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NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2013

NCSF Newsletter
2nd Quarter, 2013

In this issue

Come talk about BDSM and consent!

The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

Why Support or Join NCSF?

Representing on FetLife


 Come Talk about BDSM and consent!

NCSF's Consent Counts project is holding discussions around the country to gather your input on our Consent Statement so we can move forward to change laws and perceptions of BDSM. Kinky people still have significant legal, political and societal issues facing us. The majority of us fear the very real threat of being prosecuted or losing our jobs or families. To change the assault laws, we have to be able to tell the world what we think of consent. What is ethical consent? What are the gray areas? Are there things people shouldn't be able to consent to in a BDSM context?

 

If you would like your group like to hold a Consent Statement workshop in your area, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get the Consent Counts discussion guide.

 

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The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

 

The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex - including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM - in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Now the paraphilias are considered to be "unusual sexual interests," while those who have sex with children or people who haven't consented, or who deliberately cause harm to themselves or others, may be diagnosed with a Paraphilic Disorder.

 

"The APA has made it clear that being kinky is not a mental disorder," says Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF. "That means people no longer have to fear being diagnosed as mentally ill just because they belong to a BDSM group. We've already seen the impact -NCSF immediately saw a sharp rise in the success rate of child custody cases for kinky parents after the proposed DSM-5 criteria was released three years ago."

 

NCSF would like to thank everyone who participated in signing our DSM Revision Petition and for telling the APA about their own stories of discrimination and persecution. NCSFalso thanks every member of the APA Paraphilias Subworkgroup for responding to our concerns, and drawing a hard line between consensual adult kinky sex and those who willfully engage in nonconsensual or harmful activities.

 

NCSF is proud to build on the work of kink-aware professionals who have come before us, including Race Bannon and Guy Baldwin, who helped make seminal changes in the DSM-IV in 1994.

 

The following are some statements about the various paraphilias in the DSM-5. Although highly clinical in language, they show the APA's intent to not demand treatment for healthy consenting adult sexual expression:

 

 "A paraphilia is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder, and a paraphilia by itself does not necessarily justify or require clinical intervention." p. 686

 

"In contrast, if they declare no distress, exemplified by anxiety, obsessions, guilt or shame, about these paraphilic impulses, and are not hampered by them in pursuing other personal goals, they could be ascertained as having masochistic sexual interest but should not be diagnosed with a sexual masochism disorder." p. 694

 

"Many individuals who self-identify as fetishist practitioners do not necessarily report clinical impairment in association with their fetish-associated behaviors. Such individuals could be considered as having a fetish but not fetishistic disorder." p. 701

 

"Clinical assessment of distress or impairment, like clinical assessment of transvestic sexual arousal, is usually dependent on the individual's self-report." p. 703   

 

To support NCSF, go to www.ncsfreedom.org. NCSF relies entirely on your donations toadvance the rights of consenting adults and to do advocacy like our DSM Revision Project. Please donate now!

 

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Why Support or Join NCSF?

 

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (often referred to as NCSF) is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. But why should the BDSM, leather, fetish, swing and polyamory communities that are the focus of NCSF's efforts, and their friends and allies, support our work? Good question.

 

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate the importance of supporting, joining or otherwise empowering the work that NCSF does is to clearly lay out some of the many services we offer, initiatives we've undertaken and informative collateral that we offer.

 

Our History

NCSF was formed in 1997 by a small group led by Susan Wright under the auspices of the New York SM Activists. The goal was to fight for sexual freedom and privacy rights for all adults who engage in safe, sane and consensual behavior.

 

The first five organizations who joined reflected our desire to be a nationwide organization: National Leather Association-International; Gay Male S/M Activists; The Eulenspiegel Society; Black Rose; and Society of Janus.

 

Today, NCSF has over 100 Coalition Partners who elect the board that runs NCSF and help establish our goals at the annual Coalition Partner meeting. Coalition Partners are groups and businesses who serve BDSM/leather/fetish, swing and polyamory practitioners and also support NCSF by holding an annual fundraiser. NCSF also has over 100 Supporting Members - groups and businesses that support NCSF.

 

Over the years, NCSF has formed alliances with other organizations that defend sexual freedom rights: Free Speech Coalition, the ACLU, American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance, among others.

 

NCSF is the preeminent organization with a mission to improve the lives of those who consider themselves practitioners or community members among those who pursue BDSM/leather/fetish or swing sexualities or engage in polyamorous relationships.

 

What We Do

NCSF does many things to advance the rights of those who engage in consensual BDSM/leather/fetish, swing and polyamory lives. The best way to get a good sense of the full range of activities, projects and services that NCSF offers is to view the following sections that explain in some detail what NCSF has been up to lately.

 

Consent Counts

NCSF took over leadership in the nationwide Consent Counts project working to decriminalize BDSM and create a database of relevant state laws.

 

The Consent Counts project involves the BDSM communities in a nationwide education and activism program coordinated and led by NCSF. This multifaceted campaign includes a comprehensive analysis of current laws and court decisions, the development of legal arguments for changing the laws, participating in court cases, and ultimately, through lobbying, education and grass-roots activism, changing state laws and the way the public and the courts view BDSM.

 

An important element of the project is an Educational Outreach Program (EOP) to educate our own communities about the current state of the law and the efforts NCSF is undertaking to involve those communities in our strategic planning process and the development of "best practices" by which we can protect ourselves and facilitate change.

 

To ensure that the work NCSF is doing as part of Consent Counts is based on the best information possible, An Internet survey was undertaken by NCSF gauge respondents' views on consent in a BDSM context. There were a total of 5,667 respondents and the results guide the Consent Counts project and were utilized in developing the draft of the NCSF Consent Statement. This is an official statement presented as a discussion of the ethical and legal concepts of consent that need to be considered in the practice of BDSM activities and in relationships based on BDSM activities. It reflects both the extensive study by NCSF of the state of the law in the U.S. and the results of NCSF's Consent Counts Survey. This Statement is intended for both BDSM practitioners and the general public.

 

Incident Reporting and Response

NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) was created to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities. If someone engaged in BDSM, fetish, swing or polyamory practices is being persecuted or discriminated against because of it, we encourage them to contact NCSF's IRR program. We may also be able to assist if a group or business is being harassed by religious political extremists or if they need assistance doing outreach to their local law enforcement.

 

NCSF's IRR program uses three primary criteria for taking a case:

  • The issue must openly, directly, and specifically relate to BDSM, swing or poly activities between consenting adults. In other words, the problems faced must relate to or be caused from involvement in BDSM, swing or poly, without question.
  • The issue must be one whose outcome or precedent could affect not just the individual filing the complaint, but potentially a significant number of people with the same or similar problem.
  • The incident needs to have a reasonable chance of a successful resolution; usually indicating that the individual filing has not also been found guilty of a crime other than behaviors currently considered illegal relating to BDSM, swing or poly.

Our IRR program may be able to assist with city and county mediation (zoning, licensing, and so on), custody and divorce information, employee and personnel issues, kink-aware professional referrals, criminal assistance, domestic violence assistance, and assisting when events are attacked (working with police, media, health departments, and so on).

 

Due to limited resources NCSF is only able to take a fraction of the cases that come to us. Many of the complaints we receive do not meet all of the above criteria. Even under the best circumstances, NCSF can only help a small percentage of those who merit it. All of our work is done by volunteers and we accept no payment for our services.

 

Kink Aware Professionals

The Kink Aware Professionals Directory (often referred to as KAP) offers the alternative sexualities and relationship communities referrals to psychotherapy, medical, legal and other professionals who are knowledgeable about and sensitive to diverse expressions of sexuality and relationships.

 

While NCSF cannot endorse or recommend these professionals, each professional listed has volunteered to be available for referral to people involved in kinky sexuality (leather, BDSM, fetish, and so on), polyamory, swinging, or publicly offers their services to that client population.

 

Resource Library

NCSF compiles a wide array of educational and informational materials on a variety of topics. We organize them in our online Resource Library for easy and free access to the public. Categories include Activist Resources, Consent Counts resources, DSM Resources, Educational Outreach Program Presentations and Publications, Kink Aware Professionals (for both professionals and those seeking assistance), Media Outreach Resources, NCSF Publicity Materials, Recommended Reading, Statistics and Surveys, and What is SM? Check out the amazing array of resources available to you for free from NCSF.

Amid the categories of resources already mentioned you'll find many other useful documents for groups and event producers that assist in specific ways such as membership forms for social groups or private clubs, non-disclosure agreements, independent contractors agreements, employee work environment agreements, model release agreements, event/play space rules, recommendations for event planning, hotel negotiations manual, and a statement for hotel personnel when a hotel is attacked.

 

Educational Outreach

One of the missions of the NCSF Foundation and its Education Outreach Program (EOP) is to provide members of the BDSM/Leather/Fetish, swing and polyamory communities educational information concerning relevant legal, medical and other issues. We also provide education, as appropriate, to law enforcement, care providers, and other authorities about alternative sexuality, and to assist and support the outreach and education efforts of local communities.

 

As part of EOP, NCSF works with District Attorneys and prosecutors to educate them with the intent to minimize discriminatory prosecutions, offers workshops by trained staff on a wide variety of topics, publishes white papers for professionals and members of the various communities, offers educational brochures and handouts, and conducts surveys on our community and publishes those results for others to utilize.

 

Media Outreach Program Media Training, News and Information

Through our Media Outreach Program NCSF does media advocacy for the millions of Americans who suffer discrimination and persecution because of their normal interest in some form of alternative sexual expression, such as BDSM, fetishes, polyamory, and swinging. A great deal of the bigotry against sexual minorities occurs because of a lack of information and the resulting negative depiction by the media. We offer resources for both the media and the alternative sexual expression communities.

 

NCSF also offers assistance to organizations and event producers by helping them with press releases, intervention during a media crisis, media spokesperson representation, media training and ongoing support, and suggested sound bites and interview tips.

In addition to our Media Outreach and Training Programs, NCSF offers news and information to our constituency through a variety of communication mechanisms.

  • Blog - News and information items are posted to our blog on a regular basis. Sometimes posts are originally authored articles and sometimes they are media updates which are a sampling of recent stories printed in U.S. newspapers, magazines, and selected websites. These stories contain significant mentions of BDSM/leather/fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics and may be positive, negative, or anywhere in between.

  • In The News - Learn how NCSF is impacting lives for the better.

  • NCSF Newsletter - NCSF regularly publishes a free newsletter to which anyone can subscribe.

  • Press Releases - When NCSF undertakes an important project, gets involved in important issues, or otherwise wants its constituency and the world at large to know about something, we issue press releases.

  • Action Alerts - When NCSF feels quick action is necessary by the public they serve, we issue Action Alerts outlining the action we hope people will take and why.
  • NCSF also recognizes excellence in journalism reporting through our Sex Positive Journalism Awards (also known as "The Sexies").
  • Legal Information and Assistance - When appropriate, NCSF may offer referrals to specific attorneys, the filing of amicus briefs, lobbying assistance, assistance with certain pertinent legislative initiatives, and legal background support through such efforts are our SM/Abuse Statement and our Consent Counts project.
 

DSM Revision Project

NCSF has successfully petitioned the American Psychiatric Association, resulting in the depathologizing of consensual BDSM in the latest Diagnostic & Statistics Manual (DSM). This helps not only those seeking psychotherapy treatment by not having their sexuality called into question during therapy, but also improves community members' legal standing in certain court cases when the DSM has been used as evidence.

 

When the American Psychiatric Association formed their working committees to revise its most recent version of the DSM, the definitive resource on the diagnostic criteria for all mental disorders, NCSF became involved. Past statements within the DSM paraphilias criteria are contradicted by scientific evidence and therefore NCSF concluded that the interpretation of the paraphilias criteria had been not based on science. These often politically motivated interpretations subject BDSM practitioners, fetishists and cross-dressers to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We called on the American Psychiatric Association to remove or drastically restructure the paraphilias section in the DSM which resulted in some considerable success.

 

BDSM Survey

The 2008 Survey of Violence & Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities found significant discrimination and persecution against BDSM practitioners due to the social stigma attached to their sexual behavior. With over 3,000 respondents, 37.5% indicated that they had either been discriminated against or experienced some form of harassment or violence.

The survey addresses the gap in current knowledge by reporting data on the prevalence of violence and discrimination against BDSM and polyamory practitioners. The persecution of these individuals is conceptualized as a manifestation of sexual stigma, that is, society's negative regard for any non- heterosexual behavior, identity, relationship, or community.

 

NCSF Materials

NCSF provides brochures and other NCSF materials for dissemination at events or to be used by organizations, clubs and other groups. A great example of such material is the Consent Counts Discussion Guide. The Consent Counts Discussion Guide offers groups a structured and organized way to foster discussion in their local alternative sexualities communities about the topic of consent. Visit our website to view the various materials we can offer.

 

More Information and Contacting NCSF

NCSF maintains a robust website on which you'll find lots of great information as well how to contact us. On our website we also include an event calendar listing NCSF and Coalition Partners events. We have a wide array of social media venues that keep our constituency and the public at large informed about NCSF and related news and information. We encourage people to bookmark our website and to keep informed about NCSF and related news and information through our social media platforms.

 

 

Through the use of social media and virtual communications, NCSF provides its members, partners and the general public continuous updates regarding news, legislation, trends and information of interest to the BDSM, leather, kink, swing and poly communities.

 

Supporting NCSF

People and organizations can support NCSF in a number of ways. By supporting NCSF, you help keep our important programs and services alive. NCSF operates through the financial contributions and volunteer efforts of wonderful people around the nation and world.

 

People and organizations can join NCSF as members at one of three levels of membership:

  • Coalition Partners - Our highest level of membership. Coalition Partners support NCSF through annual membership fees plus proceeds of an annual fundraiser for the benefit of NCSF.

  • Supporting Members - Individuals or organizations support NCSF with an annual membership fee.

  • Individual Members - Individual constituents hold membership in NCSF by contributing annual membership dues.
  • For organizations that support NCSF we offer the option to place our NCSF logo on your website, utilize NCSF ads that can be downloaded and used, include your name on our website as a supporting organization or business, and garner special recognition for our Coalition Partners.
  • Donations - In addition to memberships, NCSF can always use donations. NCSF is comprised of two separate corporate entities - the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the NCSF Foundation. Although both the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the NCSF Foundation are part of the same overall organization, it is necessary to have two separate organizations to enable us to do the broad range of work we do. Supporters of NCSF can choose to make a contribution to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, the NCSF Foundation, or both. A contribution to either organization will be used to support and promote the NCSF mission. Donors who wish to make a tax-deductible gift can do so by contributing to the NCSF Foundation. Many donors choose to make membership gifts in support of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom as well as tax-deductible gifts to the NCSF Foundation.
  • Volunteer - We encourage people to consider donating one of their most important assets to NCSF - their time. Whether someone wants to work behind the scenes or take a more public role, we have a project just right for them. There are important tasks to be done and we always need help to make it all happen.

Shop NCSF

NCSF has a number of branded products that you can purchase. Profits from the sale of these products go directly to work helping NCSF do the important work we do. 

 

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Representing on FetLife 

  

Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
NCSF Volunteers
Consent Counts

and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

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  • Resources for the Media
    Written by

     

    Some Quick Facts:

     

    • Millions of Americans practice some form of kink or nonmonogamy in their loving and caring relationships.
    • These consenting adults have created over 1,000 nonprofit educational and social groups, and hundreds of businesses across the country.
    • People from all walks of life, including professionals, parents, teachers and police officers, practice kinky sex.
    • In the 2008 and 1998 Violence & Discrimination Surveys conducted by NCSF, 37% of the 3,000 people surveyed said they had been discriminated against or suffered from harassment or violence

     

    Additional Information:

     

    BDSM vs. Abuse
    Guidelines for distinguishing between safe, sane & consensual SM & abuse

     

    What is Polyamory?
    Overview of demographics of polyamory, benefits and types of relationships.

     

    What is the Lifestyle?
    Overview of demographics of swingers, and social and sexual attitudes

     

     

    Written on Sunday, 04 July 2010 20:14 in Media Resources Be the first to comment! Read 10293 times
  • Activist Resources
    Written by

    Media coverage plays a large part in defining public perceptions toward alternative sexual expression. You and your organization can help shape media attitudes by speaking to the press about sexual issues that concern consenting adults.

    For additional information, contact Susan Wright at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 917-848-6544

    Written on Monday, 21 March 2011 12:15 in Community Resources Be the first to comment! Read 8914 times
  • NEWSBYTES - December 19, 2001
    Written by

    Net Obscenity Provisions Revocation Sought

    NEWSBYTES

    By David McGuire


    http://www.NEWSBYTES.com

    December 19, 2001, Washington, DC -- A small civil liberties group has asked a federal judge in New York to revoke what remains of an Internet pornography law that was gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997.

    In a complaint filed in a New York City Federal Court [http://www.USCourts.gov ] last week, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom [https://ncsfreedom.org ] argued that the court should overturn the provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) that prohibit Web sites from displaying obscene material online.

    "Many people are unaware that one of the most powerful censorship provisions of the Communications Decency Act [http://EPIC.org/cda] is still in place. Even fewer realize the dangerous effect it could have in the hands of an overzealous administration and attorney general,"NCSF spokesperson Susan Wright said in a prepared statement. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the CDA drew a barrage of criticism from industry groups, publishers and civil-liberties advocates.

    In addition to prohibiting online obscenity -- which was already illegal in physical form -- the law called for Web site operators to be held criminally responsible if they allowed children to view constitutionally protected "indecent" material online.

    Only the most graphic pornography and sexually explicit material meets the legal standard for obscenity. Milder sexually explicit material -- nude photos, erotic stories and the like -- may be considered indecent. But such material is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    A broad coalition of public interest groups -- including the American Library Association [http://www.ALA.org], the American Civil Liberties Union [ http://ACLU.org ] and the Center for Democracy and Technology [http://CDT.org ] challenged the indecency provisions of CDA, on grounds that it could crimp the rights of adults to view constitutionally protected speech online.

    The groups convinced a lower court to freeze those provisions; that decision eventually was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But the NCSF, which promotes sexual freedom and counts as members many operators of sexually explicit Web sites, maintains that the remaining online obscenity ban in CDA has a chilling effect on Web site operators who want to post sexually explicit materials.

    The NCSF specifically argues that the "community standards" test in federal obscenity law is meaningless in global world of the Internet.

    The obscenity ban in CDA is based on a decades-old obscenity standard that applies to printed materials, films and photos.

    Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) Associate Director Alan Davidson, who was involved with the original CDA challenge said that the obscenity language in CDA was deliberately left out of the first challenge for that very reason. "The concept of prohibiting obscenity speech -- as controversial as it may be -- has been relatively well-settled law for many decades now," Davidson said. "The focus of the original challenge was on the area of greatest threat to free speech, which was the indecency provision."

    Most of the original CDA challengers are now in the midst of fighting another law -- the Child Online Protection Act [ http://COPACommission.org ] -- which was passed by Congress shortly following the Supreme Court ruling in CDA. That law has been dubbed "CDA II" by its opponents. The Supreme Court heard arguments on that legislation last month.

    Copyright © 2001 The Washington Post Company.

    Written on Saturday, 23 June 2007 02:40 in CDA Media
    Tags: Media News
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  • San Francisco Bay Guardian - January 14, 2002
    Written by

    Techsploitation

    By Annalee Newitz
    San Francisco Bay Guardian, January 14, 2002
     
    HERE'S YET ANOTHER wacky fact you probably didn't know about the Communications Decency Act ole Bill Clinton signed into law way back in 1996: the good citizens of some small town in Arizona or southern California might have the power to send you to jail if they think the contents of your Web site are "obscene." The CDA contains a section that makes it illegal for people to make or post on the Internet "any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, knowing that the recipient of the communication is under 18 years of age, regardless of whether the maker of such communication ... initiated the communication."
     
    There are two major problems with this part of the CDA. First, it assumes that people on the Internet can control who sees what they post on a Web site or in newsgroups. Right now it's just not technically possible to screen Web surfers by age or anything else. Second, and more disturbingly, the CDA doesn't define what "obscene" might be. The only definitions offered refer to "local community standards," a phrase drawn from previous Supreme Court decisions that relied on the values of particular geographic regions to define "local community standards." Obviously, this definition is meaningless on the Internet, where Skippy from Massachusetts might post a picture of himself humping his kitchen appliances on a Web server operated out of Florida, which would then be downloaded by an eager Betty Crocker fetishist in Idaho.
     
    Translated into a real-life scenario, the CDA language in question here means that somebody like New York artist Barbara Nitke (www.barbaranitke.com), whose Web site displays her erotic art, could be sent to jail if somebody under 18 happens to visit her Web site. This is precisely the scenario members of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom in Washington, DC, fear most. To prevent the Ashcroft court from setting repressive precedents with this little-known section of the CDA, the NCSF and Nitke have gone on the offensive: in mid December they filed a legal complaint with the 1st U.S. District Court in southern New York that argues that the language about "obscenity" in the CDA is unconstitutionally vague and will have a chilling effect on free speech.
     
    As NCSF executive director Judy Guerin told me last week, this case is just one of several the NCSF is planning, including ones that challenge digital surveillance sections of the USA PATRIOT Act. Guerin, whose organization was formed in 1997, says that we're at a crucial juncture in American politics right now. With Ashcroft in power, we're likely to see an increase in obscenity trials [^] the attorney general has a record of extreme conservatism in cases like these. At the same time, civil liberties groups like the NCSF worry that Ashcroft will use the "war on terror" to refuse to hear appeals in obscenity cases, since their outcomes have no bearing on our current state of national emergency.
     
    "We think American society has made tremendous strides in how we think about sex and sexuality," Guerin says. "And we're concerned that this ultraconservative regime is going to set us back. We need to be aggressive and proactive to prevent society from reverting under the current conservative administration." Guerin adds that the Nitke case will almost certainly come before the Supreme Court. "Unlike most cases where you have to ask permission to be heard before the Supreme Court, the CDA gives us an automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court." If the District Court finds the CDA unconstitutional, Ashcroft will probably fight it, and if the CDA isn't found unconstitutional, the NCSF will appeal to the Supreme Court.
     
    Such a case, like many in the courts right now, will determine a great deal about the future of online content. It could set a precedent for how "local community standards" are defined in a world where community has nothing to do with geographic locality. Moreover, this case could become the first in the Supreme Court to grapple directly with the nature of "obscenity" online. Ironically, our most technologically advanced method of communication, the Internet, could become the means by which antiquated social values are disseminated on a global scale. Or it might propel us into a cultural future we never imagined. I'm not sure yet if that's a good thing or not.
     
    Annalee Newitz (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is a surly media nerd who thinks everything has at least a little social, literary, artistic, or political merit. Her column also appears in Metro, Silicon Valley's weekly newspaper.
     
    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 01:12 in CDA Media
    Tags: Media CDA
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  • San Francisco Frontiers - January 23, 2002
    Written by

    Communications Decency Act A Lingering Coup de Grace?

    By Tim Kingston
     
    January 23, 2002
     
    You may dimly recall the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which unsuccessfully attempted to define and proscribe "indecency" on the Internet. That law's legal core--its indecency provision--was immediately challenged and rapidly struck down as unconstitutional by free- and electronic-speech advocates. But, what many may not know is that another portion of the law, prohibiting "obscene" materials on the Internet as defined by the Supreme Court, remains standing.
     
    That is something that the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) and Barbara Nitke, a New York artist whose sexually charged photographs could be subject to the law, intend to change. Judy Guerin, the group's executive director, hopes this is a final coup de grace to that law. On Jan. 29, a federal court in New York City will be hearing preliminary arguments in a case that is likely to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court--due to the fact that appellants have an automatic and expedited right of appeal. "Obscenity is tied to community standards," asserted Guerin. "We feel that community standards are not defined and what has been previously thought of as community standards in a geographic area is not applicable to the Internet. It could mean that the most restrictive community standards in the country could apply."
     
    The problem that Guerin cites was equally problematic with the original attempt to outlaw "indecency" on the Internet. Essentially, Guerin and other civil-liberties proponents worry that the federal government could go "venue shopping" until they found a community with standards restrictive enough to guarantee a conviction. As she pointed out, Utah has a "porn czarina" who thinks that the women's magazines Redbook and Vogue are "obscene." Given that definition, it would not be outrageous to say that every queer publication on the Internet is at risk.
     
    Guerin, whose group is a coalition of 22 different organizations representing some 10,000 members, added, "This is an important issue for all, from [those concerned about] sex education, to anyone who talks about any kind of sexual issue on the Internet. It is certainly something the LGBT movement should be very concerned about, become very proactive about and [be] aggressive against [U.S. Attorney General John] Ashcroft."
     
    "We feel [the law] has a chilling effect because people do not know what is and what is not allowed on the Internet with relation to sexually frank material," said Guerin. "The good news is that we are proactively trying to overturn it before the administration tries to score political points by enforcing it."
     
    The NCSF director pointed out that "Ashcroft has been meeting with Concerned Women for America, the Religious Right and the Christian Coalition, and has talked about prosecuting obscenity cases. If we don't do this proactively, they will prosecute a horrible case in a venue that is not favorable and it will be decided on their terms."
     
    Asked if perhaps it might not be better to "let sleeping dogs lie" in this case, since the law has not been enforced or mentioned in years, Guerin responded forcefully. First, she cited the current repressive and frighteningly patriotic climate: "During these times our most basic American values get tested and free speech is a value that we are fighting for...our rights really hinge on freedom of speech." Laughing, she added, "The second part of that is that we don't think the [U.S.] Supreme Court is going to be better or any more liberal, any time soon."
     
    SF Frontiers was unable to contact Department of Justice officials for comment. The staffer concerned was prioritizing the Marin Taliban press conference over the first amendment.
    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 01:11 in CDA Media
    Tags: Media CDA
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  • Ynot News - January 2, 2002
    Written by

    Can David Beat Goliath in the Battle of Obscenity?

    Part 2
     
    By Judd Handler
     
    Ynot News, January 2, 2002
     
    Last week's editorial featured an interview with John Wirenius, lead counsel for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and Barbara Nitke, an adult content photographer. Wirenius, on behalf of the NCSF and Nitke, filed a lawsuit on December 11 against Attorney General John Ashcroft seeking to overturn Internet obscenity laws as they relate to the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a statute, which is littered with extremely vague and archaic obscenity provisions.
     
    For this week's editorial, I spoke with Susan Wright, spokeswoman for the NCSF, and Nitke, who began her professional adult photography work on the sets of hardcore films in New York City during the 1980s. When exploring the members of the NCSF's individual websites as well as Nitke's, it seems that most of the content is less risque© than most other hardcore porn sites. I spoke with Wright and Nitke to see why they decided to legally challenge the federal government and why they view the CDA as a threat to the online adult industry.
     
    The NCSF is a Washington, DC-based political advocacy-lobbying group, comprised of educational and social organizations. Established in 1997, this cohesive group consists mostly of S&M and fetish groups. Mainstream online adult webmasters could learn how to effectively form a lobbying group like the NCSF has done. While it may not seem necessary to some webmasters to become politically cohesive, for the NCSF members, it is a matter of life or ... a life that might as well be a dead, meaningless one. Many live in fear because of the moral minority's attacks on alternative lifestyles, and the lack of vocal and political support from those that approve of or actually engage in alternative sexual expression.
     
    According to Wright, the Kinsey Institute in 1990 conducted a study, which concluded that five to ten percent of adults (up to 25 million people!) engage in alternative sexual expression such as bondage, cross-dressing, S&M and other fetishes. "That's a lot of people," says Wright. "Millions of adults in the U.S. engage in fetishes ... They are your teachers, bus drivers, doctors, professionals and blue collar workers." Adds Wright, "These people don't talk about what they do and they don't come out about it; yet they're everywhere."
     
    Because of the lack of support, says Wright, the NCSF's members may lose their jobs and child custody. "Our sexuality is used against us, we are subject to hate crimes, persecution, harassment ... we are targets because we are a sexual minority."
     
    The NCSF is comprised of 20 board member organizations, 35 supporting members and groups, including businesses and websites; and several thousand individual members. All together, Wright estimates that approximately 10,000 people belong to the NCSF.
     
    Despite the fact that the National Opinion Research Center in 1998 found that over 60% of respondents were in favor of porn for adults, the NCSF and groups like it are extremely concerned with the current political climate. The NCSF knew it had to act quickly considering that this past summer, John Ashcroft met with radical right groups like the Christian Coalition and Concerned Women for America. Wright says about Ashcroft during this past summer that "He made it clear to them the Justice Department is ready to prosecute individuals under obscenity laws. These groups then sent press releases out claiming victory, so the NCSF knew they had to file quickly."
     
    Wright and the NCSF to their credit realized that if individuals don't argue for their rights, the federal government could conceivably take those rights away. Says Wright, "We didn't want Ashcroft to pick the individuals to censor. We wanted to fight on behalf of educational groups, social groups, and individuals who are just trying to exchange information on sexuality. We want them to be protected. Many of our members have come to us for guidance as to what type of content they can legally post on their site but because the CDA is so broad we don't know what to tell them. This is becoming more and more of a problem, and because Ashcroft is ready to prosecute, we felt like we had to move."
     
    When asked if she thinks her organization will emerge victorious, Wright answers, "Based on previous legal rulings in this area, I'm confident the court will find the CDA statute to be unconstitutional." (A provision calls for direct Supreme Court review.) The provisions of the CDA are so broad, that the indecency portion of CDA (struck down by the Supreme Court) would have cut off access to Planned Parenthood.
     
    It's very unsettling when a very small minority has unchecked political power. For the NCSF, the objective is to fight it out so the public consciousness will be raised (truly a noble cause). As Wright points out, these issues deal with the rights to pursue happiness in a pluralist society. She also mentions that there is real demand and money for alternative sexual lifestyles, thus "We as a free pluralist society shouldn't allow anybody from the religious right to eliminate educational sites."
     
    "When I was building my website, I was concerned about indecency and obscenity laws," says Nitke, from New York City. When asked why she's so concerned about her content when there is tons of questionable content on the web, she replies, "I may not be the first target but I will be greatly affected by how these laws can be interpreted." And this is why Nitke teamed up with the NCSF. Nitke echoes the sentiments of other S&M photographers and webmasters, saying, "It's really frightening ... let's say porn is the first target. As a result, sexual expression is the real target of some of these right-wing radical groups."
     
    Nitke, like all other ethically conscious webmasters has a warning page on her site. I ask her, "You know very well a 12-year-old can enter your site even with a warning page. Can you see why the government is concerned?" Nitke answers, "The problem is we have to balance protecting children with protecting adults. My main concern on a personal level is that I feel that adults who want to see my work should be able to see it. I'm upset that adults may lose that right and I may lose the right to show my work."
     
    I then ask Nitke a question I often ask other adult webmasters who engage in questionable hardcore content: "How could you defend the bound and gagged S&M lifestyle to an ignorant and close-minded jury?"
     
    "I asked myself, Can S&M be a healthy activity that can contribute to the love life of adults? Yes it can. It's life enhancing," says Nitke. "If two adults agree on what they're going to do in advance and find a couple of minutes of happiness, I can't imagine why anyone would begrudge them."
    The fact that porn rentals are a multi-billion dollar per year industry (see this week's Industry News column by Dave Cummings) unfortunately does not represent a squeaky wheel; the loudest squeak is coming from the minority-fringe right-leaning family advocacy groups. Webmasters who specialize in bondage and S&M should have a disclaimer on their site reading: This website is for consenting adults. Nobody was unwillingly harmed in the making of this content.
     
    Adult webmasters may one day realize that they have to mobilize vocal support in such a way that it their beef is heard on Capitol Hill and not only in webmaster chat rooms. Webmasters should encourage their surfers to write letters to their government representatives, demanding that their rights to enjoy legal adult online entertainment are not taken away because of theocratic dogma. Adult webmasters should also take time to personally thank the NCSF and Barbara Nitke for having a giant set of balls and not being afraid to fight for their rights to express their sexuality.
    This week's edition is a double issue. We will be back the second week of January with comprehensive Internext convention coverage. On a personal note, this issue marks my one-year anniversary serving as the editor for YNOT News. Party! See you next year...
     
     
    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 01:09 in CDA Media
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  • Ynot News - December 20, 2001
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    Can David Beat Goliath in the Battle of Obscenity?

    By Judd Handler
     
    Ynot News, December 20, 2001
     
    One would think it would take the giants of the industry to force the government to rethink existing, not-applicable-to-the-Internet obscenity laws. On the contrary, the little players may be the ones who are successful in getting the federal government and the Supreme Court to throw out irrelevant local community standards when applied to the Internet. As a result, new guidelines better suited for the cyber community may be formulated.
     
    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and one if its members, an adult content photographer named Barbara Nitke are an example of those little players who aren't afraid to challenge the government. NCSF is a Washington, DC-based organization committed to protecting freedom of expression among consenting adults. A large portion of NCSF's members practices "an alternative sexual lifestyle," namely S&M, bondage and other fetishes. NCSF, according to its website, "mobilizes diverse grassroots communities to help change antiquated and unfair sex laws, and to protect free speech and advance privacy rights."
     
    NCSF indeed does just that. On December 11, the NSCF and Nitke filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Internet obscenity laws. The defendant in the case: John Ashcroft and the Federal Government.
     
    Why would an organization such as NCSF and a relatively unknown photographer (outside the S&M community) try to battle a behemoth such as the Federal Government and what do they hope to accomplish?
     
    I spoke with John Wirenius, the plaintiffs' lawyer (of the firm Leeds, Morelli & Brown, www.lmblaw.com), Susan Wright, the spokesperson for the NCSF and Nitke. This week, I will focus on my conversation with Wirenius. Next week, I will provide the insights of Wright and Nitke.
     
    "The Supreme Court meant what it said in 1997, [that] they are drawing a distinction between indecency and obscenity, and that should put all adult webmasters on guard," said Wirenius. "Unless they can prove their work has literary, artistic, social, and political merit, they are at risk for prosecution."
     
    Wirenius discussed with Susan Wright how to advance the NCSF's legal agenda and what was the best approach to raise the issues concerning free expression. Hence, the lawsuit. "One of the biggest concerns the NCSF's constituency had was the right to communicate with each other," said Wirenius, who mentioned the problem with censorship is that how it will be played out on the web, legally, has been a big question mark since 1997. That's when the Supreme Court struck down the indecency portion of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The Supreme Court had the integrity to render that portion of the statute unconstitutional; however said Wirenius, "It left a portion unanswered of how obscenity be defined." He continued: "It striking down the INDECENCY problem, the court argued a geographical approach to local community standards wouldn't work with regards to the Web. It didn't explicitly hold that in the context of OBSCENITY, because the ACLU decided not to challenge obscenity."
    Elaborating on why the ACLU didn't tackle the obscenity portion of CDA, Wirenius said the ACLU was more concerned with the indecency provision due to its broader nature. An adult webmaster can get him/herself out of an obscenity prosecution if the work in question has serious literary, social, political and artistic values; whereas with the indecency statute, the social value defense wouldn't necessarily work.
     
    When asked if he thought the lawsuit would result in a positive outcome for the NCSF, Barbara Nitke and adult webmasters, Wirenius said, "We are confident we can get a decision on the merits."
     
    It's important to note that this isn't the same as winning a lawsuit and successfully suing the feds. What this means, as Wirenius explained is that if successful, the courts will agree with the NCSF and Nitke that this particular case poses the legal question, "What should obscenity standards be as applied to the Internet?" That question, said Wirenius has been avoided since the creation of the Internet. "It needs to be decided and if it's not decided in the context of a case like ours, which involves Barbara Nitke, a serious artist whose work is genuine and supported by artistic rationale, it will be chosen in the best case of the government -- one that would justify the widest range of suppression." The NCSF and Nitke's case is an example that the Wirenius' legal team can present the court to raise "the specter of censorship on the Web." (The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.)
     
    Adult webmasters should pay attention to this lawsuit, as it is a perfect test case to see how the federal government will deal with those involved in online adult entertainment.
     
    Expounding on the importance of this case, Wirenius said, "Social values are very subjective; it's not something that can be resolved in an easy manner. In legal terms, it's called mixed question of fact and law: a jury may find a work to not have serious literary, artistic, political and social value but that doesn't end the equation. It goes up on appeal. With an obscenity prosecution it shifts the burden of proof. The only way to effectively guarantee an acquittal in an obscenity prosecution is to stand trial."
     
    This is the significant issue for adult webmasters as John Ashcroft has already appointed somebody to head the obscenity division of the Justice Department. This will most likely be an attempt to reverse the lack of obscenity prosecutions during the Clinton Administration. (For more on this, see Joe Obenberger's article on AVNOnline.com.)
     
    When visiting the NCSF website as well as Nitke's, adult webmasters will find that the content pales in comparison to the risqué images found on many porn sites, so why is the NCSF and Nitke so concerned with the comparatively innocuous content? Wirenius said, "It's not just NCSF, it's the websites of the people who belong to NCSF."
     
    "Even if NCSF doesn't have the most risqué content, under Ashcroft we have an intriguing situation. All the laws that we have on obscenity are based on local geographical standards. It's a pre cyber-law world. The very definition of obscenity assumes the content provider can control where the content is viewed, and by limiting distribution he or she can limit the content's exposure. That's no longer true in an Internet age." Under the current statute of CDA, members of the NCSF could have possibly also have their emails subject to prosecution under current CDA provisions. "CDA is not limited to websites alone," said Wirenius.
     
    In the best case scenario, the Supreme Court will knock the statute out as unconstitutional on the grounds that a geographic-based local community standard approach is not the best measure for the Internet, said Wirenius.
     
    Let's not even imagine what the worst-case scenario will be...
     
    Stay tuned next week for conversations with NCSF spokesperson Susan Wright and photographer Barbara Nitke.
     
    On page 4, YNOT News has an interview with Mike Jones, an adult photographer that is all-too familiar with being prosecuted according to draconian local community obscenity standards. Read what he has to say In the Spotlight.
     
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 01:08 in CDA Media
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  • Wired - December 12, 2001
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    New Suit Targets Obscenity Law

    By Julia Scheeres

    Wired, December 12, 2001

      

    A national organization that promotes sexual tolerance and an artist who photographs pictures of couples engaged in sadomasochism filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to overturn Internet obscenity laws.

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and photographer Barbara Nitke argue that the obscenity provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is so broad that it violates free speech.

    The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, names as plaintiffs Attorney General John Ashcroft and the U.S. government, and aims to blot out the remaining censorship provisions of the CDA, a measure passed to protect minors from online pornography. Violators of the act face fines of up to $250,000 and two years in prison.

    The CDA was first attacked in the 1997 case Reno v. ACLU, when the Supreme Court struck down provisions related to indecency, ruling that the law harmed constitutionally protected free speech.

    The act's obscenity provisions are targeted by the new challenge.

    The murky semantics of the terms "obscenity" and "indecency" have long been the bane of First Amendment lawyers. (For the ACLU's take on the debate, click here).

    The CDA defined indecent material as "any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs." The Supreme Court ruled in the Reno v. ACLU case that this broad definition unfairly criminalized speech about a variety of benign topics related to sexual health, such as contraception.

    The Supreme Court ruled that obscene speech -- which is not protected by the First Amendment -- must meet the following three criteria: 1) it must be prurient in nature, 2) it must be completely devoid of scientific, political, educational or social value, and 3) it must violate local community standards.

    The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims that the obscenity provision outlined in Section 502 of the CDA is so vague and arbitrary that it could violate speech that should be protected.

    The sticky words here are the so-called "local community standards," said John F. Wirenius, the plaintiffs' legal counsel and an attorney for civil rights firm Leeds, Morelli & Brown.

    "Obscenity is unprotected speech, but not all material is obscene from jurisdiction to jurisdiction," said Wirenius. "Material may be considered obscene in Utah, for example, but not in New York. Whose standards are supposed to be applied to the Internet?"

    His clients fear that their content will be judged by the most conservative standards, making them vulnerable to obscenity charges.

    "Most people don't realize that one of the most strident censorship provisions of the CDA is still in place," said Susan Wright, spokeswoman for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. "The CDA is still having a chilling effect on Americans who operate websites -- they either have to resort to self-censorship or risk prosecution."

    Wright, who said her coalition has 10,000 members from alternative sexual groups, insisted the material produced by her organization was not obscene but that it could be considered so in certain Bible-banging realms of the country.

    Plaintiff Barbara Nitke said the Internet is one of the few places where she can exhibit her controversial photographs and worried that this venue might soon be closed to her.

    "I strongly believe that people who want to see my work or the type of work I do by other artists should have the right to do so," said Nitke. "But I feel this act will be used against me eventually and that worries me."

    But others said the quest to overturn the CDA is a long shot.

    Previous First Amendment challenges to obscenity laws have failed in court, said Miriam More, a legal policy analyst for the conservative Family Research Council, which blames pornography for crimes ranging from rape to assault.

    Conservative groups such as the FRC do not see the merit of the content produced by sites such as the coalition, and regard their material as porn, plain and simple.

    "Obscenity laws should be upheld on the Internet for the same reason they're upheld elsewhere," said More. "When the pornography industry is left unregulated, it keeps pushing to see how far they can go. They never say 'We've done Anal Gangbang One so we don't need to do Farm Gang Bang.'  The laws need to be enforced."

    http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,49044,00.html

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 01:07 in CDA Media
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  • Spectator Magazine - January 11, 2002
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    STANDING UP TO BE COUNTED: BARBARA NITKE CHALLENGES JOHN ASHCROFT ON S/M AND INTERNET OBSCENITY

    By David Steinberg

    Spectator Magazine, January 11, 2002

    "No matter how we're wired to express love, freedom is having the courage to be who we are." - Photographer/plaintiff Barbara Nitke

    On December 11, Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom brought suit in New York City's Federal District Court, seeking to have the last remaining censorship provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act declared overbroad, vague, and therefore unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The suit, which will be heard this spring by a three-judge panel headed by Judge Richard Berman, is a sequel to the 1997 action by the American Civil Liberties Union, Reno v. ACLU, that resulted in the Supreme Court unanimously striking down the provision of CDA that criminalized indecent, "patently offensive" material broadcast over the Internet. The aim of Nitke v. Ashcroft is to have the ruling extended to CDA's criminalization of obscene material as well.

    The Communications Decency Ac was the first Federal statute attempting to regulate sexual material broadcast over the Internet. CDA makes it a Federal crime to transmit any obscene or indecent "comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication" over the Internet, if such material can be viewed by people under 18. The question of what is obscenity or indecency has always been a complex one.

    The current Federal definition of obscenity, the Miller test, stems from a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Miller v. California. Under the Miller test, material is legally obscene only if it is sexually explicit, patently offensive according to "local community standards," and lacks any "serious literary, artistic, social, educational, or scientific value. "Sexually explicit material that does have serious social value, but is still offensive according to local community standards, falls into the legal category of indecency, even though it is not obscene. As a result, it can legally be subjected to some degree of government regulation. The supreme Court has ruled, for example, that the times when indecent material can be broadcast on television can be limited to certain late night hours, when it is presumably less likely to be seen by children.

    The community standards provision of the Miller ruling allowed the Supreme Court to acknowledge that material considered obscene or indecent in a small town in rural Kansas may nonetheless be quite acceptable in Manhattan or San Francisco, and to avoid imposing one standard on the entire nation. Indeed, courts have ruled that the local community standards that are applied to questions of obscenity and indecency can vary not only city by city and state by state, but even from one city neighborhood to another.

    Under Miller, publishers and distributors of erotic and sexual books, magazines, films, and videos have become accustomed to making complicated decisions about where and how they want to market their products. Many mail-order companies choose not to market products in states like Utah and Alabama that they promote extensively in more sexually progressive parts of the country. Other companies choose not to process mail orders from certain states at all. By restricting their marketing, companies are able to choose which local community standards they want to subject themselves to with regard to potential obscenity or indecency charges. Companies also insure themselves against selling to minors by having potential customers certify that they are over 18 years of age.

    On the Internet, however, the possibility of all such geographical and age verification vanishes. When a store, publisher, artist, or writer puts erotic and sexual material up on their website, that material immediately becomes available to people from the most progressive to the most conservative communities in the country and, more broadly, in the world. Furthermore, issues of obscenity and indecency on the Internet extend beyond the sale of products to such simple acts as viewing an artist's work, or reading a writer's short stories. Is there an identifiable Internet community whose "local community values" can be used to define which material is legally obscene and which is not? What might that community be?

    The Communications Decency Act says nothing about which community's standards of obscenity are to be applied to the Internet. Because it limited itself to issues of indecency in Reno v. ACLU, the Supreme Court has so far been silent on this issue as well.

    Nitke v. Ashcroft seeks to change all that. The complaint claims that, in the absence of a clear definition of which community standards apply to the Internet, CDA has the effect of chilling all Internet expression since questions of the legal obscenity of Internet material might well be judged by the values of the most restrictive communities in the country. This, says John Wirenius, attorney for Nitke and NCSF, makes the obscenity provision of CDA so far-reaching as to be unconstitutional. His hope is that Nitke v. Ashcroft will prompt the Supreme Court to overturn the CAD's obscenity provision, perhaps overturn the CDA entirely, and hopefully define for the first time which community standards are to be used in judging the potential obscenity of online sexual material.

    Barbara Nitke is a brilliant, well-known, and widely respected New York fine art photographer. Much of her work comprises powerful, emotionally complex, visually evocative images that depict couples engaged in a wide variety of sexual activities. Many of her images show couples engaged in various forms of consensual sadomasochism. Her photographs are noteworthy both for their exceptional visual beauty and for the depth of the emotional connections she captures in her subjects.

    Her website ( http://www.barbaranitke.com/) is the antithesis of the generically garish porn website. It is visually subdued, attractively designed, geared less to selling products (though Nitke's prints are offered for sale) than to providing a showcase for her work.

    One image shows a woman looking down tenderly into the eyes of her lover, who lies bound and gagged in her arms. Another shows a woman smilingly listening to instructions from the director on a porn film set, while a man's mouth is hard at work between her thighs. Another shows a woman staring wistfully off into the distance while her woman lover lies helplessly bound and gagged in front of her on the kitchen table. Yet another shows a man concentrating intently as he whips the back of his male lover, who cries out at the pain of the lash.

    Other sections of her website provide Nitke with an opportunity to talk about both her work and her personal background. "For many years I shot stills on hardcore porn shoots," she recounts. "I thought it was the most exciting, stomach-turning, heart-warming subject I could ever hope to photograph. I know that sounds crazy. But for me there was a certain feeling of freedom that went with shooting porn which, most of the time, made up for all the other things. [There were moments] when I'd look through the lens into someone's shell-shocked eyes and see a forgotten part of me staring back. That was the shot I wanted for me."

    Speaking of her s/m photography, Nitke notes that her goal there is "to capture the bond between [the lovers], and also the intense energy of ritual, passionate s/m. I [want] to photograph deep intimacy and trust, the two main concepts which underlie most s/m practices."

    When John Wirenius approached her about being the plaintiff in this lawsuit, Nitke says she knew immediately that she wanted to be part of the effort. "I told John I wanted to sleep on it, but I knew right away that I would do it, which was what I told him the next day." Although she has supported various freedom of expression issues in the past and has been a member of NCSF since the organization was founded, Nitke has never thought of herself as a political activist, not even with regard to free speech issues.

    "But you end up being an activist even if you don't want to be," she says pointedly. "If artists as a group don't stand up and do something, the censors are just going to keep going further and further. Most artists don't want to deal with this sort of thing, but we have to."

    She recalls a time of showing her work to a gathering of curators and gallery owners in Portland, Oregon, all of whom told her that her photography was excellent, but also said there was no way they could show it, given the current political climate regarding sexual imagery. It was experiences like these, Nitke says, that made her conscious of how impossible it was becoming to show important, sexually controversial work throughout the country.

    It wasn't until Nitke decided to put together her own website that she fully realized how heavily the prevailing political climate was weighing on her. Nervous about recent legislation like the Community Decency Act, she called other photographers who were doing erotic and sexual work like hers -- images that were controversial, sometimes sexually explicit, but distinctly artful in intent and style, and distinctly outside the realm of commercial pornography. She also spoke with publishers of erotic magazines equally distant from the production and distribution networks of the porn world. Were these people worried about Ashcroft and how he would apply the laws that Congress was passing related to supposedly obscene material? Did she need to be concerned about being a target for prosecution herself? What kinds of images could she put on her website without risking embroiling herself in legal defenses that could eat up tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention months of time and heartache? And wasn't it horrible that, as a serious artist interested in sexual issues, she had to be distracted by these sorts of issues at all?

    "That's why this suit is so important to me," she summarizes. "It's both a practical matter and a matter or principle."

    Unlike Barbara Nitke, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom ( https://ncsfreedom.org/) came to Nitke v. Ashcroft directly from an interest in political advocacy of the sexual civil rights of people who find themselves outside the American sexual mainstream. Founded in 1997 "to help change antiquated and unfair sex laws, and to protect free speech and advance privacy rights," NCSF has drawn its primary support from a broad group of S/M activists, initially in New York, but later from other parts of the country as well. It's 21 voting member groups now span the country from New York to Las Vegas, from Greensboro, North Carolina to Blue Island, Illinois. The groups range from long-standing s/m advocacy and support groups, like the Eulenspeigel Society of New York, to newer groups like St. Louis's Leather and Lace, and Cincinnati's Masters and slaves Together. Member groups like the Lesbian Sex Mafia and Gay Male S/M Activists reflect the broad diversity of sexual orientation that is very much a part of the national s/m-leather-fetish subculture.

    NCSF has been increasingly effective in speaking up for the basic civil rights and freedom of speech of people involved in safe, sane, consensual s/m. It has successfully fought selective enforcement of zoning and public indecency laws in San Diego, Baltimore, Attleboro (Massachusetts), and Washington, DC Its Law Enforcement Outreach Program strives both to educate law enforcement officials about s/m communities, and to educate members of the s/m community about how to minimize their risk as potential targets of selective enforcement of zoning, public indecency, and aggravated assault laws.

    NCSF spokesperson Susan Wright notes that the organization has very much wanted to take the initiative in challenging antisexual legislation like the Communications Decency Act, rather than waiting to respond to what it saw as inevitable upcoming attacks on sexual expression from the Bush-Ashcroft Administration.

    NCSF is sure that new attacks on sexually-oriented materials and entertainment, particularly material available on the Internet, has been high on the priority list of the Ashcroft Justice Department, even if that agenda has been somewhat delayed by the focus on terrorism that followed the events of September 11. They note that on November 14, Ashcroft appointed Andrew G. Osterbaan to head the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Earlier this year, Ashcroft assured various conservative organizations that he intended to vigorously pursue prosecutions under the CDA. On June 9 he also told the House Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department intended to be "especially accommodating to local law enforcement" with regard to helping them put operators of Internet sex sites behind bars.

    "Our goal [with the Nitke suit]," says Wright, "is to overturn this unconstitutional provision [of the CDA] before this Administration tries to score political points by attempting to enforce it." Attorney John Wirenius adds that there is much to be gained from seizing the initiative in legal matters, rather than waiting to mount defenses to prosecutions initiated by the Justice Department. "This way we get to choose the test case, not Ashcroft," he emphasizes. "I'd much rather have the obscenity provision of the CDA be decided on the basis of Barbara Nitke's work than on the basis of something like http://www.bestiality.com/"

    Wirenius is optimistic about Nitke v. Ashcroft at the Federal District Court level. He notes that Judge Richard Berman, who will preside over the case in Federal District Court this spring, wrote what Wirenius calls a "terrific decision," Swedenburg v. Kelly, in which he ruled that material on the Internet cannot be subjected to geographical community standards in the same way that books or films can. "Judge Berman," says Wirenius, "is a fair-minded judge who understands the posed by the Internet."

    Wirenius is also optimistic of the fate of Nitke v. Ashcroft before the U.S. Supreme Court, where the case will ultimately be decided. He sees this case as a logical extension of Reno v. ACLU from issues of indecency to those of obscenity and notes that, despite its general conservative bent, the current Supreme Court has been fairly vigilant on free speech issues.

    Whether or not Nitke v. Ashcroft is ultimately successful in overturning the obscenity provision of CDA, the fact that the issue is being raised by NCSF represents a significant new political and legal posture for the s/m community which, until recently, has been more closeted and less inclined to take aggressive political and legal action than more long-standing and well-known sexual minority groups. As NCSF notes, "in the past decade, alternative sexual expression [particularly s/m] has become much more visible to the general public," and people who engage in s/m have therefore become subject to "an increasing number of attacks against our right to freedom of sexual expression." Actions like Nitke v. Ashcroft demonstrate that s/m practitioners have begun to join the ranks of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people in insisting that non-traditional sexual and gender expression not subject them to anything less than full and equal treatment under the law.

    http://www.sexuality.org/l/davids/cn118.html

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 01:06 in CDA Media
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  • New York Press - August 28, 2002
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    What's Obscene in Podunk

    By John Strausbaugh
    New York Press, August 28, 2002
     
    Barbara Nitke is a well-known and much-seen photographer in her field. She's president of the New York Camera Club and teaches a course in darkroom technique at SVA. A nice, neat, sweet individual, she's the very very last person in New York City you'd suspect of being a pornographer. Which she's not, not exactly. She's more an arty photo-documentarian of porn -she shot an enormous number of stills on the sets of porn shoots in the 80s and 90s-and of the activities of people of "alternative sexuality" (read: s/m).
     
    You can see a sampling of her work at barbaranitke.com. Some portion of the erotic photography you encounter elsewhere on the Internet is also her work. And that, plus the fact that she's the very antithesis of the sleazy, trashy, drug-damaged porn professional, makes her the perfect person to front a legal challenge to current obscenity law.
     
    Which she's doing in a case with the simple yet grandiose name Nitke v. Ashcroft.

    Nitke knows about obscenity prosecutions from close personal observation. Her ex-husband Herb produced porn in the 70s, including, she says, an uncredited role in financing The Devil in Miss Jones. During the movie's several obscenity trials, "He was always the guy on trial," she recalls. "So my free-speech thing goes way back."
     
    It was when she was putting together her website, a gallery of selected photos culled from 20 years on porn sets and in s/m dungeons, that Nitke began to worry about her possible legal exposure.
     
    "I was really proud of getting my website up, but also really concerned," she says. "There were some very scary laws that got on the books when Clinton was in power, but they never got enforced. With Ashcroft coming in, these laws were about to be enforced, I thought. A person like me, if I get hit with an obscenity suit, it's an immediate go into bankruptcy, plead guilty. There's no way I'd have the resources to fight it... I started calling around to lawyers and anybody who'd have any legal advice for me."
     
    One lawyer she spoke with was John Wirenius, a partner at Leeds, Morelli and Brown, on Long Island (they used to have an office in the WTC as well), a firm that specializes in civil rights and civil liberties. Wirenius focuses on First Amendment cases, has lectured and written on it (First Amendment, First Principles).
     
    Wirenius had been approached by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF; www.ncsfreedom.org), an organization "committed to protecting freedom of expression among consenting adults" founded in '97. Member groups include gay, leather and s/m organizations like New York's Lesbian Sex Mafia and Eulenspiegel Society. They had the same worries as Nitke about John Ashcroft and the Bush administration.
     
     
    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:54 in CDA Media
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  • New York Newsday - July 25 2005
    Written by

    New York judges refuse to say Internet obscenity law is unconstitutional

    By LARRY NEUMEISTER

    Associated Press Writer, July 25, 2005, 7:58 PM EDT 

    NEW YORK -- A special three-judge federal panel on Monday refused to find unconstitutional a law making it a crime to send obscenity over the Internet to children.

    The Communications Decency Act of 1996 had been challenged by Barbara Nitke, a photographer who specializes in pictures of sadomasochistic sexual behavior, and by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a Baltimore-based advocacy organization.

    They contended in a December 2001 lawsuit brought in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that the law was so broad and vague in its scope that it violated the First Amendment, making it impossible for them to publish to the Internet because they cannot control the forum.

    A judge from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and two district judges heard the facts of the case and issued a written decision saying the plaintiffs had provided insufficient evidence to prove the law was unconstitutional.

    The panel noted that evidence was offered to indicate there are at least 1.4 million Web sites that mention bondage, discipline and sadomasochism but that evidence was insufficient to decide how many sites might be considered obscene.

    The judges said the evidence also was insufficient for them to determine how much the standards for obscenity differ in communities across the United States.

    The court said it was necessary to know how much the standards vary to decide if those creating Web sites would be graded for obscenity unfairly when compared with those who market traditional pornography and can control how they distribute the material.

    As the law stands, a communication is obscene if according to each community's standards it appeals to the prurient interest, depicts or describes sexual conduct in an offensive way and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

    The law requires that those sending the communications take reasonable actions to restrict or prevent access by children to obscenity, sometimes by using a verified credit card, debit account or adult access code as proof of age.

    Nitke, who has exhibited her work for more than 20 years, said she will appeal the ruling.

    "I'm appalled," she said. "I think it's vitally important to keep the Internet free for education, the arts and open discussion on sexual targets."

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom also was disappointed with the ruling, spokeswoman Susan Wright said.

    "Personal Web sites and chat groups that include discussions and images of explicit sexuality are at risk of prosecution," she said. "Basically, we proved we're at risk of prosecution, and speech has been chilled because people are afraid to put anything sexual on their Web sites."

    Group lawyer John Wirenius said in a statement that the court declined to find the law unconstitutional "by setting a standard so high that no plaintiff could have met it."

    "They required us to prove facts that the government has refrained from making a paper trail on for 30 years," he said.

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom works to change antiquated laws, oppose censorship of consensual sexual expression and help people who are facing the threat of prosecution or legal action, its Web site says.

    Link to original...

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:47 in CDA Media
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  • New York Daily News - July 15, 2002
    Written by

    Fotog vs. Feds in Obscenity Law: Files suit to keep photos on Web

    by Veronica Vera

    New York Daily News, July 15, 2002

    Photographer Barbara Nitke is used to being behind the lens, but if legal matters heat up, she may soon find the government focusing on her.

    Nitke is ready to step into the foreground as the chief plantiff in Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom vs. John Ashcroft and the US Government in a challenge to the Communications Decency Act, which governs obscenity on the Internet.

    The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 11 in Manhattan Federal Court of New York; the government moved to dismiss, and the plaintiffs have moved for an injunction.

    The case continues to make its way through the courts.

    Nitke, whose photo show "20 Years" opened on Friday at the Art at Large Studio in Manhattan, began her career in 1982 as a still photographer on movie sets.

    But since 1994, her emphasis has been on chronicling the intimate lives of couples. She has gained a considerable reputation as a fine-art photographer and is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts.

    Photojournalist Mark Peterson, who attended the packed opening, commented, "There is a beauty and ethereal quality to her work that forces people to look at it in a different way than they might have when they walked into the room." He compared her work with that of Robert Mapplethorpe, who stirred controversy with his erotic photos.

    Nitke's involvement in the civil liberties lawsuit began when she decided to create a website on which to show and sell her work. Aware that her photographs are highly provocative, she consulted several lawyers regarding obscenity laws, only to discover that under the Communications Decency Act, obscenity is a gray area determined by community standards.

    A 1997 Supreme Court ruling struck down half of the act, the "indecency" section, when it determined that if a work is indecent but still can be found to have redeeming social value, it can be displayed in public. But the "obscenity" portion of the act still stands. Among the lawyers Nitke consulted was John Wirenius, legal counsel for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.

    The members of the coalition, "a national organization committed to protecting freedom of expression among consenting adults," were also concerned about obscenity statutes and decided to pursue a proactive stance and challenge the law. They asked Nitke to be the plaintiff because, as Wirenius said, "We wanted to make clear that under the current law, a serious artist whose work is sexually explicit and controversial could be prosecuted."

    The tactic proposed by the coalition to sue the government to either define or eliminate the obscenity law appealed to Nitke, who said she believed, "Why wait to respond to trouble if you can nip trouble in the bud?"

    Barbara Nitke's "20 years" can be seen through August 3 at Art at Large, located in the Film Center, 630 Ninth Ave. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1pm to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday by appointment.

    This article appeared on:
    www.nydailynews.com

    To respond, write to:
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:47 in CDA Media
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  • Nerve - December 11, 2001
    Written by

    Nerve

    December 11, 2001

    Photographer Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) filed a lawsuit today, claiming the Internet censorship provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) violates the First Amendment right to free speech.

    The provision stipulates that "local community standards" will judge whether or not something is indecent. Yet attorney John Wirenius argues that "By allowing the most restrictive jurisdiction to define what speech can be banned as obscene from the Internet, the CDA allows one community to limit what the entire nation is allowed to discuss, to read or to view. The First Amendment does not allow any one locality to impose its morality on the nation."

    Artists like Barbara Nitke fear that their artwork could be targeted by John Ashcroft, who has promised to enforce obscenity laws.

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:43 in CDA Media
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  • CNN - December 20, 2001
    Written by

    Lawsuit targets last scraps of Net-obscenity law

    By Sam Costello (IDG News)

    CNN, December 20, 2001

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) and artist Barbara Nitke have filed a lawsuit challenging the remaining provisions of the Communications Decency Act, much of which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997.

    The act, or CDA, was passed in 1996 and was the first U.S. law designed to allow the regulation of Internet content. The remaining provision of the law bars the publication of material online that is deemed obscene under "contemporary community standards." The lawsuit, filed last week in Federal District Court in New York, challenges that aspect of the law saying it is so broad and vague that it violates the First Amendment freedom of speech protection and could prohibit frank sexual discussion among adults on the Internet.

    Under the law, obscenity is determined using local community standards. But applying that standard to the Internet means asking the question whether the local community is the one where the Web site is hosted or the one where it is viewed, said Susan Wright, spokesperson for the NCSF.

    This existing CDA provision balances on the narrow difference in the legal definitions of the terms "obscenity" and "indecency." In its CDA ruling, the Supreme Court allowed that the government could investigate and prosecute obscene speech, that is, speech with no redeeming merit. 

    Those obscenity provisions are too broad and vague in the view of the NCSF.

    "What is the local community standard," Wright asked. "Is it where you live? Where the Web site is? Is it the most restrictive community in America? The least?"

    The rest of the CDA should be overturned, she said, as it isn't right for members of a small, rural town to be able to determine the community standards of cities like New York or San Francisco.

    The NCSF filed the suit because "the CDA could have a dangerous effect on the Internet in the hands of an overzealous administration and this attorney general," Wright said.

    Attorney General John Ashcroft indicated a willingness to pursue CDA prosecutions when he met with a number of conservative groups earlier this year, Wright said, noting that the NCSF had obtained copies of information those groups had sent to their members after the meetings.

    Ashcroft has come under fire from some groups for his expansion of government surveillance powers after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Ashcroft has responded to those criticisms by charging that his critics are aiding terrorists by raising such concerns.

    Wright dismissed notions that Ashcroft is too occupied by antiterrorism efforts to worry about Internet indecency. He made moves in early November that effectively blocked a voter-approved assisted suicide law in Oregon, a measure unrelated to terrorism, she noted.

    "He's demonstrated he has the time and resources for other battles (than terrorism)," she said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/industry/12/20/obscenity.suit.idg/index.html

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:42 in CDA Media
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  • Adult Video News - February, 2002
    Written by

    NCSF Tackles "Community Standards" For The Web

    By Mark Kernes

    Adult Video News, February Issue

    Washington, DC

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom may not be a household name, even in the adult entertainment industry, but if their recently-filed lawsuit succeeds, they may go down in history as the first group to secure Americans' core constitutional speech rights. 

    NCSF is based in the nation's capital [~] in fact, only a few blocks northwest of the Capitol itself [~] and their objective is to protect freedom of expression among consenting adults, which for them includes a large number of citizens who practice "alternative sexual lifestyles."

    The group, and one of its members, Barbara Nitke, filed suit on December 10 to challenge one portion of the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA) that the ACLU never got around to [~] some would say, "didn't have the balls to consider" [~] challenging when they filed their suit in 1997, which suit resulted in the term "indecent" being struck from the law as an unconstitutional restriction on Internet free speech.

    But the CDA also criminalized Internet "obscenity," and that taboo remains in the law. And as far as plaintiffs' attorney John F. Wirenius is concerned, that's equally unconstitutional.

    "Obscenity is unprotected speech, but not all material is obscene from jurisdiction to jurisdiction," Wirenius told Wired News. "Material may be considered obscene in Utah, for example, but not in New York. Whose standards are supposed to be applied to the Internet?"

    The problem is the Supreme Court's Miller test for obscenity, which may or may not be implicated in the Child Pornography Prevention Act (COPA) case which was argued by the ACLU before the high court in late November. In order for a work to be obscene, it must appeal to the prurient interest of the average citizen; be completely devoid of any literary, artistic, political or scientific value; and must offend the standards of the community in which the work is being prosecuted, which for most jurisdictions is the state in which the charges are brought.

    The trouble with the test is, the Internet has no "community" [~] or, to put it another way, it is its own worldwide community, a "problem" faced by every country whose government finds offensive some material on some Website based abroad and out of that government's control. For instance, it is universally agreed among adult webmasters that no matter what laws are passed to limit the adult content of American Websites, the same or harder material can easily be found on (and downloaded from) Websites based in Europe or the Far East.

    "The Internet is not a physical or tangible entity, but is rather a giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of computer networks," argues the lawsuit. "It is thus a network of networks, linked up for communications and data-sharing purposes. The Internet links networks of computers from around the world, forming what is in essence a global network of private and public computers, not regulated by the government of any nation or other central governing body.

    "Through devices such as links, or more formally by explicit affiliation, Users of the Internet commonly form 'virtual communities,' loose associations of individuals or groups of similar value systems and/or interests to promote discussions of various topics."

    What Nitke and the NCSF are concerned about is maintaining their abilities to engage in frank sexual discussions and to view and exchange "erotic content whether fictional, reminiscence or pictorial" on the Web.

    "The websites of various NCSF members, both organizational and affiliate, and associates and affiliates of NCSF Foundation, are strongly sexual in content, but observe the mores of the communities in which they serve [~] that is, they respect the notion that sexual conduct between consenting adults should be 'safe, sane and consensual.' While they may be graphic in a manner that might be offensive to more traditionally-minded communities, members' websites are not patently offensive to the communities they serve. Moreover, members' websites uniformly require a declaration that any person accessing their content is of legal age, and provide advisories as to the nature of the matters discussed therein that are clear without being  themselves explicit."

    Moreover, "Plaintiff Nitke, as the proprietor of the website www.barbaranitke.com, publishes an array of erotically-oriented and themed images. Such images, while potentially offensive to members of more traditionally-minded communities, are not offensive to the members of the community to which plaintiff Nitke belongs."

    That "community," according to the suit, is the group of voluntary Internet users who choose to access adult material on the Web. However, "The CDA does not provide any definition of 'local community standards' as an element of obscenity," argues the lawsuit. "Because of the indeterminate nature of what community standards would be employed to judge speech employing the medium of the Internet, plaintiff Nitke, members of plaintiff NCSF, and associates affiliates and board members of plaintiff NCSF Foundation have been chilled in their expression... By subjecting all speech on the Internet to potential liability under the local community standards of the most restrictive jurisdiction in the nation, the CDA is unconstitutionally overbroad."

    The NCSF and Nitke aren't seeking any monetary damages through the suit. They are, however, asking the high court to define what the "community" of the Internet is.

    "All the laws that we have on obscenity are based on local geographical standards," Wirenius notes. "It's a pre cyber-law world. The very definition of obscenity assumes the content provider can control where the content is viewed, and by limiting distribution he or she can limit the content's exposure. That's no longer true in an Internet age."

    It's a case [~] Nitke v. Ashcroft [~] that adult webmasters should be watching at least as closely as ACLU v. Ashcroft, since both cases have the potential to enable free speech, even sexual speech, to the extent contemplated by an unfettered reading of the First Amendment [~] or, alternatively, to mire the Internet in such a morass of regulation that purveyors of adult material may have no choice but to relocate their servers offshore or in Europe.

    The case, by virtue of provisions in the CDA itself, is on a "fast track," which means that once the Southern District of New York rules on its merits, any appeal will be taken directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Still, the timetable of such action is currently indeterminable, but there's a better-than-even chance that an opinion in this case may come down even before COPA's. In any case, the whole adult community will be watching.

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:34 in CDA Media
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  • ABC News - July 29, 2002
    Written by

    Love or Obscenity? S/M Photographer Challenges Internet Decency Standards

    By Dean Schabner

    ABCnews.com, July 29, 2002

    When Barbara Nitke wanted to put her photographs of loving couples on the Internet, she thought she should check into the laws first.

    That's because Nitke's recent photographs have been focused on how some couples express their love through sado-masochism.

    What Nitke found after reading up on Internet law and talking to lawyers was that the remnants of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, much of which was declared unconstitutional in 1997, could conceivably put her in hot water if her work was considered obscene in some communities. She feared she could be charged with a crime and be forced to take the work down.

    So Nitke, along with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a group described on its Web site as "committed to protecting freedom of expression among consenting adults", filed suit against Attorney General John Ashcroft and the U.S. government, challenging the CDA's use of "local community standards" to define what can be considered obscene on the Internet.

    To respond to this article, write to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Written on Friday, 22 June 2007 00:26 in CDA Media
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  • Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2016
    Written by

    NCSF Newsletter
    3rd Quarter, 2016
    edited by Julian Wolf

     

    In this Issue


    NCSF at COPE
    Election Action Alert
    Volunteer Needs
    Devin at Dore
    Incident Reporting & Response
    A Letter from Allena
    NCSF Thanks!
    A New Book: Modern Sexuality
    Guest Blog
    Media Updates
    Representing on FetLife

     


    NCSF at COPE
     
    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom was proud to accept the invitation to host a table and host a Consent Discussion at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion! 
     
    Our Volunteer Coordinator Keira and Julian Wolf spoke with dozens of folks from their premier spot next to the silent auction. They also lead a discussion on Saturday with many of the attendees where the NCSF consent survey, and ways we deal with consent in our community were discussed.
     
    COPE also held a fundraiser for the NCSF throughout the weekend and during the closing ceremonies. The staff made the experience particularly entertaining, and the experience was a blast. Thank you to all the attendees for your contributions!  
     
    Keira Julian newletter
     NCSF board members Keira and Julian Wolf at COPE 2016, via Instagram
     
    Election Action Alert!
    Front Page Headline, NCSF News
     
    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom would like your help in this important election year. Specifically, we would like you to take a few moments to send a short questionnaire on sexual freedom issues to candidates running for office in your State or locality.
     
    NCSF has sent a questionnaire this year to each candidate for the Presidency of the United States - Secretary Hillary Clinton (Democrat), Donald Trump (Republican), Governor Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green) - asking for their positions on sexual freedom issues that are important to those of us who engage in BDSM, swinging, polyamory and other alternative sexual practices. Their responses (or failure to respond) will be posted on the NCSF website and made available to the media.
     
     
    This election is an especially important one. Sexual consent has become a "front burner" issue. Trafficking laws and other statutes are being misused against our constituencies, and new anti-sex laws are being pushed by sexual bigots. The courts' interpretations of Lawrence v. Texas continue to narrow this important sexual freedom decision by the U.S. Supreme Court made in 2003. And, the appointment of judges across the country, including as many as three Supreme Court justices, will have a profound effect on our right to practice sex with other consenting adults.
     
    For this reason, NCSF wants to extend the scope of our sexual freedom questionnaires to elective offices in your localities, including candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, for governor and for State legislatures. This is where you can help us. We would like you to send copies of the letter and the questionnaire to candidates running for office in your State, in elections where you think the outcome could have an impact on sexual freedom issues-legislation, judicial appointments and law enforcement practices.
     
    Here is what we would like you to do:
     
    3. Please cc NCSF.
     
    Responses will be posted on our website.
     
     

    Volunteer Needs - October 2016
     
    Media Watchdog
    If you are short on time, but high on motivation and believe in the NCSF mission, there is still an opportunity to volunteer! We need motivated people to send us articles they find while browsing news outlets that pertain to NCSF and our goals.
     
    Writers
    If you enjoy writing or are a blogger or professional looking to get exposure, NCSF wants your input. We need writers to contribute to our blog and our newsletter. Your article could be on any topic relevant to the NCSF mission. Please submit volunteer requests, ideas, and writing samples!
     
    Graphic Artists
    Calling all graphic artists! Let NCSF use your creative talents. We need graphic artists willing to contribute to the upcoming "NCSF 20th Anniversary Coloring Book."
     
    NCSF Advocates
    NCSF needs active, passionate people to spread the word about our organization. We need you to let people know about our resources, talk about us at your local events, staff tables and let us know what your local community needs from us. If you like to be social, active, and support our cause, please consider volunteering in this indispensable way.
     
    If any of these interest you, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  We need you!

     
    devin dore
    NCSF Board member Devin representing at Dore Alley 2016
     
     

    Incident Reporting & Response - 3rd 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 July, August and September. This is up from only 20 requests in the 2nd quarter, and similar to the two previous quarters which had 31 and 28 requests.

    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 3rd Quarter of 2016:

    Criminal

    There were 11 requests for resources and information involving criminal law (up from 7 in the 2nd Quarter).  5 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault/sexual assault or harassment who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services and/or resources to educate law enforcement. 4 people needed a defense attorney due to sexual assault/assault charges involving BDSM. 1 person needed an attorney to defend against fraud charges and another was facing charges for posting photos without permission to their FetLife account.

    Child Custody

    There were 8 requests for resources and information regarding child custody, sharply up from no requests last quarter. 6 involved disputed child custody, with 4 involving polyamory and 2 BDSM (2 of these parents lost custody at least temporarily due to BDSM in one case and poly in the other). There were also 2 requests involving polyamory adoption.  

    Groups

    There were 6 requests for help involving BDSM groups (5 request last quarter). Groups asked for advice on dealing with consent violations and liability issues: 3 were groups dealing with a serial predator, another group asked for advice on dealing with violations before they occur. 1 group was attacked by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation who sent a letter to the hotel protesting that they were hosting a BDSM conference - the hotel stood by the group and the conference was held. Another group is looking for Kink Aware Professionals to assist in volunteering at kink and sci fi events.

    Professional

    4 professionals asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services or in presenting on BDSM for their professional group. These included a nurse practitioner, a psychologist, and 2 clinical therapists.

    Civil

    2 requests: Someone requested help with FetLife after they removed her post accusing another member of sexual assault-we explained how to repost the information and how to provide the name privately. A kink aware professional needed help in removing his name from search engines after a media report outed him.

    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!
     
     

    A Letter from the Development Director for the CSPC, 
    Board member for the FSPC and NCSF, Allena Gabosch 
     
    Several months ago the  Center for Sex Positive Culture (CSPC) and the  Foundation for Sex Positive Culture (FSPC) joined forces to create a joint Consent Policy for our respective organizations.  This was prompted by several things, primarily because it was overdue and also because consent issues have become a very big part of the conversation here in the greater Seattle area.   After a lot of meetings and a whole bunch of editing this is what we came up with. 
     
    A Statement of Principle Regarding Consent and Handling Consent Violations
     
    At the Center and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture we talk a lot about consent and consensual activity. It's the cornerstone of our events, what we teach, and who we are. While that is easy to say, living it takes work, dedication, and a clear statement of how we view consent and its place in our organization.
     
    Our understanding of consent is this:
    • The act of getting consent is the act of making sure everyone involved in a given activity is able to give their ok, understands what's going on, and directly, consciously, and willingly chooses to engage in that activity.
    • The basics of consent are simple: Get full and informed consent, with awareness of the explicit and implicit consent you are using, before you engage in an activity with someone.
    • The application of consent is complex, emotional, and takes practice.
    We realize it is not enough simply to state that consent is important. To build a consent culture, we need to both talk about consent in detail and improve the safety of the people we serve. It is not enough to sit on the sidelines and watch as events unfold around us. It is our right and our responsibility to find better ways to talk about, explore, and protect consent.
     
    We recognize that we are, and should be, held to a high standard of understanding and enforcing consent. This statement and associated policy and procedure documents are the culmination of our current discussions and understanding. We have taken our knowledge and help from other organizations to craft it as best we're able to in the moment. These are living documents and will grow and change as we learn and understand more.
     
    Even though we have more to learn it's important that we stand up for this complex and exciting concept. Consent is something we need to make a better world, both for ourselves and for you. Let's get started.
    Read the rest here:  https://thefspc.org/policies/
     
    Sar Surmak, an FSPC board member and the driving force in creating this policy, is currently working on a workshop to teach others how to create such a policy, which we hope to make available to other organizations soon.
    Please contact me for information on the workshop or the policy. 
     
    Allena Gabosch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
    (Development Director for the CSPC, board member for the FSPC and NCSF)
     
     

     
    NCSF Thanks! 3rd Quarter 2016

    Thank You to Dick Cunningham and Judy Guerin for donating $3,500 to support NCSF's Consent Summit in Seattle in April!

    NCSF Coalition Partner, Boydy's Crazy Consensual Concepts says, "I am donating 7% of my profit just because NCSF is a great cause. I consider NCSF to be an incredibly important thing to have around. :-)" Thank you, Boydy!

    NCSF Coalition Partner, Adventures in Sexuality, raised $345 for NCSF at their COPE event in September in Ohio.

    NCSF thanks The 15 Association of San Francisco for donating $100 in the name of their brother who they recently lost.

    NCSF thanks all of these generous donors who enable our 
    all-volunteer staff to continue our projects to end discrimination.
     
     

     
    Modern Sexuality: The Truth About Sex and Relationships 
    By Michael Aaron

    Human sexuality today stands at the crossroads between biological diversity and social conformity, and a battle between the two rages in the media, in social institutions, and in our daily lives. As a sex therapist, Michael Aaron witnesses this struggle each and every day as it plays out on his therapy couch. Modern Sexuality: The Truth About Sex and Relationships examines how biology and society collide head-on in the realm of human sexuality. Here, Aaron carefully and convincingly debunks some of the most commonly held beliefs about sexuality - that it is learned and can be changed; that "abnormal" sexual behavior is pathological; that healthy sexuality involves intimacy; that intimacy is the same to everyone; and that sexuality must have a clearly defined purpose. 

    Using groundbreaking brain-imaging studies and cutting- edge psychological insights, Modern Sexuality presents the overwhelming case for sexual diversity including orientation, non-traditional relationships, and even specific fantasies and kinks. In a world where sexual "outsiders" battle for acceptance, this work helps to explore the variety of sexual expressions from a normative standpoint, helping readers to understand that their own desires and those of others can happily exist on the same continuum.
     
     
    Michael Aaron
     
     

     
    by Dr. Marty Klein
     
    "What do you suppose would happen if the whole country were flooded with free porn?"

    What sounded like a crazy idea in the 1980s became a reality just a few years later. We now know exactly what would happen.

    In the year 2000, broadband internet brought free, high-definition pornography into virtually every home in America. Still reeling from the world-changing invention of the internet, America was unprepared for 24/7 porn.

    This led to a predictable cascade of problems, which are still with us: consumers having trouble regulating their use. Couples arguing about it. People misunderstanding its fundamental fictions. Parents worried about what their kids are learning from it.

    Of course, professionals are expected to pick up the pieces: Marriage counselors, child psychologists, mediators, clergy, physicians. Sometimes, unfortunately, law enforcement. And all are trying to do so without the training, models, tools, or support they need.

    In a country deeply conflicted about sexuality, the new supersized version of porn triggered another one of America's periodic moral panics. Remember comic books, early rock 'n' roll, satanic ritual abuse, snuff films? All were the focus of intense public concern, none were ultimately dangerous, and some didn't even exist. Nevertheless, moral entrepreneurs and anti-sex activists saw 24/7 porn as an opportunity to frighten and anger people-while enriching and empowering themselves.

    Predictably, there are now many popular myths about porn that are simply not true-but which are incredibly sticky, difficult to dislodge or even discuss honestly. Here are some common myths, along with some helpful facts.

    * Myth: Most porn is violent or misogynist.

    There's no lack of people claiming that most or all porn is violent, deviant, and woman-hating.

    And it's not hard to find such imagery. But it's a tiny fraction of the universe of porn out there. True, a tiny fraction of a huge number is a big number. But let's remember that most porn isn't violent, and that most people don't want to watch violent porn.

    What most porn consumers watch is friendly, smiling people doing friendly, sexy things together. This is the porn that is most readily available. Much of it follows a familiar formula: undress, oral sex, intercourse. Gladly undress, delighted to have oral sex, satisfied with intercourse. Realistic? Not especially. Violent? Definitely not.

    And yet moral entrepreneurs like Concerned Women of America, anti-sex-work activists like Melissa Farley, and academic bullies like Gail Dines deliberately spread lies every week about the content of porn. They're saying that 50 million American husbands, brothers, and sons are consuming images of sexual savagery every week. Does that sound like the guy you know?
     
    * Myth: Fantasy is a reflection of desire, and predicts behavior

    Everyone knows that fantasy has very little predictive value in life-except when the subject is sexuality. We all fantasize about strangling our boss, yet no one fears they'll actually do it. We all fantasize about selling all our stuff and moving to Tahiti, yet no one fears doing it. But when someone enjoys fantasizing about threesomes, or sex in public, or being sexually coerced by a regiment of Marines, too many people are frightened that this could somehow "lead" to the real activity.

    Pornography is a compendium of human fantasy. Not desire-fantasy. Not behavior-fantasy. Humans like consuming sexual images of the forbidden, the risky, the scary, the chaotic, the dirty, the glamorous.

    When activists criticize the content of porn as perverse or deviant, their surprise is disingenuous. Exactly what would anyone expect to be the content of porn-the wholesome, the clean, the safe, the predictable? That's what fantasy is designed to escape from. That's what most people already have in their sex lives. And if the scary and risky is too, well, scary and risky, fantasy is a perfect place to vicariously "experience" it.

    That's why it's short-sighted to refer to "gay porn" and "straight porn"-there's just porn. True, there's porn depicting same-gender sex and porn depicting other-gender sex (although there's a lot of porn featuring both). But it's all just imagery that people find exciting.

    Every week someone comes into my office worried that they're watching the "wrong" kind of porn, or worried about the "meaning" of the porn they enjoy. "I'm straight, why do I enjoy watching gay sex?" "I'm a feminist woman, why do I like watching women being tied up?"

    We are a kinky species, aren't we? With all due respect to those Freudians who think dreams have meaning, fantasies have very little meaning for most people. We're stimulated by what stimulates us. Sometimes that changes over time, sometimes not.

    Even St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for the content of his dreams. We don't have a record about how he felt about his fantasies.

    * Myth: Porn causes people to abandon their sexual relationships

    Here's a story I never hear: "I used to enjoy eating, then I watched a bunch of cooking shows, and now I've lost interest in eating." Similarly, no one leaves a vibrant sexual relationship with an actual person for the pleasures of masturbating to images. That would make no sense.

    What does exist is many, many people struggling with sexual dissatisfaction. Maybe the problem involves boredom and routine. Maybe it's the accumulation of years of hurt and resentment. Maybe it's a dramatic gap in sexual preferences, or levels of desire. Maybe it's alcohol or one person being really selfish.

    And did I mention boredom and routine?

    Many, many people experience the collapse of their sexual relationship. And especially in long-term relationships where both are committed to staying, very few people want to discuss this collapse. Most people would much rather argue about porn than talk honestly about sex.

    People rarely complain about their mate's porn watching when they're enjoying a healthy sexual relationship. Very few people in rich sexual relationships fear that porn will steal their mate away-because they know exactly what their real-life sexual relationship offers.

    But when the sex has collapsed, it's easy for someone to point to Demon Porn as the "reason" things have gone bad-that porn "stole" their mate.  

    No real sexual relationship offers the perfection, the total control, the infinite variety, or the level of fantasy that masturbation to porn does. But that's all pretty weak stuff compared to the touch of another human, the anticipation of a kiss, the look in someone's eyes while we're climaxing. When real sex lacks those, masturbation to porn looks like a reasonable second choice. But it's rarely someone's first choice if other things are available.

    All professionals who deal with porn-related complaints need to look beyond the porn component and explore what else is going on in the situation. The porn use can be distracting to us-but we need the self-discipline to look for the context of the porn use, and the wider sexual ecology of the person or couple in front of us. Only then can we be truly helpful in this age of PornPanic.

    * * *

    For more about pornography, PornPanic, and Porn Literacy, see Dr. Klein's new book,  His Porn, Her Pain: Confronting America's PornPanic With Honest Talk About Sex.

    * * *

    Dr. Marty Klein is a Certified Sex Therapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Policy Analyst. The award-winning author of 7 books, he is named by Wikipedia as a key figure in America's controversy about sex addiction.
     
     

    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:
    The Softer Side of S&Mfrom Advocate
     
    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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here
     

    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Countsand members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!
     
     
    Written on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 00:43 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 232 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2016
    Written by

    NCSF Newsletter
    2nd Quarter, 2016
    edited by Julian Wolf

     

    In this Issue

    NCSF at the AASECT Annual Conference
    Consent Month In September
    Get NCSF's latest pamphlet on Trauma
    Incident Reporting & Response
    The Sexual Freedom Resolution
    NCSF Thanks!
    Do Not Sit In Silence, a Response to #StandWithOrlando
    Guest Blog
    Media Updates
    Representing on FetLife


     

    NCSF at the AASECT Annual Conference
     
    NCSF was proud to exhibit at the AASECT Annual Conference: Putting the Pieces Together - Inclusivity in Practice which took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico from June 8-12. Susan Wright presented Consent 201: Consent and its Discontents with Russell Stambaugh, PhD, DST, CSTS and NCSF Advocate for Kink Aware Professionals. The Consent 201 workshop highlighted data from NCSF's Consent Violation Survey (2015).
     
    Susan also presented NCSF's BDSM and Intimate Partner Violence Training, which has been presented over 35 times so far in 2016 by Ashley Haymond and Susan Wright via Skype for social workers, counselors and therapists. NCSF is in the process of obtaining AASECT CEUs for the BDSM and IPV Training.
     
    Jim Fleckenstein spoke about polyamory at the Alt Sex SIG Roundtable: Evolution of Alternative Sexuality: Evolving Facts and New Perspectives to Help You Build Inclusivity with Your Sexually Expansive Clients. The co-presenters were Lori Michels, LMFT, S-PSB, CST; Tammy Nelson, PhD, CIT, LPC, LADC, CST, CSTS; Tamara Pincus, MSW, CST; and Anna Randall, MSW, MPW, DHS, ACS.
     
    As usual, NCSF staff members attended the AASECT Alt Sex SIG munch on Friday evening and spoke to professionals who were kink-friendly as well as those who were interested in finding out more about BDSM and non-monogamy. NCSF is looking forward to AASECT's 49th Annual Conference next year in Las Vegas, NV!
    AASECT
    NCSF Spokesperson Susan Wright and Membership Coordinator Kelly Beaton at AASECT

    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.

    ConsentMonth.com

    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!

    Return to top


    Get NCSF's latest pamphlet on Trauma

    This Trauma pamphlet is intended to help both survivors of traumatic experiences and the people around them. Community organizers have been asking NCSF for more information on how people react when they're traumatized and how they can better help their own members. So we worked with over a dozen kink aware professionals to create this pamphlet:


    You don't have to go it alone. NCSF trains local victim services on BDSM vs. abuse. Call your local rape crisis hotline or contact NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response for help for you or a friend at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 917-848-6544.
     
     

    Incident Reporting & Response - 2nd Quarter 2016 report
    By Susan Wright
    Director of IRR

    NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 20 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in April, May and June. This is a drop from last two quarters (31 and 28 requests). This continues a downward trend in requests 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 2nd Quarter of 2016:
     
    Criminal
        There were 7 requests for resources and information involving criminal law.  2 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. 1 person needed an attorney to help keep a restraining order in place. There were 4 requests from defendants for educational resources and referrals for kink aware professionals to serve as expert witness.
     
    Groups
        There were 5 requests for help involving BDSM groups. Groups asked for advice on dealing with consent violations: 1 group was dealing with a serial predator, another group with an educator who has been banned by nearby groups, while 2 groups needed advice on how to deal with violations before they occur. 1 group was dealing with zoning issues.
     
    Civil
        There were 4 requests for help with civil matters, an upturn in requests. 2 involved getting attorneys to write cease & desist letters in regards to threats to out them by posting photos from FetLife. 1 involved a woman threatened with a lawsuit for speaking out against a man who defrauded her. 1 person needed a legal form.
     
    Professionals
        Three professionals asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services. These included a sex therapist, a psychologist and a lawyer.
     
    Discrimination
        There was 1 case of discrimination this quarter. A woman needed help explaining kink for a job in social work.
     
    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    Please join now or  donate to support NCSF's direct services!
     
     

    Join over 40 National Associations, Groups and Professionals who have signed the Sexual Freedom Resolution!

    "I absolutely endorse sexuality as a human right and social justice as the best framework for seeking that, so I am thrilled to sign the sexual freedom resolution," says Elizabeth Sheff, Ph.D. CASA, CSE.

    The Sexual Freedom Resolution is a stand against discrimination by professionals in the field of sexuality and sexual health. This Resolution can be submitted to civil, criminal and family courts by people who are stigmatized because of their sexual expression in order to help them get a fair trial on the merits of their case. We encourage organizations that serve mental and health professionals to sign onto this resolution, as well as educational groups and Kink Aware Professionals.

    To sign on, go to: www.ncsfreedom.org/sfr

    Sexual Freedom Resolution

    Working within the framework of social justice and human rights, we support the right of freedom of sexual expression among consenting adults. We affirm that sexual expression is central to the human experience, that this right is central to overall health and well-being, and that this right must be honored. We support the right to be free from discrimination, oppression, exploitation and violence due to one's sexual expression.

    The best contemporary scientific evidence finds that consenting adults who practice BDSM, fetishes, cross-dressing and non-monogamy can be presumed healthy as a group. We believe that any sexuality education or therapies that treat sexual problems must avoid stigmatizing or pathologizing these forms of sexual expressions between fully informed consenting adults.

    As professionals in the field of sexuality and sexual health, we actively seek to destigmatize consensual sexual expression and sexual practices among consenting adults, as well as to help create and maintain safe space for those who have been traditionally marginalized. 

    Signed by:

    National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
    AASECT (American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists)
    CARAS (Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) 
    Center for Positive Sexuality
    Projects Advancing Sexual Diversity (PASD)
    Science of BDSM Research Team
    TASHRA (The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance)
     
    And more! Go to www.ncsfreedom.org/sfr to see who has signed on.
     

    NCSF Thanks! 2nd Quarter 2016

    NCSF thanks our Coalition Partner, New England Leather Alliance, for donating $3,216 from their Winter Fetish Fair Fleamarket held on President's Day weekend in Warwick, RI. NELA traditionally donates $1 per attendee from their fair as their annual Coalition Partner fundraiser for NCSF. This year, the attendance jumped to nearly 3,200 people from 2,000 in previous years, so NELA added an extra $16 for the year 2016, making it a grand total of $3,216.

    NCSF thanks our Coalition Partner, Board of Education, for donating $1,076 on May 3rd from their annual CP fundraiser held in March.

    Thank you to our Coalition Partner, Center for Sex Positive Culture, for donating $1,066.65 on May 4th from the proceeds of the NCSF Consent Summit held on April 23rd. An additional $108 donation was donated by our Coalition Partner, the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture in July.

    NCSF would like to thank Marc Depaul, a long time supporter of the coalition, for donating $500 to the NCSF Foundation in May.

    NCSF thanks our Coalition Partner, Adventures in Sexuality, for donating $390 raised as their annual CP fundraiser at Winter Wickedness in February.

    NCSF thanks our Coalition Partner Riverbound in the Quad Cities in Illinois and Iowa for donating $300 in June. The funds were raised at the end of April at Riverbound's first annual vendor fair, held in Davenport, Iowa, where close to 20 vendors displayed wonderful lifestyle items from whips, embossed leather paddles and straps to collars, floggers, and lifestyle t-shirts. 

    Thank you to BASSN (Boston Area Sexuality Spirituality Network) for donating $200 to the NCSF membership group in April.

    The EPIC Lifestyle Conference earmarked 25% of the lunch and dinner costs on Sunday of their May 12-16 weekend event in the Poconos, and donated a total of $160 to NCSF.

    Coalition Partner, NOBLE, donated $90 in April as their CP fundraiser by holding a raffle of prize baskets to benefit NCSF.

    Coalition Partner, Le Bon Temps, donated $123 in May from their yearly raffle that benefits NCSF.

    NCSF thanks all of these generous donors who enable our all-volunteer staff to continue our projects to end discrimination.
     

    Do Not Sit In Silence, a Response to #StandWithOrlando

    I am queer, polyamourus, genderqueer, I am not a Christian, and I like to go dancing. I have had violence threatened against me, I have lost work, I have had incredible opportunities, great loves, and I have chosen not to live in the closet. What happened in Orlando, and so frequently on a smaller scale so many places, could have happened here. It could have happened to us. It did happen to our extended family. Do not allow hate speech to happen in your presence. Call out aggression. Don't sit in silence glad it didn't happen to you.

    Days after the tragedy in Orlando I had two conversations that we shouldn't have to have in this day and age. (Spoiler alert, the conversations went well and there have been good steps made toward eliminating hate in a small subset of a rather backwards part of our country.) I was tired, in the midst of my move and against my better judgement I asked the patriarch of my family of origin (FOO) if his (very conservative) church prayed for the victims on Sunday. He said that they didn't as it was early and no one really knew what was happening. That actually made sense, so I accepted it but didn't drop the subject. I then started talking to him about what happened. The news he watches hadn't reported it was Latin night at gay club. He'd heard it was at a gay club elsewhere, but no one mentioned it was Latin night. He knew that "guys and gals" (to use his words) had been killed, and we talked some about the people- parents, siblings, mothers... and how scared so many people are. I brought up that the shooter was blatantly homophobic, and this was an act of homophobia, and likely racist. He brought up that "ISIS hates everyone that isn't like them" and I pointed out that as of yet there are no proof that he actually was involved with ISIS, but there was that he was homophobic. Targeting Latin night at a gay club during gay pride month was likely not coincidental. We talked about how sad this is, and since there are kids in the house, I asked him to add the victims and their families to the prayers that they'll say at dinner. He agreed without hesitation. The fact that there will be kind words said for queer people at the place where I was told that anything other than heteronormative Christian monogamy was an unforgivable sin is profound. 

    I called my sister's eldest and we talked about what happened. He didn't know it was Pride month, or a gay club much less Latin night. We talked about why I have been trying to weed micro-aggressions out of him and his sibling's speech. Why we don't say something weak is "girly" or something bad is "gay." They are POC (people of colour) and we talked about why we don't joke about it in groups, because someone else might not be strong enough to know the difference and be harmed. We talked about the fact that transgender people are murdered more than anyone else and why it keeps happening. We discussed that GLBTQ (and what those letters mean) people kill themselves more than anyone else, and it's in part because people allow hate speech around them. We talked about how when someone went to Jesus and bitched about a woman having extramarital sex Jesus said "Dude, not cool. Stop being a dick." (And that I paraphrased that story from the bible, but he knew the story, John Chapter 8 from the New Testament if you're curious.) We talked about the fact that the message of Jesus was not one of hate, but of love and it's anyone's job who is Christian to have the back of anyone who is being bullied. (I seem to know more about Christianity than a lot of his friends who identify as such.) We talked about the difference that we can make as individuals with our own choices. We then chatted about movies, working out and before we said goodbye I told him that I wanted him to be the best man- no the best person that he could possibly be, and yes, I phrased the statement as a correction just like that. This is a start.
     
    These are steps. If you can open a door that had previously been sealed shut, even if it's just a inch, please consider it. If you can ask someone to acknowledge that hate is not acceptable, please do. If you can ask someone if someone like me(/you/your friend/those people) deserves to die because of their sexuality or the color of their skin, do. Allow people to start considering if hate is what they want to grow in their hearts or if they want to start making room to consider that maybe it isn't ok that our people are dying on our soil because we're allowing - even encouraging - people to hate. Yes, other things need to change, but a difference you can make right now is start opening doors that used to be closed due to ignorance and/or hate. Not many people are going to be glad that so many people died so horribly over the weekend- help people consider what they can do to make it never happen again. I don't know how to grieve in a comfortable way. I only know how to work and keep fighting. Please, grieve. Please, work. Please, fight. Make changes, even small ones, to make the world safer for everyone.
     

    Guest Blog: Top Three Considerations when Coming Out as Polyamorous
    by Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, CASA, CSE
    CEO, Sheff Consulting
     
    Why?
    A few reasons people choose to come out are:Increased intimacy - Hiding important relationships means closing off parts of your life, and being honest about significant things allows greater authenticity and emotional connection.
     
    Explanation for person in social environment - Sometimes people in poly relationships that have become serious and entail more involvement in their lives decide to come out to both explain the presence of the person/people and acknowledge the importance of the relationship(s).
     
    Being outed by an event or person - When someone else threatens to out a poly person, sometimes taking control of the situation and outing themselves
     
    Political belief - As amply demonstrated by LGBT activists, it is difficult to take political space and organize for rights without a visible and recognizable presence in society. The more poly people who come out, the more visible polyamory is, and the more likely it is that poly communities will be able to gain rights for their constituents.
     
    Not - If there is no real reason to come out, reconsider doing so if you are vulnerable. That vulnerability might be to losing custody of your children, losing your job, losing connections with your family and friends, or losing your housing. These things can happen when people come out as poly, so think carefully before deciding if the risks of coming out are worth the benefits.
     
    How?
    Although the idea of coming out is politically important and some people feel compelled to be scrupulously honest with the others in their lives, most people should use caution when coming out because be identified as a sex or gender minority can be dangerous and should be done cautiously. A few of the ways to do so cautiously include:
     
    Selective disclosure - Tell the people who are important and need to know that you have a poly relationship, but let them know this is sensitive information that they should not share with others until you are ready. If you are not sure if someone is safe to tell, then consider using a "litmus" question such as how that person feels about same-sex marriage or something like that. Their reaction could give you information about how they might react to the news of polyamory.
     
    Matter of fact, not dramatic - If you present the information as a matter of daily life and not a cataclysmic announcement, others will be more likely to take it as a regular piece of news. Presenting it as normal part of your life can help others accept it as normal for you as well.
     
    Private setting - In case you or the person you tell has a strong reaction to your coming out news, consider a setting that allows some conversational privacy.
     
    Preparation
    Once you have decided to come out, prepare yourself. Think about what you are going to say, and plan ahead with your partners. Use the resources below to educate yourself and those to whom you are coming out.
     
    NCSF has a resource library filled with information for activists, lawyers, people concerned with consent, mental health, and professionals knowledgeable about polyamory and BDSM.
     
    Other websites such as Loving MoreOpening Up, and More Than Two
     
    I have written three books that would be very helpful to people coming out as polyamorous. The first one, The Polyamorists Next Door (2014), reports on my 15 year study of poly families with children and is best suited for using when coming out to social workers, lawyers, school counselors, doctors, and other professionals.  Stories from the Polycule (2015), my second book, is an edited volume of stories written by poly people themselves and is best suited for coming out to younger family members, friends, and open minded people or people with shorter spans of attention. My most recent book,  When Someone You Love is Polyamorous (2016), is a short introduction to polyamory and best suited for dear friends and family members who are older, more conservative, or might be afraid that polyamory might be a bad thing for their loved ones.
     
    Dr. Elisabeth Sheff is an expert witness, relationship coach, writer, and academic consultant. She is touring the East and West coasts for the release of her third book this fall, you can find her schedule here. There is still some room in the tour for more engagements, so if you want to book Dr. Sheff to speak to your group, contact her directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     

    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:
    The Softer Side of S&Mfrom Advocate
     
    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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here
     

    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Countsand members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!
     
     
    Written on Thursday, 03 November 2016 22:57 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 260 times
  • Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2016
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    1st Quarter, 2016
    edited by Julian Wolf

    In this Issue
     

    Join the Consent Summit online on April 23rd
     
    Watch a live feed of the Keynote Speech, Plenary and Panels, and ask questions or make comments via the chat function. RSVP to register for free online viewing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    DevNL1stqThe 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
     
    CSPC Logo
     

     
    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.

    Scholarships are available - please contact NCSF to find out more - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    Summit


    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. 

    ConsentMonth.com 

    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!

    Return to top

     


     

    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:

    Criminal
        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.  

    Groups
        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.

    Professionals
        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.

    Child Custody/Divorce
        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.

    Discrimination
        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.

    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!
     

     

     


     
    Coalition Partner Corner 
    featuring 
    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.

    Here is the SVC website if you'd like to take a look.   http://www.sexualviolencecenter.org/
     
    Coalition Corner is where we like to feature different Coalition Partners and share what they do with the rest of our constituents. Would you like to be featured? Contact Julian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     

    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.

    Return to top


    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to top


    See our list of Coalition Partners at the NCSF website
     
    Are you a CP Representative? Make sure we have your updated information by emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
     

    Interested in a specific story or in writing an article?
    email Julian: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     

    Written on Thursday, 11 August 2016 23:03 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 284 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2015
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    4th Quarter, 2015
    edited by Julian Wolf
     
     

    In this Issue

    Save the Date for the NCSF Coalition Partner Meeting!

    Message from the Chair

    Save the Date for the NCSF Consent Summit!

    Incident Reporting & Response

    NCSF sponsors BDSM Writers Con

    Results of Mental & Emotional Health Study

    NCSF Thanks!

    Daily Flogger Satire

    Media Updates

    Representing on FetLife


    Save the Date for the NCSF Coalition Partner Meeting!

    NCSF's Annual Coalition Partner Meeting will take place March 4-6, 2016, in San Jose, CA.

    "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 are looking forward to gathering in Silicon Valley with our Coalition Partners to continue the good work of NCSF."

    Friday, March 4th - Coalition Partner representatives Meet & Greet - 7-9 pm
    Saturday, March 5th - Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting - 9-5pm
    Sunday, March 6th - Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting - 9-noon
    Sunday, March 6th - Consent Counts Discussion - 1-3pm

    Location:

    Fairfield Inn & Suites San Jose Airport
    1755 North First Street San Jose, CA 95112

    You may make reservations by calling the reservation line at 1-800-228-2800 or make online reservations: Book your group rate for NCSF

    $104 - $124 on March 4-5
    $220 for additional nights on March 3 or March 6 (15% off of the published rate)

    NCSF staff, Board members and Coalition Partner reps are also invited to San Francisco's Leather Alliance Weekend events taking place throughout the weekend. Saturday evening is the Mr. SF Leather Contest - let us know if you're interested in attending. San Francisco is about an hour away from San Jose. http://leatherallianceweekend.org/


    Message from the Chair
    By Kevin Carlson

    It's been a positive year for the NCSF. We have crossed several items off our list, including a membership database system that works great! (If you're not a member or need to renew, go to www.ncsfreedom.org/membership today.) Our latest survey was published which you can view here: www.ncsfreedom.org/surveyresults, and we started working with the American Law Institute to revise the Model Penal Code on sexual assault. Read more on this exciting project here www.ncsfreedom.org/images/stories/ALI/ALI_article.pdf. This are just a few of our accomplishments. GO TEAM!

    Looking around the corner, we have our NCSF Annual Business Meeting with our Coalition Partners on March 5-6 in San Jose. Our Coalition Partner, smOdyssey, will sponsor the meeting where our CPs come together to outline our course and direction for the next year and beyond. If you have something you want to suggest, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    We are also hosting, in conjunction with the Center for Sex Positive Culture and the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, our first ever all day long Consent Summit with a Keynote lunch and a variety of classes to select from on April 23rd.

    And don't forget about Consent Month in September! Ask your group to plan a workshop to take place in September and let us know so we'll put it on our Consent Month Calendar.

    Look for us around the country this year at an event near you. You're always invited to stop by our table and say "Hi!" If you want to book us for your event, just contact us and we will work to make it happen.

    We are looking forward to another year of positive growth and achievements. See you soon!

    Kevin Carlson
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Save the Date for the NCSF Consent Summit!
     
    April 23rd at the Center for Sex Positive Culture in Seattle, WA
    in association with the Erotic Arts Festival
     
    The Consent Summit is an all-day event of workshops and discussions on consent

    Incident Reporting & Response - 4th Quarter 2015 report
    By Susan Wright
    Director of IRR

    NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 28 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in October, November and December. 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 4th quarter of 2015:

    Criminal

    There were 9 requests for resources and information involving kink and criminal law. 5 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault/sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services, and resources to educate law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. There were 3 requests for resources and for referrals for kink aware expert professionals from people accused of consent violations. 1 request involved photographs taken from FetLife.

    Groups

    There were 8 requests for help involving BDSM and Lifestyle groups. 4 groups asked for advice on dealing with consent violations: 2 were dealing with members who committed consent violations and 2 were getting advice on how to deal with any violations that may occur. 2 groups asked for assistance in setting up a club, dealing with zoning and local authorities and insurance. 2 groups faced media harassment.

    Child Custody/Divorce

    There were 5 child custody cases in the last three months. 2 requests involved a professional dominatrix fighting a Child Protective Services investigation. 1 request involved polyamory and 1 involved both polyamory and BDSM. 1 case involved photos taken from FetLife that were brought into family court to expose the parent's involvement with kink.

    Professionals

    4 professionals asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services. These included therapists, teachers and graduate students.

    Discrimination

    Like last quarter, there were only 2 cases of discrimination this quarter. There was a probate case involving kink, and another person was discriminated against by her doctor when she tried to get a rape kit done.

    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!

     


     

    NCSF sponsors BDSM Writers Con 
    March 31-April 3
    Everett, Washington
     
    NCSF has sponsored and presented at the BDSM Writers Con in New York for two years.  Now in its fourth year, this spring the conference is expanding to the West Coast. On March 31st through April 3rd, the conference is being held in Everett, Washington. The conference educates writers and readers about the reality of BDSM and how our communities function, including the importance of consent. If you are an author, want to be an author or are an avid reader of BDSM, you should attend. We've seen a change in how many of the authors treat BDSM in their fictions since attending this conference. Joey W. Hill, a bestselling award-winning author, included NCSF in her recent book acknowledgement for Soul Rest. NCSF believes this is an important way for us to influence public opinion in a positive way. And, the writers always do fundraising for NCSF to support our important work.
     
    This is a very fun and interesting conference and we highly encourage our supporters to attend. In addition to a weekend package, they have day passes for $99, a great dungeon party/ball on Saturday night open to non-conference attendees, and a book signing and meet the authors that are free and open to the public on Sunday. The dungeon party will be held at the conference hotel and the hotel is offering a special room rate of $65 for those who want to attend and stay the night
     
    Check it out at www.bdsmwriterscon.com. We hope to see you there!

    Results of NCSF Mental & Emotional Health Study

    University of Alabama and University of Central Florida researchers surveyed over 800 kinky people recruited by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) and found they were mentally and emotionally healthy. Click here to see the study.
     
    "I was curious about the stereotypes from a mental health standpoint and we found that these kinky people are well functioning, with little mental health concerns," says Tess M. Gemberling, M.A., Co-Principal Investigator, University of Alabama. "They also have healthy romantic relationships."
     
    The study, "Psychological Functioning and Violence Victimization and Perpetration in BDSM Practitioners from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom," also investigated people's preferences for BDSM activities and fantasies, and explored whether violence is perpetuated against kinky people. It joins a growing body of research that refutes the stereotype that people who are kinky are inherently dangerous to themselves and others, which is at the root of the discrimination and persecution that kinky people experience.
     
    "I wanted to explore more about how the stereotypes interface with reality," says Matt R. Nobles, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator, University of Central Florida. "Although more than half of the people in this study have been victims of violence or aggression, extremely few had perpetrated such themselves."
     
    In the study, 7.7% of participants reported they had been victims of a BDSM-based hate crime, while 10.2% of participants reported they had been victims of an LGBT-based hate crime.
     
    "Parallel to my work with sexual minorities, my interest is in looking at the nature of identity and mental health in a vulnerable group of people," says Robert J. Cramer, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator, University of Alabama. "Contrary to popular perceptions, our study shows kinky persons are largely mentally healthy when it comes to conditions such as depression, anxiety and suicide."
     
    The study also confirms that for these kinksters it's primarily about consensual power exchange, with 98% preferring to take a specific power exchange role during BDSM. The most commonly reported practices were spanking, slapping and biting, and the use of sexual toys and equipment.
     
    "Lawmakers can help by legally recognizing informed consent as the basis of healthy BDSM behavior," says Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF. "BDSM is intended to be a mutually beneficial experience that is done by consenting adults."

    NCSF Thanks!

    Coalition Partner, The Mark - CPI, donated $1,000 in October to NCSF.

    Coalition Partner, House of Two Wolves, donated $900 to NCSF from their fundraiser.

    Coalition Partner, Kink LINCS/ GLPW donated $819 to NCSF in December as their annual fundraiser.

    Dick Cunningham and Judy Guerin raised $652 for the NCSF Foundation at their annual Dark Odyssey Halloween party.

    T3WD held a fundraiser on behalf of the House of Decorum to raise funds for the Coalition Partner donation. They raised over $600 for the NCSF membership group.

    Coalition Partner, the DC Sub Club, raised $639 at the DC Sub Club Holiday Party to donate to NCSF.

    Coalition Partner, The New Mexico Leather League, donated $500 to NCSF in early January as their annual CP fundraiser.

    The winner of the 50/50 NCSF Fund Raiser was a first-time guest to F.L.O.G. in St. Louis named Kevin, who immediately donated his 50% prize ($160) back to the fund, giving NCSF a donation of $320.

    Coalition Partner, The Red Chair, donated $377 from their fundraiser in October.

    Coalition Partner, Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, raised $303.54 on September 25thin a combination workshop and play party, called "Consent On The Edge" with the tagline: "Be bold! Ask for what you want! An event celebrating Consent Month presented jointly by the Center and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture to benefit the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom."

    Thank you to Henry Reynolds for donating $100 to the NCSF.

    And thank you to Patrick Mulcahey for donating $100 to the NCSF Foundation!

    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 donating to NCSF!

    BDSMers Create First Kinky SuperPAC
    The Daily Flogger
    WASHINGTON, UTAH

    A group of enterprising kinksters have created KINKPAC, the worlds first BDSM themed political action committee.

    According to Master Sven, the PAC leader and spokesperson, the group will lobby for rights for kinksters, as well as provide funding for candidates who are BDSM-positive and promote "rights for sexual minorities."

    The response to KINKPAC from the BDSM community has been varied.  Almost immediately a second group formed KINKIERPAC, claiming that KINKPAC was "not edgy enough" and "needed to support more than just traditional kinks."

    Within a week, 3 other PACs were formed, including a PAC to eliminate all "kink-based" PACs based on the belief that "working inside the system is impossible for true sexual outlaws."

    According to Master Sven, the whole issue may actually be moot.  "Unfortunately no one in the community really has any money to donate.  We have received multiple offers from people for couches to sleep on if we are ever in their town and a donation of a dream catcher made of sticks and packing twine which was crafted at a class on pain and aura cleansing by a BDSM Shaman."

    According to one insider, KINKPAC faces internal struggles as well, as they have been unable to decide on an agenda for the upcoming election cycle.
     
    Read more at the Daily Flogger website.

    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.

     

    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to top


    See our list of Coalition Partners at the NCSF website
     
    Are you a CP Representative? Make sure we have your updated information by emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
     

    Interested in a specific story or in writing an article?
    email Julian: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     

    Written on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 14:20 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 233 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2015
    Written by

     

    NCSF Newsletter

    3rd Quarter 2015
    www.ncsfreedom.org
    edited by Julian Wolf


    In this issue

    NCSF Membership Drive a Success
    Incident Reporting & Response
    Winner of Consent Month Photo Contest
    Guest Blog - "What if You Get Squicked?"
    NCSF Thanks!
    Daily Flogger Satire
    Castle Treue's "Cigar, Bourbon, & Leather Evening Fundraiser"
    Coalition Corner: AIS
    Media Updates


    NCSF Membership Drive a Success!
    By BebeinStL

     

    As the plans for the coming year were laid out at the NCSF Coalition Partner's meeting this spring, everyone attending was asked what ideas they may have for boosting membership. On the spot, StL3, our coalition partner out of St Louis, MO, challenged two other coalition partners to a NCSF membership drive from their respective communities!

    For their drive, StL3 held a contest with a grand prize of free accommodations in their host hotel for StL3's fall event, Spanksgiving! Spanksgiving is always the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nov 20th - 22nd. Rooms at the host hotel for StL3's events have sold out in less than 24 hours from when registration has opened, making this a coveted prize! Joining NCSF as an individual membership netted 1 chance to the drawing. Enrollment as a Supporting Member netted 4 chances in the drawing + a NCSF T-shirt + free breakfast buffet at the event!

    And the winner was.... NCSF! Netting nearly 30 new memberships! Winner of the drawing was Veni_Vici on FetLife, giving her a free weekend stay for Spanksgiving! Congratulations! And thank you to all who participated and signed up for NCSF memberships during StL3's Membership Drive!

    Return to top


    Incident Reporting & Response - 3rd Quarter 2015 report
    By Susan Wright
    Director of IRR

     

    NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 56 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in July, August and September. 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 third quarter of 2015:

    Criminal
    There were 22 requests for resources and information involving kink and criminal law. In a sharp decline, only 3 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault/sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services, and resources to educate law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. We got 2 requests for information from witnesses who have been subpoenaed in a criminal trial. Another 3 were requests for referrals for kink aware expert witnesses in a criminal trial. 4 were requests for resources dealing with other kinds of crimes, and 1 involved sexual harassment because the person is kinky. 2 involved incarceration/parole violations. The remaining requests for information regarding criminal laws and kink/nonmonogamy did not involve charges being filed.

    Child Custody/Divorce
    There were 12 child custody cases in the last three months. One case involved a Child Protective Services investigation that involved polyamory - in all there were 5 requests for information from poly parents facing child custody challenges. There were 3 requests for information and referrals to kink aware attorneys involving BDSM and child custody, and another 3 involving divorce and kink - 2 of these involved outing due to FetLife photos.

    Groups
    There were 10 requests for help involving BDSM and swing groups. 5 groups asked for advice on dealing with consent violations. 4 groups asked for assistance in setting up a club or dealing with zoning and local authorities/media. 1 group had questions about liability regarding house parties.

    Media
    In an all-time low for NCSF, there was only 1 media incident this quarter. It involved a porn and sex ed convention in Dallas that was referred to us by Coalition Partner - they were getting attacked in the media for offering educational classes including some on the Lifestyle and BDSM.

    Professionals
    Six professionals asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services. These included victim services, therapists, teachers and researchers.

    Civil Law
    There were 3 cases involving civil law: 1 by a group of authors regarding Amazon discriminating against kinky covers on their books; and 1 who needed a referral to a kink aware attorney because of an outing on FetLife; and 1 pro domme who needed assistance.

    Discrimination
    In another all time low, there were only 2 cases of discrimination. There was an employment issue because of educating about ssc BDSM at adult health center, and another person needed a referral to a kink aware attorney to deal with school disciplinary action.

    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!

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    Winner of the Photo Contest for Consent Month!

    Thank you everyone for helping to celebrate Consent Month with NCSF and Arizona Power Exchange in September!

    The winner of our Photo Contest for Consent Month is jonsnowsdirewolf who submitted his photo "Consent" to the contest.

    Check it out! It's HOT!

    We look forward to celebrating Consent Month with you in September 2016!

     cmonth BW

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    Guest Blog - "What if You Get Squicked?"
    The Elephant in the Hot Tub
    By Russell Stambaugh

    For Kink Aware Professionals. Like everything on this blog, context matters. So if you find yourself acutely uncomfortable with a client's material, what you do depends on when, where, and how it comes up. Some of these suggestions will not be helpful in all contexts. Some even contradict each other. Apologies to Mies van der Rohe, who didn't first say 'The devil and God are both in the details.'

    Safety first, yours and theirs. Insofar as you can, do not back away from the material, and do not ask for details that you are not ready to hear and/or the client seems unready to discuss. You need the client to be able to observe their own responses, and for you to be listening to how it feels for them. Consent is critical in BDSM as it is in therapy. It is legitimate and often necessary to question the client about their consent when you reaction comes from ambiguity about whether they have agreed to whatever is disturbing you.

    Ask yourself why you or the client are so offended. If the behavior violates your core values, or you are unwilling to do the work in understanding it in the client's terms, maybe you need to refer the client out to someone who can. If the discomfort is primarily the client's, then it may be resolved through therapeutic discussion. While the typical condition of human existence may involve some ambivalence, acute and intolerable ambivalence is a proper subject of treatment. Raw, unprocessed and out of control feelings do not advance the therapeutic process, and are signs that it may be premature to discuss disturbing material.

    Give yourself permission to have your own feelings and do not rush to judge them a sign of inadequacy as a therapist. In order to use your own feelings in therapy, you must first have them and recognize them. Resolving countertransference is often a powerful resource in therapeutic change. It is often uncomfortable. Freud thought resolving transference was what therapy is all about, and countertransference was often how transference was first recognized. Even if you think your response is excessive, recognizing your feelings is the first step that can eventually lead to acting on them in ways that serve your client. If you have a strong therapeutic alliance with your client, any mistake you make is likely to be a point of learning for both of you, rather than ruin the treatment, if you deal with it honestly and directly.

    Ask yourself if understanding and discussing the squicked material is essential to the treatment goals. Often a client's kink is not central to the goals of therapy. If your client complains they are deeply troubled by their desire, obviously the details of their fantasies and actions are essential to understand. If they went to an event one time and had a bad reaction, you could be doing yourself and the client a favor to let the client vent as they need to, and return as soon as you can to the primary contract for treatment. And if you do not understand the relevance on any material, squicked or not, ask your client what connections they see. If neither of you see the relevance, let it go. One sure characteristic of treatment is that if you gloss over important issues, they will come up again, so if it is important, you are likely to get another good chance to discuss it.

    Get more information. This holds the promise of helping you clarify why you are uncomfortable, and possible increasing your understanding in ways that make your reaction more manageable. The question is often where to get good information. Be careful of using sources like porn and fantasy sites, where there is a strong stylistic tendency to exaggerate for effect. On-line sources - yes, I realize Elephant in the Hot Tub is one of those - vary in their objectivity and reliability. Different Loving 2ed by Brame, Brame and Jacobs is a reliable resource for starters. Look also at reliable sources on edge play. It is wise when doing this work to have colleagues whose opinions you trust. Sometimes professional listservs and forums can be helpful. Triangulate information from multiple sources, and don't simply cherry pick the information that suits your preconceptions. Do not take a poll on social media, or inadvertently out your client with specific information, even without names attached. Often edgy practices are rare or singular events, and public discussion creates the impression that people are being outed and confidentiality violated.

    If you have such contacts, ask others in the kink community about how similar material is treated there. In this, you are not looking for advice, but trying to understand the context, contracting, consent, and community reactions to it. Kink communities differ, have their own micro-cultures and house rules, and are not unfailingly accepting or nonjudgmental. But understanding uncomfortable behavior in the likely context of the kink community can help you frame your own reaction, and perhaps, the client's.

    Know your strengths and limits. That knowledge is crucial in deciding which of the strategies listed here are most applicable to any specific case. In the Goode Olde Days, therapists had 5 years of psychoanalysis to deepen their self-understanding. That was good, but by no means a perfect assurance of self-knowledge. Nowadays you can practically get licensed by reading a few good books. Self-knowledge is fragile, but is also the best defense.

    Get quality supervision from someone who knows about the scary practices that are vexing you. That does not necessarily mean falling back on an old supervisor who is a fantastic clinician, helped in your training, but knows nothing about kink. It is generally unwise to try to clinic such cases on listservs where just anyone can chime in, both for reasons of confidentiality, and for reasons that people unfamiliar with such material are at risk of being made uncomfortable too, and may simply and unintentionally reflect widespread social prejudices. That may mean cultivating professional relationships ahead of time with people who have a wide familiarity with outliers among the populations you treat.

    If you think your own reaction violates your core values, or reflects incomplete work on your part, by all means return to psychotherapy. Being made uncomfortable by someone's material is ultimately a problem you can walk away from. Be made uncomfortable with your own material is not.

    Discuss your discomfort with an experienced and open client. This is their work too, and to the extent that they can cooperate in understanding together what your discomfort means, the client is an important resource. Ultimately, you are responsible for your feelings, but when they are a reflection of the client's conflicts, showing the client you are comfortable with discussing your own discomfort can be good role modeling, and help them achieve important insight. When you lack a trusting relationship and good working alliance, discussing your own discomfort can be disruptive and drive away a client. It is wise to out-refer to someone better able to help. If a client is gaming you in a way that feels manipulative, make sure that you take steps to ensure your own safety. BDSM edge play, that is play that is known to be more dangerous and transgressive in the kink community, is mostly unsafe to discuss with severely personality disordered clients and clients with weak observing egos.

    Therapy is a great way to fight social problems and social injustice in the world. But it operates under ethical guidelines that put the client first. Perhaps you can bring your own reaction into balance better by confronting some of the root problems that make you uncomfortable through teaching, advocacy, or direct social action and philanthropy better than through your psychotherapy with any one client. This is a special subset of my final suggestion:

    Make sure that you are adequately supported in the clinical work you are doing. This may include your primary and secondary relationships, your institutional setting, your fees, office, training and other aspects of the context of doing treatment. It may include proper organizational affiliations, and friends who do similar work. And it includes collecting referrals and biblioresources that support the psychotherapy you are doing. All of these factors make it easier to understand intense and/or unexpected client materials if they suddenly arise and help you use them to better serve your clients.

    That is a starter list, but it is far from exhaustive. Perhaps you can think of good coping strategies or additional resources I have left out. By all means, include them in the comments section.

    Resources:

    Finkelhor, D., Araji, S., Baron, L., Browne, A. Peters, S. D. & Wyatt, G. E. A Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse. Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc (1986). 276 p.

    Richters, J., De Visser, R. O., Rissel, C. E., Grulich, A. E., & Smith, A. (2008). Demographic and psychosocial features of participants in bondage and discipline, "Sadomasochism" or Dominance and Submission (BDSM): Data from a National Survey. The journal of sexual medicine, 5(7), 1660-1668.

    Andreas A.J. Wismeijer PhD, Marcel A.L.M. van Assen PhD: Psychological Characteristics of BDSM Practitioners. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 10, Issue 8, pages 1943-1952, August 2013.

    Patricia A. Cross PhD and Kim Matheson PhD in the book "Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures" (2006), published simultaneously as the Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 50, Nos. 2/3.)

    "Psychotherapeutic Issues with "Kinky" Clients: Yours and Their's" by Margie Nichols, PhD in Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures ed. P Klienplatz and C. Moser (2006) published simultaneously as the Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 50, Nos. 2/3.)

    2015 Russell J Stambaugh, Ann Arbor, Michigan. All rights reserved.

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    NCSF Thanks!

    New England Leather Alliance, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, donated $1,000 from their Fetish Fair Fleamarket #44, held in February 2015.

    Leather SINS, a Coalition Partner of NCSF donated $3,000 to NCSF from their recent Kinky Kollege conference in Chicago.

    De Giotto Rope, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, donated $150 from proceeds they raised at TES Fest in July in Piscataway, New Jersey.

    TES in New York City, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, donated $300 from the funds they raised with the Dunk Tank Contest at TES Fest over the 4th of July weekend in Piscataway, NJ.

    Dr. Elisabeth Sheff of the Sheff Consulting Group in Georgia donated $100 to the NCSF membership group.

    As part of The Tenth Anniversary Celebration of Nashville's and Middle Tennessee's Kink Community Center -- The Mark -- CPI raised $1000 at its Annual Vendor Fair this past September to support the NCSF. CPI/The Mark has proudly been an NCSF Coalition Partner since 2005, has hosted the NCSF Annual Meeting in 2013, currently serves as the printing/distribution center for NCSF print literature, and looks forward to another decade of symbiotic service.

    Castle Treue, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, raised over $1,000 at their "Cigar, Bourbon, & Leather Evening Fundraiser" in August in the Greater Cleveland area. (See Barak's story about the event in this newsletter!)

    Les Bon Temps in Mobile, Alabama, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, donated $303.50 raised at their Spring Fling.

    The BDSM Writers Con, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, raised $623 at their conference in August in New York City.

    Behind Closed Doors, an event sponsored by Arizona Baja Leather, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, raised $395 by passing the hat at their event in early October.

    AdventuresInSexuality.org (AIS), a Coalition Partner of NCSF, raised $600 at their recent COPE conference in Ohio (See Barak's story about the event in this newsletter!)

    Long time supporter and NCSF member, Marc DePaul, donated $1,500 to NCSF!

    We can't do it without your support. Thank you for joining NCSF!

    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!

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    Direct to NCSF members, courtesy of satirical BDSM webzine, The DailyFlogger
     
    Donald Trump Declared "Politician We'd Most Like To Beat"

    The Daily Flogger
    WASHINGTON, UTAH

    In a recent poll of BDSM practitioners likely to vote in this year's Republican primary, Donald Trump was found to be the politician that most BDSMers would either like to beat or see beaten (depending on their own proclivities).

    The results had Trump as a runaway favorite outpacing all other Republicans by a 10 to 1 margin, with Rick Perry and Rick Santorum each garnering 5% of the vote respectively. Trump received an impressive 90% of the vote and many felt compelled to write in their own suggestions for various tortures, with "sewing his mouth shut with a hungry rat inside" being the most common.

    Trump's camp did not return our calls, but it is reported that Trump himself referred to the BDSM community as "losers" and "total degenerate, mostly coming from Mexico."

    Read more at the Daily Flogger website.

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    Castle Treue's "Cigar, Bourbon, & Leather Evening Fundraiser"
    By Barak
    NCSF Coalition Partner Rep for AIS

    What a wonderful evening! While the gathering wasn't huge, it was just the right size. Small enough to be intimate and personal, but large enough to generate over $1000 for the NCSF! Approximately 30 people came out to the Castle Treue's Fundraiser. It was called "Cigar, Bourbon, & Leather Evening Fundraiser." And true to the title, there was much of all three.

    We made a weekend of it, packing up our motorcycles with several days of essentials, clothing, and gear. Starting fairly early, we spent the 2 days prior to the event, riding across and through the scenic secondary highways in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. But... that is fodder for another story.

    On the third day, we pulled up to Castle Treue, and were greeted warmly by our hosts, Master Eric and slave tender. As we were escorted into the bustling residence, we were quickly offered refreshment - even though we were quite early. The home was alive with activity. Apparently all the members of the Leather House were in attendance to serve and host. And Host they did!

    As the remainder of the attendees/guests arrived, each was made to feel welcome and comfortable. A quick announcement signaled the "start." The evening's events were summarized, and then the tastings began! With an admission donation, each person received three bourbon tickets and one cigar ticket. Each Bourbon ticket was good for a half ounce taste of a featured Bourbon. Full pourings of the favorite (or any) could be had for another donation.

    Next to the Bourbon, a large tray of cigars was displayed. For your cigar ticket, or another donation, you were invited to pick from the varied selection. One of the house members was there with cutters, and your cigar was prepared as you liked. A good smoke was most appreciated after a long day in the saddle - as was a small taste of the high quality spirits.
    Intermittently, Master Eric would pause the proceedings to auction off one of the numerous donations that the House had compiled. There was a wonderful Photography package, a travel basket, a handmade cigar and liquor roll, and many other wonderful auction items.

    With the entire proceeds being donated to the NCSF, it looked to be a generous evening.
    Background music was floating through the air, as we made friends, shared stories, and smoked good cigars. All too soon, it was 11pm. The announcement was made - but while the official event had come to a close, that didn't mean we would have to leave! We were all invited to stay as long as we wanted, but at 2am or so, the hosts would be going to bed...lol. Once again the hospitality of Castle Treue shined through the night.

    It was a pleasure to be invited to such a well-organized and intimate event. Personally, I want to thank Master Eric and slave tender and all the members of Castle Treue for such a wonderful evening. And as an NCSF Board member, I want to thank Castle Treue, and all the attendees, for your generosity and the donation of all the proceeds to the NCSF.

    Furthermore, I would like to welcome Castle Treue as a new NCSF Coalition Partner!

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    Coalition Corner: Spotlight on Adventures in Sexuality (AIS)

    Things have finally settled down and are back at the busy AdventuresInSexuality.org (AIS) pace. This gives us a moment to reflect on some fund raising for the NCSF. It was wonderful to have an NCSF presence at AIS Events, and The Central Ohio Perversion Excursion (COPE) was no exception. BebeBlueEyes kept the interest up at the NCSF table... and people were very curious about what the NCSF is doing now!

    During the closing announcements, there was a special drawing for the NCSF. The split was $279 for the winner and the same for the NCSF. AIS stepped in a matched the NCSF part, then rounded it up - to raise a total of $600 for the NCSF! We are pleased to be a fund-raising force for an organization that takes our sexual freedom seriously.

    AIS is tremendously pleased to be a Coalition Partner for the NCSF. We have directly benefited from their defense. While we hope not to need them in the future, we will continue to raise funds for the NCSF for those who will! We believe the assistance provided by the NCSF is invaluable for the kink/leather/alt sex communities. We are proud to support them!

    Peace
    Barak & Sheba
    Adventures In Sexuality, LLC.

    See our list of Coalition Partners at the NCSF website!

    Are you a CP Representative? Make sure we have your updated information by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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    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.


    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

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    See our list of Coalition Partners at the NCSF website
     
    Are you a CP Representative? Make sure we have your updated information by emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
     

    Interested in a specific story or in writing an article?
    email Julian: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    Written on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 14:50 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 1547 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2015
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    2ndt Quarter, 2015
    edited by Julian Wolf
     
    NCSF marriage

    In this issue

    Consent is a Defense

    Celebrate Consent Month in September!

    "A Taste of Kink" at the AASECT Annual Conference

    NCSF Thanks!

    Daily Flogger Satire

    The 2015 BDSM Writers Con

    NCSF celebrates Pride Month

    Incident Reporting & Response

    NCSF at IMsL

    Media Updates

    Representing on FetLife

     


     Consent is a Defense

    by Judy Guerin, Director of Consent Counts


    NCSF is delighted to announce an important new initiative as part of our Consent Counts project. In a nutshell, we have a great opportunity to take advantage of an effort by the American Law Institute (ALI) to change the portions of the Model Penal Code-which most states adopt as their criminal law-in a way that would greatly advance our campaign to decriminalize consensual BDSM.


    Here's what is going on. The American Law Institute is an independent body made up of influential lawyers from across the United States. The ALI analyzes legal issues and proposes model legislation (known as "codes" or "restatements") and recommends that states adopt that model legislation as their own law. This requires that each state legislature pass a bill that changes the state law, but most states have in the past adopted ALI model codes without significant changes.


    Currently the ALI is studying-and will ultimately recommend-changes in the Model Penal Code provisions relating to sexual assault. As you probably know, cases in which BDSM is prosecuted are now considered as criminal assault, rather than sexual assault. NCSF has always believed this to be unjust. In our view, BDSM is not an attack by one person against another (which is the premise of a criminal assault law). Rather, BDSM is intended to be a mutually pleasurable interaction between two people, in which any pain or stimulation that is consented to is welcomed by that person and is experienced as a form of pleasure.


    What the ALI originally set out to do in its current project had nothing to do with BDSM. Instead, their concern rose from the recent public discussion about sexual assault on college campuses and is intended to strengthen the requirement that all forms of sexual contact (from fornication to casual touching) have to be clearly consensual.

    In February, NCSF submitted comments to the ALI Committee that is working on sexual assault and related issues. We argued that the same emphasis on strengthening consent should be applied equally in the context of BDSM. We pointed out that the MPC's criminal assault provision allows consent as a defense unless serious injury is caused, but that in case law the courts and prosecutors moralistically have refused to apply that rule because they viewed BDSM simply as violence, not as sex or mutually pleasurable activity.

    We urged the ALI Committee to treat BDSM under a category they define as "sexual contact" even if there is no contact with the breasts or genitals.  Under the ALI's draft proposal, "sexual contact" is not a crime if consent is given for such contact. If consent is not given, sexual contact is a misdemeanor, not a felony. Such treatment of BDSM-as not a crime if consensual and as a misdemeanor if nonconsensual-would be fully consistent with the concept that BDSM is intended to be a mutually pleasurable activity rather than an act of violence. If a rape is committed in a BDSM encounter then it can be prosecuted as felony sexual assault and the fact that BDSM activities were also included will reduce the confusion for prosecutors and courts. Judgment can be made solely in the context of whether there was consent for each act that was committed.


    A further benefit of our proposal would be that a person who is injured in a nonconsensual BDSM incident would have the shelter of "rape shield" rules, which prohibit introduction of evidence of prior acts and provides the victim anonymity. This protection applies to complaints in sexual assault cases, but not in criminal assault cases. People who are assaulted in a BDSM context typically choose not to report what happened to the police because they will be outed as kinky by the public court documents and they may even face media exposure if their assailant is charged with criminal assault rather than sexual assault.


    The reaction from the ALI has been encouraging. We were told that our views will be considered, and NCSF was invited to make further written submissions on the sexual assault and related areas, as well as two other ALI projects that may help advance our goals to decriminalize consensual BDSM, and to assist people who have suffered nonconsensual acts in a BDSM context.


    It is far too early to conclude whether this could be a real solution to the problem of BDSM being prosecuted as assault. But if the ALI were to include our proposal-that BDSM should not be regarded as violence, and should be dealt with as "sexual contact" instead of "criminal assault"-it would clearly be a major step in the right direction.


    But first we need to persuade the ALI to agree with our proposal, or at least something like our proposal.


    We need your help! Please sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/american-law-institute-consent-should-be-a-defense-for-bdsm-activities?just_created=true We plan to submit our petition to the ALI in September. We hope to collect thousands of signatures urging the ALI to reclassify BDSM prosecutions as "sexual contact" instead of criminal assault. It's all about consent, and the law should reflect that.


    Petition to the American Law Institute:

     

    Consent should be a Defense for BDSM activities


    I urge the American Law Institute in its consideration of proposals to revise the Model Penal Code (MPC) provisions relating to sexual assault, to provide in the MPC that prosecutions arising from BDSM (bondage, discipline, Dominance & Submission and sadomasochism) conduct be pursued as "sexual contact" rather than as criminal assault. I believe this is appropriate because consensual BDSM is intended to be a mutually pleasurable erotic activity and not a violent assault by one person against another. Criminal prosecution may be appropriate if consent is not given, but consent should be allowed as a defense.

     

    Sign here! https://www.change.org/p/american-law-institute-consent-should-be-a-defense-for-bdsm-activities?just_created=true


    Background info on this project https://ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/consent-counts/consent-counts.html 

     

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    Celebrate Consent Month in September!

     

    National Consent Month embraces the freedom of expression that comes with informed consent.

    Join us by holding your own event or workshop during the month of September that highlights the importance of consent. Let us know the date and we'll put it on our calendar and publicize it on our social media.

    Go to ConsentMonth.com to see ideas on how your group can celebrate Consent Month. Get free swag to give away at your event like "Got Consent?" ribbons and buttons.


    Get your "Got Consent?" T-shirts, mugs and dog tags in the NCSF shop!


    Submit photos of your Consent Month celebration to our Consent Photo Contest. We'll post the photos and award the winner top billing on our Consent Month website for the rest of the year. You'll also be featured in an NCSF media campaign about Consent Month.

     

    Consent Month is proudly sponsored by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Arizona Power Exchange.

     

    Thank you for celebrating September as Consent Month!

     

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     "A Taste of Kink" at the AASECT Annual Conference

     

    A Taste of Kink was sponsored by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the AASECT AltSex SIG as part of the AASECT Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN. Over one hundred AASECT members were able to receive 3 Continuing Education credits for attending the June 6thevent. A Taste of Kink was held at Patrick's Cabaret, and was hosted by Minneapolis kink groups and community organizers.

     

    "AASECT offers or approves hundreds of quality training programs a year for the purposes of protecting clients and improving services in our areas of professional expertise," says Russell Stambaugh, co-facilitator of A Taste of Kink along with NCSF Spokesperson Susan Wright. "It took top quality kink personnel, a safe setting and excellent program design to make A Taste of Kink a success."

     

    The goals of A Taste of Kink were to:

    • Teach the educators and therapists the basics of consent and negotiation in a BDSM context,

    • Show them the toys/equipment commonly associated with BDSM practices,

    • Help them become familiar with healthy patterns of BDSM practices.

    After an introduction to consent and negotiation, attendees watched simultaneous demonstrations of common BDSM activities from negotiation to play to aftercare. Then they were given the chance to "taste" each sensation, and participated in negotiation, play and aftercare themselves to model good kink practices

     

    The feedback on A Taste of Kink has been overwhelmingly positive. NCSF and the AltSex SIG were careful to obtain informed consent every step of the way and demonstrate best practices developed by the BDSM community.

     

    To support NCSF's work, please join or donate to help!

     

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    NCSF Thanks!

     

    NCSF would like to thank Russell Stambaugh for donating $1,000 to cover the expenses for A Taste of Kink at the AASECT annual conference in Minneapolis in June! 

     

    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!

     

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    Direct to NCSF members, courtesy of satirical BDSM webzine, The DailyFlogger

     
    BDSM Statement Featured in Republican Platform

    CHICAGO, LOUISIANA

     

    With 10 Republicans already announced as vying for the 2016 Presidential nomination, a group has some up with a list of positions that all Republicans are expected to accept as part of their official platform.

     

    The Conservative Values Coalition has, for the first time, specified BDSM, Kink, and Fetishism on their list of activities that are "Practiced Privately and Denied Publicly."

     

    The document details kinks and fetishes that should be "publicly ridiculed" and encouraged the use of words like "freaks, weirdos, perverts, and abominations" to describe practitioners, yet permitted candidates to engage in kinky activity "as long as they don't get caught."

     

    Another provision specified in the document was "nothing in the butt," as that crosses the line from being "merely kinky" into "full blown gayness."

     

    Washington insiders speculate that such restrictions may be aimed at Ted Cruz who, for years, has been known in Washington kink circles for his love of enema play.

     

    "It is going to be hard from Cruz to keep away from the butt," one prominent Lobbyist told The Daily Flogger, "but if you want to be President, you have to prove you are willing to be a hypocrite and this is a good opportunity for Ted to step up."

     
    Read more at the Daily Flogger website.

     

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    Announcing a Major Event-The 2015 BDSM Writers Con

     

    Mark Your Calendars:  August 20-23 in NYC

     

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is proud to be a sponsor of the 2015 BDSM Writers Con, and we urge member of our communities to attend this exciting event (www.bdsmwriterscon.com).

     

    The BDSM Writers Con, founded by noted author and world-renowned clinical sexologist Dr. Charley Ferrer, brings together readers and authors of BDSM literature.  Attendees will mix and mingle with the leading authors in the field, will attend workshops, live demos and a BDSM Book Fair, and will participate in a BDSM Club Night.  The conference will also feature a ceremony presenting the annual Golden Flogger Award to a prominent author of BDSM fiction.

     

    This is the third annual BDSM Writers Con organized by Dr. Charley Ferrer.  Doctor Charley is one of America's leading sexologists in the field of BDSM and author of "BDSM:  The Naked Truth".  NCSF has supported her efforts and sponsored last year's highly successful conference.  Dr. Ferrer has spoken frequently at NCSF events, particularly in support of the Consent Counts Project.

     

    NCSF views the BDSM Writers Con as an important element in expanding the public's understanding and acceptance of BDSM.  Writers of fiction are significant opinion makers.  The growing significant and largely sympathetic attention to BDSM-in films, books, television and theatre-in the wake of Fifty Shades of Gray testifies to the role that can be played by fictional depictions of BDSM.

     

    So your attendance at the 2015 BDSM Writers Con supports an important force for greater public acceptance of our communities.  And you will also have a great time!

     

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    redchairpride

    NCSF celebrates Pride Month with Coalition Partner
    The Red Chair marching at the Birmingham Pride Parade.

     

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    Incident Reporting & Response - 2nd Quarter 2015 report

    By Susan Wright, Director of IRR

     

    NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 60 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses throughout April, May and June. 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 second quarter of 2015.

     

    Criminal

    There were 19 requests for assistance with incidents involving kink and criminal law. 15 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault/sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services, and help in educating law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. 4 were requests for kink-aware defense attorneys and expert witnesses knowledgeable about BDSM vs. abuse (2 involved allegations of assault in a BDSM context).

     

    Groups

    There were 17 requests for help involving BDSM and swing groups. 9 groups asked for advice on banning members and dealing with consent violations. 5 groups asked for assistance in setting up a club and dealing with zoning and local authorities. 1 group needed help with organizational structure, 1 had an issue with a member threatening to sue them for age discrimination, and 1 had questions about liability regarding the kinds of activities they allow in their space.

     

    Media

    There were 6 media incidents that NCSF assisted in this quarter. First, there was a great deal of media cover on The Social Club, a Nashville Lifestyle club, which has in turn prompted a backlash in the form of both local and state regulations against private clubs. There were also individuals and groups we assisted behind the scenes in dealing with public exposure they got through media coverage.

     

    Professionals

    Six professionals and organizations asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services. These included victim advocates, therapists, and college professors.

     

    Child Custody/Divorce

    In an all-time record low for NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response going back to 2002, there were only 5 child custody cases in the last three months. One case involved a Child Protective Services investigation instigated by a 3rd party mandatory reporter, while in another one, an ex-partner brought in CPS due to FetLife photos they found.

     

    Civil Law

    There were 4 cases involving civil law: 3 cases of blackmail that required cease & desist letters, and 1 pro domme who needed assistance.

     

    Discrimination

    There were 3 cases of discrimination. One incident involved a student who was suspended for sharing their involvement in the BDSM community. Someone had trouble with a religious organization discriminating against them. And someone needed advice on what to say about kink when getting a security clearance.

     

    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!

     

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    The NCSF was excited to table at International Ms Leather and International Ms Bootblack Weekend in San Jose California this April.

    imsl2015 01

     

    We sent board member Julian Wolf, who also took the stage to perform during Seduction Thursday night and carried a flag during the opening ceremonies.

    imsl2015 02

     

    We'd like to extend our congratulations to Sarge, your current IMsL; slave tabitha arie your current IMsBB; and the IMsL producers for such a notable event. 

    Would you like NCSF materials and/or an NCSF representative at your event? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
     

     

    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:

     

    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.

     

    You can sign up to receive our emails This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here

     

    Return to top


    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to top


    See our list of Coalition Partners at the NCSF website
     
    Are you a CP Representative? Make sure we have your updated information by emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
     

    Interested in a specific story or in writing an article?
    email Julian: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     

    Written on Tuesday, 14 July 2015 16:50 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2795 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2015
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    1st Quarter, 2015
    edited by Julian Wolf

    In this issue

    Mid-Atlantic Region Hosts the Coalition Partner Meeting

    NCSF Thanks!

    Daily Flogger Satire

    Dommes of the DC Sub Club Do it Again!

    Guest Blog: Disclosure and Outness as a Therapist

    Incident Reporting & Response

    Media Updates

    Representing on FetLife

     


    The Mid-Atlantic Region hosts NCSF's Coalition Partners Annual Meeting

     

    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/1Cs6NXsSome of our successes over the past year include:

     

    • 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

     

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    NCSF Thanks!

     

    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 their February 21st Vicious 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!

     

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    Direct to NCSF members, courtesy of satirical BDSM webzine, The DailyFlogger

    Researchers Discover "Sex Positive" Gene

     

    HELSINKI, FINLAND

     

    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.com/researchers-discover-sex-positive-gene/

     

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    Dommes of the DC Sub Club Do It Again!

    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.

     

    nl q1 2015 p1

     

    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."

     

    nl q1 2015 p2

     

    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 July 11, 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.

     

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    Guest Blog: "Disclosure and Outness as a Therapist with Intersecting Atypical Identifications"

    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.com-a listing of providers in New York City who are openly affirmative to kink, poly, and LGBTQ communities and lifestyles. The last time I looked for a therapist for myself, I (successfully!) used NCSF's KAP listing to help direct my search. I know I'm not the only one who finds NCSF's work hugely inspiring, and I have to give a great amount of credit to NCSF for encouraging me to be out about my intersecting identifications, and motivating me to create a diverse network of affirming providers in the city where I live and practice.

     

    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-affirmative provider.

     

    Dulcinea Pitagora, MA, LMSW

    Manhattan Alternative Founder

    ManhattanAlternative.com

     

    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.

     

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    Incident Reporting & Response - 1st Quarter 2015 report

    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:

     

    Criminal

     

    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.

     

    Professionals

     

    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.

     

    Groups

     

    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.

     

    Child Custody

     

    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.

     

    Discrimination

     

    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.


    If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

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    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:

     

    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.

     

    You can sign up to receive our emails This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to top


    See our list of Coalition Partners at the NCSF website
     
    Are you a CP Representative? Make sure we have your updated information by emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
     

    Interested in a specific story or in writing an article?
    email Julian: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     

    Written on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 16:25 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2905 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2014
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    3rd Quarter, 2014
    edited by Julian Wolf

    In this issue

    2014 Roundup

    NCSF Thanks!

    Incident Reporting & Response

    Daily Flogger Satire

    Guest Blog: Out To The Doctor?

    Are You Ready for 50 Shades?

    Media Updates

    Representing on FetLife


    NCSF's 2014 Roundup

     

          2014 has been a year of progress for NCSF and for people who are kinky and nonmonogamous. The national conversation about gay marriage, consent, and even Fifty Shades of Grey are transforming mainstream attitudes. The change in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 stating that BDSM is a healthy form of sexual expression has also had a significant impact on both the courts and public opinion about kink.

     

    Education Outreach Project

          The NCSF Board Members and presenters gave Education Outreach Project workshops and tabled at 36 events in 2014 (compared to 22 in 2013), with a focus on consent discussions, BDSM & the Law, and distributing literature such as Kink is Okay and Finding Kink Aware Medical Care.

          The groups and events where NCSF presented included: Arizona Men of Leather, Arizona Power Exchange, Atlanta Poly Weekend, BDSM Writers Con, Behind Closed Doors, Beyond The Love, CatalysCon East, Catalyst Art & Cultural Space, Center for Sex Positive Culture, CLAW, COPE, CPI/The Mark, Dark Con, Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, Dark Odyssey Surrender, Desert Dominion, DragonCon, Floating World, Folsom Street East, Future of Monogamy and Non-Monogamy, International Mr. Leather, Kinkfest, Leathermen's Discussion Group, MSDB Bizarre Bazaar, Paradise Unbound, Poly Living Conference, Polyamory Political Activism Conclave, Portland Leather Alliance, SMART, Society for Sex Therapy & Research 39th Annual Meeting, Southwest Leather Contest, Spanksgiving, Thunder in the Mountains, Up Your Alley - Dore Alley, Winter Wickedness, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit.

          NCSF also exhibited at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) 47th Annual Conference on June 4-8th, in Monterey, California. NCSF helped organize a panel presentation on "Social Organizations and BDSM Communities," moderated by Neil Cannon, PhD, DST and Russell Stambaugh, PhD, DST. The panel was attended by 115 of the 550 participants, and raised over $4,000 for AASECT. The panelists were experienced and articulate kink organizers on the West Coast: Race Bannon, Janet Hardy, Demitri Moshanyii, Richard Sprott, Anna Randall, and Jim and Montaine who run a dungeon-themed B&B in Monterey. 

           Jim Fleckenstein was the lead presenter on "The Fountain of Youth! The Association of an Open Relationship Orientation with Health and Happiness in a Sample of Older Adults," a workshop discussing the key findings from the Loving More and NCSF internet survey, the largest-ever sample of self-identified polyamorists.  

          The NCSF booth in the Exhibit Hall gave away 50 free copies of What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory, courtesy of a grant by Alan of Polyamory in the News as well as brochures on NCSF's projects and programs. Nearly 150 copies of NCSF's new Kink is Okay! brochure were given away, describing the changes in the DSM-5 that depathologized BDSM.

     

    Kink Aware Professionals

          Over 1,200 people accessed NCSF's Kink Aware Professionals database in 2014 to find a lawyer, therapist or other professional. Recognizing the need for more kink aware professionals in KAP, NCSF joined forces with GayLawNet, a free referral database of gay-friendly attorneys, which began offering a Kink Aware Professional category for their lawyers to self-identify as kink aware.

     

    Incident Reporting & Response

          To assist in educating professionals, NCSF published What Professionals Need to Know About BDSM by Lauren Moore, Tamara Pincus & David Rodemaker. This pamphlet was written to help professionals meet culturally competent ethical standards in work with those of our underserved population.

          NCSF received 184 requests for assistance in 2014 through Incident Reporting & Response. 40% of IRR requests dealt with criminal issues. 20% were child custody/divorce. 14% were requests for information on kink and non-monogamy from professionals including: academics, social services, vanilla nonprofit organizations & events, authors, merchant services, and insurance brokers. 11% were group issues, primarily assisting in handling adversarial members, outreach to law enforcement, or managing negative media incidents.

     

    Media

          NCSF launched our 50 Shades of NCSF campaign featuring four palm cards and a resource page. Two of the palm cards are geared toward vanilla people who may be interested in kink while the other two have information on consent and the law. These palm cards were sent to 68 groups for distribution during the upcoming launch of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.

          In December, NCSF also broadcast a media kit through PR Newswire entitled "NCSF: Are you ready for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie?" that targeted reporters and offered story ideas about kink and non-monogamy. The PR was reposted on 137 websites, including Reuters and the Associated Press, and was viewed by over 1,000 journalists in the first 24 hours.

          Susan Wright gave 32 interviews in 2014 to reporters from mainstream media to blogs and podcasts. The 2014 interviews included: The NY Times, NY Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, CNN, Playboy, Bay Area Reporter, Slate, Jane XO, Alternet, andtwo Huffington Post Live appearances.

          Barak and Sheba of AdventuresinSexuality.org, a long-time Coalition Partner of NCSF, joined the media team and will be giving interviews on kink and non-monogamy. NCSF also published 15 Guest Blogs by experts in various fields, up from five Guest Blogs posted in 2013. Jsin created several podcast PSAs about NCSF tailored to specific niches - leathermen, pansexual and vanilla-ish - as well as promotional videos to accompany the 50 Shades of NCSF campaign.

     

    Surveys

          NCSF ran two surveys in 2014: the Consent Violations Survey and the Mental Health Survey. The results of both will be available in early 2015. The Consent Violations Survey collected 4,600 responses and the results will be given to law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services and health care professionals to help them understand the experiences of kinky people and provide better quality service.

          The Mental Health Survey collected over 800 responses. NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will ultimately compare our response set to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT. 

     

    Consent Counts

          The Consent Counts program continued its educational mission as well as providing Amicus ("friend of the court") Briefs in relevant legal cases. The Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals twice accepted NCSF's amicus brief in the case of Gregory T. Miles, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. NCSF advised the court that prosecutors are avoiding the Supreme Court decision, made in Lawrence v. Texas, that moral judgment is not a basis for criminalizing consensual sexual conduct, and that consensual sex should only be criminalized if that conduct is injurious or goes against a valid societal interest. NCSF also argued that military law is out of sync with U.S. Constitutional law and societal mores, especially when it comes to consensual sexual behaviors.

     

    Ombuds Committee

          As part of the revamping of NCSF's policies and procedures this year, the NCSF Board created the Ombuds Committee in June and appointed Desmond Ravenstone, James Huesmann and Bjorn Paulee. The Ombuds Committee handles complaints and concerns regarding the conduct of NCSF officers and staff, and the operations of NCSF institutions. The NCSF Ombuds Committee was established as an Advisory Committee, as per NCSF bylaws, to review coalition administration and activities, assuring ethical and effective fulfillment of NCSF's mission and goals. Board Member Fil Vocasek is the Board Liaison to the Ombuds Committee.

     

          NCSF thanks the groups, businesses and individuals who have donated and joined NCSF as members this year. Our staff, Board Members, Coalition Partners, Supporting Members and individual members all understand how important it is to have NCSF as a resource to help kinky and non-monogamous people. Please join NCSF today!

     

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    NCSF Thanks!

    Joseph Callahan donated $2,000 to the NCSF Foundation in December.


    Adventures in Sexuality, a NCSF Coalition Partner, donated $500 at their COPE conference in October.

    CPI/The Mark, a Coalition Partner, donated $1,000 to NCSF in October.

    Behind Closed Doors, the annual conference by Baja Arizona Leather, a Supporting Member of NCSF, raised $300 by passing the hat at their Sunday key note speech.

    House of Decorum, a NCSF Coalition Partner, raised $1,296 at their annual fetish ball, held this year in Asheville, NC.

    The Red Chair, a NCSF Coalition Partner, donated $744 that was raised at their annual NCSF fundraiser and Halloween Masquerade. This year's theme was Steampunk! Airship Pirates and Gypsies running wild, with great carnival games and events.

    The SFCitadel sponsored a Holiday Dance in the Dungeon for NCSF that raised $913 in 
    December. The event was supported by the Leathermen's Discussion Group, 15 Association, Society of Janus and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

    The New Mexico Leather League donated $621 to NCSF in November.

    Min-KY, a NCSF Coalition Partner, raised $580 for NCSF in October.

    Spanksgiving, the annual fall event by STL3, a Coalition Partner of NCSF, raised $320 through their ice-bucket challenge at the opening ceremonies against Jason (NCSF Board Member), James (NCSF's Ombuds Committee) and the lovely Tink.

    The Tides Foundation donated a $1,500 grant to NCSF! The board of directors thanks Tides, as well as the anonymous donor who nominated NCSF for this grant.

     

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    Incident Reporting & Response - 2014 Report
    By Susan Wright

         NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response helps people who are being discriminated against 
    because they are kinky and/or nonmonogamous: 184 requests for help were received in 2014. One-fourth of the cases evolved into weeks- or months-long projects, requiring the education of a number of legal, medical and mental health professionals about kink. Other professionals who requested information or resources to better serve kinky people included: academics, social services, vanilla nonprofit organizations & events, authors, merchant services, and insurance brokers.
         The drop in IRR requests can be partly attributed to the increased page views on NCSF's 
    Kink Aware Professionals database, with over 1,200 kinky people directly accessing KAP in 2014 to find a lawyer, therapist or other professional rather than asking NCSF for help through Incident Reporting & Response. Recognizing the need for more professionals to be listed in KAP, in 2014 NCSF joined forces with GayLawNet, a free referral database of gay-friendly attorneys. GayLawNet also began offering a Kink Aware Professional category for their lawyers to self-identify as kink aware.

         Of the 184 requests for assistance, the majority dealt with BDSM while only 6 involved 
    polyamory/swing issues:

    73 criminal issues
    33 child custody 
    26 requests for info from professionals 
    20 kink group issues
    10 discrimination issues
    5 job discrimination 
    6 media related incidents
    4 divorce
    4 civil law issues 
    3 outings

     

    Criminal issues
         The 73 requests that involved criminal issues typically took the most time and effort to 
    help resolve, including finding kink-aware legal representation and educating relevant 
    professionals to remove kink as a barrier to services. The requests break down as follows:

    42 - assistance with victim services, reporting an assault, sexual assault, blackmail or 
    stalking to the police, and obtaining restraining orders
    13 - referrals for kink-aware defense attorneys
    6 - assisting sex workers who were arrested
    6 - assisting people in dealing with: probation, sex offenders, sex traffickers
    5 - research on state criminal laws and contracts

     

    Child Custody/Divorce

         In 2014, there was a significant drop in requests for help with child custody/divorce 
    issues. That is due to the change in the DSM-5 criteria, which made it clear that people who are kinky are not mentally ill:

    2014 - 37 people
    2013 - * see note
    2012 - 87 people
    2011 - 115 people
    2010 - 125 people
    2009 - 132 people 
     
         An even bigger change due to the DSM-5 can be found in the percentage of kinky 

    parents who now retain child custody. More kinky parents who come to NCSF for help are 
    successful in removing kink as an issue in family court and with social service workers and Child Protective Services. Of the 33 cases, 3 are still ongoing, but of those that assigned custody: 

    2014 - 89% (27 out of 30 parents) custody was not removed because of kink. 
    2012 - 53% (41 out of 77 parents) custody was not removed because of kink.
    2011 - 23% (23 out of 101 parents) custody was not removed because of kink.
    2010 - 12% (13 out of 109 parents) custody was not removed because of kink.
     
    Groups
         There was also a drop in the number of requests from BDSM, swing and polyamory 

    educational and social groups. Most people are now aware that they need to get professional advice in setting up their clubs and association papers, and it is common knowledge how to produce an event legally. As a result, NCSF received fewer requests for establishing a nonprofit or dealing with zoning laws, and instead primarily assisted groups in handling adversarial members, liability issues, doing outreach to local law enforcement, and handling media incidents. NCSF helped 20 kink groups in 2014 vs. 77 in 2012.

         Requests for help with swing and polyamory issues dropped to less than 3% of the total 
    requests in 2014 compared to nearly 9% in 2012 and nearly 5% in 2011. There has been a 
    significant drop in the number of house parties as Lifestyle events have shifted toward a 
    business model that uses club venues, cruise ships and hotels. This means fewer busted house parties, and less need for NCSF services.

         The decline in discrimination against nonmonogamists may also be due in part to the 
    success of gay marriage. The mainstream media covers relationship issues like nonmonogamy much more positively than it did five years ago. According to the NCSF Media Updates, of the articles that involved nonmonogamy as a subject:

    2014 - 53 articles: 77% were positive and 23% were negative.
    2013 - 42 articles: 81% were positive and 19% were negative.
    2012 - 21 articles: 62% were positive and 38% were negative.
    2011 - 33 articles: 30% were positive and 70% were negative.
    2010 - 50 articles: 16% were positive and 84% were negative.
     
    For updates and details on IRR requests, look for our quarterly IRR reports in the NCSF 

    Newsletter. Sign up by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    * Note: From 2002-2011, NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received over 500 requests every year. In 2012, that number dropped to 474, likely due to the change in the DSM-5 and an increased use of KAP. The IRR data for 2013 was destroyed by Leigha Fleming when she deleted her emails and documentation from the NCSF server. Some people have reported receiving no response last year, and that may have contributed to fewer people coming to NCSF this year. Susan Wright took over as director of IRR in January, 2014.
     
    Direct to NCSF members, courtesy of satirical BDSM webzine, The DailyFlogger

    Daily Flogger: 
    Studio Pulls "50 Shades" Movie After Threats from Japanese Hackers

    By Jane Jameson

    HOLLYWOOD, MONTANA

     

         Focus Features announced today that they will not be releasing the film version of E L James' book 50 Shades of Grey after Japanese hackers broke into their servers and threatened to release damaging information about the books author, the film's stars, and financial dealings with major studios.

     

         The hacker also threatened to "flood the American market with real bondage and movies about actual S&M relationships" that would make 50 Shades look like a "bad parody of a bad book that was written by a bad author."

     

         The hackers left the following message on the company's servers:

    Bondage in movie is very bad.  #GOR [Guardians of Rope] cannot permit movie.  It is so bad we must threaten violence to make it stop.  You disgrace everything good.  Everything that we love.  We have movies we will release.  We have eels doing pervert things.  If you don't stop we will show all Americans these movies.

         Hollywood insiders suspect that the alleged attack may actually be an attempt by the studio to shelve the film which has seen production delays due mostly to actor Jamie Dornan's inability to provide anything more than a wooden, one dimensional performance. Rumors that the sex scenes were stale and lifeless and needed to be reshot dozens of times have led to speculation that the film will be a major disappointment.

     

         Actress Dakota Johnson denied those rumors, telling The Daily Flogger, "I think you are mistaken.  I don't recall there being any sex scenes.  We had a few days of shooting in a bed, but I don't think you could call whatever Jamie was doing sexual or sexy or even interesting."

     

         Johnson has a different view of the film than most. The actress, who hasn't read the books, says "it is really a movie about how boring sex becomes once a man gets a lot of money. I see it as a cautionary tale and a very sad one that that. I wouldn't use the word erotic. Or sexy. Or good."

     
    - For more humor with a kinky bent, go enjoy "The Daily Flogger" online magazine at: http://www.thedailyflogger.com/
     

    Guest Blog: Out To The Doctor?

    By Barak

    AdventuresinSexuality.org

     

         So there you are, in the semi-private exam room at your Doctor's office or the Emergency Room, or any other patient care access point... and it's time to be seen.. The nurse has taken your vitals, checked some general questions, and before leaving the room, asks you to get into a gown. You have removed your clothing and have fitted the stylish blue plaid garment as best is possible. The rough material slides over your front, and you get a sore twinge from those nipple clamps you were wearing last night. Images begin to form in your head, as you reminisce about that fantastic scene from last night and your pulse increases slightly. The door opens, and as the doctor walks in you blanch recalling the purple mosaic of bruises you saw reflected in the mirror this am.

     

         What is the Doctor going to think? Will they turn you in? Will they throw you out? Can you get a straightjacket out of this? What do you say? How do you handle it? Do you tell the truth?

     

         Let's chat about this one. I have been in healthcare, as a Nurse or a Paramedic, for over 20 years. I have worked in Home Health, in Doctor's Offices, Psych centers, and at busy ERs and have seen almost everything. Really. I can tell you stories from decades ago about things stuck in places... But, let's save that for a fun night at a Meet N Greet, and get to some real discussion for now.

     

         I will start off by introducing you to something called The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. If you read through this Act, you will find that a Doctor, nurse or other healthcare providers (HCPs) can only release records or information that is specific to you or could identify you in any way, if it pertains directly to your care or billing. That's it. If this info in shared in any other way? That is illegal and prosecutable. It's actually very serious in the medical field.

     

         The HIPAA laws prevent HCPs from even disclosing immediate family info. For instance? Let's say Sheba was in the hospital for testing. Let's also say that I was working for this same facility and had access to the computer systems. Even if she asks me to, it is illegal for me to access her records. Why? Because I am not on her care team and thereby don't have a "legitimate" reason for taking a peek.

     

         Where are we going with this? Because this law essentially covers Doctor / Patient confidentiality rules. However, there are a couple loopholes that you may want to be aware of. If a Doctor or other HCP feels that there is some form of danger, like you are being threatened, abused, harmed, etc. They are Mandated Reporters. Meaning, if they feel there is that type of issue, they can legally disclose information to Law Enforcement investigators. But this is for your protection.

     

         Now that you are aware of those pieces, we can continue. What is my advice? I always encourage honesty. If you are hurt, or there is something wrong? Be frank and honest about it. Don't try to make something up that "might" fit what happened.

     

         Let's say you had a shoulder injury during a rope scene. There are certain things you might leave out, but make sure you don't leave anything out that contributed to the injury. For instance, while Kinksters may love the terms, "Tied up and fucked," "BDSM," "Rape Scene," etc... There is no reason to try and bait them by playing, "Shock the Doc." In situations like this, discretion is the better part of valor. Take time and amend possible inflammatory terms. HCPs are fine with the terms, "Kinky Sex." "I like it a little rough," "Creative Sexual expression," etc..

     

         Depending on what you were actually doing, you may not have to get into that discussion at all. For instance, if you were

    doing suspension work you might just let them know you were "experimenting with Rope," and "were being held off the ground by rope around your arm, shoulder, etc..." when you felt XYZ or however it happened. Meaning, you don't have to get into why you were suspended, other than you were playing around with Rope.

     

         Either way, you should always be honest about the how it happened. There is really no reason to get into the why most of the time. ya know? As HCPs, we are very adept at understanding the way the human body looks, acts, and works. We are also aware about the mechanics of damage, trauma and wounds. We have spent years listening to stories, comparing injuries, and calculating facts. We have a very finely tuned intuition, so if something feels out of place? We investigate much more fully.

     

         Just know that even if you are completely honest, you may get a visit from the friendly facility social worker. They may verify that everything is on the up and up, that your participation is consensual, and there is not any abuse going on. However, if the HCPs feel as though you are hiding something, deliberately baiting them, or trying to get a reaction, it may mildly irritate or it may really piss em off. Not a great idea, as they can certainly cause problems for you. If you set off their red flags, there is a good chance it will turn into much more of an inquiry that could involve people with a different looking uniforms and badges.

     

         If you are with your partner? Make sure you are on the same page, and don't become resentful if they separate you. They just want to make sure this is not domestic violence. So, smile alot, and make sure you both have the exact same story. One of the best stories? Is the one where you shyly admit you like being tied up, and your partner was trying to accommodate you.

     

         Furthermore, if the reason you are at the doctor's has nothing to do with the bruises on your ass & thighs? Just smile knowingly and say, "It's consensual, I like it rough." Then bring them back to the subject at hand, like the sore throat and cough symptoms you are having. If they bring you back to it? Just be factual and direct. Take a "nothing to see here," attitude.

     

         What to do? Should you come out to your Doctor? In the end that is up to you. However, as I have said, we have seen a lot. I can assure you that handprints don't look like something accidental. Whip, flogger and cane marks? Hello! Your best bet is to be honest and straightforward. If you can't or won't come out to your HCP? Then either make sure you don't have marks, don't get injured, or just find another HCP you are willing to share with. It's your health and your choice.

     

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    Are You Ready for Fifty Shades?

     

     To coincide with the launch of the movie, get your Fifty Shades of Kink palm cards from NCSF to put out at your club or in local sex shops and bookstores so that people who are looking to find out more about kink know where to go. 


    Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request your cards.

    NCSF's Fifty Shades of Kink resource page is for people who are kinky and/or non-monogamous, whether they're just starting out or an old hand at this: ncsfreedom.org/50ShadesofKink

     

    consentdouble

     

    lawdouble

     

    kinkdouble

     

    fundouble

     

     

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    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:

     

    Sex talk on TLC: That's Margaret Cho biz from the NY Daily News

    Dave Navarro: I'm Strapped for Kinky Sex from TMZ

    Dishes, Dinner, & Sex from Valley Advocate

     

    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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to top

     

    Written on Monday, 05 January 2015 19:08 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 3795 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2014
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    3rd Quarter, 2014

    In this issue

    NCSF Mental Heath Survey

    Incident Reporting & Response

    NCSF Thanks!

    Merchant Services Question

    A Touch of Humor

    Media Updates

    Representing on FetLife


    NCSF Mental Health Survey

    Please take the NCSF Mental Health Survey! We would like to know more about your BDSM practices, mental health and relational violence experiences:

     

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FZ2XDMP 

     

    NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will compare our responses to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT-identified.

     

    NCSF will use these results to help with our advocacy, benefiting both existing and developing programs. Specifically, the study's results will assist in educating law enforcement, legal and psychological professionals about the practices and mental health of BDSM practitioners.

     

    The survey will take approximately 35 minutes of your time.

     
    This survey is anonymous. NCSF or outside researchers do not have access to any identifying information about participants.
     
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    Incident Reporting & Response - 3rd Quarter 2014 report

    By Susan Wright, director of IRR

     

    In July, August and September, NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 41 requests for assistance with child custody, job discrimination, legal issues and discrimination against groups and businesses.

     

    The Kink Aware Professionals list is our highest accessed resource on our website, with an average of 100 people searching for kink aware professionals every month in the 3rd quarter. As our KAP list grows, people are accessing KAP directly to find kink-aware attorneys and therapists instead of asking NCSF to educate vanilla professionals about kink and nonmonogamy. Please help grow KAP by telling kink friendly professionals that they can get a free listing for referrals.

     

    NCSF maintains the confidentiality of those who come to us for help. However we have to balance that need with the need for transparency. So each quarter, we'll sum up the types of cases we worked on and give you examples of the locations when possible:

     

    Child Custody

     

    There were 10 requests for help with child custody, a drop from the 2nd quarter in which we had 13 requests for help with child custody. We assisted in family court cases in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

     

    Organizational issues

     

    There were 6 requests for help from BDSM groups. Two separate incidents involved venues cancelling contracts for BDSM event in two different regions. NCSF strategized with the organizers, bringing in our legal counsel in one case, and in the other reaching out directly to the venue to protest the discrimination. NCSF also assisted with a case involving online defamation against an event, and gave advice on membership groups and how to operate legally.

     

    Criminal issues

     

    There were 16 requests for assistance with criminal issues over the past three months. 6 of those requests involved assistance in dealing with a kink-related sexual assault (one was a defendant). The other 10 incidents include: a request for help with green card issues because of BDSM activities; someone who was being stalked online needed assistance in reporting it and getting an order of protection; several people asked how to deal with an online solicitation from Asian slave traders (I reported the emails to the FBI); provided legal research for a kinky sex worker and referral to nswp.org; and two requests for expert witnesses in criminal cases in Florida and California involving BDSM and alleged domestic violence.

     

    Civil law issues

     

    There were 7 requests for help with civil law issues including: sexual harassment in the workplace because the person was kinky; someone who was told he had to stop being kinky as part of his court-ordered therapy; issues around a sexual surrogacy case; assistance for someone who had their photographs taken from FetLife and posted on YouTube; and 3 cases of alleged libel. These cases took place in California, Colorado, Maryland and New Jersey, among others.

     

    Discrimination

    There were 2 requests for help with kink-related discrimination. One person in the South lost their job because they are kinky, and the other needed help with therapy issues involving aspergers and kink behavior.

     

    If you need help, please contact NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response: https://ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/incident-response/incident-response.html or call 410-539-4824.

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    NCSF Thanks!

     

    The attendees of Behind Closed Doors for passing the hat and raising $300 in October (produced by Baja Arizona Leather, an NCSF Supporting Member).

     

    NCSF Coalition Partner Adventures in Sexuality for donating $500 to NCSF from their COPE conference in September in Ohio.

     

    The BDSM Writers Conference for raising $513 in their silent auction at the New York City conference in August.

    Coming Together, the erotic anthology, donated $130 to NCSF in August.

     

    Folsom Street East for donating $2,250 raised at their annual NYC street fair in June, that is earmarked for NCSF's Continuing Legal Education Program.

     

    One of NCSF's original Coalition Partners, TES in New York City, raised $270 at their annual conference TES Fest 2014 in July.

    One of NCSF's Ohio Coalition Partners, the Purple Rose Society, raised $300 for NCSF in June.

    NCSF received the Community Award from Arizona Power Exchange at their 26th Anniversary Celebration on September 20th. Susan Wright holds the award surrounded by some of the APEX Board of Directors and Officers - Master Shane, Master Archer, Tess, Jackie, Master Mick and Samantha. 

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    Merchant Services for Kinky Groups and Businesses 

    Has your kinky group or business lost its ability to process credit/debit card transactions or has had (or currently having) trouble establishing any merchant service because of ties to kink? If so, please contact NCSF!

     

    We have been discussing this problem with the Free Speech Coalition (which is actively searching for merchant service options for adult businesses) and have begun investigating effective options that would benefit our various alt sex communities.

     

    Please email or call NCSF to share past/present issues and discuss what these adult-friendly merchant services might need to provide: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 410-539-4824.

    Thank you!

     

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    Direct to NCSF members, courtesy of satirical BDSM webzine, The DailyFlogger:

    Local Author Plans to "Get Rich" Writing BDSM Fiction

    By Lazlo Toth

     

    Ted "Chugger" Cormick, 25, has announced his plans to write the "next 50 Shades of Grey." Cormick told The Daily Flogger he was unimpressed by the novel, with its shallow characters and poor writing. "I think I could do better, maybe like 10% better and if that book sold 100 million copies, I think I could sell like ten percent more than that, which is like, well it's more than 100 million."

     

    Cormick, who got his nickname from an uncanny ability to ingest enormous quantities of Mountain Dew soda, said he has very limited experience with writing or with BDSM, but sees that as a key to his success.

     

    "Listen," Cormick says, "I know lots of real writers have tried to copy the success of 50 Shades, but they are all writers or experts on BDSM. I don't know what I am doing or talking about, just like E.L. James. That is why I am going to succeed."

     

    http://www.thedailyflogger.com/local-author-plans-get-rich-writing-bdsm-fiction/

     

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    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:

     

    Who's Afraid of the Marquis de Sade? from the BBC

    Folsom Street Fair 2014: 30 Images from a Day of Kinky Fun from LA.com

    Is Kink a Sexual Orientation? from Slate

     

    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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here

     

    Return to Top


    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

     

     

    Written on Friday, 19 December 2014 21:32 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 3175 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2014
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    2nd Quarter, 2014

    In this issue

    Go to the Cops

    Poly in the Vanilla World

    Meet Your Board

    Coalition Corner

    Media Updates

    Available for Your Event

    Representing on FetLife


     Go to the Cops

     Susan Wright

    You CAN go to law enforcement to report assault even if you're kinky. I get so mad when I hear people say, "You can't go to the cops," or "They'll treat you badly because you're kinky." Really? You tell your friend to crawl in a hole after they're assaulted? Why don't you offer to go with them to report it to law enforcement or to a hospital? Or call NCSF so I can work with the local victim services and help them report it.

     Since I took over NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response program, I've made a lot of phone calls to professionals around the country in order to find good people who won't discriminate against us. And you know what? Our advocacy efforts are working. Even in the most conservative areas, there are judges, lawyers and social service workers who are already educated about kink and nonmonogamy. They know that what we do is consensual, and that assault is assault regardless of the way we have sex.

     In January, I was contacted by several victims of a perpetrator in Maryland. These victims ended up reporting their assaults in two different counties in Maryland. The State's Attorney in one county moved forward with the case. The trial only took half a day. The victim testified, but she wasn't outed in the media, even though the incident in question was fairly sensational and took place at a camp event in front of other kinky people. The event where it happened wasn't harassed by law enforcement, and neither was the kinky club where the perpetrator then worked. The State's Attorney was only interested in the assault, not in harming the victims or the BDSM community. In fact, the victims were treated very well by everyone they dealt with.

    Today the perpetrator was convicted of 2nd Degree Assault and was sentenced to a year in jail with two years probation and ordered by the court to attend an intervention program for intimate partner abuse.

    If someone assaults you or your friend, then this is what can result if you go to the police. NCSF can help you. You don't have to stay quiet. Prosecutors will typically take on cases where there are witnesses, so assaults that happen at events are actually more prosecutable in their eyes than something that happens in private at home. Prosecutors also look at the physical evidence - if you were hurt in an assault ALWAYS go to the hospital or to your doctor or a community assistance center so they can take photographs of the damage that was done to you. Even if you don't know if you'll report it, you'll have the evidence if you do decide to report it later.

     Also, prosecutors take it more seriously if there is more than one victim. When you report an assault and you don't have any physical evidence or witnesses, prosecutors may decide to wait to see if another victim comes forward. Multiple accusations carry more weight. But that can only happen if you report it.

    You can quote all the stats you want to about the small percentage of assaults - especially sexual assaults - that go to trial. But when we don't even try to get justice, then zero convictions will take place. If we don't try to stop someone who is a serial predator, then they will go on to commit more crimes.

    Our community can't keep people safe. We can't give out all the names of everyone who violates consent or somehow protect everyone at risk. That's why yelling names from the rooftops doesn't work. But reporting it to the police does work. That's why in this case, many of the group and event organizers quietly banned this person and pulled their events from the club while the perpetrator still worked there. They had to keep things quiet so the victim could pursue their case through the judicial system - remember that witness tampering is a serious charge.

    I'm so proud of the victims for standing up for themselves and stopping the cycle of repeated assaults. I'm proud of the Mid-Atlantic community of organizers for how they handled this difficult situation. It's been a learning experience for a lot of us, and I think that reporting assault to the police was the way to properly deal with this.

     NCSF's Incident Reportinghttps://ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/incident-response/incident-response.html

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    Guest Blog: Poly in the Vanilla World

    By Bjorn Paulee

     

    Accepting this assignment for NCSF has been a difficult time, but not for reasons you may assume.  One of the members of our poly family has been ill and in and out of the hospitals locally, and time has been precious more so than normally.

     

    I've known that I was poly before the word existed while I was going through puberty.  During my dating years, I was at one point going "steady" with four different girls at four different high schools.  So what does it mean to be poly in a vanilla world?  If I were to bring it down to the most concise phrase I could, it would be "emotional juggling," and if you think you desire it, you'd better be ready for it.  Only those to whom it comes naturally seem to be able to do it consistently.

     

    Our poly family right now is four and growing, with one under consideration and a number of others who may be asked if they want to be under consideration.  The problem is whether they are ready for it and are poly by nature or have another agenda.

     

    But let me go back to the topic of living in a vanilla world.  At best, it is difficult.  The national culture is not ready to accept polyamorous or polygamous relationships in the open.  The result is that most alternate lifestylers are forced to lie in order to live the life they feel they need.  Psychologically, that is not healthy.  It also means that only the best liars are the ones that can survive without being outed.

     

    I was a very good liar for many years, something I am not proud of.  I was able to maintain vanilla relationships, while letting the needs I have play out.  But it hurt others in the process.  I have good relationships with my kids for the most part, but they were raised in such a manner that they knew who I was and why I had to live as I did.  I have a close group of lifelong friends and most of them know about me, but some live very conservative lives and this is not something to wear on your sleeve and throw it in the faces of others.

     

    A few years ago, I made the decision not to lie any more.  For the most part, I've been able to hold true, but there are still times that cannot be helped.  For instance, one of the members of our poly family was in the hospital and in order to get information about her condition and make good with the nursing staff and doctors, we needed to say we were part of her family, so she instantly became a sister-in-law to me.  Sigh.  As a result, we have now put an Advance Directive (Living Will) together and are working on more legal documents that long-term will allow us some legal rights.  Again, it is difficult at best.

     

    For me, there has been lots of conflict throughout my life for having to use personal skills and talents to be in the closet about swinging early on and polyamory in the later years when swinging was no longer providing satisfaction.  I yearn to have multiple relationships and the variety it brings and I make a good partner, one who enables my partners and friends to be the best people they can be without being intimidating physically or emotionally.  But for now, I am living a reasonable relaxed life, something I was never sure would happen.

     

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    Meet Your Board! 

    Winner of the most recent NCSF Volunteer of the Year award, Keira!

    Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?
    I try to be involved in my community, offering aid to the leaders and support to anyone who needs it, but I have never been much of an activist. NCSF is my only true activist endeavor.

    What specialties do you bring to the board?
    My role on the board is fairly small, I find volunteers for all of our various programs and projects and send the media update on a biweekly basis. That said, I am the youngest board member, so I often offer a different perspective to our mission and as the volunteer coordinator I have the pleasure of being a support to all of our programs. I might have a small role, but it has a big impact in achieving our goals and getting things done.


    What inspired you to become involved in NCSF?
    I have always enjoyed helping others and soon after learning about the NCSF, Julian Wolf came to speak at my local group. We toured the area together (I had just moved and wanted to see the sights just as much as they did) and through a conversation about how my main goal in life was to serve the kink community I was encouraged to get involved with NCSF. 

    Keira writes: I am the Volunteer Coordinator for NCSF. When I'm not wearing that hat, I am a Health and Wellness student, weight lifter, and board gamer I live in Ocean Springs, MS, where I am involved in a very active local community and helping to get the TNG off the ground. For more information about me, or how to get involved with NCSF, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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    Coalition Corner

    The Red Chair

    What is the mission of your group?
    The Red Chair is a 501c non-profit corporation dedicated to providing education and support for adults that practice alternative lifestyles, particularly the BDSM lifestyle. TRC provides this via educational seminars, lectures, group discussions, and free form meetings. The group welcomes all sexual orientations, consensual relationships, and safe/sane/consensual BDSM practices without discrimination.

    What inspired your participation with the NCSF? 
    The Red Chair early on sought out an organization with the same commitment to adult alternative lifestyle education and issues as it has always had. NCSF's national mission has always coincided with that which the The Red Chair has sought to further on a regional level, and TRC has been a long-time and proud coalition partner with NCSF as a result.
     
    What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising? 
    TRC holds a special party each year at Halloween, the KarnEvil. Party proceeds are dedicated to the NCSF. 
     
    More information can be found at The Red Chair
     
    Thank you Chuck for sending in this picture and answering our questions! 
     
     

    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:

     

    Going National by Race Bannon for the Bay Area Reporter

    Unitarian Universalists Ratify Poly Inclusive Language in its Nondiscrimination Standards

    Swingers: Inside the Secret World of Sex Clubs from ABC News 

     

    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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here

     

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    Representatives from the NCSF are Out and About! 

    Here's a short sample:
    NCSF Sponsors Atlanta Poly Weekend
    Workshop and tabling at The Floating World! Board members Keira and Julian Wolf will be discussing Consent Counts in New Jersey at the end of July, as well as hosting a table. 

    And that's not all. Interested in having representatives from our organization at your event? Please contact us. We have board members scattered across the country and a dedicated team of Education Outreach Program speakers not to mention our small army of volunteers. We strive to accommodate our constituents, so please don't hesitate to let us know what you're looking for.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

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    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 15:16 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 3040 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2014
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    1stQuarter, 2014

    In this issue

    Erotic Awakenings

    Take the Consent Violations Survey

    2014 Annual Meeting

    Meet Your Board

    DC Professional Dominatrixes Rock

    NCSF Expands Its Legal Resources

    Polyamory as Orientation?

    Amicus Brief in Support of Consensual Nonmonogamy

    Representing on FetLife


    Erotic Awakening interviews NCSF Board Member Jsin 

    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.

     

    http://www.eroticawakening.com/files/ea312.php

     

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    Take the Consent Violations Survey!

     

     https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ConsentViolationsSurvey

     

    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

     

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    NCSF's Coalition Partners Come Together in Nashville, TN 

     

    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.

     

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    Meet Your Board! 

    Your current NCSF Board is:

    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

     

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    DC Professional Dominatrixes Rock On for NCSF


    Now on it's fourth year, the annual Dinner with Dommes exclusive event organized by the DC Professional Dominatrixes have proven to be a beneficial fundraising event for NCSF.


    This event brings together top DC and NYC Dominatrixes who donate their time and effort to raise funds for NCSF.  Every year, Mark of DC Dominatrixes (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) sets up and manages an online auction for seats at the table at this very private and exclusive dinner/play event held in one of the premier dungeons on the East Coast in Washington DC. 


    This year, eight lucky submissives were given the chance to be in the presence of eight beautiful and provocative top Professional Dominatrixes from the DC Metro area. The sumptuous dinner was prepared by a very creative chef and her energetic kitchen staff courtesy of Mistress Max Rulz. This event raised a total of $4,200. 


    At the 2014 Dark Odyssey Winter Fire event, the local DC Professional Dominatrixes together with DC Dominatrixes and DC Sub Club once again hosted a VIP fundraising reception.  It was a night filled with excitement, laughter and hobnobbing with the creme de la creme of the BDSM community, professional Dominatrixes, fetish models and other kink-friendly people.  Fun was had by all and this event yielded $2,000 for NCSF.
     
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    NCSF Expands Its Legal Resources

     

    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.

     

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    Guest Blog
    Polyamory As Orientation?

    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.

     

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    NCSF Files Amicus Brief in Support of Consensual Nonmonogamy 

     

    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

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to Top

     

     
    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 14:45 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 3084 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2013
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    4th Quarter, 2013

    In this issue

    Happy New Year!

    NCSF's Consent Violations Survey

    2014 Annual Meeting

    Meet Your Board

    Sexual Freedom in the News

    An Obituary for Leigha Fleming

    Representing on FetLife


    Happy New Year!
     
    From all of us at the NCSF we hope you had a wonderful holiday season and your new year is already great.
     
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    Coming Soon! NCSF's Consent Violations Survey

     

    January 2014 is the big launch of NCSF's Consent Violations Survey. We need everyone to take this survey even if you've never had a consent violation.

     

    We're also gathering important demographic info on your power exchange and sexual identities, whether you are "out" about being kinky, and what level of participation you have in BDSM groups and online communities.

     

    It will take as little as 5 minutes to complete, and up to 20 minutes if you provide details of consent violations or accusations. This information will be used in NCSF's advocacy efforts with law enforcement, victim services and health care professionals.

     

    This survey is anonymous and your privacy is guaranteed by Survey Monkey, a secured survey hosting website. NCSF will not have access to any identifying information about the participants.

     

    Look for the link to the Consent Violations Survey soon!

     

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    2014 Annual Meeting in Music City!
     
    The Annual NCSF Coalition Partner will be held in Nashville, Tennessee on March 15-16, 2014. Plan on coming in early. Our hosts will be offering free transport to and from the hotel to the airport and are giving all CP representatives, staff and board members free entry to the local Kink Community Center (The Mark) for both Friday and Saturday night events! Do you need concierge or visit planning assistance? Do you need guidance for special dietary concerns? Just let us know. 
     
    2014 promises to be a landmark year for the NCSF, we look forward to you coming and helping us plan. See you in Nashville! 
     
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    Meet Your Board! New  Member: Devin MacLachlan 
     
    The NCSF appointed our newest member in October. Please welcome Devin!

    Do you have a history of activism and community involvement? 
     
    My community involvement goes back to when I was in school in San Franscisco.  For two years I was on the South of Market Bare Chest Calendar which raised money for the AIDS Emergency Fund.  At that time 90% of all money raised went to clients.  Most recently I was the President and Executive Producer of Folsom Street East in New York City from 2008-2012.  FSE is a 501 (c)3 that raises funds for other LGBT and Kink causes.  NSCF has been a beneficiary of Folsom Street East since it started.  Before running FSE I was the last President of GMSMA (Gay Male SM Activists) in New York City.  A Working with other organizations like The NY Anti Violence Project and The Center in NYC GMSMA worked on educating the community about the difference between consensual SM play and abuse as well as holding classes on various techniques in BDSM play and community activism.

    What specialties do you bring to the board? 

    One of my specialties is building processes and growing community.  To be able to reach out between groups and organization connecting people and helping all achieve their goals.  We as a Kink/Fetish Community are bigger than any one person, one group, or type of sexuality.  We don't all have to act the same way or believe the same things but mutual respect and a willingness to help each other binds us together and makes us stronger.

    What inspired you to become involved in NCSF?

    After supporting NCSF for many years in other ways having the opportunity to join the board was a logical step.  Having the freedom to be who you are has always been a critical issue for me.  From the Freedom to Marry to the Freedom to express yourself in public or in private are basic rights we should be able to enjoy.   Limiting those rights diminishes all of us.
     
    On more of a personal note, I have been in an 8 year relationship with my now husband Bruce.  We were married in NYC in October of 2011 after same sex marriage was passed in the state of New York.  Currently we reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Since moving to Fort Lauderdale I have worked on "The Leather Masked Ball" a benefit for The Leather Archives and Museum as well as The Pet Project and Gilda's Closet.  I also have been working with The South Florida Minotaurs and looking forward to becoming a full member in the near future.  

    You can contact Devin via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     

     


     Sexual Freedom Stories in the News 

     

    The national (and international) news is buzzing with stories relating to sexual freedom.

     

    The New York Times reported "A Utah Law Prohibiting Polygamy Is Weakened," one of our contributing writers Tamara Pincus was interviewed by the Huffington Post, and the Oxford Student discussed BDSM Consent among other things. 

     

    Curious about what's going on in the world and what the NCSF pays particular attention to? You can check out our Blog anytime you'd like, it's always live at the NCSF website. We also send out regular Media Updates right to your inbox, to help you stay on top of things. Here's a link or find it below) if you haven't already signed up.  

     

    Sharing is caring! You can forward our newsletters, media updates and press releases to your friends by clicking the link at the bottom of our mailings. Keep in the know with the NCSF.

     

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    An Obituary for Leigha Fleming

     

    Leigha Fleming passed away on December 19, 2013, after a longstanding illness. She was 43 years old. Leigha received a wound that became infected in August 2012, and suffered through numerous operations before she finally succumbed to the infection.

     

    We would like to remember all the hard work Leigha did for NCSF as Chairman from 2008-2013, and as Incident Reporting & Response Director for nearly 12 years. At various times Leigha was also the Executive Director, Treasurer and Education Outreach Program Director since she started volunteering for NCSF in 2000.

     

    Leigha personally helped thousands of individuals, groups and businesses who suffered discrimination and persecution due to their interest in BDSM, swinging and polyamory. Those people who she touched will never forget that she was there to help them when they needed it the most.

     

    Leigha devoted a large part of her life to making sure that NCSF ran smoothly and that our volunteers and staff were doing their jobs. She took great pride in the fact that she played a key part in putting NCSF's infrastructure on a solid footing. The staff and Board members of NCSF will certainly feel the loss with Leigha gone.

     

    As many people suffer the loss of someone considered a friend or even mentor, we hope to celebrate all the good that Leigha propagated in her lifetime, and we are grateful for the positive changes she so frequently inspired.

     

    Leigha regretted at the end that she had little time left and no way to make restitution to NCSF. Her last words to NCSF were: "I am sorry."

     

    Rest in Peace.

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to Top

    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 09:10 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 3015 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2013
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    2nd Quarter, 2013

    In this issue

    Come talk about BDSM and consent!

    The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

    Why Support or Join NCSF?

    Representing on FetLife


     Come Talk about BDSM and consent!

    NCSF's Consent Counts project is holding discussions around the country to gather your input on our Consent Statement so we can move forward to change laws and perceptions of BDSM. Kinky people still have significant legal, political and societal issues facing us. The majority of us fear the very real threat of being prosecuted or losing our jobs or families. To change the assault laws, we have to be able to tell the world what we think of consent. What is ethical consent? What are the gray areas? Are there things people shouldn't be able to consent to in a BDSM context?

     

    If you would like your group like to hold a Consent Statement workshop in your area, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get the Consent Counts discussion guide.

     

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    The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

     

    The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex - including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM - in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Now the paraphilias are considered to be "unusual sexual interests," while those who have sex with children or people who haven't consented, or who deliberately cause harm to themselves or others, may be diagnosed with a Paraphilic Disorder.

     

    "The APA has made it clear that being kinky is not a mental disorder," says Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF. "That means people no longer have to fear being diagnosed as mentally ill just because they belong to a BDSM group. We've already seen the impact -NCSF immediately saw a sharp rise in the success rate of child custody cases for kinky parents after the proposed DSM-5 criteria was released three years ago."

     

    NCSF would like to thank everyone who participated in signing our DSM Revision Petition and for telling the APA about their own stories of discrimination and persecution. NCSFalso thanks every member of the APA Paraphilias Subworkgroup for responding to our concerns, and drawing a hard line between consensual adult kinky sex and those who willfully engage in nonconsensual or harmful activities.

     

    NCSF is proud to build on the work of kink-aware professionals who have come before us, including Race Bannon and Guy Baldwin, who helped make seminal changes in the DSM-IV in 1994.

     

    The following are some statements about the various paraphilias in the DSM-5. Although highly clinical in language, they show the APA's intent to not demand treatment for healthy consenting adult sexual expression:

     

     "A paraphilia is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder, and a paraphilia by itself does not necessarily justify or require clinical intervention." p. 686

     

    "In contrast, if they declare no distress, exemplified by anxiety, obsessions, guilt or shame, about these paraphilic impulses, and are not hampered by them in pursuing other personal goals, they could be ascertained as having masochistic sexual interest but should not be diagnosed with a sexual masochism disorder." p. 694

     

    "Many individuals who self-identify as fetishist practitioners do not necessarily report clinical impairment in association with their fetish-associated behaviors. Such individuals could be considered as having a fetish but not fetishistic disorder." p. 701

     

    "Clinical assessment of distress or impairment, like clinical assessment of transvestic sexual arousal, is usually dependent on the individual's self-report." p. 703   

     

    To support NCSF, go to www.ncsfreedom.org. NCSF relies entirely on your donations toadvance the rights of consenting adults and to do advocacy like our DSM Revision Project. Please donate now!

     

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    Why Support or Join NCSF?

     

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (often referred to as NCSF) is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. But why should the BDSM, leather, fetish, swing and polyamory communities that are the focus of NCSF's efforts, and their friends and allies, support our work? Good question.

     

    Perhaps the best way to demonstrate the importance of supporting, joining or otherwise empowering the work that NCSF does is to clearly lay out some of the many services we offer, initiatives we've undertaken and informative collateral that we offer.

     

    Our History

    NCSF was formed in 1997 by a small group led by Susan Wright under the auspices of the New York SM Activists. The goal was to fight for sexual freedom and privacy rights for all adults who engage in safe, sane and consensual behavior.

     

    The first five organizations who joined reflected our desire to be a nationwide organization: National Leather Association-International; Gay Male S/M Activists; The Eulenspiegel Society; Black Rose; and Society of Janus.

     

    Today, NCSF has over 100 Coalition Partners who elect the board that runs NCSF and help establish our goals at the annual Coalition Partner meeting. Coalition Partners are groups and businesses who serve BDSM/leather/fetish, swing and polyamory practitioners and also support NCSF by holding an annual fundraiser. NCSF also has over 100 Supporting Members - groups and businesses that support NCSF.

     

    Over the years, NCSF has formed alliances with other organizations that defend sexual freedom rights: Free Speech Coalition, the ACLU, American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance, among others.

     

    NCSF is the preeminent organization with a mission to improve the lives of those who consider themselves practitioners or community members among those who pursue BDSM/leather/fetish or swing sexualities or engage in polyamorous relationships.

     

    What We Do

    NCSF does many things to advance the rights of those who engage in consensual BDSM/leather/fetish, swing and polyamory lives. The best way to get a good sense of the full range of activities, projects and services that NCSF offers is to view the following sections that explain in some detail what NCSF has been up to lately.

     

    Consent Counts

    NCSF took over leadership in the nationwide Consent Counts project working to decriminalize BDSM and create a database of relevant state laws.

     

    The Consent Counts project involves the BDSM communities in a nationwide education and activism program coordinated and led by NCSF. This multifaceted campaign includes a comprehensive analysis of current laws and court decisions, the development of legal arguments for changing the laws, participating in court cases, and ultimately, through lobbying, education and grass-roots activism, changing state laws and the way the public and the courts view BDSM.

     

    An important element of the project is an Educational Outreach Program (EOP) to educate our own communities about the current state of the law and the efforts NCSF is undertaking to involve those communities in our strategic planning process and the development of "best practices" by which we can protect ourselves and facilitate change.

     

    To ensure that the work NCSF is doing as part of Consent Counts is based on the best information possible, An Internet survey was undertaken by NCSF gauge respondents' views on consent in a BDSM context. There were a total of 5,667 respondents and the results guide the Consent Counts project and were utilized in developing the draft of the NCSF Consent Statement. This is an official statement presented as a discussion of the ethical and legal concepts of consent that need to be considered in the practice of BDSM activities and in relationships based on BDSM activities. It reflects both the extensive study by NCSF of the state of the law in the U.S. and the results of NCSF's Consent Counts Survey. This Statement is intended for both BDSM practitioners and the general public.

     

    Incident Reporting and Response

    NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) was created to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities. If someone engaged in BDSM, fetish, swing or polyamory practices is being persecuted or discriminated against because of it, we encourage them to contact NCSF's IRR program. We may also be able to assist if a group or business is being harassed by religious political extremists or if they need assistance doing outreach to their local law enforcement.

     

    NCSF's IRR program uses three primary criteria for taking a case:

    • The issue must openly, directly, and specifically relate to BDSM, swing or poly activities between consenting adults. In other words, the problems faced must relate to or be caused from involvement in BDSM, swing or poly, without question.
    • The issue must be one whose outcome or precedent could affect not just the individual filing the complaint, but potentially a significant number of people with the same or similar problem.
    • The incident needs to have a reasonable chance of a successful resolution; usually indicating that the individual filing has not also been found guilty of a crime other than behaviors currently considered illegal relating to BDSM, swing or poly.

    Our IRR program may be able to assist with city and county mediation (zoning, licensing, and so on), custody and divorce information, employee and personnel issues, kink-aware professional referrals, criminal assistance, domestic violence assistance, and assisting when events are attacked (working with police, media, health departments, and so on).

     

    Due to limited resources NCSF is only able to take a fraction of the cases that come to us. Many of the complaints we receive do not meet all of the above criteria. Even under the best circumstances, NCSF can only help a small percentage of those who merit it. All of our work is done by volunteers and we accept no payment for our services.

     

    Kink Aware Professionals

    The Kink Aware Professionals Directory (often referred to as KAP) offers the alternative sexualities and relationship communities referrals to psychotherapy, medical, legal and other professionals who are knowledgeable about and sensitive to diverse expressions of sexuality and relationships.

     

    While NCSF cannot endorse or recommend these professionals, each professional listed has volunteered to be available for referral to people involved in kinky sexuality (leather, BDSM, fetish, and so on), polyamory, swinging, or publicly offers their services to that client population.

     

    Resource Library

    NCSF compiles a wide array of educational and informational materials on a variety of topics. We organize them in our online Resource Library for easy and free access to the public. Categories include Activist Resources, Consent Counts resources, DSM Resources, Educational Outreach Program Presentations and Publications, Kink Aware Professionals (for both professionals and those seeking assistance), Media Outreach Resources, NCSF Publicity Materials, Recommended Reading, Statistics and Surveys, and What is SM? Check out the amazing array of resources available to you for free from NCSF.

    Amid the categories of resources already mentioned you'll find many other useful documents for groups and event producers that assist in specific ways such as membership forms for social groups or private clubs, non-disclosure agreements, independent contractors agreements, employee work environment agreements, model release agreements, event/play space rules, recommendations for event planning, hotel negotiations manual, and a statement for hotel personnel when a hotel is attacked.

     

    Educational Outreach

    One of the missions of the NCSF Foundation and its Education Outreach Program (EOP) is to provide members of the BDSM/Leather/Fetish, swing and polyamory communities educational information concerning relevant legal, medical and other issues. We also provide education, as appropriate, to law enforcement, care providers, and other authorities about alternative sexuality, and to assist and support the outreach and education efforts of local communities.

     

    As part of EOP, NCSF works with District Attorneys and prosecutors to educate them with the intent to minimize discriminatory prosecutions, offers workshops by trained staff on a wide variety of topics, publishes white papers for professionals and members of the various communities, offers educational brochures and handouts, and conducts surveys on our community and publishes those results for others to utilize.

     

    Media Outreach Program Media Training, News and Information

    Through our Media Outreach Program NCSF does media advocacy for the millions of Americans who suffer discrimination and persecution because of their normal interest in some form of alternative sexual expression, such as BDSM, fetishes, polyamory, and swinging. A great deal of the bigotry against sexual minorities occurs because of a lack of information and the resulting negative depiction by the media. We offer resources for both the media and the alternative sexual expression communities.

     

    NCSF also offers assistance to organizations and event producers by helping them with press releases, intervention during a media crisis, media spokesperson representation, media training and ongoing support, and suggested sound bites and interview tips.

    In addition to our Media Outreach and Training Programs, NCSF offers news and information to our constituency through a variety of communication mechanisms.

    • Blog - News and information items are posted to our blog on a regular basis. Sometimes posts are originally authored articles and sometimes they are media updates which are a sampling of recent stories printed in U.S. newspapers, magazines, and selected websites. These stories contain significant mentions of BDSM/leather/fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics and may be positive, negative, or anywhere in between.

    • In The News - Learn how NCSF is impacting lives for the better.

    • NCSF Newsletter - NCSF regularly publishes a free newsletter to which anyone can subscribe.

    • Press Releases - When NCSF undertakes an important project, gets involved in important issues, or otherwise wants its constituency and the world at large to know about something, we issue press releases.

    • Action Alerts - When NCSF feels quick action is necessary by the public they serve, we issue Action Alerts outlining the action we hope people will take and why.
    • NCSF also recognizes excellence in journalism reporting through our Sex Positive Journalism Awards (also known as "The Sexies").
    • Legal Information and Assistance - When appropriate, NCSF may offer referrals to specific attorneys, the filing of amicus briefs, lobbying assistance, assistance with certain pertinent legislative initiatives, and legal background support through such efforts are our SM/Abuse Statement and our Consent Counts project.
     

    DSM Revision Project

    NCSF has successfully petitioned the American Psychiatric Association, resulting in the depathologizing of consensual BDSM in the latest Diagnostic & Statistics Manual (DSM). This helps not only those seeking psychotherapy treatment by not having their sexuality called into question during therapy, but also improves community members' legal standing in certain court cases when the DSM has been used as evidence.

     

    When the American Psychiatric Association formed their working committees to revise its most recent version of the DSM, the definitive resource on the diagnostic criteria for all mental disorders, NCSF became involved. Past statements within the DSM paraphilias criteria are contradicted by scientific evidence and therefore NCSF concluded that the interpretation of the paraphilias criteria had been not based on science. These often politically motivated interpretations subject BDSM practitioners, fetishists and cross-dressers to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We called on the American Psychiatric Association to remove or drastically restructure the paraphilias section in the DSM which resulted in some considerable success.

     

    BDSM Survey

    The 2008 Survey of Violence & Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities found significant discrimination and persecution against BDSM practitioners due to the social stigma attached to their sexual behavior. With over 3,000 respondents, 37.5% indicated that they had either been discriminated against or experienced some form of harassment or violence.

    The survey addresses the gap in current knowledge by reporting data on the prevalence of violence and discrimination against BDSM and polyamory practitioners. The persecution of these individuals is conceptualized as a manifestation of sexual stigma, that is, society's negative regard for any non- heterosexual behavior, identity, relationship, or community.

     

    NCSF Materials

    NCSF provides brochures and other NCSF materials for dissemination at events or to be used by organizations, clubs and other groups. A great example of such material is the Consent Counts Discussion Guide. The Consent Counts Discussion Guide offers groups a structured and organized way to foster discussion in their local alternative sexualities communities about the topic of consent. Visit our website to view the various materials we can offer.

     

    More Information and Contacting NCSF

    NCSF maintains a robust website on which you'll find lots of great information as well how to contact us. On our website we also include an event calendar listing NCSF and Coalition Partners events. We have a wide array of social media venues that keep our constituency and the public at large informed about NCSF and related news and information. We encourage people to bookmark our website and to keep informed about NCSF and related news and information through our social media platforms.

     

     

    Through the use of social media and virtual communications, NCSF provides its members, partners and the general public continuous updates regarding news, legislation, trends and information of interest to the BDSM, leather, kink, swing and poly communities.

     

    Supporting NCSF

    People and organizations can support NCSF in a number of ways. By supporting NCSF, you help keep our important programs and services alive. NCSF operates through the financial contributions and volunteer efforts of wonderful people around the nation and world.

     

    People and organizations can join NCSF as members at one of three levels of membership:

    • Coalition Partners - Our highest level of membership. Coalition Partners support NCSF through annual membership fees plus proceeds of an annual fundraiser for the benefit of NCSF.

    • Supporting Members - Individuals or organizations support NCSF with an annual membership fee.

    • Individual Members - Individual constituents hold membership in NCSF by contributing annual membership dues.
    • For organizations that support NCSF we offer the option to place our NCSF logo on your website, utilize NCSF ads that can be downloaded and used, include your name on our website as a supporting organization or business, and garner special recognition for our Coalition Partners.
    • Donations - In addition to memberships, NCSF can always use donations. NCSF is comprised of two separate corporate entities - the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the NCSF Foundation. Although both the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the NCSF Foundation are part of the same overall organization, it is necessary to have two separate organizations to enable us to do the broad range of work we do. Supporters of NCSF can choose to make a contribution to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, the NCSF Foundation, or both. A contribution to either organization will be used to support and promote the NCSF mission. Donors who wish to make a tax-deductible gift can do so by contributing to the NCSF Foundation. Many donors choose to make membership gifts in support of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom as well as tax-deductible gifts to the NCSF Foundation.
    • Volunteer - We encourage people to consider donating one of their most important assets to NCSF - their time. Whether someone wants to work behind the scenes or take a more public role, we have a project just right for them. There are important tasks to be done and we always need help to make it all happen.

    Shop NCSF

    NCSF has a number of branded products that you can purchase. Profits from the sale of these products go directly to work helping NCSF do the important work we do. 

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

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    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 08:49 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2980 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2013
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    1st Quarter, 2013

    In this issue

    NCSF's Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit

    Meet the Board

    NCSF presents at Yale Law School's RebLaw

    NCSF Launches Fire Recovery Fund

    Testing the Waters

    Coalition Corner

    Representing on FetLife


    NCSF's Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Phoenix, Arizona from February 8-10, 2013. The Consent Summit took place Friday evening, and Coalition Partners were able to participate via streaming video to give their input on the new Consent Statement. Go to www.ncsfreedom.org to see the Consent Statement and comment on it.

    "The Consent Statement is now launched to the BDSM-leather-Fetish communities for input until July 1st," says Judy Guerin, Director of Consent Counts. "This statement outlines the current legal climate in regards to BDSM practices, and describes the ethical responsibilities of kinky people, as well. The Consent Statement will be used to change assault laws so that consensual BDSM won't be mistaken for assault."

    One focus of the weekend was how to move forward now that a fire has destroyed the NCSF office. An emergency fund drive is underway to raise money to replace what was lost in the fire. Please help us reach our goal! 

    https://www.wepay.com/donations/ncsf-fire-recovery-fund 

    The new board of directors voted in Kevin Carlson as Chairman, Mark Richards as Secretary, and John Baku as Treasurer. The CPs also heard reports on NCSF projects and some of the stats include:

    Incident Reporting and Response received nearly 500 calls for help
    The Kink Aware Professionals list is up to nearly 1,200 professionals
    The Media Outreach Project gave over 60 interviews
    Over 600 NCSF Facebook page members and nearly 5,000 twitter followers
    98 Coalition Partners!

    Friday evening's Pizza Meet & Greet was sponsored by the AZ TNG, while lunch Saturday was sponsored by FetLife and lunch on Sunday at the APEX BBQ was sponsored by AZ Men of Leather. NCSF thanks APEX for welcoming CP representatives, NCSF board members and staff to their APEX Dungeon Party on Saturday night, and at their Sunday afternoon BBQ and NCSF Meet & Greet. NCSF also thanks Kelly Beaton, Master Bleu Sadist, slave alena girl, and Karen for volunteering and helping out in all sorts of necessary ways at the meeting!

    NCSF helps you, so please help us in our time of need! Support us by becoming a member or donating today!

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    Meet the Board

    After our elections at the annual meeting and an executive session that included appointing members, the Board of NCSF currently consists of:

    Kevin Carlson - Chairman - Boise, ID
    Mark Richards - Secretary - New York, NY
    John Baku - Treasurer - Vancouver, BC
    Race Bannon - San Francisco, CA
    Laura Carlson - Boise, ID
    Jim Fleckenstein - Manassas, VA
    Leigha Fleming - Fort Worth, TX
    Vivienne Kramer - San Diego, CA 
    Mercury - Nashville, TN
    Stephanie "Sassy" Lynn - Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
    Julian Wolf - Albuquerque, NM 
    Susan Wright - Phoenix, AZ 

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    NCSF presents at Yale Law School's RebLaw (Rebellious Lawyering) Conference

    by Judy 

     Over 150 attendees packed the room at Yale Law School's 19th annual RebLaw (Rebellious Lawyering) Conference, the nation's largest student-run public interest conference, for a panel discussion which included NCSF.  The discussion, "Safe Words?  Legal Restrictions on Consent and Radical Sex" was conducted by three panelists:  Judy Guerin, NCSF's Consent Count's Director, Ignacio Rivera, a two-spirit gender fluid kinkster whose work focuses on queer, trans, kink and sexual liberation issues within a race/class dynamic and Alexis Agathocieous, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who has worked on a successful case fighting a Louisiana law that required sex workers to register in the state's sex offender database.  The panel was facilitated by Yale Law students Adrien A. Weibgen and Ryan Richard Thoreson.

    The discussion was heavily focused on the issue of consent in the context of BDSM relationships and prosecution of BDSM as both assault and, more recently, under Federal trafficking laws.  A connection between prosecution of sex workers and BDSM practitioners under Federal trafficking laws was discussed.  The discussion also included a focus on the religious political extremists strategy to discredit the GLBTQ movement by tying it to practitioners of alternative sexuality.  The fact that sodomy laws, although overturned by the 2003 Lawrence v. Texasdecision, as well as other antiquated sex laws, are still on the books in many states and are still being used to prosecute people was highlighted.  NCSF introduced its recent statement on consent and its summary of the legal situation related to BDSM assault prosecutions, "Consent and BDSM:  The State of the Law", as well as some of its recent survey results and examples of BDSM prosecutions for consensual BDSM.

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    NCSF Launches Fire Recovery Fund

    The NCSF office in Baltimore, MD, was destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago. We've lost everything: computer, office supplies and furnishings, tee shirts, and all of our stored printed literature are gone. The Board of Directors along with our Coalition Partners and dedicated volunteers are working hard to recover from this tragedy, but much of that recovery takes money.

    As part of the recovery effort, NCSF has launched the NCSF Fire Recovery Fund campaign with a goal of raising $20,000 to help us get back up and running so that we can continue to do the important work we do for the BDSM-leather-fetish, swing and polyamory communities.

    We are asking anyone who is able to donate to the NCSF Fire Recovery Fund drive:

     https://www.wepay.com/donations/ncsf-fire-recovery-fund 

     Donations are tax deductible!

    And whether you are able to donate or not, we would appreciate you getting the word out about the fundraising campaign. If you visit the fund donation page linked to above, you'll see icons that allow you to share the page on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and through email. Please share with your network and encourage them to donate.

     
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    Testing the Waters....
    by Stephanie "Sassy" Lynn
     
    "Testing the Waters" is a column that will take an in-depth look at different parts and pieces of the NCSF.  It is designed to let you 'test the water' so you can get a feel for how things work, what they mean, and how you fit in.Being a Coalition Partner:  More than a Fundraiser 

    Some organizations have been NCSF Coalition Partners for as long as the NCSF has been around, and many of them will say:  being a CP means holding a fundraiser.


    Yes, and then, no.


    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom exists just as it says - as a coalition of people and organizations who believe in sexual freedom for everyone.  Our Coalition Partners come to the organization charged to do really, just two things - to fundraise and more importantly - to participate.


    The range of programs and services at the NCSF evolved as people just like you showed they were needed.  When parties get busted, or people come out to picket events, contacting the NCSF is often the first phone call that gets made.  When individuals in crisis call, NCSF responders are often the first understanding and sympathetic voice the caller will hear.  We continued to maintain the Kink Aware Professionals list after founder Race Bannon was looking for another entity to take over because our partners spoke up and said it was important to keep the service going.


    It is the 'speaking out' that is the most important function of a Coalition Partner.  The NCSF is only as good as our partners' ability to bring to the table the real needs of our community.  Protecting and advancing our sexual freedom will mean many different things to different Coalition Partners.  Remember, the NCSF advocates for Swing and Polyamory communities as well as the BDSM/Kink communities.  That diversity is why Consent Counts is at the very core of work being done by the NCSF.  It matters to everyone.  


    At the past Coalition Partners meeting, someone referred to "50 Shades of Grey" as the BDSM/Kink communities' "Stonewall".  Stonewall was a bar in New York where gay men first fought back from police oppression and aggression.  It is often pointed to as the event that started the GLBT rights movement.  While often these types of defining events have roots in fighting back, they don't all have to be negative.  The overwhelming world interest in "50 Shades of Grey" threw back the shroud that has hovered around BDSM practices for centuries.  It drew the interest of the world because it blazed a light on sexual practices that have been considered taboo.  If it has opened the door to less oppression, greater inclusion, fewer custody cases, and less police and legal interaction in the BDSM community - then indeed - "50 Shades of Grey" IS our Stonewall --- and we can feel blessed that it lacked the violence.


    Coalition Partners bring this level of community thinking to a single table.  They bring concerns, problems and opportunities for all of us to consider as we safeguard our sexual freedom.  The depth and breadth of the NCSF sits in the lap of every Coalition Partner.  When you talk about the issues, the problems, and the services needed to keep your local community vibrant, risk averse, and cohesive, realize that when you advance those thoughts to the NCSF through a Coalition Partner, you have helped contribute to a larger network that can make a difference.  That is the real gift that Coalition Partners bring to the NCSF...as well as that annual fundraiser.

     

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    Coalition Corner  

    Thank you to all the Coalition Partners and Coalition Partner Representatives that attended our Annual Meeting last month! 
    FIST
    Kevin Carlson
    New Mexico Leather League
    James Huesmann
    New England Leather Alliance
    MOB New England
    STL3
    NOBLE
    CPI/The Mark
    Judy Guerin-Cunningham
    MSDB
    Rob and Leenie
    International Ms Leather
    Fetlife
    NLA-Dallas
     
    We also want to thank everyone who attended virtually and those who continue to support us across the country. 
    Would you like to have your organization featured? Please contact Julian via  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

    Return to Top

     

     

    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 08:26 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2907 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2012
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    4th Quarter, 2012

    In this issue

    NCSF 2013 Coalition Partner Meeting in Phoenix

    Scholarships Available for Annual Meeting

    Support from a Leather Bar

    Meet Your Board: Candidates for Reelection

    Foundation Liaison to Present at Poly Living

    Coalition Corner

    Representing on FetLife


     NCSF 2013 Coalition Partner Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 8-10

     

    Please mark this date in your calendars.

     

    In order to make reservations at the Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport and get the group rate of $109, please reference group #2151272 when you call 800-325-0720 or go online at www.druryhotels.com

     

    Join us for our summit on the proposed NCSF Statement on Consent on Friday evening, 7-9pm at the Drury Inn. All CP reps who can't make it to the meeting may participate via video conferencing. The Consent Statement will be released in advance of the meeting, but this will be the time to give a final yeah or nay to it before our official launch.

     

    There will be a big party at Arizona Power Exchange (APEX) on Saturday evening that attendees of the CPmeeting may attend, however APEX requires that you become a member at least 24 hours in advance. We can sign up everyone who wants to attend on Friday evening before 8pm. APEX provides a New Member 30-day all access pass for $20.00 for 30 days which would include the party admission (which is $15.00 alone). APEX also extends reciprocal membership privileges to members of Desert Dominion, Lair De Sade North, Ohio SMART, Denver Sanctuary, Society of Janus and Threshold.

     

    APEX has also invited everyone to their monthly BBQ on Sunday starting at noon. It's a great way to meet the local community and relax after the annual meeting.  

     

    February in Arizona is a beautiful time for golf, swimming, sight-seeing and shopping. If you're coming in on Thursday and want to get involved in some fun on Friday during the day, please contact Susan to discuss the options we'll be organizing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

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    Scholarships Available for Annual Meeting

     

    Each year, the NCSF offers limited scholarships money that is available to active coalition parter representatives and key volunteers. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, or contributing to the scholarship fund, please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

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    Support from a Leather Bar

     

    On November 30th, the Dallas Eagle proudly held a fundraiser to show it's support
    for NCSF.
     
    The fundraiser, entitled 7 Deadly Sins was held in conjunction with the Mr and Ms
    Texas Leather 2013 meet and greet held at the Dallas Eagle.

    Over 30 items were donated by various individuals, groups and local businesses
    with themed items of a "deadly sin."

    Although the fundraiser only lasted 2 hours, it raised awareness to those who attended and
    resulted in $1000.00 raised via a silent auction.

    Did you have a fundraiser for the NCSF that you'd like to share? Let us know! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
     


    Meet Your Board: Candidates for Reelection 
     
    Jim Fleckenstein is a polyamory/non-exclusive relationships educator, researcher and activist.  He co-founded the Institute for 21st Century Relationships, now the Foundation of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), in 2000.  A founder and former board chair of the Chesapeake Polyamory Network, he has been a polyamory and open lifestyles activist since 1998, has spoken extensively, including many Poly Living conferences and at the annual Poly Pride event in New York City, and has been interviewed by The Chicago Tribune, the Guardian(UK), and on TV and radio.
     
    He holds a bachelor's degree with honors in Mass Communications and Politics and Public Affairs (double major) from the University of Miami, and is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.  He is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).
     
    A recognized expert, Jim has been chosen to present on poly-related topics at six AASECT and SSSS conferences, and was invited to author the Polyamory section of the U.S. chapter of theContinuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality.  He is a current member of the NCSF Board, and served as co-editor of their booklet, What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory.  He is collaborating with sociologist and author Dr. Curtis Bergstrand on research into the polyamorous community, currently working on an analysis of the largest survey ever conducted among self-identified relationally non-exclusive.persons.
     
    Before entering his work as an activist, educator and researcher in non-traditional relationships, Jim enjoyed a very successful 28 year career as an executive in the non-profit sector, and held the prestigious Certified Association Executive credential for 24 years.
     
    Why are you running for reelection?
     
    I want to continue my NCSF Board service in order to continue working on the DSM Project, ongoing outreach to the therapeutic and sexuality education communities, and to work on increased outreach to the polyamorous and swinging communities within NCSF's constituencies.
     
     _____
     
    At the turn of the century, Julian Wolf discovered and quickly became involved with the alternative community. Participating and performing at her first event, she quickly found her passion for service. 
     
    In 2003 she co-founded New Mexico: the Next Generation (NM:TNG) and ran the business of the group as Chairman for seven years before stepping down before her 30th birthday. Julian served as the first Ms. Rio Grande Leather (2004) and has assisted with every annual conference in various capacities. In 2005, the New Mexico Leather League (NMLL) was formed. A charter, and still current member, Julian served on the board for five consecutive terms. In 2006, she won Albuquerque Pride's title of "Ms New Mexico Pride" and met or exceeded the goals for that year. In 2008, Julian took a position as Administrative Assistant with Equality New Mexico (EQNM), New Mexico's statewide LGBT advocacy organization and served full time until she left in good standing.
     
    As a wordsmith, Julian wrote Carnal Conundrums, a Sex Positive Advice Column for New Mexico launched online in early 2009, is a freelance writer, and is contributes both a column (the Hedonist Dandy) and the occasional article for Fearless Press. In 2010, she also started working on-call for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). Julian is also a educator; offering classes and workshops locally, internationally, and as a member of the Kink Academy faculty, virtually. 
     
    An egalitarian sadomasochistic dandy, Julian is a heavy switch who loves to play and has a particular affinity for impact in addition to fetishes for feet and hair. Julian looks to surround herself with fun loving, intelligent people who know how to ask for what they want and are serious about their passions. Please feel free to peruse www.JulianWolf.net to learn more.
     
    Why are you running for reelection?
     
    I feel that I have much more to do. My first term on the NCSF board was greatly training, and I was recently given the go ahead to spearhead several projects, and I look forward to managing these. In the upcoming term, I am hoping to expand our newsletter, maintain a regular schedule for media updates utilizing volunteers, broaden our base of contributing writers, and continue outreach to NCSF constituents, and potential members. 
    _____
     
    Professionally, Kevin Carlson owned and ran a multi state property management company for 10 years with 200 plus employees.  He worked with the company for over 20 years and sold the company due to the nature of the industry trends at that point in time. 
     
    He started a contracting business, doing a mix of residential and commercial renovations. 
    During one of those contracts he was working for a private school and they offered me the facility management position to run the buildings, computers, major remodeling as owners rep working to keep contracts on schedule and on budget with the general contractors. He also managed four servers and over 200 workstations, including WAN connectivity for them.  
     
    After leaving them, Kevin went back into contracting, still working with residential and small commercial jobs.
     
    In addition to the above, from the age of 20, he has consulted and assisted small businesses with computer management and planning. This included simple maintenance, long term planning, and server installation. 

     
    Kevin's Non Profit History

    • Idaho Retriever Club. Active member for over 25 years, doing jobs from bird steward, grounds management, scheduling and Treasurer.
    • Involved with several Fair Housing agencies while employed with the property management company.
    • Ducks Unlimited. Active for over 10 years, supportive member, assisted with one of the ladies chapters from a background standpoint in their annual event. This event turned out to be one of the largest fund raisers for DU that year. I was also Treasurer for one of the larger local chapters for 2 years.
    • BBDSMS, Inc. (Boise BDSM Society). Member since 2002, a founding member. I have held several offices and positions over the years. This included Secretary, Events Coordinator for over 4 years, instructor and general support.  I am involved with both short term and long term management. 
    • Boise Pride. Providing background support to the management. Grounds planning, safety concerns, set up, tear down, long term planning. Currently, on the board of directors and holds the position of Events Coordinator.
    • The Community Center (TCC). Joined the Board of Directors in December 2008, assisted with rewriting of their bylaws
    • NCSF - Board Member for 4 years, currently running the KAP program and IT Director, focusing on timely responses and expansion to both the professional that may want to list on the data base and also to the end user. Worked with Laura Carlson and Leigha Fleming drafting the revisions of the 501c (4) bylaws. Always willing to do more to make NCSF even better.

     

    Why are you running for reelection?

    Generally, I consider myself a well rounded person. I enjoy what I do. My focus in the communities is on acceptance and bringing the voice of acceptance to all. A big part of what is going to provide acceptance is education to those who may not be aware. Without education, tolerance is out of the question. We are just people like anyone else, with jobs, families, friends and all those bills. I believe in the voice of the NCSF and its activities to further acceptance for all.
     
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    Foundation Liaison to Present at Poly Living Conference 

    Although he'd love to be in Phoenix for the Annual CP Meeting, NCSF board member and NCSF Foundation liaison Jim Fleckenstein will be in Philadelphia that weekend instead.  Jim will be presenting at the annual Poly Living Conference, sponsored by the Loving More nonprofit, and representing NCSF at this major annual gathering of the polyamory community.  Jim will be presenting on the results of the largest ever survey of the non-exclusive relationship community, an effort sponsored by Loving More and endorsed by NCSF.  NCSF's outreach to the polyamory community is an essential part of our overall mission to support all of our constituencies, and unfortunately, the revised dates of the CP meeting coincided with this major polyamory community event.  "I regret having to miss the CP meeting this year, " Fleckenstein noted, "but this continuing commitment to reach out to the polyamory community is a very important priority for NCSF and for me personally."

     

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    Coalition Corner  

    Are you or your group a Coalition Partner of the NCSF? We'd love to feature you in our newsletter! Coalition Corner is designed as a both a thank you and a way to introduce our constituents to the voting members of our organization. 
     
    The interview process is simple. Our newsletter organizer Julian Wolf sends your CP Representative an email with four questions, and once answered, you're all set! Our newsletter reaches thousands of inboxes and can be read anytime on our website; it's a great way to get the word out about your organization.  
     
    Would you like to have your organization featured? Please contact Julian viaThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

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    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 08:00 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2777 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2012
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    3rd Quarter, 2012

    In this issue

    NCSF 2013 Coalition Partner Meeting in Phoenix

    Representing on FetLife

    International Swingers Day

    NCSF at FetFest

    Coalition Corner

    Meet Your Board! 


    NCSF 2013 Coalition Partner Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 8-10 

     Please mark this date in your calendars!

     

    In order to make reservations at the Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport and get the group rate of $109, please reference group #2151272 when you call 800-325-0720 or go online at www.druryhotels.com

     

    There will be a big party at APEX on Saturday evening that attendees of the CP meeting may attend, however APEX requires that you become a member at least 24 hours in advance. We can sign up everyone who wants to attend at the Meet & Greet at the Drury Inn on Friday evening before 8pm. APEX provides a New Member 30-day all access pass for $20.00 for 30 days which would include the party admission (which is $15.00 alone). APEX also extends reciprocal membership privileges to members of Desert Dominion, Lair De Sade North, Ohio SMART, Denver Sanctuary, Society of Janus and Threshold.

     

    February in Arizona is a beautiful time for golf, swimming, sight-seeing and shopping. If you're coming in on Thursday and want to get involved in some fun on Friday during the day, please contact Susan to discuss the options we'll be organizing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

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    Representing on FetLife 

      

    Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!

    NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
    NCSF Volunteers
    Consent Counts

    and members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!

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    International Swingers Day 2012

     

    The "World's Largest Lifestyle Holiday" was held at the exclusive clothing optional resort, Caliente Caribe and this year, the NCSF was well represented! Our Board Chair Leigha Fleming was invited to present as part of the educational offerings at the event. I sat down with Lucinda Brown, our office manger who also attended. I asked her a few questions about ISD and her experience. 
     
    What is "International Swingers Day?"
     
    It was a conference that focused on training and educational growth for the leaders of the swing lifestyle industry. 
     
    For the first time, ISD also featured parties and activities, really taking advantage of the resort atmosphere! Where was it located this year? 
     

    Just over an hour outside of Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic.

     

    What classes did you offer?

     

    Leigha taught Swing Groups and ZoningProtecting Yourself Legally, Swing Groups and Law Enforcement, and SM101.

     

    Were you able to attend any other classes, and if so, what did you think?

     

    They are extremely professional, well organized and very business/sales adept.  

     

    That sounds like a blast! What was your favorite part of the event?

    My favorite part was how welcoming, warm, and friendly this group was.  It was incredible to see the light bulbs going off in their heads as NCSF presented on legal, zoning, and ethical issues. I also felt great about the networking connections made, and the enthusiasm exhibited by the attendees to "do it right."  

     

    Thank you Lucinda for your work, and for taking the time to be interviewed. The NCSF aims to advance the rights of, and advocate for consenting adults in the BDSM-Leather-Fetish, Swing, and Polyamory Communities, and the work that you and Leigha did at International Swingers day helps us with those goals. 

     

    If you are interested in having a representative from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom teach at one of your lifestle events, please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the office at (410) 539-4824.

     

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    NCSF at FetFest
    by Susan Wright

     

    NCSF was loud and proud at FetFest this past Labor Day weekend, with lots of fundraisers and Consent Counts discussions scheduled with the various FetFest villages. John Baku of FetLife joined NCSF to talk about consent with the Poly Village on Friday evening, the Goddess & FemDom Villages at their Saturday morning Champagne Brunch, the Hypnosis Village at Saturday Munch, and the open consent discussion in the Dungeon Tent on Sunday afternoon.

     

    NCSF also gives a big thanks to everyone who helped organize and run the fundraisers. Everyone had a great time and raised a lot of money-in all, $3,120 went to NCSF.  From the Cigars, Boots and Chocolates party on Friday evening, to the Bouncytown treat boxes, to the World Record in Needles, everyone came out and supported NCSF. NCSF also thanks Paul, Simon and the great staff of FetFest who enabled us to raise some much-needed funds.

     

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    Coalition Corner  

    Are you or your group a Coalition Partner of the NCSF? We'd love to feature you in our newsletter! Coalition Corner is designed as a both a thank you and a way to introduce our constituents to the voting members of our organization. 
     
    The interview process is simple. Our newsletter organizer Julian Wolf sends your CP Representative an email with four questions, and once answered, you're all set! Our newsletter reaches thousands of inboxes and can be read anytime on our website; it's a great way to get the word out about your organization.  
     
    Would you like to have your organization featured? Please contact Julian via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
     
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    Meet Your Board! 
    Returning Member- Jim Fleckenstein     

     

    1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement? 

    Yes.  I was a co-founder of the Chesapeake Polyamory Network in 1998, and founded the Institute for 21st Century Relationships, which is now the NCSF Foundation, in 2000.  I've also been involved in swing organizations as a consultant.

    2) What specialties do you bring to the board? 

    I enjoyed a 28 year career in non-profit organization management, including development, marketing, volunteer development, event planning, and education.  I also bring the perspective of a person rooted in the polyamory community, with crossover knowledge of the swinging and kink communities.  I'm also a respected academic researcher and community-based educator who has presented at numerous American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists conferences, and also at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.


    3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? 

    NCSF is an established organization with a broad constituency.  I worked with NCSF while I ran ITCR as an independent organization because we served overlapping constituencies.  I was very pleased to bring my portfolio to the NCSF board to help advance its mission and broaden its outreach to other constituencies within the broad spectrum of sexual and relationship minorities.

    Jim is our Foundation Liaison and you can email your board member at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     

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    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 07:44 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2555 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2012
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    2nd Quarter, 2012

    In this issue

    NCSF Annual Meeting 2013

    NCSF Steps Up for Detroit

    NCSF at AASECT

    NCSF's Coalition Partners Come Together in Sunny Minnesota

    Coalition Corner

    Meet Your Board!

    Come Find the NCSF at These Events 


    NCSF Annual Meeting 2013 
     
    NCSF is thrilled to announce - well ahead of schedule - its 2013 Coalition Partner Meeting! Come to Phoenix, Arizona, on Feburary 8-10, and make the NCSF magic happen again. Please mark this date in your calendars. There will be a big party at APEX on Saturday evening, and desert fun and shopping arranged for those who arrive early on Friday. Start your planning now!
     
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    NCSF Steps Up for Detroit

    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.

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    NCSF at AASECT 
    by Susan Wright

    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."

     The NCSF exhibit gave away hundreds of brochures about NCSF projects such as the Kink Aware Professionals free referral list, the DSM Revision project to depathologize BDSM, the Consent Counts project to decriminalize BDSM, and NELA's "Is it S/M or Abuse?" brochure. Two brochures intended for kinky people were also popular giveaways asillustrations of the difficulties our underserved population faces: Finding a Kink Aware Therapist and Finding Kink Aware Medical Care.

    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. 

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    NCSF's Coalition Partners Come Together in Sunny Minnesota 

      

    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 Rope 

    Minnesota Stocks Debentures and Bonds (MSDB)

    Peprmnt

    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:

     

    BBDSMS

    Chicago Age Players

    Females Investigating Sexual Terrain - FIST

    International Ms. Leather - IMSL

    Knights of Leather

    Kevin Carlson

    Leenie

    Leigha Fleming

    MN Rope

    Minnesota Kinky Youth

    Minnesota Stocks, Debentures, and Bonds - MSDB

    MOB

    NELA

    New Mexico Leather League

    NOBLE (New Orleans Bondage and Leather Enthusiasts)  

    Northern Lights/TC Productions

    PEPRMNT

    TES

    The Mark by CPI

    The Monarchs

     

    The Board of NCSF currently consists of:

    Leigha Fleming - CHAIR - DENVER CO  

    Vivienne Kramer - TREASURER - BOSTON, MA  
    Laura Carlson - SECRETARY - BOISE, ID 
    Jim Fleckenstein - HEARNDON, VA 
    Race Bannon - SAN FRANCISCO, CA 
    Julian Wolf - ALBUQUERQUE, NM  
    Kevin Carlson - BOISE, ID 
    Mark Richards - NEW YORK, NY 
    Mercury - NASHVILLE, TN  

    James Huesmann - FAIRBANKS, ALASKA 
    Susan Wright - PHOENIX, AZ

     

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    Coalition Corner: The Groups of Greater Minneapolis-St Paul 

    by Julian Wolf 

      

    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.  

     

    Knights of Leather

    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! 

     

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    Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Kevin Carlson

    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.

     

    You can email your board member Kevin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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     Come Find the NCSF at These Events!  

    We're always active and frequently traveling! We'll be representing at these upcoming events, but we always have room to book more! Are you interested in having us, or our information, at your next event, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

    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  

     

    ... and more. Find us on TwitterFacebook and FetLife!   

     

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    Written on Thursday, 18 December 2014 06:51 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 2491 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2012
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter
    1st Quarter, 2012

    In this issue

    The NCSF Annual Meeting is the 3rd Weekend of March!

    Sexual Freedom Stories in the News

    What happened at Spanksgiving?

    Spanksgiving, an Addendum

    Coalition Corner - The Eulenspiegel Society

    Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Vivienne Kramer


    The NCSF Annual Meeting is the 3rd Weekend of March! 

    Join us in St. Paul Minnesota this spring! We are pulling out all the stops for a fabulous annual meeting for the NCSF. The annual meeting is an opportunity for our Coalition Partners to send their representatives and help set NCSF policy, review and approve the budget and elect the board. There is no better way to get involved with the NCSF, and our have the voice of your organization represented. This important meeting is a great opportunity to really sink your teeth into the work NCSF is doing and that our CP groups are supporting and directing! NCSF has limited scholarships available to help facilitate the attendence of active Coalition Partner representatives to the meeting. 

    Other than some very exciting work, what awaits you in Minnesota? Good food (meat eaters - you want to try the Packer Stacker) and most meals under $10 each at the hotel restaurant and bar. 

    Have you heard of Minnesota Hospitality? Come experience it! Anyone flying in will be driven from the airport to the hotel, saving guests from an expensive cab ride. Minnesotan's are a friendly bunch, aiming to make your stay comfortable. There will be a private hospitality room on-site with above average snack/sandwich items for individuals on a really tight budget and those who need specialty stuff. (Gluten Free diet? Let us know!) 

    Bring your long johns if your worried about the cold, but it's been an unusually warm year so far, it might even be swimsuit weather by March! Come prepared for lots of possibilities. 

    Here's the hotel information, book your room now! To book, please call the hotel directly and give our Group Code: "NCSF GROUP" to qualify for the generous rate of only $89 a night. (If you don't let them know, you will not receive the discount.) 

    Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 701 Concord St. South South St. Paul, MN 55075
    651-455-3600 

    Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds has been working hard to make this a meeting to remember. Join us! 

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    Sexual Freedom Stories in the News 

    The national (and international) news is buzzing with stories relating to sexual freedom.

    A story of particular note includes Canada's recent court case regarding polygamy laws. There are dozens more that might peak your interest including; a variety ofcelebrity scandals, a recent obscenity trial, and some stories close to our hearts such as the announcement of our newest board member Race Bannon and our new volunteer coordinator

    Curious about what's going on in the world and what the NCSF pays particular attention to? You can check out our Blog anytime you'd like, it's always live at the NCSF website. We also send out regular Media Updates right to your inbox, to help you stay on top of things.Here's a link (or find it below) if you haven't already signed up.  

    Sharing is caring! You can forward our newsletters, media updates and press releases to your friends by clicking the link at the bottom of our mailings. Keep in the know with the NCSF. 

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     What happened at Spanksgiving?
     By Tamara Pincus, LICSW

     As you may know, there was some drama this year surrounding the Spanksgiving event in St. Louis. Spanksgiving is not an unusual type of event. It covers BDSM education and socializing and generally provides a place for people to come and get together as a part of the BDSM community. This is not unlike any number of events held nationwide every year. Such events are one of the main ways in which those of us in the BDSM world catch up with our friends and learn from each other. The problems that Spanksgiving experienced were not chance. There was a specific group of people in local government who chose to try to stop this immoral "sex convention".  NCSF was there to help stop these conservatives from ruining the event. 

    Back in March 2011, Tommy (last name withheld for confidentiality reasons) one of the employees at the host hotel broke his confidentiality agreement during the Beat Me in St. Louis event also run by STL3. He tweeted about the convention categorizing it as disgusting and nasty. He also called his uncle, well-known "upstanding member of the community" Gil Klein, one of three aldermen (local government officials) who had jurisdiction over Fairview Heights, the area where the event is located. The hotel subsequently fired Tommy for breaking their confidentiality agreement.

    Gil Klein, the city alderman, attempted to get into the Beat Me in St. Louis convention to see what was going on but could not. He used the presence of the convention to create negative ads about the Mayor "allowing" there to be a local sex convention. In the time between that Beat Me in St. Louis and Spanksgiving 2011, two of the three local aldermen were voted out of office. The one remaining alderman who had not been up for election was Sandy Baldwin. Sandy Baldwin made it clear that she believed that Spanksgiving should pay a fee and be required to get a permit for their event because of the type or organization it is, even though the legislation in question was not used to require permits for other local events. She notes that both Girl Scouts and STL3 are non-profits, but she states, "I think there's a difference between a Girl Scout cookie and a sexual toy paraphernalia" She specifically chose to single out this event because of her biases.

    On the Wednesday before Spanksgiving 2011, the local government informed the organizer of Spanksgiving, Jsin, that they would be charging the vendors a special fee and requiring a permit. Now, there have been many similar events with vendors held at the same hotel, which had not had to pay this same fee to local government, and had not been required to get these kind of permits.  When Jsin did finally go into the office to meet with them about completing the permit it was clear that nobody had ever issued this kind of permit before and it took more than one draft.

    In the meantime, the media got involved.  A scathing commentary on the CBS website talked about how the Spanksgiving organizers had not followed through with the correct procedures and were unlawfully going forward with their event.

    Here is where NCSF stepped in. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom worked with the event organizers to make sure that all of the media attention was handled well. Susan Wright held interviews with the media and explained to them the injustices that were taking place in this case. Jsin reports that NCSF was there with him along the way to help him know what questions to ask and what to do to make sure the issues got resolved. Jsin was clear to all of the government officials involved that he was only trying to do what was required to get the permit and comply with all local and state laws. As a result he was able to get the permits and hold the event with no fines or other legal problems.

    Now this is by no means the only event that has had this kind of problem. Conservatives all over the country would love to put a stop to "sex expos" like Spanksgiving. They think that BDSM is "against God's plan" and all other sorts of nonsense. They would like us to keep our activities well underground. This not only tears apart the BDSM community by isolating us from each other, but also prevents people from learning the basics of BDSM including learning about safety and consent. All of this just shows how important it is that we have NCSF there to help us advocate for ourselves in this kind of situation. Without the NCSF and the groups that support it, our community would have no way to work together to fight off these kinds of attacks. 

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    Spanksgiving, an Addendum
    by Julian Wolf

    The day of my flight out to St. Louis, I received an urgent message from the NCSF board chair, letting me know that Susan Wright wouldn't be able to attend, so I should be ready to represent the NCSF board and be on hand for the staff and producers of the event, and ready to step forward if need be. Fortunately, most of what I had packed was suits, slacks and dress shirts, so I didn't need to modify the contents of my luggage to accommodate a potential media storm. Leigha (Fleming) made sure that Jsin and I had each other's information, and I spent time in the airport reading up on the articles, and comments posted underneath them, that had been all over the media in the St. Louis area so I'd be informed and ready to work upon arrival.

    Once I arrived in the hotel and dropped off my luggage in my room, I made it a point to introduce myself to the staff and volunteers. I eventually met Jsin face to face, and was pleased to find out the new developments were positive- they had secured the necessary permits and were moving ahead without any new problems. Throughout the weekend I stayed in touch, and enjoyed myself. Classes went well, and with every check in, I was reassured that not only had the work that Susan (Wright) and Jsin done this year been very effective, what they had learned at previous events and the history of work the NCSF had already done with the STL3 team was effective in making Spanksgiving a low-drama event. On Saturday, Jsin let me know that the police had already come and gone, and it was completely uneventful.

    I never had to step in and handle anything as a member of the NCSF board, and the reason is this- the work had already been done. STL3 and the NCSF have been close partners for enough time that they knew what to do. They knew how to handle the authorities and Susan (and Jsin) had already handled the questions. The attendees of Spanksgiving were able to enjoy themselves without incident, and there were no protesters, no breach of confidence, no one being "outed" and we were all free to have a lovely time.

    It is the work that the NCSF does every day that makes our community a safer, freer place to live. The big events get the most attention, but the teaching, training and knowledge that is shared every day is what makes the biggest difference. I am proud to report that my services as an official representative of the NCSF were not needed at Spanksgiving this year, and I want to thank everyone who consitsantly contributes to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom for helping us make our world a safer, saner and significantly more fun place to live.  

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    Coalition Corner - The Eulenspiegel Society 

    1) What is the mission of your group?

    Since 1971, The Eulenspiegel Society (TES for short) has promoted sexual liberation for all adults, particularly those who enjoy consensual BDSM or whose sexuality embraces dominant/submissive fantasies and urges. A much fuller explanation of our purpose is our Creed, which can be found, among other places, online at http://www.tes.org/main/about.php 

    2) What inspired your participation with the NCSF?

    TES goes way back with the NCSF, and the full story would take up more space than we have here. We were one of the founding member organizations; the term "Coalition Partner" had not yet been coined. TES members were already accustomed to working with other groups, albeit on a local level. Some of the more activist leatherfolk in NYC, accustomed to working together on Leather Pride Night, started meeting informally to share ideas about other projects. This became the New York SM Activists (NYSMA), the crucible from which emerged, among other projects, the initiatives which became Leather Leadership Conference and the NCSF.

    NCSF's purpose, as originally expressed, defending sexual freedom and privacy rights for adults engaging in safe, sane and consensual behavior, was and is fully compatible with the purposes stated in the Eulenspiegel Creed, so when Susan Wright presented the idea of NCSF to us, we of course signed on.

    The broadening of that mission over the years to take in the swing and poly communities has not changed our commitment; after all, some of our kinky leather folk are poly or into swinging as well.

    3) What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising?

    In recent years we've raised funds for NCSF at our annual event, mainly at the Celebrity Auction, where we sell a scene, a lesson or simply time with those presenters who have chosen to go the extra mile and contribute that much more of themselves ... which is most of them, since they know it's for NCSF! At the last couple of events, we've also turned our Top/Bottom Auction and our Kinky Casino into fundraising opportunities as well. We have some very talented members who are good at, ahem, flogging NCSF to our attendees and persuading them to give just that little bit more.

    The Eulenspiegel Society is the oldest BDSM support group in the United States. You can check out their calendar, browse their resources, and learn more about the group at www.tes.org. Learn more about their annual event, TES Fest, at www.tesfest.org. TES also continues to be one of the sponsoring organizations for Leather Pride Night NYC (leatherpridenight.org). 

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     Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Vivienne Kramer       

    1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?    

    I've been involved in community activism since 1989, starting off in the women's rights ocmmunity, specifically working for greater Boston NOW. One of the first things I did was spend every Saturday morning, helping to create a human barrier to allow women who had appointments at clinics to go in safely and without ridicule or torment. After 6 years working on my feminism, I moved over to my true passion of Sm and applied what I had learned to the kinky community. 

    2) What specialties do you bring to the board?   

    I am a numbers person by nature, so I bring my love of finance and budgeting. But my two decades of organizing and becoming an adult has also brought out my skills in leadership, volunteer management and organizational development. I love working as a team to come up with the big picture then help implement the idea or project through its establishment. 

    3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? (What does the NCSF mission mean to you?)    

    In 2001 I had already been involved in my local community for about 6 years and I wanted to help on a national level. NCSF had been around for a bit but it didn't have the organizational structure or base of support it has now. I joined on what was then the Executive Committee and soon became Chair. About a year into my term, we re-aligned NCSF into a working Board executing and reporting to the Coalition Partners it's policy and strategic vision. I truly believe that in order to adjust this country's landscape of perception and discrimination, our community must take a multi-prong approach. Local groups must create awareness and educate locally and NCSF handles the umbrella role of national policy.    

    4) Anything else you'd like to add? 

    Discovering that one's passion is activism is truly amazing. Having the courage to specifically work on sexual freedom ... well there's a special place in the universe for all of us. I often say that even though I don't have kids, I still want the world to be a better place for them, in every way possible. Each and every one us and our future generations need to be able to express whatever sexuality we have without fear of persecution. What NCSF does, what each local community group does, what we all do and believe in our heart helps......every single day.

    You can email your board member Vivienne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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    Written on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 05:24 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 8567 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2011
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter

    4th Quarter, 2011 


     In this issue

    • NCSF Annual Meeting, March 2012 in Minnesota
    • Consent Counts: Report & Looking to the Future
    • Consent Counts: Words from Our Board Chair
    • Coalition Corner: Siege Works
    • Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Mercury

     NCSF Annual Meeting, March 2012 in Minnesota

     By: Sassy, CP Rep - Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds

    March is known for "March Madness" in Minnesota. It's a time of high school sports championships and interesting weather. Not to worry, we will keep you warm and safe from the snow! Join us for the Coalition Partner Meeting the third weekend of March in 2012 in Minneapolis, MN. We are already putting together a series of people ready to scoop you up at the airport and deposit you at the hotel! 

    The annual meeting is an opportunity for our Coalition Partners to send their representatives and help set NCSF policy, review and approve the budget and elect the board. NCSF has limited scholarships available to help facilitate the attendence of active Coalition Partner representatives to the meeting.   


     Consent Counts: Report & Looking to the Future 

     by the NCSF Board 

    Eighteen months ago NCSF kicked off a new program called Consent Counts. The program is a direct outgrowth of the direction of the more than fifty Coalition Partners who vote for the NCSF board, approve the budget and set the policies and programs of NCSF. In conjunction with NCSF's efforts to help remove SM from the DSM manual that classifies mental illness, the criminal prosecution of consensual BDSM is a real issue that the NCSF sees every day. NCSF's Consent Counts program is a long-term effort to both challenge and change those laws.

    Consent Counts began primarily as a legal program. In the last year the NCSF has done a tremendous amount of work with people outside of SM community, along with SM related legal and legislative work. The effort to change the impact of California SB 430 is an example of that work.    

    The next step in the Legal part of the Consent Counts program is the development of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes for attorneys around the issues of consent in criminal law. The NCSF will be joining the Kody Brown/Sister Wives case by providing an Amicus, or friend of the court brief, in support of the decriminalization of consensual adult polygamy. By the end of the 1st quarter next year, NCSF will have an indexed list state by state available on the website citing relevant appellate or case law around consensual BDSM and providing the ability to search out laws in all 50 states that criminalize BDSM.    

    Our coalition has given more than fifty workshops around the country on the legal realities of consent in the law in the last year. 

    One of the things we have learned is that the legal work alone isn't enough. There has been an exponential growth in the numbers of requests NCSF has received for help related to consent issues in the last year. So, in an effort to be responsive to our constituencies we began to develop a guide for both victims of consent violations and those accused of consent violations. The two-part guide will have a section for victims who have had their consent violated and give them some tools for looking at what their options are (police, civil, outreach assistance, how to report, what to say etc.) Additionally, it will have another section for those who have had an accusation leveled against them (legal, criminal, civil, etc. The board anticipates having the guide available for public distribution at the beginning of next year.

    Finally, the expansion of the Consent Counts program will include the publication of a community discussion guide that groups, workshop leaders, presenters, and events around the community can use to begin, develop, and turn into NCSF, the outcomes, of discussions around the issue of consent, what it means in their communities etc. To be very clear- the NCSF does not intend to develop some kind of unilateral statement regarding consent. The whole point of the of the Community Discussion Guide on Consent is to foster the discussion nationwide - leading to a policy summit at NCSF's next annual meeting in Minneapolis, led by Coalition Partners and finally to the development and creation of a statement about consent created at the Leather Leadership Conference (LLC)XIII in Seattle in 2013.


    Consent Counts: Words from Our Board Chair

     by Leigha Fleming 

    I believe- from the volume of requests and comments NCSF has had over the last 12-18 months that SSC- safe sane and consensual is a model that doesn't work for us as a community anymore. We've outgrown it the way a child outgrows the training wheels on his bike. There IS brand equity in SSC. It's still useful. We've done anamazing job over the last 25 years educating people outside out community about BDSM.  SSC- due in no small part to the work of activists in our community has entered the modern lexicon -- CSI episodes, "consenting adults", safewords, and news stories that reference SSC. WE- the SM community- did that. But it's also become not much more than sloganeering... and it's not enough for us anymore.

    We've been discussing these attitudes and growing the Consent Counts program dictated by our CPs who have said this is the most important work we can be doing.

    I'm asking all of you to join the discussion - on Fetlife, in notices at SM events, in your local groups and on NCSF's website. As we distribute the Community Discussion Guide at the beginning of next year, ask an NCSF rep to come to your group, take the guide to your own groups and events and munches and launch a discussion. Send us your feedback. This isn't going to be easy. But the issues surrounding consent are significant- and unless we address them, we will fail in our mission.

    For the people who say - you know what, I'm not responsible for some idiot who thinks consent given once never needs to be given again. I would say- you're right; that is, if you're sitting on the sidelines. If you stand up as an activist, as an educator, or leader in our varied communities- you are responsible. You signed up to be responsible and to educate intelligently and ethically when you stood up to be an activist, educator or leader.

    If we can't change the social discourse around consent and BDSM, we can never change the political or legislative discourse. We can do this and I believe with deep conviction- that this is the most important issue facing our community today - both as we try to gain a more nuanced view of what consent is for ourselves and our partners and as we work with the outside world to change their perceptions about us and to change the laws that affect so many of us every single day. 


    Coalition Corner: Siege Works 

    1) What is the mission of your group?

    It is to the primary goal of The Siege to create within the rich and vibrant gay and BDSM/Fetish Communities of Nashville, a reoccurring, sex forward, intense, & energetic, mens play party to serve the whole mid-south region.  Attendees travel from as a far as two hundred miles away. We do not have a formal membership, rather we are a loose network who stay in touch through an email list and our own web forum. We host our parties at The Mark in Nashville, quarterly, in the past we have done so bi-monthly. Our second function, spreading information about BDSM play in a fun, sexy, face-to-face environment and provide a space for interaction between individuals who identify primarily with the BDSM community and individuals who identify primarily with the gay community.  Though I've not had the opportunity yet, I would like bring our event to other regions to encourage the proliferation of real time face to face gay mens BDSM/Fetish culture.

    2) What inspired your participation with the NCSF?

    As sexual minorities living in the bible belt, the need for legal action to push back against those who wish to repress our liberties is omnipresent. The NCSF is the only organization with such a focus, and thus far we've been impressed with what they have accomplished and the network of support they provide.

    3) What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising?

    Throw a wild party and divide the proceeds between our host organization and the NCSF.  

    For more information, find them on Twitter as SiegeWorks, on their site at sites.google.com/site/thesiegenashville, on Facebook under "Siege Works" and you can contact them via email by messaging This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


     Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Mercury    

    1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement? 

    I have served the Middle Tennessee BDSM/Fetish/Kink community for over six years as the Executive Director of CPI, the 501(c)(7) non-profit corporation that runs The Mark in Nashville.  During this time, we have hosted over 600 events in our "community center" and have been financially self-sustaining since we opened our doors.  

    I have been a regional presenter even longer than that, presenting an eclectic mix of subjects ranging from D/s Decorum and BDSM 101, to Team Topping and Physics of S/M Play -- hoping that I can give back more than I extract from the people I meet!

    Additionally, I work with local university sexuality professors and certified sex therapists providing understanding opportunities offering lectures, discussion, literature, and facility tours to better educate them in regards to BDSM and polyamory.

    So, yeah, I have been around and involved, helping strengthen our community as I can.

    2) What specialties do you bring to the board? 

    In addition to my volunteer role as a dungeon-keeper, I have worked in corporate sales and marketing for years, worked as a program/project manager, and owned my own design firm; yet my biggest asset to the Board may be my location in the Southeast, where I can help the NCSF grow its presence and value in, perhaps, an under-involved region.

    3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? (What does the NCSF mission mean to you?)

    Once I became increasingly recognized as being in a position of local leadership, more people would approach me with issues that they needed help to resolve.  Inevitably my research would lead me to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, who were the only people offering a sincerely sympathetic ear and real informed guidance.  

    It wasn't long before I came to realize that a key component to making my local/regional community more secure was to help make the NCSF safety net stronger.  The best way I knew to do that was to step up and offer myself to the cause.

    4) Anything else you'd like to add?

    I would like to thank all of the people back home who work hard for their community and make me look good in the process!  You folks are the best -- giving as you can to make life better for us all.

    You can email your board member Mercury at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     



    Written on Friday, 11 November 2011 07:28 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 7128 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2011
    Written by
    NCSF Newsletter

    3rd Quarter, 2011 


     

    In this issue

    • Membership Drive...Keep that Independence Day Spirit
    • Minnesota Welcomes NCSF next March!
    • Meet Your Board!...New Member- Julian Wolf
    • Update: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis
    • Consent Counts Expands Educational Focus
    • Coalition Corner - Meet the New Mexico Leather League

    Membership Drive

    Keep that Independence Day Spirit and become a freedom fighter by joining NCSF!

    NCSF is having a membership drive until July 31st!

    NCSF is there when you need help, and now NCSF needs you. Join NCSF to keep our important programs alive:

    Our Media Outreach program gives media interviews on alt sex, and produces the Media Updates, helps events work with press and media when asked, and responds to negative characterizations about BDSM, swing and poly in the media.

    Consent Counts is working to change assault laws and decriminalize BDSM and educate our own communities about consent.

    The Educational Outreach Program presents informative presentations around the country on everything from zoning issues for SM groups to child custody and divorce issues.

    The Kink Aware Professionals list is free referral list for doctors, mental health professionals, and more. Incident Response and Reporting program worked with more than 600 people and organizations in 2010 and helps protect events from attacks.

    NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response provides assistance to individuals and groups within the BDSM, swinging and poly communities who are experiencing discrimination or need assistance because of their interests and activities. In addition to providingassistance, the program collects confidential and anonymous reports of discrimination, abuse, etc. against members of the alt.sex communities. This information is critical in helping demonstrate the level of discrimination and violence members of alt.sex communities experience continually. 

    NCSF relies on you! For only $25 per year, you can support the rights of consenting adults. Please join or renew your individual membership at: https://ncsfreedom.org/get-involved/join.html 


    Minnesota Welcomes NCSF next March!

    By: Sassy, CP Rep - Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds

    Minnesota proudly welcomes the NCSF for their annual Coalition Partner meeting March 16 - 18, 2012!  The gang in MN has secured a hotel in a south St. Paul suburb with great rates, great space, hot breakfast, and we are planning a few surprises -- good surprises.  Stay tuned for more details -- and start saving your pennies for an affordable meeting in a location that often has great airfare deals.    


    Meet Your Board!

    New Member- Julian Wolf

    1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?

    Yes, my parents instilled a sense of responsibility to my community at an early age, so it was a natural transition once I became an adult. I came out of several closets in 1999 and volunteered at my first Leather event. It's been a slippery slope from there; I've spent all but a few months since 2002 serving on various boards throughout the queer and BDSM communities.

    2) What specialties do you bring to the board?

    Primarily, I'm a wordsmith. I've been writing in formal and informal capacities since grade school and while I'm not degreed I do seem to be able to beat words into informative submission. Additionally, I'm "blessed" with having a vocation where I'm on one computer or another for several hours every day, so I'm able to do things such as Media Updates and newsletters with some ease.

    3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF?

    Sex Positive legislation is incredibly important to me as a polyamorous, kinky person who thinks swinger's parties are pretty keen. Even if I was not personally involved in the communities that the NCSF supports, I would still feel strongly about fighting for our rights and the personal freedoms of adults.

    Educator, wordsmith and performer Julian Wolf is an active participant in the alternative scene in the Southwest and beyond. You are invited to peruse www.JulianWolf.net for more details.


    Update: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis

    By Susan Wright, NCSF Board Member

    As the discussion around the proposed DSM-V criteria for the Paraphilias continues, a recently published article mentioned NCSF's work on behalf of sexual sadists, masochists, fetishists and transvestic fetishists. Author Michael B. First, MD, a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Department of Clinical Phenomenology at New York State Psychiatric Institute, notes these "nondisordered paraphilias" could be further destigmatized by listing them under the "Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention" chapter of DSM-5. Other Conditions functions as a repository for conditions that may be a focus of treatment but are not considered mental disorders, such as normal grief.

    First adds, "Thus, the Paraphilic Disorders would be listed in the front, mental disorder, section of the DSM-5 (with associated F codes, indicating their status as mental disorders), whereas the nonpathological paraphilias, which may be encountered by a clinician in the context of a diagnostic evaluation but would not be a focus of treatment, would be listed in the back, nondisordered, section (with associated nonmental disorder problem codes from the Z section of ICD-10-CM)." The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

    NCSF will continue to participate in the national discussion about the proposed DSM-V criteria until publication in 2013 through its DSM Revision Project: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis.


    Consent Counts Expands Educational Focus

    By: Judy Guerin

    NCSF Consent Counts project to decriminalize BDSM is continuing to expand its educational programs as a major focus for the next year.  After extensive legal research in 2009 on the state of the law, which is not favorable to consensual BDSM activities, NCSF launched an educational and discussion program in August, 2010 for our community on the legal issues related to consent in BDSM activities.  NCSF has conducted workshops on consent throughout the U.S. since that time and has gained important feedback and recommendations as a result.  In March, 2011, the Consent Counts workshop was incorporated into our Education Outreach Program and staff training was conducted.  NCSF is offering workshops on Consent Counts and the state of the law throughout the country and via Internet forums.  17 CC workshops have been done so far in 2011. 23 more are already scheduled. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to schedule a Consent Counts presentation or any of the more than 20 other Educational Outreach Program (EOP) workshops.

    A major priority this year is development of a continuing legal education program for attorneys and law school outreach program, planned for launch in 2012, on consent and BDSM.  Additionally, NCSF is developing talking points for presenters and others to emphasize the importance of prior and ongoing consent within our community.  NCSF also plans educational outreach to the National Coalition of Anti-violence Programs and the National Police Association on consensual BDSM.  We are encouraging local BDSM groups to do outreach to their local domestic violence programs and law enforcement and we have workshops available in our Education Outreach Program to help teach local groups ho to do this important work.

    For more information on the Consent Counts project and the state of the law, visit our website.


    Coalition Corner - New Mexico Leather League

    By: Julian Wolf, NCSF Board Member 

    Meet the New Mexico Leather League

    1) What is the mission of your group?

    Since 2006 the primary purpose of the New Mexico Leather League is to provide a resource foundation for individuals and organizations within the leather/kink/fetish communities of New Mexico. As part of its mission, the League regularly produces BDSM events in Albuquerque. NMLL also works to co-sponsor and promote other events originating from within the leather/kink/fetish community-at-large. 

    2) What inspired your participation with the NCSF?

    The mission of the NCSF and NMLL is very complimentary, so when some of our members told us about the NCSF after attending a regional conference where they attended workshops by NCSF members, we easily voted to join as Coalition Partners and are proud to increase our activities with the organization this year. (Our CP Rep attended the Annual Meeting and Judy came to Albuquerque and gave a presentation on Consent Counts.)

    3) What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising?

    We've had great luck over the years with Top/Bottom auctions at events! We select an auctioneer and then they "sell" a scene (and/or an hour of training) with pre-selected people for one of the play parties at that event. It's a great opportunity for people to try new things while supporting a great cause. When done correctly, Top/Bottom Auctions can be entertaining for the crowd, fun for the winners and profitable for NCSF.

    The New Mexico Leather League meets the third Saturday of every month in Albuquerque and can be found online at www.newmexicoleatherleague.org.  


     

     Coalition Partners as of July 2011

    Adventures in Sexuality (Columbus, OH) * Albany Power Exchange (APEX) (Albany, NY) * Arizona Power Exchange (Phoenix, AZ) * Beyond Leather (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) * Black BEAT Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) * Black Rose (Washington, D.C.) * Boise BDSM Society (Boise, Idaho) * Bottom's Buffet * Brandon Longwood - (Maryland) * FetFest * CAPEX (Gastonia, NC) * Center for Sex Positive Culture (Seattle WA) * Chicago Age Players * Club X (San Diego, CA) * DC TNG (Washington DC) * DFW PowerExchange (Dallas, TX) * DLH Productions - (El Sobrante, California) * Dr. Clockwork"s Home for Electrical and Medical Oddities * Eau Claire Munch (Bloomer, WI) * Evergreen Leather Events (Kenmore, WA) * Females Investigating Sexual Terrain (FIST) (Baltimore, MD) * FetLife * Fox Valley Coalition (Neenah, WI) * The Group in Fresno * House of Decorum (Greenville, SC) * International Ms. Leather (IMsL) * JacksonvilleTNG * Kevin Carlson (Boise, ID) * Knights of Leather (Minneapolis, MN) * LA Noble (New Orleans, LA) * Leather SINS (Chicago, IL) * Leigha Fleming (Denver, CO) * Lesbian Sex Mafia (New York, NY) * Lifestyle Alternatives Centre (Lake Worth, FL) * The Mark by CPI : Tennessee * Midwest Alternatives , (Lincoln, NE) * Midwest Fantsay Adventures (Chicago, IL) * Minnesota Kinky Youth (St. Paul, MN) * Minnesota Stocks, Debentures, and Bonds (MSDB) (Minneapolis, MN) * MN Rope - (Minneapolis, MN) * MOB New England * Mollena.com * MTTA * New England Dungeon Society (New England) * New England Leather Alliance (Boston, MA) * New Mexico Leather League (Albuquerque, NM) * Northern Lights * OhioSMART (Cleveland, Ohio) * The Red Chair (Birmingham, AL) * Riverbound (Iowa/Illinois) * Robin Spector (San Leandro, CA) * Rochester Kink Society * Scarlet Ranch (Denver, CO) * The Sanctuary (Dallas, TX) * The Siege (Tennessee) * smOdyssey, Inc. (San Jose, CA) * Society of Janus (San Francisco, CA) * South Florida Munch Group (Margate, FL) * TABU Social Club (Baltimore, MD) * TES (The Eulenspiegel Society) (New York, NY) * Threshold (Los Angles, CA) * TNG Baltimore (Baltimore MD) * The Treasure Coast Kinksters (Stuart, FL) * Tulsa Dungeon Society (Tulsa, OK) * Windy City Boys Troop (Chicago, IL)


     

    Written on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 05:52 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 6943 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2011
    Written by

    NCSF Newsletter

    2nd Quarter 2011


    In this issue

    • NCSF's Coalition Partners Meet in Cambridge
    • Annual Meeting Letter From the Chair
    • Hosting the Annual Meeting
    • New Coalition Partner, FetFest, Launches Ticket Donations
    • Creating Change at Creating Change
    • Why KAP (Kink Aware Professionals)
    • Affecting the Law In California

    NCSF's Coalition Partners Meet in Cambridge

    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Cambridge, MA from March 26-27, 2011. The CP meeting was well attended by 23 Coalition Partner Representatives, the entire Board of NCSF and the senior staff. The Coalition Partners voted in the new Board of Directors for NCSF, approved the 2012 budget, and brainstormed on NCSF's projects and goals for the coming year.

    The CP meeting was preceded by a training-the-trainers day for NCSF's Education Outreach Project on March 25th. The EOP training was attended by 15 EOP presenters who were updated on the 20+ workshops that teach you how to protect yourself, your groups and events or your businesses. 

    NCSF's board consists of 9 members elected by our Coalition Partners to 2 year rotating terms. 4 additional seats are appointed to 1 year terms by the board.  The board has 2 remaining seats to fill by appointment and we expect the board will appoint the seats at the next board meeting on May, 12th. The Board of NCSF currently consists of:

    Leigha Fleming - Chair - Denver, CO

    Vivienne Kramer - Treasurer - Boston, MA

    Laura Carlson - Secretary - Boise, ID

    Jim Fleckenstein - Hearndon, VA

    John Baku - Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Julian Wolf - Albuquerque, NM

    Kevin Carlson - Boise, ID

    Mark Richards - NYC, NY

    Mercury - Nashville, TN

    Steven Johnson - Dallas, TX

    Susan Wright - NYC, NY


    If you are interested in one of the two open Board Seats, please email your interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Kevin Carlson, NCSF Board Member, received the Volunteer of the Year Award for his tireless and countless hours on the brand-new, 21st century NCSF Web site. Check it out: www.ncsfreedom.org 
     
    The CP Reps were also excited to view three new NCSF commercials that were debuted at the meeting. Produced by Kink Academy, the on-demand kink education and sex-ed institution, these infomercials take NCSF's message into a brand new realm. You can view all three at: http://www.kinkacademy.com/home/category/free/

    NCSF gratefully acknowledges the hard work of Opn, Coalition Partner Representative for Mob and NELA, who acted as the weekend community organizer and arranged complimentary meeting space, found volunteer Mobster shuttle drivers for attendee travel to the meeting venue from the hotel, solicited meal sponsorships from local groups, and co-hosted the Saturday night play party with another Mobster and her Queer PlayCon (www.queerplaycon.com) co-producer.

    NCSF would like to thank:

    • Kink Academy (www.kinkacademy.com; on-demand kink education and sex-ed site and NCSF Supporting Member) for their free Open House (games, demos, raffles, and vendors) held Friday night for local and visiting kinksters;
    •  New England Dungeon Society/NEDS (www.ne-ds.org; pansexual BDSM education, support, and social group, and NCSF Coalition Partner) donated $400 to provide Friday dinner and supplement other meals. NEDS also "donated" the services of Lydwina who helped keep the food tables running smoothly; 
    • Mob New England (www.mobnewengland.org; social and educational kink group for women and transfolk, and NCSF Coalition Partner), fund-raised $600 to provide Sunday lunch and supplement other meals; 
    • Bay State Marauders (www.baystatemarauders.org; leather social group for gay men in the Boston area) home cooked and delivered Saturday lunch and provided pleasing eye candy; 
    • Knights Templar, O.T.O. (www.kto.org; local sex-positive church) provided baked goods -- and a toaster oven! -- for Sunday's breakfast;
    •  Vivienne Kramer, Boston-based NCSF Board Member, negotiated for reasonably-priced and public transit-accessible hotel accommodations, and provided all meeting reports, notebooks, and binders, and put together the volunteer award. 
    Click to see the Full Meeting Package

    Letter From the Chair
    Annual Meeting 2011

    Hello and welcome to NCSF's 2011 annual meeting!

    I am so glad to welcome all of you to Boston. It's our first time here and we've been veryfortunate to have the hard advance work and efforts of the Boston community - particularly Opn, Kali and Vivienne Kramer.

    As chair, I started my term in with several goals. 

    • Improve NCSF communications both internally among board and among volunteers, to our Coalition Partners, toour communities in general and to the public as a whole.

    I believe we've hit our stride and are now doing things much better than we have in the past. In all years prior to September 2008, we published exactly 3 quarterly newsletters- two in 2003 and one in 2006. We've published a newsletter ever quarter since I became chair. We've published our minutes to the CP list every single month. I've written notices/letters to the membership every month. We've kicked up our press and media alerts and switched to using Constant Contact to make our mail outs more professional. 

    • Improve the structural integrity of the organization and set up processes and procedures for our most important functions/programs 

    With the implementation of SalesForce now have a solid foundation under which we can build our donors, members, conduct campaigns, etc. NCSF has been incredibly fortunate to get strong volunteer talent on the board and in key organizational positions. This is extremely important given that we only have part time administrative help. As we've broadened our SalesForce integration into our organization, we've connected it to our website and we've created customer service portals for both IR and KAP administration. In addition, we hope to have a fully functional customer service portal for our CPs by mid-year.   

    •  Develop new literature and programs as part of NCSF's "Value Proposition"

    Last year we created NCSF's "Value Proposition." We've created it as a guide to keep NCSF focused on what our core programs and values are. We have new handouts on child custody, child protective services, event insurance, how to find event location and a template for anevent briefing book. We've also developed new formal handouts - one for therapists about Polyamory and one for how to find a Kink Aware Therapist. In addition we have new brochures on the DSM, and solid educational pieces for Consent Counts and our ever-growing Education Outreach Program. 

    •  Be the leader. The DSM and Consent Counts projects, continued espansion of Incident Response and Kink Aware Professionals 

     NCSF is the leader and the only organization in the countryworking on these issues. Susan Wright, particularly with her work on the DSM, has led the way for some major successes for NCSF this year. Judy Guerin has become involved again with NCSF and is taking the lead in our Consent Counts project. Both of these projects will be on the front burner for us for the next 3-5 years. 

    We're making terrific strides and have had some major "wins" this year. You'll see our new website has gone live- finally! Its been a huge project for us but we like our finished product and hope you do too. We're Twittering and blogging now. We have a strong marketing plan in place.
     
    In short, I'm excited about the progress we're making and hope you are too! 
    Leigha Fleming
    Board Chair

    Hosting the Annual Meeting

    Interview with Opn, CP Mob New England & North East Leather Alliance
    By Julian Wolf

    Opn is the Coalition Partner for both Mob New England and the North East Leather Alliance (NELA) and is one of the organizers for this years Coalition Partner meeting. In the midst of all the planning, she agreed to sit down and answer some questions for us. 

     

    What inspired you to host and organize the Coalition Partner meeting for NCSF?

    When Vivienne told me that Boston was being looked at for the '11 Annual Meeting, I was thrilled and terrified all at once.  I wanted my communities to get to share in the come-together activism, creative dedication, and enthusiastic get-involved-ness of NCSF, but I was so worried about Massachusetts, with its more underground and private scene, being able to show NCSF a good time.  Happily, so many different pieces of the communities have stepped (hell, some have LEAPED) forward to contribute to the weekend and all these folks are eager to meet and talk with NCSF.

       

    What sort of work goes into a Annual Meeting?   

    We -- Vivienne and I -- tackled the venue first.  When I attend NCSF Annual Meetings in other states, I'm doing so on a tight budget.  I don't have a rental car or a ton of spare cash for taxis or pricey hotel restaurants.  And I'm a *fortunate* NCSF CP Rep, since NELA ( www.neleatheralliance.org ) pays for my airfare and hotel room; I know that a lot of NCSFers pay out-of-pocket or work hard to fundraise in order to afford to show up at the meetings.  I also wanted my fellow NCSFers to be able to enjoy the city's historic and fun sights if they could squeeze that extra time into their meeting weekend, so we scouted beyond the inexpensive but isolated airport hotels until Vivienne was able to arrange a great deal in town.  ("In town" = Boston is just a breezy walk away over a bridge from Cambridge, where the Annual Meeting is actually taking place.)  We were able to secure free meeting space in a nearby office building through community connections.  All of our venues are VERY accessible via our subway system (the "T") so folks can opt for super-cheap and easy direct transportation from airport to hotel to events to airport again!  We also selected the hotel based on the abundance of food choices around it, a mall just up the street, and, again, Boston just a bridge away.  I have a Google map that I'm still tweaking that will highlight all of this so that the NCSFers can explore easily.

    Once we knew where we were going to meet, I started approaching local groups -- groups that were already Coalition Partners and groups that I hoped might want to contribute to the meeting and maybe get more involved with NCSF -- to see if they could help with meals.  Again, with budgets in mind, my goal was to provide the meeting attendees with food without overtaxing their or NCSF's wallets.  I had already begun fundraising with my Queer PlayCon co-producer on behalf of Mob (www.mobnewengland.org) and after two hot play parties, we'd raised nearly $600 earmarked for food for the meeting.  The New England Dungeon Society (a CP), a sex-positive church, NELA and the Bay State Marauders have also stepped up to cover meals -- YAY!

    With lodging, meeting space, and food being planned, I turned to fun and community.   Having felt at loose ends myself on Friday nights at past Annual Meetings, I wanted to give traveling NCSFers the option of flying in to fall directly into downy hotel beds *or* come out for some infomercial-educational kinky demo-community-mingling fun.  Kink Academy (www.kinkacademy.com) already had an Open House event in the works and Princess Kali and I teamed up for some hot calendar-on-calendar action. Princess Kali's KA team has donated time to create brand-new NCSF "infomercials" which will be premiered at the (free!) Open House the Friday night of the meeting weekend.  

    Of course, Vivienne and I also wanted to offer NCSF a party.  The Saturday night parties other hosting cities have opened up to NCSF meeting attendees have allowed me to check out some spectaucular dungeons across the country and play with new and fun people.  MA's underground kink scene has limited play spaces, so I was ecstatic when my Queer PlayCon co-producer offered to co-host a party.

    I want NCSF to feel like we are rolling out the red carpet for them.  I'm sure when the weekend hits I'll think, "Darn it, totally should've done fill-in-the-blank, my bad!" but keeping in mind what I've wished for or enjoyed at past Annual Meetings, I'm continuing to try to cover as many bases as possible to have the weekend run smoothly so that the attendees can focus on the business at-hand, be well-fed and entertained, and meet as much of my communities as possible!

    How long have you been the CP Rep for Mob New England & The New England Leather Alliance?   

    I've been NELA's CP Rep for several years.  Vivienne is very persuasive and convinced me to direct some of my time NCSF's way.  Up until then, I knew about NCSF mostly from seeing Lolita (Wolf) wear NCSF t-shirts.  I floundered a lot that first year and struggled with how to help and where I fit in.  At my first Annual Meeting, I remember hearing other CP Reps talk about their own learning curves and how some of their groups changed who filled the CP Rep position/s each year so that once footing was established, it was whisked away.  I'm grateful that NELA weathered my own rocky start and pitiful first attempts at tabling and getting the word out.  As I learned more about NCSF and how important it was for more voices to be heard, I approached the kink group I'm most active in -- Mob -- about joining as a Coalition Partner.  Now, I table and vote and outreach on behalf of both groups -- my voice is big enough for both groups! -- and distribute literature whenever I can, encourage folks to hit up the KAP list, chat about how the Incident Response program helps regular folks, and do a lot of NCSF cheerleading within and outside of my groups.

    Your email signature is  "Community-building is HOT!  Organizing kinky stuff is SEXY!" how did you come to this sentiment?     

    My current e-signature serves to remind me of a couple things.  It is really easy to have positive energies diverted by difficult people and all the challenging stuff that they can bring; it is up to me (with the help of my network of supportive kinky friends!) to keep myself moving forward toward goals I believe in, like strengthening my communities.  The e-tagline is also a tip of my hat to recognizing that it takes lots of different skill sets to help any group or community.  Some folks are whizzes at money, some have kick-ass people skills, some have muscles to lend, some can open up their homes, some can donate items -- we need *all* of these folks with *all* of these skills, and if my strengths include organizing, well, then, I better be bringing that to the table!  Finally, I'm a player.  The wild rush of a good scene leaves me happily buzzed.  It took a while, but now I see that the "highs" I can get from a one-on-one scene, from orchestrating a multi-player scene, from running a kinky icebreaker at a party, and from organizing a wicked-fun outreach table/fundraiser/fill-in-the-blank event are all pretty much the same.  Yeah, that's right, I get off on organizing, and watch out, because HERE I COME!

    You can find Opn on FetLife, and you are welcome to email her via opnheartd at hotmail dot com. Her newest project, Queer PlayCon is happening this May in Hartford, CT. 

     


    New Coalition Partner, FetFest, Launches Ticket Donations

    www.FetFest.com/ncsf

    FetFest, a large scale international festival event for the FetLife Community planned for Labor Day Weekend in Maryland, is donating $10 to NCSF for every ticket purchased using fetfest.com/ncsf.

    Organizer British Lucky Paul, who helped raise over $10,000 last year for NCSF, is aiming to make FetFest the biggest NCSF fundraising event of 2011. "In addition to the ticket donations, we plan on using our website traffic to encourage attendees to join NCSF before they even arrive by promoting NCSF on our homepage." Auctions, raffles and a membership drive at the event itself are also planned. 

    So if you plan on going, please use the link above to register, it won't cost you a dime and every penny counts in our ongoing fight for our sexual freedom. 

    Note:  FetFest is not an official Fetlife event.  It is independently organized by Born Lucky Productions, Inc.  The name and logo for Fetlife are trademarks of Protose Inc.


     


    Creating Change at Creating Change

    Thank you to everyone who helped make this a highly successful event for the BDSM/Leather/Fetish community and our organizations.  Min-KY (Minnesota Kinky Youth), an NCSF Coalition Partner, did a yeoman job of coordinating volunteers to help man the booths during the event.  The BDSM/Leather/Fetish community was highly visible and well represented-we created change at Creating Change!

     The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, the Leather Archives and Museum and the Leather Leadership Conference teamed up to make a big impact at the Creating Change Conference in Minneapolis, held February 2-6, 2011.  The Creating Change conference, hosted by The Task Force, is the largest and oldest GLBT political activist conference in the U.S. and was attended by over 2,500 activists this year.

    It was a great year for us to team up organizationally and create a large presence, particularly since Chuck Renslow received The Leather Leadership Award from The Task Force.  Matt Foreman, former Executive Director of The Task Force, came out in his leathers on stage for the first time at a Creating Change Conference to present the award, along with IML 2010, Tyler McCormick.  Highlighted in Matt's speech was the fact that the LA&M is now the largest GLBT museum collection in the world  (Yes, the world!)  The Leather Archives and Museum was heavily featured in the award presentation, as well as Chuck's long time record of GLBT and leather activism and the fact that he was never afraid to be out and proud as a gay man and a leather man.  The Minneapolis community, under the guidance of Steve Lenius, did an impressive color guard presentation at the award presentation.

    NCSF also did a well-attended and highly productive Leather Leadership Roundtable on Consent Counts, its project to decriminalize BDSM.  At a Leather Leadership Roundtable hosted by NCSF at the 2006 Creating Change Conference, decriminalization of BDSM was determined to be the number one priority of the BDSM/Leather/Fetish community.

     


    Why KAP (Kink Aware Professionals)

    BY: Keely Kolmes, Psy.D.

    As a practitioner who has both used the KAP resource to help people locate services in other cities and as someone who also maintains my own listing on the site, I'm very happy to see the debut of the brand new KAP Directory. The new site is attractive and intuitive to use. I am proud to be listed on this site. I hope that the appealing new interface helps those looking for support and resources to feel more invited to make use of the directory. Being able to select different levels of kink awareness and expertise allows consumers to make more informed choices when choosing providers. Some people may be happy to choose someone who is a non-judgmental ally, whereas others may prefer to find someone who has more expertise. Great job, NCSF!  --Keely Kolmes, San Francisco Psychologist

     


    Affecting the Law In California

    NCSF & The BDSM/Leather/Fetish Communities Launch a Legislative Campaign

    In March, 2011, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) became aware of pending legislation in California, intended to further protect victims of domestic violence, that could seriously impact consensual BDSM activities between adults involving use of hoods, gags and the like.  This legislation, while well intentioned to better protect domestic violence victims in incidents involving "strangulation" or restricted breathing, includes broad language that could be used to selectively prosecute consensual BDSM between adults.

    NCSF and our communities fully promote and support protection of victims of domestic violence.  NCSF has been in touch with the Senator's office introducing the legislation and has proposed alternative language that would better protect both victims of domestic violence and practitioners of BDSM.

    NCSF launched a letter writing campaign online, at LLC  and at IMsL to support legislative efforts.  The leather community rallied at these events to gather over 400 letters from Californians in support of this legislation to submit to the California Senate.  To find out more about his campaign and to submit a letter, visit our site.

     


    Coalition Partners as of March 2011

    Adventures in Sexuality (Columbus, OH) * Albany Power Exchange - APEX (Albany, NY) * Arizona Power Exchange (Phoenix, AZ) * Barone Photo Art (Perkasie, NY) * Black BEAT Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) * Black Rose (Washington, D.C.) * Boise BDSM Society (Boise, Idaho) * Brandon Longwood (Maryland) * CAPEX (Gastonia, NC) * Center for Sex Positive Culture (Seattle WA) * Club X (San Diego, CA) * DC TNG (Washington DC) * DFW PowerExchange (Dallas, TX) * DLH Productions - (El Sobrante, California) * Eau Claire Munch (Bloomer, WI) * Evergreen Leather Events (Kenmore, WA) * Females Investigating Sexual Terrain (FIST) (Baltimore, MD) * FetFest by Born Lucky Productions (MD/DC/VA) * Fox Valley Coalition (Neenah, WI) * FetLife (Worldwide at Fetlife.com) * The Group in Fresno (Fresno, CA) * House of Decorum (Greenville, SC) * Iconic Bondage Productions (North Carolina) * International Ms. Leather (IMsL) * Kevin Carlson (Boise, ID) Knights of Leather (Minneapolis, MN) * LA Noble (New Orleans, LA) * Leather SINS (Chicago, IL) * Leigha Fleming (Denver, CO) * Lesbian Sex Mafia (New York, NY) * The Mark by CPI (Nashville, TN) * Midwest Alternatives (Lincoln, NE) * Midwest Fantasy Adventures (Chicago, IL) * Minnesota Kinky Youth (St. Paul, MN) * Minnesota Stocks, Debentures, and Bonds - MSDB (Minneapolis, MN) * MN Rope - (Minneapolis, MN) * MOB New England * Mollena.com, (San Francisco, CA) * New England Dungeon Society - NEDS (New England) * New England Leather Alliance - NELA (Boston, MA) * New Mexico Leather League (Albuquerque, NM) * OhioSMART (Cleveland, Ohio) * The Red Chair (Birmingham, AL) * Riverbound (Iowa/Illinois) * Robin Spector (San Leandro, CA) * Scarlet Ranch (Denver, CO) * The Sanctuary (Dallas, TX) * The Siege (Tennessee) * SINZ Social Networking * smOdyssey, Inc. (San Jose, CA) * Society of Janus (San Francisco, CA) * Swingers Date Club (North Carolina) * TABU Social Club (Baltimore, MD) * TES (The Eulenspiegel Society) (New York, NY) * Threshold (Los Angeles, CA) * TNG Baltimore (Baltimore MD) * The Treasure Coast Kinksters (Stuart, FL) * Tulsa Dungeon Society (Tulsa, OK) * Windy City Boys Troop (Chicago, IL)

     

    Written on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:07 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 6490 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2010
    Written by

    NCSF Newsletter

    Spring: May 2010

    In this issue

    • Annual Meeting
    • Board of Directors
    • Volunteer of the Year
    • New Papers

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting 

    The Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting was held in Seattle this year. It was the NCSF's first time in the city of Seattle and this could not have been done without the efforts of the Seattle community - particularly Jim Duvall and Allena Gabosch. We would like to thank them as well as all of the community of Seattle and surrounding area for making this year's meeting such a success. It is nice to come into a city and feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

     We have been working on moving the annual meeting to the first quarter of each year and it has taken two years to accomplish this. In 2008, it was in October. In 2009, it was in June. This year we have reached our target goal of the first quarter of each year. Moving forward we should be able to hold the meeting in either February or March of each year. Why would we want to do this? To quote our Chairperson, Leigha Fleming, "We're trying to move the meeting up to make our reports and information to you more consistent and timely. It's hard to make you feel informed about our prior year's activities when we're halfway into the next year already!"

    From NCSF Chairperson Leigha Fleming

    In September 2008, I started my term out with several goals:

    ·       Improve the NCSF communication both internally among the board and volunteers, to our Coalition Partners, to our communities in general and the public as a whole.

    ·       We are well on our way to accomplishing this. In years prior to Sept 08, we published 3 quarterly newsletters - two in 03 and one in 06. The newsletter has made it out every quarter since I became chair.

    ·       We have published the minutes to the CP list every month.

    ·       I have written notices/letters to the membership monthly.

    ·       Kicked up frequency of the press and media alerts, using Constant Contact to make our mail outs more professional.

    ·       Since Sept 08, had more than 156 "official communications" to the Coalition Partners on the CP list. Seven times more than in the entire 2 years prior.

    ·       Improve the Structural Integrity of the Organization, setting up processes and procedures for our most important functions and programs.

    ·       Using SalesForce, we are well on our way to regularizing how we accomplish our programs and projects. SalesForce allows those directly involved with our projects to see at a moment's notice what is going on. We can also update information simply and efficiently, keeping all in the loop in a more timely manner.

    ·       New literature and programs - NCSF's "Value Proposition"

    ·       The "Value Proposition is a guide to keep NCSF focused on what our core programs and values are. From this we have developed new handouts on child custody, child protective services, event insurance, and many more. Two new formal handouts - one for therapists about Polyamory and one dealing with how to find a Kink Aware Therapist.

    ·       The DSM and Consent Counts Projects

    ·       We are the only organization in the country working on these issues. With the help of Susan Wright, in particular working on the DSM, has led the way for some major successes for us. Judy Guerin is taking the lead in our Consent Counts project.

    ·       A new website and website integration should be accomplished before summer's end.

    ·       Don't forget about the Twittering and Blogging going on - Media Updates are posted daily.

     Kink Aware Professionals Report, by Kevin Carlson

    We have been working on purging the data base of dead links and information that is no longer valid. Over all we have had a net increase of 108 listings since May 09. Interest is growing on a day-to-day basis for this program.

    I worked very closely with Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D to produce the white paper on how to choose a Kink Aware Therapist. It is a new and powerful resource for all members of the kink community to use when seeking out a Therapist.

    Media Outreach Project, by Susan Wright

    This year the project created "NCSF in the News!" listing over 50 articles since 2000 that include quotes from NCSF staff members. Check it out on our site: 

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    We assisted in 34 media incidents.  A sample of those incidents include: a swing conference threatened on Grand Island, crack-down on venues in Albuquerque, a NJ store closed because of zoning issues over party space in the basement, and attacks by religious extremists because Creating Change gave Graylin Thornton their Leather Leadership Award.

     Some of the bigger incidents of 2009 included:

    Professional Dominantrices raided and arrested in NYC. The NCSF has been working this since 2008. Susan has met with Manhattan DA's office in order to clarify what sort of "for-pay" BDSM activities are considered legal in New York State. Susan also worked with NY Times reporter Jennifer Mascio on an article about the false arrests of professional Dominatrices for prostitution.

    The NCSF responded when Peter LaBarbara with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (www.aftah.org) attacked the Fort Troff party taking place in Washington DC during Mid-Atlantic Leather, by responding with a statement about respecting the rights of minority groups.

    AFTAH also attacked Winter Wickedness, a pansexual weekend conference in Ohio, produced by one of our Coalition Partners, Adventures in Sexuality. NCSF forked closely with Barak to ensure the event was successful; NCSF volunteer Robin Specter was on site and acted as spokesperson for Winter Wickedness as well as hotel liaison. Susan provided advice, media interviews and organized a call-in campaign to InterContinental Hotels which successfully fought back the attempts to the corporate headquarters to make the hotel cancel the conference.

    The Atlanta Eagle raids are also a big concern for our community. The NCSF has been working on this since September 10, 2009. The NCSF created an action alert urging patrons who were there to file a complaint with the police department and to join in the Federal civil lawsuit. The city's case citing the Atlanta Eagle for illegal adult entertainment activities was dismissed in early 2010.

    25 Media Interviews were given, including Esquire, Contemporary Sexuality Magazine about the DSM Project, Boston Times about the persecution of the BDSM community in Boston, Playboy requested a letter to the editor from NCSF about their Top 55 most important people in Sex, New York Times on the pro-Domme arrests in NCY and many more.

    Projects Susan is working on: Stop the Arrests Coalition, The Smarter Sex NYC project, and the Espoir Conference developing guidelines and outreach strategies for the Leather Archives & Museum.

    Along with all the above, Susan on behalf of the NCSF has done website reviews, acted as a PR Liaison for the Folsom Street Fair, and gave the State of the Union address at the NELA Kink Awareness Conference in Boston.

    Membership Report

    This year we have implemented a temporary system to send out digital Membership cards, working towards full integration with SalesForce, and imported the membership database into SalesForce. These two items have reduced costs and allowed a better tracking of membership.

    SalesForce will allow us to import and manage membership data, quicker updating of who has become a member and at what level, letting us get the needed information out to them in a more timely manner such as sending out membership cards and acknowledgment of membership by SalesForce. In the future, SalesForce will send out reminders to the membership before the expiration date of the membership and automate the membership acknowledgements.

    At the time of the meeting we had 64 Coalition Partners and in the past month have signed up several more.

    Other Major Projects

    The two major projects that we will continue to work on are the DSM Revision Project and the Consent Counts Project. Both of these projects are long term and will require the use of our assets of volunteers and funds to promote and continue to make major strides towards accomplishing these goals.

    For the DSM we have made it all the way through public commentary period with the majority of the changes we suggested being supported. We are now awaiting finale approval from the American Psychiatric Association for inclusion in the publication of the DSM-V. These changes though not finale are already having an impact of a positive nature in the court system regarding criminal and child custody incidents.

    The Consent Counts Project is also well on its way. We have started pulling the legal information at a state level and are making plans to work on the volunteer system to acquire local and regional information as well. Short term, the DSM Revision Project is going to work closely with the Consent Counts Project to ensure maximum outreach and visibility.

    Incident Response, by Leigha Fleming

    NCSF received 482 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 337 required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts. It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another because many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. BDSM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests, we placed it in the category it most clearly matched.

    11% were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence issues

    36% were regarding criminal complaint issues

    3% were regarding employment discrimination

    27.5% were regarding child custody/divorce issues

    17.5% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues

    1% were classed as non-employment discrimination

    3% were related to swing community issues

    .5% were regarding online obscenity issues

    3.5% were classed as "other"

    Of the inquiries, 95.5% were driven by BDSM/leather/fetish issues, 3% by swing, 1% by poly, 0.5% by other.

    The Board of Directors

    Leigha Fleming (Board Chair)

    Howie Zusel (Vice Chair)

    Laura Carlson (Secretary)

    Vivienne Kramer (Treasurer)

    Jim Fleckenstein (Foundation Liaison)

    Ron Zimmerman (Coalition Partner Stewardship Chair)

    Kevin Carlson (KAP Director)

    Chuck Renslow

    Susan Wright (Media Relatiuons)

    Ed Mogul (Legal)

    Steven Johnson (SalesForce)

    Diamond

    Thanks to those above for all you do to keep the NCSF moving forward. 

    Volunteer of the Year

     The NCSF would like to congratulate Vicki Ballinger, our Volunteer of the Year. Vicki heads up our outreach program. Her service and dedication to this position is a shinning example of how we all should strive to be.

    Congratulations and thank you Vicki!!!!

    New Papers

    The NCSF and the Foundation is proud to introduce two new papers, "A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist" and the "Therapists Guide to Polyamory". The full press release may be read on our website, or you can go directly to the individual papers;

     A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapists

    Therapists Guide to Polyamory  

    Coalition Partners as of May 2010

     __________________________________________________________________________________

    phone: 410-539-4824

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    Written on Sunday, 20 March 2011 20:35 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 6887 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2010
    Written by

    NCSF Newsletter: Winter January 2010

    In this issue

    • NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides
    • NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle
    • Consent Counts- Get Involved!
    • Coalition Partner Stewardship

     _____________________________________________________________________________

    NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides

    by: Susan Wright

    NCSF and the Foundation are thrilled to announce two new and valuable additions to its line of publications.

    The first is A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist , created by Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D.

    People who engage in BDSM need to be able to find a therapist who can accept them   without judgment or prejudice. Some therapists cause more harm than good when they slap a label of mental illness on a client simply because they enjoy kinky sex. Fortunately, there are some  therapists who have acquired the education necessary to work with people who practice BDSM, and who are accepting of their clients' BDSM lifestyles.

    A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist will teach you how to locate such  therapists, and how to choose from among the different kink-aware therapists that are available. NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that everyone can find a mental health professional who is understanding and supportive of your lifestyle, and believes this guide is an important addition to the Kink Aware Professionals list and the DSM Revision Project. You deserve a therapist who understands about the diversity and range of sexual expression, and this guide will help you find them.

    The second publication has been five years in the making: Therapists Guide to   Polyamory is edited by NCSF Foundation Chairman, James R. Fleckenstein, B.A., and Carol Morotti-Meeker, M.S., M.L.S.P.  NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that therapists are educated about the varieties of sexual expression and relationship structures that our communities enjoy. Polyamory is   gaining more visibility as more adults engage in consensual relationships with more than one person. But how does a therapist gain the understanding they need to deal with the many issues that arise when polyamory is involved?

    Therapists Guide to Polyamory  answers all of a therapist's questions about the purpose and practice of    polyamory. Everything from the motivations and benefits of polyamory, to  emotional and social concerns such as discrimination and family disapproval are covered. And of course, the        relationship issues that arise from navigating more than one intimate   relationship are explored, from safe sex to attaining parity and negotiating  agreements. This guide is for polyamorists who need to explain their lifestyle to their therapist, and for   therapists who understand that personal value systems may sabotage their goal of enabling their clients to explore   options and life experience in a neutral or supportive way. 

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle

    by: Leigha Fleming & Susan Wright

    Lawless cops are a threat to everyone in America 

    The Atlanta community was stunned when the Eagle was raided on September 10th: the local police illegally detained 62 patrons and 8 employees, searching them without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. Some were forced to lie face-down on the floor for over two hours. The strong use of force included the presence of the "Red Dog unit" which typically deals with crimes such as gang violence.

    The police arrested eight employees for dancing in their underwear along with patrons during "Underwear Night", a weekly fetish event. The APD alleges that behavior violates a local ordinance that requires the bar to obtain a license for adult entertainment. According to the patrons, police officers shoved people to the ground, threatened to hit them in the head with barstools, handcuffed people, made racist and anti-gay comments, and forced patrons to  remain flat on the ground, with their faces against a floor covered in some areas with spilled beer and broken glass, even long after they had been searched and found to be unarmed.

    A Federal lawsuit alleging multiple civil rights violations was filed on November 24th on behalf of the patrons and the employees of the Atlanta Eagle by Lambda Legal, Southern Center for Human Rights, and Dan Grossman as representation for the plaintiffs. NCSF is actively involved in supporting the Atlanta Eagle and the plaintiffs in this suit.  In speaking with Leigha Fleming NCSF Board Chair, Wednesday afternoon, attorney Dan Grossman said, "NCSF's publicity and support s very welcome and needed in this effort. The police believed that they could violate the rights of these men precisely because they were in a gay _leather_ bar."  "We need everyone in the Alanta community getting involved in this," says Fleming. "There's a mayoral    election coming up. Ask your candidates their opinions of the police action at the Eagle and whether or not they support  the kind of bigotry and discrimination exhibited. Blog about it. Talk about it. All the various Eagle's around the country should link to this. Support this lawsuit and support NCSF."

    NCSF joins state and local representatives in urging everyone to file a complaint if they were present at the Eagle on September 10th. You can file a complaint with the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Citizen     Review Board who are investigating the raid:

    http://atlantaeagleraid.com/how-to-file-complaints If you need to maintain anonymity, then please contact Mr. Grossman, who represents the Eagle and many of the   patrons in connection with the raid, at (404) 654-0326, or at a special email   address established for this matter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARAN-TEED UNDER ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE.  If you ask a lawyer for legal advice, the lawyer can't reveal anything you tell him, including your name: the police can't require it, your name can't be subpoenaed, and the court can't demand it. If a lawyer breaks attorney-client privilege, he or she will be disbarred.

     "It's so important that our patrons come forward," says Richard Ramey, co-owner of the Eagle. "Everyone needs to hear how badly our civil rights were violated."

     "Please call today!" urges Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF. "This is a clear human rights violation. If we don't  speak up, they won't stop persecuting us. We are the only ones who can fight for our rights."

    Shortly after the raid, NCSF sent a letter to Atlanta Police Chief Richard    Pennington, Major Khirus Williams (Zone 5), Mayor Shirley Franklin and the City of Atlanta Human Relations Commission demanding an apology for this illegal behavior by the local police. Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington held a press  conference September 14th, stating that the gay leather bar was raided because of anonymous complaints that came through the mayor's office.

    "There was no need to show up with three paddy wagons and over 20 police officers. No drugs or weapons were found," says Fleming. "Doesn't the Atlanta Police Department have better things to do with taxpayer money than conduct witch hunts against men who may have been dancing in their underwear?"

    For the month of June 2009, the last month criminal statistics citywide for the City of Atlanta were available (see the Uniform Crime Reports on the Atlanta  Police Department website at http://www.atlantapd.org/index.asp?nav=Stats:10 murders, 6 rapes, over 2,000 robberies and  larcenies and over 500 auto thefts were committed. In Zone 5 where the Atlanta Eagle is located, more than 35 crimes against persons including murder and aggravated assault and more than 700 crimes against property including auto theft, robbery and burglary were committed.  

    The Atlanta community spoke out against the violent police raid on September 19th, calling it a blatant "disregard for civil rights and common sense". The rally was   organized by GLBTATL and   mem-bers of Atlanta's LGBT community and supporters in front of Atlanta City Hall. According to GLBTATL's press release about the rally:

    "To concerned citizens, such as GLBTATL, it seems that this police raid was not meant to investigate or deter crime. Rather, it sent a message that the LGBT community, comprising as much as one-eighth of Atlanta's residents, is second-class and not deserving of the same basic human respect as others. With only a paltry apology issued via the A.P.D. media office, this message of disrespect, a message that can easily turn into hate, has begun to echo throughout the gay community, and Atlanta as a whole."

    To read more about what    happened at the Atlanta Eagle, visit http://AtlantaEagleRaid.com

    __________________________________________________________________________________

     Consent Counts, Get Involved!

    by: Judy Guerin

    Now is your opportunity to become involved in our community's most important long-term project, a nationwide sexual freedom effort that-if we work together-will rank with the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement and the LGBT movement.  The Consent Counts   project, dedicated to decriminalization of BDSM-leather-fetish activities, is in the early stages of organizing under the leadership direction of NCSF.  Leather leaders launched this community-wide project in 2006 and NCSF recently took a leadership role.

    We need volunteers in many    areas:  strategic planning, marketing and public relations, legal,  fundraising, organizational, political, Internet, policy, legislative, grass roots organizing and administrative.  And, we will need a lot of money to achieve this goal.  We need and want your support and involvement.  If you can volunteer or help us raise funds, it would be a big help.

    To volunteer, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Coalition Partnership Stewardship

    by: Ron Zimmerman

    NCSF Appreciates Our Coalition Partners (CPs)

    Everyone likes to be appreciated and the NCSF Board of Directors has come up with a concept that we hope will demonstrate the organization's appreciation and commitment to our Coalition Partners.  At the last NCSF Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas, considerable conversation was devoted to what NCSF can do to continually improve our overall ommunication strategies.  The concept of developing a "Coalition Partner Stewardship" program was one of the key concepts that came out of those discussions.  One board member, was tasked with designing the plan.

    The NCSF board is eager to announce the CP Stewardship initiative being named, the "Reach Out" program.  The concept is to divide the CP list into Regions and to have a Board Member(s) specifically assigned to each CP.  The forward plan is to have the assigned Board Member make it a priority to "reach out" and make contact with their assigned CPs during the 1st month of each quarter.  These contact(s) will be tracked to ensure that each CP has been contacted. Additionally any issues/ideas that might result from the "Reach Out"

    We hope that the CP Stewardship Program is viewed as valuable by our Coalition Partners and contributes to NCSF's overall strategy to continually improve our organizational communication.  To become a Coalition Partner visit our website for more information. Look under JOIN, and read about the different levels  of membership!

    phone: 410-539-4824

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    Written on Sunday, 20 March 2011 19:58 in Newsletters Be the first to comment! Read 6473 times
  • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2010
    Written by

    NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2010

     

    In this issue

    • Next Annual Meeting
    • AASECTH
    • NCSF & FetLife
    • NCSF Comes to You Tube

    Next Annual Meeting in Boston
    By: Opn Heartd

    CP Rep, MOB New England

    New Englanders, maybe you belong to a NCSF Coalition Partner group like NELA or NE-DS or Mob New England or you are an individual supporting member of NCSF.  Maybe you've attended an event that donated to NCSF, like one of the Fetish Fair Fleamarkets or the recent Feet First NCSF Fundraiser at the Cyclorama in Boston.  Maybe you've been wondering what NCSF is and how you can learn more and get involved with the good work they do.  Well, pull out your calendars and mark them in INK, because the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is holding its 2011 annual meeting in Boston on March 25th - 26th!  Roll out the red carpet, Boston -- after you shovel that snow! -- to welcome NCSF to town!

    I've been NELA and Mob's CP rep for several years now, working with these groups to spread the word about NCSF's media updates, incident response program, and special projects like Consent Counts and the Kink-Aware Professionals list.  I've attended the annual meetings, networking and brainstorming with my fellow CP reps and the NCSF board and staff members.  We read minutes (hot!), we have break-out sessions, we vote!  I come away from these weekend-long meetings re-energized and inspired by my fellow activists who work so hard to defend the rights of kinky, swing, and poly consenting adults.

    Coalition Partner representatives will be meeting on that last Saturday and Sunday in March 2011 to discuss how NCSF has progressed so far and to plan for NCSF's next year.  There will be an opportunity for members of the community to meet with the CP reps and attend [is anything planned, like a Consent Counts presentation or Susan talking about media training?].   Shove on your boots and grab a scarf and come mix and mingle with the folks who are working hard with you and for you to advance your rights to engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions as consenting adults.

    And CP reps from all over the country, on behalf of Boston and all of New England's NCSF supporters and cheerleaders, I hope to see a TON of you out here in March.  We are working to find you a great hotel and we are getting party planning underway.  If your travels allow before or after the meeting, you can bop around the Boston Common, check out the Charles River, and feast at Faneuil Hall.  It should be a fun and interesting hop from Freedom Trail to Sexual Freedom in Boston in 2011!

    AASECT
    By: Jim Fleckenstein & Susan Wright

    NCSF Board

    NCSF and the NCSF Foundation represented our constituents at the recent 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Pittsburgh. AASECT is the recognized certifying organization for professionals in the sexuality helping professions. Both the group itself and its membership constitute a very influential voice in the public discourse about sexuality and relationships.

    NCSF's presence there has been ongoing for a number of years, and generally very well received. NCSF Board members Susan Wright and Jim Fleckenstein staffed a table in the exhibit hall and participated in a variety of workshops and networking activities. One central focus of NCSF's presence in Pittsburgh was to continue to garner support for our DSM Revision Project. This project seeks to encourage the American Psychiatric Association to adhere to sound science as it goes through the process of revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) between now and 2012. For more information about this project, go to DSM Revision Project on our site, www.ncsfreedom.org. 

    Another important point of conversation between the NCSF representatives and the AASECT members present was introducing the new NCSF brochure, "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory."   This brochure helps explain the real issues faced by polyamorous individuals and helps de-stigmatize this lifestyle choice by presenting positive, scientific evidence in a concise and professional manner. The AASECT members who stopped by the NCSF table made a number of favorable comments on the brochure.

    "We continue to be pleased by the positive reception we get at AASECT," said Susan Wright, who also serves on AASECT's Advocacy Committee. "It's really important for us to meet face to face with those who can help us keep our constituents in the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities from being pathologized by the very people they turn to for help."

    "Being visible and accessible at AASECT helps establish our credibility as an organization and as a resource to these sexuality professionals," added Jim Fleckenstein, who has given formal presentations on alternative sexuality at four AASECT conferences. "They listen to what we say, join our Kink Aware Professionals program, and learn a lot about our constituents - we help them understand that poly, swinging, and kinky folks are just ordinary people who have made lifestyle choices that work for them."  

     

    NCSF & FetLife
    An interview with John Baku, founder of FetLife

    By: Julian Wolf 

    John Baku is the founder of the international online phenomenon FetLife. He graciously took the time to be interviewed.

    What type of relationship does FetLife have with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom?

    I have to start off by saying FetLife, and the whole FetLife team, are huge fans of the NCSF and all they do for the kinky community. 

    Now, to answer your question, I think the best way to describe our relationship is that we act as one of the bridges between the NSCF and the kinky community.

    We do this in two ways.  We do this by giving the NCSF visibility on FetLife to over 550,000 kinksters (growing by 1,100 a day).  We give the NCSF visibility by donating a guaranteed two million ad impressions a month plus a percentage of our remnant stock which results in approximately ten million add impressions per month. Plus the NCSF is listed in the "Organization We Support" page.

    There other way we act as a bridge is by connecting people who need help, when they need help, with the NCSF.  When our volunteer support staff comes across a case that the NCSF is better suited to help, then we inform the person of the services the NCSF offers and we ask them if we can put them in touch with you.

    NCSF Comes to You Tube
    By: Vivienne Kramer

    NCSF Board

    NCSF has started a video campaign project! Kink Academy is generously donated it's production company and a Boston based Committee is working on three public relation pieces: a video for our own communities to help spread the good word of NCSF, a piece for vanilla but open minded individuals and a third version for the general public.

    Look out You Tube... NCSF is coming!

    phone: 410-539-4824

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.