In this issue
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partners meeting in Baltimore, MD from March 20-22. The Coalition Partners and Board Members focused on the goals for NCSF's programs moving forward, along with discussing the annual reports, voting in the Board of Directors and approving the budget.
"It's been an inspiring year to see the Board and Staff of NCSF come together and work hard to make this a better organization," says Chairman Kevin Carlson. "Looking to the future was important for us at this Annual Meeting, as we laid out the path for what our coalition can become and how we can better serve our communities."
For the complete annual reports and financials, go to: http://bit.ly/1Cs6NXs.
- Financial transparency is maintained by monthly reports to the Board with the necessary supporting documentation such as bank statements.
- The American Law Institute invited NCSF to submit recommendations to the Model Penal Code project related to rape, sexual assault, etc. and will continue to involve NCSF in its work to improve the Model Penal Code and judicial interpretations.
- NCSF filed two appellate briefs in the Miles case, a military case involving a threesome, with arguments based on the 2003 Lawrence decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
- The NCSF membership and fundraising database is now being powered by Wild Apricot, with payment via PayPal optional.
- 10,000 palm cards were printed featuring Consent, the Law, Fun Facts and BDSM Resources that were distributed by kink groups around the U.S. during the Fifty Shades of Greymovie launch (palm cards are currently in second printing).
- Over 1,200 people accessed the Kink Aware Professionals list in 2014.
- 184 people, groups and businesses received help from NCSF in fighting discrimination in 2014.
- The Education Outreach Project and Consent Counts Project gave 36 presentations.The Media Outreach Project gave 32 interviews in 2014, and another 27 in the first quarter of 2015 thanks to the "50 Shades of NCSF" media blast.
NCSF would like to thank Judy Guerin (Consent Counts Director), Dick Cunningham (NCSF Legal Counsel), and Ashlie Deal (NCSF Advocate), for their planning and assistance during the annual meeting. NCSF would also like to thank Marc Ominsky for presenting with Ashlie and Susan Wright at the Baltimore PlayHouse on Sunday afternoon on Consent Violations and Liability.
The DC Sub Club and the DC Dommes hosted a VIP Reception and play party at Dick and Judy's house on Saturday evening so the NCSF Board Members and staff could meet local community members. Thanks to the attendees, and Dick and Judy for matching donations, a total of $5,300 was raised! NCSF thanks you for your support!
The new NCSF Board of Directors consists of:
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
Laura Carlson - Education Outreach Director - Boise, ID
Barak (Drew Gardinier) - CP Liaison - Columbus, OH
Jason - Membership Director - St. Louis, MO
Keira Harris - Volunteer Director - New Orleans, LA
Devin MacLachlan - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Mercury - Literature Director - Nashville, TN
Julian Wolf - Newsletter Director - Albuquerque, NM
Susan Wright - Media and Incident Reporting & Response Director - Phoenix, AZ
NCSF looks forward to seeing you on the West Coast for the 2016 Annual Coalition Partners Meeting.
Please support NCSF by becoming a member, volunteering or donating today! NCSF is here to help you, so please help us! www.ncsfreedom.org
The DC Sub Club and the Dommes of the DC SubClub raised $5,300 for NCSF at their VIP reception and dungeon party held in March to coincide with the NCSF Annual Coalition Partner Meeting in Baltimore.
Folsom Street Events donated a $1,000 to NCSF as part of their 2014 National Community Grant program.
Coalition Partner Leather SINS donated $900 to the NCSF Foundation from their Kinky Kollege Spring Break event in March.
Coalition Partner AdventuresInSexuality.org in Columbus, Ohio, donated $440 to sponsor the printing of NCSF's wallet bust cards.
Coalition Partner MN Marketplace raised $183 at theirVicious Valentine Redux event.
The Atlanta PolyAmorous group raised $130 for NCSF on January 15th.
Coalition Partner Albany Power Exchange donated $110 to NCSF.
Coalition Partner The Knights of Leather in Minneapolis donated $100 to NCSF in January.
The Fraternal Members of The 15 Association in San Francisco donated $100 to NCSF in December 2014.
Thank you to all the new members who joined NCSF during our 50 Shades of NCSF membership drive!
Numbers count when we advocate for you, and the bigger we are, the harder our voice is to ignore. There is no other group that fights for kink and nonmonogamy like NCSF does. We help people in need, groups under siege, and businesses opposed by sex-negative bureaucracy.
We can't do it without your support. Thank you for joining NCSF!
Researchers Discover "Sex Positive" Gene
Researchers in Finland have discovered a new gene which they are calling "sex positivity." The breakthrough changes conventional thinking that the so-called "sex positive" movement was just a combination of horniness, self-righteousness, and the inability to keep one's opinions to oneself.
"Not true," says researcher Sven Anderson. "We found a completely separate gene. It often happens to be combined with the others, explaining why most of these people are completely insufferable to be around, but it is really its own thing."
Kitty Danger, 27, held a press conference to celebrate the finding. "We hope this brings the era of gene-shaming to an end."
- See more at: http://www.thedailyflogger.
By Judy Guerin
The fabulous ladies of the DC Sub Club put together another fun VIP reception and dungeon party for the benefit of NCSF on Saturday March 22nd that raised over $5,300. Every year, these ladies do fundraisers for NCSF and raise substantial funds. Not only did the ladies help promote it and attend, Mistress Mei coordinated the house set-up and food preparation. Chef Voodoodoc8 donated the food and prepared a scrumptious dinner buffet and appetizers. All had a great time.
This event was scheduled in honor of NCSF's annual meeting, which was held the weekend of 3/20-3/22 near Baltimore. The party was held at the home and dungeon of Judy Guerin, NCSF's Consent Counts Director and sponsored by the DC Sub Club. The DC Sub Club holds a monthly "Dinner with Dommes" where male subs can meet dominant women in a social environment. NCSF wants to thank all of the ladies: Mistress Mei, Mistress Tyler, Mistress Lynn, Cherokee Rose, Ivory Mistress Jae, Ms. Seven and Mistress Max Rulz, as well as the DC Sub Club and chef Voodoodoc8. We also want to thank the members of the DC Sub Club and others who made extra donations and made this event so successful. Here are some pictures of the ladies enjoying themselves with Susan Wright and Judy Guerin of NCSF. Per Mistress Mei, "These local pro dommes rock and are always ready to help NCSF."
Each year these ladies also hold a formal dinner and dungeon party for the benefit of NCSF that raises over $4,000 annually. 8-10 of these ladies participate each year and seats at the table are auctioned off online for the corresponding number of submissive men. This year's dinner is scheduled for , so all of the submissive men in the DC and Baltimore metro area should start thinking about their bids so they don't miss out on this very fun event.
by Dulcinea Pitagora
Prior to starting my practice as a therapist, I was confronted with contradicting perspectives on the therapist's disclosure of personal information to their clients. The prevailing thought behind this in the mental health field is that the therapeutic environment is not a place for therapists to disclose too much about themselves-therapy is about the client, not about the therapist, and disclosing personal information might distract clients from the therapeutic process for a variety of reasons. Having said that, recent research has shown potential benefits in certain types of disclosure, particularly when the therapist is a member of a sexual minority group, and the client in question might feel safer with a therapist who shares their marginalized identification(s).
I have to say, it was validating and such a relief to hear this perspective echo my own. The fact is, I was aligned with this approach to disclosure well before reading this research, having had the experience of searching for a therapist myself, and asking potential therapists to disclose their connection to and experience with BDSM. Not that I wanted to know personal details about the therapist's sex life or partner status, but it was important to me to know that they had a working knowledge of my lifestyle, not only so they wouldn't judge or pathologize my preferences, but so I wouldn't waste time and money on educating them as I had with past therapists.
This is exactly why I'm out about the communities I work with and am a part of, and this is also exactly why I created ManhattanAlternative.
I feel an obligation to the individuals I work with to be out about my identifications, not only because it might help them feel safer and more comfortable in talking to me, but because it sets the precedent that there is nothing wrong with feeling good about having an atypical identification and owning who you are. It is important to note that being out in this way is a privilege that not everyone has. Many people who are kinky, poly, or have a non-binary sexual orientation or gender identification (or intersections thereof) work and live in environments that could be dangerous if they weren't closeted. Being out is definitely an individual decision, and depends on social context and individual readiness. I am of the mindset that the more of us who can be out the better, because it will slowly help those who can't be by chipping away at pathologizing public perceptions and stigmatization.
My goals in creating Manhattan Alternative are to make it easier for people who have been wanting to reach out for support but have been reluctant to, or haven't been able to find someone they feel comfortable talking to, and offer support to those with intersecting marginalized identities (e.g., kinky and poly; kinky and gender-nonconforming; poly and gender-nonconforming; kinky, poly, and queer; etc). Another goal is to encourage providers with practical knowledge of these communities to offer support by being out about their knowledge of and connection to these communities. Especially in the wake of the 50 Shades franchise, many providers are advertising that they are kink- or alt lifestyle-friendly, and while I don't doubt many of them are affirming, they may not have the practical knowledge or experience that Manhattan Alternativeproviders emphasize.
My hope is to create a network of providers that is as inclusive and diverse as possible, which is why I'm putting a call out to therapists and health care professionals of varying races, ethnicities, abilities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations-particularly those with an intersection of identifications-to fill out the Manhattan Alternative Provider Application Form if they are interested in being listed as a kink/poly/trans/LGBQ-
Dulcinea Pitagora, MA, LMSW
Manhattan Alternative Founder
Guest Blogs do not represent NCSF but are the opinion of the blogger. NCSF provides space for activists to post their opinions in order to get feedback from the kink and nonmonogamous communities on the work they are doing and the information they are providing to the mainstream.
By Susan Wright, Director of IRR
NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 54 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in January, February and March. NCSF maintains the confidentiality of those who come to us for help. However we balance that need with the need to report the services we are providing and to provide the community with a record of where the need is the greatest. Here is a breakdown of the cases we assisted on in the first quarter of 2015:
There were 18 requests for assistance with incidents involving criminal law. 12 of those requests were from survivors of a kink-related assault/sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services, education of law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. 5 were requests for kink-aware defense attorneys and expert witnesses knowledgeable about BDSM vs. abuse. The other incident involved obscenity law.
13 professionals and organizations asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services to kinky clients. These included victim services, medical clinics, therapists, prosecutors and college professors. We also provided information and resources to 2 kink activists to assist in their training of professionals in their area.
There were 12 requests for help involving BDSM and swing groups. 6 groups asked for advice on banning members and dealing with consent violations. 4 groups asked for assistance in setting up a club and dealing with zoning. 2 groups needed assistance with reporters who wanted to attend one of their events.
There were 8 requests for help with child custody in which BDSM was brought in to contest custody. That is an increase from the 4th quarter of 2014 in which there were 6 requests for help with child custody. We assisted in family court cases in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas and Canada.
There were 2 requests for help with kink-related discrimination. One person is being denied hospital visitation and the other needed help finding a kink-aware therapist in her area.
Civil law incidents
Only 1 request for help with a threatened outing, involving their FetLife profile.
NCSF Media Updates are a sampling of recent stories printed in US newspapers, magazines, and selected websites containing significant mention of BDSM-leather-fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics. These stories may be positive, negative, accurate, inaccurate or anywhere in between.
Here's a sample of three of our recent featured stories:
Polyamory 101: What the Curious Need to Know from CafeMom
Swingers clubs limited by state lawmakers from The Tennessean
The Second Coming of Tom from Out Magazine
NCSF publishes the Updates to provide readers with a comprehensive look at what media outlets are writing about these topics and to urge everyone to make comments that dispute stereotypes about alternative sexuality. NCSF permits and encourages readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.
and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!