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"DRESS ME, KISS ME, KILL ME: A LOOK AT THE ROLE OF THE DOMINATRIX IN FASHION FROM THE 1950S TO TODAY"

on Sunday, 29 May 2016. Hits 16

The word "Fetish" is emblazoned on the cover of this month's Numéro magazine, while Katie Holmes and Claudia Schiffer both don leather and lace

Fashionista

by DANA KRUSPE

The word "Fetish" is emblazoned on the cover of this month's Numéro magazine, while Katie Holmes and Claudia Schiffer both don leather and lace with a side of kink on the covers of Vogue Spain and Germany. A pattern seems to be emerging...

 

Lately there has been a flood of fashion editorials that dive into the world of fetish and fantasy, where the dominatrix rules (and don't forget the occasional sexy maid). Fashion and pop culture have come together for the perfect storm with sinister fall collections from labels like Louis Vuitton (remember his show was titled "Fetish"), Givenchy and Alexander McQueen, while Rihanna is loving S&M, and Lady Gaga performs in Gianni Versace's bondage collection. It's no surprise that fashion editorials are experiencing the trickle down effect.

 

Thierry Mugler once described fashion as a "very cruel...very demanding mistress," and we couldn't agree more. It's an apt description and helps to explain why the dark world of fetish and fashion have always been, well, bedmates. Masks, PVC, whips and latex don't have much of a place in real life but since when was high fashion concerned with practicality and reality? The fashion editorial is the perfect place to be a little naughty.

 

In celebration of sin we'd like to take a look back on the dominatrix and her partner, the submissive, in fashion photography. Caution: Fetish, riding crops, and nudity ahead.

 

Though only peripherally connected to fashion photography proper (he acted as mentor to Guy Bourdin in the 1950s), it's clear that Man Ray's influence has been felt. His photographs ranged from women portrayed as objects (a violin, a coathanger) to these more wanton and erotic images.

 

The Guy Bourdin mistress from the 1970s was often high gloss and precisely positioned, giving her an almost clinical quality. Don't let that fool you, though, these ladies are clearly up to no good. ...

"What Do We Mean When We Ask for Rough Sex?"

on Sunday, 29 May 2016. Hits 17

Exploring one of the most popular — and dangerous — trends of our generation.

Cosmopolitan

by Kelsey Lawrence

This May, a 20-year-old Texas man was charged with the 2014 death of his prom date, who didn't wake up the next morning after a night of allegedly "rough" sex. Though her death was exacerbated by the alcohol and hydrocodone in her system, Eddie Herrera choked Jacqueline Gomez while having sex, and, due to the drugs and "deep hemorrhaging" around her neck, she died in her sleep that night. Yet despite the inherent risks of engaging in increasingly physical sexual activity, our generation is clearly captivated by it.

 

In Pornhub's 2015 Year in Review, a comprehensive look at the search analytics of their users worldwide, one of the most interesting statistics went relatively unnoticed. Ranking just under "lesbian" and "solo male," women are searching categories like "hardcore," "rough sex," and "bondage" significantly more often than men. The "rough sex" category alone was viewed by women 106 percent more often than men last year. Under "top gaining searches" for both men and women, the term "hard rough" was searched 454 percent more often in 2015 than in 2014.

 

Our porn habits aren't necessarily indicative of what we want IRL, but if we're watching rougher porn, does that mean our generation, generally speaking, is having rougher sex? And, furthermore, what do we even mean when we say "rough sex"? Cosmopolitan.com spoke to six Millennials and a sex therapist to investigate whether twentysomethings are playing harder in bed — and, for the first generation to have access to porn since before we even knew what sex was, what that actually looks like. Okay, we're not knocking on apartment doors with a postcoital census poll, so we can't exactly prove whether Millennials are, in fact, getting rougher. But we can look at some common themes to examine where our boundaries tend to be and explore what seems to be the most dominant trend: a disturbing lack of education surrounding consent to these activities.

 

ARE WE GETTING KINKIER?

 

Dr. Gloria Brame, sex therapist and author of Different Loving Too: Real People, Real Lives, Real BDSM, doesn't necessarily believe people are kinkier than they've been in previous generations, because she believes those desires to be inherently genetic.

 

"We're all wired for different things," Dr. Brame tells Cosmopolitan.com. "Some people are always going to be more intrigued by intensity. People in BDSM communities will say it's the internet that's transformed BDSM ... I think that's because it allowed people who might previously have had a tiny fantasy to suddenly realize, 'Wow, does that mean I have the potential to be kinky?'"

 

In 1953, a Kinsey Institute study found that 55 percent of females and 50 percent of males had experienced an erotic response to being bitten. Clearly, desires for rougher play have always existed in some incarnation. We're also undoubtedly influenced by what we see around us. A University of Arkansas study from 2010 showed that 88 percent of the scenes from 50 top-selling porn videos contained a variety of aggressive acts, from spanking to gagging.

 

Whether or not these desires are innate, it's undeniable that we've experienced a culture shift of rough sex and BDSM culture permeating mainstream media. As evidenced by the success of the (arguably misinformed) Fifty Shades of Grey and even the trendiness of bondage-inspired clothing, elements of BDSM have become increasingly commonplace. Rihanna's 2010 song "S&M" featured copious whips-and-chains references. Even a recent commercial for pistachios featured a dominatrix seemingly, um, making a pistachio submit to her command. So while humans have likely always had kinky desires, there's no question those desires are more widely accepted and embraced by pop culture today. ...

...Lack of Consent and Education

 

Of all the themes that arose while reporting this story, this was the most disturbing. Robin, 23, described a one-night stand who tried to choke her during sex without asking first. "It was not OK with me by any means," she says. "Would it have been OK with me if, instead, they were a long-term partner? Most likely." But BDSM activity, even when consensual, can still be prosecuted under state criminal laws, according to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. In March, a federal court in Virginia ruled that there is "no constitutional right" to engage in even consensual BDSM.

 

There's a lot of interesting, valuable discussion surrounding consent and BDSM scenes on FetLife forums and through talks sponsored by the NCSF. Much of that conversation, however, may not reach young people who are experimenting without really becoming part of that community. Eddie Herrera's 25-year sentence for choking his girlfriend is proof of what can happen when these acts go wrong (and it is all too easy for something to go wrong).

 

We also tend to think of consent in the steps leading up to sex. But even if you're already in bed with someone, asking for consent needs to continue, particularly when playing around with anything that could potentially hurt someone. Kristin, 24, has had experiences with an ex-boyfriend who didn't seek her consent before trying things like name-calling and anal sex. Several months into the relationship, he all of a sudden started calling her a "dirty slut" and attempting anal sex — all with no warning. "It was the most unchill situation I've had with a partner I was actually dating," she says. "I most definitely stopped him and asked what the heck was up. It shifted the entire dynamic of the relationship, unfortunately." ...

"My BDSM Journey: How I Became Empowered Through ‘Submission’"

on Saturday, 28 May 2016. Hits 70

The star of the new BDSM-themed Showtime series ‘Submission’ on her unique—and kinky—journey of self-discovery.

The Daily Beast

by Ashlynn Yennie

submit or not to submit? That was the question I asked myself before going in to read for the lead role of Ashley in Showtime’s new late-night series, Submission. I did my homework before meeting writer and director Jacky St. James, and was really fascinated by her because of how she started her career, rising to be one of the best writers and directors in the adult industry. Upon meeting Jacky, I felt a connection, and I really understood what her vision was for the series.

But I was still hesitant, to say the least.

I had so many questions, and honestly didn’t know if I could portray this woman and represent the BDSM culture correctly. Some of you may not know this, but I tend to do projects that have a controversial nature (i.e. The Human Centipede films), so it wasn’t the subject or nudity that scared me. As an actor, I would be going through this journey with my character into the world of BDSM and becoming a submissive—something I knew nothing about.

This is where my balls of steel come into play. I love being challenged and stretching outside my comfort zone, so I said yes. This role is not what people think about when they think of a women diving into the world of BDSM. It is not about a woman doing it for a man; Ashley is doing it for herself. She wants to explore her sexuality. She may be quiet at first, or restrained (no pun intended) in the beginning, but when she discovers BDSM it opens up this part of her and she is never the same. Playing a sexually submissive character like Ashley was powerful.

I had to begin by asking: What is it to be a submissive? How can I play this without knowing what it’s like? This is where a lot of research became necessary, as well as a BDSM consultant on set. As most people know, it’s all smoke and mirrors when it comes to filming sex scenes, which are actually the most un-sexy scenes to shoot. They’re very technical with a lot of comments like, “Wait,” “Hold that… no to the left… my left,” and “okay and kiss… kiss less.” You get the picture.

Now add the BDSM element. In the series you will see me restrained, spanked, flogged, blindfolded, vibrated, tied up with ropes, and so much more. I don’t want to give too much away, but what I just listed is actually vanilla in comparison to the other things you will see in the later episodes.

How was it playing ‘Ashley,’ and how did it change me?

A lot. Especially in regards to what I thought or didn’t think BDSM was. BDSM is not how they portray it in 50 Shades. I realize most of you know that, but I still want to stress that it is really quite different. It’s less about sex and more about having a connection to someone, while giving yourself over with all five senses. I was fortunate enough to have been cast alongside Justin Berti, who I honesty can say made me so comfortable as an actor. I trusted him to be my guide/dom. He also had the help of BDSM guru Aiden Starr to teach him how to dominate me. As an actor you have to be disciplined in many areas of your life, so I think that being a very patient, disciplined person helped me to portray Ashley in a very honest and realistic way. Being a submissive is an act of discipline—to yourself and to the other person. Just as a dominant must train, so does the submissive, as it’s not something I or many people naturally gravitate towards.

I won’t sugarcoat it and say that I loved all parts of BDSM. I personally don’t like to be held down or restrained, but playing Ashley means she doesn’t feel the same as I do, so it was very interesting as an actor to give my body over completely while I was in character. The first time I was restrained I felt strong, sexy, and even though restrained, I was still very much in control. Ashlynn would want to squirm and freak out and say “untie me” but Ashley didn’t—instead she took deep breaths, sank into the feeling of being dominated, and waited patiently for what came next. As my arms were stretched above my head and the leather straps tightened around my wrists, I felt free as Ashley. This was her. It was in that moment I felt her guard drop. I learned that restraints are not bad, and I actually felt free in them while in character. For Ashley, it was a way to let someone else take the reins and guide her into things she never knew she might like. I learned a lot about my body and how much it can actually handle. There is a very heavy scene in Episode 6 where I endured a very physical act of restraint. When we were finished, Aiden was rubbing my feet and telling me I am stronger than I think I am. That was a surreal moment for me. I felt empowered as a woman and actor. ...

"American Master/Slave Story: Leather Titleholder Partners Speak About Family, Pride, PReP, and More."

on Thursday, 26 May 2016. Hits 112

Huffington Post

by Jed Ryan

Within the incredibly diverse LGBT community, the worldwide Leather/fetish/kink family is undoubtedly one of its most close-knit subcultures. Leathermen, Leatherwomen, and their allies have created a large and diverse — yet simultaneously intimate — network from Amsterdam to New York City. Throughout the year, there are an endless number of social events taking place, both large and small. Those events include the many annual Leather and fetish contests. Whether it is a bar title or a state, regional, or international title, the winner of the Contest is expected to dedicate a significant amount of time to community service and to take on a philanthropic cause that he or she is passionate about. Forty year-old Dan Ronneberg, a former Officer in the U.S. Air Force who lives in Arlington, Virginia, became the thirty-second Mr. DC Eagle in March 2015. Nine months later, he won the prestigious national title of American Leatherman 2015 during American Brotherhood Weekend (ABW) in Chicago. Ronneberg is an Aviation Safety Inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration. He serves as the National Chairperson for FAA GLOBE, the FAA’s LGBT Employee Association. Fifty-one year old psychiatrist and U.S. Army veteran Todd Leavitt is also a dual Titleholder. In January 2016, Leavitt was named Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016. It was the highest honor in a Contest held during one of the country’s largest and most anticipated Leather/fetish/kink events: Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, D.C. Leavitt, however, is not a newcomer to the Leather world. Almost 25 years earlier, he had won the Title of Mr. Leather Detroit in May 1991. Leavitt is taking his journey even further later this month: He is one of 59 men from all over the world competing for the envied Title of International Mr. Leather (IML) 38 in Chicago during Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Dan and Todd, both incredibly muscular, make an instant impression wherever they appear. In keeping with their responsibilities as Titleholders and role models, they make a lot of public appearances all over the States as well as in other countries. It’s clear that the two of them are devoted to each other, and that they share at least one common interest: bodybuilding! They are both handsome, intelligent, and outgoing. Their three-year relationship, however, is a bit more complex than a casual admirer on the street would perceive. Dan and Todd have a modern consensual Master/slave relationship. It’s an example of a “Dominant/submissive” relationship, the spectrum of which also includes “Daddy/boy” relationships among gay men. But here comes another twist in this happily renegade family portrait: Todd is legally married to Randy Gooch, who has been his life partner for 20 years. Dan is Master to both Todd and Todd’s husband Randy. The three men live together. (And, yes, they all sleep in the same bed, along with their two English bulldogs.)

 

Obviously, every power differential relationship is different. Some partners choose to enact their roles on variant levels when in public and in private, for example. Although I had known Dan for quite some time, I had not yet officially met his slave Todd. To show the significance of the dynamics of a Master/slave couple, I actually felt it appropriate to ask permission of the Master before freely speaking to his slave. As you may have gathered by now, it was fine!

 

It is impossible to accurately estimate how many Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, are in power differential and/or polyamorous relationships. Despite superficial pop culture interest in BDSM culture, the whole subject remains largely misunderstood and often disrespected in American consciousness. In the Leather community, however, these relationships are often open and supported. Still, the idea of both BDSM and polyamorous relationships may be considered at best unusual, and at worst controversial even among the LGBT community at large. But one thing is clear: This unique Leather family makes it work. More importantly, they make it work well. Dan and Todd took the time out of their incredibly busy travel schedule for an enlightening discussion about their relationship, HIV and PReP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) awareness, and the current state of the Leather community.

 

JR: Hello gentlemen. Thank you for speaking with me. So, Dan, let’s start with you. A lot of people, even in the LGBT community at large, may have a hard time understanding the dynamic between a Master or Daddy and his collared slave or boy. They may have a negative impression because they say that the relationship is not “equal”. How would you explain that to them?

Dan: They aren’t equal. It’s very clear that they are power differential relationships. One person is agreeing, consensually, to give up some of their power to make decisions or to do certain things. But it is an exchange. So, the other person is agreeing to take over those roles and to be responsible for that. And that really does mean being responsible to it. That means sexually as well. I am completely responsible for making sure that they (Todd and Randy) have a good time, and that they get off, and that they are happy. There are two of them and just one of me, so I have to make sure we do things that involve all three of us, and that nobody feels left out, and to figure what we are going to do next. I have to put some thought into how I play with them and what we do. I wouldn’t necessarily call it “catering”, but it is paying attention to certain needs and interests — which may be very different for Todd then they are for Randy and determining how can I do both of those at the same time. ...

"Shrinks Who Kink: When You and Your Therapist Love BDSM"

on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. Hits 210

For kinky people, finding a shrink who knows the difference between ball gags and cock and ball torture can be a godsend.

Broadly

by Alice Sanders

Finding a therapist can be a major problem for anyone who's into BDSM or fetish. The most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, updated in 2013, is the first version in the 62-year history of psychiatry's diagnostic bible that does not classify BDSM as a marker of mental illness. But surveys show that far more people are into kink than commonly assumed: A 2008 survey from Durex found that 36 percent of people in the US deploy masks, blindfolds, and bondage tools as part of their sexual repertoire.

 

Kinky people need therapy to deal with the stresses of life just as much as their vanilla peers, but they can run into problems when trying to find a therapist who knows the difference between a dungeon monitor and a domme. Demand for kink-identified therapists has led to websites like LGBTQ-oriented Pink Therapy in the UK and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom in the US. On the NCSF website, therapists are divided into three classifications: kink friendly, kink-aware, and kink-knowledgeable.

 

"By stating that you work with kinky clients you're raising the possibility that you're also kinky," says Joanna*, an integrative therapist working in London. "Some clients will make that assumption, especially if you have a high level of kink knowledge." She goes on to say that she's comfortable outing herself as a BDSM practictioner to a client if they have explicitly told her that they are part of the community.

 

There are good reasons to do this. Clients often come to her having already had a bad experience with a therapist who lacked BDSM understanding. Katie*, a psychodynamic therapist also working in London, tells me that she sees one kinky couple who have been through four previous professionals. "I believe they've been treated poorly by the therapists they've approached."

 

More than just a simple lack of knowledge of kink, vanilla therapists can sometimes bring their own negative preconceptions of BDSM to sessions. It's something both Joanna's clients and friends have had to deal with in the past. "Therapists have suggested that kink is externalized self-harm; that's it's problematic playing with power, that it's a form of unhealthy risk taking." She explains that some keep bringing up kink as symptomatic of a deeper mental health issue, but kink-positive therapy means that "clients can reveal this information in passing, and it's accepted as a normal healthy part of their relationship."

 

Kink can sometimes involve behaviors that someone not in the scene may struggle to wrap their head around (toenail fetishes, anyone?) and clients often don't want to waste time educating a kinky therapist on the terminology and dynamics of the scene. When a shrink come out as kinky, it's not just to assure their clients that they won't have a bad experience in therapy, but to show they can have a positive one.

 

"There's often an assumption that BDSM-ers are attempting to re-enact childhood abuse, whereas no studies have ever found any correlation," Joanna explains of non-kinky therapists. With those who do incorporate S&M into their personal lives, however, "there's a better understanding of the differences between consensual kink and an abusive dynamic, which may be more difficult for therapists who aren't kinky themselves." In fact, a recent Northern Illinois University study showed that those who participated in BDSM are far more likely to understand key issues of consent.

 

But identifying yourself as a kinky professional can come with its challenges, too. Therapist and client will usually have zero relationship outside of the therapeutic space, but that isn't possible in places with small kink scenes. It brings with it the risk that the client will learn personal details about a therapist. Katie suggests that any extra information revealed to a client can tamper with the therapeutic process. "You can get into a bit of a problem if a client is able to glean so much information they can say, 'That person is like me, that's why I'm going to them.'"

 

Therapy relies on the client being able to create their own reality around the 'blank screen' of the therapist—the fears and emotions that a client projects onto their shrink can be very useful as insights to work with—and real information about a therapist can ruin the process. It might be harder for a client to open up if they know that they shop for spanking paddles at the same leather hardware store. As Kate puts it: "There's a reason it's easier to pick up the phone and call the Samaritans than a member of your family." ...

"THE MOST RAUCOUS, MYSTICAL, SENSUAL ALL-NIGHT WEDDING NEW YORK CITY HAS EVER SEEN"

on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. Hits 212

Narratively

 

By Stefanie Iris Weiss | Photos by Jonathan Alpeyrie

 

They met on the dance floor at Burning Man.

 

Michel Madie, a 57-year-old French Jew of Algerian descent, a former veterinarian, and a real estate mogul in New York City. Rasmus Foyer, a 27-year-old Swedish civil engineering student with an open heart and a talent for fire dancing. Their thirty-year age-difference was a minor challenge when compared to all that would stand in the way of their love: geographical distance, sexual orientation, and the vagaries of technology and time.

 

Michel and Rasmus’ encounter might have been as fleeting as any other in Black Rock City, where the desert sands often act as the pixie dust of love at first sight. Thousands of people fall into instantaneous, erotic rapture with fellow travelers during this annual experimental desert arts festival with radical self-expression at its core, only to go back to their workaday lives alone. But fate’s hand interceded for Michel and Rasmus and it could not be ignored: On December 12th, 2015, sixteen months after they first met, the two men were married by a rabbi in the converted Harlem church that is also their home.

 

Surrounded by hundreds of friends dressed in faux fur, feathers and LED-lit animal costumes, the couple took their vows and was blessed under Michel’s ancestral tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl. Each of them stomped on a symbolic glass under a chupah threaded with feathers, African masks, tribal chest pieces and dream catchers. The crowd wept and burst into cheers. Then the party went for another 24 hours, starting with a traditional Algerian dinner, and followed by belly and flamenco dancers, acrobats and a rotation of five gifted DJ’s spinning deep house, down-tempo and funk. Glowing antlers and mermaid tails swayed to the beat, sky-high on the thumping love buzz.

 

 

“Dancing is a place of giving free expression, giving in to who you are with movement, being an animal – being your own animal,” says Michel, whose wedding guests embraced his philosophy that night. All four floors of the building vibrated with explosive joy and in some cases, nakedness and sharing of intimate pleasures. Sexual evolution is part of everyday life for this pair, so conscious sexual play was a natural denouement of their wedding ceremony.

 

In the summer of 2016 they will have a second wedding at Burning Man — one that will surely somehow outdo the first one, whose invitation beseeched guests to:

 

Be your totem animal: body-paint on your bare skin or body suit, full-on animal costume, or CREATE your own CREATURE. What we want present at our wedding is the beast inside of you. Is it furry, feathery, fuzzy, prickly, clawy, funny, mystical, dark, ethereal, dangerous, charming, sexy, all the above…? Cartoons and fairy-tales, jungle and fantasies, Noah’s Arch and mythology, be invited!

 

Both men are strikingly handsome, tall, and unflinchingly masculine; disarmingly attractive and seemingly completely free of pretense and affectation. It seems natural that Rasmus and Michel’s lives would change the moment they saw each other – so much raw power colliding – but it would be a few months until either understood exactly how.

 

Michel and Rasmus were each in relationships with women the night they met, and both had been previously married to women. (Michel also has a 35-year-old son from a previous relationship who lives in Paris, and attended the wedding.) They both made it clear that their blossoming partnership was no ethical breach – their previous relationships had ended before they allowed themselves to consider pursuing each other. ...

"BDSM Communities Are Less Rapey Than the General Population"

on Saturday, 21 May 2016. Hits 264

According to new research from Northern Illinois University, participants in "cultures of consent" like BDSM engage in less rape myth acceptance, benevolent sexism, and victim blaming.

Broadly

by Steven Blum

A new study suggests our nation's children would be better off learning about consensual sex from dungeon masters than their awkward gym teachers.

 

After measuring rates of "hostile sexism, benevolent sexism, rape myth acceptance, victim blaming, expectation of sexual aggression, and acceptance of sexual aggression" in three groups, researchers at Northern Illinois University found that BDSM communities with "cultures of consent" held significantly lower rape-supportive beliefs compared to college undergraduates and the general public.

 

"BDSM culture is built around affirmative consent norms, including talking about and negotiating a scene way beforehand," Kathryn Klement, one of the study's authors, told Broadly. "It's about not just seeing sexual consent as an on-off switch—yes or no—but as a continuous process."

 

Another poll backs this up. According to a large survey of BDSM practitioners conducted by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) in 2012, at least 85 percent of respondents endorsed statements like "a person can revoke consent at any time," "consent should be an ongoing discussion in a relationship," and "clear, overt consent must be given before a scene." Over 93 percent of respondents endorsed the statement "consent is not valid when coerced."

 

To test whether individuals in the sadomasochist world held fewer rape-supportive beliefs, the researchers at Northern Illinois asked them whether they agreed with a number of victim-blaming statements, like "if a girl goes to a room alone with a guy at a party, it is her fault if she is raped" and "rape happens when a guy's sex drive goes out of control." They also measured how respondents felt about sexual aggression being used in various scenarios, like if a man was stoned, drunk, or so turned on that he "couldn't stop."

 

The results showed that the kink community had significantly lower levels of benevolent sexism (using sexist stereotypes to give women backhanded compliments, for example), rape myth acceptance, and victim blaming compared to members of the general public recruited online, as well as to college students who took the survey for class credit.

 

The study seems to contradict recent reports from victims who were shamed by the BDSM scene when they came forward with allegations of abuse, though it shouldn't. Klement acknowledges that a perceived culture of consent can inoculate the community against allegations of sexual violence, giving violators plausible deniability. But despite the presence of serial predators—which exist in every scene—another poll by the NCSF found that a majority of those in the BDSM community saw the subculture as "safer for them than mainstream society."

 

Might the general public have something to learn from the way kinksters talk to each other before, during, and after a flogging sesh? Those who study BDSM believe the same rules of engagement could easily be applied to vanilla encounters.

 

"Affirmative consent is kind of like foreplay," Susan Wright, member of the NCSF board of directors, told Broadly. "Talking about what you want to get into is such a sexy, vulnerable thing to do. It really heightens the intensity." ...

"Exploring polyamorous relationships"

on Wednesday, 18 May 2016. Hits 249

Fox News

by Andrew Hasbun

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - In the middle of a major spring snowstorm, the streets of Denver seem deserted, but it's a celebration of love, at the National Loving More Convention in the Denver suburbs. Here a wife may be dancing with her boyfriend, and her husband doesn't mind. That's the polyamorous way.

 

"It is loving more than one in a committed relationship, it's that simple," said Torin Caffrey.

 

Robyn Trask runs the nonprofit dedicated to promoting polyamory. She is married to Jesus but has had a year-long intimate relationship with Ben.

 

Photo Exploring polyamorous relationships

"I just came to terms with the fact I wasn't a monogamous person, if that meant I had to be alone then I would rather be alone than cheat or be dishonest," said Robyn Trask.

 

"For me it just comes naturally, I love seeing Robyn happy, so the thought of her going out and seeing her giddy it actually just warms my heart," said Jesus Garcia.

 

Robyn met Ben years ago at a conference, and the two have been close ever since.

 

"Over time anything is going to change, and when people see that there are options they didn't know they had, some of those people are going to be interested," said Ben.

 

People came from across the country to attend the conference; some say they've been "polys" as long as they can remember, others are just learning about it. Attendance at the event has grown every year, and the organizers say the younger generation tends to be much more accepting of the lifestyle.

 

"I always knew that our family was a little different from our friends, but I never really paid a lot of attention to it until about age 11 when I noticed some of my mom's friends weren't just friends," said Marina Trask.

 

Trask has nothing bad to say about her mom's lifestyle. She says she is polyamorous too.

 

"I feel like my mom being polyamorous made her more honest with me, she used the same honestly, she did with me, and she did with her partners, and any child would want to have that honest with their parents," said Trask.

 

Seminars at the convention were taught by longtime supporters of the lifestyle; one literally wrote the book on polyamory.

 

"Love doesn't equal ownership if I'd go to a party and people would say who do you belong to, and I would say didn't slavery go out a long time ago, I really believe love is about giving not about clinging," said Mim Chapman.

 

Make no mistake we live in a monogamous world; we've all heard about swingers, but polyamory, supporters say, is different. It's more about long term relationships than flings. But with those multiple relationships come a range of emotions, including jealousy.

 

"With a polyamorous relationship it is important that a person is ready to give time to each of the people they are involved with, give emotional space to each person they are involved with," said Frances. ...

Latest Reader Comments

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