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Talking ‘The Artist and the Pervert’ with Beatrice Behn

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

Fembot

by  Stephanie Watson

"A woman who radically expresses her own sexuality, is a scary thing indeed. Knowing yourself well enough to know what your sexuality should look like means knowing your body. Knowing your desires, your fetishes, your wishes. That ultimately leads to knowing yourself, owning your past and present, shaping your future. It also means being aware of your boundaries and no-gos. So expressing your sexuality as a woman is a very powerful statement that you know who you are and what you want and don’t want. Why would a patriarchal society want a woman to be in her power, to be in the know of herself and to protect her boundaries? These women are trouble!"

Is N.Y.C.'s kinky side in jeopardy? Lawyers prep for Supreme Court battle to save it

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

New York Business Journal

by Anthony Noto

"The most important thing," Dubno added, "is New York is losing a lot of its flavor and diversity. This is a city where we tolerate different views and perspectives, and when you start restricting access to information and closing down small businesses, that changes the landscape of New York City — makes it less unique."

Belgian law professor wants a legal status for polygamous households

on Wednesday, 09 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The Brussels Times

by Andy Sanchez 

In Flanders, there are 27 000 people who define themselves as “polygamous”, people who have a romantic relationship with more than one person at a time.

Frederik Swennen, professor in family law at the University of Antwerp, argues for there to be a legal protection for these people. Polyamory, can take several forms, a couple that cohabits while having other relaltionships, a household composed of two women and one man, two men and one woman, or a bachelor with several relationships at the same time. 

 

“I consider polyamory more strictly, warns Professor Swennen. “My conception is a group of people who live under the same roof and share the same bed. Most of the time, it involves three people, whereby everyone in it has a relationship with the other two. In case something wrong happens, these people do not have any legal safety net at the moment.

 

The professor wonders what elements could be adapted or included from the usual marriage contract. “Each member in the polyamory could pay bills according to his revenues for example”. “But one could also look in and discuss heritage, he goes on to explain and the right to decide on children, or the right to leave in the event of marriage or death in the family."

 

However, the real question, is to find out if Belgium is ready to legally anchor these new relationship forms. “The Belgian Minister of Justice, Koen Geens, is currently taking the opposite route, explains Professor Swennen. Rather than looking into proposals that would see the legal coexistence expanded to several people. Geens, wants to limit this to two romantic partners." ...

 

Co-Op Cafe Expands As Counter-Culture Hub In Downtown Jacksonville

on Wednesday, 09 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

WJCT

By RYAN BENK

After just over a year in business, downtown Jacksonville’s only worker-owned coffee shop is expanding for the second time.

 

The Coniferous Cafe co-op wants to position itself as a safe haven for the free exchange of ideas.

 

 

University of North Florida students know Angel Kalafatis as Professor Sex. She’s a graduate student and a mentor at the university’s LGBT resource center.

 

A couple Sundays every month, Kalafatis takes her sex-ed lessons to Coniferous Cafe on the corner of Monroe and Laura streets, where she feels less constrained than she does on campus.

 

Kalafatis was a major force behind UNF’s Sex Week, meant as half education and half celebration of sexual positivity and diversity. It generated controversy this year when campus conservatives and some parents found panels like “Polyamory vs. Cheating” too raunchy to be officially sanctioned by the university.

 

She said no one challenges her agenda when she delivers her bi-weekly workshops at Coniferous Cafe.

 

“That by itself, that flexibility to be that organic and that community-created — I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.

 

Her class isn’t the only event filling seats. Regular poetry nights, author showcases and yoga ensure downtown’s only late-night coffee shop is often filled to the brim.

 

The cafe, which began late last year as an "info shop" selling radical books and self-published pamphlets called zines, expanded early this year to start offering coffee, tea and light snacks.

 

Coniferous doesn’t have one single owner — workers earn their share after enough time behind the counter. But most days you’ll find community organizer Siddie Friar manning the register.

 

“We’d like to be a reliable alternative to the status quo of coffee shops and really bring back that 90s grunge feel of the community coffee house,” she said. ...

Don't Let Congress Censor the Internet

on Wednesday, 09 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

Electronic Frontier Foundation Action Alert

There’s a new bill in Congress that would threaten your right to free expression online. If that weren’t enough, it could also put small Internet businesses in danger of catastrophic litigation.

 

Don’t let its name fool you: the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) wouldn’t help punish sex traffickers. What it would do is expose the Internet content platforms that we all rely on every day to the risk of overwhelming criminal and civil liability for their customers’ actions.

 

SESTA would erode one of the most important laws protecting free expression online. Under current law, an intermediary (like a social media platform or a message board) can’t be held legally responsible for the content created by its users for purposes of enforcing certain laws affecting speech online.

 

SESTA would extend more criminal and civil liability for sex trafficking to content platforms, thus making opening or running such a platform an extremely dangerous venture. The law would affect any company, organization, or individual that hosts content created by someone else on the Internet: social media sites, photo and video-sharing apps, newspaper comment sections, and even community mailing lists. Small Internet startups would become vulnerable to extremely costly legal threats. So would web platforms run by nonprofit and community groups, which serve as invaluable outlets for free expression and knowledge sharing.

 

There’s a similar bill in the House. With many lawmakers showing their support for these bills, it’s crucial that Internet users tell them how damaging the bills will be for free speech and innovation on the Internet.

 

Tell your members of Congress: sex trafficking is a real, horrible problem, but these bills are not the solution.

THIS 5-DAY SEX CRUISE FOR HORNY COUPLES IS AN ABSOLUTE ORGY AT SEA All aboard!

on Wednesday, 09 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Maxim

by ZEYNEP YENISEY

Ahoy, my kinky mateys! Remember when we told you about that straight-up sex cruise, Desire Cruise, where you can sail your horny ass around Europe and indulge every one of your wildest erotic fantasies?

 

Well, since one giant orgy in the middle of the ocean is never enough, here’s another: Couples Cruise, which is a 4-night/5-day nautical orgy where 2,000 kinky passengers can leave their clothes and inhibitions on dry land and prepare to make waves on the kinkiest vacation ever.

 

 

Dubbed “The Naughty Cruise,” the X-rated ocean liner sets sail from Los Angeles on October 3rd, and cruises along to the “love boat” port in Ensenada, Mexico, before returning back to the City of Angels on October 7th.

 

4 nights not enough? No problem! Horny guests have the option to join the 3-day "Naughty In Los Angeles" party before the cruise, making for an entire week of debauchery.

 

And similar to Desire Cruise, this kinky voyage will also feature theme nights, such as “Tropical Night,” where all the horny dads on the ship can break out their hottest floral button-downs, and “Mardi Gras,” which is the perfect setting for guests to get obliterated on Sazeracs and take their clothes off.

 

 

“There is a lot of sex on our ships,” the president of Couples Cruise says. “Our cruises get people excited and couples tell me all the time how our Couples Cruises have rekindled their passion and that they had more sex on our cruise with their partner than they have had in months.”

 

“We certainly do get swingers on board and many of them are looking for other potential partners.” ...

Follow the Leader: Authority-Based Relationships Uncovered

on Tuesday, 01 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

An expert on alternative lifestyles shatters myths on Master/slave relationships

Psychology Today

by Michael Aaron

This is the latest installment of interviews with speakers from the 2nd Annual AltSex NYC Conference, which was held on Friday, April 28 in a midtown NYC theater. Eric Pride, together with his wife Lady Christie, heads a structured authority-based household in New York, which celebrates its 15 year anniversary in 2017.  Eric enjoys consensual S&M, blogs on different aspects of the lifestyle, and gives presentations on alternative lifestyle relationships, structured authority-based living, S&M, ritual, and spirituality. He is a founding member and an instructor at the Master/slave Development Center, an educational group for Masters and slaves. He is also the founder of NYC Kinky Living (NYCKL) and the producer of the hands-on immersive full-day events EdgePlay, KinkWorks, PlaySpace, ROPESCAPE, ROPESCAPE 2 and Unleashed. His presentation at AltSex NYC was entitled Peeking under the Hood of Authority-Based Relationships: Structure, Dynamics, and Lifestyle.

 

 

​Q: Your presentation was on authority-based relationships. How would you define a relationship that is authority-based? Can you provide some examples?

 

A: I define an authority-based relationship as one in which the “leader” has been consensually granted authority by the “follower” to exercise control and power over them. A few examples of common authority-based relationships include “master/slave,” “dominant/submissive,” “daddy/boy,” “goddess/worm,” and “trainer/puppy”.

 

Q:  What are some reasons that people may be drawn to such relationships? What do they get out of it?

 

A: There are many reasons people might be drawn to the authority-based relationship structure. In living life, most of us seek to be fulfilled, or “whole.” Many of us may spend significant time seeking emotions and experiences to this end. One way in which we do this is by clearly defining and understanding our identities to reduce cognitive dissonance. Authority-based relationships can aid in this endeavor. In authority-based relationships, there is often great clarity about our roles, relationship, and expected behaviors. Values, beliefs, rules, and behavioral expectations need to be clearly defined for both leader and follower. Many people in authority-based relationships often describe their experience as being able to be their “whole selves,” by integrating kink/sex/power (an important part of their identity, for them) into their daily lives.

 

 

​Q: In your presentation, you referred to these relationships as "not just play" or "another form of BDSM." What is the distinction you make between these authority-based dynamics and BDSM?

 

A: The term BDSM was first used in a Usenet posting in 1991, to mean a combination of the abbreviations B/D (bondage and discipline), D/s (dominance and submission), and S/M (Sadism and Masochism). BDSM  can be a component of an authority-based relationship, but an authority-based relationship is not required to have any or all of these components as a part of it. I like to refer to authority-based relationships as a subgroup of “designer relationships,” relationships that are directly and explicitly designed and created by everyone involved. So, rather than residing in one category (polyamory, monogamy, 24/7, part time, bondage, sexually intimate, service-based, etc.), authority-based relationships can and do encompass any or all of the above by design of the individuals in the relationship.

 

Q: What are some of the most common structural elements of authority-based relationships? How on earth does one go about creating this type of relationship structure in the first place?

 

A: Authority-based relationships are negotiated and consensual social constructs, just as any one of the more common forms of relationships with which we are more familiar. The most basic structural element of an authority-based relationship is that the “follower” has granted authority to the “leader.” There are agreed-upon rules for the leader and follower, and expectations are set for everyone involved. Authority-based relationships often encompass many or all aspects of our lives, rather than selecting certain times or places to “act out” these roles. Rituals and symbols are frequently a part of authority-based relationships, such as a collar to symbolize belonging and commitment, and authority-based relationships regularly contain service components. ...

Please stop breaking up with my girlfriend

on Tuesday, 01 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

I was the one who wanted an open relationship. So why was I so upset when she and my roommate became involved?

Salon

by NICK ROWAN BASSMAN

Looking up from my drink and across the room, I watched my girlfriend and my roommate kiss for the first time.

 

It was her 21st birthday, five days into the spring of our junior year. Heads swiveled toward Elizabeth and Jamie as their kiss deepened. Quiet rippled out through the din of the party. In the background, Beyoncé continued to serenade us with “Drunk in Love.”

 

 

 

Jealousy welled up in me: I was the one who wanted an open relationship, not Elizabeth.

 

Crushes have always sprouted in me, independent of my will, like I live in an endless springtime. One blossoms for someone who feels right in my arms at a blues dance, another bursts for a classmate who writes achingly beautiful poetry — all the time, people pop up and make me dizzy.

 

But every time a crush budded, I felt like I’d betrayed Elizabeth. When I snipped it before it could fully bloom, I felt like I’d betrayed myself. I didn’t want to leave her, but I craved freedom to explore.

 

Several months before, I’d confessed this desire to her. “I want to give that to you,” she whispered — but the idea made her seethe with anxiety. Our time together was already a constant negotiation. She had to micromanage her schedule to balance a Mathematics major with ADHD, while my distaste for clocks and Google Calendar verged on phobia. We lived in glimpses and embraces between class; love slipped into the little spaces we had left over. She feared we’d have no time left at all if we were entangled with other people.

 

So as her mouth moved against Jamie’s in one of the loveliest kisses I’d ever seen, I felt a lot of things. Jealousy, yes, at the bitter irony that she had what I wanted. Confusion: Had she changed her mind, or was this just a drunken birthday kiss? Happiness, too — what some polyamorous people call “compersion” — that two people I loved were sharing this intimacy. And also a little private hope: that Elizabeth would understand me better now. Under my breath, I whispered, “Finally.”

 

As the night progressed, time warped around Jamie and Elizabeth’s kiss. It never stopped. I got drunker than I’d ever been. For the first time, I spent my night retching into a toilet. Elizabeth, after holding my hair, spent her first night in Jamie’s bed.

 

There was no privacy in our room; closeness was the way of our student-housing cooperative. The stairwells resounded with mandolin music. The walls of the gender-neutral shower room were sheened with orange grime. Nobody locked their doors, ever.

 

The third time I walked in on Jamie and Elizabeth kissing, we decided it was time to talk about it.

 

 

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We spoke for hours. Softly, carefully. Elizabeth held my gaze. Jamie averted it. “We need each other,” Elizabeth confessed.

 

“Okay,” I said.

 

They glanced at each other. “Okay? Really?”

 

“I never want to keep you from what you need,” I said. “Need is sacred.”

 

“Thank you,” Jamie told me, over and over. And, “I don’t deserve this.”

 

Maybe they didn’t. Jamie hadn’t yet told Sophie, their long-distance high school sweetheart and maybe-someday-fiancée, about kissing Elizabeth. “She’ll definitely be okay with it,” Jamie assured us.

 

I had my doubts that Sophie — who rarely used gender-neutral pronouns for Jamie and wanted them to be her husband, not her androgynous partner — would be a fan of polyamory.

 

But Elizabeth was beaming at me, moon-eyed. “I feel a hundred times lighter right now,” she said, “than I can remember having felt in I-don’t-know-how-many-months.”

 

We weren’t sure how we’d make it work, but we knew we’d figure it out. We had to. At dusk we walked to a campus café through swirling snow, arm-in-arm and arm-in-arm, giddy with laughter, embarking on this strange journey together.

 

The walk sticks out in my memory, because I think it was the last time all three of us were happy at once.

 

Later that night, Jamie called Sophie. Sure enough, they returned to the room and murmured, almost inaudibly, “This can’t happen anymore.”

 

But it kept happening.

 

Maybe I should’ve told Jamie and Elizabeth to stop. But watching them fall in love felt like falling in love myself. I liked when Jamie, half-asleep, would murmur, “I’m crazy about her,” and I would reply, “Right?!” I liked how Elizabeth told me little secrets and snippets of dialogue — and I liked the mystery of what she’d keep to herself. I liked waking up curled against her some mornings, and on others watching her stretch from Jamie’s bed, and waving to her.

 

But I hated how, wracked with guilt after Skyping with Sophie, Jamie would wrench themself away from Elizabeth.

 

It was a vicious cycle. Jamie couldn’t kiss Elizabeth without confessing the infidelity to Sophie, who insisted that this couldn’t continue. Jamie couldn’t help but agree and tell Elizabeth they had to break it off. Which left me stroking Elizabeth’s hair through the night as she wept and pined for all of the things they couldn’t do. Next week, they would find themselves alone together, and the cycle would begin again. ...

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