Jan 15, 2013 – Today Ed Bagley pled guilty to Use of an Interstate Facility to Entice a Minor into Illegal Sexual Conduct in U.S. District Court. Bagley admitted in his plea agreement to many of the nonconsensual, violent behaviors with a minor that the prosecution claimed he did. The maximum penalties the Court may impose are: not less than ten years imprisonment and not more than life imprisonment.
The NCSF supports the rights of consenting adults to engage in BDSM, and strongly condemns those who commit violence and engage in non-consensual activities or in sexual activities with minors. We commend the Assistant DA’s office for their focus on consent, and for supporting the Female Victim in her complaint.
NCSF encourages everyone to remember that the millions of consenting adults who engage in BDSM activities should not be confused with Ed Bagley and his co-defendants’ crimes.
When James Franco approached us about producing a documentary on my company last year, I was flattered -- but hesitant. As the founder of Kink.com, the largest producer of fetish and BDSM pornography in the world, I've seen a lot of harmful misconceptions construed about the company, and BDSM in general. Next week, the documentary, kink, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It will be controversial, but I hope that it starts a conversation about sex and sexuality that goes beyond the walls of the Kink.com Armory.
Fifteen years ago, I started Kink.com out of my dorm room at Columbia Business School. I had been studying for a Ph.D. in finance, on my way to becoming a professor or Wall Street bond guru, but had always wanted to run my own business. After stumbling onto a newspaper article about a firefighter who was making thousands of dollars selling adult pictures over the then-novel Internet, it became clear that I could make a living creating fetish porn -- a genre that speaks to me personally -- and I jumped at the opportunity. But for me, porn has never been just a business -- it's about providing access for hundreds of thousands of people like me whose fantasies live outside the bounds of conventional sexuality.
I grew up with an intense desire to be tied up. Indeed, as a young child I remember getting turned on by cowboy and Indian movies where someone was being restrained. When walking home from elementary school, I remember gazing at a pair of handcuffs in the window of an Army supply store. However, it wasn't until I was a teenager that I discovered erotic bondage magazines in seedy London sex stores, which lead me to the conclusion that maybe bondage could be enjoyed with a consenting partner. Maybe, I reasoned, there was nothing actually wrong with me! I struggled to find others to continue this dialogue. Several years later when I began frequenting S/M clubs in the dead of night, I recall all the patrons wore only black leather and many had a secondary "scene" name for anonymity. Even then, it struck me that kink probably had a far wider appeal than those willing to frequent these clubs and I was confused by the shroud of secrecy.
As someone who has grown up with these feelings, I believe that the widespread availability of erotica depicting diverse sexual acts is a very good thing. Anyone with a fetish is likely to find content that appeals to them specifically and thus feel less isolation, shame or confusion. Such negative emotions about sexuality are not healthy for any of us.
The work we do at Kink.com focuses on a subset of those activities encompassed under "BDSM" (Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, and Sado Masochism) -- which is in turn a subset of the broader idea of sexual "kink." As a commercial enterprise, our products gravitate toward that which sells -- beautiful people, elaborate sets and props. Having said that, authenticity to the underlying fetish has always been very important to us, and making porn is not merely about money. ...
Part of the intrigue of kink is attributed to its marginalized position in society. Although some players are active members in the scene and not just participants in a particular scene, others prefer a private, intimate domain for play. Regardless of your preference, just as safe words are a necessity, so is safe play in terms of considering the risks of unintended public exposure. Dungeons provide an implied safe place to play in public but sometimes that is not enough. We must insist on and develop rules that minimize all risks, including those activities that may damage us physically, socially and professionally.
In a digital world with camera phones, social networking sites and the internet, we must rethink how we play and with whom.The risk of exposure for some is a fetish in and of itself. However, there are ways to play with this notion while liming the actual dangers. For example, during a scene when one threatens to take photos, pretend to do so and take photos of background objects instead. Your blindfolded partner will hear the click but the result, a photo of the floor for example, with not have the same potential negative consequences.
When we are wrapped up in a scene and safe with our partner, we must still consider the future. Some relationships turn sour, people get angry and tempers flare.A fun night of picture taking could turn into a nightmare resulting in custody battles, job loses, and damaged reputations.
When you are playing, wherever you are playing, establish a phone and camera free zone. Have attendees, you and your partner included, put phones in a container prior to entering the play space.Where some players are open with their identity, others are more private. Be cognizant of people’s preferences.
Even the most innocent picture can speak a thousand lies.Recently, I attended a sexuality conference where chose to go to a session on BDSM. At the end of the lecture, the presenter demonstrated a live BDSM scene. While there was no nudity, nor violence, the scene did include flogging. Video cameras were rolling throughout the room and people were taking pictures in abundance.
A problem arises when pictures don’t come with captions or explanations. If someone attending this professional event was photographed watching this scene, without the context, an individual could be outed without even participating in kinky sex. Their professional and/or personal life could be irrevocably broken.
Whether you are participating and playing, or learning and observing, create a code of conduct that minimizes the risk, and maximizes the experience. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Tiffany Jones, M.A. is a registered psychotherapist and has been a sex and relationship coach for the last 11 years. She started Denver Sexology LLC in 2005 to help individuals and couples who are struggling with intimacy issues and seek to improve their sexual satisfaction. She is a kink friendly professional. www.DenverSexology.com
It’s a great networking tool, a way to build connections to people with similar interests.
But the Internet can also act as a gathering place of a more sinister kind, a kind of dingy underground meeting place for people out for blood who find like-minded deviants.
From dating websites such as Plenty of Fish and lavalife to the more fringe sites such as Fetlife, where members meet up or talk about their love of bondage, bestiality and sadomasochism, the online world has become home to plenty of subcultures.
Fetlife is one of the social networking sites that Tanya Bogdanovich, 31, and Michael MacGregor, 19, appear to have frequented.
They also appear to have profiles on a site called “Kinky Cougar Connection” and “Brother/Sister Love.”
The two are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sarnia schoolteacher Noelle Paquette, 27. The allegations against the pair haven’t been proven in court.
Paquette went missing after leaving a New Year’s Eve party in Sarnia. Her body was found Jan. 2 in a woodlot on Mandaumin Rd.
“In some instances, acting out a fantasy with a paid or consenting partner, prior to committing a sexual crime with a stranger, can be a part of the evolutionary process between fantasy and violence,” said retired OPP criminal profiler Jim Van Allan, who now runs Behavioural Sciences Solutions Group Inc.
“Some offenders ‘role play’ as a behavioural tryout or rehearsal of a planned crime.”
Van Allen is not involved in the case.
The profiles on Fetlife that appear to be Bogdanovich and MacGregor’s contain graphic images of the two and discussions of the pair engaging in violent sex acts with each other and documenting their shared obsession with rape and torture.
“The Internet has certainly increased the networking capabilites of people,” Van Allan said.
“It plays a major role in people coming together. I would say the Internet goes to facilitate and enable social interaction, but it’s not what makes people dangerous.”
The vast majority of people involved in the bondage, bestiality and sadomasochism community are not violent outside of the subculture, said James Quinn, a researcher at the University of North Texas who has studied sexuality, deviance and crime.
“They’re going to work within the community to act out their fantasies,” he said. “We don’t know yet if people go to their sites because that’s what they’re attracted to or if they become attracted to that kind of thing because they go to those sites.”
It’s possible Bogdanovich and MacGregor may have met on a cougar website, given the large age difference between them, Quinn said.
“Sometimes, there’s just a bad combination of individuals,” he said. “There’s a dynamic of ratcheting up the level of intensity of the thought and the behaviour. The Internet just probably served as a communication device here.”
In some crimes, the Internet acts as a tool for boasting about crimes or displaying one’s fantasies. ...
Is there any perversion Planned Parenthood will not present to young, vulnerable people as “play”? Judging from the home page of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, apparently not. The “healthcare” organization features a video storehouse known as “A Naked Notion with Laci Green,” by sporting a picture of a young lady waving a condom.
Click the link to watch the videos, and you will be greeted by “Getting Kinky—BDSM 101,” an instructional video created in partnership with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England that attempts to make sadomasochism sound like a harmless, pleasant romp in the park.
Laci states in her perky, lilting voice that October was declared National Kink Month, “and when you think about it, October and kink—they’re kind of a fitting pair,” she says. “Halloween and kink are both about adventure and fun and exploring roles and dynamics that are maybe a little bit different from everyday life.”
The video flashes to a pair of handcuffs, and the query, “What is BDSM?” Laci explains that BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism. “It consists of intentionally designed scenarios called a scene where two people play out pleasurable acts that they’ve previously negotiated, called play,” she says.
But the dictionary makes no such distinction about previous negotiation or play when defining sadism. Merriam-Webster defines sadism as: “(1) a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others; (2)(a) delight in cruelty; (b) excessive cruelty.”
That’s a far cry from negotiated fun, yet Planned Parenthood blatantly promotes it as pleasurable play. And its obvious target is young and otherwise vulnerable people.
“The pain at play with sadomasochism is not like breaking a bone or getting beat up,” Laci explains. “It’s about the strategic use of bodily sensations to elicit pleasure.”
She then sets out to normalize this horrific, dangerous perversion by saying that some people believe that those who participate in BDSM are emotionally scarred or were once abused. She states that this is “not true; it’s a total myth. People across the spectrum with various backgrounds participate in BDSM. The pain as exhilaration concept is not only old as dirt, it’s pretty common, even outside the bedroom.” She then compares sadomasochism to a runner’s high and the “intense euphoria” that results. “Kinda the same thing going on,” she says.
“The idea of using power and control and pain in a set scene understandably sets off alarms in some people’s heads,” she says. “They hear that BDSM involves spanking and pain and torture ... scary stuff. With no further knowledge it’s easy to conflate BDSM with abuse.”
“But BDSM and abuse are actually very different,” Laci says. She continues,
BDSM is about a consensual power exchange. Abuse is not. BDSM is negotiated and agreed upon before anything happens. Abuse is not. BDSM has rules, limits, and boundaries that are respected by all parties. Abuse does not.
If your head is reeling just imagining how these people who have consented to being bound and tortured are going to be respected by their “non-abusers” who are torturing them—and how respect and pre-negotiation are going to cause the torturer to limit his torture in wake of sexual stimulation—your head may well explode when you hear Laci’s next statement. ...
Though I’ve been a self-identifying slut for my entire adult life, I’m pretty darn new to the practice of polyamory. For some reason, I’d always been wary of the concept, thinking that there must be something fundamentally wrong with the sort of person who’d stay with a partner who wants to be with someone else. I saw what I now know is compersion as a weakness of character and a lack of self-respect. My first taste of this was as a child of the ‘90s, watching the Monica Lewinsky scandal on the news and judging the first lady as hard as I could. How could Hilary stay with a man who would be so shamelessly unfaithful? It was disappointing for me to think, at the sagely age of ten, that a woman would put up with such betrayal for the sake of… what? Love? Politics?
Looking back on the shenanigans of the Clinton White House now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I have a completely altered perspective on the whole situation. I don’t know what Hilary’s reasons were for staying by her husband’s side throughout the whole mess, and it’s absolutely none of my business. Her choices are her choices, and what right do I have to judge her when I know nothing of what her relationship entails? Maybe the Clintons have some sort of open marriage, or maybe Bill was just a cheating scoundrel. What difference do the details of their arrangement really make to the rest of us?
This sentiment is so familiar to me and it drives me batty that it bears repeating so frequently. Live and let live. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Judge not lest ye be judged. Mind your own damn business. These are a few of the many lessons that humanity hasn’t quite mastered yet.
I share a queen-sized bed with both my husband and my boyfriend. As a poly triad, we know that we are going to be facing many obstacles in what we hope are the many decades that lie ahead. So far, the worst we’ve encountered have been surprised friends, concerned parents, and silently judgmental but completely polite neighbors and acquaintances. We’ve been really lucky up to this point, but the three of us understand that things won’t always be so easy for our atypical little family. There are still grandparents who don’t know about us. We’d all like to be parents within the next few years—how much will our children be outcast for their parents’ choices? How are we going to get the boyfriend on the insurance? How many times will we be shunned as adulterers? We’ve been so very lucky to explore this new dynamic with an abundance of support from our friends and family, but not everyone is going to be so open-minded. Polyamory is still lumped in with bestiality and attraction to kitchen appliances these days, so we’re prepared for quite a bit of backlash in our future.
Compersion, by the way, is the state of contentment one feels in knowing that his or her partner(s) is/are cared for by another person/other people. My husband, boyfriend, and I find compersion, comfort, and stability in the balance of a three-person relationship and the support we provide each other. It’s a wonderful thing, what we’ve got together, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the rest of the world will just be happy for us—let’s see just how long that optimism can last.
I keep hearing same-sex marriage (SSM) activists assuring us that no one else will legally redefine the essence of marriage, after they enjoy the privilege of doing so. It's a red herring to distract us from the real issue: redefining it for them alone.
But if we redefine marriage for one group, there's no logical reason to deny other nonconformist advocates their right to do so, especially if they successfully argue their version of marriage on utilitarian grounds -- it benefits or does no harm to society.
I don't know who invented the slippery slope fallacy, but he or she shouldn't be decorated with a medal. Sometimes the slope exists, it really is slippery, and people actually slide down it. In the 1950s, Lucy and Ricky were shown in separate beds. In the late 1960s and early 1970s the Brady Bunch parents shared the same extra-wide king-size bed, but were far apart. Today? No need to describe primetime or daytime TV. The sex drive is powerful, and society has publically slid down that slippery, muddy slope long ago.
Here are two more nonconformist groups clamoring for their share of the marriage mud pie. ...
We now peer, not leer, into polyamory or open, nonmongamous relationships, including open marriages.
Traditionally, monogamy has been defined as relational and sexual exclusivity between one man and one woman. But some nonconformists say that while they have their primary partnership, they allow hook ups with others. "It's a redefinition of marriage," says one.
A mature student in my class told us of her friend who is in a polyamorous relationship. Her husband gives her "free rein," so to speak.
Derek McCullough and David S. Hall, Ph.D., say monogamy is a cultural myth and polyamory is an option:
...Much of the evidence seems to indicate that human attainment of the cultural ideal of monogamy is a myth. The moral argument for monogamy is a weak position. A better moral argument can be made regarding what is best for each individual and for society, that is, do we make life better for each and all by insisting on sex only in monogamous marriage of heterosexual couples, or on letting individuals find responsible ways of relating that, in Pagan terms, "harm none". Liberal religion has taken a fine stance supporting homosexual and heterosexual couples, and unmarried couples as well. What is so hard about seeing the parallels to the "more than a couple" part?
In the old days, polyamory used to be called adultery or fornication. But the "moral argument for monogamy is a weak position." Apparently, in a diverse and tolerant society any point of view and feeling becomes the new norm. McCullough and Hall use the long history of polygamy to shore up the naturalness of polyamory. It's evolutionary biology, you see. Liberal religion can endorse it. In their whole piece they project such a cool, open-minded vibe and write in such soothing psychological terms,old-school vices become new-school virtues.
Things are a little confusing for me, however. Polyamorists may not get married, but if they were to do so, apparently they would become polygamists of sorts. Yet it would not be limited to one heterosexual husband and four heterosexual wives as we see in Islam's old-school polygamy. Instead, we're entering a brave new world, so any combination of men and women and sexual orientation would do (e.g. four "husbands"). Despite the confusion right now, we would get used to their marriage, just as we're getting used to SSM. "Progress" is inevitable. ...
As it turns out, Harvard is not at all the first university to approve such a group.
That honor belongs to Columbia University’s Conversio Virium (Latin for “exchange of forces”), which in 1992 was the first such university-recognized in the country. In 2003,the Iowa State University student body founded Cuffs, a college student group that teaches about bondage and other sexual fetishes, while Vassar College has the Sex Avengers, which holds an annual “Masturbate-a-thon.”
But while a few clubs have existed previously, it seems that the popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey” has promoted many more.
The popularity of 50 Shades of Grey has accelerated a mainstreaming of the BDSM subculture already underway—the initials stand for bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism—and the trend has been especially pronounced in our more elite institutions of higher learning. Columbia has a BDSM group. So do Tufts, MIT, Yale and the University of Chicago. Brown, UPenn and Cornell have hosted BDSM educators for on-campus seminars entitled “The Freedom of Kink” and “Kink for All.” It looks like conservatives who have long viewed the Ivy League a bastion of depravity may have a point after all.
Harvard College Munch is the name of this latest addition; in case you’re wondering, the term “munch” is simply an amalgamation of “lunch” and “meeting.” Apparently the word comes from the 1980s: at that time some S & M enthusiasts used to meet at a restaurant in Palo Alto to discuss their proclivities for bondage, spanking, and leather goods. Since that time, munches have become synonymous with BDSM clubs.
While the scene’s mantra—“safe, sane and consensual”—is heard so often it might as well be translated into needlepoint, violations of these maxims are common. In the last year, hundreds of people have come forward to describe the abuse they’ve suffered within the scene. The victims are mostly women, and like 50 Shades’ fictional 22-year-old Anastasia Steele, many are also young, submissive and uncertain about their boundaries.
“We haven’t closed it yet, but so far we have 5,000 responses, and over 30 percent of them had have their previously negotiated limit violated, which I think is horrific,” spokesperson Susan Wright told New York Observer. “There is still confusion between consensual BDSM and assault.”
As part of the survey, NCSF asks respondents to define what they mean by mutual consent, and to state whether “safe, sane, consensual” are adequate terms. The group also asks: “Are there behaviors that the BDSM communities don’t accept?” “What is your experience with consent in the BDSM communities?”
BDSM clubs are a good thing as long as this means providing safe spaces for students to explore alternative sexuality, but clear rules on what “consent” means need to be in place.