The section on deviant desires, to take one example, is denounced by advocates for alternative sexuality as stigmatizing those whose lusts, no matter how unusual, are harmless, or those whose erotic play, no matter how unsettling, is consensual. Should a man with a foot fetish be branded as mentally ill? Should a woman who finds ecstasy in being elaborately bound and enduring denigration or pain? Should such people be labeled with psychiatric diseases, though the rest of their lives have no serious dysfunction? Until 1973, homosexuality was among the D.S.M.’s disorders, and critics of the present chapter point to the condemnation the volume once inflicted on gay men and lesbians — condemnation that both reflected and bolstered the prevailing cultural perspective — by way of arguing that the current manual, the D.S.M.-IV, is full of unfounded and damaging sexual judgments. Many on the panel, which probably won’t, in the end, do much in the way of deleting conditions, maintain that the chapter on sexuality and gender identity doesn’t brand people too readily with disease. They note that, aside from exceptions like patients with pedophilia, only those who are distressed meet the threshold for diagnosis. In turn, the critics respond that such distress stems not from within the individual but from the infliction of societal standards, from the culture’s disapproval and aversion and therefore, in part, from the D.S.M. itself. This, they emphasize, was why the A.P.A. finally removed a last remnant of the homosexuality diagnosis — what was known as “ego-dystonic” homosexuality — in 1987.
For me, having found BDSM it's not just about sex. I find very fulfilling that I can educate people, because it's something I needed. So many people have come to tell me that I made them feel 'not guilty'
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
Lolita has all the characteristics of a great teacher; vivacious, quick to laughter, earnest and forthright, and possesses a delicate patience. She is the author of two books, one on spanking, another on cock-and-ball torture (CBT); and is a charismatic activist in the BDSM community. Friday, as she drove to DC for her upcoming Whole DC-sponsored seminar, I had the pleasure to discuss with her the role of kink in sex, and in life. For more about Lolita, see the full interview below or check out her blog. (Warning, the blog is definitely not work-appropriate.)
This Quarter's Newsletter was the most fun to write. It features several different community perspectives, inclduing an article by Catalina Loves, talking about how the NCSF helped her in a critical moment in her life; a youth group in Baltimore that serves to help newcomers find their second skin, Tabu Social Club a success story for the NCSF Incident Response Program and a lively swing community space, and the new changes the NCSF is facing to better serve you resultant from our first ever joint board retreat. This issue is indicative of the new communications you should expect to see from the NCSF, highlighting not just the critical threats facing us, but the joy our community has and the beauty we aim to share with the world--and now with color pictures and more content!
I hope you enjoy, and don't forget that now your stories, your opinions and your writing can be featured in the NCSF blog and newsletter so submit yours to: