The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom supports the rights of adults at Iowa State University to maintain their educational and social SM group, Cuffs. NCSF condemns any form of discrimination or persecution of consenting adults who engage in SM educational activities, and calls for Cuffs' organizational privileges to be reinstated and for the assault allegations to be dropped at the March 1st investigative hearing by Iowa State University.
University-approved SM groups serve an important function by providing necessary safe sex education for students. SM is recognized as a normal form of sexual expression and is practiced routinely by approximately 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. To serve these millions of people, there are over 500 educational and social SM groups in the U.S. alone teaching adults about safe, sane and consensual sexual expression.
SM is not assault. SM does not involve inflicting unwanted, offensive or fearful activities on an individual. People who engage in SM activities do so willingly and consensually and they can stop the activities at any time. This is similar to the behavior that is involved in many sporting activities such as Iowa State's Boxing Club or football team.
Regarding assault, Iowa State Criminal Code Section 708.1 states:
"Provided, that where the person doing any of the above enumerated acts, and such other person, are voluntary participants in a sport, social or other activity, not in itself criminal, and such act is a reasonably foreseeable incident of such sport or activity, and does not create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or breach of the peace, the act shall not be an assault."
Cuffs workshops are voluntary and by definition cannot be criminal. "Case law in Iowa does not explicitly define SM activities as crimes or assault; they're simply not offered any special protection under the law," states Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF. "The current controversy over Cuffs has arisen simply because SM involves sexual behavior."
The NCSF Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) program provides assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities who become victimized because of SM, leather, fetish, or swing practices.