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Media Update - May 24, 2009

1. Real estate agents file $6-million suit over 'CSI' episode
2. Event Offers Sex Info, Activities, Free Condoms
3. How Rough Is Too Rough Between the Sheets?
4. Beyond Vanilla Sex
5. Outside the bedroom, BDSM practitioners can't take punishment

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom -- Media Update
May 24, 2009
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NCSF Media Updates represent a sampling of recent stories printed in US
newspapers, magazines, and selected websites containing significant
mention of SM-leather-fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics.

These stories may be positive, negative, accurate, inaccurate - or
anywhere in between.

NCSF publishes the Updates to provide readers a comprehensive look at what
media outlets are writing about these topics. NCSF permits and encourages
readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.

Real estate agents file $6-million suit over 'CSI' episode
by Harriet Ryan
The Los Angeles Times (CA)
May 23, 2009

When married real estate agents Scott and Melinda Tamkin read about an
episode of the hit crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" that
featured dirty-dealing, S&M-loving real estate agents named Scott and
Melinda Tamkin, they didn't need to consult a forensic expert for an

A house sale involving the Tamkins and a "CSI" producer had fallen apart
four years before, and the producer was listed, in the same online
description, as the co-writer of the episode.

On Friday the Tamkins filed a $6-million defamation and invasion of
privacy suit against the producer, Sarah Goldfinger, saying she humiliated
them and cost them potential business "by creating from whole cloth
characters engaged in a reckless lifestyle of sexual bondage, pornography,
drunkenness, marital discord, depression, financial straits and possibly
even murder."

The couple contacted CBS after Scott Tamkin did an Internet search for his
name and discovered the "CSI" episode descriptions. The network tried to
remove some of the postings, including pages where references to kinky sex
ascribed to the fictional couple linked to pornography sites, said the
Tamkins' lawyer, Anthony Glassman.


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Event Offers Sex Info, Activities, Free Condoms
by Jordanne Pascual
The Daily Nexus (University of California, Santa Barbara)
May 21, 2009

Dildos, vibrators, whips and handcuffs adorned the Student Resource
Building lawn yesterday for the annual UCSB Sex Affair, which cautions
students against unhealthy sexual practices.

Reaching its climax only once a year, the annual event is put on by Sex
and Relationship Peer Health Interns to provide students with information
on sexual health. Topics up for discussion ranged from available birth
control methods and information about STIs, to suggestions for making anal
sex work in a relationship.

Moreover, participants at the event were offered the chance to tickle
their fancies with kinky sex toys and S&M bondage gear and were quizzed on
the different sex organs.

Dulce Sotelo, a first-year undeclared student who partook in the event,
said she had fun experimenting with the various sex toys.

"[My] favorite table was the [Kink University Fetish Fellowship] table
because there is a lot of different toys that seem like it hurts but is
arousing", Sotelo said. "People are not too embarrassed and are willing to
answer questions and give us information on sex".


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How Rough Is Too Rough Between the Sheets?
by Judy McGuire (advice and opinion)
Seattle Weekly (WA)
May 19, 2009

[Q.] Dear Dategirl,

My girlfriend and I are starting to realize that she is a masochist, or at
least interested in very rough sex. We are both pretty open-minded people,
so experimentation in bed is not uncommon. However, in recent days, we
have talked about rougher sex. She seems very into the idea. I won't lie,
I can't help but feel turned on by her wanting to be fucked harder. But
I'm no sadist and feel totally lost when it comes to giving pain. She
clearly wants to be hit, but what does that mean? (Spankings are already
in my tool bag, FYI.) What are my limits? I tried asking her, but I get
the feeling that she doesn't know, and the act of talking it out and
planning it takes away from the whole point.

-Over My Head


One thing I'm certain of is that good communication is generally the key
to great sex, but it's never as important as with BDSM. I mean, someone
could get hurt! Because I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to rough stuff,
I called in an expert to help you kids figure things out.

Lolita Wolf is an emeritus board member of the Eulenspiegel Society, and
has been an active member of the BDSM scene since you were in short pants.
Not only that, she's written two books - one on cock-and-ball play, in
case your girlfriend gets the urge to turn the tables. You can check out
her blog at

Of your girlfriend, Wolf says, "Just liking rough sex by itself does not
make her a masochist. Not everyone gets off with gentle loving. Some of us
need a bit more stimulation."

Hear that? Don't be so quick to classify. But whether that stimulation
comes from nipple clamps or an inner-thigh flogging, what's clear is that
by not talking about what you expect from each other, you're asking for a
world of pain. (Not the kind that gets you off.) Wolf agreed, saying there
has to be an agreement between you two: "If they are doing resistance
play, then a formal safeword is a good idea. If she likes to resist and
say 'Stop! Stop!' but doesn't really mean it - and that can be very
exciting - then they need a word like 'red' or 'aardvark'...something that
makes it clear that the action has to stop."

Wolf understands your discomfort with inflicting pain. "All their lives
guys have been taught to not hit girls. But some women want to be
manhandled!" She suggests that you "remember that there is a difference
between hurt and harm." When you give your girlfriend what she's asking
for - even if it looks uncomfortable to you - you're making her happy.
Just be sure you don't cross the line and harm her while you're hurting
her. Capisce?


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Beyond Vanilla Sex
by Jordan Osserman
The Dartmouth (Dartmouth College)
May 15, 2009

A few days ago, Dartlog (The Dartmouth Review's blog) pasted the text of
the mass e-mail advertising "Bondage 101", a rope-tying workshop organized
by a number of student groups on campus. Brian Nachbar '12, the author of
the blog post, wrote, "Note that the event is funded by [the Council on
Student Organizations]- I'll leave it to the reader to assess how
responsible a use of the College's money this is".

Having helped to organize the workshop, I was actually happy to see the
blog post - as they say, all publicity is good publicity, and I don't
doubt that Dartlog contributed to the enormous turnout Tuesday night.
Nevertheless, the workshop was only one part of a larger conversation
about sex that needs to happen on campus, and I'd like to contribute to
that by responding to criticisms like Nachbar's.

For starters, if Nachbar wants to curb excessive College spending, he'd do
better leaving the kinksters alone. Putting together the entire event -
paying for rope, publicity and the trainer's fee and lodging - cost just a
little over $400 in total.

To contrast this with another College-sponsored event, consider the
undergraduate advisor program: Dartmouth spends thousands upon thousands
of dollars each year to feed, house and train UGAs - many of whom are
returning for a second year in the program - in a weeklong training
program that many argue could be condensed into a day or two.

But I know that's not what Nachbar is really getting at. Why, he wonders,
should the College even spend a dime on an event like the one I helped
organize? The answer is simple: because our student body has a
pathetically low IQ about sex and sexuality, and it's about time Dartmouth
allocates some student activities funds to educate a campus that is,
paradoxically, both hyper-sexualized and sexually clueless.

At its core, bondage is about playing with power - about dominance and
submission, pain and pleasure. As such, it can potentially be problematic
- the risk of abuse and harm is real, and should not be ignored. But, like
all sex, bondage can also be a source of liberating ecstasy.

Sex does not have to be egalitarian in order to be "acceptable". Power
dynamics and differentials will always exist within sex, and as sexual
beings, we owe it to ourselves to carefully explore how we want to utilize
power in our erotic lives. Bondage certainly is not the answer for
everyone, but for some, it can provide an opportunity to channel
experience with control and subordination into sexual satisfaction.

The key is for participants to know what they're doing and know what they
want. Tuesday night's workshop addressed a part of that - it taught
students some basic ways to tie their partners up with rope, while also
addressing important safety and consent issues.

Heterosexual students interested in practicing basic, vanilla sex don't
have to look very far for guidance - though it can be an awkward subject
for some, it's not particularly difficult to get a group of friends to
talk (or brag) about their sex lives. Beyond that, however, learning about
sex at Dartmouth can get a little tricky. A great deal of stigma and shame
surrounds gay sex, kinky sex and BDSM, and it's often only the brave who
are willing to own up to their non-normative sexual desires.


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Outside the bedroom, BDSM practitioners can't take punishment
by Matt Smith
SF Weekly (San Francisco, CA)
May 12, 2009

When pondering ... signs of American weakness, I used to say to myself:
"Thank goodness for sadomasochism porn enthusiasts." These brave heroes
are willing to be blindfolded, tied up, choked, hung by their pierced
nipples, smacked, pinched on their genitals with live battery clamps,
bludgeoned with chains and clubs, half-drowned, impaled with motorized
nightsticks - and come back begging for more. As long as America had these
hard-bitten souls among our ranks, I imagined, we'd dominate a submissive

At least that's what I believed until April 21, day one of the Great San
Francisco S&M Whine-Fest, when seemingly tough-as-nails bondage and
discipline specialists became a squawking gaggle of unwilling victims.
Their supposed tyrant was a newspaper column that used the apparently
verboten term "torture porn" to describe performances such as videotaped

"You are the one doing victimization here," the first of hundreds of
outraged Web commenters wrote. "We who live in San Francisco are proud of
our diversity, which includes [the] BDSM lifestyle."

The reaction splattered from Internet comments to angry columns on several
local blogs, a local TV news segment documenting the pornographers'
outrage, posters announcing an SF Weekly boycott, at least two T-shirts on
sale condemning SF Weekly, plus dozens of articles, essays, blog posts,
and other infuriated Internet flotsam demanding "accountability" for
supposedly "irresponsible journalism."

The column in question ["Whipped and Gagged," April 21] noted that local
S&M pornographer had finagled nearly $50,000 in employee training
subsidies from the state government. After my inquiry, the state Employee
Training Panel halted the funding - which employees had used to
learn to better produce and edit porn videos - because the agency didn't
previously know the nature of the company's business, and its rules
expressly discourage sponsoring training for pornographers. My column
parsed the question: Was it right for the government to halt the porn
subsidy? I quoted three pro-porn-subsidy people, one anti-porn-subsidy
person, and three law professors who discussed whether the government was
permitted to discriminate against pornographers.

The funny thing is, I don't really care if people do this kind of porn. I
have no aversion to pornography in general, and that's why I didn't
condemn it in the column.

But it was a legitimate - and funny - news story that a state agency was
paying to train S&M pornographers. I used the word "torture" in that story
because it's a realistic way to describe people being strapped to a table
and shocked on their genitals.

Judging from the response, a lot of people with the guts to withstand
clubs and electrode punishment have thin skin when it comes to tolerating
anything but the PC jargon term "BDSM." Even wimpier was a line of
critique that said I should not have revealed's state subsidy
because agency officials' decision to rescind it "harmed the community."
It was as if any act that didn't adhere to an alternative lifestyle
community's party line was somehow an attack.


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National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is a national organization
committed to altering the political, legal, and social environment in the
U.S. in order to guarantee equal rights for consenting adults who practice
forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the
rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory
communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual

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