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Articles tagged with: advocacy

Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis - 2010-02-02

on Tuesday, 02 February 2010. Hits 283

Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis

NCSF is proud to announce that 3,241 people signed the DSM Revision Petition from June 2008 to December 2009. The petition is now closed and has been sent to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the members of the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). Thank you to everyone who participated in this historic effort!

The diagnoses in the DSM-TR-IV subject people who practice BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. NCSF often sees individuals who suffer distress and impairment in their social and occupational lives (ie. interpersonal difficulties) because their desires conflict with current societal standards. These standards stem in a large part from the DSM. itself: pathologizing unusual sexual interests has led to more discrimination and discouraged individuals from seeking treatment for physical and mental health problems. This codification of "cultural aversion" was the same reason that ego-dystonic homosexuality was included in the DSM, and then removed when it was finally recognized as such by the APA.

Some of the comments made on the petition include:

#604: "BDSM is no more an illness or dysfunction than boxing, skydiving or participating in any extreme sport."

#1680: "I am all for removing these biases from legitimate psychiatry. It has ruined a friend of mine as for 8 years he has felt ashamed, depressed and self destructive because some "therapist" diagnosed him as sexually deviant and egodystonic and told him to repress his urges."

#1902: "Psychiatry should serve human wellness, not police human diversity."

#2224: "Historically, diagnoses of insanity have been used to marginalize those with unusual sexual preferences. This has to stop."

#2566: "I just had an acquaintance lose custody of her child to her now-vengeful ex due to "kink" and a bad judge. It's time to take more bias out of the DSM."

"The politicization of sexuality is common in this country," says Leigha Fleming, Board Chair of NCSF. "There is no basis in scientific fact for the categorization of BDSM and affiliated behaviors as inherently pathological or unhealthy. Social conservatives shouldn't be allowed to carry their agenda into the DSM. It wasn't appropriate when homosexuality was classified as a disorder by the APA and it's not correct now for the DSM to classify consensual adult sexual expression like BDSM, cross dressing, etc. as disorder. The DSM was never meant to be a political weapon used to marginalize sexual minorities. The overwhelming response by our constituents necessitates our involvement in this critical issue."

To see the hundreds of comments that petitioners made on the petition, click here: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/DSMrevisionpetition

To find out more about the DSM and the Paraphilias section, read the NCSF & ITCR: The Foundation for NCSF's "White Paper on the DSM Revision" at www.ncsfreedom.org

For more information, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Media Update - 2010-01-27

on Wednesday, 27 January 2010. Hits 267


WSAW

A representative from a hotel in Stevens Point that was set to host a 'sexual freedom' party organized by a swingers group called Club NCN says they've 


Tampabay.com

Back in 2008, some residents began complaining about the resort events, some of which were put on by outside "lifestyle" or swingers groups, 

 

Sexies Winners Announced

on Wednesday, 20 January 2010. Hits 281


The board and judges of the Sex-Positive Journalism Awards are proud to announce the winners of the 2009 Sexies. Selected from about 100 entries (not counting multiple nominations of the same piece!) submitted by both writers and readers, the winning entries cover subjects from teen pregnancy to conjugal visits, vaginal plastic surgery to prudish responses to public art. The winning articles come from all across the United States and Canada, and represent a range of genres, from news to advice columns.

What they all have in common, however, is that they succeed in embodying the Sexies criteria for sex-positive journalism far better than the vast majority of their counterparts, helping to improve the quality of dialogue around sex and create a more well-informed reading public. "Without clear-eyed, informed journalism about sexuality, the public runs the risk of seeing sex-related issues through a murky scrim of ignorance and biased attitudes. The Sexies help show the media-and the citizenry-how it can and should be done," says Carol Queen of the Center for Sex and Culture.

The first-place winners are:

Mainstream News Sources (Newspapers/National News Magazines/TV Station Print Affiliates: "Plastic Surgery Below the Belt," Laura Fitzpatrick, Time Magazine

News/Features (Alt-Weeklies, Monthlies): "Growing Up Glouster," Rachel Baker, Boston Magazine

Columns: Carnal Knowledge, JoAnn Wypijewski, The Nation

Opinion: Tie: "A Poverty of Solutions," Judith Levine, 7 Days,  and "The Great Porn Misunderstanding," Michael Bader, Alternet

Here's the list of all the winners, with links to online versions of their stories where available, and comments from the judges. All entries were read by at least two members of the Sexies judges panel, including at least one with a journalism background.

The judges were: writer, speaker, educator and activist Carol Queen, PhD; journalist Kai Wright; journalist and 2008 Sexies winner Debbie Nathan; journalist Liza Featherstone; journalist and radio host Doug Henwood; journalist and 2008 Sexies winner Amanda Robb; sex educator and columnist for The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH; and writer, editor, and blogger Rachel Kramer Bussel. (Full bios.)

A note about the sex-themed publications category: After careful consideration by our judges, we have decided not to give awards in this category this year. The judges felt the quality of the submissions did not measure up to the work submitted last year. We started the Sexies primarily to give mainstream journalists encouragement and support for covering sexual topics in unsensationalistic honest fashion. We added this category to give some recognition to folks in the trenches who are writing for publications that devote themselves to this topic. We are immensely grateful to those writers and those publications, and yet we feel that when writing about sex is expected and not an achievement in itself, to be award-winning, a story must really push our boundaries and be risky and challenge even the assumptions of the sex-positive community. We look forward to receiving more pieces in that vein in the future. We know they're out there!

Thanks all the writers and readers who sent in entries (and apologies for the various delays). We encourage all of the writers who entered or were nominated to keep up their crucial work. Submissions for the 2010 Sexies (for articles published in 2009) are open and they will be accepted through June 2010 at www.sexies.org/submit.php

The Sexies would also like to thank our corporate sponsors, Babeland (founding sponsor), UltraVirgo Creative, and all of our individual donors. It's not too late to become part of that sex-positive number: www.sexies.org/support.html

If you prefer to follow us on Facebook, you can become a fan at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Sex-Positive-Journalism-Awards/



Media Update - 2009-11-17

on Tuesday, 17 November 2009. Hits 1341

Progress Through Education
Justice, Brandeis University

Transgender, polyamory, sadomasochism and asexuality are topics that still need to be introduced into the dialogue. "There's no overt prejudice, 

Shackle your judgment: BDSM deserves respect

UNH The New Hampshire, Durham, NH

It is a little hard to imagine the person sitting next to you in class choosing to wear a diaper and roll around like a baby, but BDSM is just as unique as ...

Playing with Desire: UNH students push sexual boundaries.

UNH The New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Courtney Jane, or CJ, is the creator and coordinator of UNH's BDSM group; ... CJ, a grad student at UNH, began exploring BDSM last January on her own,

Getting into the swing of things

Las Vegas Weekly

After a few minutes of trying to remember which men were emotionally committed to which women, I remembered something more important: I was at a swingers 
 

News Observer, Durham, North Carolina

At Duke University, a school that likes to tout its cutting-edge research, a sex toy study being conducted by a behavioral economist and student health workers has roused criticism. For much of October, researchers recruited female Duke students to take part in a "sexually explicit" study on Tupperware-style parties in which sex toys, not kitchenware, are the draw.


CNN

For some, even serial monogamy seems too restrictive. The 1970s introduced the concept of "open marriage" in which couples stayed married but were free to date other people.More recently, polyamory -- the practice of having romantic relationships with multiple people at the same time with the full knowledge and consent of all involved -- has been getting a lot of attention.


 

Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis

on Thursday, 15 October 2009. Hits 291

Help make history by signing the DSM Revision Petition now! The diagnoses in the DSM-IV-TR still subject people who practice BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis.

We need 3,000 signatures, but we only have 2,200 now. If you don't speak up and call on the American Psychiatric Association to adhere to empirical research when revising the diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), then the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group won't make a meaningful change.

To sign, go to: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/DSMrevisionpetition

You can make your signature anonymous on this secure petition site so it doesn't appear on the Internet or when the petition is delivered to the APA.

Petition:

            "We, the undersigned, support the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) own goal of making its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) a scientific document, based on empirical research and devoid of cultural bias. A diagnosis of a mental disorder can have a severe adverse impact on employment opportunities, child custody determinations, an individual's well-being, and other areas of functioning. Therefore we urge the APA to remove all diagnoses that are not based upon peer-reviewed, empirical research, demonstrating distress or dysfunction, from the DSM. The APA specifically should not promote current social norms or values as a basis for clinical judgments."

To find out more about the DSM and the Paraphilias section, read the NCSF & ITCR: The Foundation for NCSF's "White Paper on the DSM Revision" at www.ncsfreedom.org

For more information, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Help spread the word - please distribute this call for signatures!

Susan Wright on the Battle Ahead

on Thursday, 08 October 2009. Hits 326

Susan 15
"Susan Wright, founder of the NCSF"

Klawdya: What affect do you think Marriage Equality will have on issues that face NCSF’s constituents?

Susan: As more states embrace the right for all adults to marry the partner of their choice, the gay rights movement is accomplishing the goal of eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation. The next milestone is the right to openly be in the military. This is important for the sexual freedom movement-- we have always taken cues from the gay rights movement, we learn from their strategies and rely on their help when attacked- their progress ensures our own.

Sadly, traditional gay rights groups don't defend sexual freedom. Many decided to leave the issue of sex behind as they fought for equal rights. So we have our own un-trodden path to walk. If you have sex differently than the mainstream you are at risk – whether hetero, gay, bi or other. We are the next battlefield, we are already fighting the fight, whether we like it or not, NCSF will be largely on our own because no other organization is dedicated to protecting BDSM, swing and poly practitioners.

KR: Who do you think opposes us the most? Religious or Political groups?

SW: The sexual freedom movement continues to be attacked by religious political extremists and political conservatives. Politicians on both sides of the aisle make hay when a sexual scandal arises. Things that should be private – like extra-marital affairs – are actively used to discredit individual politicians, even parties. Find a politician who will stand up for sexual freedom, and I'll work on their next campaign. As far as I know, there isn't anyone out there.

But our real enemies are the religious political extremists. These people rely on stirring the pot to raise money and gain prestige for their groups. They seek out our events, sneak in to take photos, and compare us to pedophiles and predators – when in reality it is our constituents who are the victim of their tactics. They run boycotts on businesses that support our events, inciting sensationalized media against private events. Its a fight, but NCSF is discrediting these individuals and tiny organizations run by the handful of people who claim to represent the majority of America. As long as they continue to slander, we have to be vigilant.

KR: You recently stated that some of our biggest threats may be within our community, the “Dangerous Insiders”. Can you elaborate?

SW: Yes, one of our biggest threats is the dangerous insider. Sadly, our own don't realize the damage they do to our community as a whole when they publicly attack each other and our groups. I know some may have a legitimate gripe with an individual or group, and feel their problems haven’t been dealt with as they should. But when one of our own complains to the media or the authorities, they don’t address the real issue, instead they attack our entire community. The negative publicity outweighs any good they may feel would be accomplished.

One example was a member of a BDSM group who wasn't allowed to send a message to the entire group complaining about board practices. He filed in court for a membership list. It didn't matter whether or not he had a legitimate complaint – the members freaked because they would be outed if their information were released to this person. This would have meant lost jobs, child custody, and worse. One angry self-righteous person threatened an entire group until the court settled the issue and denied the list to this dangerous insider.

Another case, in NYC, was a woman who went to the District Attorney to video tapes her former master made of their scenes after he refused to give them to her. The DA raided his apartment and found her tapes and also tapes of other scenes, some which were extreme, and the DA decided to arrest and try him for assault even though it was clearly consensual. NCSF with local gay groups and an agreeable politician coordinated a huge effort to force the DA to back down. It would have been disaster if that big public trial determined, for example, that caning to blood was illegal! Good thing we had the organizational resources or else this incident (which few have heard about) would have been front page news for months and affected all BDSM activity in NY for decades. The sub was very upset by the chaos she carelessly created, so much so that she submitted a letter to the DA asking them to NOT pursue the case further.

KR: What can the community do to strengthen and arm ourselves?

SW: We are already defending ourselves successfully. We have to assess each incident, and seek ways to stop religious extremists in their tracks. We have to do the leg work to make sure that hotels and authorities understand our sexual practices, so we can have social spaces and educate our community. We have to be vigilant, on-call every moment, as NCSF is. The NCSF is "kinky insurance" – if the community doesn't help, we may not be there when you need us.

KR: What are the landmarks of hope we can claim and expect?

SW: The success of the gay rights movement indicates we are winning. Privacy rights are more respected than the old "moral majority" which tries to dictate what people can and can't do in their own homes. Americans seem to agree that adults should be able to do what they want as long as it doesn't harm anyone and is consensual. It's a fight every step but we are winning.

Please help NCSF continue our hard work by becoming a member and donating to support our efforts.

Media Update - 2009-10-01

on Thursday, 01 October 2009. Hits 286

The Student Sex Column Movement

The Nation. - New York,NY,USA

They can decide to thoughtfully address taboo topics like BDSM, fetishism and orgies, as Virginia Dalloway did in her Free Press column, 

NCSF Condemns the Atlanta Police Department

on Wednesday, 16 September 2009. Hits 489

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

NCSF Condemns the Atlanta Police Department's Raid on the Eagle

September 15, 2009 - On September 10th, the Atlanta Eagle was raided by local police who used excessive force and voiced anti-gay slurs while handcuffing 62 patrons and 8 employees, forcing them to lie face-down on the floor for over an hour. The strong use of force included the presence of the "Red Dog unit" which typically deals with crimes such as gang violence.

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington held a press conference yesterday afternoon stating that the gay leather bar was raided because of anonymous complaints that came through the mayor's office. One undercover officer stated in a September 11th report following the raid that it was the "conclusion of a several week investigation involving indecency and the club was providing adult entertainment without the proper permits to do so."

"It's a clear violation of the civil rights of those who were detained without cause," says Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson. "Instead of making an arrest at the time of the alleged offense, the Atlanta vice squad spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer's money to raid the gay leather bar and persecute Atlanta citizens."

NCSF demands a full probe into the alleged misconduct and the allocation of resources by the Atlanta police department. NCSF also joins state and local representatives in urging anyone present the night of the arrests to step forward and file a formal complaint. Please contact NCSF for additional assistance to ensure that this matter is investigated in an open process.

A rally on Sunday at the Eagle drew a large presence in support of the victims by the LGBT community. Another rally is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances the equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual and relationship expression. NCSF advances the rights and advocates for consenting adults in the SM-Leather-Fetish, swing, and polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach in conjunction with our partner organizations to directly benefit these communities.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

(917) 848-6544

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.ncsfreedom.org
www.twitter.com/ncsf
http://ncsf.wordpress.com

Latest Reader Comments

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