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NCSF Newsletter
2nd Quarter, 2012

In this issue

NCSF Annual Meeting 2013

NCSF Steps Up for Detroit

NCSF at AASECT

NCSF's Coalition Partners Come Together in Sunny Minnesota

Coalition Corner

Meet Your Board!

Come Find the NCSF at These Events 


NCSF Annual Meeting 2013 
 
NCSF is thrilled to announce - well ahead of schedule - its 2013 Coalition Partner Meeting! Come to Phoenix, Arizona, on Feburary 8-10, and make the NCSF magic happen again. Please mark this date in your calendars. There will be a big party at APEX on Saturday evening, and desert fun and shopping arranged for those who arrive early on Friday. Start your planning now!
 
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NCSF Steps Up for Detroit

NCSF is there to help you when you need it. Just ask the Detroit BDSM community, who recently came under fire from a local news affiliate. The NBC Channel 4 Defenders were out to get a sensational story on Robert Bashara, whose wife was murdered in January, 2012. Since Bashara's BDSM activities had become public, the Defenders took concealed cameras in to a local BDSM party to take photographs of people while they were playing.

Dateline NBC was going to air a show later that week about Bashara that included his BDSM activities, so there was no possibility of killing the story. The situation was further acerbated by a member of the local community who gave an interview to the news stating that she had seen Bashara at one of the local BDSM parties at the VFW Hall in Lincoln Park.

The morning of Tuesday, May 8th, NCSF started receiving phone calls from people who were recognizable in the promotional clip. The story was going to air at 11pm that night. NCSF Spokesperson Susan Wright immediately contacted the news station to convince them to adequately blur the images of the people they had photographed without permission. She also coordinated a write-in campaign from those who were recognizable, and communicated directly with several dozen local
community members and leaders. 

The added pressure of outraged letters from the community convinced the reporters to include positive sound bites about BDSM that Susan provided. They also changed the title of the piece from "Dungeons of Debauchery" to "Bob Bashara's Alternative Lifestyle." The images that were recognizable were removed from the website and the promotional clips that were released later in the day were much more blurred. The news segment also contained images that were unrecognizable.

The following week, on May 19th, NCSF hosted a full day's schedule of events at the VFW in Lincoln Park. NCSF Chairperson Leigha Fleming ran town hall style meeting for the local BDSM community leadership from 2pm-4pm. The leadership of more than 20 groups was represented. Leigha gave NCSF's workshop on how to protect your groups/events for local community leaders.

From 4-6 PM an open town hall for everyone in the community was held so people could get their questions answered and discuss ways to further protect the BDSM community and to promote education of those outside our community. Leigha also gave the NCSF workshop on how an individual can protect their privacy more effectively. A raffle and silent auction was held to raise donations for NCSF. 2 organizations joined NCSF as Coalition Partners: The Board of Education and Deviations. More than 20 individual members joined NCSF as individual members.

A delicious dinner followed at the VFW Hall. Tim, the host of the party that was filmed by the news channel, said, "Over the past week, the VFW has been more supportive than we could have imagined. The manager of the VFW told us this week 'I fought in a war so that people could have the freedom to do what they enjoy, even if it's not our own cup of tea.'"

In pride, the evening's dinner was followed by the regularly scheduled BDSM party. "This past week has been trying and tense," says Tim. "Several have asked where was the silver lining? We have high hopes that this can be the silver lining. Rarely do we have a chance to come together for no other reason than it's the right thing to do. Because we can support one another. If virtual strangers from organizations and individuals from all across the globe have lent their words and actions of support, we surely owe it to ourselves to match it."

NCSF was proud to assist the Detroit BDSM community in their time of need. It shows what when we work together, we can accomplish anything.

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NCSF at AASECT 
by Susan Wright

On behalf of NCSF, Jim Fleckenstein and Susan Wright attended the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) Annual Conference on June 8-10th in Austin, Texas. The NCSF booth in the Exhibit Hall featured free copies of NCSF's new guide:  "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory." 150 copies were given away to professional service providers courtesy of donation by an NCSF supporter. The interest was so high, that supplies ran out before the end of the conference.        

"This year we saw a significant increase in interest about alternative sexuality at the NCSF booth," says Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson. "The therapists, counselors and sex educators were asking for more information about kinky people. We are providing a real service by supplying this much-needed education at conferences like AASECT."

 The NCSF exhibit gave away hundreds of brochures about NCSF projects such as the Kink Aware Professionals free referral list, the DSM Revision project to depathologize BDSM, the Consent Counts project to decriminalize BDSM, and NELA's "Is it S/M or Abuse?" brochure. Two brochures intended for kinky people were also popular giveaways asillustrations of the difficulties our underserved population faces: Finding a Kink Aware Therapist and Finding Kink Aware Medical Care.

Jim Fleckenstein was the lead presenter on "(Re)Defining Fidelity in Committed Relationships: How to Negotiate Non-Exclusivity Successfully," a workshop designed to provide participants with a more complete understanding of the appropriateness of negotiated non-exclusivity as a relationship choice for their clients.        

Susan Wright was the presenter on "Violence and Discrimination Against BDSM Practitioners," a workshop presenting survey data from the BDSM community on the impact of persecution against kinky people.

NCSF also organized the Alt Sex SIG munch that took place Friday evening on the patio of the Hyatt Regency Austin. Over twenty-five AASECT members attended to further discuss issues raised in the Alt Sex SIG meeting that took place on Friday afternoon at the conference. It was an informative meeting that offered excellent networking opportunities for the professional service providers, and is another indication of the increased interest in the Alt Sex SIG at AASECT. 

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NCSF's Coalition Partners Come Together in Sunny Minnesota 

  

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in St. Paul, MN from March 16-18, 2012. The CP meeting was well attended by 20 Coalition Partner Representatives, the Board of NCSF and the senior staff. The Coalition Partners voted in the new Board of Directors for NCSF, approved the 2013 budget, and brainstormed on NCSF's projects and goals for the coming year.

 

"The annual meeting is an opportunity for NCSF's partners to vote and give their input on our direction," says Chairperson Leigha Fleming. "We are thankful to our Minnesota hosts and energized about the coming year."

 

The CP representatives were eager to explore new ways of using social media to spread the message of privacy rights for consenting adults, and to expand and improve upon NCSF's membership structure. Along with new Consent Counts publications just rolled out - In the Aftermath and When the Levee Breaks - CPs viewed the new Finding Kink Aware Medical Carebrochure written by Race Bannon.

 

The CPs also received the annual reports from the various projects NCSF runs. Over 60 Educational Outreach Project workshops were given in 2011; Incident Reporting and Response received over 600 calls for assistance; the Kink Aware Professionals list is up to nearly 1,000 entrants; and the Media Outreach Project gave over 50 interviews.

 

Saturday evening, attendees at the meeting were treated to a party produced by seven local BDSM groups, all of which are Coalition Partners of NCSF. Over 200 people attended, making it a rousing show of community unity and the largest gathering ever at an NCSF annual CPmeeting. NCSF would like to thank our loyal and active Coalition Partners for hosting the annual meeting in style:

 

Knights of Leather

MinKY - Minnesota Kinky Youth

Minnesota Rope 

Minnesota Stocks Debentures and Bonds (MSDB)

Peprmnt

TC Productions (Northern Lights)

University of Minnesota Queer Student Cultural Center

 

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Judy Guerin, director of Consent Counts, for her important work on furthering the Consent Counts project. The Consent Counts team completed the legal research on assault laws, which was compiled and posted on the NCSF website. Judy also began the development of law school and domestic violence outreach programs to be launched in 2012.

 

The annual meeting couldn't have happened without strong local volunteers. NCSF gratefully acknowledges the hard work of Sassy, Coalition Partner rep for MSDB, who acted as the weekend community organizer and arranged volunteer shuttle drivers for attendee travel to themeeting venue from the hotel and social outings. Sassy provided all the meeting reports and notebooks, organized the Friday night Meet and Greet party, and provided the snacks during the meeting.  

 

NCSF also thanks Charger Pony, CP rep for Northern Lights, who acted as the liaison between NCSF and the hotel and community groups, and he organized the party Saturday night. AndCadee and SexyImpish Deb who were integral parts of the volunteer corps, assisting Sassy and Charger.

 

NCSF is nothing without its Coalition Partners - individuals, groups and businesses who commit to governing NCSF and providing essential funding for the organization. The Coalition Partners who attended the meeting were:

 

BBDSMS

Chicago Age Players

Females Investigating Sexual Terrain - FIST

International Ms. Leather - IMSL

Knights of Leather

Kevin Carlson

Leenie

Leigha Fleming

MN Rope

Minnesota Kinky Youth

Minnesota Stocks, Debentures, and Bonds - MSDB

MOB

NELA

New Mexico Leather League

NOBLE (New Orleans Bondage and Leather Enthusiasts)  

Northern Lights/TC Productions

PEPRMNT

TES

The Mark by CPI

The Monarchs

 

The Board of NCSF currently consists of:

Leigha Fleming - CHAIR - DENVER CO  

Vivienne Kramer - TREASURER - BOSTON, MA  
Laura Carlson - SECRETARY - BOISE, ID 
Jim Fleckenstein - HEARNDON, VA 
Race Bannon - SAN FRANCISCO, CA 
Julian Wolf - ALBUQUERQUE, NM  
Kevin Carlson - BOISE, ID 
Mark Richards - NEW YORK, NY 
Mercury - NASHVILLE, TN  

James Huesmann - FAIRBANKS, ALASKA 
Susan Wright - PHOENIX, AZ

 

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Coalition Corner: The Groups of Greater Minneapolis-St Paul 

by Julian Wolf 

  

We cannot thank enough the seven groups that came together to make our Annual Meeting something special this year. The work that they put in made for a productive and enjoyable meeting, and quite a delightful Saturday night party. We wish to thank the leadership and the members of these groups for all their work and express how much we look forward to working with them over the upcoming years.  

 

Minnesota Kinky Youth (MinKY)  

MinKY is a pansexual kinky group located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota serving local people between the ages of 18-35. We organize educational classes and recreational gatherings with the goal of helping kinky youth make informed lifestyle decisions.

 

Minnesota Stocks Debentures and Bonds (MSDB)

MSDB is a Minnesota-based organization for people who are actively involved or seriously interested in BDSM lifestyles and activities. MSDB provides social and educational activities and information to its members and to the BDSM community at large. Membership is open to adults 18 or older, regardless of sexual or gender orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, or physical ability.  

TC Productions (Northern Lights)

Northern Lights is a partnership of like-minded kinky organizations in Minnesota who want to bring the best of Minnesota to the world and the best of the kink world to Minnesota. Stay in the loop for their next event featuring exciting education and play! 

 

Minnesota Rope (MN Rope

MN Rope provides a safe and welcoming space for knowledge sharing and exploration into rope. 

 

University of Minnesota Queer Student Cultural Center (QSCC)

The Queer Student Cultural Center is a completely student-run group dedicated to helping those in the coming out, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, and allied communities.  

 

Knights of Leather

The focus of the Knights of Leather is the promotion and practice of the safe sane and consensual play for people involved the leather and BDSM lifestyles.  We host dungeon parties, an annual SM recreational/educational weekend run known as Tournament; and we are also involved in various community educational out-reach programs and events. We attend events and runs sponsored by other organizations to support their efforts and stay in touch with other BDSM communities.  

 

People Exchanging Power Respectfully in MiNnesota Together (PEPRMNT

PEPRMNT was established to facilitate in-person discussion of topics for those with an interest in the power exchange lifestyle in the Twin Cities area. The group conducts topic-driven munches on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month, from 7 to 9 P.M. in a private room at a Twin Cities restaurant.     

 

Thank you to our Twin City Coalition Partners and to all of our other CP's, members! Let us know if you'd like to be featured in an upcoming Coalition Corner! 

 

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Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Kevin Carlson

1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?

 

I have been out in the Sm community since 2001. I have been President of our local BDSM club. My affiliation with our local club has opened several doors for me, including our local Pride organization. I have been the Events Coordinator since 2009, previous to that, helping with the grounds for the annual festival. It also opened the door to becoming an active part of the NCSF.

 

2) What specialties do you bring to the board?

 

I love computers and what makes them work. I have worked with them since the late seventies. I like organization in the digital world and I like to make things work.

 

3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? (What does the NCSF mission mean to you?)

 

I have been involved from the outside of the NCSF since 2002 as a CP member. I have always felt the works being done by the NCSF was outstanding. I never saw myself being presented with such an opportunity to become so involved with something close to my heart. I saw a need an opened my mouth. I took over the administration of the KAP program because I wanted to see KAP grow and then became a Board Member.

 

4) Anything else you'd like to add?

 

I believe in the rights of consenting adults regardless of those rights as long as consent is at its foundation. Sexual freedom, the exploration of sexual freedom, and the rights associated with such has always been my new frontier. By exploring my own sexual freedom, I have only come to know myself and those associated with me better. I feel that I am a more complete person by such understanding. I want to be me and to be proud of who I am. I believe everyone should have such rights.

 

You can email your board member Kevin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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 Come Find the NCSF at These Events!  

We're always active and frequently traveling! We'll be representing at these upcoming events, but we always have room to book more! Are you interested in having us, or our information, at your next event, please let us know!

New Mexico - Albuquerque Pride - June 30

Colorado - Thunder in the Mountains - July 8-10

New Jersey - Floating World - Aug 3-5

Arizona -JW DDD Aug 17-19

 

Maryland- Fet Fest - Aug 31-Sept 3

 

DC - Master/slave Conference Aug 21 - Sept 3

 

Ohio - COPE Sept 15-16

 

California - Folsom Fringe- Sept 21-23  

 

... and more. Find us on TwitterFacebook and FetLife!   

 

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Published in Newsletters
NCSF Newsletter
1st Quarter, 2012

In this issue

The NCSF Annual Meeting is the 3rd Weekend of March!

Sexual Freedom Stories in the News

What happened at Spanksgiving?

Spanksgiving, an Addendum

Coalition Corner - The Eulenspiegel Society

Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Vivienne Kramer


The NCSF Annual Meeting is the 3rd Weekend of March! 

Join us in St. Paul Minnesota this spring! We are pulling out all the stops for a fabulous annual meeting for the NCSF. The annual meeting is an opportunity for our Coalition Partners to send their representatives and help set NCSF policy, review and approve the budget and elect the board. There is no better way to get involved with the NCSF, and our have the voice of your organization represented. This important meeting is a great opportunity to really sink your teeth into the work NCSF is doing and that our CP groups are supporting and directing! NCSF has limited scholarships available to help facilitate the attendence of active Coalition Partner representatives to the meeting. 

Other than some very exciting work, what awaits you in Minnesota? Good food (meat eaters - you want to try the Packer Stacker) and most meals under $10 each at the hotel restaurant and bar. 

Have you heard of Minnesota Hospitality? Come experience it! Anyone flying in will be driven from the airport to the hotel, saving guests from an expensive cab ride. Minnesotan's are a friendly bunch, aiming to make your stay comfortable. There will be a private hospitality room on-site with above average snack/sandwich items for individuals on a really tight budget and those who need specialty stuff. (Gluten Free diet? Let us know!) 

Bring your long johns if your worried about the cold, but it's been an unusually warm year so far, it might even be swimsuit weather by March! Come prepared for lots of possibilities. 

Here's the hotel information, book your room now! To book, please call the hotel directly and give our Group Code: "NCSF GROUP" to qualify for the generous rate of only $89 a night. (If you don't let them know, you will not receive the discount.) 

Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 701 Concord St. South South St. Paul, MN 55075
651-455-3600 

Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds has been working hard to make this a meeting to remember. Join us! 

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Sexual Freedom Stories in the News 

The national (and international) news is buzzing with stories relating to sexual freedom.

A story of particular note includes Canada's recent court case regarding polygamy laws. There are dozens more that might peak your interest including; a variety ofcelebrity scandals, a recent obscenity trial, and some stories close to our hearts such as the announcement of our newest board member Race Bannon and our new volunteer coordinator

Curious about what's going on in the world and what the NCSF pays particular attention to? You can check out our Blog anytime you'd like, it's always live at the NCSF website. We also send out regular Media Updates right to your inbox, to help you stay on top of things.Here's a link (or find it below) if you haven't already signed up.  

Sharing is caring! You can forward our newsletters, media updates and press releases to your friends by clicking the link at the bottom of our mailings. Keep in the know with the NCSF. 

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 What happened at Spanksgiving?
 By Tamara Pincus, LICSW

 As you may know, there was some drama this year surrounding the Spanksgiving event in St. Louis. Spanksgiving is not an unusual type of event. It covers BDSM education and socializing and generally provides a place for people to come and get together as a part of the BDSM community. This is not unlike any number of events held nationwide every year. Such events are one of the main ways in which those of us in the BDSM world catch up with our friends and learn from each other. The problems that Spanksgiving experienced were not chance. There was a specific group of people in local government who chose to try to stop this immoral "sex convention".  NCSF was there to help stop these conservatives from ruining the event. 

Back in March 2011, Tommy (last name withheld for confidentiality reasons) one of the employees at the host hotel broke his confidentiality agreement during the Beat Me in St. Louis event also run by STL3. He tweeted about the convention categorizing it as disgusting and nasty. He also called his uncle, well-known "upstanding member of the community" Gil Klein, one of three aldermen (local government officials) who had jurisdiction over Fairview Heights, the area where the event is located. The hotel subsequently fired Tommy for breaking their confidentiality agreement.

Gil Klein, the city alderman, attempted to get into the Beat Me in St. Louis convention to see what was going on but could not. He used the presence of the convention to create negative ads about the Mayor "allowing" there to be a local sex convention. In the time between that Beat Me in St. Louis and Spanksgiving 2011, two of the three local aldermen were voted out of office. The one remaining alderman who had not been up for election was Sandy Baldwin. Sandy Baldwin made it clear that she believed that Spanksgiving should pay a fee and be required to get a permit for their event because of the type or organization it is, even though the legislation in question was not used to require permits for other local events. She notes that both Girl Scouts and STL3 are non-profits, but she states, "I think there's a difference between a Girl Scout cookie and a sexual toy paraphernalia" She specifically chose to single out this event because of her biases.

On the Wednesday before Spanksgiving 2011, the local government informed the organizer of Spanksgiving, Jsin, that they would be charging the vendors a special fee and requiring a permit. Now, there have been many similar events with vendors held at the same hotel, which had not had to pay this same fee to local government, and had not been required to get these kind of permits.  When Jsin did finally go into the office to meet with them about completing the permit it was clear that nobody had ever issued this kind of permit before and it took more than one draft.

In the meantime, the media got involved.  A scathing commentary on the CBS website talked about how the Spanksgiving organizers had not followed through with the correct procedures and were unlawfully going forward with their event.

Here is where NCSF stepped in. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom worked with the event organizers to make sure that all of the media attention was handled well. Susan Wright held interviews with the media and explained to them the injustices that were taking place in this case. Jsin reports that NCSF was there with him along the way to help him know what questions to ask and what to do to make sure the issues got resolved. Jsin was clear to all of the government officials involved that he was only trying to do what was required to get the permit and comply with all local and state laws. As a result he was able to get the permits and hold the event with no fines or other legal problems.

Now this is by no means the only event that has had this kind of problem. Conservatives all over the country would love to put a stop to "sex expos" like Spanksgiving. They think that BDSM is "against God's plan" and all other sorts of nonsense. They would like us to keep our activities well underground. This not only tears apart the BDSM community by isolating us from each other, but also prevents people from learning the basics of BDSM including learning about safety and consent. All of this just shows how important it is that we have NCSF there to help us advocate for ourselves in this kind of situation. Without the NCSF and the groups that support it, our community would have no way to work together to fight off these kinds of attacks. 

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Spanksgiving, an Addendum
by Julian Wolf

The day of my flight out to St. Louis, I received an urgent message from the NCSF board chair, letting me know that Susan Wright wouldn't be able to attend, so I should be ready to represent the NCSF board and be on hand for the staff and producers of the event, and ready to step forward if need be. Fortunately, most of what I had packed was suits, slacks and dress shirts, so I didn't need to modify the contents of my luggage to accommodate a potential media storm. Leigha (Fleming) made sure that Jsin and I had each other's information, and I spent time in the airport reading up on the articles, and comments posted underneath them, that had been all over the media in the St. Louis area so I'd be informed and ready to work upon arrival.

Once I arrived in the hotel and dropped off my luggage in my room, I made it a point to introduce myself to the staff and volunteers. I eventually met Jsin face to face, and was pleased to find out the new developments were positive- they had secured the necessary permits and were moving ahead without any new problems. Throughout the weekend I stayed in touch, and enjoyed myself. Classes went well, and with every check in, I was reassured that not only had the work that Susan (Wright) and Jsin done this year been very effective, what they had learned at previous events and the history of work the NCSF had already done with the STL3 team was effective in making Spanksgiving a low-drama event. On Saturday, Jsin let me know that the police had already come and gone, and it was completely uneventful.

I never had to step in and handle anything as a member of the NCSF board, and the reason is this- the work had already been done. STL3 and the NCSF have been close partners for enough time that they knew what to do. They knew how to handle the authorities and Susan (and Jsin) had already handled the questions. The attendees of Spanksgiving were able to enjoy themselves without incident, and there were no protesters, no breach of confidence, no one being "outed" and we were all free to have a lovely time.

It is the work that the NCSF does every day that makes our community a safer, freer place to live. The big events get the most attention, but the teaching, training and knowledge that is shared every day is what makes the biggest difference. I am proud to report that my services as an official representative of the NCSF were not needed at Spanksgiving this year, and I want to thank everyone who consitsantly contributes to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom for helping us make our world a safer, saner and significantly more fun place to live.  

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Coalition Corner - The Eulenspiegel Society 

1) What is the mission of your group?

Since 1971, The Eulenspiegel Society (TES for short) has promoted sexual liberation for all adults, particularly those who enjoy consensual BDSM or whose sexuality embraces dominant/submissive fantasies and urges. A much fuller explanation of our purpose is our Creed, which can be found, among other places, online at http://www.tes.org/main/about.php 

2) What inspired your participation with the NCSF?

TES goes way back with the NCSF, and the full story would take up more space than we have here. We were one of the founding member organizations; the term "Coalition Partner" had not yet been coined. TES members were already accustomed to working with other groups, albeit on a local level. Some of the more activist leatherfolk in NYC, accustomed to working together on Leather Pride Night, started meeting informally to share ideas about other projects. This became the New York SM Activists (NYSMA), the crucible from which emerged, among other projects, the initiatives which became Leather Leadership Conference and the NCSF.

NCSF's purpose, as originally expressed, defending sexual freedom and privacy rights for adults engaging in safe, sane and consensual behavior, was and is fully compatible with the purposes stated in the Eulenspiegel Creed, so when Susan Wright presented the idea of NCSF to us, we of course signed on.

The broadening of that mission over the years to take in the swing and poly communities has not changed our commitment; after all, some of our kinky leather folk are poly or into swinging as well.

3) What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising?

In recent years we've raised funds for NCSF at our annual event, mainly at the Celebrity Auction, where we sell a scene, a lesson or simply time with those presenters who have chosen to go the extra mile and contribute that much more of themselves ... which is most of them, since they know it's for NCSF! At the last couple of events, we've also turned our Top/Bottom Auction and our Kinky Casino into fundraising opportunities as well. We have some very talented members who are good at, ahem, flogging NCSF to our attendees and persuading them to give just that little bit more.

The Eulenspiegel Society is the oldest BDSM support group in the United States. You can check out their calendar, browse their resources, and learn more about the group at www.tes.org. Learn more about their annual event, TES Fest, at www.tesfest.org. TES also continues to be one of the sponsoring organizations for Leather Pride Night NYC (leatherpridenight.org). 

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 Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Vivienne Kramer       

1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?    

I've been involved in community activism since 1989, starting off in the women's rights ocmmunity, specifically working for greater Boston NOW. One of the first things I did was spend every Saturday morning, helping to create a human barrier to allow women who had appointments at clinics to go in safely and without ridicule or torment. After 6 years working on my feminism, I moved over to my true passion of Sm and applied what I had learned to the kinky community. 

2) What specialties do you bring to the board?   

I am a numbers person by nature, so I bring my love of finance and budgeting. But my two decades of organizing and becoming an adult has also brought out my skills in leadership, volunteer management and organizational development. I love working as a team to come up with the big picture then help implement the idea or project through its establishment. 

3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? (What does the NCSF mission mean to you?)    

In 2001 I had already been involved in my local community for about 6 years and I wanted to help on a national level. NCSF had been around for a bit but it didn't have the organizational structure or base of support it has now. I joined on what was then the Executive Committee and soon became Chair. About a year into my term, we re-aligned NCSF into a working Board executing and reporting to the Coalition Partners it's policy and strategic vision. I truly believe that in order to adjust this country's landscape of perception and discrimination, our community must take a multi-prong approach. Local groups must create awareness and educate locally and NCSF handles the umbrella role of national policy.    

4) Anything else you'd like to add? 

Discovering that one's passion is activism is truly amazing. Having the courage to specifically work on sexual freedom ... well there's a special place in the universe for all of us. I often say that even though I don't have kids, I still want the world to be a better place for them, in every way possible. Each and every one us and our future generations need to be able to express whatever sexuality we have without fear of persecution. What NCSF does, what each local community group does, what we all do and believe in our heart helps......every single day.

You can email your board member Vivienne at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

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Published in Newsletters
NCSF Newsletter

4th Quarter, 2011 


 In this issue

  • NCSF Annual Meeting, March 2012 in Minnesota
  • Consent Counts: Report & Looking to the Future
  • Consent Counts: Words from Our Board Chair
  • Coalition Corner: Siege Works
  • Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Mercury

 NCSF Annual Meeting, March 2012 in Minnesota

 By: Sassy, CP Rep - Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds

March is known for "March Madness" in Minnesota. It's a time of high school sports championships and interesting weather. Not to worry, we will keep you warm and safe from the snow! Join us for the Coalition Partner Meeting the third weekend of March in 2012 in Minneapolis, MN. We are already putting together a series of people ready to scoop you up at the airport and deposit you at the hotel! 

The annual meeting is an opportunity for our Coalition Partners to send their representatives and help set NCSF policy, review and approve the budget and elect the board. NCSF has limited scholarships available to help facilitate the attendence of active Coalition Partner representatives to the meeting.   


 Consent Counts: Report & Looking to the Future 

 by the NCSF Board 

Eighteen months ago NCSF kicked off a new program called Consent Counts. The program is a direct outgrowth of the direction of the more than fifty Coalition Partners who vote for the NCSF board, approve the budget and set the policies and programs of NCSF. In conjunction with NCSF's efforts to help remove SM from the DSM manual that classifies mental illness, the criminal prosecution of consensual BDSM is a real issue that the NCSF sees every day. NCSF's Consent Counts program is a long-term effort to both challenge and change those laws.

Consent Counts began primarily as a legal program. In the last year the NCSF has done a tremendous amount of work with people outside of SM community, along with SM related legal and legislative work. The effort to change the impact of California SB 430 is an example of that work.    

The next step in the Legal part of the Consent Counts program is the development of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes for attorneys around the issues of consent in criminal law. The NCSF will be joining the Kody Brown/Sister Wives case by providing an Amicus, or friend of the court brief, in support of the decriminalization of consensual adult polygamy. By the end of the 1st quarter next year, NCSF will have an indexed list state by state available on the website citing relevant appellate or case law around consensual BDSM and providing the ability to search out laws in all 50 states that criminalize BDSM.    

Our coalition has given more than fifty workshops around the country on the legal realities of consent in the law in the last year. 

One of the things we have learned is that the legal work alone isn't enough. There has been an exponential growth in the numbers of requests NCSF has received for help related to consent issues in the last year. So, in an effort to be responsive to our constituencies we began to develop a guide for both victims of consent violations and those accused of consent violations. The two-part guide will have a section for victims who have had their consent violated and give them some tools for looking at what their options are (police, civil, outreach assistance, how to report, what to say etc.) Additionally, it will have another section for those who have had an accusation leveled against them (legal, criminal, civil, etc. The board anticipates having the guide available for public distribution at the beginning of next year.

Finally, the expansion of the Consent Counts program will include the publication of a community discussion guide that groups, workshop leaders, presenters, and events around the community can use to begin, develop, and turn into NCSF, the outcomes, of discussions around the issue of consent, what it means in their communities etc. To be very clear- the NCSF does not intend to develop some kind of unilateral statement regarding consent. The whole point of the of the Community Discussion Guide on Consent is to foster the discussion nationwide - leading to a policy summit at NCSF's next annual meeting in Minneapolis, led by Coalition Partners and finally to the development and creation of a statement about consent created at the Leather Leadership Conference (LLC)XIII in Seattle in 2013.


Consent Counts: Words from Our Board Chair

 by Leigha Fleming 

I believe- from the volume of requests and comments NCSF has had over the last 12-18 months that SSC- safe sane and consensual is a model that doesn't work for us as a community anymore. We've outgrown it the way a child outgrows the training wheels on his bike. There IS brand equity in SSC. It's still useful. We've done anamazing job over the last 25 years educating people outside out community about BDSM.  SSC- due in no small part to the work of activists in our community has entered the modern lexicon -- CSI episodes, "consenting adults", safewords, and news stories that reference SSC. WE- the SM community- did that. But it's also become not much more than sloganeering... and it's not enough for us anymore.

We've been discussing these attitudes and growing the Consent Counts program dictated by our CPs who have said this is the most important work we can be doing.

I'm asking all of you to join the discussion - on Fetlife, in notices at SM events, in your local groups and on NCSF's website. As we distribute the Community Discussion Guide at the beginning of next year, ask an NCSF rep to come to your group, take the guide to your own groups and events and munches and launch a discussion. Send us your feedback. This isn't going to be easy. But the issues surrounding consent are significant- and unless we address them, we will fail in our mission.

For the people who say - you know what, I'm not responsible for some idiot who thinks consent given once never needs to be given again. I would say- you're right; that is, if you're sitting on the sidelines. If you stand up as an activist, as an educator, or leader in our varied communities- you are responsible. You signed up to be responsible and to educate intelligently and ethically when you stood up to be an activist, educator or leader.

If we can't change the social discourse around consent and BDSM, we can never change the political or legislative discourse. We can do this and I believe with deep conviction- that this is the most important issue facing our community today - both as we try to gain a more nuanced view of what consent is for ourselves and our partners and as we work with the outside world to change their perceptions about us and to change the laws that affect so many of us every single day. 


Coalition Corner: Siege Works 

1) What is the mission of your group?

It is to the primary goal of The Siege to create within the rich and vibrant gay and BDSM/Fetish Communities of Nashville, a reoccurring, sex forward, intense, & energetic, mens play party to serve the whole mid-south region.  Attendees travel from as a far as two hundred miles away. We do not have a formal membership, rather we are a loose network who stay in touch through an email list and our own web forum. We host our parties at The Mark in Nashville, quarterly, in the past we have done so bi-monthly. Our second function, spreading information about BDSM play in a fun, sexy, face-to-face environment and provide a space for interaction between individuals who identify primarily with the BDSM community and individuals who identify primarily with the gay community.  Though I've not had the opportunity yet, I would like bring our event to other regions to encourage the proliferation of real time face to face gay mens BDSM/Fetish culture.

2) What inspired your participation with the NCSF?

As sexual minorities living in the bible belt, the need for legal action to push back against those who wish to repress our liberties is omnipresent. The NCSF is the only organization with such a focus, and thus far we've been impressed with what they have accomplished and the network of support they provide.

3) What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising?

Throw a wild party and divide the proceeds between our host organization and the NCSF.  

For more information, find them on Twitter as SiegeWorks, on their site at sites.google.com/site/thesiegenashville, on Facebook under "Siege Works" and you can contact them via email by messaging  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


 Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Mercury    

1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement? 

I have served the Middle Tennessee BDSM/Fetish/Kink community for over six years as the Executive Director of CPI, the 501(c)(7) non-profit corporation that runs The Mark in Nashville.  During this time, we have hosted over 600 events in our "community center" and have been financially self-sustaining since we opened our doors.  

I have been a regional presenter even longer than that, presenting an eclectic mix of subjects ranging from D/s Decorum and BDSM 101, to Team Topping and Physics of S/M Play -- hoping that I can give back more than I extract from the people I meet!

Additionally, I work with local university sexuality professors and certified sex therapists providing understanding opportunities offering lectures, discussion, literature, and facility tours to better educate them in regards to BDSM and polyamory.

So, yeah, I have been around and involved, helping strengthen our community as I can.

2) What specialties do you bring to the board? 

In addition to my volunteer role as a dungeon-keeper, I have worked in corporate sales and marketing for years, worked as a program/project manager, and owned my own design firm; yet my biggest asset to the Board may be my location in the Southeast, where I can help the NCSF grow its presence and value in, perhaps, an under-involved region.

3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF? (What does the NCSF mission mean to you?)

Once I became increasingly recognized as being in a position of local leadership, more people would approach me with issues that they needed help to resolve.  Inevitably my research would lead me to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, who were the only people offering a sincerely sympathetic ear and real informed guidance.  

It wasn't long before I came to realize that a key component to making my local/regional community more secure was to help make the NCSF safety net stronger.  The best way I knew to do that was to step up and offer myself to the cause.

4) Anything else you'd like to add?

I would like to thank all of the people back home who work hard for their community and make me look good in the process!  You folks are the best -- giving as you can to make life better for us all.

You can email your board member Mercury at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 



Published in Newsletters
NCSF Newsletter

3rd Quarter, 2011 


 

In this issue

  • Membership Drive...Keep that Independence Day Spirit
  • Minnesota Welcomes NCSF next March!
  • Meet Your Board!...New Member- Julian Wolf
  • Update: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis
  • Consent Counts Expands Educational Focus
  • Coalition Corner - Meet the New Mexico Leather League

Membership Drive

Keep that Independence Day Spirit and become a freedom fighter by joining NCSF!

NCSF is having a membership drive until July 31st!

NCSF is there when you need help, and now NCSF needs you. Join NCSF to keep our important programs alive:

Our Media Outreach program gives media interviews on alt sex, and produces the Media Updates, helps events work with press and media when asked, and responds to negative characterizations about BDSM, swing and poly in the media.

Consent Counts is working to change assault laws and decriminalize BDSM and educate our own communities about consent.

The Educational Outreach Program presents informative presentations around the country on everything from zoning issues for SM groups to child custody and divorce issues.

The Kink Aware Professionals list is free referral list for doctors, mental health professionals, and more. Incident Response and Reporting program worked with more than 600 people and organizations in 2010 and helps protect events from attacks.

NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response provides assistance to individuals and groups within the BDSM, swinging and poly communities who are experiencing discrimination or need assistance because of their interests and activities. In addition to providingassistance, the program collects confidential and anonymous reports of discrimination, abuse, etc. against members of the alt.sex communities. This information is critical in helping demonstrate the level of discrimination and violence members of alt.sex communities experience continually. 

NCSF relies on you! For only $25 per year, you can support the rights of consenting adults. Please join or renew your individual membership at: https://ncsfreedom.org/get-involved/join.html 


Minnesota Welcomes NCSF next March!

By: Sassy, CP Rep - Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds

Minnesota proudly welcomes the NCSF for their annual Coalition Partner meeting March 16 - 18, 2012!  The gang in MN has secured a hotel in a south St. Paul suburb with great rates, great space, hot breakfast, and we are planning a few surprises -- good surprises.  Stay tuned for more details -- and start saving your pennies for an affordable meeting in a location that often has great airfare deals.    


Meet Your Board!

New Member- Julian Wolf

1) Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?

Yes, my parents instilled a sense of responsibility to my community at an early age, so it was a natural transition once I became an adult. I came out of several closets in 1999 and volunteered at my first Leather event. It's been a slippery slope from there; I've spent all but a few months since 2002 serving on various boards throughout the queer and BDSM communities.

2) What specialties do you bring to the board?

Primarily, I'm a wordsmith. I've been writing in formal and informal capacities since grade school and while I'm not degreed I do seem to be able to beat words into informative submission. Additionally, I'm "blessed" with having a vocation where I'm on one computer or another for several hours every day, so I'm able to do things such as Media Updates and newsletters with some ease.

3) What inspired you to become involved in NCSF?

Sex Positive legislation is incredibly important to me as a polyamorous, kinky person who thinks swinger's parties are pretty keen. Even if I was not personally involved in the communities that the NCSF supports, I would still feel strongly about fighting for our rights and the personal freedoms of adults.

Educator, wordsmith and performer Julian Wolf is an active participant in the alternative scene in the Southwest and beyond. You are invited to peruse www.JulianWolf.net for more details.


Update: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis

By Susan Wright, NCSF Board Member

As the discussion around the proposed DSM-V criteria for the Paraphilias continues, a recently published article mentioned NCSF's work on behalf of sexual sadists, masochists, fetishists and transvestic fetishists. Author Michael B. First, MD, a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Department of Clinical Phenomenology at New York State Psychiatric Institute, notes these "nondisordered paraphilias" could be further destigmatized by listing them under the "Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention" chapter of DSM-5. Other Conditions functions as a repository for conditions that may be a focus of treatment but are not considered mental disorders, such as normal grief.

First adds, "Thus, the Paraphilic Disorders would be listed in the front, mental disorder, section of the DSM-5 (with associated F codes, indicating their status as mental disorders), whereas the nonpathological paraphilias, which may be encountered by a clinician in the context of a diagnostic evaluation but would not be a focus of treatment, would be listed in the back, nondisordered, section (with associated nonmental disorder problem codes from the Z section of ICD-10-CM)." The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

NCSF will continue to participate in the national discussion about the proposed DSM-V criteria until publication in 2013 through its DSM Revision Project: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis.


Consent Counts Expands Educational Focus

By: Judy Guerin

NCSF Consent Counts project to decriminalize BDSM is continuing to expand its educational programs as a major focus for the next year.  After extensive legal research in 2009 on the state of the law, which is not favorable to consensual BDSM activities, NCSF launched an educational and discussion program in August, 2010 for our community on the legal issues related to consent in BDSM activities.  NCSF has conducted workshops on consent throughout the U.S. since that time and has gained important feedback and recommendations as a result.  In March, 2011, the Consent Counts workshop was incorporated into our Education Outreach Program and staff training was conducted.  NCSF is offering workshops on Consent Counts and the state of the law throughout the country and via Internet forums.  17 CC workshops have been done so far in 2011. 23 more are already scheduled. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like to schedule a Consent Counts presentation or any of the more than 20 other Educational Outreach Program (EOP) workshops.

A major priority this year is development of a continuing legal education program for attorneys and law school outreach program, planned for launch in 2012, on consent and BDSM.  Additionally, NCSF is developing talking points for presenters and others to emphasize the importance of prior and ongoing consent within our community.  NCSF also plans educational outreach to the National Coalition of Anti-violence Programs and the National Police Association on consensual BDSM.  We are encouraging local BDSM groups to do outreach to their local domestic violence programs and law enforcement and we have workshops available in our Education Outreach Program to help teach local groups ho to do this important work.

For more information on the Consent Counts project and the state of the law, visit our website.


Coalition Corner - New Mexico Leather League

By: Julian Wolf, NCSF Board Member 

Meet the New Mexico Leather League

1) What is the mission of your group?

Since 2006 the primary purpose of the New Mexico Leather League is to provide a resource foundation for individuals and organizations within the leather/kink/fetish communities of New Mexico. As part of its mission, the League regularly produces BDSM events in Albuquerque. NMLL also works to co-sponsor and promote other events originating from within the leather/kink/fetish community-at-large. 

2) What inspired your participation with the NCSF?

The mission of the NCSF and NMLL is very complimentary, so when some of our members told us about the NCSF after attending a regional conference where they attended workshops by NCSF members, we easily voted to join as Coalition Partners and are proud to increase our activities with the organization this year. (Our CP Rep attended the Annual Meeting and Judy came to Albuquerque and gave a presentation on Consent Counts.)

3) What's your favorite way to do your NCSF fund raising?

We've had great luck over the years with Top/Bottom auctions at events! We select an auctioneer and then they "sell" a scene (and/or an hour of training) with pre-selected people for one of the play parties at that event. It's a great opportunity for people to try new things while supporting a great cause. When done correctly, Top/Bottom Auctions can be entertaining for the crowd, fun for the winners and profitable for NCSF.

The New Mexico Leather League meets the third Saturday of every month in Albuquerque and can be found online at www.newmexicoleatherleague.org.  


 

 Coalition Partners as of July 2011

Adventures in Sexuality (Columbus, OH) * Albany Power Exchange (APEX) (Albany, NY) * Arizona Power Exchange (Phoenix, AZ) * Beyond Leather (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) * Black BEAT Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) * Black Rose (Washington, D.C.) * Boise BDSM Society (Boise, Idaho) * Bottom's Buffet * Brandon Longwood - (Maryland) * FetFest * CAPEX (Gastonia, NC) * Center for Sex Positive Culture (Seattle WA) * Chicago Age Players * Club X (San Diego, CA) * DC TNG (Washington DC) * DFW PowerExchange (Dallas, TX) * DLH Productions - (El Sobrante, California) * Dr. Clockwork"s Home for Electrical and Medical Oddities * Eau Claire Munch (Bloomer, WI) * Evergreen Leather Events (Kenmore, WA) * Females Investigating Sexual Terrain (FIST) (Baltimore, MD) * FetLife * Fox Valley Coalition (Neenah, WI) * The Group in Fresno * House of Decorum (Greenville, SC) * International Ms. Leather (IMsL) * JacksonvilleTNG * Kevin Carlson (Boise, ID) * Knights of Leather (Minneapolis, MN) * LA Noble (New Orleans, LA) * Leather SINS (Chicago, IL) * Leigha Fleming (Denver, CO) * Lesbian Sex Mafia (New York, NY) * Lifestyle Alternatives Centre (Lake Worth, FL) * The Mark by CPI : Tennessee * Midwest Alternatives , (Lincoln, NE) * Midwest Fantsay Adventures (Chicago, IL) * Minnesota Kinky Youth (St. Paul, MN) * Minnesota Stocks, Debentures, and Bonds (MSDB) (Minneapolis, MN) * MN Rope - (Minneapolis, MN) * MOB New England * Mollena.com * MTTA * New England Dungeon Society (New England) * New England Leather Alliance (Boston, MA) * New Mexico Leather League (Albuquerque, NM) * Northern Lights * OhioSMART (Cleveland, Ohio) * The Red Chair (Birmingham, AL) * Riverbound (Iowa/Illinois) * Robin Spector (San Leandro, CA) * Rochester Kink Society * Scarlet Ranch (Denver, CO) * The Sanctuary (Dallas, TX) * The Siege (Tennessee) * smOdyssey, Inc. (San Jose, CA) * Society of Janus (San Francisco, CA) * South Florida Munch Group (Margate, FL) * TABU Social Club (Baltimore, MD) * TES (The Eulenspiegel Society) (New York, NY) * Threshold (Los Angles, CA) * TNG Baltimore (Baltimore MD) * The Treasure Coast Kinksters (Stuart, FL) * Tulsa Dungeon Society (Tulsa, OK) * Windy City Boys Troop (Chicago, IL)


 

Published in Newsletters

Winter: January 2010

In this issue

 

  • NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides
  • NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle
  • Consent Counts- Get Involved!
  • Coalition Partner Stewardship


NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides
by: Susan Wright

NCSF and the Foundation are thrilled to announce two new and valuable additions to its line of publications.

The first is A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist , created by Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D.

People who engage in BDSM need to be able to find a therapist who can accept them   without judgment or prejudice. Some therapists cause more harm than good when they slap a label of mental illness on a client simply because they enjoy kinky sex. Fortunately, there are some  therapists who have acquired the education   necessary to work with people who practice BDSM, and who are accepting of their clients' BDSM lifestyles.

A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist will teach you how to locate such  therapists, and how to choose from among the different kink-aware therapists that are available. NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that everyone can find a mental health professional who is understanding and supportive of your lifestyle, and believes this guide is an important addition to the Kink Aware Professionals list and the DSM Revision Project. You deserve a therapist who understands about the diversity and range of sexual expression, and this guide will help you find them.

The second publication has been five years in the making: Therapists Guide to   Polyamory is edited by NCSF Foundation Chairman, James R. Fleckenstein, B.A., and Carol Morotti-Meeker, M.S., M.L.S.P.  NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that therapists are educated about the varieties of sexual expression and relationship structures that our communities enjoy. Polyamory is   gaining more visibility as more adults engage in consensual relationships with more than one person. But how does a therapist gain the understanding they need to deal with the many issues that arise when polyamory is involved?

Therapists Guide to Polyamory     answers all of a therapist's questions about the purpose and practice of    polyamory. Everything from the motivations and benefits of polyamory, to  emotional and social concerns such as discrimination and family disapproval are covered. And of course, the        relationship issues that arise from navigating more than one intimate   relationship are explored, from safe sex to attaining parity and negotiating  agreements. This guide is for polyamorists who need to explain their lifestyle to their therapist, and for   therapists who understand that personal value systems may sabotage their goal of enabling their clients to explore   options and life experience in a neutral or supportive way.  

NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle
by: Leigha Fleming & Susan Wright

Lawless cops are a threat to everyone in America 

The Atlanta community was stunned when the Eagle was raided on September 10th: the local police illegally detained 62 patrons and 8 employees, searching them without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. Some were forced to lie face-down on the floor for over two hours. The strong use of force included the presence of the "Red Dog unit" which typically deals with crimes such as gang violence.

The police arrested eight employees for dancing in their underwear along with patrons during "Underwear Night", a weekly fetish event. The APD alleges that behavior violates a local ordinance that requires the bar to obtain a license for adult entertainment. According to the patrons, police officers shoved people to the ground, threatened to hit them in the head with barstools, handcuffed people, made racist and anti-gay comments, and forced patrons to  remain flat on the ground, with their faces against a floor covered in some areas with spilled beer and broken glass, even long after they had been searched and found to be unarmed.

A Federal lawsuit alleging multiple civil rights violations was filed on November 24th on behalf of the patrons and the employees of the Atlanta Eagle by Lambda Legal, Southern Center for Human Rights, and Dan Grossman as representation for the plaintiffs. NCSF is actively involved in supporting the Atlanta Eagle and the plaintiffs in this suit.  In speaking with Leigha Fleming NCSF Board Chair, Wednesday afternoon, attorney Dan Grossman said, "NCSF's publicity and support s very welcome and needed in this effort. The police believed that they could violate the rights of these men precisely because they were in a gay _leather_ bar."  "We need everyone in the Alanta community getting involved in this," says Fleming. "There's a mayoral    election coming up. Ask your candidates their opinions of the police action at the Eagle and whether or not they support  the kind of bigotry and discrimination exhibited. Blog about it. Talk about it. All the various Eagle's around the country should link to this. Support this lawsuit and support NCSF."

NCSF joins state and local representatives in urging everyone to file a complaint if they were present at the Eagle on September 10th. You can file a complaint with the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Citizen     Review Board who are investigating the raid: 

http://atlantaeagleraid.com/how-to-file-complaints If you need to maintain anonymity, then please contact Mr. Grossman, who represents the Eagle and many of the   patrons in connection with the raid, at (404) 654-0326, or at a special email   address established for this matter: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARAN-TEED UNDER ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE.  If you ask a lawyer for legal advice, the lawyer can't reveal anything you tell him, including your name: the police can't require it, your name can't be subpoenaed, and the court can't demand it. If a lawyer breaks attorney-client privilege, he or she will be disbarred.

"It's so important that our patrons come forward," says Richard Ramey, co-owner of the Eagle. "Everyone needs to hear how badly our civil rights were violated."

"Please call today!" urges Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF. "This is a clear human rights violation. If we don't  speak up, they won't stop persecuting us. We are the only ones who can fight for our rights."

Shortly after the raid, NCSF sent a letter to Atlanta Police Chief Richard    Pennington, Major Khirus Williams (Zone 5), Mayor Shirley Franklin and the City of Atlanta Human Relations Commission demanding an apology for this illegal behavior by the local police. Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington held a press  conference September 14th, stating that the gay leather bar was raided because of anonymous complaints that came through the mayor's office.

"There was no need to show up with three paddy wagons and over 20 police officers. No drugs or weapons were found," says Fleming. "Doesn't the Atlanta Police Department have better things to do with taxpayer money than conduct witch hunts against men who may have been dancing in their underwear?"

For the month of June 2009, the last month criminal statistics citywide for the City of Atlanta were available (see the Uniform Crime Reports on the Atlanta  Police Department website at http://www.atlantapd.org/index.asp?nav=Stats: 10 murders, 6 rapes, over 2,000 robberies and  larcenies and over 500 auto thefts were committed. In Zone 5 where the Atlanta Eagle is located, more than 35 crimes against persons including murder and aggravated assault and more than 700 crimes against property including auto theft, robbery and burglary were committed.   

The Atlanta community spoke out against the violent police raid on September 19th, calling it a blatant "disregard for civil rights and common sense". The rally was   organized by GLBTATL and   mem-bers of Atlanta's LGBT community and supporters in front of Atlanta City Hall. According to GLBTATL's press release about the rally:

"To concerned citizens, such as GLBTATL, it seems that this police raid was not meant to investigate or deter crime. Rather, it sent a message that the LGBT community, comprising as much as one-eighth of Atlanta's residents, is second-class and not deserving of the same basic human respect as others. With only a paltry apology issued via the A.P.D. media office, this message of disrespect, a message that can easily turn into hate, has begun to echo throughout the gay community, and Atlanta as a whole." 

To read more about what happened at the Atlanta Eagle, visit http://AtlantaEagleRaid.com 

Consent Counts, Get Involved!
by: Judy Guerin

Now is your opportunity to become involved in our community's most important long-term project, a nationwide sexual freedom effort that-if we work together-will rank with the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement and the LGBT movement.  The Consent Counts   project, dedicated to decriminalization of BDSM-leather-fetish activities, is in the early stages of organizing under the leadership direction of NCSF.  Leather leaders launched this community-wide project in 2006 and NCSF recently took a leadership role. 

We need volunteers in many    areas:  strategic planning, marketing and public relations, legal,  fundraising, organizational, political, Internet, policy, legislative, grass roots organizing and administrative.  And, we will need a lot of money to achieve this goal.  We need and want your support and involvement.  If you can volunteer or help us raise funds, it would be a big help.

To  volunteer, send an email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Coalition Partnership Stewardship
by: Ron Zimmerman

NCSF Appreciates Our Coalition Partners (CPs)

Everyone likes to be appreciated and the NCSF Board of Directors has come up with a concept that we hope will demonstrate the organization's appreciation and commitment to our Coalition Partners.  At the last NCSF Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas, considerable conversation was devoted to what NCSF can do to continually improve our overall communication strategies.  The concept of developing a "Coalition Partner Stewardship" program was one of the key concepts that came out of those discussions.  One board member, was tasked with designing the plan.

The NCSF board is eager to announce the CP Stewardship initiative being named, the "Reach Out" program.  The concept is to divide the CP list into Regions and to have a Board Member(s) specifically assigned to each CP.  The forward plan is to have the assigned Board Member make it a priority to "reach out" and make contact with their assigned CPs during the 1st month of each quarter.  These contact(s) will be tracked to ensure that each CP has been contacted. Additionally any issues/ideas that might result from the "Reach Out" 

We hope that the CP Stewardship Program is viewed as valuable by our Coalition Partners and contributes to NCSF's overall strategy to continually improve our organizational communication. 

Coalition Partners as of December 2009

Adventures in Sexuality   * APEX * Albany Power Exchange  *  Baltimore Erotic Arts Festival   *    Boise BDSM Society   *   Black BEAT   *  Black Rose    *    Black Swingers United   *   Club X    *     DFW Power Exchange  *   DLH Productions    *  Eau Claire Munch   *   Evergreen Leather Events *    Fox Valley Coalition *    FIST   *   Friends of Bubba K    *   GShots TV  *  House of Decorum *   IMsL  *    Kasidie    *   Knights of Leather   *    LADs    *   Leather Scouts   *   Leather SINS   *  Leigha Fleming   *   Lesbian Sex Mafia    * Lifestyle Alternatives Centre  *   The Mark by CPI   *   MasterZChicago.com  *    Midwest Alternatives   *    Milwaukee Eastside Munch Group   *   Minnesota Kinky Youth   *   MN Rope   * MSDB   *   MOB   *    *  NLA-OKC   *    New England Dungeon Society   *   New England Leather  Alliance   *  New Mexico Leather League   *   OhioSMART    * Riverbound  * Satyricon *   SINZ Social Networking    *    smOdyssey   *   The Society of Janus   *   South Florida Munch  *   Southern Cross Munch *   Swingers Date Club * TABU Social Club   * T3WD * TIED * Threshold   * Touch of Leather  *   Triangle Munch Group   *  Triple S Group  *  Tulsa Dungeon Society   *  The Eulenspiegel Society   *The Wetspot   *   The Windy City Boys Troop  *  Wood Stocks

Download the pdf

Published in Newsletters

NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2010

 

In this issue

  • Next Annual Meeting
  • AASECTH
  • NCSF & FetLife
  • NCSF Comes to You Tube

Next Annual Meeting in Boston
By: Opn Heartd

CP Rep, MOB New England

New Englanders, maybe you belong to a NCSF Coalition Partner group like NELA or NE-DS or Mob New England or you are an individual supporting member of NCSF.  Maybe you've attended an event that donated to NCSF, like one of the Fetish Fair Fleamarkets or the recent Feet First NCSF Fundraiser at the Cyclorama in Boston.  Maybe you've been wondering what NCSF is and how you can learn more and get involved with the good work they do.  Well, pull out your calendars and mark them in INK, because the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is holding its 2011 annual meeting in Boston on March 25th - 26th!  Roll out the red carpet, Boston -- after you shovel that snow! -- to welcome NCSF to town!

I've been NELA and Mob's CP rep for several years now, working with these groups to spread the word about NCSF's media updates, incident response program, and special projects like Consent Counts and the Kink-Aware Professionals list.  I've attended the annual meetings, networking and brainstorming with my fellow CP reps and the NCSF board and staff members.  We read minutes (hot!), we have break-out sessions, we vote!  I come away from these weekend-long meetings re-energized and inspired by my fellow activists who work so hard to defend the rights of kinky, swing, and poly consenting adults.

Coalition Partner representatives will be meeting on that last Saturday and Sunday in March 2011 to discuss how NCSF has progressed so far and to plan for NCSF's next year.  There will be an opportunity for members of the community to meet with the CP reps and attend [is anything planned, like a Consent Counts presentation or Susan talking about media training?].   Shove on your boots and grab a scarf and come mix and mingle with the folks who are working hard with you and for you to advance your rights to engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions as consenting adults.

And CP reps from all over the country, on behalf of Boston and all of New England's NCSF supporters and cheerleaders, I hope to see a TON of you out here in March.  We are working to find you a great hotel and we are getting party planning underway.  If your travels allow before or after the meeting, you can bop around the Boston Common, check out the Charles River, and feast at Faneuil Hall.  It should be a fun and interesting hop from Freedom Trail to Sexual Freedom in Boston in 2011!

AASECT
By: Jim Fleckenstein & Susan Wright

NCSF Board

NCSF and the NCSF Foundation represented our constituents at the recent 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Pittsburgh. AASECT is the recognized certifying organization for professionals in the sexuality helping professions. Both the group itself and its membership constitute a very influential voice in the public discourse about sexuality and relationships.

NCSF's presence there has been ongoing for a number of years, and generally very well received. NCSF Board members Susan Wright and Jim Fleckenstein staffed a table in the exhibit hall and participated in a variety of workshops and networking activities. One central focus of NCSF's presence in Pittsburgh was to continue to garner support for our DSM Revision Project. This project seeks to encourage the American Psychiatric Association to adhere to sound science as it goes through the process of revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) between now and 2012. For more information about this project, go to DSM Revision Project on our site, www.ncsfreedom.org. 

Another important point of conversation between the NCSF representatives and the AASECT members present was introducing the new NCSF brochure, "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory."   This brochure helps explain the real issues faced by polyamorous individuals and helps de-stigmatize this lifestyle choice by presenting positive, scientific evidence in a concise and professional manner. The AASECT members who stopped by the NCSF table made a number of favorable comments on the brochure.

"We continue to be pleased by the positive reception we get at AASECT," said Susan Wright, who also serves on AASECT's Advocacy Committee. "It's really important for us to meet face to face with those who can help us keep our constituents in the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities from being pathologized by the very people they turn to for help."

"Being visible and accessible at AASECT helps establish our credibility as an organization and as a resource to these sexuality professionals," added Jim Fleckenstein, who has given formal presentations on alternative sexuality at four AASECT conferences. "They listen to what we say, join our Kink Aware Professionals program, and learn a lot about our constituents - we help them understand that poly, swinging, and kinky folks are just ordinary people who have made lifestyle choices that work for them."  

 

NCSF & FetLife
An interview with John Baku, founder of FetLife

By: Julian Wolf 

John Baku is the founder of the international online phenomenon FetLife. He graciously took the time to be interviewed.

What type of relationship does FetLife have with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom?

I have to start off by saying FetLife, and the whole FetLife team, are huge fans of the NCSF and all they do for the kinky community. 

Now, to answer your question, I think the best way to describe our relationship is that we act as one of the bridges between the NSCF and the kinky community.

We do this in two ways.  We do this by giving the NCSF visibility on FetLife to over 550,000 kinksters (growing by 1,100 a day).  We give the NCSF visibility by donating a guaranteed two million ad impressions a month plus a percentage of our remnant stock which results in approximately ten million add impressions per month. Plus the NCSF is listed in the "Organization We Support" page.

There other way we act as a bridge is by connecting people who need help, when they need help, with the NCSF.  When our volunteer support staff comes across a case that the NCSF is better suited to help, then we inform the person of the services the NCSF offers and we ask them if we can put them in touch with you.

NCSF Comes to You Tube
By: Vivienne Kramer

NCSF Board

NCSF has started a video campaign project! Kink Academy is generously donated it's production company and a Boston based Committee is working on three public relation pieces: a video for our own communities to help spread the good word of NCSF, a piece for vanilla but open minded individuals and a third version for the general public.

Look out You Tube... NCSF is coming!

phone: 410-539-4824

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Published in Newsletters

NCSF Newsletter

Spring: May 2010

In this issue

  • Annual Meeting
  • Board of Directors
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • New Papers

___________________________________________________________________________________

Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting 

The Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting was held in Seattle this year. It was the NCSF's first time in the city of Seattle and this could not have been done without the efforts of the Seattle community - particularly Jim Duvall and Allena Gabosch. We would like to thank them as well as all of the community of Seattle and surrounding area for making this year's meeting such a success. It is nice to come into a city and feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

 We have been working on moving the annual meeting to the first quarter of each year and it has taken two years to accomplish this. In 2008, it was in October. In 2009, it was in June. This year we have reached our target goal of the first quarter of each year. Moving forward we should be able to hold the meeting in either February or March of each year. Why would we want to do this? To quote our Chairperson, Leigha Fleming, "We're trying to move the meeting up to make our reports and information to you more consistent and timely. It's hard to make you feel informed about our prior year's activities when we're halfway into the next year already!"

From NCSF Chairperson Leigha Fleming

In September 2008, I started my term out with several goals:

·       Improve the NCSF communication both internally among the board and volunteers, to our Coalition Partners, to our communities in general and the public as a whole.

·       We are well on our way to accomplishing this. In years prior to Sept 08, we published 3 quarterly newsletters - two in 03 and one in 06. The newsletter has made it out every quarter since I became chair.

·       We have published the minutes to the CP list every month.

·       I have written notices/letters to the membership monthly.

·       Kicked up frequency of the press and media alerts, using Constant Contact to make our mail outs more professional.

·       Since Sept 08, had more than 156 "official communications" to the Coalition Partners on the CP list. Seven times more than in the entire 2 years prior.

·       Improve the Structural Integrity of the Organization, setting up processes and procedures for our most important functions and programs.

·       Using SalesForce, we are well on our way to regularizing how we accomplish our programs and projects. SalesForce allows those directly involved with our projects to see at a moment's notice what is going on. We can also update information simply and efficiently, keeping all in the loop in a more timely manner.

·       New literature and programs - NCSF's "Value Proposition"

·       The "Value Proposition is a guide to keep NCSF focused on what our core programs and values are. From this we have developed new handouts on child custody, child protective services, event insurance, and many more. Two new formal handouts - one for therapists about Polyamory and one dealing with how to find a Kink Aware Therapist.

·       The DSM and Consent Counts Projects

·       We are the only organization in the country working on these issues. With the help of Susan Wright, in particular working on the DSM, has led the way for some major successes for us. Judy Guerin is taking the lead in our Consent Counts project.

·       A new website and website integration should be accomplished before summer's end.

·       Don't forget about the Twittering and Blogging going on - Media Updates are posted daily.

 Kink Aware Professionals Report, by Kevin Carlson

We have been working on purging the data base of dead links and information that is no longer valid. Over all we have had a net increase of 108 listings since May 09. Interest is growing on a day-to-day basis for this program.

I worked very closely with Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D to produce the white paper on how to choose a Kink Aware Therapist. It is a new and powerful resource for all members of the kink community to use when seeking out a Therapist.

Media Outreach Project, by Susan Wright

This year the project created "NCSF in the News!" listing over 50 articles since 2000 that include quotes from NCSF staff members. Check it out on our site: 

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We assisted in 34 media incidents.  A sample of those incidents include: a swing conference threatened on Grand Island, crack-down on venues in Albuquerque, a NJ store closed because of zoning issues over party space in the basement, and attacks by religious extremists because Creating Change gave Graylin Thornton their Leather Leadership Award.

 Some of the bigger incidents of 2009 included:

Professional Dominantrices raided and arrested in NYC. The NCSF has been working this since 2008. Susan has met with Manhattan DA's office in order to clarify what sort of "for-pay" BDSM activities are considered legal in New York State. Susan also worked with NY Times reporter Jennifer Mascio on an article about the false arrests of professional Dominatrices for prostitution.

The NCSF responded when Peter LaBarbara with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (www.aftah.org) attacked the Fort Troff party taking place in Washington DC during Mid-Atlantic Leather, by responding with a statement about respecting the rights of minority groups.

AFTAH also attacked Winter Wickedness, a pansexual weekend conference in Ohio, produced by one of our Coalition Partners, Adventures in Sexuality. NCSF forked closely with Barak to ensure the event was successful; NCSF volunteer Robin Specter was on site and acted as spokesperson for Winter Wickedness as well as hotel liaison. Susan provided advice, media interviews and organized a call-in campaign to InterContinental Hotels which successfully fought back the attempts to the corporate headquarters to make the hotel cancel the conference.

The Atlanta Eagle raids are also a big concern for our community. The NCSF has been working on this since September 10, 2009. The NCSF created an action alert urging patrons who were there to file a complaint with the police department and to join in the Federal civil lawsuit. The city's case citing the Atlanta Eagle for illegal adult entertainment activities was dismissed in early 2010.

25 Media Interviews were given, including Esquire, Contemporary Sexuality Magazine about the DSM Project, Boston Times about the persecution of the BDSM community in Boston, Playboy requested a letter to the editor from NCSF about their Top 55 most important people in Sex, New York Times on the pro-Domme arrests in NCY and many more.

Projects Susan is working on: Stop the Arrests Coalition, The Smarter Sex NYC project, and the Espoir Conference developing guidelines and outreach strategies for the Leather Archives & Museum.

Along with all the above, Susan on behalf of the NCSF has done website reviews, acted as a PR Liaison for the Folsom Street Fair, and gave the State of the Union address at the NELA Kink Awareness Conference in Boston.

Membership Report

This year we have implemented a temporary system to send out digital Membership cards, working towards full integration with SalesForce, and imported the membership database into SalesForce. These two items have reduced costs and allowed a better tracking of membership.

SalesForce will allow us to import and manage membership data, quicker updating of who has become a member and at what level, letting us get the needed information out to them in a more timely manner such as sending out membership cards and acknowledgment of membership by SalesForce. In the future, SalesForce will send out reminders to the membership before the expiration date of the membership and automate the membership acknowledgements.

At the time of the meeting we had 64 Coalition Partners and in the past month have signed up several more.

Other Major Projects

The two major projects that we will continue to work on are the DSM Revision Project and the Consent Counts Project. Both of these projects are long term and will require the use of our assets of volunteers and funds to promote and continue to make major strides towards accomplishing these goals.

For the DSM we have made it all the way through public commentary period with the majority of the changes we suggested being supported. We are now awaiting finale approval from the American Psychiatric Association for inclusion in the publication of the DSM-V. These changes though not finale are already having an impact of a positive nature in the court system regarding criminal and child custody incidents.

The Consent Counts Project is also well on its way. We have started pulling the legal information at a state level and are making plans to work on the volunteer system to acquire local and regional information as well. Short term, the DSM Revision Project is going to work closely with the Consent Counts Project to ensure maximum outreach and visibility.

Incident Response, by Leigha Fleming

NCSF received 482 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 337 required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts. It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another because many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. BDSM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests, we placed it in the category it most clearly matched.

11% were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence issues

36% were regarding criminal complaint issues

3% were regarding employment discrimination

27.5% were regarding child custody/divorce issues

17.5% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues

1% were classed as non-employment discrimination

3% were related to swing community issues

.5% were regarding online obscenity issues

3.5% were classed as "other"

Of the inquiries, 95.5% were driven by BDSM/leather/fetish issues, 3% by swing, 1% by poly, 0.5% by other.

The Board of Directors

Leigha Fleming (Board Chair)

Howie Zusel (Vice Chair)

Laura Carlson (Secretary)

Vivienne Kramer (Treasurer)

Jim Fleckenstein (Foundation Liaison)

Ron Zimmerman (Coalition Partner Stewardship Chair)

Kevin Carlson (KAP Director)

Chuck Renslow

Susan Wright (Media Relatiuons)

Ed Mogul (Legal)

Steven Johnson (SalesForce)

Diamond

Thanks to those above for all you do to keep the NCSF moving forward. 

Volunteer of the Year

 The NCSF would like to congratulate Vicki Ballinger, our Volunteer of the Year. Vicki heads up our outreach program. Her service and dedication to this position is a shinning example of how we all should strive to be.

Congratulations and thank you Vicki!!!!

New Papers

The NCSF and the Foundation is proud to introduce two new papers, "A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist" and the "Therapists Guide to Polyamory". The full press release may be read on our website, or you can go directly to the individual papers;

 A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapists

Therapists Guide to Polyamory  

Coalition Partners as of May 2010

 __________________________________________________________________________________

phone: 410-539-4824

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You can read our Media Updates on our Blog, or sign up for NCSF Announcements, Media Updates and Newsletters with the button to the left.

Published in Uncategorized

1. Community Standard or Double Standard?
2. Women Who Want to Want
3. Swinging one's vows to the limit

 

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom -- Media Update Digest
December 9, 2009
www.ncsfreedom.org
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To read NCSF Media Updates on a daily basis, visit our blog at: http://ncsf.wordpress.com

NCSF Media Updates represent 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 b or anywhere in between. NCSF publishes
the Updates to provide readers a comprehensive look at what media outlets are writing about these
topics. NCSF permits and encourages readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.


Community Standard or Double Standard?
New York Times

Mr. Lambert's context was different, mostly because he is gay and his song "For Your Entertainment" is
graphically sexual, with intimations of sadomasochism ...

To read the rest of this article, go to:

 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/arts/television/26watch.html?_r=1


Women Who Want to Want
New York Times Magazine
by Dan Bergner

The section on deviant desires, to take one example, is denounced by advocates for alternative sexuality
as stigmatizing those whose lusts, no matter how unusual, are harmless, or those whose erotic play, no
matter how unsettling, is consensual. Should a man with a foot fetish be branded as mentally ill? Should
a woman who finds ecstasy in being elaborately bound and enduring denigration or pain? Should such
people be labeled with psychiatric diseases, though the rest of their lives have no serious dysfunction?
Until 1973, homosexuality was among the D.S.M.'s disorders, and critics of the present chapter point to
the condemnation the volume once inflicted on gay men and lesbians' condemnation that both reflected
and bolstered the prevailing cultural perspective by way of arguing that the current manual, the
D.S.M.-IV, is full of unfounded and damaging sexual judgments. Many on the panel, which probably won't,
in the end, do much in the way of deleting conditions, maintain that the chapter on sexuality and gender
identity doesn't brand people too readily with disease. They note that, aside from exceptions like
patients with pedophilia, only those who are distressed meet the threshold for diagnosis. In turn, the
critics respond that such distress stems not from within the individual but from the infliction of
societal standards, from the culture's disapproval and aversion and therefore, in part, from the D.S.M.
itself. This, they emphasize, was why the A.P.A. finally removed a last remnant of the homosexuality
diagnosis what was known as "ego-dystonic" homosexuality in 1987.

To read the rest of this article, go to:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/magazine/29sex-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1


Swinging one's vows to the limit
Minnesota Daily

A simple Google search led me to Club H, a local swingers' organization in Minneapolis. When I called, I
was politely asked by the associate on the other ...

To read the rest of this article, go to:
http://www.mndaily.com/2009/12/06/swinging-one%E2%80%99s-vows-limit

###

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)


The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is committed to creating a political, legal, and social
environment in the United States that advances the equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms
of alternative sexual and relationship expression. NCSF advances the rights and advocates for consenting
adults in the BDSM-Leather-Fetish, swing, and polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct
services, education, advocacy, and outreach in conjunction with our partner organizations to directly
benefit these communities.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
media: (917) 848-6544
office: (410)539-4824
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www.ncsfreedom.org
www.twitter.com/ncsf
http://ncsf.wordpress.com

Published in Media Updates Archive
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