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The Lawyers Are Coming and It’s a Good Thing

on Friday, 01 September 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

By Dick Cunningham

 

In its major project on revising the criminal laws on sexual assault, the prestigious American Law Institute is taking a hard look at consent as a defense in BDSM-related prosecutions. And NCSF is providing important input to that project.

 

As many of you are painfully aware, courts throughout the United States have consistently refused to recognize consent as a defense in criminal assault cases that arise from BDSM incidents. Even though the ALI’s  Model Penal Code—which has been adopted by most states—says consent is a defense to assault unless “serious bodily injury” has occurred, courts regularly ignore that rule. They regard BDSM as violent assault and issue rulings that use of nipple clamps for dripping hot wax constitutes "serious bodily injury”.

 

NCSF brought this issue to the attention of the Sexual Assault Project, which has taken the issue very seriously.  This is important, because the ALI is one of the most prestigious legal organizations, and their Model Penal Code—of which the new sexual assault rules will be a part—is adopted by most states.  If they reclassify BDSM prosecutions as sexual contact instead of violent assault and if they clarify the importance of consent in the practice of BDSM, the criminal treatment of our communities will change dramatically for the better.

 

NCSF has been active in the Project’s deliberations, communicating with the Project Chair, submitting quite detailed legal analyses, providing education to dispel misconceptions about BDSM, and—beginning with the ALI’s annual meeting—attending and participating in the discussions of sexual assault issues. We have been making the following principal points:

 

• BDSM is intimate and erotic behavior and thus should not be prosecuted as a violent assault by one person against another.

• Specifically, BDSM belongs in the category of “sexual contact” crimes, where prosecution depends on the determination that consent was not given for the erotic contact. BDSM does not belong in the same category as rape, because penetration—if it occurs at all is not truly part of the BDSM activity.

• The project needs to be aware of the importance placed upon consent in the BDSM communities to understand that BDSM scenes may involve (as part of the fantasy) understandings that the usual expressions of unwillingness “no”, “stop”, etc. can be disregarded and instead prearranged “safe words” (“red”, “yellow”, etc.) may be used.

• The project also needs to understand that consent needs to be “informed consent”, not only in BDSM, but also in all sexual assault contexts.  By “informed consent”, we mean the participants need to agree (a) who will be involved, (b) what is agreed to be done and not done, (c) the potential risks, (d) where and how the bottom will be touched, (e) the location or venue where the acts will be conducted and (f) the procedure for stopping or moderating the acts.  

 

Our issues will be front and center at the mid-October meeting of the ALI Sexual Assault Project and NCSF has, at the ALI’s request, submitted detailed comments. And I, as NCSFs Consent Counts counsel have joined the ALI and will be an active participant in the October session.

 

Keep your fingers crossed. This could produce something very important. 

 

For more information about this important project, please consider attending the NCSF and TES Consent Summit in New York City on September 16 - https://www.ncsfreedom.org/press/blog/item/consent-summit-in-new-york-city

 

Re-Opening The Mark... Even Better Than Before!

on Friday, 01 September 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

What are We Raising Funds For?

We Need to Re-Open!

 

After 12 years of CPI successfully running The Mark as a private membership club with no issues or concerns, we were the target of a salacious "investigative news" story by a local television station this past July, which led to Metro Nashville closing us down, citing our non-compliance with a newly-enacted "sex club" ordinance.  As everyone who knows us can tell you, we consider ourselves a community center and about as far removed from the concept of a "sex club" as imaginable... but since the ordinance lists the possibility of nudity and sex within its definition of a sex club (whether they are the focus or not), we now are one, since we espouse both a body-positive and sex-positive culture.

 

The Zoning/Codes folks have actually been very kind, wonderfully helpful, and as understanding as possible.  Walk-throughs and inspections have returned no code violations, but there are costs associated with all this, we have no revenue sources to count on, and it appears that (under this new designation) we will have to complete the access ramp that we had started early this year for full-up ADA compliance.  Yes, we had intended to do this anyway this summer... now there is no putting it off! ...

 

Consent Summit in New York City

on Sunday, 20 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and The TES Association present the Consent Summit, an all-day event of workshops and discussions on consent in New York City. Attitudes are changing about consent, and it’s time to join in the conversation. Consent and the law, consent in power exchange relationships, and dealing with consent incidents–you can’t have sexual freedom without consent!

9:30 am – 6pm on Saturday, September 16th 

@the LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

Register here: https://nationalcoalitionforsexualfreedom.wildapricot.org/events

Along with Carmen Vasquez as Keynote Speaker, other experts including Judge Rudy Serra, Kate D'Adamo, David Stein, Lia Love, Russell J. Stambaugh, Sar Surmick, Judy Guerin, Kevin Carlson, Graydancer, Heather Gardner, and more will headline the Panel Discussions and Workshops:

Consent & the Law

Consent Activism: Past, Present and Future

Consent in Power Exchange Relationships

Train the Trainers: How to Talk About and Teach Consent

Consent Violations Survey

Towards a Better Understanding of Consent Incidents

During the Luncheon there will be exciting breakout groups led by knowledgeable Moderators:

Fetish/Sex Workers - Mistress Leigh

TNG – Jewel

Event/Party Producers – Zero

Power Exchange and M/s – Ashley

Special Needs – Dr. Michael Aaron

Hypnosis – Jaden 

Tickets:

All day event with luncheon - $50

TES Members all day event with luncheon - $40

Students and Seniors - $35

All day event with luncheon and Pay It Forward* - $75

*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. If you need a scholarship to attend, please contact NCSF to find out more - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to Be Non-Monogamous Without Being a Jerk

on Sunday, 20 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Consensual non-monogamy comes naturally for some, and others not so much. Either is cool and normal, and no one is more or less enlightened for feeling one way. The only thing true non-monogamy should be is consensual and ethical for all parties involved. "It isn't for everyone," says Kyle, a comedian in Los Angeles who has experience with consensual non-monogamy. "But it's for way more people than you think."

Floggers, and handcuffs, and swingers, oh my!

on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Dayton City Paper

By Claire D. Lune

According to another member of both FetLife and the Dayton community, it’s incredibly important to be involved. “If you are not going out and letting people see that you are real then you aren’t making connections,” a self-employed, single mother says. “That’s what it’s all about to me – the connections. There is nothing better than sitting across from people and talking about anything without judgment.”

Meet the landlord behind Bushwick’s polyamory apartment: VIDEO

on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The Real Deal

by Christopher Cameron

“I’m building community living environments under the brand HACIENDA,” he writes. “Through these projects, I seek to inspire change by raising the visibility of the sex-positive movement in mainstream society. I like to think of the real estate I develop as building blocks, or platforms, upon which great thought leaders and visionaries can stand.”

I’m a Submissive Brat and No, That’s Not a Contradiction

on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

AutoStraddle

by Danielle

For Anna, another self-identified brat, this plethora of options allowed her to find her place in BDSM. “I started out identifying as a submissive, but I was always so frustrated in scenes!” she told me. “I started to think that maybe I was a dominant, but I eventually got bored with that, too. It wasn’t until later on that I realized submission doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all.”

A Very Useful Guide to Sexy Spanking

on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

GQ

BY SOPHIE SAINT THOMAS

"Spanking must have a terrific PR person. Though frowned upon as a punishment for children, spanking is currently a super-popular, super-sexy method of “punishment” between two consenting adults. The spanking spectrum covers a lot of ground. At one end are the playful taps you do every now and then, and at the other end is “impact play” (when one person—the top/dominant—strikes another—the bottom/submissive—for sexual gratification). But whether you’re a beginner spanker or a powerful dominant who wants to leave a handprint on your submissive, let’s be real: While spanking is totally normal and fun, it’s still hitting someone. Here’s how to do it respectfully...and sexily."

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