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International Media Update: "Man cleared of injuring woman after ‘Fifty Shades of Grey session overstepped the mark'"

on Friday, 22 February 2013. Hits 1099

The Independent

A man has been cleared of assault after a court heard a "master-slave" sex session inspired by erotic novel Fifty Shades Of Grey overstepped the boundaries of fantasy.

Steven Lock, 43, and a woman in her forties, who cannot be named for legal reasons, began a relationship based around sado-masochistic role play after meeting on a dating website.

But prosecutors alleged that last August the fantasy went too far as Lock chained the women "like a dog" to his bedroom floor and whipped her repeatedly with a rope.

He denied assault causing actual bodily harm, saying the woman had consented.

Today at Ipswich Crown Court, a jury of 10 men and two women took just over two hours to find Lock, of Plover Road, Ipswich, not guilty.

During the trial, Lock was asked by defence counsel Roger Thomson if he and the alleged victim had read Fifty Shades Of Grey.

He replied: "That's where we got the idea from."

Outside court, jeweller Mr Lock said he was relieved that the jury "had seen sense".

He said: "It's the right verdict. This case should never have reached court.

"As far as I'm concerned, it was a consensual activity between adults."

The court heard the couple took part in group sex and bondage together and the woman had the words "Property of Steven Lock" tattooed around her genitals.

The woman also signed a contract promising Mr Lock free use of her body and entitling him to lash her if she did not follow his rules.

Lock told the court the woman consented to the activity and the couple agreed on the code word "Red", which was to be used if either of them began to feel uncomfortable.

The woman, who told the court she broke down in tears and screamed as she was beaten 14 times with the rope, never used this word.

She said: "I knew there would be pain involved and I knew I wasn't going to like it but I'd agreed to it and had to follow it through."

Mr Thomson said Lock felt bad about what he had done.

Giving evidence, Lock said: "It was supposed to be kinky fun, I didn't want her to cry."

NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit

on Tuesday, 19 February 2013. Hits 1245

NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Phoenix, Arizona from February 8-10, 2013. The Consent Summit took place Friday evening, and Coalition Partners were able to participate via streaming video to give their input on the new Consent Statement. Go to www.ncsfreedom.org to see the Consent Statement and comment on it.

“The Consent Statement is now launched to the BDSM-leather-Fetish communities for input until July 1st,” says Judy Guerin, Director of Consent Counts. “This statement outlines the current legal climate in regards to BDSM practices, and describes the ethical responsibilities of kinky people, as well. The Consent Statement will be used to change assault laws so that consensual BDSM won’t be mistaken for assault.”

One focus of the weekend was how to move forward now that a fire has destroyed the NCSF office. An emergency fund drive is underway to raise money to replace what was lost in the fire. Please help us reach our goal!

https://www.wepay.com/donations/ncsf-fire-recovery-fund

The new board of directors voted in Kevin Carlson as Chairman, Mark Richards as Secretary, and John Baku as Treasurer. The CPs also heard reports on NCSF projects and some of the stats include:

· Incident Reporting and Response received nearly 500 calls for help

· The Kink Aware Professionals list is up to nearly 1,200 professionals

· The Media Outreach Project gave over 60 interviews

· Over 600 NCSF Facebook page members and nearly 5,000 twitter followers

· 98 Coalition Partners!

Friday evening’s Pizza Meet & Greet was sponsored by the AZ TNG, while lunch Saturday was sponsored by FetLife and lunch on Sunday at the APEX BBQ was sponsored by AZ Men of Leather. NCSF thanks APEX for welcoming CP representatives, NCSF board members and staff to their APEX Dungeon Party on Saturday night, and at their Sunday afternoon BBQ and NCSF Meet & Greet. NCSF also thanks Kelly Beaton, Master Bleu Sadist, slave alena girl, and Karen for volunteering and helping out in all sorts of necessary ways at the meeting!

The Board of NCSF currently consists of:

Kevin Carlson – Chairman – Boise, ID

Mark Richards – Secretary – New York, NY

John Baku – Treasurer – Vancouver, BC

Race Bannon – San Francisco, CA

Laura Carlson – Boise, ID

Jim Fleckenstein – Manassas, VA

Leigha Fleming – Fort Worth, TX
Vivienne Kramer – San Diego, CA
Mercury – Nashville, TN

Stephanie "Sassy" Lynn – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Julian Wolf – Albuquerque, NM
Susan Wright – Phoenix, AZ

NCSF helps you, so please help us in our time of need! Support us by becoming a member or donating today! www.ncsfreedom.org

 

BDSM and polyamorist communities alive and well in Albuquerque

on Saturday, 16 February 2013. Hits 622

New Mexico Daily Lobo

Two men dragged a screaming woman off the dance floor at Evolution Nightclub Saturday night, covered her mouth with a rag and bound her in the fetal position with green plastic wrap. A brief kiss later, they left her whimpering in the corner as a security guard with an earpiece and studded boots guarded her from the crowd.

To an unsuspecting bystander, it appeared the woman was assaulted. In reality, she knew it was going to happen; it was a planned fetish performance-art piece.

Such performance pieces are common at Sanctuary Above the Crypt, a monthly event typically held at Evolution Nightclub.

Sanctuary Above the Crypt owner and promoter Daniel Fukken Denial (a stage name) said goths aren’t the only ones who come to his events.

“My crowd is still even mixed,” Denial said. “There’s geeks, nerds, hippies, goths, punks, drag queens. You name it, I’ve seen them all there.”

The performances are often led by Jack D. Nimble, the alter ego character of Julian Wolf, who is an educator on topics such as bondage, domination and sadomasochism.

“It’s a quote that’s not original to me, but ‘Fear is an underestimated aphrodisiac,’” Wolf said. “And it’s true. It stimulates all the same cortexes in the brain as other sorts of stimulation.”

Wolf, a former sexual-health lecturer at CNM, travels the country giving demonstrations on flogging, wax play and role playing. She said sadomasochism is often confused with abuse, but in fact, the nonegalitarian relationships are based on consent.

“If you are being coerced, it’s abuse,” Wolf said. “If you do not want to do it, it’s abuse. If at any point you said, ‘no,’ and it was ignored, it’s abuse. If you’re engaging with someone under the age of 18, it’s abuse. It’s kind of a long and hazy list.” ...

"Greased and slicked down with the director of Nashville's S&M dungeon"

on Friday, 15 February 2013. Hits 860

Nashville Scene

Mercury takes presentation very seriously. Impeccably dressed in a dark suit and tie, he keeps his hair cropped close, and the narrow gap between his two front teeth underscores his symmetrical features. He folds his long hands into each other when he's listening, and he moves them in circles around his wrists when he's making a point.

Right now, his point is safety, which he says is the most important thing about this place. But later, he'll show off his pommel horse and the 700-pound stainless steel surgical table he keeps in the back room. By then, his point will be pure seductive theater.

"What you'll find," he explains, "is that our crowd is interested in symmetry. We are educated in the physiology of safe play. So we're not going to strike joints — the knees, the ankles, the wrists, the spine — because that's where you cause harm. In S&M play, we don't mind hurting, but we don't like to harm. There's a huge difference."

The Mark is Nashville's BDSM dungeon, and Mercury is its executive director. It is, according to Mercury, inarguably one of the top 10 dungeons in the United States, and arguably among the top five.

In the old days before the Internet, you had to snoop around to find a club like The Mark. You had to answer cryptic personal ads in the newspaper, or scour seedy adult bookstores for clues. These days, the Internet, including social media websites like FetLife, seems tailor-made for BDSM. FetLife has a subgroup dedicated to The Mark, which counts more than 1,900 among its members.

But if you really want to know more about his lifestyle, Mercury says, all you have to do is ask.

"We have, in the Nashville area, at least six munches that meet a month." Mercury says, his demeanor both guarded and charismatic. A munch, in BDSM terms, is a casual social gathering in a public place where people can be introduced to the lifestyle over food. After the munch, sometimes play parties are scheduled. ...

"New Sexual Revolution: Polyamory May Be Good for You"

on Thursday, 14 February 2013. Hits 1256

Scientific American

On Valentine's Day, images of couples are everywhere. They're buying each other diamond rings, making eyes over expensive restaurant meals and canoodling over chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. But two-by-two isn't the only way to go through life. In fact, an estimated 4 to 5 percent of Americans are looking outside their relationship for love and sex — with their partner's full permission.

These consensually nonmonogamous relationships, as they're called, don't conform to the cultural norm of a handholding couple in love for life. They come in a dizzying array of forms, from occasional "swinging" and open relationships to long-term commitments among multiple people. Now, social scientists embarking on brand-new research into these types of relationships are finding that they may challenge the ways we think of jealousy, commitment and love. They may even change monogamy for the better.

"People in these relationships really communicate. They communicate to death," said Bjarne Holmes, a psychologist at Champlain College in Vermont. All of that negotiation may hold a lesson for the monogamously inclined, Holmes told LiveScience.

"They are potentially doing quite a lot of things that could turn out to be things that if people who are practicing monogamy did more of, their relationships would actually be better off," Holmes said. [6 Scientific Tips for a Successful Marriage]

Examining nonmonogamy

The study of consensual nonmonogamy is a relatively new field. In the 1970s, partner-swapping and swinging (recreational sex outside of a relationship) came into the public eye, and psychologists conducted a few studies. But that research was limited to mostly white, heterosexual couples who engaged in swinging for fun, according to Elisabeth Sheff, a legal consultant and former Georgia State University professor, writing in 2011 in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

That means little is yet known about who participates in consensual nonmonogamy and why. Research is largely limited to self-report and surveys, in which people can be tempted to present themselves in a positive light. There are, however, some key definitions to understand. Consensual nonmonogamy contains multitudes. It includes sex-only arrangements, such as two committed partners agreeing that they're allowed to seek no-strings-attached sex with other people. It also includes polyamory, which involves multiple committed relationships at once with the consent and knowledge of everyone involved.

Consensual nonmonogamy does not include cheating, in which one partner steps out without the permission of the other. ...

Our Office Burned! We need YOUR help

on Wednesday, 13 February 2013. Hits 2087

The NCSF office in Baltimore, MD, was destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago. We’ve lost everything: computer, office supplies and furnishings, tee shirts, and all of our stored printed literature are gone.

 

Please donate to the NCSF Fire Recovery Fund drive:

 

https://www.wepay.com/donations/ncsf-fire-recovery-fund

 

 

Donations are tax deductible! In order to continue helping the BDSM-leather-fetish, swing and polyamory communities, we must re-stock.

 

We helped hundreds of people in 2012 and thousands of individuals, businesses and groups over the years on an annual budget of less than $75,000.

 

Our goal is to raise $20,000 to get us back up and running... on our feet, better than ever, more efficient and more streamlined.

 

Please donate or hold a fundraiser for NCSF.

 

With the fame of 50 Shades of Grey, our communities are on the cusp of a major social and political breakthrough. You can be a part of it.

 

Keep us going! NCSF and the NCSF Foundation are the only groups that help kinky people when they need it - and now we need your help.

 

 

"Kink 101: understanding the kink community"

on Friday, 25 January 2013. Hits 1288

Out and About Magazine

1

Kink. What is the first thing thought of when this word is used? Whips or chains? Leather and bondage? My answer would be yes to all of the above and then some!

But after experiencing the Kink 101 class, I came away with a few more words to describe the class as well as the group of individuals that participate in the local kink scene in Nashville. Those would be communication, community and freedom.

For eight years running, Nashville’s local dungeon has been operating as a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization for those who seek to participate in the local kink scene. Activities range anywhere from your “traditional” lover of bondage and spankings, to the more acquired taste of the furry population.

Furries are a subculture of the kink scene that dress up in fur suits to do animal role playing. Not your cup of tea? No worries. There are also leatherfolk, rope experts and bears, oh my!

When corresponding with the teacher Meronym, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I showed up. I was a bit apprehensive given the subject matter, but decided in the name of all things journalism to put on my big girl pants and see what this fetish stuff was all about.

Meronym, who has been an active member of the kink community for four years, as well as some other kinky folk that attended, seemed a bit nervous about my presence but I assured them that I would not be taking any pictures or using any of their names.

Privacy is of course a very important subject of the class given some preconceived notions about the types of individuals that participate in kink activity. The class does a wonderful job of putting those hasty assumptions to rest.

Numerous topics were covered ranging from the basic vocabulary associated with the kink community to safety procedures that are encouraged. Despite what the kink novice make think, it is considered unacceptable practice to tie someone up and leave them. This is a big no no and will definitely get you a slap on the hand … and not in a good way!

Another really important function of the class is its mission to dispel the fears those who are unfamiliar with kink might have. One of the biggest misconceptions is those in the kink community are into hurting one another.

This is simply not true. Does this mean there is not pain? No. But the boundaries are clear. Lines are drawn. And there is of course negotiation....

"Defence statements filed in cop's fetish photo civil suit"

on Friday, 25 January 2013. Hits 794

The Tri-City News

Two of the four defendants named in a civil suit launched by a Coquitlam RCMP officer after his online fetish photos were made public have filed their responses.

Cpl. James Brown filed the lawsuit last November in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, claiming damages for "substantial and persisting injury to the plaintiff's reputation, injury to his pride and self-confidence, and severe emotional distress."

The suit names New Westminster resident Grant Wakefield, Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward and two unidentified people, who Wakefield names in his response as Denman Island residents Mike Webster, a well known police psychologist, and his wife, Moira Webster.

Brown's suit alleges Wakefield set up false profiles to access the members-only fetish website Fetlife, where he then copied Brown's online profile information and photos. He is then alleged to have sent the material to the media, as well as Ward, resulting in the unlawful breach of Brown's privacy.

Brown alleged the resulting media coverage, as well as posts on blogs and Twitter, were caused by the defendants and either stated or implied Brown is corrupt, has engaged in criminal activity with numerous victims, poses a risk to society and is violent and sadistic.

Cameron Ward, who represented several families of the missing women during the Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry, was named in the suit for three blog posts in which Brown is said to be a sexual sadist with close ties to the Pickton family.

Brown's lawsuit alleges the posts suggest the RCMP knew of Pickton's killing spree but failed to act "for fear of implicating one or more of their members in criminal activity," due to Brown's "lifestyle and predilections." ...

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