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NCSF Newsletter 4th Quarter, 2015 edited by Julian Wolf     In this Issue Save the Date for the NCSF Coalition Partner Meeting! Message from the Chair Save the Date for the NCSF Consent Summit! Incident Reporting & Response NCSF sponsors BDSM Writers Con Results of Mental & Emotional Health Study NCSF Thanks! Daily Flogger Satire Media Updates Representing on FetLife Save the Date for the NCSF Coalition Partner Meeting! NCSF's Annual Coalition Partner Meeting will take place March 4-6, 2016, in San Jose, CA. "The annual meeting gives NCSF's Coalition Partners the opportunity to tell the board where our focus should be in the coming year," says Chairman Kevin Carlson. "It's also their time to give us feedback on how we're conducting the day-to-day business of NCSF. The Board and staff are looking forward to gathering in Silicon Valley with our Coalition Partners to continue the good work of NCSF." Friday, March 4th - Coalition Partner representatives Meet & Greet - 7-9 pmSaturday, March 5th - Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting - 9-5pmSunday, March 6th - Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting - 9-noonSunday, March 6th - Consent Counts Discussion - 1-3pm Location: Fairfield Inn & Suites San Jose Airport1755 North First Street San Jose, CA 95112 You may make reservations by calling the reservation line at 1-800-228-2800 or make online reservations: Book your group rate for NCSF $104 - $124 on March 4-5$220 for additional nights on March 3 or March 6 (15% off of the published rate) NCSF staff, Board members and Coalition Partner reps are also invited to San Francisco's Leather Alliance Weekend events taking place throughout the weekend. Saturday evening is the Mr. SF Leather Contest - let us know if you're interested in attending. San Francisco is about an hour away from San Jose. Message from the ChairBy Kevin Carlson It's been a positive year for the NCSF. We have crossed several items off our list, including a membership database system that works great! (If you're not a member or need to renew, go to today.) Our latest survey was published which you can view here:, and we started working with the American Law Institute to revise the Model Penal Code on sexual assault. Read more on this exciting project here This are just a few of our accomplishments. GO TEAM! Looking around the corner, we have our NCSF Annual Business Meeting with our…
NCSF Newsletter 3rd Quarter 2015www.ncsfreedom.orgedited by Julian Wolf   In this issue NCSF Membership Drive a SuccessIncident Reporting & ResponseWinner of Consent Month Photo ContestGuest Blog - "What if You Get Squicked?"NCSF Thanks!Daily Flogger SatireCastle Treue's "Cigar, Bourbon, & Leather Evening Fundraiser"Coalition Corner: AISMedia UpdatesRepresenting on FetLife   NCSF Membership Drive a Success!By BebeinStL   As the plans for the coming year were laid out at the NCSF Coalition Partner's meeting this spring, everyone attending was asked what ideas they may have for boosting membership. On the spot, StL3, our coalition partner out of St Louis, MO, challenged two other coalition partners to a NCSF membership drive from their respective communities! For their drive, StL3 held a contest with a grand prize of free accommodations in their host hotel for StL3's fall event, Spanksgiving! Spanksgiving is always the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nov 20th - 22nd. Rooms at the host hotel for StL3's events have sold out in less than 24 hours from when registration has opened, making this a coveted prize! Joining NCSF as an individual membership netted 1 chance to the drawing. Enrollment as a Supporting Member netted 4 chances in the drawing + a NCSF T-shirt + free breakfast buffet at the event! And the winner was.... NCSF! Netting nearly 30 new memberships! Winner of the drawing was Veni_Vici on FetLife, giving her a free weekend stay for Spanksgiving! Congratulations! And thank you to all who participated and signed up for NCSF memberships during StL3's Membership Drive! Return to top Incident Reporting & Response - 3rd Quarter 2015 reportBy Susan WrightDirector of IRR   NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 56 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in July, August and September. 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 third quarter of 2015: CriminalThere were 22 requests for resources and information involving kink and criminal law. In a sharp decline, only 3 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault/sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services, and resources to educate law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. We got 2 requests for information from…
NCSF Newsletter 2ndt Quarter, 2015 edited by Julian Wolf   In this issue Consent is a Defense Celebrate Consent Month in September! "A Taste of Kink" at the AASECT Annual Conference NCSF Thanks! Daily Flogger Satire The 2015 BDSM Writers Con NCSF celebrates Pride Month Incident Reporting & Response NCSF at IMsL Media Updates Representing on FetLife    Consent is a Defense by Judy Guerin, Director of Consent Counts NCSF is delighted to announce an important new initiative as part of our Consent Counts project. In a nutshell, we have a great opportunity to take advantage of an effort by the American Law Institute (ALI) to change the portions of the Model Penal Code-which most states adopt as their criminal law-in a way that would greatly advance our campaign to decriminalize consensual BDSM. Here's what is going on. The American Law Institute is an independent body made up of influential lawyers from across the United States. The ALI analyzes legal issues and proposes model legislation (known as "codes" or "restatements") and recommends that states adopt that model legislation as their own law. This requires that each state legislature pass a bill that changes the state law, but most states have in the past adopted ALI model codes without significant changes. Currently the ALI is studying-and will ultimately recommend-changes in the Model Penal Code provisions relating to sexual assault. As you probably know, cases in which BDSM is prosecuted are now considered as criminal assault, rather than sexual assault. NCSF has always believed this to be unjust. In our view, BDSM is not an attack by one person against another (which is the premise of a criminal assault law). Rather, BDSM is intended to be a mutually pleasurable interaction between two people, in which any pain or stimulation that is consented to is welcomed by that person and is experienced as a form of pleasure. What the ALI originally set out to do in its current project had nothing to do with BDSM. Instead, their concern rose from the recent public discussion about sexual assault on college campuses and is intended to strengthen the requirement that all forms of sexual contact (from fornication to casual touching) have to be clearly consensual. In February, NCSF submitted comments to the ALI Committee that is working on sexual assault and related issues. We argued that the same emphasis on strengthening consent should be applied equally in the…
NCSF Newsletter 1st Quarter, 2015 edited by Julian Wolf In this issue Mid-Atlantic Region Hosts the Coalition Partner Meeting NCSF Thanks! Daily Flogger Satire Dommes of the DC Sub Club Do it Again! Guest Blog: Disclosure and Outness as a Therapist Incident Reporting & Response Media Updates Representing on FetLife   The Mid-Atlantic Region hosts NCSF's Coalition Partners Annual Meeting   The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partners meeting in Baltimore, MD from March 20-22. The Coalition Partners and Board Members focused on the goals for NCSF's programs moving forward, along with discussing the annual reports, voting in the Board of Directors and approving the budget.     "It's been an inspiring year to see the Board and Staff of NCSF come together and work hard to make this a better organization," says Chairman Kevin Carlson. "Looking to the future was important for us at this Annual Meeting, as we laid out the path for what our coalition can become and how we can better serve our communities."   For the complete annual reports and financials, go to: Some of our successes over the past year include:   Financial transparency is maintained by monthly reports to the Board with the necessary supporting documentation such as bank statements. The American Law Institute invited NCSF to submit recommendations to the Model Penal Code project related to rape, sexual assault, etc. and will continue to involve NCSF in its work to improve the Model Penal Code and judicial interpretations. NCSF filed two appellate briefs in the Miles case, a military case involving a threesome, with arguments based on the 2003 Lawrence decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The NCSF membership and fundraising database is now being powered by Wild Apricot, with payment via PayPal optional. 10,000 palm cards were printed featuring Consent, the Law, Fun Facts and BDSM Resources that were distributed by kink groups around the U.S. during the Fifty Shades of Greymovie launch (palm cards are currently in second printing). Over 1,200 people accessed the Kink Aware Professionals list in 2014. 184 people, groups and businesses received help from NCSF in fighting discrimination in 2014. The Education Outreach Project and Consent Counts Project gave 36 presentations.The Media Outreach Project gave 32 interviews in 2014, and another 27 in the first quarter of 2015 thanks to the "50 Shades of NCSF" media blast.   NCSF would like to thank Judy Guerin (Consent…
NCSF Newsletter 3rd Quarter, 2014 edited by Julian Wolf In this issue 2014 Roundup NCSF Thanks! Incident Reporting & Response Daily Flogger Satire Guest Blog: Out To The Doctor? Are You Ready for 50 Shades? Media Updates Representing on FetLife NCSF's 2014 Roundup         2014 has been a year of progress for NCSF and for people who are kinky and nonmonogamous. The national conversation about gay marriage, consent, and even Fifty Shades of Grey are transforming mainstream attitudes. The change in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 stating that BDSM is a healthy form of sexual expression has also had a significant impact on both the courts and public opinion about kink.   Education Outreach Project       The NCSF Board Members and presenters gave Education Outreach Project workshops and tabled at 36 events in 2014 (compared to 22 in 2013), with a focus on consent discussions, BDSM & the Law, and distributing literature such as Kink is Okay and Finding Kink Aware Medical Care.       The groups and events where NCSF presented included: Arizona Men of Leather, Arizona Power Exchange, Atlanta Poly Weekend, BDSM Writers Con, Behind Closed Doors, Beyond The Love, CatalysCon East, Catalyst Art & Cultural Space, Center for Sex Positive Culture, CLAW, COPE, CPI/The Mark, Dark Con, Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, Dark Odyssey Surrender, Desert Dominion, DragonCon, Floating World, Folsom Street East, Future of Monogamy and Non-Monogamy, International Mr. Leather, Kinkfest, Leathermen's Discussion Group, MSDB Bizarre Bazaar, Paradise Unbound, Poly Living Conference, Polyamory Political Activism Conclave, Portland Leather Alliance, SMART, Society for Sex Therapy & Research 39th Annual Meeting, Southwest Leather Contest, Spanksgiving, Thunder in the Mountains, Up Your Alley - Dore Alley, Winter Wickedness, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit.       NCSF also exhibited at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) 47th Annual Conference on June 4-8th, in Monterey, California. NCSF helped organize a panel presentation on "Social Organizations and BDSM Communities," moderated by Neil Cannon, PhD, DST and Russell Stambaugh, PhD, DST. The panel was attended by 115 of the 550 participants, and raised over $4,000 for AASECT. The panelists were experienced and articulate kink organizers on the West Coast: Race Bannon, Janet Hardy, Demitri Moshanyii, Richard Sprott, Anna Randall, and Jim and Montaine who run a dungeon-themed B&B in Monterey.         Jim Fleckenstein was the lead presenter on "The Fountain of Youth! The Association of an Open Relationship Orientation with Health and Happiness in a Sample of Older Adults,"…
NCSF Newsletter 3rd Quarter, 2014 In this issue NCSF Mental Heath Survey Incident Reporting & Response NCSF Thanks! Merchant Services Question A Touch of Humor Media Updates Representing on FetLife NCSF Mental Health Survey Please take the NCSF Mental Health Survey! We would like to know more about your BDSM practices, mental health and relational violence experiences:    NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will compare our responses to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT-identified.   NCSF will use these results to help with our advocacy, benefiting both existing and developing programs. Specifically, the study's results will assist in educating law enforcement, legal and psychological professionals about the practices and mental health of BDSM practitioners.   The survey will take approximately 35 minutes of your time.   This survey is anonymous. NCSF or outside researchers do not have access to any identifying information about participants.   Return to Top Incident Reporting & Response - 3rd Quarter 2014 report By Susan Wright, director of IRR   In July, August and September, NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 41 requests for assistance with child custody, job discrimination, legal issues and discrimination against groups and businesses.   The Kink Aware Professionals list is our highest accessed resource on our website, with an average of 100 people searching for kink aware professionals every month in the 3rd quarter. As our KAP list grows, people are accessing KAP directly to find kink-aware attorneys and therapists instead of asking NCSF to educate vanilla professionals about kink and nonmonogamy. Please help grow KAP by telling kink friendly professionals that they can get a free listing for referrals.   NCSF maintains the confidentiality of those who come to us for help. However we have to balance that need with the need for transparency. So each quarter, we'll sum up the types of cases we worked on and give you examples of the locations when possible:   Child Custody   There were 10 requests for help with child custody, a drop from the 2nd quarter in which we had 13 requests for help with child custody. We assisted in family court cases in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.   Organizational issues   There were 6 requests for help from BDSM groups. Two separate incidents involved venues cancelling contracts for BDSM event in two different regions. NCSF strategized with the organizers, bringing in our legal counsel in one case, and in…
NCSF Newsletter 2nd Quarter, 2014 In this issue Go to the Cops Poly in the Vanilla World Meet Your Board Coalition Corner Media Updates Available for Your Event Representing on FetLife  Go to the Cops  Susan Wright You CAN go to law enforcement to report assault even if you're kinky. I get so mad when I hear people say, "You can't go to the cops," or "They'll treat you badly because you're kinky." Really? You tell your friend to crawl in a hole after they're assaulted? Why don't you offer to go with them to report it to law enforcement or to a hospital? Or call NCSF so I can work with the local victim services and help them report it.  Since I took over NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response program, I've made a lot of phone calls to professionals around the country in order to find good people who won't discriminate against us. And you know what? Our advocacy efforts are working. Even in the most conservative areas, there are judges, lawyers and social service workers who are already educated about kink and nonmonogamy. They know that what we do is consensual, and that assault is assault regardless of the way we have sex.  In January, I was contacted by several victims of a perpetrator in Maryland. These victims ended up reporting their assaults in two different counties in Maryland. The State's Attorney in one county moved forward with the case. The trial only took half a day. The victim testified, but she wasn't outed in the media, even though the incident in question was fairly sensational and took place at a camp event in front of other kinky people. The event where it happened wasn't harassed by law enforcement, and neither was the kinky club where the perpetrator then worked. The State's Attorney was only interested in the assault, not in harming the victims or the BDSM community. In fact, the victims were treated very well by everyone they dealt with. Today the perpetrator was convicted of 2nd Degree Assault and was sentenced to a year in jail with two years probation and ordered by the court to attend an intervention program for intimate partner abuse. If someone assaults you or your friend, then this is what can result if you go to the police. NCSF can help you. You don't have to stay quiet. Prosecutors will typically take…
NCSF Newsletter 1stQuarter, 2014 In this issue Erotic Awakenings Take the Consent Violations Survey 2014 Annual Meeting Meet Your Board DC Professional Dominatrixes Rock NCSF Expands Its Legal Resources Polyamory as Orientation? Amicus Brief in Support of Consensual Nonmonogamy Representing on FetLife Erotic Awakening interviews NCSF Board Member Jsin  Listen to NCSF Board Member Jsin's interview about NCSF that took place at the recent Beat Me in St. Louis. Hear what NCSF is doing to help people today! Jsin's interview starts at 15:30 min.   Return to Top Take the Consent Violations Survey!   Please take this survey even if you've never had a consent violation. We want to know what are your power exchange and sexual identities? Are you "out" about being kinky? How often do you go to BDSM groups and online communities? NCSF will use these results to help perform its advocacy, such as helping law enforcement, prosecutors and health care professionals understand the experiences of kinky people and provide better quality service. Only takes 5-20 minutes to complete!   This survey is anonymous and your privacy is guaranteed by SurveyMonkey, a secured survey hosting website. NCSF does not have access to any identifying information about the participants.   National Coalition for Sexual Freedom   Return to Top NCSF's Coalition Partners Come Together in Nashville, TN    The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Nashville, TN from March 14-16, 2014. The Coalition Partners voted in the new Board of Directors for NCSF, approved the 2014 budget, and brainstormed on NCSF's projects and goals for the coming year.   "The annual meeting gives NCSF's Coalition Partners the opportunity to tell the board where our focus should be in the coming year," says Chairman Kevin Carlson. "It's also their time to give us feedback on how we're conducting the day-to-day business of NCSF. The Board and staff of NCSF are now re-energized and eager to continue the good work of NCSF."   The CP representatives approved the new Financial and Control Policies which have an emphasis on transparency and accountability. The CP reps created an Ombuds Committee which will be responsible for reviewing actions by NCSF board and staff members. The CPs also received a full report on the forensic financial review and the results of the investigation into the theft of funds from the NCSF, and determined the next steps the Board should take in pursuing the restitution of those funds.…
NCSF Newsletter 4th Quarter, 2013 In this issue Happy New Year! NCSF's Consent Violations Survey 2014 Annual Meeting Meet Your Board Sexual Freedom in the News An Obituary for Leigha Fleming Representing on FetLife Happy New Year!   From all of us at the NCSF we hope you had a wonderful holiday season and your new year is already great.   Return to Top Coming Soon! NCSF's Consent Violations Survey   January 2014 is the big launch of NCSF's Consent Violations Survey. We need everyone to take this survey even if you've never had a consent violation.   We're also gathering important demographic info on your power exchange and sexual identities, whether you are "out" about being kinky, and what level of participation you have in BDSM groups and online communities.   It will take as little as 5 minutes to complete, and up to 20 minutes if you provide details of consent violations or accusations. This information will be used in NCSF's advocacy efforts with law enforcement, victim services and health care professionals.   This survey is anonymous and your privacy is guaranteed by Survey Monkey, a secured survey hosting website. NCSF will not have access to any identifying information about the participants.   Look for the link to the Consent Violations Survey soon!   Return to Top 2014 Annual Meeting in Music City!   The Annual NCSF Coalition Partner will be held in Nashville, Tennessee on March 15-16, 2014. Plan on coming in early. Our hosts will be offering free transport to and from the hotel to the airport and are giving all CP representatives, staff and board members free entry to the local Kink Community Center (The Mark) for both Friday and Saturday night events! Do you need concierge or visit planning assistance? Do you need guidance for special dietary concerns? Just let us know.    2014 promises to be a landmark year for the NCSF, we look forward to you coming and helping us plan. See you in Nashville!    Return to TopMeet Your Board! New  Member: Devin MacLachlan    The NCSF appointed our newest member in October. Please welcome Devin! Do you have a history of activism and community involvement?    My community involvement goes back to when I was in school in San Franscisco.  For two years I was on the South of Market Bare Chest Calendar which raised money for the AIDS Emergency Fund.  At that time 90%…
NCSF Newsletter 2nd Quarter, 2013 In this issue Come talk about BDSM and consent! The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK! Why Support or Join NCSF? Representing on FetLife  Come Talk about BDSM and consent! NCSF's Consent Counts project is holding discussions around the country to gather your input on our Consent Statement so we can move forward to change laws and perceptions of BDSM. Kinky people still have significant legal, political and societal issues facing us. The majority of us fear the very real threat of being prosecuted or losing our jobs or families. To change the assault laws, we have to be able to tell the world what we think of consent. What is ethical consent? What are the gray areas? Are there things people shouldn't be able to consent to in a BDSM context?   If you would like your group like to hold a Consent Statement workshop in your area, please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to get the Consent Counts discussion guide.   Return to Top The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!   The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex - including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM - in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Now the paraphilias are considered to be "unusual sexual interests," while those who have sex with children or people who haven't consented, or who deliberately cause harm to themselves or others, may be diagnosed with a Paraphilic Disorder.   "The APA has made it clear that being kinky is not a mental disorder," says Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF. "That means people no longer have to fear being diagnosed as mentally ill just because they belong to a BDSM group. We've already seen the impact -NCSF immediately saw a sharp rise in the success rate of child custody cases for kinky parents after the proposed DSM-5 criteria was released three years ago."   NCSF would like to thank everyone who participated in signing our DSM Revision Petition and for telling the APA about their own stories of discrimination and persecution. NCSFalso thanks every member of the APA Paraphilias Subworkgroup for responding to our concerns, and drawing a hard line between consensual adult kinky sex and those who willfully engage in nonconsensual or harmful activities.   NCSF is proud to build on the work of kink-aware professionals who have come before us, including Race Bannon and Guy Baldwin, who helped make seminal changes in the DSM-IV in 1994.   The…
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  • NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit

    NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit   The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Phoenix, Arizona from February 8-10, 2013. The Consent Summit took place Friday evening, and Coalition Partners were able to participate via streaming video to give their input on the new Consent Statement. Go to to see the Consent Statement and comment on it.   “The Consent Statement…

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  • NCSF Survey on Consent

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National Coalition for Sexual Freedom NCSF Survey on Consent The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) wants to hear from you! Please take our Consent Counts survey and tell us what you think about consent: As part of decriminalizing BDSM in the legal codes, we need to be able to articulate a clear definition of consent that the BDSM communities believe in. The results of this…

    Tags: Survey Consent Counts consent fetlife
  • NCSF Launches the Next Chapter for Consent Counts

    NCSF Launches the Next Chapter for Consent Counts February 27, 2012 The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) announces two new publications as part of its nationwide campaign, Consent Counts. The Consent Counts Project was launched by the BDSM-leather-fetish communities in 2006 to decriminalize consensual BDSM in U.S. law by ensuring that consent will be recognized as a defense to criminal charges brought under assault laws and other statutes. "For…

    Tags: Consent_Counts Press Release consent
  • Action Alert - Take Action Californians!

    Our BDSM communities could be adversely impacted by a well-intentioned, but overly broad, piece of proposed criminal legislation that has been introduced by Senator Christine Kehoe in the California Senate.  NCSF is asking all of you to sign and send to NCSF letters (a draft is attached below) that we can introduce if necessary at a hearing likely to be held in April, 2011. The purpose of the bill, SB…

    Tags: Consent Counts action alerts california SB 430
  • NCSF Press Release - Missouri Indictment

    In an indictment rendered by a Grand Jury in the Western District of Missouri on September 9, 2010, five Missouri men allegedly participated in torturing a mentally disabled woman online or in person over a multi-year period when the victim was between the ages of 16 and 24. Among the charges are: Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud or Coercion, Forced Labor Trafficking, Transportation for Sexual Activity, and Conspiracy. The allegations…

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Consent Counts: We're Making a Difference

  • Completed Federal and State Legal Research
  • Developed Educational Programs and Outreach Materials
  • Built Alliances With Sexual Freedom Advocacy Groups

About Consent Counts

NCSF is leading a major national campaign—Consent Counts—to change the laws and police practices that our communities now endure, and to establish that consent is available as a defense in criminal BDSM prosecutions.

  • BDSM is prosecuted as assault in the U.S., even when it is consensual.
  • No state or appellate court has allowed consent as a defense to assault in BDSM cases.
  • Consent Counts is a nationwide project to decriminalize consensual BDSM.
Program Goals:
Consent Counts
is a nationwide project to decriminalize consensual BDSM through education, advocacy, legal actions and lobbying.


Judy Guerin
Director, Consent Counts 
Help us reach more communities