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"BDSM and the Law"

on Tuesday, 26 April 2011. Posted in Media Updates

Femdom Magazine

...Having BDSM “depathologized” is one of the many projects on which the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is working.  According to its website (www.ncsfreedom.org), “NCSF is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the US that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. The NCSF aims to advance the rights of, and advocate for consenting adults in the BDSM-Leather-Fetish, Swing, and Polyamory Communities.” Susan Wright, the coalition’s spokesperson, explained that even the change to paraphilia doesn’t provide protection.

“Right now, paraphilias (unusual sexual interests) are often diagnosable as mental illness. One of the criteria is: is the behavior ‘obligatory’?” Wright said.  “Many people who do BDSM believe it is their sexual orientation and can no more stop doing BDSM in their sex than homosexuals can stop having sex with same-sex partners.”

She noted that the group is seeing progress, fostered in part by  a petition drive and survey of more than 3,000 BDSM practitioners to prove to the American Psychological Assciation that the DSM is being used against Americans in ways the association never intended.

“The proposed changes in the DSM from the paraphilias subworkgroup now differentiate between sexual behaviors and mental illness so that paraphilias – sexual sadism, sexual masochism, cross-dressing and fetishes – are considered sexual behaviors and not mental illness,” Wright said. “The final result won’t be announced until 2013, but NCSF is very hopeful that the APA has now seen the light. We are already using the proposed changes successfully in family and criminal court to help BDSM practitioners.”

Wright said that the group is seeing a change simply in the way the current U.S. presidential administration approaches the subject and prosecutions.   Conservatives seem more focused on issues of socialism instead of alt sex.

“The Obama administration is also instructing the Justice Department to not pursue obscenity charges the way the Bush administration did,” Wright said.  “That means that businesses that deal in sexual images and text have some breathing room, just as they did under the Clinton administration. That allows the alt sex community to grow stronger when businesses can grow.”

One business sector who feel particularly persecuted are pro-Dommes.  As Wright noted, for pro-Dommes in the United States, the danger comes more from local enforcement agencies than federal ones, where, depending on the opinion of local officials, domination for pay could be treated as prostitution. ...

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