Back in June, 2008, we had set up a great private party for
swingers. The plan was to have it at a local bar, the owner was going
to close it for just our group. Lots of us had plans on eating dinner
at the fine-dining restaurant above the bar, and many had rooms
reserved in the hotel. The owner knew what type of group we were, and
had no problems in having us.
Shortly before the party, the local Borough Council President
'found out' about the party and contacted the local paper. Next thing
we know, the paper comes out on Wednesday, we're on the front page. The
party was set for Saturday night. Now, most Swingers want complete anonymity, and it was rumored that the media would be there "in
disguise" mingling thru the party and possibly some waiting for us to
arrive. So, we felt it necessary to cancel our party to protect our
The NCSF Incident Response team found out what had happened,
contacted the local paper and helped them understand what we were
trying to do, and how this affects us. My husband and I (as the party
hosts) were unable to have any reply in the paper due to their demand
that our names be published if they published our letter. Without the NCSF, there would have been no one to stand up for us and to speak on
our behalf, and for that, we are so thankful to them! Thanks again you
guys! You're wonderful!
Every year, NCSF helps hundreds of people, events, groups and businesses that are being persecuted for their association with the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities.
NCSF is here to help you -- the SM, swing, and polyamory communities. If you have a problem with discrimination, persecution, or harassment because of your sexual expression, please contact NCSF for assistance.
NCSF is not legal aid, nor do we offer specific legal advice for individuals. NCSF is a resource for the members of the kink, poly and Lifestyle communities and for people seeking information about them. NCSF provides publicly available information on kink and nonmonogamy for consenting adults. We advocate on behalf of the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities.
The following are statements from events, businesses and individuals NCSF has helped.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)’s Incident Response (IR) Program uses three primary criteria for taking a case:
The issue must openly, directly, and specifically relate to BDSM, swing or poly activities between consenting adults; in other words, the problems you face must relate to or be caused from your involvement in BDSM, swing or poly without question.
The issue must be one whose outcome or precedent could affect not just the individual filing the complaint, but potentially a significant number of people with the same, or similar, problem.
The incident needs to have a reasonable chance of a successful resolution: usually indicating that the individual filling has not also been found guilty of a crime other than behaviors currently considered illegal relating to BDSM, swing or poly.
In 2008, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) again took the lead in defending the rights of individuals and groups in the SM-leather-fetish, swing and polyamory communities. NCSF's coalition of over 40 educational and social groups is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF's Incident Response team is directed by Director Leigha Fleming. In total, over 500 individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses contacted NCSF for help in 2008. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects.NCSF received 489 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 317 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. Many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. SM/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
27% were regarding criminal complaint issues
4% were regarding employment discrimination
31.5% were regarding child custody/divorce issues
15.5% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues
1% were classed as non-employment discrimination
5% were related to swing community issues
2.5% were regarding online obscenity issues
2.5% were classed as “other” Of the inquires,
85.5% were driven by SM/leather/fetish issues
9% by swing
5% by poly
0.5% by other
2008 saw an increased number of requests around criminal and domestic violence or SM/abuse related issues. NCSF worked with more than 27 attorneys representing defendants in criminal cases. In addition, we worked with more than 11 district attorneys and prosecutors related to SM issues. The vast majority of these criminal cases revolved around domestic abuse or consensual sex/play issues. There is a clear need for education within our own communities about the role and limits of consent and for education to police authorities about the differences between SM and abuse. Employment related discrimination is increasing as well. The implementation of KAP under NCSF’s administration resulted in fewer requests for referrals because we were able to refer the request to our site. As we improve the KAP administration, and resource, the number of requests for referrals that need to be handled by a person will drop since we’ll be able to refer people to the KAP database. The new administration tools for KAP in our website overhaul will also make the use of this tool much more efficient for both user and professional.
We continue to receive a number of requests for assistance from groups, businesses, and other support organizations who want information about how to operate legally, do law enforcement outreach, file for non-profit status, deal with the media or the press, do hotel/event outreach, or do research around zoning or other legal issues.We also continue to receive requests for assistance involving parents who were engaged in child custody and divorce cases. Parents continue to experience difficulties gaining child custody due to their interest in SM, swing or poly activities. NCSF worked with a number of attorneys representing parents accused of being unfit because of their alternative lifestyle interests. In many cases, because of information we were able to provide, the courts decided that alternative sexual expression alone was not cause to impugn a parent's ability to be a good parent. 2009 incident response statistics are currently being compiled.
As of the end of May 2009, more than 114 distinct requests for assistance have been processed.NCSF is here to help you -- the SM, swing and polyamory communities. If you have a problem with discrimination, persecution, or harassment because of your sexual expression, please call NCSF for assistance. You can submit a request for assistance online or find a Kink Aware Professional (KAP) on our website as well at www.ncsfreedom.org. Emergency contact information is available by calling our office at 410-539-4824, 24 hours per day.Please support NCSF in our effort to change the political, legal, and social environment in the United States. We are committed to making a difference. Join NCSF as a member or please hold a fund-raiser and donate to NCSF!
August 27, 2007 - NCSF proud to be the only group in the country with a national mission committed to changing the political, legal and social environment for those involved with the BDSM, swinging and polyamory communities. NCSF's six programs have directly helped thousands of practitioners, businesses and groups. Four of NCSF's programs began with the founding of NCSF in 1997: the Media Outreach Project, Media Updates, Incident Response, and the Legal Advocacy program.
NCSF's Incident Response team is directed by Leigha Fleming. Over 700 individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses contact NCSF for help every year because of persecution or discrimination. NCSF assisted both International Mr. Leather and Kink.com this year, continuing its decade-long practice of fighting religious political extremists and performing outreach to local communities and authorities.
NCSF's Media Outreach Program provides sound bites and tactics for anyone dealing with the media. Spokesperson Susan Wright regularly gives media trainings and conducts over 60 interviews every year, influencing the coverage of alternative sexuality issues. The NCSF Media Updates, created by Keith Richie, feature articles about BDSM, swinging and polyamory, and provides contact information to write letters to the editor in order to influence how editorial decisions are made in the future.
NCSF's Legal Advocacy team is led by John, with pro bono lawyers researching current laws and creating Amicus Briefs to submit to courts in cases involving obscenity prosecutions, "consent is not a defense to assault", and right to freedom of assembly. NCSF's Communications Decency Act lawsuit with Barbara Nitke made history by challenging the Miller standard of obscenity as it applies to the Internet.
NCSF took custody of their newest program, the Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) free referral list, from Race Bannon in 2006. NCSF created a new KAP brochure and is actively recruiting additional psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal professionals who are knowledgeable about and sensitive to diverse expressions of sexuality.
The Education Outreach Program (EOP) is run under the Institute for 21st Century Relationships: The Foundation of NCSF. ITCR supports the freedom of consenting adults to discover and to practice the intimate relationship structure that best meets their emotional and human needs. The EOP is designed to educate law enforcement officials, and to educate constituents about the risks of selective enforcement and how to minimize the risk of becoming a target. NCSF has published a number of pieces of literature for this program and has trained a team of individuals from across the country to deliver 10 educational presentations from "Traveling With Toys" to "How to Protect Your Event."
Over the past decade, NCSF has formed valuable alliances with other advocacy organizations to work on projects that defend sexual freedom rights: Free Speech Coalition, the ACLU, American Association of Sex Educators Councilors and Therapists, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance, among others.
Currently NCSF has 54 Coalition Partners who elect the board and establish the yearly goals at the annual Coalition Partner meeting. Coalition Partners are groups and businesses that serve BDSM, swing and polyamory practitioners. NCSF also has over 100 Supporting Members: groups and businesses who actively support NCSF - totaling tens of thousands of members. Aside from Office Manager Levi Halberstadt, the staff of NCSF consists of dozens of volunteers around the country.
Every dollar that is donated to NCSF and ITCR goes to directly serving the alt sex communities. All donations to ITCR-NCSF are tax deductible. In the past decade, alternative sexual expression has become much more visible to the general public, bringing about an increasing number of attacks. The success of this fight depends on your support. You can become an individual member of NCSF, volunteer to join the NCSF staff, make a donation to NCSF, initiate or help out at a fund-raiser for NCSF, and encourage your group to become a Coalition Partner of NCSF. Every step you take helps us further the sexual freedom movement!
Check out the new and updated NCSF website at: www.ncsfreedom.org
A joint Project of NCSF and ITCR: The Foundation of NCSF The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom 822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127 Baltimore, MD 21202-3707 410-539-4824
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 www.ncsfreedom.org to see the Consent Statement and comment on it. “The Consent Statement…
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: www.ncsfreedom.org/survey.html 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…
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…
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…
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…
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.