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NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2017

NCSF Newsletter
3rd Quarter, 2017
Edited by Julian Wolf

In this Issue

Disaster Relief Funds
French Connection Events
Stay Connected!
In Memory: David Stein
Narritive Project
The Woodshed
Lawyers Are Coming
Coalition Corner Spotlight
Consent Month Photo Winners
NCSF Thanks!
Incident Reporting & Response
Celebrating 20 Years of Successful Advocacy with NCSF!
Media Updates
Join us on Fetlife

Disaster Relief Funds

To help the many people who have been hit hard by natural disasters, NCSF has compiled the following list of charities that you can donate to:

Puerto Rico

ConPRmetidos promotes innovation by connecting Puerto Ricans abroad to those on the island. This local nonprofit also has a fund to help victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Unidos, by the Hispanic Federation is coalition of elected officials in New York and Puerto Rico who joined the Hispanic Federation, a Latino nonprofit, to launch this relief fund for Puerto Ricans affected by Maria.

AmeriCares is the relief and development organization is working with officials in Puerto Rico to provide emergency medical supplies, and has stocked emergency shelters with $1.8 million worth of medicine and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Caribbean Islands

Fund for the Virgin Islands is the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands collecting donations through this fund, which will be used both to support short-term relief efforts and to enhance the well-being of future generations.

Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund is how the Dominica’s government is collecting donations, through crowdfunding website JustGiving. Donations will pay for temporary roofing, blankets and non-perishable foods.


Mexican Red Cross has been accepting direct donations online and has set up an Amazon Wish List for necessary items.

GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding organization, has pledged that all money donated to its earthquake fund will go to recovery and relief efforts.

Fondo Unido Mexico is part of the United Way network, and they have an emergency fund to help the areas affected by the earthquakes as well as the recent series of hurricanes.


GlobalGiving’s Irma Relief Fund is accepting donations here.

Organizations accepting donations for the welfare of animals include the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Best Friends Animal Society and the South Florida Wildlife Center.


The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are asking for donations.

To help animals, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society .

The United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund helps with immediate needs as well as long-term services like minor home repair. Visit its website to donate or text UWFLOOD to 41444.

The L.G.B.T.Q. Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help people rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more.

If you have additional charities that you have vetted and believe are worth supporting to help those who are in need, please forward the information to

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NCSF Table at Couples Cruise

Susan at the NCSF table at the Couples Cruise, presented by our Coalition partner, French Connection Events

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Stay connected!

Join NCSF’s email list to stay in the know. You can sign up to receive our emails here or go to our website and fill in the “Get the NCSF Newsletter” box with your email.

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In Memory: David Stein
By Susan Wright

I met David Stein in 1991 when I started volunteering for Leather Pride Night in New York City, a cross-orientational project that brought the city’s BDSM/leather/fetish groups together every year to raise money for the Pride Parade and the LGBT Center. I admired David who was part of a solid group of leather activists with Gay Male S/M Activists who were working to educate kinksters and fighting for tolerance for our people in a time when very few leatherfolk used their real names or spoke out for the BDSM/leather/fetish communities.

David will always be known best for coining “safe sane consensual” for the kink community-yet that wasn’t enough for him. He wanted people to think more about consent than just mouthing a slogan like “SSC.” He wanted us to explore the nuances within power dynamics and delve into what consent truly means. As a writer and editor, David was always ready to talk about the tough issues, and that made him a foundational thinker and important voice in our subculture.

One of the last things David did was participate in the Consent Summit in NYC in September, co-sponsored by NCSF and TES. He wasn’t feeling well, but he thought it was important to continue this dialogue about consent that we’ve been having for decades, and he didn’t want to miss any part of that discussion.

We are all very lucky that David was in our lives. I hope David will be long remembered and respected for his significant contributions. I will miss him very much.
If you want to know more about David, please read his “Safe Sane Consensual” The Making of a Shibboleth –

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Narrative Project: Tell your NCSF Story

NCSF has heard a lot of stories over the past 20 years. Now we want to let others hear what you have to say.

Have you been discriminated against because you are kinky or non-monogamous? We want to hear from you.

We also want to hear your story if you’ve been outed or if you’ve outed yourself as a fetishist, cross-dresser, Leatherman/woman, or because you’re in a polyamorous or Lifestyle relationship.

We also want to hear if you’ve been involved in a consent incident in a BDSM or non-monogamous encounter.

Please fill out a short survey for each story you’d like to tell us about:

Tell us your story and we will share it anonymously on!

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The NCSF table at Fire, presented by our Coalition Partner, The Woodshed

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The Lawyers Are Coming and It’s a Good Thing
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 –

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BDSM Is Not Abuse Resources, Now Available in Spanish!
Coalition Corner Spotlight
by Julian Wolf

We’d like to congratulate CPI and The Mark, a NCSF Coalition Partner in Tennessee, for creating groundbreaking content in both English and Spanish! “BDSM NO ES ABUSO” is easily located on their website, which also features information about the organization, local and national resources, and everything you need to know about participating in their organization.

themarklogo slide

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Consent Month Photo Winners

NCSF is very proud to partner with Arizona Power Exchange (APEX) in sponsoring Consent Month every September! APEX provides the consent bracelets and maintains the website, updating the calendar and helping to spread the word about consent.

This year, 21 consent-themed events took place in September, with almost 1,600 people visiting the website. Over 800 of our distinctive “Got Consent? /” bracelets were distributed at these events.

We had a great showing this year with 9 photographs submitted for the Consent Month Photo contest. NCSF and APEX are thrilled to announce the winner is slave pattie’s photo entitled “Consent Brainstorm”.

slave pattie describes her winning photo: “Three main words/statements that come to mind when I think of consent are: peace of mind, commitment from both parties to follow through on negotiations and clarity of what each other wants or allows.”

Consent Braunstorm

The runner up photograph is “Together” by Archer who photographed APEX members wearing Got Consent? Bracelets.

Archer s APEX members

See all of the photos that were submitted at

NCSF and APEX thank all of the photography entrants, and will be using some of the photos that were submitted on promotional material for Consent Month and NCSF Consent Summits.

Participate in Consent Month next year, September 2018, by holding a consent event or submitting a consent-themed photograph for our contest.

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NCSF Thanks Our Donors! 3rd Quarter 2017

NCSF thanks Kinky Kollege Homecoming 2017 and our Coalition Partner, Leather SINS, for donating $5,000 to the NCSF Foundation during their conference that took place on Oct 5-7 in the Chicago area.

Thank you to Dick Cunningham and Judy Guerin for donating $3,000 in August to help
underwrite the Consent Summit in NYC at the LGBT Center on Sept 16th, co-sponsored by our Coalition Partner, TES.

NCSF thanks Marc Depaul for donating $1,000 to help fund our Consent Summit which took place in NYC on September 16th.

NCSF thanks The Red Chair in Birmingham, Alabama, our Coalition Partner, for raising $653 at their annual CarnEvil, a Halloween fundraiser event for the NCSF held in October.

Thank you to the attendees on the Couples Cruise for donating $300 to NCSF from their 50/50 raffle, assisted by the fabulous non-bikini girls! French Connection Events, NCSF’s Coalition Partner that produced the Couples Cruise, matched the funds for a total of $600.

Thank you to our Coalition Partner, Baja Arizona Leather, for passing the hat and raising $556 for NCSF at the keynote speech at Behind Closed Doors in Tucson, AZ, from Oct 6-8.

NCSF thanks the participants at the Betty Dodson BodySex™ Retreat 2017 held in upstate New York in July for donating $520 to support our advocacy work.

Thank you to our Coalition Partner, Club X San Diego, for donating $464.38 that was raised at Roller Skating For Rights on June 25th, an 80’s-Themed fundraiser for the NCSF with jamming to some late-era Disco and New Wave hits.

NCSF thanks the Center for Positive Sexuality for donating $377 to the NCSF Foundation in July. CPS held an Anniversary Party to celebrate their 10-year anniversary along with NCSF’s 20th anniversary, and donated 40% of the proceeds. NCSF is proud to co-sponsor the Journal of Positive Sexuality with the Center for Positive Sexuality.

Thank you to our Coalition Partner, The Woodshed in Orlando, Florida for matching the funds raised by Jackie at her NCSF Consent Discussion at the Shed on September 30th for a total of $320.

NCSF thanks FetLife, the Social Network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community, for donating $300 to the NCSF Foundation again this quarter!

Thank you to the attendees who donated $263 at TES Fest, June 30th to July 3rd in Piscataway, NJ, sponsored by our Coalition Partner, The Eulenspiegel Society (TES).

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Incident Reporting & Response – 3rd Quarter 2017 report
By Susan Wright
Director of IRR

NCSF’s Incident Reporting & Response received 41 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in July, August and September. The 1st quarter of 2017 we had 38 requests and the 2nd quarter of 2017 we had 46 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 2017:


There were 21 requests for resources and information involving criminal law – similar to the 17 requests we received in the 1st quarter. 13 of those requests came from people who reported an assault, sexual assault or harassment involving BDSM or non-monogamy. 6 people requested resources and referrals to attorneys or mediators to assist in defending themselves against a restraining order or accusations of assault, sexual assault or harassment. 2 people needed assistance with sex worker-related issues.

Child Custody

There were 11 requests for resources and information regarding child custody, twice the number as we received in the 2nd quarter of 2017. 6 involved BDSM, 3 involved sex workers, 2 involved non-monogamy.


4 groups asked for assistance, compared to 11 groups in the 2nd quarter of 2017. 3 involved groups/leaders who needed help dealing with consent incidents. 1 group was harassed and the authorities called against their event.


4 requests: 2 people needed advice for setting up an alt sex business. Someone needed a referral to a medical clinic for medication. Someone was threatened with outing involving FetLife.


Only 1 professional requested education on BDSM and the DSM for a presentation they were giving.

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Celebrating 20 Years of Successful Advocacy with NCSF!

20yearOver the next year, NCSF will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary around the country.

Join us! Please ask your group or event to hold a Birthday Party for NCSF to help support our programs and projects that are challenging discrimination against consenting adults.

These are a just a few of NCSF’s accomplishments to celebrate:

Provided Incident Response assistance to thousands of people regarding child custody, job discrimination, criminal prosecutions, consent violations, venue licensing and enforcement issues

Gave over 1,000 media interviews to change media representations of BDSM and other non-traditional sex practices, and trained over 100 people and groups on how to talk to the media
Developed educational programs and resources for law enforcement, attorneys, therapists, medical personnel, anti-domestic violence advocates, universities, authors and our communities

Worked with the American Psychiatric Association to help change the DSM-5 criteria so that consensual BDSM is no longer categorized as a mental illness

Developed the Consent Counts Campaign to decriminalize consensual BDSM and is working with the American Law Institute on the Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault.

Filed Amicus Briefs in important legal cases so that consent is a defense

Maintained a Kink Aware Professional’s resource database

Please help support NCSF! Contact for help in producing and promoting your event.

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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 some of our recent featured stories:

Inside the Koreatown Dojo Dedicated to the Art of Japanese Rope Bondage from LA Weekly
Bisexual and Polyamorous: How My Pendulum Swings from Advocate
‘The Ethical Slut’: Inside America’s Growing Acceptance of Polyamory from Rolling Stone

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 

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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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