slices off his Genitalia, Serves at Banquet”, “Sexbots for Women”, “State-by-State Gay Marriage Acceptance” and many others. Sex is also a prevalent theme in his performance art work, in pieces like, “Miracles of the Flesh,” “The Hole Truth”, “The Talking Nipple”, “Natasha, You Thought I Was Gay” etc. His slam poem, “William, I Slept With Your Girlfriend” is anthologized in The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.

Jay Bookhouse is the Program Director for the Society of Janus, a San Francisco based BDSM education non-profit. He has organized and managed over 50 educational BDSM classes and events in the San Francisco Bay Area including classes on the “Psychobiology of SM” and “Measurable Changes in Body & Mind during SM.” As Program Director he inaugurated a monthly series of classes focused on bringing in academic researchers and health professionals to provide valuable insights to the kink community based on their research and professional experience. In addition to his commitment to facilitating greater awareness of alternative sexualities Jay is an avid transhumanist, Quantified Self enthusiast, and lifelong learner. Jay’s lecture will be on the “Neuropsychology and the Future of BDSM.” He can be found on Fetlife @-JayB-.

Susan Kuchinskas is the author of “The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love” - a book that explains the physiological link between love and wellbeing, what happens in the brain when we connect with others—and what’s missing when we can’t. She also wrote “Oxytocin Parenting: From the Womb through the Terrible Twos”, about how parenting shapes the brain’s social circuits. She works as a journalist covering science, business and technology. She will be lecturing on “Oxytocin, Sex, Love And Longevity.” Find out more at www.ChemistryofConnection.com. 510-644-2612 www.kuchinskas.com @susankuchinskas


9:25 - 9:30 HANK PELLISSIER (intro)


9:45 - 10:15 BILL SOFTKY


BREAK - 10 Minutes

11:10 - 11:40 GRACE WALCOTT

11:40 - 12:10 CAROL QUEEN

12:10 - 12:40 - RIVA MELISSA-TEZ

LUNCH - 35 Minutes

1:15 - 2:00 ADAM SAFRON


BREAK - 10 minutes

2:55 - 3:40—VALERIE TARICO

3:40 - 4:10—ZOLTAN ISTVAN

BREAK - 10 minutes

4:20- 4:35—GINGER MURRAY

4:35 - 5:05—- SUSAN BRATTON

DINNER - 35 minutes


6:25 - 6:55 KEVIN RUSSELL



Hmm. I notice a clear Enlightenment/Cathedral bias in the scheduled presentations.

Just for the sake of variety, why not have someone give a talk from a Dark Enlightenment/Neoreactionary perspective about how women’s sexual freedom has turned into a social disaster, and that a livable world in “the future” will require rolling this freedom back and restoring the traditional relationship between the sexes?

By Mark Plus on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:42pm

Will this be streamed/archived online? It sounds fascinating, but I live in Washington state.

By Perry Piper on Mar 29, 2014 at 12:20pm

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