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Participate in a survey about polyamorous relationships!

on Saturday, 15 April 2017. Posted in NCSF News

If you are in a polyamorous or other type of consensually non-monogamous, where all parties involved understand and agree that complete monogamy is not required, then you know how important it is that people understand what these relationships are and how they work.

 

My name is Ryan Witherspoon and I am a clinical psychology Ph.D. student at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.  I am conducting a dissertation research project investigating these kinds of relationships.  Specifically, I’m looking at hidden sources of strength and resilience against challenges that polyamory and other types of consensual non-monogamy may feature. 

 

Are you a US resident, over 18, and currently in one or more polyamorous or consensually non-monogamous relationship(s)?  Do you want to help contribute to scientific understanding of these important lifestyles and practices?  Please click the link below to participate in this ground-breaking study!  

 

All responses are anonymous and completely confidential.  The survey will only take about 20 minutes to complete, but your contribution to expanding knowledge and tolerance of these modern relationships will be priceless! 

 

Access the brief survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CNMstudy

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns! 

 

Sincerely Yours,

Ryan G. Witherspoon, MA

Guest Blog: “Signs” of Trafficking to Make You Wonder

on Monday, 10 April 2017. Posted in NCSF News

by Desmond Ravenstone

Last weekend, I flew out of town to attend a conference where the annual meeting of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom was being held, having been invited to co-present on sex workers’ rights for the Coalition’s leaders. I took just a small backpack crammed with clothes, papers, and other items. The room was paid for by another NCSF activist, who was staying in a suite with their partner. As is my usual practice, I kept the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the entire time, as well as leaving the TV on, because I’m one of these folks who is more comfortable with an unmade bed than having others go through my things.

Believe it or not, I might have been tagged by a hotel employee as a possible sex trafficker.

“Huh!? What did you do wrong?” Well, according to a checklist provided to hotel employees by the Department of Homeland Security, I displayed at least three “general indicators” of human trafficking:

Few or no personal items when checking in.

The same person reserving multiple rooms.

“Do Not Disturb” sign used constantly.

Oh, and the fellow activist who paid for my hotel room? They hosted get-togethers in their suite throughout the weekend, inviting conference attendees to learn more about NCSF – another red flag: “Constant flow of men into a room at all hours.”

 

Now, to be fair, these are just four out of some four dozen indicators, some of which are clear warning signs of coercion or abuse. But the four I mentioned, and several more, are so vague or subjective that, when read out of context, could lead to invasions of privacy and false accusations.

 

Here are some others:

Individuals avoid eye contact and interaction with others – Whoever came up with this probably never knew that this is not uncommon for people on the autism spectrum, or who rank high on the introversion scale.

Individuals appear to be with a significantly older “boyfriend” or in the company of older males – How old is “significantly older”? Does this mean May-December relationships are now automatically suspect? What about a young woman accompanied by an older relative?

Evidence of pornography – Uh huh. Remember, we’re talking hotels here. Many of which have adult pay-per-view. Some have newsstands that sell Hustler and Penthouse. Or maybe the government has bought into the idea that nude photos in a magazine is some sort of “gateway drug” …

Extended stay with few or no personal possessions – Because airlines never lose people’s luggage. Right?

Provocative clothing and shoes – Excuse me, but has anyone noticed the trend in many high schools to declare virtually any female student’s attire short of a prairie dress as “provocative”?

Excessive amounts of sex paraphernalia in rooms (condoms, lubricant, lotion, etc.) – Okay, I’m sure some readers are wondering why I put this here. Set aside the vagueness of “excessive” for a moment. This particular “indicator” gives no mention of context. My recent trip was an example. The conference in question was for members of the BDSM community. So, yes, folks are going to bring all sorts of erotic accoutrements (and that’s not even touching on the various merchants and sex educators setting up booths there). And given that BDSM, swinger and polyamory conferences try to be discreet, just imagine a hotel worker not being informed of their presence and seeing a room filled with … get the picture?

Room paid for with cash or pre-loaded credit card – Because people with credit problems who are thus unable to get “real” credit cards never need to stay at a hotel, hm?

Minor taking on adult roles or behaving older than actual age (paying bills, requesting services) – Seems like a legit concern, right? Well, have you ever encountered a family where the parents are recent immigrants, and the kids have a higher proficiency in English? I have. The kids not only translate for their parents, they learn out of necessity how to deal with all sorts of situations, including how to handle money.

Room rented has fewer beds than patrons – Because college kids don’t trying to save money by cramming four people into a room with two beds. Or a family displaced by fire, or eviction. Yeah, those never happen.

Car in parking lot regularly parked backward, so the license plate is not visible – Yeah, absolutely no one has a car with a front license plate. And except for evil traffickers, everyone parks front first, right?

Patron claims to be an adult although appearance suggests he/she is a minor – Ask anyone who works at a bar if they’ve had to card an adult who looked younger than they are. Yup, it happens. Happened to me when I was thirty-five. And about half a dozen other people I know.

This is not to say that people who engage in trafficking and other nefarious activities don’t do these things. They do – and so do lots of other people. If a survey showed that a majority of traffickers spoke two or more languages, it doesn’t mean that being able to speak another language indicates that someone is a trafficker. It’s also typical of anti-trafficking rhetoric that these assumptions are rooted in biases about gender, race, class, and immigration status. Imagine a hotel employee, with superficial “trafficking awareness” training, reporting a guest – perhaps even you – on the basis of such hasty generalizations.

Human rights abuses should not be fought by the abuse of other rights. If we are to bring criminals to justice, or help victims find relief, then let’s make sure we are well-prepared to do it right, rather than run roughshod over innocent people.

Consent in the BDSM Community at SSTAR

on Friday, 24 March 2017. Posted in NCSF News

Russell Stambaugh and Susan Wright will be presenting on the 30+ year history of kink safety and consent campaigns at the Annual Conference of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) in Montreal, Quebec April 20, 2017.

 

This is a 3 CE preconference institute, and you won't need to miss a minute of the excellent SSTAR main program. It includes their research report on the 2014 Consent Violations Survey examining consent violations in a kink context.

 

This is designed for anyone interested in becoming a kink-aware clinician and those seeking to understand what teaching consent may or may not accomplish with kinky people.

 

We hope to see you in Montreal!

Preconference Institute on Consent and Kink at SSTAR

on Wednesday, 15 March 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

Russell Stambaugh, NCSF Kink Aware Professionals Advocate, and Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson, will be presenting on the 30+ year history of kink safety and consent campaigns at the Annual Conference of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) in Montreal, Quebec April 20, 2017.
 
This is a 3 CE preconference institute, and you won't need to miss a minute of the excellent SSTAR main program. It includes their research report on the 2014 Consent Violations Survey examining consent violations in a kink context.
 
This is designed for anyone interested in becoming a kink-aware clinician and those seeking to understand what teaching consent may or may not accomplish with kinky people.
 
We hope to see you in Montreal!

Update on the American Law Institute Project

on Sunday, 26 February 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

Dick Cunningham, NCSF's legal counsel, has been selected for membership in the American Law Institute. The ALI is the American law profession's elite organization for the study of important current legal issues and the drafting of "model laws." The model laws drafted by the ALI, often in a process, are generally incorporated, albeit often with some amendments, by the great majority of state legislatures in their civil and criminal laws. As a member, Dick will now have the opportunity to participate in any of the ALI's on-going model law projects.

At the top of Dick's priority list will be two projects of direct importance to NCSF. The most important is the Institute's on-going effort to revise criminal laws concerning various forms of sexual assault and-of particular interest to NCSF: the principles of consent applicable in such criminal prosecutions. NCSF has already made written submissions to that ALI project that have been favorably received and that promise to introduce into the model laws and commentary concepts that clarify the issue of consent in the context of BDSM.

The second project in which Dick will participate is the ALI's study of the issues concerning sex on college campuses. This whole subject is almost daily in the newsheadlines. Here again, issues concerning the rules of consent are central to the project, and decisions made as to consent in this emotionally-charged context could have implications-good or bad-to the criminal law of consent in the BDSM context.

Look for more updates on the ALI project in the coming months.

***

Novedades sobre el Proyecto del Instituto de Derecho Americano (American Law Institute)

Dick Cunningham, asesor legal de la NCSF, ha sido elegid miembro del Instituto de Derecho Americano. El ALI (American Law Institute) es la organización de elite de profesionales del Derecho que se dedica al estudio de asuntos legales actuales importantes y el diseño de "modelos de leyes". Los modelos de leyes esbozados por la ALI, a menudo aún en proceso, son generalmente incorporados, aunque frecuentemente con algunas enmiendas, por la mayoría de las legislaturas estatales en sus leyes civiles y criminales. Como miembro, Dick tendrá a partir de ahora la oportunidad de participar en cualquiera de los proyectos de modelos de leyes en curso.

En lo alto de la lista de prioridades de Dick estarán dos proyectos con una importancia directa para la NCSF. El más importante es el esfuerzo, aún en curso, del Instituto para revisar las leyes criminales referentes a varias formas de asalto sexual y -especialmente interesante para la NCSF-: los principios del consentimiento aplicables en dichos procesos penales. La NCSF ya ha presentado alegaciones por escrito para tal proyecto de la ALI las cuales han sido recibidas favorablemente y prometen introducir en los modelos de leyes ejemplos de ideas que clarifiquen la cuestión del consentimiento en el contexto del BDSM.

El segundo proyecto en el cual Dick participará será el estudio de la ALI sobre cuestiones relativas al sexo en los campus universitarios. Este asunto suele estar casi a diario en los titulares de las noticias. Nuevamente las cuestiones relativas a las normas del consentimiento son fundamentales para el proyecto y las decisiones tomadas en cuanto al consentimiento en este contexto emocionalmente intenso podrían tener consecuencias -buenas o malas- en la legislación penal sobre el consentimiento en el contexto del BDSM.

Busque más novedades sobre el proyecto ALI en los próximos meses.

Guest Blog - Hypnosis and consent: it's all about what you believe

on Saturday, 25 February 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

By Nathalie Rupert

The ubiquitous fantasy that you meet a dark, mysterious stranger who makes you do things you find sexy but you never really dared to do before has become very popular in the past few years, almost mainstream, you could say. This fantasy has a number of variants, and that best-selling book is only one of them; the fantasy of hypnosis or mind control is another.

In the early 2000s people who loved the fantasy of hypnosis or mind control shared erotica with each other online and discovered they were not alone. It's an unusual fantasy, and it's difficult to talk about; without the internet we could have gone our whole lives thinking that we were weird, never meeting each other. But the internet turned out to be a great place to meet each other and talk about our fantasies. And as the internet grew and matured, this fetish was as welcome as any other on fetish and BDSM websites.

The beauty of modern online fetish communities is that they are not just about porn and erotica; they allow their members to talk to each other, not just about their fantasies, about everything: their lives, how they enjoy their fetish, organising meetings with other fetishists, how to establish and maintain consent, how to enjoy their fetish safely without hurting themselves or their partner(s). The online erotic hypnosis community grew and thrived, despite all the ugly myths that exist about hypnosis.

While outsiders who have seen a hypnosis show or an article about a hypnotherapist being blamed for something bad that has happened to their client might think that a hypnotized person doesn't know what's happening to them and has no way to object, hypnofetishists are organising workshops and writing essays on how the human mind reacts to hypnosis, all the ways a hypnotized person can reject and undo the things a hypnotist says to them, and what to do if a hypnosis session becomes a negative experience.

There are many misconceptions about what hypnosis is and what it isn't, some people seem to think it's all fake make believe, while others purport that it is dangerous traumatic mind control and some people seem to think it's both. All the while, the hypnofetishists who know a lot about hypnosis because they have hours upon hours of experience with it, on top of their official licenses and degrees, lack credibility when they talk about their experience, because their experience is in a sexual context. Our knowledge doesn't count because we're labelled as perverts. And in the current political climate in the US, credit card companies, anti-porn and anti-obscenity initiatives are working to shut down the places where the perverts can communicate with each other online, even if we communicate about how to use hypnosis consensually and safely.

So here are the facts. Hypnosis is a way to learn and quickly connect ideas together. You can learn to feel disgusted when you smell a cigarette. You can learn to connect happy thoughts to healthy food. You can learn to disconnect panic and anxiety from the things you fear. Connecting ideas together like this, following hypnotic suggestions, is a skill that can be learned, and not everyone is good at it, which is why stage hypnotists spend so much time weeding and finding the talented people in the audience. But that skill definitely gets better with practice, and anyone can learn it.

To go into hypnosis and follow a hypnotic suggestion, you need three things:

You need to be able to understand what the hypnotist is saying to you

You need to be able to concentrate and use your imagination

You need to trust that this is going to work, that the hypnotist is competent at helping you go into trance and that they will not harm you in any way

If one of these three things is missing, you will not go into trance. A few examples:

You will not be hypnotized if you can't hear what the hypnotist is saying to you, or if you can't understand it because of loud noise or a language barrier. If the hypnotist is not an eloquent person who stutters and fails to get their points and ideas across, you will not go into hypnosis, and this is why many hypnotists pride themselves in their skill.

If you have problems concentrating because you are in a distracting environment, or you have a mental condition that impairs your concentration, you will find it very difficult to be hypnotized. If you have trouble using your imagination to picture what the hypnotist is saying, or if the hypnotist is using metaphors that make no sense to you, chances are that you will not follow any of the hypnotic suggestions given to you.

If you sit down with a hypnotist, confident that you can not be hypnotized under any circumstances and that the hypnotist is a fraud, nothing will happen. If you do not trust the hypnotist, or the hypnotist does or says something while you are in trance that makes you uncomfortable, you will most likely wake up immediately and "the spell will be broken" nullifying any of the effects the hypnosis might have had on you.

Hypnosis works like that because hypnosis is a tool to connect ideas together. Positive experiences can help you connect the idea of hypnosis to those happy moments, while misconceptions and negative experiences can reinforce the idea that hypnosis is bad. The more people spread the idea that once you are under hypnosis, you can no longer refuse anything the hypnotist says to you, or even remember anything, the more people believe this. If only us perverts could show all the ways that we can safeguard consent in hypnosis. Once you have seen someone wake up from hypnosis of their own accord to tell the hypnotist that this is not what they want, the easier it will be for you to do the same if the need arises.

Here are some lesser known facts that erotic hypnotists know all about: Most hypnotized people remember everything that has happened to them during trance, as evidenced by the stories and memories shared by hypnofetishists in online groups. Even if a person is following a hypnotic suggestion to be frozen in place, or to behave like an animal or like a mindless zombie, they will still safeguard themselves from harm. I have personally seen hypnotized people move out of the way of falling objects, carefully move around tables and chairs in order not to hurt themselves, and stay away from people they don't like. This is where the idea that hypnosis is fake comes from, because underneath it all, it's still you. Hypnosis is an illusion that the hypnotist helps you believe in.

So if the media perpetuate this idea that hypnosis is mind control, and the hypnotized person has no way to assert their will anymore once they are hypnotized, that idea becomes a part of the illusion of hypnosis. However, if we manage to educate people about how hypnosis really works, that all of the effects are in the mind of the subject, and therefore the subject can always make it stop, then it becomes clear that hypnosis is a consensual activity.

 

Guest Blog: No Negotiation Is Non-Consent – or Rape

on Saturday, 25 February 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

by Liz Harrison

Out in vanilla world, the concept of consent, while hotly debated from time to time by policy makers, is at its core cut and dry – either the person acted or spoke affirmatively and sexual activity occurred, or the person didn’t speak or act in an affirmative way and hopefully no sexual activity occurred. The waters became muddied considerably when some activists, particularly on college campuses, started pushing for “guilty upon accusation” policies when it comes to rape. Morning after regret could turn into rape allegations, and no one could be sure if yes meant yes anymore. This situation infuriates me, both as a writer and as a rape survivor. It is destroying the already hellish legal system for dealing with rape, because it is casting real rape victims as just women who thought twice about sexual encounters after the fact. Bluntly, it is making it necessary to coin the phrase “legitimate rape” that not so long ago caused a politician to face severe public criticism.

In the world of BDSM, these debates over consent can be considerably more complicated, given the nature of some people’s proclivities and desires. As an activist writer on sexual freedoms, I usually try to stay out of discussions on this, with the exception of when I come across situations that make me sincerely question whether or not consent has honestly been given and hasn’t been withdrawn. Because so much of BDSM exists outside the law – unlike vanilla sexual relationships – it’s very rare when I step in to offer an opinion. While I personally do not accept the “My Kink, Not Your Kink, and That’s OK” answer in all situations, I usually try to stay out of categorizing activities as acceptable or not until it comes down to people wanting to see their kinky behavior protected by the law. Bluntly, I’m not a miracle worker, and neither are any other sexual freedom activists who dabble in legislative affairs. There are some things we may never be able to get lawmakers to protect, period. So, my answer is “if you’re into it, have at it, but please don’t ask me to defend it legally, because I can’t.”

Lately, I’ve been catching a theme on something that honestly in that category. It seems that I’m seeing people regularly asking BDSM communities all over the place on the web about what to do when D/s relationships go out of control. I’m talking about a spate of submissive types asking for input on dealing with dominant types who are ignoring or not allowing negotiation of the boundaries of the relationship. I’m sorry, I’m not sorry, but there is just one word for that – rape. It’s not consensual non-consent, or any other glossy kink term someone chooses to use for it. When negotiations are ignored or not permitted, it is impossible for consent to be given, period. When there is no consent, it is rape.

Those of you who are shaking your heads because the situation in question did not involve sexual activity per se can stop now. I am saying this from the perspective of drawing a line in the sand. From my own experience dealing with lawmakers – over 20 years of it – I’m here to tell you that there is no way anyone will be able to sell this kind of activity as legally acceptable. Further, I am saying that personally, I will actively campaign against any attempt to do it, and will be on the front lines to see non-negotiated BDSM activity specifically made illegal, on the same level as existing laws forbidding rape.

While I’ve held this position for a very long time now, until recently, I had no idea what such a law would look like. Laws are picky things, and need to have specific language and requirements. There must be something for a prosecutor to prove in court, for one thing. That “something” doesn’t necessarily have to be absolutely objective, which is what we see in many rape cases already. So, what would need to be proven in this situation?

There is one common factor involved in all consensual BDSM activities – all parties involved are doing their parts to get something they want out of it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Sure, it gets complex quick, when anyone is put on the spot by questions about why they want something. “What normal person wants to be beaten or humiliated?” Yes, we all know that pile of questions from vanilla folks, and we generally just stick with the “Why do you assume we’re normal?” reply. Normal is boring in our world, right?

But, within our own little world, the answers to those questions about why we want the “freaky” stuff we do vary, with more answers than practitioners floating around. No, I’m not suggesting that we’ll ever manage to get the vanilla folks to “get” why we do what we do, even if it does end up that non-consensual BDSM can specifically land someone in court on criminal charges. I am saying that members of the psychological community are capable of figuring out whether or not someone is doing something completely against their will, and more importantly, whether or not real psychological damage is being done. In their parlance, it’s called diagnosing emotional abuse. That is the common thread I’ve finally noticed, and have been furious with myself for not noticing before – every one of those submissive types who would take to the forums in BDSM world to ask advice on dominant types who weren’t respecting or creating boundaries with them showed some signs of emotional abuse. Be it fear, disconnection from support systems, excessive insecurity, rationalizing bad behavior of their partners, or describing themselves as emotionally numb without realizing it, the signs are there. (If you’re a submissive type, and those words are hitting too close to home for you, it’s time for you to reach out for professional help, or at least a domestic abuse hotline. Skip talking about the lifestyle if you’re not certain the people you’re talking to would understand, and stick with just your emotions. Or reach out to NCSF.)

The reason why I have finally reached my limit on this one, and have decided to not remain silent on this issue is the pile of dominant types I constantly see replying “Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be, buttercup. Do as you’re told, and quit whining!” There’s one answer for that reply – NO!

BDSM and D/s relationships of any kind are not a license to ignore negotiation of limits, period. Full stop.

If you think I’m wrong, and you think you can do whatever you want to “your” submissive types as a dominant type, consider this fair warning. Watch your back. This isn’t a threat of violence or physical action, but it is a promise that I will start calling you on it. This writing is meant to encourage everyone who values ethical BDSM and D/s to do the same.

As a community, we have been failing submissive types by remaining silent. That needs to stop. “It’s not my place to tell someone else how to do their thing,” is not an acceptable excuse once it crosses the line to the point where the submissive types are making pleas that would fit on a domestic violence support group forum. If you don’t know what that looks like, start visiting them, and learn. Look under “emotional abuse survivors” when you can. If you have the time, it’s even better if you call your local women’s shelter, and volunteer to take some shifts on their helpline. They’ll train you, and you will learn how to draw a definite line between BDSM and abuse.

Dr. William Powers Offers Kink Aware Medical Care

on Saturday, 25 February 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

KAP Directory Featured Member

By http://www.inaradeluna.com" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background:url('../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">Inara de Lunahttp://www.inaradeluna.com" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">, Guest Blogger

Have you ever received an injury from a kink scene, but didn’t want to go to your doctor for treatment? Maybe you needed to see the doctor for some other reason, but delayed the appointment until the marks from your last session had faded…

If you’ve ever felt afraid that a medical professional might judge or shame you for your participation in BDSM or report you as a domestic abuse victim, our next KAP Directory Featured Member strongly suggests that you https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?catid=14" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">find one you can trust and be open and honest with. There are things your medical professional needs to know about your lifestyle and sexual practices in order to treat you effectively.

https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=15&sobi2Id=2469" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background:url('../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">Dr. William Powers, MD, works in a small practice in Detroit, MI, and is well acquainted with the Detroit House of Pain kink community. He lists himself as https://ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/kink-aware-professionals/what-does-kink-aware-mean.html" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">Kink Knowledgeable in the KAP Directory, which means he has treated multiple kinky individuals and “is very experienced in kink concepts and lifestyle.”

Dr. Powers is our latest Featured Member and we asked him some questions to learn more about him and his practice.

drpowers3

NCSF: What made you register on the Kink Aware Professionals Directory?

Dr. William Powers (WP): I started my practice approximately three months ago. I joined an already accepting practice that focuses on HIV and LGBT persons. I wanted to expand this welcoming environment.

I recently attended an event in Detroit known as Theatre Bizarre where some of the local kink community put on performances. Many of these are suspension play or other injurious/high risk sorts of play designed to create "shock and awe" effectively in the vanilla crowd.

I asked some of these people where they go for medical care. Many told me they don't feel comfortable going in to many doctors as they are assumed to be in a state of abuse or shamed for their kink practices. I wanted to put a stop to this, and so registering on KAP was a step in that direction.

I welcome everyone here. Just because your thing isn't my thing doesn't mean you shouldn't be treated like a fellow human being who needs medical care.

NCSF: What alternative communities are welcome in your practice?

WP: I cater specifically to transgender patients as this is sort of my sub-specialty. I have about 500 in my practice. I prescribe hormones and provide comprehensive care (transgender people get colds, too!).

The rest of our practice is LGBT focused, and we treat HIV here without requiring patients to go to specialists as we handle this totally in house.

I also openly welcome members of the polyamory and other non-monogamy communities.

I don't think I have any furries, but I'd welcome them, too!

I really don't care what my patients do in their private lives as long as they are honest with me. My job isn't to judge people, its to be a doctor and to mitigate harm.

NCSF: Can you talk a bit about the most common services you offer these communities?

WP: I do a lot of pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, as well as HIV treatment. I also prescribe transgender hormones, as well as comprehensive sexual wellness and testing. All patients are addressed as their preferred name and gender pronoun.

In regards to BDSM practitioners, they are welcomed for care for any play-associated injuries, or for just general medical care without having to feel ashamed of who they are.

NCSF: Why do you think it’s important for members of alternative communities to have a health or wellness professional who is knowledgeable about their lifestyle?

It’s overwhelmingly important that these people have an honest and open relationship with their doctor.

Beyond this, their doctor has to be well educated about these sort of practices so that they can understand exactly what is happening and therefore make determinations of the patient’s risks or potential health hazards from these behaviors. If a patient has a latex allergy and comes in with a rash, knowing they are a " 'looner " is pretty important. This is a pretty benign example, but taken further you can see why it’s critical to understand why I need to know terminology and practices.

NCSF: What’s the most important thing kinky people or those in alternative relationships should know or do in regards to their health or wellness in general?

WP: Know their own health status, know their STD status (HIV, hepatitis, etc), get vaccinated (hepatitis B, HPV, etc), and have a frank and honest discussion with https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?catid=14" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">a doctor who is an ally.

It’s not your job to know every possible disease or risk factor. That's my job! As long as people are honest with me, though, I can do what needs to be done to reduce their risks.

NCSF: What issues specific to any of these populations have you treated?

WP: I treat HIV, prescribe pre and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV. I also treat kink-associated injuries, STDs, or just general issues that crop up related to these issues. I do have a few commercial sex workers in my practice, as well.

NCSF: Is there anything else you'd like to say to any of these communities?

WP: It’s pretty unlikely, if you're reading this, that I'm in your geographic region and close enough for you to come see me. That being said, you really need to have a provider with whom you're 100% honest and who is equipped and comfortable treating you after said honesty. If you don’t, I strongly urge you to look elsewhere and https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?catid=14" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">find one!

On the regular I have young gay and bisexual men at my office who transfer into my care who haven't been vaccinated for hepatitis B. That's an incurable disease with a CDC recommendation for that group that simply isn't done. I check an antibody titer on everyone in that group at my first visit with them. If your provider isn't aware of your lifestyle or sexual habits, you could be endangering your health and not even know it.

I'm a pretty boring guy. I'm the president of a cat shelter, married with three cats, and spend my free time gaming mostly. That being said, just because your thing isn't my thing doesn't mean you don't deserve the best possible care I can offer. Make sure you https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?catid=14" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">find someone with that mentality or you won’t get the medical care you deserve.

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Dr. Powers can be reached in the following ways:

Address: See https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=15&sobi2Id=2469" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">KAP profile

Email: DrWilliamPowers (at) doctorbewell (dot) com

Phone: (248) 544-9300

Website: http://www.doctorbewell.com" class="mceItemAnchor" style="cursor:pointer;user-select:all;-webkit-user-modify:read-only;display:inline-block;vertical-align:middle;background: url('/../img/anchor.gif') center center no-repeat;border:1px dashed rgb(180, 212, 255);font-size:0px;line-height:0;word-spacing:normal;text-indent:-9999px;width:15px !important;height:15px !important">http://www.doctorbewell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrWillPowers/

If you’re not local to Dr. Powers (Detroit, MI), please consult the KAP Directory to find a kink-aware doctor near you.

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The NCSF Kink Aware Professionals Directory is THE resource for people who are seeking psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal professionals who are informed about the diversity of consensual, adult sexuality.

If you are a professional who would like to be listed in the Directory, please create a free account and then click HERE to enter your directory listing.

If you’d like to participate in our KAP Featured Member interview series, please contact the author at inaradeluna (at) gmail (dot) com.

Inara de Luna is a sex and relationship expert, a consent activist, and a professional writer and editor in these fields. She founded the Sex Positive Loving Facebook page and the Council for Consensual Intimacy Facebook page. Please visit and like both of those pages for more information on those topics and to join the national conversation about sex positivity and consent culture.

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