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See 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trailer exclusively on TODAY Thursday

on Thursday, 24 July 2014. Hits 147

Today

Fifty Shades of Grey" fans, you've come to the right place. You saw part of the exclusive too-hot-for-morning-TV trailer on TODAY, but here's the full trailer for you to watch now.

That wasn't all that was on the plate for "Fifty Shades" fans. As the trailer ended, they learned that Beyoncé has re-recorded her 2003 hit "Crazy in Love" for the film — and then got to hear directly from the movie's stars, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who were live and in the studio.

The pair, who play leads Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, confirmed that yes, the full trailer is much racier than what could be shown on morning television.

But that wasn't the reason Johnson said she didn't think she'd want her actor parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, to see the film. "If it were them doing a (sexy) movie I wouldn't want them to see that (either)," she chuckled.

Still, while the movie is hot, making it was ... less so. "It's not, like, a romantic situation," said Johnson. "It's more, like, technical and choreographed and less ... it's more of a task."

"Wow!" said Dornan with a sigh. But he bounced back and noted that the pair had chemistry on the set.

"That's a big part of it ... having trust," he said. "Because, you know, we got ourselves into situations that don't feel that sort of natural and they're not that easy and you need to have the trust there." ...

 

Center for Positive Sexuality: BDSM and Leisure Study

on Thursday, 24 July 2014. Hits 158

The Center for Positive Sexuality is currently seeking participants for a research study on how BDSM is experienced. Participation is minimal and simply requires taking  quick five-minute survey. If you are an adult who regularly engages in BDSM, please consider taking the survey. This research is endorsed and supported by Idaho State University IRB and CARAS. Thank you!

"Getting Trashed: A Trailer Trash Party Stirs Up Controversy in the BDSM Community"

on Thursday, 24 July 2014. Hits 254

SF Weekly

Domina, a Sonoma-based event planner, advice-dispenser, and proprietor of the chatty BDSM website The Frugal Domme, has hosted trailer trash parties at local bondage club The San Francisco Citadel for about a decade. According to club owners Phil Derby and August Knight, those parties have always gone off without a hitch.

"It's just a fun night," Derby says. "We serve hot dogs and fried bologna sandwiches, and people dress up in overalls and Dixie shorts."

"It's just utter craziness, man," Knight chimes in.

The owners were dismayed, however, when this year's Trailer Trash Takeover — held on Saturday, July 5 — spawned craziness of a different sort. In the days leading up to the event, protest flared up on the BDSM social media site FetLife, where users chafed at the term "trailer trash."

According to Derby, they'd mistakenly conflated it with "white trash."

"Suddenly people got sensitive about it," he says. "They were saying things like, 'I grew up there, I'm offended.'" He sighs. "It was a no-win situation."

Though the comment threads in question appear to have been erased, debate about "trash" stereotypes still proliferates on the rest of the internet.

"Well, the term 'trash' is derogatory," UC Berkeley linguistics professor emeritus Robin Lakoff explains. "It suggests that you are the kind of white person to be thrown away."

She adds that since the term is often lobbed at low-income white people, it has derisive class connotations.

But Derby and Knight believe that the "trash" flare-up on FetLife wasn't about a legitimate class slur; rather, it was a battle over political correctness, they say. Derby attributes that to an influx of newcomers into the BDSM scene. Many of them are skittish or sanctimonious about party themes that have been around for years, he says.

A longstanding scene member (who didn't want to be identified) wholeheartedly agrees. "More people are getting into kink, especially after Fifty Shades of Grey," he says. "And they're coming at it with a normative vanilla outlook." ...

"Multiple Lovers, Without Jealousy"

on Monday, 21 July 2014. Hits 203

Polyamorous people still face plenty of stigmas, but some studies suggest they handle certain relationship challenges better than monogamous people do.

The Atlantic

by Olga Khazan

hen I met Jonica Hunter, Sarah Taub, and Michael Rios on a typical weekday afternoon in their tidy duplex in Northern Virginia, a very small part of me worried they might try to convert me.

All three live there together, but they aren’t roommates—they’re lovers.

Or rather, Jonica and Michael are. And Sarah and Michael are. And so are Sarah and whomever she happens to bring home some weekends. And Michael and whomever he might be courting. They’re polyamorous.

Michael is 65, and he has a chinstrap beard that makes him look like he just walked off an Amish homestead. Jonica is 27, with close-cropped hair, a pointed chin, and a quiet air. Sarah is 46 and has an Earth Motherly demeanor that put me at relative ease.

Together, they form a polyamorous “triad”— one of the many formations that’s possible in this jellyfish of a sexual preference. “There’s no one way to do polyamory” is a common refrain in “the community.” Polyamory—which literally means “many loves”—can involve any number of people, either cohabiting or not, sometimes all having sex with each other, and sometimes just in couples within the larger group.

Sarah and Michael met 15 years ago when they were both folk singers and active in the polyamorous community. Both of them say they knew from a young age that there was something different about their sexuality. “Growing up, I never understood why loving someone meant putting restrictions on relationships,” Michael said.

“What I love about polyamory is that everything is up for modification,” Sarah says. “There are no ‘shoulds.’ You don’t have to draw a line between who is a lover and who is a friend. It’s about what is the path of my heart in this moment.”

They’ve been “nesting partners” for 12 years, but they’ve both had other relationships throughout that time. Jonica moved in three years ago after meeting Michael on OkCupid. She describes the arrangement’s appeal as “more intimacy, less rules. I don’t have to limit my relationship with other partners.”

The house is, as they describe, an “intentional community”—a type of resource-sharing collectivist household. They each have their own room and own bed. Sarah is a night owl, so she and Michael spend time together alone late at night. Jonica sees him alone in the early morning. They all hang out together throughout the day. The house occasionally plays host to a rotating cast of outside characters, as well—be they friends of the triad or potential love interests.

The triad works together, too, running a consulting nonprofit that puts on events “that teach skills for living together peacefully, such as clear communication, boundaries, what to do when you get upset,” Sarah said. An added bonus of the living arrangement is that it cuts down on commuting time.

I initially expected the polyamorous people I met to tell me that there were times their relationships made them sick with envy. After all, how could someone listen to his significant other’s stories of tragedy and conquest in the dating world, as Michael regularly does for Sarah, and not feel possessive? But it became clear to me that for “polys,” as they’re sometimes known, jealousy is more of an internal, negligible feeling than a partner-induced, important one. To them, it’s more like a passing head cold than a tumor spreading through the relationship.

Of the three people living in the Northern Virginia duplex, Sarah volunteers that she’s the one most prone to jealousy. “It can be about feeling like you’re not special, or feeling like this thing belonged to me and now someone’s taken it.”

She said it was rough for her when Jonica first moved in. Sarah had been accustomed to seeing Michael whenever she wanted, but she started to feel a pang when he spent time with Jonica.

“At first I thought, ‘Is something bad happening, something I don’t want to support?” she said. “No, I want to support Michael and Jonica in being together. From there, I look at my own reaction. I can be an anxious person, so maybe I was feeling anxious. I find other ways of getting grounded. I might go for a walk or play guitar.

“It’s part of learning a healthy self-awareness and the ability to self-soothe,” she added. “I notice what I’m feeling, and do a dive inward.” ...

"Curious About Electric Play? Some Reasons You Might Want to Try It"

on Thursday, 17 July 2014. Hits 300

Milwaukee Express

By Laura Anne Stuart

Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg visited the Tool Shed a while back to teach their popular class ZAP! Electric Play, which covers toys that use electricity for stimulation, such as neon wands, violet wands and TENS units. These items were originally designed to improve physical or mental health, but were adapted—“by perverts,” as Ken puts it—for sexual use.

We have a glass case full of neon wands, violet wands and various metal implements in the store, and we are frequently asked what, exactly, they are, followed by, “Why would anyone use those?!??” After the class, I asked Sunny and Ken what their responses to this question would be.

Laura Anne Stuart: How would you explain the appeal of electric toys to someone who has never used them before?

Ken Melvoin-Berg: The appeal of neon wands and violet wands, for me at least, stem from when I was peeing on an electric fence at my uncle’s farm. That feeling of electricity caused a little bit of arousal in me…it’s a very primal thing. [Y]ou start playing with electricity, whether a neon wand or a violet wand or a TENS unit, and automatically start thinking about electric shock therapy and all the evils—One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But as soon as I started getting zapped, it made me happy instantaneously. It’s that primal feeling that made me come back to [it] over and over. Plus, I’m a science geek!

Sunny Megatron: For me, in a sensual realm, it’s a great couples toy. You think of sensation play and running a feather over someone—well, this kicks it into overdrive. Not only do you have the great sensation that doesn’t really hurt, but you have the element of excitement, because we all associate electricity with something like, “Oooooh, it’s gonna be bad, it’s gonna tingle, it’s gonna be horrible,” and it’s actually fun. For BDSM purposes, it takes on a whole other purpose. If someone is a little bit scared of it, the sound is like a tattoo gun, or if they stuck a fork in an outlet when they were three—it’s going to give them the mental stimulation and play with their mind.

LAS: How would you describe what a neon wand or violet wand feels like?

SM: They feel like a prickly tingle. Not painful, but just enough to make your hair stand up—in a good way, not an ouch-y way. On high settings, some people would say that it’s like when you run your feet across the carpet and then you get that little shock—but on the pleasurable side.

KMB: I don’t think that’s exactly it, because static electricity is sharper and faster. For me, it’s more like if you’ve had an accidental electrical accident, like sticking a fork in a toaster, and you get that pulsating wave, the contractions of your muscles going in-and-out and in-and-out…It’s a very different sensation than anything else to have your muscles start to spasm involuntarily. ...

"The Rise of Polyamory"

on Thursday, 17 July 2014. Hits 325

Ozy

By Melissa Pandika

 

Jen Day and her boyfriend of 11 years, Pepper Mint (yes, that’s his real name), live together with their cat in a whitewashed house on a narrow, leafy street in Berkeley, Calif. They kiss and nuzzle and have date nights, like any other couple.

Just not always with each other.

Day has another boyfriend. Mint has another girlfriend — and just began seeing two other women, too. The couple practice polyamory: They have multiple committed relationships at once, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

Large-scale studies tracking the number of polyamorous (aka “poly”) individuals don’t exist, but evidence from polyamory groups, relationship therapists and dating websites suggests that figure is rising fast. University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley estimates that 5 percent of Americans are involved in consensual non-monogamous relationships. As of last year, there’s even a poly social network, Kotango — it has 4,000 users so far.

Why are we embracing more than one partner? Skepticism of monogamy plays a part. Roughly 20 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce.

“There’s a shaken belief” leading to “more openness to seeing what works rather than believing in some tradition,” says San Francisco clinical psychologist Deborah Anapol. And, in general, people have grown more open to alternative lifestyles.

Of course, it’s also possible that interest in polyamory has remained stable — but people just have more opportunity to take part. Thanks, Internet!

Still, the poly-curious should think hard before making the leap. Polyamory might sound like free love, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Maintaining multiple healthy relationships takes McKinseyian time-management skills and grace dealing with jealousy. Skeptics worry about the welfare of children in polyamorous families. The stigma hasn’t quite worn off, either. ...





Guest Blog: Go to the Cops

on Wednesday, 16 July 2014. Hits 504

by Susan Wright

You CAN go to law enforcement to report assault even if you’re kinky. I get so mad when I hear people say, “You can’t go to the cops,” or “They’ll treat you badly because you’re kinky.” Really? You tell your friend to crawl in a hole when they’re assaulted? Why don’t you offer to go with them to report it to law enforcement or to a hospital? Or call NCSF so I can work with the local victim services and help them report it.

 

Since I took over NCSF’s Incident Reporting & Response program, I’ve made a lot of phone calls to professionals around the country in order to find good people who won’t discriminate against us. And you know what? Our advocacy efforts are working. Even in the most conservative areas, there are judges, lawyers and social service workers who are already educated about kink and nonmonogamy. They know that what we do is consensual, and that assault is assault regardless of the way we have sex.

 

In January, I was contacted by several victims of a perpetrator in Maryland. These victims ended up reporting their assaults in two different counties in Maryland. The State’s Attorney in one county moved forward with the case. The trial only took half a day. The victim testified, but she wasn’t outed in the media, even though the incident in question was fairly sensational and took place at a camp event in front of other kinky people. The event where it happened wasn’t harassed by law enforcement, and neither was the kinky club where the perpetrator then worked. The State’s Attorney was only interested in the assault, not in harming the victims or the BDSM community. In fact, the victims were treated very well by everyone they dealt with.

 

Today the perpetrator was convicted of 2nd Degree Assault and was sentenced to a year in jail with two years probation and ordered by the court to attend an intervention program for intimate partner abuse.

 

If someone assaults you or your friend, then this is what can result if you go to the police. NCSF can help you. You don’t have to stay quiet. Prosecutors will typically take on cases where there are witnesses, so assaults that happen at events are actually more prosecutable in their eyes than something that happens in private at home. Prosecutors also look at the physical evidence - if you were hurt in an assault ALWAYS go to the hospital or to your doctor or a community assistance center so they can take photographs of the damage that was done to you. Even if you don’t know if you’ll report it, you'll have the evidence if you do decide to report it later.

 

Also, prosecutors take it more seriously if there is more than one victim. When you report an assault and you don’t have any physical evidence or witnesses, prosecutors may decide to wait to see if another victim comes forward. Multiple accusations carry more weight. But that can only happen if you report it.

 

You can quote all the stats you want to about the small percentage of assaults - especially sexual assaults - that go to trial. But when we don’t even try to get justice, then zero convictions will take place. If we don’t try to stop someone who is a serial predator, then they will go on to commit more crimes.

 

Our community can’t keep people safe. We can’t give out all the names of everyone who violates consent or somehow protect everyone at risk. That’s why yelling names from the rooftops doesn’t work. But reporting it to the police does work. That’s why in this case, many of the group and event organizers quietly banned this person and pulled their events from the club while the perpetrator still worked there. They had to keep things quiet so the victim could pursue their case through the judicial system - remember that witness tampering is a serious charge.

 

I’m so proud of the victims for standing up for themselves and stopping the cycle of repeated assaults. I’m proud of the Mid-Atlantic community of organizers for how they handled this difficult situation. It’s been a learning experience for a lot of us, and I think that reporting assault to the police was the way to properly deal with this problem.

 


"10 Shades of Stupid: Cosmo's Worst BDSM Tips"

on Monday, 14 July 2014. Hits 529

Jezebel

I knew this was coming when the cashier in Barnes and Nobles saw me looking at Fifty Shades of Grey and stage-whispered: "I bought that for my mom, and now I'm just terrified that I'm going to go home and find my dad. In a cage. Bleeding or dead." BDSM is like soccer and socialized medicine; fascinating, but hard for a lot of Americans to understand. Cosmo's trying to help with their August issue, which features a twist on their usual bouquet of sex tips: this time, all their tips are inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now, say what you will about Grey, but it is about BDSM. It cannot (and must not!) be forgiven for introducing millions of Americans to lines like "My inner goddess is doing the merengue, with some salsa moves," but there's some pretty kinky shit in there. And it's nice to see a national women's magazine with a feature purportedly dedicated to BDSM. But I've got to tell you: Cosmo's BDSM tips make Fifty Shades of Grey look like The Story of O.

1. "Graze your teeth over his index finger (it is the fleshiest and can handle the pressure) while he's taking you from behind."

"It is the fleshiest and can handle the pressure" sounds like something screamed at me from the top of a dry well in a Midwestern basement.

2. "During sex, stick your finger in his mouth and order him to suck it."

How very dominant. Here's another: "Lie limply on your back and order him to have gentle sex with you while staring into your eyes." ...

Latest Reader Comments

  • Feminists and christian groups push narratives which become 'fact' (see definition of 'Woozle effect ). These are ideologically driven...

    Elle

    09. April, 2015 |

  • Fetlife works very hard to keep members safe. They also work to protect everyone's freedoms. Criminal accusations should be made to local...

    Daisie

    23. March, 2015 |

  • Simple and brilliant. I will be using this in all of my Human Sexuality classes.

    Callista Lee

    11. March, 2015 |

  • i see why fetlife does this. all you need is someone who has been broken up with; they are angry and has a "ill fix them" attitude....

    pet

    11. March, 2015 |

  • people need to get their facts strait before they start lying to the world, reporters are idiots, how do they know fetlife has over 3.5...

    daisy

    11. March, 2015 |

  • Along similar lines, we setup a 12-step fellowship called Recovery in the Lifestyle. We hold meetings across the country, phone meetings,...

    Aarkey

    10. March, 2015 |