In this issue
NCSF is there to help you when you need it. Just ask the Detroit BDSM community, who recently came under fire from a local news affiliate. The NBC Channel 4 Defenders were out to get a sensational story on Robert Bashara, whose wife was murdered in January, 2012. Since Bashara's BDSM activities had become public, the Defenders took concealed cameras in to a local BDSM party to take photographs of people while they were playing.
Dateline NBC was going to air a show later that week about Bashara that included his BDSM activities, so there was no possibility of killing the story. The situation was further acerbated by a member of the local community who gave an interview to the news stating that she had seen Bashara at one of the local BDSM parties at the VFW Hall in Lincoln Park.
The morning of Tuesday, May 8th, NCSF started receiving phone calls from people who were recognizable in the promotional clip. The story was going to air at 11pm that night. NCSF Spokesperson Susan Wright immediately contacted the news station to convince them to adequately blur the images of the people they had photographed without permission. She also coordinated a write-in campaign from those who were recognizable, and communicated directly with several dozen local
community members and leaders.
The added pressure of outraged letters from the community convinced the reporters to include positive sound bites about BDSM that Susan provided. They also changed the title of the piece from "Dungeons of Debauchery" to "Bob Bashara's Alternative Lifestyle." The images that were recognizable were removed from the website and the promotional clips that were released later in the day were much more blurred. The news segment also contained images that were unrecognizable.
The following week, on May 19th, NCSF hosted a full day's schedule of events at the VFW in Lincoln Park. NCSF Chairperson Leigha Fleming ran town hall style meeting for the local BDSM community leadership from 2pm-4pm. The leadership of more than 20 groups was represented. Leigha gave NCSF's workshop on how to protect your groups/events for local community leaders.
From 4-6 PM an open town hall for everyone in the community was held so people could get their questions answered and discuss ways to further protect the BDSM community and to promote education of those outside our community. Leigha also gave the NCSF workshop on how an individual can protect their privacy more effectively. A raffle and silent auction was held to raise donations for NCSF. 2 organizations joined NCSF as Coalition Partners: The Board of Education and Deviations. More than 20 individual members joined NCSF as individual members.
A delicious dinner followed at the VFW Hall. Tim, the host of the party that was filmed by the news channel, said, "Over the past week, the VFW has been more supportive than we could have imagined. The manager of the VFW told us this week 'I fought in a war so that people could have the freedom to do what they enjoy, even if it's not our own cup of tea.'"
In pride, the evening's dinner was followed by the regularly scheduled BDSM party. "This past week has been trying and tense," says Tim. "Several have asked where was the silver lining? We have high hopes that this can be the silver lining. Rarely do we have a chance to come together for no other reason than it's the right thing to do. Because we can support one another. If virtual strangers from organizations and individuals from all across the globe have lent their words and actions of support, we surely owe it to ourselves to match it."
NCSF was proud to assist the Detroit BDSM community in their time of need. It shows what when we work together, we can accomplish anything.
NCSF at AASECT
On behalf of NCSF, Jim Fleckenstein and Susan Wright attended the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) Annual Conference on June 8-10th in Austin, Texas. The NCSF booth in the Exhibit Hall featured free copies of NCSF's new guide: "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory." 150 copies were given away to professional service providers courtesy of donation by an NCSF supporter. The interest was so high, that supplies ran out before the end of the conference.
"This year we saw a significant increase in interest about alternative sexuality at the NCSF booth," says Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson. "The therapists, counselors and sex educators were asking for more information about kinky people. We are providing a real service by supplying this much-needed education at conferences like AASECT."
Jim Fleckenstein was the lead presenter on "(Re)Defining Fidelity in Committed Relationships: How to Negotiate Non-Exclusivity Successfully," a workshop designed to provide participants with a more complete understanding of the appropriateness of negotiated non-exclusivity as a relationship choice for their clients.
Susan Wright was the presenter on "Violence and Discrimination Against BDSM Practitioners," a workshop presenting survey data from the BDSM community on the impact of persecution against kinky people.
NCSF also organized the Alt Sex SIG munch that took place Friday evening on the patio of the Hyatt Regency Austin. Over twenty-five AASECT members attended to further discuss issues raised in the Alt Sex SIG meeting that took place on Friday afternoon at the conference. It was an informative meeting that offered excellent networking opportunities for the professional service providers, and is another indication of the increased interest in the Alt Sex SIG at AASECT.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in St. Paul, MN from March 16-18, 2012. The CP meeting was well attended by 20 Coalition Partner Representatives, the Board of NCSF and the senior staff. The Coalition Partners voted in the new Board of Directors for NCSF, approved the 2013 budget, and brainstormed on NCSF's projects and goals for the coming year.
"The annual meeting is an opportunity for NCSF's partners to vote and give their input on our direction," says Chairperson Leigha Fleming. "We are thankful to our Minnesota hosts and energized about the coming year."
The CP representatives were eager to explore new ways of using social media to spread the message of privacy rights for consenting adults, and to expand and improve upon NCSF's membership structure. Along with new Consent Counts publications just rolled out - In the Aftermath and When the Levee Breaks - CPs viewed the new Finding Kink Aware Medical Carebrochure written by Race Bannon.
The CPs also received the annual reports from the various projects NCSF runs. Over 60 Educational Outreach Project workshops were given in 2011; Incident Reporting and Response received over 600 calls for assistance; the Kink Aware Professionals list is up to nearly 1,000 entrants; and the Media Outreach Project gave over 50 interviews.
Saturday evening, attendees at the meeting were treated to a party produced by seven local BDSM groups, all of which are Coalition Partners of NCSF. Over 200 people attended, making it a rousing show of community unity and the largest gathering ever at an NCSF annual CPmeeting. NCSF would like to thank our loyal and active Coalition Partners for hosting the annual meeting in style:
Knights of Leather
MinKY - Minnesota Kinky Youth
Minnesota Stocks Debentures and Bonds (MSDB)
TC Productions (Northern Lights)
University of Minnesota Queer Student Cultural Center
The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Judy Guerin, director of Consent Counts, for her important work on furthering the Consent Counts project. The Consent Counts team completed the legal research on assault laws, which was compiled and posted on the NCSF website. Judy also began the development of law school and domestic violence outreach programs to be launched in 2012.
The annual meeting couldn't have happened without strong local volunteers. NCSF gratefully acknowledges the hard work of Sassy, Coalition Partner rep for MSDB, who acted as the weekend community organizer and arranged volunteer shuttle drivers for attendee travel to themeeting venue from the hotel and social outings. Sassy provided all the meeting reports and notebooks, organized the Friday night Meet and Greet party, and provided the snacks during the meeting.
NCSF also thanks Charger Pony, CP rep for Northern Lights, who acted as the liaison between NCSF and the hotel and community groups, and he organized the party Saturday night. AndCadee and SexyImpish Deb who were integral parts of the volunteer corps, assisting Sassy and Charger.
NCSF is nothing without its Coalition Partners - individuals, groups and businesses who commit to governing NCSF and providing essential funding for the organization. The Coalition Partners who attended the meeting were:
Chicago Age Players
Females Investigating Sexual Terrain - FIST
International Ms. Leather - IMSL
Knights of Leather
Minnesota Kinky Youth
Minnesota Stocks, Debentures, and Bonds - MSDB
New Mexico Leather League
NOBLE (New Orleans Bondage and Leather Enthusiasts)
Northern Lights/TC Productions
The Mark by CPI
The Board of NCSF currently consists of:
Leigha Fleming - CHAIR - DENVER CO
James Huesmann - FAIRBANKS, ALASKA
Susan Wright - PHOENIX, AZ
We cannot thank enough the seven groups that came together to make our Annual Meeting something special this year. The work that they put in made for a productive and enjoyable meeting, and quite a delightful Saturday night party. We wish to thank the leadership and the members of these groups for all their work and express how much we look forward to working with them over the upcoming years.
Minnesota Kinky Youth (MinKY)
MinKY is a pansexual kinky group located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota serving local people between the ages of 18-35. We organize educational classes and recreational gatherings with the goal of helping kinky youth make informed lifestyle decisions.
Minnesota Stocks Debentures and Bonds (MSDB)
MSDB is a Minnesota-based organization for people who are actively involved or seriously interested in BDSM lifestyles and activities. MSDB provides social and educational activities and information to its members and to the BDSM community at large. Membership is open to adults 18 or older, regardless of sexual or gender orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, or physical ability.
TC Productions (Northern Lights)
Northern Lights is a partnership of like-minded kinky organizations in Minnesota who want to bring the best of Minnesota to the world and the best of the kink world to Minnesota. Stay in the loop for their next event featuring exciting education and play!
Minnesota Rope (MN Rope)
MN Rope provides a safe and welcoming space for knowledge sharing and exploration into rope.
University of Minnesota Queer Student Cultural Center (QSCC)
The Queer Student Cultural Center is a completely student-run group dedicated to helping those in the coming out, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, and allied communities.
The focus of the Knights of Leather is the promotion and practice of the safe sane and consensual play for people involved the leather and BDSM lifestyles. We host dungeon parties, an annual SM recreational/educational weekend run known as Tournament; and we are also involved in various community educational out-reach programs and events. We attend events and runs sponsored by other organizations to support their efforts and stay in touch with other BDSM communities.
People Exchanging Power Respectfully in MiNnesota Together (PEPRMNT)
PEPRMNT was established to facilitate in-person discussion of topics for those with an interest in the power exchange lifestyle in the Twin Cities area. The group conducts topic-driven munches on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month, from 7 to 9 P.M. in a private room at a Twin Cities restaurant.
Thank you to our Twin City Coalition Partners and to all of our other CP's, members! Let us know if you'd like to be featured in an upcoming Coalition Corner!
1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?
I have been out in the Sm community since 2001. I have been President of our local BDSM club. My affiliation with our local club has opened several doors for me, including our local Pride organization. I have been the Events Coordinator since 2009, previous to that, helping with the grounds for the annual festival. It also opened the door to becoming an active part of the NCSF.
2) What specialties do you bring to the board?
I love computers and what makes them work. I have worked with them since the late seventies. I like organization in the digital world and I like to make things work.
3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? (What does the NCSF mission mean to you?)
I have been involved from the outside of the NCSF since 2002 as a CP member. I have always felt the works being done by the NCSF was outstanding. I never saw myself being presented with such an opportunity to become so involved with something close to my heart. I saw a need an opened my mouth. I took over the administration of the KAP program because I wanted to see KAP grow and then became a Board Member.
4) Anything else you'd like to add?
I believe in the rights of consenting adults regardless of those rights as long as consent is at its foundation. Sexual freedom, the exploration of sexual freedom, and the rights associated with such has always been my new frontier. By exploring my own sexual freedom, I have only come to know myself and those associated with me better. I feel that I am a more complete person by such understanding. I want to be me and to be proud of who I am. I believe everyone should have such rights.
New Mexico - Albuquerque Pride - June 30
Colorado - Thunder in the Mountains - July 8-10
New Jersey - Floating World - Aug 3-5
Arizona -JW DDD Aug 17-19
Maryland- Fet Fest - Aug 31-Sept 3
DC - Master/slave Conference Aug 21 - Sept 3
Ohio - COPE Sept 15-16
California - Folsom Fringe- Sept 21-23