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Doing SM Related Legal Research

Doing SM Related Legal Research
The law is interpreted – sometimes to our favor, and sometimes not.  For example, while the NCSF firmly believes that consensual SM activity between adults is legal, there are those that have a differing opinion and will intentionally interpret the law in an unfavorable way.  Therefore, it is extremely important for the SM- Leather-Fetish communities to have an understanding of the laws that may affect us.  Knowing relevant laws will greatly assist our communities in safely organizing and maintaining SM-Leather-Fetish activities and functions.


There are numerous laws, ordinances, and regulations at all levels of government - federal, state, regional, county and city.  It's not easy to locate all of the laws that may affect us, but it's very important.  You should make every attempt to thoroughly research your laws if your activities may come under the scrutiny of law enforcement or local authorities.  In addition, NCSF recommends that thorough legal research should include consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, state Attorney General, local prosecutor, or other legal authority, familiar with the current interpretation of the law for the jurisdiction in question.
Obviously, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of every law and its interpretation for every jurisdiction, so this material is designed to give the reader a basic understanding of legal research and the tools to get started.  

Download the pdf



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Why You Should Care

Because your sexual expression...
  • Can result in discrimination, prosecution, and even violence against you
  • Can cause you to lose your children
  • Can cause you to lose your job or your income
  • Can lead you into a maze of antiquated laws and regulations you never even knew existed
  • Is arbitrarily criminalized by state and local authorities
  • Is used by the radical right to marginalize minority groups
  • Can result in the invasion of your privacy by the government, both within your own home or in educational, social and group environments 

How You Can Help

    • Work to change antiquated laws
    • Work to change the social climate about sexual issues
    • Promote acceptance of safe, sane, and consensual alternative sexual practices among consenting adults
    • Oppose censorship of consensual sexual expression
    • Fight for freedom of academic expression about sexual issues
    • Help communities and individuals facing the threat of prosecution or legal action
    • Support the right of adults to express their sexuality, gender identity and orientation freely and openly without fear
    • Learn more about NCSF