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Approaching Your Local Authorities
The purpose of this presentation is to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, or other authorities about SM-Leather- Fetish and/or swing practices on behalf of a local group(s).  NCSF's goal in presenting this material is to help local group(s) to develop a positive relationship with their local authorities.  The contents and delivery method of the outreach presentation are designed on a case-by-case basis.  We suggest that local groups work together when presenting info
to local officials.

PDF Coming Soon


 

 

 

 

Zoning for SM & Swing Groups and Businesses
Zoning and permit issues are commonly used as a tool of local governments when seeking a method to attack SM groups and businesses.  Typical "crimes" such as indecent exposure, lewd conduct, and the like are subject to interpretation by the police, prosecutor, and courts.  Successful prosecution is
certainly possible but not guaranteed.  Zoning and permit violations tend to be very cut and dry comparatively.  For this reason, administrative issues are frequently used as tools to either move or shut down SM activities.   
 
It is important for our community to have an understanding of these administrative rules in order to safely organize and maintain SM activities and functions.  Zoning and permits vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  This discussion will attempt address these issues in a general, overview
fashion.  The attendees will benefit from the experiences of the panelists who have all dealt with legal and/or scene?related administrative issues.   
 
There are numerous licensing, zoning, and permit requirements at all levels of government ? federal, state, regional, county and city.  It's not easy to determine what licenses and permits you'll need, but it's very important.  You should thoroughly research this issue if your SM organization or business may come under the scrutiny of law enforcement or local authorities.  If you ignore these issues, you may face expenses and hassles you hadn't anticipated, and certainly don't desire.
 
Administrative (zoning, permit, and license) requirements can affect where you locate your organization or business, limit or require some remodeling, whether or not you'll have to provide off? street parking, whether you can serve alcohol, whether you can charge admission at the door, etc.  If requirements are too restrictive you might decide to avoid the hassle and move to another jurisdiction ? if you find one that has fewer restrictions.   Each jurisdiction has its own system of licensing, zoning, and permits. Obviously, it's impossible to provide a comprehensive list of every permit and license in every jurisdiction, so we must address items in general.

 

PDF coming soon

The Alleged Domestic Violence Call

It is important for SM/leather/fetish persons to have an understanding of the relationship between the SM community and law enforcement and of the numerous legal issues that can effect us ? specifically the law enforcement response to an alleged domestic violence call. Once this is accomplished, we can constructively interact with law enforcement if the need arises. This presentation will focus on two aspects of this relationship ? constructively dealing with officers and avoiding legal trouble. This workshop does not go in depth about the "cycle of abuse" or "real/actual" domestic violence, rather it is about consensual SM being misinterpreted as domestic violence by law enforcement. The discussion is designed to include the following sub?topics:

  • Our attitudes towards law enforcement
  • The attitudes of law enforcement toward the SM community and SM activities
  • Reasons for law enforcement to take action against a SM activities
  • Effective interaction with law enforcement
  • Society's domestic violence concern
  • The alleged domestic call
  • Things SM persons should do
  • Things SM persons could do

The law is a complex and ever?evolving system and has a long way to go before it takes all alternative lifestyles into consideration. In the meantime, we need to be as familiar with the law and of law enforcement as we can be. Utilizing our knowledge, people skills, and common sense, we can hopefully avoid becoming victimized by the society we live in.

PDF Coming Soon

 

 

 

Almost any day, you can find some reference to our kink lifestyle in the media. Because our choices are often sensationalized and mis-represented, it can be difficult for public organizations, our government, law officers and our courts to understand the vital difference consent makes. And within our own communities, we need to share the message that for all orientations and experience levels - Consent Counts!

Domestic violence is a pattern of intentional intimidation of one partner to coerce or isolate the other partner without consent. Abuse tends to be cyclical in nature, escalates over time, and characterized by apologies between the episodes that it will never happen again.
SM is not abuse or domestic violence because:
  • SM is voluntary. The partners agree to erotic power exchange of their own free will and choice. Either partner is free to leave at any time. The fact that SM relationships do split (amiably or not) without retaliation or violence supports the importance of this distinction.
  • SM is consensual. All partners involved agree to what is going to happen. Discussion of limits is usual and customary. Violation of those limits is a serious offense within the SM community.
  • SM partners are informed. Participants involved in erotic power exchange have an understanding of the possible consequences.
  • SM partners ask for and enjoy the behavior; they are often disappointed if the behavior does not happen. There is no apology for the behavior after it is over, rather both partners are happy and satisfied that it occurred.
  • SM partners take great care to make sure that their activities are as safe as possible. To truly damage their partner would deny themselves of being able to participate in the behavior. Individuals that violate their partners limits soon find that they are lacking partners in which to engage in the behavior. To emphasize the point, SM groups frequent hold educational meetings on how to safely engage in the behavior.
 
Nonetheless, as with any group of people, you will find cases of domestic violence among SM practitioners. The organized SM-Leather-Fetish community does not condone domestic violence and actively encourages victims and abusers to seek help.
 
Sociologist Thomas S. Weinberg is the author of numerous professional articles on human sexuality in various scholarly journals. In Studies in Dominance & Submission, Dr. Weinberg says:
 
"While the individuals we have discussed are different in many ways there are, nevertheless, some common themes running through them. These similarities are all related to S&M as a form of social interaction. For example, the importance of learning both attitudes and techniques through a socialization process is evident in all of these [sigma] In order for an S&M scene to be successful, from the viewpoint of both partners, it must be collaboratively worked out. Unless there is satisfaction on the part of both master (or mistress) and slave, the relationship will terminate. Thus, there must be agreement on the scene and consent given by both parties. Adjustments must be made by participants so that they are both stimulated."
 
Thomas S. Weinberg (1995). Studies in Dominance & Submission, Prometheus Books: pg. 89.
Published in What is SM
DSM-V in the News

DSM-V in the News

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    February 13, 2008 - The American Family News Network posted an inflammatory article condemning the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for honoring Guy Baldwin with  their Leather Leadership Award at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality:  Creating Change, on February 6-10, 2008 (www.thetaskforce.org). According to the February 7th article: Peter LaBarbera, executive director of Americans for Truth commented that he is  not sure if he is more surprised…






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Resources
Learn More about DSM-V
ACT Now - Request a workshop about the DSM Revision project
Request a workshop from our Education Outreach Program on this issue.

DSM-V: We're Making a Difference

  • Over 3000 signatures on DSM-V Revision Petition submitted APA
  • NCSF Letter to the Editor published in Archives of Sexual Behavior
  • NCSF has helped successfully lobby for the new proposed changes to the DSM-V which depathologizes BDSM

About DSM-V Revision Project

The DSM Revision project is attempting to depathologize BDSM in the APA Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.

Goal:
The goal of the DSM-V Revision Project is to keep people from being discriminated against and persecuted because the current APA guidelines say BDSM is indicative of mental illness.

Contact:
Susan Wright
,
NCSF Board Member
Director of the DSM-V Revision Project.
susan@ncsfreedom.org

GIVE Now - Support NCSF DSM Revision work
Help fund education efforts to the APA and therapeutic professionals
JOIN Now - Become a member of the NCSF
Join NCSF and help support our work to depatholigize BDSM