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A Short History of Sexual Consent

on Friday, 19 October 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline

Kinkly

Kinksters already faced so many barriers and concerns for creating a viable community that they determined that violations of consent could not be tolerated. More and more kink groups wrote rules on asking permission and assuring that all participants at events were of sound mind and body to be making informed decisions. In 1981, a leather collective in New York, Gay Male S/M Activists (GMSMA), formed and created a community that would write the first consent bylaws. The concept of safe, sane and consensual was coined by GMSMA and used as a holistic discussion and benchmark for best practices around consent in kink play spaces. Today, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom continues this mission with its Consent Counts program and resources. While history may never tell us for sure, there is a wide perception that the seeds of the consent movement were sown in the kink community and were what ultimately inspired the policy changes that were later seen on college campuses.

San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair reinforces consent

on Wednesday, 03 October 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline

Golden Gate Press

“It’s everything. The BDSM community was into consent a long time before the mainstream community ever talked about it,” said Jim Dunyak, who was operating the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom booth. “It was sort of codified in this ‘safe, sane and consensual.’ I think that was approximately 30 years ago, but it’s been a pretty strong concept, I would say since the beginning.”

Enjoy kink? Here's how to handle the 'drop' you may feel after you play

on Thursday, 30 August 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Gay Star News

Susan also says a person experiencing a drop might have a little internalized shame. She said: ‘For some people, the shame of being kinky and having done what you did may be the reason for a drop. We have so much societal disapproval and perhaps what they did conflicts with what their ideas of what a good person does.’ She added: ‘It’s a terrible thing for someone to feel bad about who they are – it’s why community is so important.’

Naughty in N’awlins 2018 – An Event I Will Never Forget

on Wednesday, 15 August 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

OpenLove101

By Jackie Melfi

This year’s NCSF Parade was off the charts! A sea of white wove its way down Bourbon Street as thousands of swingers donning white crowded the pavement in a show of solidarity, and hundreds of couples and singles proudly carried signs conveying the benefits of a more open relationship.

“My Wife Is My Wingwoman!”

“Our Marriage Works!”

“We Support Sexual Freedom!”

…are just a sampling of proud declarations written on poster board for all the world to see (or at least anyone walking down Bourbon Street).

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The Boundary Between Abuse and B.D.S.M.

on Thursday, 24 May 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

NY Times

“People who are not interested in kinky sex find it hard to understand, but some of us are just wired to really enjoy extreme sensations, whether it’s emotional or physical or mental challenge,” said Susan Wright, the founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, an advocacy organization.

Was it assault or kinky sex, Eric Schneiderman? Here's the difference

on Wednesday, 09 May 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The Guardian

by Susan Wright

This Monday, Eric Schneiderman resigned as the New York attorney general after four women alleged that he had assaulted them. Two of the women claimed they had been “choked and hit repeatedly by Mr Schneiderman”, while another said she had been “violently slapped across the face”. A fourth woman alleged similar experiences.

In a statement issued on Monday, Schneiderman disputed the allegations, and seemed to imply that what had happened was part of kinky, rough sex: “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

As a member of the BDSM community, I think its important to clarify the difference between rough sex and assault. In today’s post-50 Shades world, we all know there are many people who enjoy kinky sex and they like being called names or roleplaying. So you can’t judge the difference between rough sex and assault based on the behavior itself. The way you determine the difference is consent.

So the first step is to get specific agreement that this particular thing sounds hot and sexy and everyone involved wants to give it a try. Kinky people love to talk about what they want to do to each other. That’s our foreplay and we know the anticipation adds to the fun. But talking about what you like to do together is just the beginning. 

To give consent, you have to have be informed about what you’re going to do. That means you have to talk about the risks involved so everyone’s on the same page. For example, a slap to the face carries a much higher risk than a slap to the buttocks because you can injure the ear, jaw, eye and other parts of the face. This higher risk means it’s even more important to talk to someone before slapping them in the face, not only to make sure it’s desired, but also to make sure that the risks are understood.

Kinky sex starts with a conversation. We have a saying that if you can’t talk about it, you’re not ready to do it
When it comes to these things that carry a higher risk, even if there is consent, you can be arrested for assault if you seriously hurt someone. That’s why it’s important to learn the skills and techniques involved to make sure you do things as safely as possible. For example, there are ways to do breath play that don’t involve putting your hand around someone’s neck and choking them, which is high-risk behavior.


You also can’t get or give consent to do high-risk things when you’re intoxicated because your judgment is impaired. If you aren’t sober enough to drive, then don’t do it.

One way to tell whether something is consensual or abusive is to ask: can you stop what’s happening? As soon as someone wants to end the activity, it must stop, otherwise it’s assault.

Some people agree to just say “stop” or “no”. Others use a safe word, a unique word that stops the action without having to say no. That’s because it can be hard to say no sometimes, especially when you’re in a stimulated or submissive headspace. One common safe word in BDSM play spaces is “red”, with “yellow” being used as a caution word, meaning you need to pause to adjust something.

True affirmative consent is not asking, “may I touch you here?” then “may I touch you here?” That’s because constant questioning can be coercive. And once someone gets all hot and bothered, they may not be in their right mind to consent. So don’t add things in during the middle that you haven’t talked about already.

Kinky sex starts with a conversation. We have a saying that if you can’t talk about it, you’re not ready to do it. So first, figure out how to talk about what you want to do with your lovers. Anything else is nonconsensual.

Eric Schneiderman, Consent and Domestic Violence

on Wednesday, 09 May 2018. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

NY Times

Consent, the Dividing Line There is a bright line between pain caused by unwanted sexual or domestic violence and pain that can come during some kinds of consensual sexual activity among willing participants. “If it’s not consensual, then it’s not ‘rough sex.’ It’s abuse,” said Susan Wright, the founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, an advocacy organization for a diverse range of sexualities and sexual preferences. Consent should be given early and often, she said. Limits, risks and how to stop sexual activity should be discussed beforehand. And assumptions should never be made. “I know some people think it’s not sexy or spontaneous to actually talk about sex before you have it,” she said. “They’re absolutely wrong, because it’s the best foreplay in the world to talk about the things that turn you on and find out what things turn the other person on.” Even with consent, if sexual activity causes serious harm, it crosses the line to assault, she said.

Poly Role Models: Keira Harbison of the NCSF

on Thursday, 28 December 2017. Posted in NCSF in the News!, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

by Kevin A. Patterson

 

Keira: Again, so, firstly, I am a female, I am queer, I am married. Those three, being polyamorous is constantly intersecting with them. Being a female, it means that I’m dating and dealing with dating tends to have its own special lovely issues in and of itself. It means that I’m finding new partners, I’m teaching new people about polyamory regularly because I live in an area where polyamory is all but unheard of. It gives me the opportunity to explore my queer identity by letting me have a girlfriend while I’m also married to a man.

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