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"Why I choose non-monogamy"

on Friday, 30 January 2015. Hits 202

CNN

by Chris Messina

Like most of my generation, I grew up spoon fed monogamist fairy tales that pushed "happily ever after" endings as though achieving one was preordained.

It was like, once you found "the one" and stepped on to the relationship escalator, all the answers became clear -- so long as you kept your eyes on the prize and didn't stray (wait, what was the prize again?). You could spend your whole life living out this fantasy, blissfully ignorant that any other way might be possible, let alone desirable.

Nice enough, right?

But as a child of divorce and an aspiring designer-entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I was suspicious of marriage. Out here, we're data-positive and solution-oriented and if your product (i.e. marriage) is failing for 50% of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better. So when I discovered polyamory and non-monogamy as I headed to Burning Man in 2013, I realized I'd stumbled onto another way.

Let's get our terms straight. Polyamory means "many loves." It often applies to one or more people who are romantically involved with (wait for it) one or more partners. Non-monogamy, meanwhile, applies to everything that isn't monogamy -- including polyamory -- but you can be non-monogamous and not polyamorous. Here, I'll draw you a Venn diagram.

Personally, I'm in a monogamish relationship. We're committed to each other, but have a porous boundary around our relationship, meaning we've agreed that it's OK for either of us to express romantic feelings toward other people or to be physically intimate with other people, so long as we're honest and transparent about our intentions with one another.

These things don't diminish the integrity of our relationship. Rather, they deepen our understanding of each other's wants and desires, and give us the space to grow independently, without growing apart.

So why non-monogamy now?

Well, people haven't changed much, but their environment has.

Just think: Monogamy established itself thousands of years ago, when society was ruled by scarcity and resources and potential mates were in limited supply.

We're now living in a period of great (though unequally distributed) abundance where our basic needs are sufficiently met, and reproduction is a choice. As a result, the reasons to be with a single mate for life are less urgent. And with the advent of connected mobile devices and the internet, we've entered into the era I've dubbed Big Dating.

Big Dating unbundles monogamy and sex. It offers to maximize episodes of intimacy while minimizing the risk of rejection or FOMO. ...

 

"Madison erupts over swingers club"

on Wednesday, 28 January 2015. Hits 344

The Tennesean

by Tony Gonzales

Calling a proposed swingers sex club “evil” and a would-be “cancer” on Madison, the leader of a Christian school put voice to local concerns during a meeting Monday that aired opposition.

“We will exhaust every legal, every political, every kind of resource we can find to stop it,” vowed Ricky Perry, president of Goodpasture Christian School, about a half-mile from the proposed club.

Perry spoke to more than 200 people who packed the Madison Police Precinct. Even before arriving, almost 3,000 had signed petitions — including online — against the relocation of The Social Club to 520 Lentz Drive.

Despite the club’s efforts to stay quiet or suggest other intentions, news of the relocation surfaced to some officials in November and more broadly this month. The club sold its building on Division Street, south of downtown, in October, which prompted the move.

“I’m not for what they want to do, but they have legal rights, too,” area Councilwoman Karen Bennett told the crowd.

Current zoning would allow a private club at its proposed location, officials said. But Bennett has started asking city staff about changes that might prevent it — although she wouldn’t share details and made no promises.

“Let’s face it: In the end, we will probably be sued,” Bennett said. “It’s what they do.”

The councilwoman noted she’d spoken to some club members in favor of the location. But none spoke up.

Many who did speak Monday had their minds made up, raising a loud alarm about the future of Madison, invoking their faith and asking about tactics to derail the club. They raised the spectres of alcohol, sexually transmitted diseases and sex offenders.

“Will we be a place where children are safe?” asked Pastor Maury Davis ofCornerstone Church. ...

"I have a fiancé, a girlfriend and two boyfriends"

on Tuesday, 27 January 2015. Hits 287

CNN

By Laurie Segall

Miju Han lives in the Bay Area, works as a product manager and shares a charming apartment with her fiancé.

Here's what makes her love story a bit different: She's also in three other relationships. In addition to her fiancé, Han has been seeing a woman for two years (they recently said, "I love you"). She also dates two other men.

Han, 27, says she never quite colored inside the lines. She grew up in the South, was attracted to women and fascinated by programming. In 2010, she moved to the Bay Area and has since worked at several major tech companies. Han declined to name her current employer.

She met her fiancé when he was 21 and she was 23. They fell in love but weren't ready to cut off other options.

"He hadn't dated many other women in the past, and I wanted to explore too," she explained.

Han says the term for her relationship status is polyamorous, meaning "many loves." People who identify as polyamorous are often in multiple romantic relationships. The arrangements vary, but they have a lack of exclusivity in common.

Han and her fiancé practice a hierarchical style of polyamory. Her fiancé, who asked not to be named, is her primary partner, meaning all other relationships are secondary or more casual. They spend five to six nights a week together and plan on marrying in 2016 and having children at some point. Han's fiancé is also dating three other women.

Han compares her experimentation with her relationship to the experimentation that happens in the Bay Area, a mecca for entrepreneurs who question the way things work.

"I think that in technology, people have higher appetites for risks," she says. "Opening up your relationship is really risky, kind of in a similar way that starting a company is really risky."

In fact, it's just a part of a rich history of sexual exploration in the Bay Area that far precedes the tech boom.

"There's still a lot of cultural taboo around open relationships and polyamory," says Polly "Superstar" Whittaker, who a started a private sex club called Mission Control in 2001. "This is a town that accepts alternative structures."

Chris Messina, an entrepreneur best known for coining Twitter's use of the hashtag, lays it out in numbers. ...

"Kinky Camaraderie: A Report from MAL 2015"

on Friday, 23 January 2015. Hits 341

This year's Mid-Atlantic Leather may have been the largest yet, eagerly embracing newcomers and veterans alike

MetroWeekly

by Doug Rule

Over 3,000 people attended Mid-Atlantic Leather, held last weekend at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. “It was definitely one of our largest, if not thelargest,” says Patrick Grady, chair of the event, which originated 41 years ago.

The second largest leather and fetish event in the U.S., MAL has grown even in the five years since it moved to the Hyatt. Certainly, it’s an eye-opening experience for any newcomer, as well as for those veterans, such as Mauro Walden-Montoya, Mr. MAL 1996, who haven’t been to MAL since the move. Walden-Montoya and his husband flew in from Albuquerque, N.M., arriving late Friday evening.

“Just watching his face as we walked in was priceless,” Walden-Montoya says of his husband, who was attending his first big leather event. “Like a kid in a candy store mixed with a shocked nun — the emotions across his face were hilarious. You just look down and there’s this sea of black leather and naked butts and beautiful men with no shirts.” Soon enough he got a kick out of another sight: His husband wandering the hotel in a jockstrap, “which he never thought he’d do in his life.”

Jerry Overby was another first-time attendee relishing in the kind of freedom MAL allows, even encourages. “It was pretty dreamy, a complete eye-opener,” says the young Virginia native, who had no previous experience with leather or kink but opted to go after a friend invited him to join. “I lost a lot of my shyness. I would have never been caught dead in public in my underwear, or even without a shirt on.” At this year’s MAL, Overby walked around wearing just a harness and a jock. “It was a super-friendly environment. Everyone was so chill. There was no judgment at all.”

The weekend “was a huge success,” Grady says. “Lots of happy people and good energy everywhere. There were no problems, no issues at the hotel.” In fact, the hotel’s new general manager, who was on site all weekend, called Grady on Monday morning “to thank us and to thank our guests for coming. The hotel received lots of compliments from our guests.” ...

"The 10 Kinkiest Cities in the U.S."

on Thursday, 22 January 2015. Hits 879

by Kink University

 

To celebrate the launch of Kink University, we went looking for the kinkiest city in America, and were shocked by what we found. It wasn't the old stalwarts that surprised us — we had a pretty good idea that New York and San Francisco would make the list — but the breadth and diversity of our United States of Kink this year did. We looked at 50 major American cities, ranking them for total kink population (as measured by active members on kink social network Fetlife), the percentage of the population that identifies as kinky, the number of kink-aware professionals (therapists, doctors, lawyers) listed on the NCSF's excellent resource directory, and by the porn purchases of their inhabitants, using data from Kink.com.

Along the way, we came across some interesting side notes. Would you have guessed that El Paso has the smallest kinky population of any major American city? Or that in tiny Harrisburg PA, over 10% of the population identifies as kinky? We found thriving kink outposts in Tampa, a thriving dungeon scene in Atlanta, and porn lovers just about everywhere. (To keep statistical noise to a minimum, we limited it to cities with populations over 500,000.)

The State of Our Kinky Union is strong, we're happy to report. Welcome to the 10 Kinkiest Cities in the United States 2015. ...

"Alaska’s Kink Community Readies its New Home After Years of Unique Hurdles"

on Wednesday, 21 January 2015. Hits 940

By

Alaska has a tightening kink community made up of people living alternative lifestyles that range from discomfort with mainstream society to unconventional sex practices. But they have struggled to find spaces in which to gather. Now, after a lengthy tenant dispute and thousands of dollars worth of property damage, the Alaska Center for Alternative Lifestyles–ACAL– is ready to open it’s doors.

 

“Our stairwell, when we finish staging, will be full of pride-flags from across the lower-48,” explains Sahra Shaubach as she shows off the staircase leading into the 2000 square-foot basement she rents in downtown Anchorage, formerly the site of the Kodiak bar. ”Those will include Bear pride-flags, and GBLT pride flags, of course the Leather pride flag, the Trans pride flag and so on and so forth.”

ACAL is meant to solve a years-long problem of where people interested in unconventional sex can get together for events.

”You name it, we’ve rented it,” Shaubach explains.  ”We’ve done this out of restaurants after they’ve closed, we’ve done this out of convention halls, we’ve done this out of hotels–we’ve rented entire floors of hotels and done theme rooms. We’ve rented basements, we’ve rented empty houses. And we’ve been doing it with the respect of the greater community in Anchorage, I believe. We haven’t had anyone call the cops and say ‘Oh my god the perverts are screaming next door.’”

“Kink community” is the umbrella term covering everything from bondage and leather aficionados to erotic artists and exotic hula-hoopers. Though Alaska’s kink community is dwarfed by cities in the Lower-48, it is far more widespread than the uninitiated may realize. In the last two decades, different groups like The Northern Lights Dungeon Society and Alaska Dark Realms organized coffee meet-ups and dinners nicknamed “munches.”

“It was just amazing to realize that people across the board–young, old, fat, ugly, educated, not, your doctors, your lawyers, your school teachers, your single mothers, your college students–everybody shows up to those munches,” Shaubach recalls from when she began getting involved eight years ago.  ”If you saw us sitting at a restaurant–20, 25, 30, 40 of us–you would have no idea we are Alaska’s alternative community. We look like the people you’d see at Fred Myers.”

Shaubach pounced on the opportunity to rent out the basement in the old Kodiak, even though it meant cleaning up years of broken furniture, trash, and remnants of people crashing when they had nowhere else to go. Upon seeing the space for the first time in two years, the landlord wept. Shaubach and volunteers organized “work frollicks”–a borrowed Amish term–to haul trash, paint, clean, and disinfect the industrial kitchen on the top floor. It took months, but the results are impressive. The rambling chambers of the basement are primed for activities: a tiny stage surrounded by tables, studded leather straps to hang donated art, and “playrooms” holding a few daunting apparatuses.

“There’ll also be a large padded table here that also has a cage that goes underneath it,” Shaubach explained, pointing inside her favorite room. It was filled with supplies and equipment, including an X-shaped St. Andrew’s Cross and wooden stocks affixed to a spanking bench.

“Forgive me if this is a little bit suburban,” I asked, “but what is the table and what are the cage for?”

“Umm,” Shaubach paused, a smile spreading over her face, ‘there’s so many options for a table and a cage!”

Alaska’s kink community numbers in the hundreds, and is committed enough that Shaubach can finance the costs of rent and upkeep by collecting membership fees.

“It’s like having a Sam’s Club Card,” said Shaubach, “you don’t get the groceries for free, but you definitely get a discounted rate for being a member.”

$120 s a year buys access to the space, along with priority rates on workshops and educational events on eclectic topics like knot-tying. ...

Annual Coalition Partner Meeting

on Tuesday, 20 January 2015. Hits 458

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.

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifhttps://m.ramada.com/hotels/maryland/hanover/ramada-bwi-airport-arundel-mills/hotel-overview

 

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

"Bob Bashara: 'Bondage Bob' plunked in prison for life, hired hitman to kill wife"

on Tuesday, 20 January 2015. Hits 438

Examiner.com

 

Bob Bashara, a man described as an S&M “master,” was sentenced Thursday to spend his life in jail, with no parole eligibility, for the killing of his spouse, Jane Bashara, found strangled to death in January of 2012. Last month, Bashara was declared guilty on all five counts – first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation of murder, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.

 

Writes USA Today on Jan. 15: “In sentencing Bob Bashara for his role in his wife's 2012 murder, Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans had strong words, calling Bashara a predator and said that long before Jane Bashara's death, she ‘was mentally and emotionally destroyed’ by her husband.”

 

Jane Bashara’s body was found inside of her Mercedes SUV, which was discovered in an alley on Detroit's east side. Prosecutors successfully argued that Bob hired a local handyman, identified as Joseph Getz, to strangle his wife. As a motive, investigators said Bashara was involved in a heavily masochistic relationship with a woman named Rachel Gillett and another woman.

 

Lorraine Engelbrecht, Jane’s mother, spoke directly to Bashara at his sentencing hearing, leveling strong words against her daughter’s killer. “Every day I live, I want to think about you rotting in jail and someday burning in hell,” she said, adding to the court: “Why didn't he just go and live his scummy, dungeon life and leave my daughter and my grandchildren alone?”

 

Bashara, for his part, continued to maintain his innocence, telling the judge that he loved “my Jane dearly and have done absolutely nothing to harm her. I did not murder her. I did not conspire with anyone.” Bashara then spoke directly to his mother-in-law, telling her: “I will never, ever stop fighting for justice and the truth until my hands are raw, blood comes from eyes and I take my last breath.”

 

Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans didn’t buy it, telling Bashara: “Today there will be justice for Jane… I have no mercy on you,” and adding that “the only person you ever loved was yourself.”

 

 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Bashara “addressed the court about issues he had with his murder trial, including his lawyers, media coverage and prosecutors, who he said made him look like a ‘monster.’ He then asked for a mistrial, which was denied.” ...

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...

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    23. March, 2015 |

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