Cyndi Darnell is a sex nerd. She is fascinated by sex, pleasure and relationships and wants to help the world get the most out of their lives, bodies and relationships whether with lovers, solo play or other adventures of the body and mind. She has inspired my passion to be a sex positive advocate and educated me greatly on the many and varied ways to love and pleasure. Cyndi is at the forefront of this new and exciting movement to move away from outdated ideas of relationships, bodies and sex into a new place where we feel no shame in finding a good fit and keep learning, playing and pleasuring. I can’t recommend her high enough as a speaker, consultant, educator or therapist. — Catherine Deveny. Writer, Comedian, Social Commentator
Cyndi Darnell is an adult sex education expert with many years experience and a positive approach which is gentle and not at all “sleazy”. She is interested in a wide range of issues relating to sexuality and wellbeing and understands that sexual pleasure is an integral part of sexual health. Her education work embeds sexual health information within this framework. She is experienced in working with a wide range of people, meeting where they are and pursuing the issues that matter to them. She has a real commitment to this work. – Professor Anne Mitchell. Deputy Director- Australian Research Centre in Sex Health & Society. (ARCSHS)
Cyndi Darnell is a leader and a role model. Her creation of Pleasure Forum Australia is just one example of her ability to build space and bring together diverse communities for meaningful dialogue about sexuality and relationships. She champions sexual awareness and empowerment for everyone, including people whose erotic identities and expressions fall outside the mainstream. She is at the forefront of the sex-positive movement in Australia, and her work with individuals, couples, and groups changes peoples’ lives. Savvy, sensitive, and incredibly smart, she embodies the future of sex education around the globe. —Tristan Taormino. Author, Feminist Pornographer & Sex Educator
Cyndi Darnell is the most important new voice on the international sex education scene. Cyndi has been studying sexuality in all it’s glorious and inglorious forms for twenty years. Now armed with advanced degrees in sex therapy as well as two decades of practical experience, she is an international force for sexual awakening and global erotic interconnectivity. Cyndi is one of those rare individuals who is as brilliant in a one-on-one session as she is running a workshop. She is also one of the world’s best organizers of sex positive dialogs and events, bringing together international voices to discuss, implement and organize positive change and growth in personal, social, political and spiritual aspects of conscious sexuality. On top of all this, she is one of the warmest, funniest, most genuine human beings I know. –Barbara Carrellas. Sex Educator, Activist and Acclaimed Author of Urban Tantra
It is with great pleasure that I write to commend the skill and professionalism of Cyndi Darnell. Cyndi moderated the 2012 festival’s SEX, LOVE AND INTIMACY forum. The Other Film Festival is presented by Arts Access Victoria and is recognised nationally and internationally as the world’s leading disability film festival. The festival achieved this reputation by ensuring that the experience and aspirations of people with a disability or who are deaf is at the centre of everything that the festival does. This forum is a perfect example of this commitment.
The festival met with many people working in the field of disability, recreation and sexuality prior to selecting an appropriate moderator. It was very clear to us that Cyndi would be the perfect person to perform this difficult task. She listened actively to our expectations and concerns about the staging of this intimate discussion, she identified issues that might arise and proposed strategies to manage conflict or distress and she demonstrated a level of compassion and generosity which reassured us that the presenters and audience would be conducted in a safe environment. It was also clear to us that she had an excellent grasp of the complex sexual terrain the forum would cover.
The forum itself attracted in excess of 200 people who heard from a panel of speakers that included a sex worker specialising in working with men with disabilities, a gay man from rural Victoria with cerebral palsy and a fondness for Grindr and a self-confessed “benster queer amputee freak”.
In an environment where there was an unprecedented level of disclosure of sexual preferences, intimate activities and sexual abuse, Cyndi was the calm centre of these passionate, humorous and sometimes painful confessions. She was able to move adeptly from acknowledging the importance of what someone had shared with the audience onto allowing others to make their own contribution.
It is also important to recognise that Cyndi was able to create the space for people with complex communication needs to participate in the discussion in a meaningful way. In this, she shares the festivals commitment to access, inclusion and social justice. –Rick Randall. Festival Director