NCSF on TwitterSubscribe to the NCSF RSS FeedNCSF Blog

NCSF Headlines

Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2016

NCSF Newsletter
3rd Quarter, 2016
edited by Julian Wolf

 

In this Issue


NCSF at COPE
Election Action Alert
Volunteer Needs
Devin at Dore
Incident Reporting & Response
A Letter from Allena
NCSF Thanks!
A New Book: Modern Sexuality
Guest Blog
Media Updates
Representing on FetLife

 


NCSF at COPE
 
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom was proud to accept the invitation to host a table and host a Consent Discussion at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion! 
 
Our Volunteer Coordinator Keira and Julian Wolf spoke with dozens of folks from their premier spot next to the silent auction. They also lead a discussion on Saturday with many of the attendees where the NCSF consent survey, and ways we deal with consent in our community were discussed.
 
COPE also held a fundraiser for the NCSF throughout the weekend and during the closing ceremonies. The staff made the experience particularly entertaining, and the experience was a blast. Thank you to all the attendees for your contributions!  
 
Keira Julian newletter
 NCSF board members Keira and Julian Wolf at COPE 2016, via Instagram
 
Election Action Alert!
Front Page Headline, NCSF News
 
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom would like your help in this important election year. Specifically, we would like you to take a few moments to send a short questionnaire on sexual freedom issues to candidates running for office in your State or locality.
 
NCSF has sent a questionnaire this year to each candidate for the Presidency of the United States - Secretary Hillary Clinton (Democrat), Donald Trump (Republican), Governor Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green) - asking for their positions on sexual freedom issues that are important to those of us who engage in BDSM, swinging, polyamory and other alternative sexual practices. Their responses (or failure to respond) will be posted on the NCSF website and made available to the media.
 
 
This election is an especially important one. Sexual consent has become a "front burner" issue. Trafficking laws and other statutes are being misused against our constituencies, and new anti-sex laws are being pushed by sexual bigots. The courts' interpretations of Lawrence v. Texas continue to narrow this important sexual freedom decision by the U.S. Supreme Court made in 2003. And, the appointment of judges across the country, including as many as three Supreme Court justices, will have a profound effect on our right to practice sex with other consenting adults.
 
For this reason, NCSF wants to extend the scope of our sexual freedom questionnaires to elective offices in your localities, including candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, for governor and for State legislatures. This is where you can help us. We would like you to send copies of the letter and the questionnaire to candidates running for office in your State, in elections where you think the outcome could have an impact on sexual freedom issues-legislation, judicial appointments and law enforcement practices.
 
Here is what we would like you to do:
 
3. Please cc NCSF.
 
Responses will be posted on our website.
 
 

Volunteer Needs - October 2016
 
Media Watchdog
If you are short on time, but high on motivation and believe in the NCSF mission, there is still an opportunity to volunteer! We need motivated people to send us articles they find while browsing news outlets that pertain to NCSF and our goals.
 
Writers
If you enjoy writing or are a blogger or professional looking to get exposure, NCSF wants your input. We need writers to contribute to our blog and our newsletter. Your article could be on any topic relevant to the NCSF mission. Please submit volunteer requests, ideas, and writing samples!
 
Graphic Artists
Calling all graphic artists! Let NCSF use your creative talents. We need graphic artists willing to contribute to the upcoming "NCSF 20th Anniversary Coloring Book."
 
NCSF Advocates
NCSF needs active, passionate people to spread the word about our organization. We need you to let people know about our resources, talk about us at your local events, staff tables and let us know what your local community needs from us. If you like to be social, active, and support our cause, please consider volunteering in this indispensable way.
 
If any of these interest you, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  We need you!

 
devin dore
NCSF Board member Devin representing at Dore Alley 2016
 
 

Incident Reporting & Response - 3rd Quarter 2016 report
By Susan Wright
Director of IRR

NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response received 31 requests for assistance from individuals, groups and businesses in July, August and September. This is up from only 20 requests in the 2nd quarter, and similar to the two previous quarters which had 31 and 28 requests.

NCSF maintains the confidentiality of those who come to us for help. However we balance that need with the need to report the services we are providing and to provide the community with a record of where the need is the greatest.

Here is a breakdown of the cases we dealt with in the 3rd Quarter of 2016:

Criminal

There were 11 requests for resources and information involving criminal law (up from 7 in the 2nd Quarter).  5 of those requests came from people complaining about a kink-related assault/sexual assault or harassment who needed assistance in connecting with kink-aware victim services and/or resources to educate law enforcement. 4 people needed a defense attorney due to sexual assault/assault charges involving BDSM. 1 person needed an attorney to defend against fraud charges and another was facing charges for posting photos without permission to their FetLife account.

Child Custody

There were 8 requests for resources and information regarding child custody, sharply up from no requests last quarter. 6 involved disputed child custody, with 4 involving polyamory and 2 BDSM (2 of these parents lost custody at least temporarily due to BDSM in one case and poly in the other). There were also 2 requests involving polyamory adoption.  

Groups

There were 6 requests for help involving BDSM groups (5 request last quarter). Groups asked for advice on dealing with consent violations and liability issues: 3 were groups dealing with a serial predator, another group asked for advice on dealing with violations before they occur. 1 group was attacked by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation who sent a letter to the hotel protesting that they were hosting a BDSM conference - the hotel stood by the group and the conference was held. Another group is looking for Kink Aware Professionals to assist in volunteering at kink and sci fi events.

Professional

4 professionals asked NCSF for information and resources to assist in them in providing their services or in presenting on BDSM for their professional group. These included a nurse practitioner, a psychologist, and 2 clinical therapists.

Civil

2 requests: Someone requested help with FetLife after they removed her post accusing another member of sexual assault-we explained how to repost the information and how to provide the name privately. A kink aware professional needed help in removing his name from search engines after a media report outed him.

If you need NCSF's help because of discrimination or to remove kink as a barrier to service, please contact our Incident Reporting & Response today! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please join now or donate to support NCSF's direct services!
 
 

A Letter from the Development Director for the CSPC, 
Board member for the FSPC and NCSF, Allena Gabosch 
 
Several months ago the  Center for Sex Positive Culture (CSPC) and the  Foundation for Sex Positive Culture (FSPC) joined forces to create a joint Consent Policy for our respective organizations.  This was prompted by several things, primarily because it was overdue and also because consent issues have become a very big part of the conversation here in the greater Seattle area.   After a lot of meetings and a whole bunch of editing this is what we came up with. 
 
A Statement of Principle Regarding Consent and Handling Consent Violations
 
At the Center and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture we talk a lot about consent and consensual activity. It's the cornerstone of our events, what we teach, and who we are. While that is easy to say, living it takes work, dedication, and a clear statement of how we view consent and its place in our organization.
 
Our understanding of consent is this:
  • The act of getting consent is the act of making sure everyone involved in a given activity is able to give their ok, understands what's going on, and directly, consciously, and willingly chooses to engage in that activity.
  • The basics of consent are simple: Get full and informed consent, with awareness of the explicit and implicit consent you are using, before you engage in an activity with someone.
  • The application of consent is complex, emotional, and takes practice.
We realize it is not enough simply to state that consent is important. To build a consent culture, we need to both talk about consent in detail and improve the safety of the people we serve. It is not enough to sit on the sidelines and watch as events unfold around us. It is our right and our responsibility to find better ways to talk about, explore, and protect consent.
 
We recognize that we are, and should be, held to a high standard of understanding and enforcing consent. This statement and associated policy and procedure documents are the culmination of our current discussions and understanding. We have taken our knowledge and help from other organizations to craft it as best we're able to in the moment. These are living documents and will grow and change as we learn and understand more.
 
Even though we have more to learn it's important that we stand up for this complex and exciting concept. Consent is something we need to make a better world, both for ourselves and for you. Let's get started.
Read the rest here:  https://thefspc.org/policies/
 
Sar Surmak, an FSPC board member and the driving force in creating this policy, is currently working on a workshop to teach others how to create such a policy, which we hope to make available to other organizations soon.
Please contact me for information on the workshop or the policy. 
 
Allena Gabosch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
(Development Director for the CSPC, board member for the FSPC and NCSF)
 
 

 
NCSF Thanks! 3rd Quarter 2016

Thank You to Dick Cunningham and Judy Guerin for donating $3,500 to support NCSF's Consent Summit in Seattle in April!

NCSF Coalition Partner, Boydy's Crazy Consensual Concepts says, "I am donating 7% of my profit just because NCSF is a great cause. I consider NCSF to be an incredibly important thing to have around. :-)" Thank you, Boydy!

NCSF Coalition Partner, Adventures in Sexuality, raised $345 for NCSF at their COPE event in September in Ohio.

NCSF thanks The 15 Association of San Francisco for donating $100 in the name of their brother who they recently lost.

NCSF thanks all of these generous donors who enable our 
all-volunteer staff to continue our projects to end discrimination.
 
 

 
Modern Sexuality: The Truth About Sex and Relationships 
By Michael Aaron

Human sexuality today stands at the crossroads between biological diversity and social conformity, and a battle between the two rages in the media, in social institutions, and in our daily lives. As a sex therapist, Michael Aaron witnesses this struggle each and every day as it plays out on his therapy couch. Modern Sexuality: The Truth About Sex and Relationships examines how biology and society collide head-on in the realm of human sexuality. Here, Aaron carefully and convincingly debunks some of the most commonly held beliefs about sexuality - that it is learned and can be changed; that "abnormal" sexual behavior is pathological; that healthy sexuality involves intimacy; that intimacy is the same to everyone; and that sexuality must have a clearly defined purpose. 

Using groundbreaking brain-imaging studies and cutting- edge psychological insights, Modern Sexuality presents the overwhelming case for sexual diversity including orientation, non-traditional relationships, and even specific fantasies and kinks. In a world where sexual "outsiders" battle for acceptance, this work helps to explore the variety of sexual expressions from a normative standpoint, helping readers to understand that their own desires and those of others can happily exist on the same continuum.
 
 
Michael Aaron
 
 

 
by Dr. Marty Klein
 
"What do you suppose would happen if the whole country were flooded with free porn?"

What sounded like a crazy idea in the 1980s became a reality just a few years later. We now know exactly what would happen.

In the year 2000, broadband internet brought free, high-definition pornography into virtually every home in America. Still reeling from the world-changing invention of the internet, America was unprepared for 24/7 porn.

This led to a predictable cascade of problems, which are still with us: consumers having trouble regulating their use. Couples arguing about it. People misunderstanding its fundamental fictions. Parents worried about what their kids are learning from it.

Of course, professionals are expected to pick up the pieces: Marriage counselors, child psychologists, mediators, clergy, physicians. Sometimes, unfortunately, law enforcement. And all are trying to do so without the training, models, tools, or support they need.

In a country deeply conflicted about sexuality, the new supersized version of porn triggered another one of America's periodic moral panics. Remember comic books, early rock 'n' roll, satanic ritual abuse, snuff films? All were the focus of intense public concern, none were ultimately dangerous, and some didn't even exist. Nevertheless, moral entrepreneurs and anti-sex activists saw 24/7 porn as an opportunity to frighten and anger people-while enriching and empowering themselves.

Predictably, there are now many popular myths about porn that are simply not true-but which are incredibly sticky, difficult to dislodge or even discuss honestly. Here are some common myths, along with some helpful facts.

* Myth: Most porn is violent or misogynist.

There's no lack of people claiming that most or all porn is violent, deviant, and woman-hating.

And it's not hard to find such imagery. But it's a tiny fraction of the universe of porn out there. True, a tiny fraction of a huge number is a big number. But let's remember that most porn isn't violent, and that most people don't want to watch violent porn.

What most porn consumers watch is friendly, smiling people doing friendly, sexy things together. This is the porn that is most readily available. Much of it follows a familiar formula: undress, oral sex, intercourse. Gladly undress, delighted to have oral sex, satisfied with intercourse. Realistic? Not especially. Violent? Definitely not.

And yet moral entrepreneurs like Concerned Women of America, anti-sex-work activists like Melissa Farley, and academic bullies like Gail Dines deliberately spread lies every week about the content of porn. They're saying that 50 million American husbands, brothers, and sons are consuming images of sexual savagery every week. Does that sound like the guy you know?
 
* Myth: Fantasy is a reflection of desire, and predicts behavior

Everyone knows that fantasy has very little predictive value in life-except when the subject is sexuality. We all fantasize about strangling our boss, yet no one fears they'll actually do it. We all fantasize about selling all our stuff and moving to Tahiti, yet no one fears doing it. But when someone enjoys fantasizing about threesomes, or sex in public, or being sexually coerced by a regiment of Marines, too many people are frightened that this could somehow "lead" to the real activity.

Pornography is a compendium of human fantasy. Not desire-fantasy. Not behavior-fantasy. Humans like consuming sexual images of the forbidden, the risky, the scary, the chaotic, the dirty, the glamorous.

When activists criticize the content of porn as perverse or deviant, their surprise is disingenuous. Exactly what would anyone expect to be the content of porn-the wholesome, the clean, the safe, the predictable? That's what fantasy is designed to escape from. That's what most people already have in their sex lives. And if the scary and risky is too, well, scary and risky, fantasy is a perfect place to vicariously "experience" it.

That's why it's short-sighted to refer to "gay porn" and "straight porn"-there's just porn. True, there's porn depicting same-gender sex and porn depicting other-gender sex (although there's a lot of porn featuring both). But it's all just imagery that people find exciting.

Every week someone comes into my office worried that they're watching the "wrong" kind of porn, or worried about the "meaning" of the porn they enjoy. "I'm straight, why do I enjoy watching gay sex?" "I'm a feminist woman, why do I like watching women being tied up?"

We are a kinky species, aren't we? With all due respect to those Freudians who think dreams have meaning, fantasies have very little meaning for most people. We're stimulated by what stimulates us. Sometimes that changes over time, sometimes not.

Even St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for the content of his dreams. We don't have a record about how he felt about his fantasies.

* Myth: Porn causes people to abandon their sexual relationships

Here's a story I never hear: "I used to enjoy eating, then I watched a bunch of cooking shows, and now I've lost interest in eating." Similarly, no one leaves a vibrant sexual relationship with an actual person for the pleasures of masturbating to images. That would make no sense.

What does exist is many, many people struggling with sexual dissatisfaction. Maybe the problem involves boredom and routine. Maybe it's the accumulation of years of hurt and resentment. Maybe it's a dramatic gap in sexual preferences, or levels of desire. Maybe it's alcohol or one person being really selfish.

And did I mention boredom and routine?

Many, many people experience the collapse of their sexual relationship. And especially in long-term relationships where both are committed to staying, very few people want to discuss this collapse. Most people would much rather argue about porn than talk honestly about sex.

People rarely complain about their mate's porn watching when they're enjoying a healthy sexual relationship. Very few people in rich sexual relationships fear that porn will steal their mate away-because they know exactly what their real-life sexual relationship offers.

But when the sex has collapsed, it's easy for someone to point to Demon Porn as the "reason" things have gone bad-that porn "stole" their mate.  

No real sexual relationship offers the perfection, the total control, the infinite variety, or the level of fantasy that masturbation to porn does. But that's all pretty weak stuff compared to the touch of another human, the anticipation of a kiss, the look in someone's eyes while we're climaxing. When real sex lacks those, masturbation to porn looks like a reasonable second choice. But it's rarely someone's first choice if other things are available.

All professionals who deal with porn-related complaints need to look beyond the porn component and explore what else is going on in the situation. The porn use can be distracting to us-but we need the self-discipline to look for the context of the porn use, and the wider sexual ecology of the person or couple in front of us. Only then can we be truly helpful in this age of PornPanic.

* * *

For more about pornography, PornPanic, and Porn Literacy, see Dr. Klein's new book,  His Porn, Her Pain: Confronting America's PornPanic With Honest Talk About Sex.

* * *

Dr. Marty Klein is a Certified Sex Therapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Policy Analyst. The award-winning author of 7 books, he is named by Wikipedia as a key figure in America's controversy about sex addiction.
 
 

Media Updates and Web Features
 
NCSF Media Updates are a sampling of recent stories printed in US newspapers, magazines, and selected websites containing significant mention of BDSM-leather-fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics. These stories may be positive, negative, accurate, inaccurate or anywhere in between.
 
Here's a sample of three of our recent featured stories:
The Softer Side of S&Mfrom Advocate
 
NCSF publishes the Updates to provide readers with a comprehensive look at what media outlets are writing about these topics and to urge everyone to make comments that dispute stereotypes about alternative sexuality. NCSF permits and encourages readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.
 
You can sign up to receive our emails This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check our blog at our website here
 

Representing on FetLife 

  

Find the NCSF on the world's most popular free social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky communities!NCSF - National Coalition For Sexual Freedom News
NCSF Volunteers
Consent Countsand members can even list the NCSF as a Fetish on their profiles!