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We’re seeking a social media marketing intern

You will be an active part of Body//Talk’s marketing team, working directly with the executive director. Your work will directly contribute to our ability to create a thriving new vision of community in Orlando and across the United States as we expand.

The time commitment is about 5-8 hours a week, with more on event weekends.

Here’s an idea of what you’ll be doing:

  • Curating Body//Talk’s Instagram
  • Taking photos for Instagram
  • Creating and managing social media campaigns
  • Coordinating ticket contests
  • Facebook event marketing
  • Attending weekly meetings
  • Attending Body//Talk parties and community events

We’re looking for someone with a cool social media presence, a dope Instagram, and video/graphic design skills are a huge plus.

If you’re interested, send the following to phil@bodytalkparty.org:

  1. Instragram handle
  2. Portfolio and/or resume
  3. 2-3 paragraphs describing why you want this position

Jahfre’s Leaving Body//Talk

With a few weeks distance, I have the confidence and ability to tell you that Jahfre is transitioning out of Body//Talk over the next three months. You’re probably wondering why he’s leaving… I’ll just say that things are amicable and our friendship is becoming better than it has in a while. Him and I have creative differences, and for now, it’s best for us to do our own things. He has plans to start a badass organization analyzing gender, sexuality, and color and I truly wish him the best. Be on the lookout for him letting his passion loose with his venture “POST.”

Jahfre’s decision might actually be a blessing. This Body//Talk journey has been long and it’s never been easy. Over this time, we’ve gone through so many iterations as a team… from friends helping out informally, to Jahfre and I’s handshake partnership, to building out a 9 person team (it was like herding stoned cats.)

As a young leader, I can say with absolute confidence, that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.

Every time someone left I would be stuck re-evaluating whether the organization was healthy, where the tension points were, and what I needed to change.

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On one hand, I want as many people as possible to be part of the Body//Talk ecosystem. The more people who contribute, the more momentum we will have to create a better world. But as a young leader, I can say with absolute confidence, that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I know that I care a lot. I believe Body//Talk can make huge change in the world. And all I can do is learn from situations as they happen, read good books, and keep changing the ingredients until I get the formula right.

I have so much love for Jahfre and everyone else who has been part of BT, whether as a volunteer or a team member. What we’ve created is incredible. And to make it sustainable, we still have a lot of work to do.

So that brings me to next steps…

My take is that the Body//Talk Party is built on a cracked foundation. Inventory is never stocked right, timing is off, volunteers don’t know quite how to help. So Jahfre and I have decided that the best way to keep the party’s going is to simplify things.

These changes are effective immediately:

  • No volunteers except face painters (for now)
  • No community events (for a while)
  • No Instagram (for a while)

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Body//Talk is going in to the Intensive Care Unit for a few months. The best thing I can do is decrease the complexity, and put 100% of my focus on making the party emotionally sustainable for the people producing it.

Jahfre loves this plan, and I’m so so so hopeful about the future. We’ll rise stronger than ever.

– Phil Santos, Founder

P.S. I’ll be looking for an event manager and/or volunteer coordinator around October. I’m guessing it’ll be 12 hours a month, paying $12-15/hr. Just a heads up.

Experiments in Community, Reflections on Fringe

Living for community… The notion is all but lost to us in the storm of individualistic pressure from society. We are told to live for ourselves. We are taught to be economical. When we relax, hang with our friends, or work on our relationships, we are “wasting time.” It is well known, but most don’t know what to do about it.

“How does this organization create community for its members?” This is my question.

I want to give to others what B//T has given to me, but what I believe in is not as important as what we believe in. So let’s find something to work towards.

Last Friday, Body//Talk curated a stage at the Fringe Festival. We had space off to the side designed for people to engage in a meaningful way. We decided to ask the question: “What does a strong community look like?” Here are the responses:

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Together. Unity. Trust. Open. Involved. Honest. These were not written by our team. These are the words written by you

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Let’s begin to take care of each other.

Lets start the conversation about community in the 21st century.   

-Alex Bryson, Body//Talk Community Director.

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Vote for Beyonce (or Bernie Sanders or whatever)

Vote for Beyonce.

Just kidding. Beyonce isn’t qualified as a presidential candidate. But she inspires us to move, to aspire to run the world—or at least to effect it. One of the biggest ways to do this is by voting. And unlike Beyonce’s flimsy semi-political stances, the beliefs of the current presidential candidates are of such grave importance, each need to be evaluated critically and your voting decision should be well informed. This is a personal path and we don’t want to tell you who to vote for.

 

But no matter what candidate moves you like Beyonce, get moving, get registered and go vote. There are a plethora of issues in need of serious attention, effecting all of us: healthcare, foreign policy, environmental policy and identity (LGBTAQ+) equality—issues of more consistent important than Beyonce’s new trap persona (fierce as it may be).

 

Here is what we are looking for in our political Beyonce

 

Most of us want a candidate with a low level of corruptionhealthcare as a right, and someone against fracking. Most of us support increasing the minimum wage (to at least $15 ), taxing wall street to pay for free college tuition and having a candidate without million dollar publishing and speaking careers (Hillary is sitting pretty on 32 million networth). We want someone who inspires us, much like Beyonce, but with character depth that allows them to stay consistent in their views throughout their careers. We don’t want a commodified product, a logo or ruse (no offense Beyonce).

Yes folks, at the end of the day, we’re feeling the Bern.

 

But now it’s time to get in formation. All that matters is that you get registered to vote and VOTE. The movement is in every direction, not just ours. As long as your moving to leave a positive impact on this world, we wanna see you move. We might even take you to Red Lobster.

 

What’s next?

Vote damnit. Just vote. If you’re not convinced you want to vote for Bernie, that’s fine. But make your voice heard. Remember, there’s a few things you need to know if you want to vote in the Florida Democratic Primaries:

  1. You must be registered as a Democrat
  2. Your address must be up to date
  3. You need to know your voting precinct
  4. You need to updated your voter info by February 15th. This very dope site will explain everything and help you get your stuff ready.
  5. Voting is on Tuesday March 15th

10 Things We Learned From Our Town Hall Meeting

1. More community events

Frequent run-ins with people reinforce friendships. But we need activities to help break up cliques and encourage people to interact. If you come with a group of friends, chances are you’ll stay with your group of friends. Among our favorite Community Events are:

  1. Field Day
  2. Wekiva trip
  3. Blue Gold documentary screening
  4. Food-centric events
  5. Community service events
  6. Volunteer planned events

2. More conversations about social issues in the B//T Community Group

They make us smarter and more engaged as a culture. Of course, we like avoiding being inflammatory but a healthy mind involves being open to new ideas and engaging uncontested held beliefs, even if its uncomfortable. More of this please!

3. People take care of one another at Body//Talk

If you’re a little too drunk, need help finding someone or have a question about the activities, Body//Talkers take it upon themselves to help each other, almost as a way of meeting other people. And of course, we take care of and clean up the party together too.

4. Being a 21+ party sucks

Sorry—we’ve gotta take care of the people that take care of us: the bars. But we realize how important it is to keep the party open all for all ages. We threw around suggestions for new venues and even owning our own venue one day. We’re not quite sure how to fix this issue permanently, but we’re going to a secret venue next month, finally returning B//T to an all ages party, at least for February.

5. Body//Talk needs to remain a safe space for people of every gender, class, race and sex

It’s not that Body//Talk is unsafe. But we want to make it clear that Body//Talk is committed to maintaing this kind of safe social space and will take action when it’s being threatened. One easy thing we want to do: create a “Safe Space” sign hanging at the door to symbolize our value for inclusivity and safety at the party. Beyond that, maybe some Community Event lectures from professors on race, class, sex or gender. Maybe a Community discussion on the issue. We’re not sure but expect to hear this conversation brought up again. More to come.

6. More merch!

T-shirts, hats, stickers, buttons, koozie, patches, key chains, and water bottles to be exact. Merchandise facilitates conversation and we want more of it. We’ve got hookups to make this happen– it just hasn’t been a priority until now. Our Shop page is being built now and the Body//Talk shirt is about to hit the shelves. Be on the lookout for that and more– coming soon.

7. More interactive art activities!

We want to collaborate with Orlando artists to bring activities that allow us to experience and create art, together. Ideas suggest: collaborate with zine makers, live artists, body painters, and musicians. One idea was particularly inspiring: collaborative music making—bring drums, loop machines, drum pads and synths to make music right at the party. Hmmm… the possibilities.

8. Better pronoun use

We want to integrate asking for preferred pronouns as much as possible. It’s not like we need to police each other, making sure we’re always being perfectly PC. But we want to live in a culture in which people feel comfortable and confident to be themselves, one in which gender identity isn’t always taken for granted, constructed within the binary, and taken as obvious by the way a person dresses or presents their self. A quick and casual “Hi, how ya doing? Preferred pronouns” is a simple habit that creates a space that’s more open, inclusive and aware that people’s gender identity and the pronouns they use is their decision, not yours.

9. Bigger and more diverse musical acts

Remember Spazzkid? Wasn’t that amazing? Well we want more acts of that caliber to come play Body//Talk’s stages. But we also want the struggling indie bands to have a spot on our roster too. Turns out, what we really want is a good balance between bigger acts and smaller known and unknown hometown acts. Our friend Moody says Orlando has a beautiful underground hip-hop scene. We’d love to get some of that talent on our stages.

10. Body//Talk had an amazing 2015

One person said we made some people’s reentry to Orlando bearable. Others said we’ve built a community, helped people make friends, and encouraged people to be weird and expressive. Further, Body//Talk is one of the reasons Orlando is great.

Conclusion

Thank you for that. We can’t forget why this little party is important when we have so many people who care so deeply about it. Thank you for everyone who came. We’re strategizing about how Body//Talk is going to change in 2016 to make these ideas come to life.

Got more ideas, wanna lead a Community event? Talk to a team member, post on the Community group or send us an email. We want to hear from you.

Thanks for coming.

Christmas With Soul – Our First Official Mixtape

Trying to get in the Christmas mood without the same tired, shitty music? This mixtape is for you.

Christmas With Soul is a sleigh ride through some deep, groovy cuts from Christmas past. Straight Christmas funk and soul. Bump it at your (adult) Christmas party. Trust us. The sexual innuendo is through the roof.

Mixed by VSN QST
Art by Jahfre Colbert

Christmas With Soul by Body//Talk on Mixcloud

Track list:
1. Stone Soul Christmas – Binky Griptite // http://bit.ly/1TG3ly5
2. Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter // http://bit.ly/1RIZQsa
3. Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Albert King // http://bit.ly/1QBgV6J
4. Merry Christmas, Baby – Melvin Taylor // http://bit.ly/1lUF0cX
5. It’s Christmas Baby – Ms. Jody // http://bit.ly/1OXJFEW
6. Santa’s Got A Bag Of Soul – Soul Saints // http://bit.ly/1O0wRAC
7. Soulful Christmas – James Brown // http://bit.ly/1Qjw4em
8. Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings // http://bit.ly/1M7QnDz

What Makes a Dance Party Successful? Here’s Our Theory

Body//Talk has been producing DIY dance parties for 28 months now. And in that time we’ve had some incredible events and some that fell totally flat. After a year of shooting in the dark, we sat down and built a tool to help ensure our parties were consistently high quality. It probably isn’t perfect, but this tool has really helped us reduce last minute stress, and it’s given us a framework for improving our experience month by month.

“What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker

Below are our “Party Success Markers.” This framework can be used to help plan a new event or evaluate a past one. More than anything, these success markers provide a language for talking about an event beyond simply saying “that was good” or “that party sucked.” They’re talking points.

When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument – Jason Fried, Rework

EVENT SUCCESS MARKERS

High Musical Transcendence

  • Artists are happy
  • Solid lineup
  • Stage is managed will
  • Vibrant dance-floor
  • High quality sound and immersive lights

High Social Connectivity

  • Use space to bring people closer
  • Games, installations, and other activities facilitate new connections
  • There are diverse activities beyond music, drinking and conversation

High Attendance

  • Does the party feel sparse or full?
  • Did we choose the right venue to match the attendance?
  • What was the marketing campaign?
    • Facebook? Instagram? Newsletter? Flyers?
    • Which initiatives gave us the highest return?
    • What didn’t work as well as we hoped?

Potential for Intimacy

  • Significant area for conversation
  • Different spaces for different forms of connection

Reaching New Levels of Dopeness

  • Are we innovating?
  • Are we complacent?
  • Are we experimenting and learning new things?
  • Is there an interesting cover special or theme for the event?

Leads to Online Conversions

  • Capture the event with great photographs
  • Do attendees have an easy way to get connected to us online?
  • Email newsletter signup sheet

Emotionally Sustainable

  • Are material expenses on budget?
  • Do volunteers feel valued?
  • Is the work emotionally sustainable for staff? (especially over the long term)
  • Can we pay everyone who needs it?

Late Night Swim Becomes Monthly – A Love Letter

Late Night Swim ~ I love you. But we’ve got to talk. Look, I love what you’re offering – a simple thing – a necessary thing – a killer fucking dance floor led by the city’s most talented DJs. But, here’s the thing, girl ~ with this every week nonsense, you know it just ain’t so special every time.

We’ve gotta change the terms of this relationship, girl. Week after week, I feel like we’re getting a little tired. It’s just overexposure, bae.

Let’s keep things special. I want to honor you by seeing you just once a month. Orlando is changed, there’s other dope parties for people to go to on Thursday’s and that’s fine.

That’s why I’ve gotta give us space, boo. I’ve gotta submerge you underwater for a few weeks. I’m doing this because I love you, and I want you to be everything you can be. Once a month.

I can’t wait to see my favorite Orlando DJ’s playing that hot/intimate room, when you come back. Girl, we gone tear it up together, but for now, we’ve gotta take some time off.

Till next time.

~ Phil

Analyzing Gender and Sexuality on the Dance Floor

Why do so many Orlandoans avoid nightlife?

They think back on past experiences: A group of women in a protective circle, corralled into the middle of the dance floor. A crowd of thirsty dudes watching nearby, shuffling side-to-side like a bunch of sweaty middle-schoolers in a cafeteria food line. The music’s too loud to carry a conversation, and if the dance floor doesn’t draw you, you can either join the line for the bathroom or the line for the bar. Hierarchal competition. Exclusivity. Body shaming. Unevolved gender roles.

Two and half years ago, before I started studying gender, I would go to clubs like these and experience the same pressure to grab my male plate and join the thirsty food line to collect sexual experiences like baseball cards. This was the only way I was taught to fulfill my need for intimacy, and it caused me immense anxiety—if I didn’t approach any women that day, I felt weak, incompetent and less masculine.

When I discovered that patriarchy was driving this fear, I realized I could opt out of the program.

I started having intimate connections with women who I didn’t think of in sexual terms—then I started having intimate connections with men—then with people of all genders. I’d realized that the thirst for sex that felt so real for me was actually a need for connection that wasn’t getting met. And by the way, instead of being told to have sex, women are taught the complete opposite fairy tale: intimacy will be found in a committed, lifelong relationship with a man whom you will be financially dependent on. But luckily these harsh, contradictory patterns are re-writable.

Body//Talk is creating this revolutionary party now.

One based on inclusivity. Safety. Authenticity. Sexiness. A non-threatening dance party for all people, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

This post is the application of social theory to Body//Talk in order to illustrate how our parties are creating a culture that makes your everyday life more wonderful.

Social Theory: Evolving our “Sexual Field”

Adam Isaiah Green is a social theorist who wrote a book called “Sexual Fields”, which builds a framework for looking at any kind of sexual community by applying Pierre Bourdieu’s work in field theory. Bourdieu argues that judgments of taste or preference in society are related to social position. Green uses a sexual lens when applying this theory to communities of people who are socially positioned relative to each other on a sexual level. Applying these ideas to Body//Talk makes it possible to see what makes us socially different in this respect.

There are two different ways a sexual field can be organized: vertically or horizontally. A vertically-organized sexual field is one in which the criteria for positioning (ie. Who is hot? Who is not?) is constructed by strict guidelines and a variety of behavior-controlling mechanisms. An example of a sexual field with strict guidelines is at Fratty college bars, where actors are positioned by muscle size, appearance of wealth, breast size, aloofness, waist size, and other surface-level characteristics. An example of a behavior-controlling mechanism is slut-shaming in Greek culture as a tool for organizing people by class.

Body//Talk is organized in a very different way: horizontally. Horizontal sexual fields exist where “sexual capital” is distributed more evenly among people and typically follows when there is a wider variety of tastes and preferences–everyone can be hot to someone. Another example of a horizontal sexual field is the diverse queer bear community, which evolved in rebellion to the vertical structure of the male leatherman community.

“But that’s just not how the world is…”

Luckily, the mainstream sexual field that we are born and raised in in America is also changeable. As Green would say, the culture is “reflexive”. This means that yes, our tastes are shaped by the existing mainstream culture, but our individual tastes shape the mainstream culture over the long run too. We just have to be loud and proud about it. And while even horizontal sexual fields can eventually idealize certain bodies over others (for example, hipster culture, which started as a rebellion of the mainstream, has now developed its own mainstream hierarchy of status), being intentful on including everyone in the experience of intimacy at our parties sustains our safe and sexy environment.

Body//Talk is dedicated to creating a culture based on altruism and personal growth, starting with rewriting how we perceive each other as gendered, socialized, and sexual beings on the dance floor.

What are some other examples of gendered behavior you’ve seen around at Orlando bars and clubs?

Parties With A Purpose — Watch Body//Talk’s TEDx Talk

In April 2015 Body//Talk co-founder, Phil Santos, gave this energized speech to challenge the modern clubbing paradigm.

Have you ever thought that parties are just hedonistic escapes? Or that bars are just places to get wasted and try to get laid?

Phil uses Body//Talk as an example for a big dream: to evolve parties into vehicles for community and social connectivity. The next time someone asks why parties are important for the world, point them to this talk.