1st Quarter, 2016
edited by Julian Wolf
In this Issue
Join the Consent Summit online on April 23rd
The NCSF Consent Summit is an all-day event of workshops and discussions on consent taking place in Seattle that is sponsored by the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival and the Foundation and Center for Sex Positive Culture.
10 am - 6 pm on April 23rd
@the Center for Sex Positive Culture, 1602 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA
All tickets include Seattle Erotic Arts Festival admission on Sunday and 15% off the Weekend Pass for the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. Register here:https://www.strangertickets.com/events/31789308/ncsf-consent-summit
$50 - All day event with luncheon ticket for Keynote
$40 - All day event without luncheon
$35 - All day reduced price and students
$30 - Luncheon and Keynote ticket
$75 - All day event with luncheon ticket and Pay It Forward*
*Pay It Forward allows those who are economically advantaged to assist people who are not. It's a reminder to all of us that money can create barriers between us.
Consent Month is in September!
Please schedule a workshop on consent, a party with a consent theme, or a fundraiser for NCSF to raise awareness about Consent Month.
NCSF can send you Got Consent! Bracelets for your event along with materials on consent.
Let us know the date and we'll put it on our calendar on ConsentMonth.com
Take photos and enter our Consent Photo Contest! See the winner from Consent Month 2015.
National Consent Month is proudly brought to you by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Arizona Power Exchange. Thank you for supporting Consent Month!
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Membership Drive Challenge
NCSF Coalition Partner Rep for StL3, Inc. (and recently appointed NCSF Board Member) Jackie 'Bebe' Harris is challenging all other CP Reps to a Membership Drive Challenge!
Between now and August 1st, the bragging rights are up for grabs for the Coalition Partner Group that signs up the most new (or renewal) memberships for NCSF! But fair warning that Bebe has a 2 week head start!
Bebe's group, StL3, Inc. and Event Chairperson Jsin, have graciously donated a grand prize for their NCSF Membership Drive. Those signing up as NCSF members between April 8th and July 31st
are entered for a single chance in a drawing for the Grand Prize;
- Registration of choice of con: to either 'Spanksgiving 2016' or 'Beat Me in St Louis 2017' (their 20th BMSL anniversary!)
- AND a guaranteed room choice in their 'sold out in 20 minutes, whole host hotel takeover' for the con chosen!
Wait, you want to sign up as a Supporting Member for NCSF? Fantastic, they they'll enter you four chances into the drawing!
For more info on the NCSF Membership Drive Challenge, see their post in the NCSF Coalition Partner Network group on FetLife.
Incident Reporting & Response - 1st Quarter 2016 report
By Susan Wright
Director of IRR
NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 31 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in January, February and March. This is approximately the same as last quarter's numbers (28 requests) continuing a trend which is down from the average (50 requests) for the previous 7 quarters, going back to the 1st Quarter of 2014.
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 dealt with in the 1st Quarter of 2016:
There were 11 requests for resources and information involving criminal law. 8 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault or sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services and/or resources to educate law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. There were 2 requests for educational resources and referrals for kink aware expert professionals from defendants. 1 request involved the legality of Pro-Domme services.
There were 6 requests for help involving BDSM groups. Four groups asked for advice on dealing with consent violations: one was dealing with members who have a restraining order and three were getting advice on how to deal with violations before they occur. One group of individuals asked for assistance in setting up an advocacy organization in another country. One event faced law enforcement harassment and was raided.
Five professionals asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services. These included a medical practitioner, therapists, an attorney and a victim advocacy agency. One person requested assistance in locating a kink aware professional in an area not covered by our KAP.
There was 1 divorce case involving polyamory, and 3 child custody cases in the last three months, an all-time low. All three child custody requests involved kink: a psych evaluation was ordered in one, and another one involved photos taken from FetLife.
There were 4 cases of discrimination this quarter. One person was concerned about mandatory reporting by a nurse practitioner and therapist. A student was suspended from graduate school. Another person was threatened with outing to work, involving FetLife profiles.
Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!
Min-KY - Minnesota Kinky Youth
What is the mission of your group?
Min-KY is a pansexual organization which provides a space where 18-35 year-olds can learn to safely explore their kink.
What inspired your participation with the NCSF?
We have always felt it was important to support the main national organization that fights for the cause of BDSM.
What's your favourite way to do your NCSF fund raising?
We like to throw a fundraiser party where, in addition to requesting a larger than normal cash donation at the door, we raffle off donated items or services from our community. After covering our costs, we typically donate the rest of the proceeds.
Thank you! We heard that you had some training early this year, tell us more.
In early February MinKY received training from the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis aimed at better equipping us to support our membership and our community when we are approached by a victim/survivor of sexual violence. This was a huge step forward in our commitment to creating safer spaces. We received 8 hours of training over the course of two days. The first day contained a lot of information about the different forms sexual violence can take and the lasting effects they can have on the victim/survivor. The second day focused on strategies for respectfully listening to a report of sexual violence and finding ways to help make the victim/survivor feel safe once more. We learned that often, the secret to making someone feel safer is to simply ask them what would help!
We left the training feeling like our perspective had been broadened by the experience. As active members of the kink community, we hear and talk about consent and safety all the time. We have access to lots of people who speak authoritatively on those subjects. We have far fewer people who choose to speak authoritatively on how to help when consent is ignored and safety is lost. We felt it was incredibly beneficial to gain access to people and resources who can assist in that regard.
One of the most valuable things we gained from this experience is a partnership with the SVC moving forward. The second most noteworthy thing was that we were able to arrange for leaders from two of the other major groups in our local kink community to join us for that training at the SVC. We think that it is a highly encouraging sign that the positive direction we are leading our group is being mirrored by other leaders in our community.
NCSF Thanks in the First Quarter 2016!
NCSF thanks Leather Sins, our Coalition Partner for donating $3,000 to NCSF at their latest Kinky Kollege event in Chicago on April 1-3rd. Jackie aka BeBe represented NCSF at Kinky Kollege and raised an additional $115 in Duck Rescue Donation sales and donations!
Long time supporter and NCSF member, Marc DePaul, donated $1,000 to the NCSF Foundation!
Thank you to Threshold for donating $525 to the NCSF Foundation on April 3rd.
Thank you to Poly Columbus for donating $500 in March as their annual Coalition Partner fundraiser. Poly Columbus held a poly Valentine's dance at THE COLUMBUS SPACE, with over 85 people attending on what was one of the coldest nights of 2016 in Columbus. Several of Poly Columbus' Board Members and members donated items for a silent auction.
NCSF thanks Leatherwoods in Oregon who donated $416 to NCSF in February to continue our advocacy, education and outreach, as well as our efforts to decriminalize BDSM and our Incident Reporting & Response program.
NCSF thanks our Coalition Partner Satyricon Wisconsin for donating $330 raised at their annual NCSF charity event, with funds raised by the community of Wisconsin.
The NCSF and Leather Archives & Museum held a Sexual Freedom Reception and gallery opening for attendees of Creating Change 2016 in Chicago. NCSF received $150 from the entry fees.
AIS members who attended Winter Wickedness gave $149 in Duck Rescue Donations to benefit NCSF. Thank you!
And thank you to The Knights of Leather in Minnesota for raising $100 in December as their annual Coalition Partner fundraiser.
NCSF Sponsors BDSM Writers Con
On March 31st through April 3rd, NCSF once again participated in the BDSM Writers Con, which was held for the first time on the West Coast in Seattle, WA. NCSF has sponsored this conference and presented on an assortment of issues over the past three years.
These conferences, founded and organized by noted author and sexual educator Dr. Charley Ferrer, bring together hundreds of authors who write about BDSM or are expanding their works to incorporate BDSM themes. This rapidly expanding literary treatment of BDSM is bringing favorable and objective presentations of our activities and passions to the American reading public.
NCSF's participation and presentations, both this year in Seattle and in previous conferences in New York City, assist authors in understanding BDSM and have enabled them to incorporate healthy BDSM concepts into their plots in constructive ways. The effect in their writings is readily apparent and our help has been acknowledged by leading authors.
NCSF encourages both writers and readers to attend the next BDSM Writers Con, which will take place in New York City August 18th through August 21st, 2016 (www.bdsmwriterscon.com).
Guest Blog: The Need for KAP/Poly-Aware Networking Groups for Psychotherapists
by Keely Kolmes, Psy.D.
In the fall of 2009, I started Bay Area Open Minds a clinician networking group for psychotherapists and psychotherapy students who affirm that sexual and gender diversity are natural expressions of the human experience. Our psychotherapy practices welcome and serve clients who engage in consensual sexual behaviors, including but not limited to kink and polyamory and clients who are gender variant. One of our primary goals was to provide mentorship and community to students seeking support in working with these communities who may not be getting such support in their graduate programs.
We now have over 160 mental health professionals in our thriving group. We have an active listserv where we can seek consultation and referrals. And we have developed a brochure and website so that clients can find clinicians and graduate programs can advertise our group.
We'd love to help other communities to create their own groups. If you're interested in starting one, here are our recommendations.
1. If you are a student, find a Kink Aware Professional or Poly-Friendly Professional in your community and inquire as to whether they are willing to be a support/contact person to initiate group. It can be very stressful to take this on as a student but immensely helpful to have the support of licensed colleagues.
2. Our approach was to send the announcement to local LGBT therapy groups, graduate programs, local Kink Aware Therapists and Poly-Friendly colleagues who were known to Dr. Kolmes, founder of our group.
3. We got some more visibility through newspapers, at some graduate schools, through Good Vibrations magazine, and social media.
4. The first flyer was a blog post on Dr. Kolmes's website and a paper announcement posted in public spaces. It read:
Please join our group: Bay Area Therapists Affirming of Diversity in Sexuality
This is a free group for mental health professionals in the Bay Area of California. We offer support, networking, and consultation for Bay Area clinicians and mental health trainees who embrace the full range of sexual expression of consenting adults. Our respective practices explicitly welcome and serve clients who engage in alternative sexual behaviors and relationships, including kink and poly folks.
We offer an email list (no consultation takes place on-list) and meet every other month at a member's office.
We are especially interested in reaching out to students who may not have mentors or support in their clinical programs around working with sexually diverse populations. Most clinical programs encourage students to explore their cultural identities and offer student groups organized around ethnicity, religion, LGBT-identity, disability, or other cultural affiliations.
But students who are kink or poly-identified or who want to work with these populations may have a more difficult time identifying one another and forming such groups. Many schools still don't recognize these alternative identities as deserving of non-biased care and respect. We are seeking to bridge this gap. We offer a safe space to connect with other mental health professionals who are affirming of the full range of diverse sexual expression.
Contact me if you would like to get connected with us.
5. Our first meeting had 8 clinicians show up and the group evolved to monthly two hour meetings. Volunteer efforts started with naming of our group and we came up with Open Minds. After 3 years, we formed our Board of Directors and began collecting dues. At that point, we created a logo, website, and brochures.
Our aim was to keep membership fees low so as to make our group accessible to students.
6. Having funding became important because while our local queer therapist group was amenable to our sharing booth space with them at some events temporarily, we needed funds in order to be able to purchase our own booth space and have an independent presence at street fairs.
7. Towards end of the first year with Board of Directors (June, 2012) , we consulted with a Certified Public Accountant for pursuit of non-profit status and submitted forms to the Tax Board to become tax exempt professional organization. When we have funds in excess of $5000, we may apply for non-profit status, or we can donate to community groups to keep our funds in the $5000 range.
8. Over time, we found that there is a strong need for a social and networking component to our group. Additionally, the email list has continued to be a good resource for seeking referrals and information. We have also been able to offer educational offerings such as managing sexual transference and countertransference as well as business networking issues. We also had a discussion on working with mono/poly pairings.
We hope we can encourage other communities to develop similar groups. It is clear that clinicians serving altsex and gender diverse communities can benefit from support and networking.
Join us and help serve as role models to student therapists in your community.
Media Updates and Web Features
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:
85 Year Old French Dominatrix from Bedford & Bowery
Why Some Powerful Men Like Getting Tied Up from NY Mag
My Journey To Polyamory from PopSugar
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.
You can sign up to receive our emails here or check our blog at our website here.
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