National Consent Month embraces the freedom of expression that comes with informed consent.
Join us by dedicating one of your events or workshops during the month of September to consent. Let us know the date of your event, and we'll put it on our calendar and publicize it on our social media.
Get your “Got Consent?” T-shirts, mugs and dog tags in the NCSF shop!
Submit photos of your Consent Month celebration to our Consent Photo Contest. We’ll post the photos and award the winner top billing on our Consent Month website for the rest of the year. You’ll also be featured in an NCSF media campaign about Consent Month.
Consent Month is proudly sponsored by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Arizona Power Exchange.
Thank you for celebrating September as Consent Month!
NCSF thanks AASECT for allowing us to produce A Taste of Kink with the AASECT Alt Sex SIG at their annual conference this past weekend in Minneapolis. 109 members received 3 Continuing Education credits for attending the event which showed demonstrations of BDSM activities and allowed participants to "taste" the sensation.
It was an exciting event that has been years in the making by the kink-aware sex educators, counselors and therapists of AASECT. Attendees had the opportunity to talk to kinky people about their relationships, and how and why they enjoy BDSM and fetishes.
Thank you to all the MN kink volunteers who gave generously of themselves, welcoming the AASECT members into the inner workings of our community!
NCSF’s Incident Reporting & Response received 54 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in January, February and March. NCSF maintains the confidentiality of those who come to us for help. However we balance that need with the need to report the services we are providing and to provide the community with a record of where the need is the greatest. Here is a breakdown of the cases we assisted on in the first quarter of 2015:
There were 18 requests for assistance with incidents involving criminal law. 12 of those requests were from survivors of a kink-related assault/sexual assault who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services, education of law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors. 5 were requests for kink-aware defense attorneys and expert witnesses knowledgeable about BDSM vs. abuse. The other incident involved obscenity law.
13 professionals and organizations asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services to kinky clients. These included victim services, medical clinics, therapists, prosecutors and college professors. We also provided information and resources to 2 kink activists to assist in their training of professionals in their area.
There were 12 requests for help involving BDSM and swing groups. 6 groups asked for advice on banning members and dealing with consent violations. 4 groups asked for assistance in setting up a club and dealing with zoning. 2 groups needed assistance with reporters who wanted to attend one of their events.
There were 8 requests for help with child custody in which BDSM was brought in to contest custody. That is an increase from the 4th quarter of 2014 in which there were 6 requests for help with child custody. We assisted in family court cases in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas and Canada.
There were 2 requests for help with kink-related discrimination. One person is being denied hospital visitation and the other needed help finding a kink-aware therapist in her area.
Civil law incidents
Only 1 request for help with a threatened outing, involving their FetLife profile.
If you need NCSF’s help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email
NCSF has supported our Coalition Partner, Leather & Grace, as they have worked to gain greater tolerance for kinky members and staff of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Unitarian Universalists have a long history of courage in tackling issues around human sexuality, yet the UUA's current leadership has not responded well to Leather & Grace's concerns.
"Communication with the UUA has been a struggle since Leather & Grace got off the ground in 2011," reports L&G's Moderator, Desmond Ravenstone. "The litany of issues basically comes down to our perceiving a lack of clarity, responsiveness and credibility on the part of the Association’s leadership and their designated liaison."
In response, L&G's leadership has selected an outside intermediary, for the purpose of helping negotiate a covenant of right relationship with the Association.
"The UUA appoints Right Relationship Teams at its annual General Assembly, to deal with issues of conflict and miscommunication," Ravenstone explained. "Based on that model, we recommended that someone be appointed to serve a similar function in our case. But that was rejected, and the bulk of the problems faced by kink-identified UUs still remain. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find someone willing to fulfill this task, and to ask the UUA’s leadership to respect our wishes that any further communication be channeled to that intermediary."
Many difficulties stem from the refusal of their designated liaison to communicate L&G's questions and suggestions to various UUA departments, compounded by non-committal and evasive answers from UUA leaders to a number of questions. Issues reported by kinky UUA staff, for example, took two years to be resolved. Meanwhile, L&G has repeatedly pointed out a major problem with the criteria for recognizing "related organizations," which the UUA's senior administrators have failed to address.
"We will continue our mission of educating and building greater awareness among all UUs," Ravenstone affirmed. "But our experience with the UUA's current administration has led to a serious erosion of trust, and it will take sincere effort to repair this breach. We believe the intermediary we've found will be able to help. It's now up to the UUA to take the next step."
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is fighting for your rights. Please support us by joining today!
For the month of February, as Fifty Shades of Grey sweeps the nation, NCSF is holding a membership drive in honor of the BDSM activists, authors and organizers who have helped pave the way for greater tolerance for all kinky people. As a coalition, NCSF is proud to bring together groups, businesses and professionals so we can work together to eliminate discrimination.
NCSF’s 2015 Coalition Partner Meeting will take place in Baltimore, MD, on March 21-22.
The Coalition Partners will meet to vote on the Board of Directors for NCSF, approve the 2015 budget, and brainstorm on NCSF’s projects and goals for the coming year.
The CP Meeting will be held at the Ramada BWI Airport hotel at 7253 Parkway Drive, Hanover MD 21076. Rooms are $87/night plus tax. To make a reservation you must call the hotel directly at: 410-712-4300 There is a shuttle from/to the airport and Amtrack.
On Saturday, the NCSF CP Meeting is 8:30am-5pm with lunch provided, with the meeting continuing on Sunday from 8:30-noon.
The following are educational, social and fundraising events for NCSF that everyone is invited to attend:
·Friday 3/20. Join NCSF at MaxVilla in Baltimore hosted by Mistress Max Rulz—food, drinks and play in the dungeon. 7pm-12am. $15 admission—all proceeds benefit NCSF. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at https://nationalcoalitionforsexualfreedom.wildapricot.org/event-1843285. Please bring a valid ID. Directions will be emailed to ticket holders.
·Saturday, 3/21. Join NCSF for a special evening of decadence at one of the finest private dungeons on the East Coast located in Silver Spring, MD, sponsored by the DC Sub Club and hosted by Judy Guerin (aka MsAriel). There will be a VIP portion from 7-9pm with NCSF and local scene celebrities, followed by a play party until 3am for $50 admission. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and a buffet dinner. Tickets are also available for the play party from 9pm-3am for $25 that includes food and drinks. All proceeds benefit NCSF. Tickets must be purchased in advance: https://nationalcoalitionforsexualfreedom.wildapricot.org/event-1843289 Please bring a valid ID. Directions will be emailed to ticket holders.
·Sunday, 3/22. Join NCSF for a workshop at Baltimore Playhouse from 2-4pm, free of charge. BDSM & the Law: Everything You Need to Know, with a panel of Kink Aware attorneys and advocates. Have a question? Now is the time to ask! How do you protect yourself or house party? Where are the lines drawn when it comes to consent violations? How do you deal with consent violations that aren’t assault? What about contracts? We will be taking your questions ahead of time until March 1st so ask us what you want to know about kinky sex and the law. Send your questions to
FetLife event page: https://fetlife.com/events/314546
·Sunday, 3/22. Open play at Baltimore Playhouse from 4-8pm, the largest play space in the U.S. Admission $10.
Transportation can be provided for Board Members and Coalition Partner representatives to any of these events.
We hope to see you there!
For more information, contact
2014 has been a year of progress for NCSF and for people who are kinky and nonmonogamous. The national conversation about gay marriage, consent, and even Fifty Shades of Grey are transforming mainstream attitudes. The change in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 stating that BDSM is a healthy form of sexual expression has also had a significant impact on both the courts and public opinion about kink.
Education Outreach Project
The NCSF Board Members and presenters gave Education Outreach Project workshops and tabled at 36 events in 2014 (compared to 22 in 2013), with a focus on consent discussions, BDSM & the Law, and distributing literature such as Kink is Okay and Finding Kink Aware Medical Care.
The groups and events where NCSF presented included: Arizona Men of Leather, Arizona Power Exchange, Atlanta Poly Weekend, BDSM Writers Con, Behind Closed Doors, Beyond The Love, CatalysCon East, Catalyst Art & Cultural Space, Center for Sex Positive Culture, CLAW, COPE, CPI/The Mark, Dark Con, Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, Dark Odyssey Surrender, Desert Dominion, DragonCon, Floating World, Folsom Street East, Future of Monogamy and Non-Monogamy, International Mr. Leather, Kinkfest, Leathermen’s Discussion Group, MSDB Bizarre Bazaar, Paradise Unbound, Poly Living Conference, Polyamory Political Activism Conclave, Portland Leather Alliance, SMART, Society for Sex Therapy & Research 39th Annual Meeting, Southwest Leather Contest, Spanksgiving, Thunder in the Mountains, Up Your Alley - Dore Alley, Winter Wickedness, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit.
NCSF also exhibited at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) 47th Annual Conference on June 4-8th, in Monterey, California. NCSF helped organize a panel presentation on “Social Organizations and BDSM Communities,” moderated by Neil Cannon, PhD, DST and Russell Stambaugh, PhD, DST. The panel was attended by 115 of the 550 participants, and raised over $4,000 for AASECT. The panelists were experienced and articulate kink organizers on the West Coast: Race Bannon, Janet Hardy, Demitri Moshanyii, Richard Sprott, Anna Randall, and Jim and Montaine who run a dungeon-themed B&B in Monterey.
Jim Fleckenstein was the lead presenter on “The Fountain of Youth! The Association of an Open Relationship Orientation with Health and Happiness in a Sample of Older Adults,” a workshop discussing the key findings from the Loving More and NCSF internet survey, the largest-ever sample of self-identified polyamorists.
The NCSF booth in the Exhibit Hall gave away 50 free copies of What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory, courtesy of a grant by Alan of Polyamory in the News as well as brochures on NCSF’s projects and programs. Nearly 150 copies of NCSF’s new Kink is Okay! brochure were given away, describing the changes in the DSM-5 that depathologized BDSM.
Kink Aware Professionals
Over 1,200 people accessed NCSF’s Kink Aware Professionals database in 2014 to find a lawyer, therapist or other professional. Recognizing the need for more kink aware professionals in KAP, NCSF joined forces with GayLawNet, a free referral database of gay-friendly attorneys, which began offering a Kink Aware Professional category for their lawyers to self-identify as kink aware.
Incident Reporting & Response
To assist in educating professionals, NCSF published What Professionals Need to Know About BDSM by Lauren Moore, Tamara Pincus & David Rodemaker. This pamphlet was written to help professionals meet culturally competent ethical standards in work with those of our underserved population.
NCSF received 184 requests for assistance in 2014 through Incident Reporting & Response. 40% of IRR requests dealt with criminal issues. 20% were child custody/divorce. 14% were requests for information on kink and non-monogamy from professionals including: academics, social services, vanilla nonprofit organizations & events, authors, merchant services, and insurance brokers. 11% were group issues, primarily assisting in handling adversarial members, outreach to law enforcement, or managing negative media incidents.
NCSF launched our 50 Shades of NCSF campaign featuring four palm cards and a resource page. Two of the palm cards are geared toward vanilla people who may be interested in kink while the other two have information on consent and the law. These palm cards were sent to 68 groups for distribution during the upcoming launch of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.
In December, NCSF also broadcast a media kit through PR Newswire entitled “NCSF: Are you ready for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie?” that targeted reporters and offered story ideas about kink and non-monogamy. The PR was reposted on 137 websites, including Reuters and the Associated Press, and was viewed by over 1,000 journalists in the first 24 hours.
Susan Wright gave 32 interviews in 2014 to reporters from mainstream media to blogs and podcasts. The 2014 interviews included: The NY Times, NY Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, CNN, Playboy, Bay Area Reporter, Slate, Jane XO, Alternet, andtwo Huffington Post Live appearances.
Barak and Sheba of AdventuresinSexuality.org, a long-time Coalition Partner of NCSF, joined the media team and will be giving interviews on kink and non-monogamy. NCSF also published 15 Guest Blogs by experts in various fields, up from five Guest Blogs posted in 2013. Jsin created several podcast PSAs about NCSF tailored to specific niches – leathermen, pansexual and vanilla-ish – as well as promotional videos to accompany the 50 Shades of NCSF campaign.
NCSF ran two surveys in 2014: the Consent Violations Survey and the Mental Health Survey. The results of both will be available in early 2015. The Consent Violations Survey collected 4,600 responses and the results will be given to law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services and health care professionals to help them understand the experiences of kinky people and provide better quality service.
The Mental Health Survey collected over 800 responses. NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University’s Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will ultimately compare our response set to two other sample populations – one college-aged and the other LGBT.
The Consent Counts program continued its educational mission as well as providing Amicus (“friend of the court”) Briefs in relevant legal cases. The Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals twice accepted NCSF’s amicus brief in the case of Gregory T. Miles, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. NCSF advised the court that prosecutors are avoiding the Supreme Court decision, made in Lawrence v. Texas, that moral judgment is not a basis for criminalizing consensual sexual conduct, and that consensual sex should only be criminalized if that conduct is injurious or goes against a valid societal interest. NCSF also argued that military law is out of sync with U.S. Constitutional law and societal mores, especially when it comes to consensual sexual behaviors.
As part of the revamping of NCSF’s policies and procedures this year, the NCSF Board created the Ombuds Committee in June and appointed Desmond Ravenstone, James Huesmann and Bjorn Paulee. The Ombuds Committee handles complaints and concerns regarding the conduct of NCSF officers and staff, and the operations of NCSF institutions. The NCSF Ombuds Committee was established as an Advisory Committee, as per NCSF bylaws, to review coalition administration and activities, assuring ethical and effective fulfillment of NCSF’s mission and goals. Board Member Fil Vocasek is the Board Liaison to the Ombuds Committee.