In this issue
Listen to NCSF Board Member Jsin's interview about NCSF that took place at the recent Beat Me in St. Louis. Hear what NCSF is doing to help people today! Jsin's interview starts at 15:30 min.
Please take this survey even if you've never had a consent violation. We want to know what are your power exchange and sexual identities? Are you "out" about being kinky? How often do you go to BDSM groups and online communities?
NCSF will use these results to help perform its advocacy, such as helping law enforcement, prosecutors and health care professionals understand the experiences of kinky people and provide better quality service.
Only takes 5-20 minutes to complete!
This survey is anonymous and your privacy is guaranteed by SurveyMonkey, a secured survey hosting website. NCSF does not have access to any identifying information about the participants.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom www.ncsfreedom.org
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Nashville, TN from March 14-16, 2014. The Coalition Partners voted in the new Board of Directors for NCSF, approved the 2014 budget, and brainstormed on NCSF's projects and goals for the coming year.
"The annual meeting gives NCSF's Coalition Partners the opportunity to tell the board where our focus should be in the coming year," says Chairman Kevin Carlson. "It's also their time to give us feedback on how we're conducting the day-to-day business of NCSF. The Board and staff of NCSF are now re-energized and eager to continue the good work of NCSF."
The CP representatives approved the new Financial and Control Policies which have an emphasis on transparency and accountability. The CP reps created an Ombuds Committee which will be responsible for reviewing actions by NCSF board and staff members. The CPs also received a full report on the forensic financial review and the results of the investigation into the theft of funds from the NCSF, and determined the next steps the Board should take in pursuing the restitution of those funds.
The CPs were eager to explore new ways of integrating NCSF programs with membership services and outreach efforts. They heard reports on the NCSF projects and programs including:
- The success of the DSM Revision Project in helping to ensure that kinky people are no longer misidentified as mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association;
- Kink Aware Professionals list gained 200 professionals in the past year and totals nearly 1,400 professionals;
- The Media Outreach Project gave over 42 interviews on consensual kink and nonmonogamy;
- The Education Outreach Project and Consent Counts Project gave 28 presentations;
- NCSF's Facebook page hit 1,000 Likes.
Keira Harris received NCSF's Volunteer of the Year Award for her work as Volunteer Director. Keira has created a volunteer program that is successful in filling the needs of NCSF's projects and programs. Because NCSF is an all volunteer organization, Keira's work is critical to its success.
NCSF thanks CPI-The Mark for hosting CP representatives, NCSF board members and staff at their party on Saturday night, and at the Sunday afternoon presentation on BDSM & the Law presented by Judy Guerin, Dick Cunningham and Susan Wright. NCSF also thanks Mercury and Samantha for organizing the annual meeting and welcoming everyone to Nashville.
Kevin Carlson - Chairman - Boise, ID
Mark Richards - Secretary - New York, NY
Stephanie "Sassy" Lynn - NCSF Treasurer - Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Jim Fleckenstein - NCSF Foundation Treasurer - Manassas, VA
Devin MacLachlan - Fundraising Director - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Laura Carlson - Education Outreach Director - Boise, ID
Keira Harris - Volunteer Director - New Orleans, LA
Mercury - Membership Director - Nashville, TN
Julian Wolf - Newsletter Director - Albuquerque, NM
Susan Wright - Media and Incident Reporting & Response Director - Phoenix, AZ
Fil Vocasek - New York, NY
Jsin - St. Louis, MO
NCSF is here to help you, so please help us! Support NCSF by becoming a member, volunteering or donating today! www.ncsfreedom.org
NCSF is pleased to announce the expansion of its Consent Counts legal resources to better serve our communities. Brian Flaherty, who has been the Legal Director for the Consent Counts project since NCSF assumed the project in 2008, will now serve as NCSF's overall Director of Legal Research. Dick Cunningham, who has been legal counsel to the Consent Counts project since its inception, now serves as NCSF's general legal counsel.
"This will significantly expand our legal resources to better support NCSF's media relations and Incident Reporting & Response," said Susan Wright, NCSF Founder and Board Member. "It will also provide our non-kink communities increased legal attention to polyamory and swing legal issues."
Brian has been instrumental in development of the Consent Counts project and is a professional law librarian as well as one of NCSF's Educational Outreach Program presenters. Dick has a long history of working on sexual freedom, civil rights and free speech legal issues. He is currently the senior international trade attorney at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, DC.
By Race Bannon
In a recent article in Modern Poly written by Saul-of-Hearts, a writer, musician and videographer based in Los Angeles and Portland, the idea that polyamory is an orientation, at least for the writer, was put forth. I posted the article titled "Polyamory As Orientation (And Why It Works For Me)" on Facebook and asked my online friends this question: "So what do you think? Is it similar to an orientation or not?"
The range of answers I got was interesting as discussions regarding polyamory often are, especially with my online friends who range from actively polyamorous to staunchly monogamous and everything in between. But one comment stood out and resonated with me the moment I read it. A friend offered this:
The writer assumes that all humans are not naturally capable of a romantic relationship with more than one individual. I don't like the term poly. Most research into modern hunter/gatherer societies has shown that monogamy is a modern phenomenon and socially constructed for the purposes of property management and inheritance.
Monogamy isn't an orientation, it's conditioning.
Poly isn't an orientation. It is our natural state.
This rings true for me. I also think being poly is our natural state and that monogamy has been imposed upon us by social conditioning. If you read heralded books like Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships, they offer the same conclusion. Of course, this position is controversial for many.
But for those of us who identify as poly and who live a poly life now, or have aspirations to do so, I think adopting the mindset that being poly is a natural state while monogamy is not would serve us well. However, the only caution I would offer is that this stance should not denigrate the decision that some will make to configure their relationships in a monogamous fashion. Just because we might put forth the notion that poly is a natural state does not mean that someone's choice to be monogamous is wrong or counter to nature, especially if that decision is truly made for reasons that work for the individuals involved and are not the result of social conditioning that makes those people miserable as they try to conform. Poly folks must always value the monogamous among us even as we live our lives in a different fashion. Diversity is the norm and therefore that means that people will decide to configure their relationships in diverse ways also. It's all good.
With all that said, I guess the most accurate statement I can make is that poly is natural for many people. I contend it's natural for most people, but the real point I want to make is that it's most certainly just as natural as monogamy is and perhaps, if social conditioning weren't a factor, might indeed by the more prevalent form of how we do relationships.
So while I don't think of myself being polyamorous as an orientation, I do embrace the notion that my poly life is indeed a natural state. It's certainly more natural for me than monogamy, both in terms of my sexuality and how I bond with others.
Let me know your thoughts about this by posting a comment.
Washington D.C. - NCSF has filed an amicus brief in a military case involving a marine who engaged in a consensual threesome and because of that was convicted of adultery, attempted consensual sodomy and indecent conduct, a "crime" based solely on undefined sexual conduct inconsistent with "common propriety."
In its brief, NCSF points out that military law is out of sync with U.S. Constitutional law and societal mores, especially when it comes to consensual sexual behaviors. Dick Cunningham, NCSF's Legal Counsel who prepared and filed the brief, said, "This is an important case in which we have challenged ways in which courts have criminalized consensual sexual conduct in what we regard as direct violation of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark sexual freedom decision in Lawrence v. Texas."
Lawrence held that non-injurious consensual sex among adults cannot be criminally prosecuted, and that moral disapproval is not a sufficient justification for a criminal law. In this case, the military court used a spurious "public sex" argument to evade the Lawrence ruling.
Filing legal briefs is an important part of NCSF's mission in its attempts to decriminalize consensual adult sexual behavior. NCSF awaits the decision of the military court on whether its amicus brief will be accepted. To view NCSF's brief and case legal documents on this case, visit https://ncsfreedom.org/who-we-are/about-ncsf/item/715.html