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Friday, 07 May 2010 04:42

2009 Incident Response Report

In 2009, 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 482 individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses contacted NCSF for help in 2009. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects.

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. 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
  • 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 inquires:

  • 95.5% were driven by SM/leather/fetish issues
  • 3% by swing
  • 1% by poly
  • 0.5% by other

2009 saw an increased number of requests around criminal and domestic violence or SM/abuse related issues. NCSF worked with more than 46 attorneys representing defendants in criminal cases. In addition, we worked with more than 14 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. Our Consent Counts project hopes to address some of these issues. There is a great need for educational within our own communities regarding consent  and a great need for change in laws related to consensual adult sexual expression.

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. In addition, NCSF has implemented new criteria for incident response. The document outlining the changes is included in the packet.

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.  We have developed new workshops / FAQs for parents dealing with custody/divorce and child protective services.

NCSF’s implementation of SaleForce will help us manage our Incident Response requests in a significantly more professional and consistent way. It will provide for direct access by someone needing help through a new customer service portal and it will allow NCSF staff/volunteers to track and log all calls and action on any given request.

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!

Thursday, 06 May 2010 08:00

Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist

In addition to our Kink Aware Professionals (KAP Program, a resource for finding a Kink Aware Professional) the NCSF has added a guide on how to select a Kink-Aware Therapist.

Here is a copy of the guide, or a short FAQ of the guide.

You can also visit our KAP Database.

NCSF and the Foundation are proud to announce two new and valuable publications: A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist, and the Therapists Guide to Polyamory.

Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist, created by Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D., will help people who engage in BDSM find a therapist who can accept them without judgement 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.

"Over the years, I have received many calls from folks around the globe who wanted access to therapy that was respectful of their kink identity, but didn't know where to turn to find it," says coauthor Geri Weitzman, PhD. "We are excited to share this resource on finding kink-aware therapists with our community, in the belief that a warmly accepting therapeutic environment should be available to all."

"Therapy needs to be a place where you can feel safe to bring your whole self. I hope that our article is a helpful tool for kink-identified clients and the therapists who want to learn more about working competently with them," agrees coauthor Keely Kolmes, Psy.D.

The second publication has been years in the making: Therapists Guide to Polyamory was written by Geri Weitzman, Ph.D., Joy Davidson, Ph.D. and Robert A. Phillips, Jr., Ph.D., and edited by NCSF Foundation Chairman James R. Fleckenstein, B.A., and Carol Morotti-Meeker, M.S., M.L.S.P. This guide 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. Polyamorists can use this guide 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.

"For too long, polyamorous clients have consistently expressed concerns that their therapists completely failed to understand the clients' lifestyle choices at best; at worst, therapists immediately pathologized the clients' lifestyle and ascribed all of the clients' issues solely to the decision to have nonexclusive relationships," says NCSF Foundation Chairman Jim Fleckenstein. "This piece, written by three clinicians and thoroughly supported with three pages of references, should help put an end to this practice. I was deeply honored to have had the opportunity to co-edit this vital work."

NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that everyone can find a mental health professional who is understanding and supportive of alternative lifestyles, and believes these guides are an important addition to its Kink Aware Professionals referral list and the DSM Revision Project. A member of KAP recently wrote: "Thank you for operating this fantastic resource. All of my current clients have found me through the KAP database, which is helping me cultivate exactly the kind of practice I'd hoped for."

Also available on the NCSF website are the results of Second National Survey of Violence & Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities which found significant discrimination and persecution against BDSM practitioners. With over three thousand respondents, 37.5% indicated that they had either been discriminated against or experienced some form of harassment or violence. Over 500 comments were written by the respondents which have been gathered into "In Their Own Words" which documents the trauma experienced by those who have been persecuted.

Thursday, 02 July 2009 07:08

2008 Incident Response Report

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!  

Wednesday, 03 September 2008 08:37

DSM Revision White Paper

NCSF and the NCSF Foundation's position on the discriminatory paraphilias section in the DSM.

Because the scientific evidence contradicts the statements currently within the DSM, we must conclude that the interpretation of the Paraphilias criteria has been politically NOT scientifically based. This politically motivated interpretation subjects BDSM practitioners, fetishists and cross-dressers to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We call on the American Psychiatric Association to remove or drastically restructure the Paraphilias section in the DSM.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM) is the definitive resource on the Diagnostic Criteria for all mental disorders. It influences the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) and other entities throughout the world.

The DSM-IV-TR definition of a mental disorder is that it is "…a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering, death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom… Neither deviant behavior (e.g. political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders…" (p. xxxi)

Yet the Paraphilias section categorizes distress and dysfunction according to certain sexual behaviors, not psychological syndromes or patterns. Behavior itself is not evidence of psychopathology; compulsive hand washing may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it is not a hand-washing disorder.

A distinction must be made between the cause and the effect. There is no data to support the Paraphilias as the cause of the distress and dysfunction in individuals. In addition, discrimination and societal pressure cause significant distress for a great number of people, in which the societal stigma is the cause rather than the sexual behavior itself.

There are no clear guidelines in the DSM that distinguish a Paraphilia from "healthy" sexuality. Can paraphiliacs be distinguished from those with "healthy" sexuality, except by differences in their sexual behavior? If yes, how? Can someone prefer those exact same behaviors without meeting the diagnostic criteria? Yes, according to the DSM itself (p. 568). So why not just define the abnormal preference instead of the behavior? Diagnostic criteria that pathologize everyone and do not distinguish pathology from normal variants are useless as diagnostic tools.

The Differential Diagnosis of the Paraphilias states:

"A Paraphilia must be distinguished from the non-pathological use of sexual fantasies, behaviors, or objects as a stimulus for sexual excitement in individuals without a Paraphilia. Fantasies, behaviors, or objects are paraphilic only when they lead to clinically significant distress or impairment (e.g., are obligatory, result in sexual dysfunction, require participation of nonconsenting individuals, lead to legal complications, interfere in social relationships). (DSM, p. 568)

Let's examine each of these "indicators" of psychopathology more carefully:

1. Obligatory
Heterosexual behavior is considered "obligatory" by heterosexuals, just as homosexual behaviors are considered "obligatory" by homosexuals. Neither is considered to be a psychopathology like Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism and Transvestic Fetishism.

2. Result in sexual dysfunction
43% of women and 31% of men report sexual dysfunction (Laumann, Paik, & Rosen, 1999). Yet the DSM does not contain a diagnosis for people having difficulty with heterosexual interests such as divorce, sexual harassment, not being able to maintain their erotic attraction to their partner, not having enough sex, or not being able to find a relationship. There is no causation data that finds that being heterosexual causes dysfunction, only correlation. There is also no data indicating if sexual dysfunction is more common among heterosexuals than others.

Any sex can be problematic. Masturbation, oral sex and anal sex were once considered to be mental disorders or symptoms of other mental disorders until these behaviors became an accepted form of sexuality. Nymphomania, Satyriasias, and Erotomania are also no longer considered to be mental disorders because these diagnoses impose a cultural value judgment on sexual behavior, rather than comprising a diagnosable entity.

3. Require participation of nonconsenting individuals
Sexual assault is a crime, not a psychiatric diagnosis. Rape is not listed in the DSM. Why do other nonconsensual sex interests have a diagnosis? For Exhibitionism, Frotteurism, and Voyeurism, the diagnosis can only be made if the partner or other person has not consented to the activity. Sadomasochism without consent is a crime; if the behavior is consensual, then it should be considered the same as any other consensual sex act. Pedophilia is a crime because it involves sexual relations between adults and minors.

4. Leads to legal complications
There are a number of legal complications that can arise from consensual sexual behaviors: child custody disputes, divorce settlements, arrest for obscenity and indecency, etc. Historically homosexuals have broken laws and suffered severe social consequences due to their sexual behavior. On this basis some states denied homosexuals the right to adopt because they were breaking the law in their sexual relations. It wasn't until the abolition of state sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) that homosexual activities became legal throughout the U.S. Yet the DSM removed homosexuality as a diagnosis over 30 years ago.

5. Interferes with social relationships
Discrimination and societal pressure over certain sexual behaviors can lead to a great deal of distress and dysfunction. The individual internalizes societal values, creating a conflict between themselves and society. They can encounter prejudice from friends, relatives, partners and co-workers because of their sexual behaviors. This doesn't mean that the individual has a mental disorder. In addition, therapists' beliefs, socialization, and theoretical perspectives will likely affect their judgments of sexual behaviors when they are asked to treat this distress. Thus the Paraphilias are a diagnosis of social/sexual control.

What scientific data supports the diagnoses in the Paraphilias section?

According to the APA, "The utility and credibility [of the DSM]… require that it… be supported by an extensive empirical foundation." (p. xxiii) The DSM-IV-TR's own revision standards are:

  • "to correct any factual errors…"
  • "to ensure that all of the information is up-to-date…"
  • "to reflect new information available…"
  • "changes had to be supported by empirical data." (p. xxix)

 

The data in the DSM Paraphilias section is not supported by scientific research:

1. Paraphilias
According to the DSM: "The individual Paraphilias can be distinguished based on difference in the characteristic paraphilic focus. However, if the individual's sexual preferences meet criteria for more than one Paraphilia, all can be diagnosed." (p. 569)

“Unusual” sexual interests are commonly found in the general population (Renaud & Byers, 1999; Sue, 1979)

"There is no empirical research suggesting that even those 'appropriately' (according to the DSM criteria) diagnosed with Sexual Sadism or Sexual Masochism are likely to experience either a dangerous increase in the intensity of their SM interactions nor that Pedophilia is a likely outgrowth of these activities." (Klein & Moser, p. 238)

According to the DSM: "Many individuals with these disorders assert that the behavior causes them no distress and that their only problem is social dysfunction as a result of the reaction of others to their behavior. Others report extreme guilt, shame, and depression at having to engage in an unusual sexual activity that is socially unacceptable or that they regard as immoral." (p. 567)

"Four out of five are satisfied with their S/M orientation." (Levitt et al. p. 472)

According to the DSM: "The behaviors may increase in response to psychosocial stressors, in relation to other mental disorders, or with increased opportunity to engage in the Paraphilia." (p. 568)

"The non-clinical studies of individuals with unusual sexual interests demonstrate that these individuals are indistinguishable from those with 'normophilic' (i.e., conventional) sexual interests." (Moser & Kleinplatz, 2003, p. 96)

2. Sexual Sadism
According to the DSM: "Some individuals with this Paraphilia are bothered by their sadistic fantasies, which may be invoked during sexual activities but not otherwise acted on; in such cases the sadistic fantasies usually involve having complete control over the victim, who is terrified by anticipation of the impending sadistic act. Others act on the sadistic sexual urges with a consenting partner (who may have Sexual Masochism) who willingly suffers pain or humiliation. Still others with Sexual Sadism act on their sadistic sexual urges with nonconsenting victims." (p. 573)

"The data suggest that the majority of rapists are not motivated by sadism." (Groth & Hobson, 1983; Hucker, 1997).

According to the DSM: "Sadistic fantasies or acts may involve activities that indicate the dominance of the person over the victim (e.g., forcing the victim to crawl or keeping the victim in a cage). They may also involve restraint, blindfolding, paddling, spanking, whipping, pinching, beating, burning, electrical shocks, rape, cutting, stabbing, strangulation, torture, mutilation, or killing." (DSM, p. 573)

"The inclusion of nonconsent is especially problematic in the case of Sexual Sadism. Although it is clearly possible for an individual with the diagnosis of Sexual Sadism to engage in nonconsensual acts, most “sadists” do not seek non-consenting partners." (Moser, 1999; Weinberg, Williams, & Moser, 1984)

"Just as it is inappropriate to confuse rapists with those individuals interested in consensual sexual activities, the lumping of individuals interested in consensual sexual sadism with those who engage in non-consensual activities is similarly inappropriate." (McConaghy, 1999)

According to the DSM: "Sadistic or masochist behaviors may lead to injuries ranging in extent from minor to life threatening." (DSM, p. 567)

"Although any sexual activity can lead to injury, there is no data to suggest that the practitioners of “sadistic or masochistic behaviors” frequent emergency departments more often than practitioners of other sexual behaviors. A review of the sports medicine and emergency medicine literature reveals numerous studies of specific injuries related to various sports and other activities. If unusual sexual acts resulted in a significant number of injuries, presumably they, too, would appear prominently in the medical literature." (Moser & Kleinplatz, 2005)

3. Sexual Masochism
According to the DSM: "Except for Sexual Masochism, where the sex ratio is estimated to be 20 males for each female, the other Paraphilias are almost never diagnosed in females, although some cases have been reported." (p. 568)

No studies have been found to support the 20:1 statement. Several studies were found that reported a significant number of women in the SM subculture (Breslow, Evans, & Langley, 1985; Gosselin, Wilson, & Barrett, 1991; Levitt, Moser, & Jamison, 1994). By combining the data of Breslow et al. (1985) and Levitt et al. (1994), a ratio of four male masochists to each female masochist was found. Even if clinical samples are overwhelmingly male, no study supports the naming of a specific ratio.

According to the DSM: "One particularly dangerous form of Sexual Masochism, called "hypoxyphilia," involves sexual arousal by oxygen deprivation obtained by means of chest compression, noose, ligature, plastic bag, mask or chemical (often a volatile nitrite that produces a temporary decrease in brain oxygenation by peripheral vasodilation). (DSM, pp. 572-3)

“In contrast to transvestism, bondage during the fatal asphyxial episode was not differentially associated with any specific erotic object or interest that we examined, even bondage pornography.” (Blanchard and Hucker, 1991, p. 375).

4. Transvestic Fetishism
According to the DSM: "Usually the male with Transvestic Fetishism keeps a collection of female clothes that he intermittently uses to cross-dress. This disorder has been described only in heterosexual males... Although his basic preference is heterosexual, he tends to have few sexual partners and may have engaged in occasional homosexual acts. An associated feature may be the presence of Sexual Masochism." (DSM p. 574)

"Cross-dressers… are virtually indistinguishable from non-cross-dressers [on the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory (DSFI)]." Brown, et al. (1996, p. 265).

Summary

Because the scientific evidence contradicts the statements currently within the DSM, we must conclude that the interpretation of the Paraphilias criteria has been politically – not scientifically – based. Because of this, BDSM practitioners, fetishists and cross-dressers are subject to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We call on the American Psychiatric Association to remove or drastically restructure the Paraphilias section in the DSM.

Bibliography

  • Blanchard, R., & Hucker, S.J. (1991). Age, transvestism, bondage, and concurrent paraphilic activities in 117 fatal cases of autoerotic sphyxia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 159:371-377.
  • Breslow, N., Evans, L., & Langley, J. (1986). Comparisons among heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual male sadomasochists. Journal of Homosexuality 12(1), 83-107.
  • Brown, G.R., Wise, T.N., Costa, P.T., Herbst, J.H., Fagan, P.J., & Schmidt, C.W. (1996). Personality characteristics and sexual functioning of 188 cross-dressing men. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 184, 265-273.
  • Groth, N., & Hobson, W. (1983). The dynamics of sexual assault. In L. Schlesinger & E. Revitch (Eds.), Sexual Dynamics of Anti-social Behavior. Springfield, IL: Thomas.
  • Klein, M., & Moser, C. SM (Sadomasochiststic) Interests as an issue in a child custody proceeding. Journal of Homosexuality, 50 (2/3), 2006.
  • Levit, E.E., Moser, C., & Jamison, K.V. (1994). The prevalence and some attributes of females in the sadomasochistic subculture; A second report. Archives of Sexual Behavior 23, 465-473.
  • McConaghy, N. (1999). Unresolved issues in scientific sexology. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 28, 285-302.
  • Moser, C. and Kleinplatz, P.J. (2005). DSM-IV-TR and the paraphilias: An argument for removal, Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 17(3/4), 91-109.
  • Renaud, C., & Byers, E. S. (1999). Exploring the frequency, diversity and content of university students’ positive and negative sexual cognitions. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 8 (1), 17-30.
  • Sue, D. (1979). Erotic fantasies of college students during coitus. Journal of Sex Research, 15, 299-305.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 09:50

10th Anniversary Historical Perspective

     See what NCSF's CP groups *really* think about NCSF....

 

HISTORICAL  RETROSPECTIVE

THE COALITION PARTNER  PERSPECTIVE

By NCSF Coalition Partners across the nation

 

 

Compiled, edited and narrated by Mistress Lisa,

NCSF Outreach Committee Member & CP Rep for  L.A.D.s.

 


When asked to write an  article about NCSF over the past 10 years from the CP (Coalition Partner) Representatives'  perspective, it was only logical to share that honor with my fellow CP  Reps. There are currently 51 Coalition partner groups throughout the country. The intent of this article was not to prepare a graduate thesis;  therefore those that contributed understood that we would have to prune their  generous comments to avoid being redundant.  We are sharing important points that are  echoed by many so that all can know about NCSF and what it means to the various and  diverse groups throughout the country and the individuals that they represent.

 

We have compiled some of the many responses to a questionnaire distributed to our CP Reps. Only those that  generously consented to sharing them publicly, are being used. NCSF is very grateful to all the CP Reps for  their continued support of the NCSF Mission and to those who took the  time to offer their honest experience by participating in this 10th Anniversary  Historical Retrospective from the CP perspective.  We all learn from the experience of  those that have gone before us. Together we grow, find strength and achieve progress.

 

When asked to write her comments for this article, Susan  Wright (the founder of NCSF) shared  her vision regarding the governance of the organization and why she instituted  the concept of Coalition Partners. The balance of this article contains Susan Wright's comments followed by  those of various and diverse CP Reps from around the  country. 


"NCSF was the first national advocacy organization for the BDSM subculture. Rather than appointing a board of individuals to set policy and run the group, we are made up of a national coalition. In order to be directly responsive to our constituents, we had to rely on a broad-based coalition of the educational and social groups that formed the foundation of our communities. So I made NCSF a coalition of these groups; they determine our strategy and goals because their groups consist of the people we serve. We rely on our Coalition Partners to spread the word about NCSF's resources for community members, and to relay information to NCSF about the needs of the community".

- Susan Wright, NCSF Founder

Why does your group  support NCSF?

 

"NCSF has provided support and assistance to groups, businesses and individuals being treated unfairly for their alternative sexual and/or relationship interests. They provide education to health care workers and law enforcement and others around the country and distribute educational material to those in our community".

- caryl, Club X CP Rep, San Diego, CA *2001 –

"NCSF does critical work and advocacy in support of the interests of TES and its community.  They are better equipped to deal with some of the larger issues".
- Mark Richards, The Eulenspiegel Society (TES) CP Rep, New York, NY *1997

"We are not a political or activist group, so we like that NCSF can do this work".
- Lolita Wolf, Lesbian Sex Mafia CP Rep, New York, NY *2001

"NCSF is the only national organization that is committed to defending our rights. Our lifestyle is so poorly understood and misrepresented in the media. We cannot count on other organizations, including the ACLU and various Gay/Bi/Lesbian advocacy groups".
- Gary McMillen, Society of Janus CP Rep, San Francisco, CA *1997

"NCSF  is an important part of the sex positive  community".
- Allena Gabosch, The Center For Sex Positive Culture CP Rep, Seattle, WA
*2002

"NCSF is the only national organization providing incident response to individuals, businesses and organizations in the leather community. It is also the only group doing media work on our behalf".
- Glenda Rider, FIST CP Rep, Baltimore, MD *1999

"NCSF is the best way for the diverse kink community to face the hostile aspects of our government and contend with those who wish to slander and negatively attack our lifestyle".
- Daniel Kitchen, GMSMA CP Rep, New York, NY *1997

"NCSF is a central point for various individuals and organizations to unify, under the common goal of freedom to indulge in consensual alternative lifestyles and practices, sans persecution or prosecution. It provides validation, support, protection and information regarding our rights and how to protect them, when or if they are ever threatened".
- Mistress Lisa, Los Angeles Dommes and subs (LADs) CP Rep, Los Angeles, CA
*2005

How has NCSF supported  your group and its members?

 

"NCSF supported our group during the San Diego Six court cases of 1999/2000. Once the press releases started getting sent all over the country by Club X, NCSF contacted our group and was able to help give advice on strategy with law enforcement and press releases. They also helped in vetting Club X and letting people all over know that, yes, this was a valid group with a valid problem that was deserving of help".
- caryl, Club X CP Rep, San Diego, CA *2001

"NCSF's advice and help were critical in successfully dealing with problems surrounding our 30th anniversary event (TES 30). It was key in successfully dealing with law enforcement and regulatory authorities at this and subsequent TES events".
- Mark Richards, The Eulenspiegel Society (TES) CP Rep, New York, N.Y. *1997

"NCSF has supported Black BEAT since our inception by sending representatives to our events, providing us with informational material to give to our members and are always there if we have questions".
- Ivolee, Black BEAT, Baltimore CP Rep, Maryland *2002

 

"We  have worked with Susan Wright on numerous press releases and strategies involving issues like overturning Cendant's** (6,500 hotels)  "Controversial Guest" policy, writing the "Alternative Events" policy for  Marriott Corp** (2,900 properties) and Intercontinental  Hotels** (3,800 hotels).  NCSF also helped us with the cancellation of "Fetish in the Fall"  interviews on 20/20, Oprah, CNN, Fox News & other national news media, Raids  on "swing clubs" all across the country, creation of a LEOP (Legal Education  Opportunity Program) for swing clubs and much more".
- Bob Hannaford, French Connection Events CP Rep, New Orleans, LA *2004

"NCSF came to the aid of our founder when her business was shut down by Baltimore City for zoning violations in 1998.  They were part of a successful team effort to get Play House reopened.  Members of our group have also availed themselves of KAP referral information".
- Glenda Rider, FIST CP Rep, Baltimore, MD *1999

"NCSF has been there to support members of the BDSM, Leather and Fetish community in San Francisco.  The most recent example being the attempt by local "neighborhood activists" to interfere with the sale of the National Guard Armory Building to kink.com".
- Gary McMillen, Society of Janus CP Rep, San Francisco, CA *1997

"Members use the NCSF for incident responses and also we've had NCSF reps do educational events for us".
- Allena Gabosch, The Center For Sex Positive Culture CP Rep, Seattle, WA
*2002

 

What does NCSF mean to you, as a CP Rep?

 

"NCSF is an organization which can do the work necessary to keep us informed about the social and political events and opinions in our country as they relate to kink and other alternative sex practices.  It is also a group that is an agent for change and progress in the struggle for acceptance of who we are and how we love".
- Glenda Rider, FIST CP Rep, Baltimore, MD *1999

"NCSF is a much needed resource that always points us in the right direction".
-  Ivolee, Black BEAT CP Rep, Baltimore, Maryland *2002

"As we get further into what I see as a sex positive renaissance this country needs organizations like NCSF to be there as there will be pushback from the right for many more years to come.
- Allena Gabosch, The Center For Sex Positive Culture CP Rep, Seattle, WA
*2002

"NCSF offers the hope of a continued fight against sexual repression, anti sex laws, adoption of restrictive zoning and permit language and help with press releases, public awareness and media consultation".
- Bob Hannaford, French Connection Events CP Rep, New Orleans, LA *2004

"NCSF means activism and advocacy  that both supplements and transcends the efforts of our individual organizations  in supporting the choices and lifestyles of consenting adults".
- Mark  Richards, The Eulenspiegel Society (TES)  CP Rep, New  York, N.Y.
*1997

"NCSF gives us the ways and means to protect our members, programs, events and freedom to be who we area".
- Master Z, Leather SINS, NFP CP Rep, Chicago, IL *2003

"NCSF provides the best opportunity for all of us from a diverse backgrounds to organize and fight together for our constitutional rights to free sexual expression".

- Daniel Kitchen, GMSMA CP Rep, New York, NY *1997

"NCSF has provided me with the opportunity to meet and work with dozens of dedicated activists from around the country, to learn about some of the issues facing their communities, and to participate if finding solutions".

- Gary McMillen, Society of Janus CP Rep, San Francisco, CA *1997

 

 

What do the CP Reps hope to see in the future for NCSF?

 

We had similar responses by many.  Some wanted NCSF to identify  specific legal issues and/or government policy that concern us and  then to have lobbyists work to effect changes in legislation to enable us  to achieve our goals. Everyone seemed to want to see a stronger  membership with more revenue, so we can have a full time staff for the organization's operation and growth, since it is  fueled predominantly by volunteers. Some suggested  that_  NCSF _ (https://ncsfreedom.org/) have its own event. Many desire involvement  of more alternative  lifestyle advocacy groups and envision NCSF continuing  to be the first place people come for help.

 

In Summation


"NCSF has been essential to the progress, however small and hard won, that the BDSM, Leather and Fetish communities have made towards social acceptance in the last ten years.  It has also helped thousands of people deal with the challenges society has thrown at them, such as legal problems with zoning, child custody, assault, battery and kidnapping charges or social issues like job loss or being thrown out of their homes by a landlord who doesn't like their lifestyle.  NCSF has always been willing to help with referrals, media assistance and moral support.  Given our country's drift toward a more conservative environment over the last ten years I shudder to think where our people would be if NCSF hadn't been doing this critical work on our behalf".
- Glenda Rider, FIST CP Rep, Baltimore, MD *1999


*    The year that the organization joined NCSF
**   Corporations that own popular hotel chains

Tuesday, 09 September 2008 07:56

2007 Incident Response Report

In 2007, 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 50 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 640 individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses contacted NCSF for help in 2007. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects. 

NCSF received 647 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 341 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 two 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. 

  • 12% were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence issues
  • 23% were regarding criminal complaint issues
  • 4% were regarding employment discrimination
  • 14% were regarding child custody/divorce issues
  • 2.5% were in reference to child protective services’ complaints
  • 17% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues
  • 2% were classed as non-employment discrimination
  • 15% were related to swing community issues
  • 3% were regarding online obscenity issues
  • 4.5% were regarding zoning issues
  • 3% were classed as “other” 

Of the inquires received:

  • 72% were driven by SM/leather/fetish issues
  • 19% by swing
  • 6% by poly
  • 3% by other. 

 

2007 saw an increased number of requests particularly in reference to criminal charges related to SM conduct. NCSF worked with more than 26 attorneys representing defendants in criminal cases. In addition, we worked with more than 17 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.  Some jurisdictions are definitely doing a better job than others. However, it’s been very difficult to see a trend where one area of the country is more tolerant than others. Tolerance still seems to be largely defined by the mindset of the prosecutor or police officer on the scene.

Many swing and SM groups experienced a higher reported rate of troubling incidents with local media, zoning and law enforcement this last year. There’s been a significant increase in reported problems with swing organizations- many of whom are organizing pay at the door events in residential neighborhoods. Clearly we need to begin to address this issue both from within our own constituency and in our work with law and zoning enforcement.

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.

2008 incident response statistics are currently being compiled. As of the end of July 2008, more than 413 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!

Thursday, 16 August 2007 05:43

2006 Incident Response Report

In 2006, 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 2006. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects.

NCSF received 521 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 289 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.

  • 13% were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence issues
  • 6% were regarding criminal complaint issues
  • 7% were regarding employment discrimination
  • 13.5% were regarding child custody/divorce issues
  • 5.5% were in reference to child protective services’ complaints
  • 14.5% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues
  • 9% were classed as non-employment discrimination
  • 8% were related to swing community issues
  • 8% were regarding online obscenity issues
  • 10.5% were regarding zoning issues
  • 5% were classed as “other”

Of the inquires:

  • 73.5% were driven by SM/leather/fetish issues
  • 15% by swing
  • 7% by poly
  • 4.5% by other

 

2006 saw an increased number of requests around criminal and domestic violence or SM/abuse related issues. NCSF worked with more than 30 attorneys representing defendants in criminal cases. In addition, we worked with more than 10 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.

2006 incident response statistics are currently being compiled. As of the end of July 2007, more than 346 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!

Donations made to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Inc are not deductible for charitable tax purposes.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127
Baltimore, MD 21202-3707

phone: 410-539-4824

Tristan Taormino interviews former NCSF Executive Director Judy Guerin.

"Sex Activist Judy Guerin Talks Bush and BDSM"

Reprinted with permission from On Our Backs Magazine

By Tristan Taormino

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) was formed in 1997 as a national advocacy and lobbying organization that promotes tolerance of consenting adults to perform alternative sexual expression. NCSF's primary focus is the SM/leather/fetish community because it's such a large constituency that nobody else represents in Washington, DC. NCSF holds a seat on the National Policy Roundtable of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force where it meets with about 55 other groups like the Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, ACLU, and AFL-CIO to talk about national strategic issues related to policy.

At 48, Judy Guerin, mother of three and longtime SM practitioner, was ready to retire. Instead, at the urging of community members, she took the job of executive director of NCSF, which plans to open its official office this spring in Washington, DC. Just before a March meeting of the National Policy Roundtable to discuss sex and politics and teaching GLBT leaders to be more comfortable addressing issues of sex, On Our Backs spoke to Guerin about sex activism and the bumpy road ahead under Bush and Ashcroft.

On Our Backs: So how did you become executive director of NCSF? Isn't it an unpaid job?

Judy Guerin: Yes, I'm doing it for free. NCSF really can't afford to have anyone in a paid position at this particular point in time. I've been involved in both the transgender and the SM/leather/fetish communities for a long period of time as an activist, and people knew that my children were getting ready to go off to college, and that I was getting ready to retire. They thought it would be a good opportunity to get me back involved in community organizing.

On Our Backs: So this was your idea of retiring?

Judy Guerin: Yes.

On Our Backs: What do your kids think of your job defending kinky people?

Judy Guerin: They actually are very supportive of it and think it's great. One of them is heterosexual, one is bisexual, and one is gay. I've raised my children to be very open-minded and diverse in their thinking. I've had interesting reactions from other people. A lot of people ask me, "What's a nice girl like you doing in a job like this?"

On Our Backs: And what's your answer to that?

Judy Guerin: [laughs] Well, my answer is that I'm fighting for sexual freedom rights, which I think is an important cause and deserves attention. I'm not afraid to say that I'm involved personally in alternative sexual practices, and that I've been a victim of discrimination and other things as a result of it, as have many practitioners.

On Our Backs: So your personal history is part of why you're so passionate about your job.

Judy Guerin: My involvement in SM/leather/fetish started really before there were organized communities, so I grew up feeling very much like a gay or transgendered person might feel. I felt different, abnormal, like I didn't fit in, and I wasn't able to share this with other people. It was a great feeling of freedom to actually be able to realize that this is a very common interest and it's not abnormal and lots of people do it. Today, it's much easier to do because there's much more information available. But 15 or 20 years ago, that was not the case, and people still today experience tremendous discrimination because of it.

On Our Backs: What are some of the things NCSF does?

Judy Guerin: We work on a lot of incidents when people get arrested because they're doing SM or clubs get shut down. We send a team of people out and we work with the media to try to get the situation portrayed properly. We work with the communities to organize and to try to figure out what to do legally, politically, and financially. We're seeing more and more of these incidents because the sexual freedom movement in the United States has really taken hold, and it's started to have a lot of activity now.

On Our Backs: That's very much like the gay and lesbian movement. The more visibility of gay and lesbian people, the higher incidence of hate crimes. Do you feel the same things in the sex-positive community?

Judy Guerin: Yes, it's just a natural part of the process, and the way that any movement wins its rights. We've seen a tremendous explosion of people coming out of the SM closet over the past three to five years.

On Our Backs: Wasn't NCSF involved in the Attleboro case last year?

Judy Guerin: Yes. Attleboro was a case where an SM play party in Attleboro, Massachusetts, was raided by police. A woman was arrested for "assault with a deadly weapon", for allegedly striking another woman with a wooden spoon. In Massachusetts, consent is not a defense, and there's some previous case history related to an SM case in the seventies that is not favorable toward this. The person who hosted the party was also arrested on a variety of charges. Both of those cases are still pending. We were really successful in turning the initial media response around. At first, the media focused on "Sadomasochistic Sex Club Raided by Police", which makes it sound like all of the people were perverts and deviants; after we came in, the media began questioning whether the police themselves infringed on people's civil rights.

On Our Backs: Sex and politics haven't had such a great relationship, especially recently. Do you think it is still difficult to talk about sex in a political arena?

Judy Guerin: I think it's a little bit more acceptable to talk about sex, even more than it was two years ago, primarily because of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair. I mean, once the word "pussy" was said on a national news program - ex-Presidential Counsel Lloyd Cutler told Mike Wallace that it is as normal for the President to "talk pussy" with his friend, Vernon Jordan, as it would be for anyone else - sex was being much more openly discussed on television. It just became very common for people to hear about sex that was a bit unusual, with cigars, for example. So if you review all of the academic studies and papers that have been written about the impact of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, I think the one positive aspect for the sexual freedom movement is that it is now a little bit more acceptable to talk about sex. Also, the young people in the United States who've grown up in the MTV generation have a very different and much more fluid view of sex, sexuality, and gender than people in my generation do.

On Our Backs: So now that Clinton is gone, and we've got Bush, what do you think is in store for queer people and perverts and leatherfolk under Bush? Did your duties double once he was elected?

Judy Guerin: One of our main concerns is that during this presidential term, there is a likelihood that there will be several Supreme Court Justice nominations, possibly three or four. It's already a very conservative and split court. Appointments that Bush makes will impact our lives for the next 50 years since these are lifetime appointments. I think the good news about the way the election happened is that it limits somewhat how conservative this administration can get, but I don't think any of us are encouraged by some of what we've seen so far, particularly the appointment of John Aschroft.

On Our Backs: I've heard rumors that, for example, the porn industry is terrified. They're hysterical about Ashcroft's new job. People who run adult businesses are concerned about being shut down or being targeted with obscenity laws. Do you think it's realistic?

Judy Guerin: I just think that whenever possible there will be conservative trends to target groups or prosecute for obscenity based on morality issues related to the radical Right.

On Our Backs: If someone runs their own local BDSM organization or support group or party, what should they do to protect themselves?

Judy Guerin: It really depends on the circumstances. We have a national law enforcement outreach program, and we not only go around the country and educated law enforcement about the difference between SM and abuse and domestic violence, but also educate the community in how to protect themselves legally, both private citizens and groups doing different types of events. The problem with SM and the law is that it's poorly defined; many times the laws are vague. I think that these attacks will continue, and I think that they'll get worse, because as it becomes less acceptable socially to persecute gays and lesbians, these people will look at other people to persecute, and SM folks are really the next group on the list. On the other hand, you know, the Republicans do have strong beliefs in privacy rights, and that's how we will approach the issue with the administration is that what consenting adults do in private shouldn't have government interference.

On Our Backs: But don't you also think that especially more radical Republicans are into privacy rights except for, notably, gays and lesbians, minorities, and other people who fall outside their idea of "normal". They like privacy, but it is applied with a double standard.

Judy Guerin: I think that's true. While I said earlier that it's a little easier to talk about sex in the United States right now, it's not politically comfortable certainly to talk about sex. Politicians are not likely to endorse sex-positive initiatives that may have some moral implications for them. I think it's a difficult four years, and I'm disappointed that we're dealing with this administration. But I also think that if you look at what's happened with the GLBT movement during Republican administrations, there's also a strong unity building and a strong movement building during those periods of times. I think we have a big job socially to change the perception of SM that gets constant negative reinforcement in the media and entertainment industry. I think this is a good opportunity for the SM/leather/fetish community to really unite, get organized, and do some of the groundwork we need to move forward in the future.

 

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In the News

In the News

  • Press Release - NCSF Marching Forward

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National Coalition for Sexual Freedom     Marching Forward: NCSF proactively advocates for sexual freedom   November 19, 2008 - NCSF is 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, swing and polyamory communities. The new board of NCSF was voted in at the annual Coalition Partner…






    Tags: DSM Incident Response KAP Media Outreach EOP
What is SM?
Publications

Publications

  • EOP Overview
    EOP Overview Mission Statement and a brief description of goals and presentations offered
  • Law Enforcement Field Guide to SM
    Law Enforcement Field Guide to SM The purpose of this brochure is to provide law enforcement with a basic level of understanding about adults whose sexuality and lovemaking includes consensual sadomasochistic (SM) activities, and to provide information to assist you when you encounter an SM event.
  • SM vs. Abuse - Leather Leadership Conference Statement
    SM vs. Abuse - Leather Leadership Conference Statement This brochure is intended to help law enforcement and social services professionals understand the difference between abusive relationships vs. consensual sadomasochism (SM).
  • Wallet Card
    Wallet Card (Word document) A pocket reference for dealing with law enforcement
Presentations

Presentations

  • Approaching Your Local Authorities
    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). …
  • Child Custody & Divorce: Considerations for Alternative Lifestyles
    Child Custody & Divorce: Considerations for Alternative Lifestyles The problems that arise in child custody disputes between spouses and partners create special concerns for members of the SM/leather/fetish/poly communities. In…
  • Doing SM Related Legal Research
    Doing SM Related Legal Research The law is interpreted – sometimes to our favor, and sometimes not.  For example, while the NCSF firmly believes that consensual SM activity between adults…
  • Event/hotel negotiation
    The purpose of this material is to assist SM/Leather/Fetish groups who are considering hosting an alternative lifestyle event. The goal in presenting this material is to assist in developing a…
  • Field guide for law enforcement
    The following is a handout prepared by The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom aimed at educating law enforcement on the realities of SM. The purpose of this handout is to…
  • How to choose an attorney
    Choosing a lawyer can be difficult, especially if you have to do it at the time you are arrested.  If at all possible, establishing a working relationship with an attorney…
  • Juvenile/CPS/Child Services for BDSM Parents
    Juvenile/CPS/Child Services for BDSM Parents The concerns that result from contact with local and state child welfare authorities are occasionally troublesome for members of the SM/leather/fetish/poly communities. It is often…
  • Life & Death Issues for the Alternative Community
    The purpose of this presentation is to acquaint members of the alternative lifestyle communities  with issues that may arise from the nature of their relationships both during life as well…
  • Police Interactions ? What to do when you deal with police
    Police Interactions ? What to do when you deal with police Your basic legal rights and responsibilities may not always be clearly defined by law enforcement officials. If stopped or…
  • Protecting Your Event
    Protecting Your Event There are many considerations organizers must contend with when planning a large event. Large events include educational and social conferences, leather contests, weekend play parties, vendor markets,…
  • Protecting Yourself Legally
    Protecting Yourself Legally Members of the SM/leather/fetish communities have always had some level of concern regarding the issues of privacy, discretion, and personal security. The Radical Right, employers, ex-partners, and…
  • SM Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues
    SM Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues It is important for SM/leather/fetish groups to have an understanding of the relationship between the SM community and law enforcement and of the…
  • Swing Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues
    Swing Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues It is important for swing groups and businesses to have an understanding of the relationship between the swing community and law enforcement, as…
  • The Alleged Domestic Violence Call
    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…
  • Traveling With Toys
    Traveling With Toys While there have always been security issues involved in travel, the current political climate, as well as new legislation, has changed the procedures used to achieve security,…
  • What is SM Presentation
    For detailed information about the content of this presentation, please visit What is SM?
  • Zoning for SM & Swing Groups and Businesses
    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…

Request a workshop for your local
community, event or group.

Educational Outreach: We're Making a Difference

  • Over 20 different workshops available for presentation by trained professionals.
  • Over 400 EOP workshops presented across the country in the last 12 years.

About Educational Outreach

The Education Outreach Program is designed to help educate those inside and outside the community about important issues relevant to those who practice consensual BDSM, swinging and polyamory.

Program Goals:
  • To assist SM-Leather-Fetish, swing and polyamory groups and communities in their efforts to educate themselves about issues that affect their communities and individual relationships
  • To provide law enforcement and other government authorities with information about alternative sexuality as appropriate
  • To assist alternative sexuality groups and communities in their efforts to educate and work with their local law enforcement and other authorities
Contacts:

EOP@ncsfreedom.org
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