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PRESS RELEASE: “Erotic Services” Denied: Craigslist and Attorneys General Are Putting Sex Workers At Risk

on Thursday, 14 May 2009. Posted in Media Updates

This is a collaborative press release - please distribute and repost widely!

Contact:

Dylan WolAdd New Post ‹ Ncsf’s Blog — WordPressfe - Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Will Rockwell - $pread Magazine, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Audacia Ray - Sex Work Awareness (SWA), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Susan Blake - Prostitutes of New York (PONY), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Michael Bottoms - Sex Workers Outreach Project - New York City (SWOP-NYC), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With Craigslist’s recent announcement that its Erotic Services category will be discontinued within the week, hundreds of thousands of erotic service providers will become more vulnerable to dangerous predators. Eliminating erotic listings as Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and others propose will only drive us further underground.

Policing the masseuses, phone workers, pro-dominants, and escorts using Craigslist fails to protect those of us who are coerced into the sex industry. Preventing the use of Craigslist advertisements also eliminates the advantage of screening clients online, which makes for a safer work experience by filtering out potentially dangerous individuals. Furthermore, keeping us offline hinders police investigations of violent crime. In the Boston murder of Julissa Brisman, it was online tracking that enabled the police to identify the suspect. One has to wonder: are the Attorneys General examining the evidence or simply enforcing their moral values?

“Removing the erotic services category from Craigslist does not help prevent violence against escorts and other sex workers. It only pushes me and people like me out of the places where advertising is available,” said Jessica Bloom, a sex worker from Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK). In the face of increasing criminalization, we insist upon respect. As mothers, daughters, brothers, and members of your community, we claim that sex work is real work, work that we are entitled to conduct in safety. As such, we must be accorded the human right of full protection under the law.

**EDIT** an addendum. I just typed this up in response to a Facebook friend asking what he could do to help. Here are some suggestions:

You can totally help, mostly by speaking up and jumping into the fray!

Legislation about consensual adult sex work (not trafficking, coercion, or child prostitution) mostly happens on the state level - since you’re in NY, you can find your assembly person here: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/ - write to him or her and tell them how you feel about the risks created and perpetuated by continued criminalizing of sex work and cracking down on advertising

Write letters to the editor of newspapers that publish misguided pieces about how the elimination of craigslist erotic services will “help” women

Comment on blog posts and online articles (if you’ve got the stomach for it!)

And check out the very excellent and thorough reports on research done by the Sex Workers Project to arm yourself with statistics

(original post: HERE)

Info TICKLER!

on Monday, 04 May 2009. Posted in Media Updates

Want to know what we've been working on at the NCSF?  Here are the summaries from our departments!

INCLUDED: Vivienne - Treasurer, Tim Murray - Marketing, Klawdya Rothschild - Membership,Klawdya Rothschild - Newsletter/Web 2.0, Levi – Office,Vicki Ballinger - Outreach Coordinator,Susan Wright – Media Outreach

Vivienne- Treasurer

NCSF participated in an evening discussion at Leather Leadership Conference in Atlanta. Spearheaded by Richard Sprott, Executive Director of CARAS, representatives from LA&M, LLC National and NSCF joined Richard for an early dinner. The four organizations shared their current and future projects, issues of the day and explored the possibility of working together on a joint event.

Vivienne Kramer, Board Member, and Vicki B. Outreach Coordinator, spoke for NCSF and will continue to participate in any joint committee work. It was a productive discussion and was very encouraging to have all parties present and cooperative.

Our annual Coalition Partner meeting will be held in Dallas on June 6th and 7th of 2009.We will be at a hotel close to DFW to enable easy in and out transportation; the name will be disclosed as soon as the contract is signed. Room night rates are $89 plus tax and include hot breakfast both Saturday and Sunday. Please talk to your group about sponsoring your trip to Dallas. It is truly an amazing meeting that leaves activists renewed and re-energized for the coming year. The agenda for the weekend will be developed shortly but we typically meet 9:30-4:30 on Saturday and 9:30 am to 12 on Sunday. We are also trying to make arrangements with the local club for a Saturday evening entertainment option. NCSF has a working board that tries hard all year to keep the organization running but it's YOU - the Coalition Partners - that hold the power. There will be elections, budget review and many reports on activities. Please join us.

Tim Murray - Marketing

NCSF Fundraiser-In-A-Box:

Coming soon to the CP's will be a fundraiser template. A collection of best practices, resources and concepts complete with professionally designed flyers, posters & more for the CP's to easily throw fundraisers of various sizes. We want being a Coalition Partner to feel easy and beneficial to all parties involved. So let us take off some of the stress. Watch for it soon.

Klawdya Rothschild - Membership

In an ongoing effort to increase communications efficiency and maximize funds, the NCSF Memberships are going Paper Free! Not only with this increase membership process time, and save the NCSF thousands of dollars, but is also much more eco friendly! Following in the footsteps of the ACLU and AASECT, who converted to paper free memberships and renewals years ago, we will also link our paper-free membership system to Salesforce, which will help us organize and maintain better email lists, keeping our constituents better informed!

Klawdya Rothschild - Newsletter/Web 2.0

The Newsletter has been changed from bi-annual to quarterly and increased from 2 to 4 pages in an attempt to deliver more information, and serve the community better and more frequently. With that in mind, the NCSF has also embraced Web 2.0 with such things as the blog: http://ncsf.wordpress.comand http://www.twitter.com/ncsfto keep you up to date on news, both good and bag, that pertains to our mission and related communities! We aim to show the positive and strong aspects of our community as well as inform when tragedy strikes and alert when action is needed—with this in mind we have decided to accept article submissions from all members of our communities for both our blog and website. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. submit articles on events, books, art, news and more of interest to our communities and affiliate communities!

Levi – Office

It’s spring, and lots of change is in the air at our national office!

We have received our t-shirts from the printer – same great design, now with the NCSF logo on the front (so you can wear our colors proudly, even under a bar vest or jacket!). Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to place your order.

If you have not yet emailed the office to confirm your contact info, alternate rep (and their contact info), please do! We still have many question marks on our contact list, and want to make sure that all of your information is going to the right place.

Levi will be moving to California later this summer, and NCSF is looking to hire a new part-time Office Manager to run the Baltimore office. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a copy of our advertisement for the position if you or someone you know would be interested. Note: the office manager must be local or within reasonable driving distance of Baltimore, MD.

Vicki Ballinger - Outreach Coordinator

There are several events happening across the country worth mentioning

May 1-2

Kinko De Mayo - Ohio

http://www.ohiosmart.org

May 1-3

Seattle Erotic Art Festival - Washington

http://seattleerotic.org

May 1-3

Tribal Fire - Oklahoma

http://www.nla-okc.com/

May 7-10

Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Western Region Conference - California

http://sssswr.org

May 13-17

ASSECT Annual Conference - Arizona

http://aasect.org

May 21-26

Camp Crucible - Pennsylvania

www.the-crucible.com

May 22-25

International Mr Leather, Illinois

http://imrl.com

May 22-25

Shibaricon - Illinois

http://shibaricon.com

If you are having an event, please consider including the NCSF in your event. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is the only national organization devoted to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances the rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. We depend on support from events like yours to operate, so that we may continue to serve our constituents - like you! As a grassroots, volunteer driven organization primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, we are always looking for ways to increase awareness of our projects and funds to continue operating. There are a number of ways that we can work together to make this happen. Write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like NCSF info at your event!

Thank you for considering adding the NCSF to your plans!

Susan Wright – Media Outreach

Susan worked with NY Times reporter Jennifer Mascio on an article about the false arrests of professional Dominatrices for prostitution in NYC, arranging and sitting in on the interviews with several pro-Dommes, as well as getting a statement from one pro-Domme who was arrested. Jennifer says the article will be published at the end of April. So far, Susan has received over 20 inquiries about the pro-Domme arrests. This month she wrote to Police Commissioner Kelly asking for a meeting to discuss the issue.

Along with the interview to the NY Times, Susan gave 6 interviews to reporters with The New York Times Magazine (DSM and the paraphilias), Boston Phoenix (about the persecution of the BDSM community in Boston), NY Blade (regarding the murder of WABC host George Webber), Hustler (about Dressing for Pleasure and BDSM in general), SF Chronicle (on whether Obama will be a pro-sex president), and a Swedish journalist researching child custody and poly issues. Susan's letter to the editor about the top 50 influential people in the sexual freedom movement was published in the March issue of Playboy.

Susan is coordinating people and groups in NYC who are interested in working with the NY Health Department to obtain waivers for sex clubs that incorporate safe sex and harm reduction activities as part of their operation, including counseling and free HIV testing. The first meeting was at the Queer Justice League's April 2nd meeting, and the next will be at Paddles at 8pm on May 7th .

This new working group is an outgrowth of the Stop the Arrests Coalition.

Susan did website reviews for Ohio SMART's Kinko de Mayo, smOdyssey's Northeast Leather Celebration, and The Mark by CPI in Tennessee.

Lisa Vandever put out an Entertainment Media Update on American Swing, in which she said, "Though the 1970s styles and sensibilities on display in "American Swing" inspire some easy mockery, overall the documentary takes a respectful and even-handed stance towards its subject and the individuals involved--and towards swinging on the whole. In recounting their experiences at Plato's Retreat, many of those interviewed seem nearly reverential as they recall the sense of sexual freedom they discovered at the club, a good thirty years prior."

NCSF also received a thank you, as did many people who assisted in Brad Saragin's research on "Hormonal changes and couple bonding in consensual sadomasochistic activity," which is published in the current issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior. A PDF of the article can be found at http://www.niu.edu/user/tj0bjs1/papers/scclm09.pdf. The full reference is as follows:

Sagarin, B. J., Cutler, B., Cutler, N., Lawler-Sagarin, K. A., & Matuszewich, L. (2009). Hormonal changes and couple bonding in consensual sadomasochistic activity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 186-200.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your look into the activities of the NCSF. Please look for another edition of the NCSF Tickler in May.

#AMAZONFAIL- No Glitch

on Monday, 13 April 2009. Posted in Media Updates

Sign the PETITION

Keep up on the UPDATES

TWITTER with "#AMAZONFAIL"

Let the WORLD KNOW:  I want equal access to ALL Sexual Minority, Sexual Health and Sexual Freedom Literature!

Amazon.com Discrimination (repost)

on Monday, 13 April 2009. Posted in Media Updates

Reposted from: Mark R. Probst
Amazon Follies

* Apr. 12th, 2009 at 2:08 AM

On Amazon.com two days ago, mysteriously, the sales rankings disappeared from two newly-released high profile gay romance books: "Transgressions" by Erastes and "False Colors" by Alex Beecroft. Everybody was perplexed. Was it a glitch of some sort? The very next day HUNDREDS of gay and lesbian books simultaneously lost their sales rankings, including my book "The Filly." There was buzz, What's going on? Does Amazon have some sort of campaign to suppress the visibility of gay books? Is it just a major glitch in the system? Many of us decided to write to Amazon questioning why our rankings had disappeared. Most received evasive replies from customer service reps not versed in what was happening. As I am a publisher and have an Amazon Advantage account through which I supply Amazon with my books, I had a special way to contact them. 24 hours later I had a response:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage

Yes, it is true. Amazon admits they are indeed stripping the sales ranking indicators for what they deem to be "adult" material. Of course they are being hypocritical because there is a multitude of "adult" literature out there that is still being ranked - Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, come on! They are using categories THEY set up (gay and lesbian) to now target these books as somehow offensive.

Now in fairness I should point out that Amazon has also stopped ranking many books in the "erotica" categories as well which includes straight erotica. But that's a whole other battle that I'll leave to the erotica writers to take on.

Now I could probably convince the automatons at Amazon that The Filly is YA and therefore not "adult" in the least, and I could probably even convince them to reinstate my ranking. But if they are excluding books just on the basis of being "gay" then by all means exclude mine too because I don't want them just to reinstate the "nice" gay books, they need to reinstate all the gay books and if they are really going to try and exclude so-called "adult" material, then how come this has an Amazon ranking?

Entertainment Media Update for "American Swing"

on Sunday, 12 April 2009. Posted in Media Updates

Film Title: American Swing
Release Dates: Released in theaters March 27 (NYC) and April 4, 2009 (LA); DVD release is April 14, 2009
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Directed and Produced by: Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart
Producers: Gretchen McGowan, Christian Hoagland Executive Producers: Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente, Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban

Description:

From the distributor's website - "The year was 1977 and New York City burned. As the metropolis hurtled into bankruptcy, the city's nightlife hit unprecedented heights. In midtown, the ultra-exclusive Studio 54 was a cocaine-fueled celebrity clubhouse. Downtown, at the spartan CBGB's, punk rockers set out to destroy everything Pop. Meanwhile, in the basement of the prestigious Ansonia building on the conservative Upper West Side, Plato's Retreat opened its doors to ordinary couples who came to dance, to swim, and... to swap.

It was the start of a revolution. The brainchild of former wholesale meat purveyor Larry Levenson, Plato's Retreat quickly emerged as the epicenter of public sex for the 'me' generation. Previously, swinging was mostly an underground activity, engaged in primarily by the attractive and the well-to-do.


But Plato's welcomed anyone and everyone. For a mere $35, couples checked their judgments and pedigrees at the door of this clothing-optional Disneyland. Debutantes got it on next to bus drivers, as movie stars gave secretaries the 'starlet treatment.' For Levenson and others, Plato's was a utopia. For some, it is a time capsule that they are eager to forget. Utilizing exclusive interviews with former patrons, employees, and family members, intercut with riveting, never-before-seen archival materials, AMERICAN SWING brings this little-known epic of sex and excess to the big screen for the first time.

More info about AMERICAN SWING can be found at: http://www.magpictures.com/profile.aspx?id=8f5fe7fd-78fd-
4231-8be6-19a8b3a72c91
NCSF Reviewer's Note:

Though the 1970s styles and sensibilities on display in "American Swing" inspire some easy mockery, overall the documentary takes a respectful and even-handed stance towards its subject and the individuals involved--and towards swinging on the whole. In recounting their experiences at Plato's Retreat, many of those interviewed seem nearly reverential as they recall the sense of sexual freedom they discovered at the club, a good thirty years prior. Throughout, their interviews, combined with archival television clips featuring club founder Larry Levenson, the self-proclaimed "King of Swing,"
reinforce many of the common wisdoms of swinging even as practiced today: that it's not for everyone and certainly not a means of fixing a troubled relationship, but can be a healthy way to sexually explore outside the constraints of monogamy.

What's generally remembered about Plato's Retreat is its celebrity aspect, but what is truly striking in the documentary is the seemingly ordinary nature of so many of its revelers, as if the sexual revolution had expanded to encompass that couple you know from down the street. While the documentary could have benefited from a bit more context of what was happening in the swing world on a national level, it's an important and engaging account of a particular time and place in the sexual freedom movement.

(Reviewed by Lisa Vandever, NCSF Media Committee)
GIVE FEEDBACK ON "AMERICAN SWING" TO ITS DISTRIBUTOR:

Magnolia Pictures
49 West 27th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
http://www.magpictures.com/contact.aspx

HOW TO WRITE VIEWER FEEDBACK

Viewer letters are an effective way to convey a positive image of alternate sexual practices such as SM, swinging or polyamory. Your feedback can help to correct negative social myths and misconceptions about these types of practices, and may influence the future decisions of programmers and producers about the entertainment they provide. These letters help achieve the advocacy goals of the NCSF.

For more information and suggestions of points to include in your letter, see:
https://ncsfreedom.org/index.php?option=com_keyword&id=182

Please alert us to positive, negative or neutral stories about SM, swinging and polyamory at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Viewer letters are an effective way to convey a positive image of alternate sexual practices such as SM, swinging or polyamory. Your feedback can help to correct negative social myths and misconceptions about these types of practices, and may influence the future decisions of programmers and producers about the entertainment they provide. These letters help achieve the advocacy goals of the NCSF.

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127
Baltimore, MD 21202-3707
410-539-4824
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reuters Article on Vermont Decision

on Wednesday, 08 April 2009. Posted in Media Updates

By Jason Szep Article

BOSTON (Reuters) - Vermont legalized gay marriage on Tuesday after lawmakers overrode a veto from the governor by a wafer-thin margin, making the New England state the fourth in the United States where gays can wed.

The vote, nine years after Vermont was first in the United States to adopt a same-sex civil-union law, also makes the tiny state of 624,000 people the first in the nation to introduce gay marriage through legislative action instead of the courts.

"We've shown that truth and fairness and justice and love are more powerful than one man's veto pen," same-sex marriage advocate Beth Robinson said to cheers from supporters in the state capital of Montpelier after Vermont's House of Representatives passed the bill by a 100-49 vote.

Known for picturesque foliage, quaint dairy farms and a counter-culture spirit, Vermont joins New England neighbors Connecticut and Massachusetts in allowing gay marriage. Iowa legalized gay marriage last week.

Lawmakers in next-door New Hampshire and Maine are also considering bills to allow gay marriage, putting New England at the heart of a divisive national debate over the issue.

Washington D.C. extended new rights to gay couples on Tuesday, too, with a unanimous City Council vote to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the district. Some city lawmakers lauded the move as a prelude to legal same-sex marriage in the U.S. capital.

OVERRIDES GOVERNOR'S VETO

Vermont's bill, which becomes law on September 1, looked in peril after a 95-52 vote on Thursday in the Democratic-controlled House that was five votes short of the support needed to clear a veto from Republican Governor Jim Douglas.

Douglas vetoed the bill on Monday, urging lawmakers to focus on the economy instead. Supporters needed two-thirds of the votes in each chamber to override his veto. They got that easily in the state Senate, which passed the bill 23-5 earlier on Tuesday.

The vote came just four days after Iowa's Supreme Court struck down a decade-old law that barred gays from marrying. The surprise ruling, which made Iowa the first in the heartland to allow same-sex marriages, may have influenced some Vermont lawmakers to change their vote, gay marriage advocates said.

California briefly recognized gay marriage until voters banned it in a referendum last year.

The group Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which helped to legalize gay marriage in Massachusetts and Connecticut, has set a goal of expanding such marriages to all New England states by 2012. Maine and New Hampshire already offer same-sex couples some form of legal recognition.

Forty-three U.S. states have laws explicitly prohibiting gay marriage, including 29 with constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman.

(Editing by Chris Wilson)

Vermont Same Sex Marriage Press Release

on Wednesday, 08 April 2009. Posted in Media Updates

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails enactment of Vermont legislation granting the freedom to marry to same-sex couples

WASHINGTON, April 7 b The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails the Vermont Legislature's override today of Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. The Senate passed the measure by 23 to 5 and the House by 100 to 49. Vermont is the first state in the nation to extend the freedom to marry through the legislative process.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"Vermont is once again making history. Nine years ago it did so when it became the first state to grant legal recognition of same-sex relationships through its civil unions law; today, it became the first state Legislature to pass and enact a marriage equality measure.

"This is a momentous day and significant turning point in the struggle for the equal treatment of our relationships. The enactment of this bill affirms that only marriage can provide the protections, dignity and respect that the institution bestows. This vote also recognizes that civil unions simply fall short in ensuring same-sex couples are treated equally under the law.

"We salute the courage and commitment of the Vermont state legislative leadership in pursuing this measure's passage b even successfully overriding the governor's veto. We especially extend our heartfelt thanks to Vermont Freedom to Marry for its hard work and tireless advocacy for the freedom to
marry."

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org (http://www.theTaskForce.org).

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement's premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.
The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. (C)2009 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. Fax 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Update - 2009-04-06

on Tuesday, 07 April 2009. Posted in Media Updates

Media Update- Table of Contents

1. LLAMA SUTRA: BDSM, Roommate Crush
2. Sunrise Prostitution Sting Details Emerge
3. Absolute Domination: Mistress Absolute Whips Through L.A.
4. Whip Smart
5. Attorney for Lynn 'dominatrix' lashes out

NCSF Media Updates represent a sampling of recent stories printed in US
newspapers, magazines, and selected websites containing significant
mention of SM-leather-fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics.

These stories may be positive, negative, accurate, inaccurate - or
anywhere in between.

NCSF publishes the Updates to provide readers a comprehensive look at what
media outlets are writing about these topics. NCSF permits and encourages
readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.

LLAMA SUTRA: BDSM, Roommate Crush
by Dan Copulsky and Kat Corcoran
The Llama Ledger (Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington, MA)
March 4, 2009

[A] BDSM, often distinguished from "vanilla sex", is triple acronym that
stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism
and Masochism. It is an umbrella term that includes a wide variety of
sexual activities that often overlap and can be practiced with a wide
range of intensity, some of which may be erotized rather than overtly
sexual. These activities usually take place within a defined "scene".

Bondage is the use of tying up, handcuffs, or other restraints. Discipline
is the use of rules and punishment, which can include physical pain,
humiliation, or loss of privileges. Dominance and submission is the
control of one party over another. Sadism is gratification from inflicting
pain or humiliation. Masochism is gratification from receiving pain or
humiliation.

BDSM usually involves unequal roles. Typically, those who are active and
in control are known as dominants, doms, tops, or masters and those who
are passive and controlled are known as submissives, subs, bottoms, or
slaves. Those who may take on both these roles are known as switches.

To keep activities safe, participants in BDSM use pre-negotiation of
scenes, safewords, and heightened knowledge of the body's and mind's
limits. Many measure activities against the yardstick of "Safe, Sane, and
Consensual" (SSC). Others hold a more permissive idea of "Risk-Aware
Consensual Kink" (RACK), believing that anything done between fully
informed consenting adults is acceptable.

FULL ARTICLE

Sunrise Prostitution Sting Details Emerge:
Police Report Finding Sex Toys, Whips Chains, And A Human Cage
by Carey Codd
WFOR-TV (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fl)
February 27, 2009

SUNRISE (CBS4) -- A month after CBS4 cameras watched Sunrise police bust
an alleged house of prostitution, we are learning the lurid details of the
sex acts that allegedly took place there.

The report details whipping and bondage and lists a number of items police
found in the home, like ropes, chains and even a human cage.

Sunrise Police arrested two women on January 28 -- Katherine Eby and Chu
Tang -- for prostitution. Timothy Moon was arrested for battery on a law
enforcement officer and failing to appear on a child neglect charge in
Missouri.

According to the report, the women enticed men to the home through an
online ad.

Katherine Eby told police the economy forced her into a life of
prostitution. She told police "she was a real estate agent and was unable
to earn a steady income from that profession due to current market
conditions."

An undercover officer pretended to be a customer and arrested Eby after
she began performing a sex act on him for $140.

While Eby was in a room with the officer, the officer heard strange noises
emanating from a nearby room. The report says Eby told the officer "Tang
was whipping" a man.

The report says Eby gave a cut of her earnings to Tang, who rented the
house with another woman for $1200 per month. The report says Sunrise
Police learned about the house from an anonymous person complaining about
the amount of men going in and out of the house several times a day.

As police officers led the suspects out of the home in handcuffs, nearby
residents cheered.

"They did a great job," the neighbor said who asked to remain anonymous.
"I don't want that scum here. Drags everybody's property values down."

...inside the house police found a plethora of sex items, including "an
assortment of various sex toys, dominatrix business cards, sex videos,
assortment of condoms with money, restraining furniture, human cage,
ropes, chains, whips, paddles...."

The report details one man they found in the home, naked and bound by rope
to the frame of a table.

Chu Tang told detectives she and Moon operated a "sex content web site."
She said they filmed several movies for the website at the house.

FULL ARTICLE

Absolute Domination: Mistress Absolute Whips Through L.A. to Teach Torture
for Pleasure at Coco de Mer on Melrose

by Gendy Alimurung
LA Weekly (Los Angeles, CA)
February 25, 2009

When the dominatrix was a little girl, she was constantly locking people
in cupboards. In the bathtub with her brother, she would instruct her
sibling to close his eyes and open his mouth.

"But you'll put the bar of soap in it", he'd say.

"No I won't. I promise".

"Aaah", went his mouth. In went the soap.

It's one of those classic dominatrix stories with a foregone conclusion.
Hannah, or Mistress Absolute to those with whom she is on whipping terms,
has a naturally domineering personality and has, in a sense, been
tormenting people her entire life. "When I told my mum what I was doing
for a living, she said, 'Oh, darling, you've always been like that'".

Mistress Absolute, who prefers her last name remain private, is lounging
on a leather chair in the dressing room before the "Art of Restraint"
class she teaches at the only U.S. branch of the elegant little sex shop
from London called Coco de Mer, a gilded, luxe place on Melrose with
naughty toys in Victorian cabinets where you can pick up $10,000 gold
vibrators and almost-as-expensive La Perla lingerie. Mistress Absolute is
herself an elegant, slinky person, with pale skin, red lips, long black
hair, and a fun-loving, puckish air, without which she would be scary. She
lives in London, but regularly includes Los Angeles on her teaching
circuit (she returns in April), and when her flight to LAX got in, a
female slave met her at the baggage carousel wearing fishnet tights, a
tailcoat, a leather chauffer's cap, a sign that said "Mistress Absolute"
and a huge grin.

"There's a school of thought that says you should start out submissive
before you become dominant", the dominatrix says as students begin to
arrive. "That if you don't know what it feels like, how can you do it to
someone else? I don't follow that thought. I don't have a set of balls,
but I torture balls".

She is 33 years old, and found her calling at 23. She went to a fetish
club for the first time on her own. She bought her first rubber dress,
strapped on her first pair of boots. "Within 15 minutes I was giving
somebody a caning. I was somewhere I fitted. Finally I had a name for how
I am".

These days, when people in session confess their desires, she sees a
weight come off their shoulders. "It's about being able to release a side
of somebody that they kept hidden, and not judging them. They tell me
about their fetish, and maybe it's something they haven't told their wife,
they haven't told their best friend, they aren't even sure they should be
telling me. So when they say to me 'I just love to be spat on or kicked
about. Is that normal?' I say, 'Well, define normal'".

FULL ARTICLE

Whip Smart: A documentary explores the dark, kinky world of online BDSM
by Linnea Covington
New York Press (NY)
February 25, 2009

The girl looked like an amputee. Positioned on all fours atop tall, metal
pedestals, her eyes were wild as she moaned through a ball-gag. Short,
brown locks framed her face, and her white limbs were encased in
bright-yellow latex, binding the hand to the shoulder, the foot to the
thigh. She wore a matching corset under her dangling breasts. Artist

positions, crippled or beaten came to mind. But this girl was real. And
she was just a piece of the larger world of fetish from the now-defunct
website, Insex.com.

Started in 1997, Insex.com was a way for Brent Scott, aka Pd, to further
his erotic bondage art after leaving a teaching job at Carnegie Mellon.
His art showed vivid paintings of women in various BDSM positions - and
wasn't well-received among the community. Bondage had long been an
obsession for Scott from the time he was tortuously tickled into his first
orgasm as a child. He began to think of his fetishes as wrong because they
weren't socially acceptable, but through art, he found a way to live
them.The workings behind the website can now be seen in a new documentary,
Graphic Sexual Horror, which premiered as the highest rated film in Utah's
Slamdance Film Festival in mid-January and is included in the Cinekink
film fest this week. Two women direct the film: novelist Barbara Bell and
photographer Anna Lorentzon.

Both Lorentzon and Bell worked for Insex.com, never as models, but as a
photographer and screenwriter respectively. Lorentzon first met Scott at a
fetish store and later at a bondage demonstration. She reached out to him
coincidently on the same day he needed a photographer, so she joined the
team and stayed there for six years. Bell got into Insex.com through
Lorentzon and began writing short screenplays for his scenes. Both women
enjoyed their time there, but some of their encounters bothered them, like
Scott's pushiness when he wanted the models to "play" with him after their
set. Lorentzon said making this documentary became a way for her to
decompress everything she experienced in the studio.

As the two female directors explain in the film, Scott's fascination with
bondage isn't as unusual as one might think. Insex.com had 35,000 members
who paid $60 a month to sign on. "It was almost as if everybody was
waiting for this site to come up", Scott says in the documentary.

The interest Insex.com received, however, shouldn't be so surprising.
Scott put a lot of time and effort into creating scenes that were both
convincing and horribly graphic. He hired models at around $300-anhour to
be placed in shackles, in cages, tied up, whipped, dunked in water and
ball-gagged. He created leather masks, steel stilettos, cuffs and iron
casings. And for seven years he produced short films, live feeds and
images of pretty girls getting tortured.

While the documentary touches on the closing of Insex.com, the purpose is
to show a side of the business that the regular customer or sexually
stifled viewer never saw - what the girls actually thought of their work.
Near the beginning of the film, Scott explained that his purpose to being
there was to "give the girl an orgasm". There was a part in the movie
where a girl, tied to post, is whipped with a switch. She has large, red
welts over blackening bruises down her backside. After they stop filming,
the girl looks high and, with a gentle smile, explains to her questioner
that she felt "really good".

Lorentzon, the cinematographer, explained that the girl's reaction was due
to the adrenaline pulsating through her body. "When feeling enough pain,
the body produced endorphins and adrenaline, which makes you feel high",
says Lorentzon. "At that point, you don't feel the pain anymore. Not all
models were willing and able to go that far".

FULL ARTICLE

Attorney for Lynn 'dominatrix' lashes out
by Dan O'Brien
The Daily Item (Lynn, MA)
February 19, 2009

LYNN - The lawyer for a Lynn dominatrix arrested for sodomy and rape
lashed out at the victim and police Wednesday, saying Ariana Murrell's
boyfriend only filed cha-rges after she kicked him out of her house the
night before.

Attorney Elaine Whitfield Sharp of Marblehead, who also represents Murrell
in a lawsuit against the Lynn Police Department that is pending in U.S.
District Court, says the 46-year-old alleged victim is a bipolar, illegal
immigrant from the Dominican Republic who was allowed to leave Murrell's
home in the three years he's lived there.

Murrell, 40, even bought the victim a plane ticket to the Dominican
Republic a few months ago but he declined to accept it, said the attorney,
who forwarded The Item an electronic copy of the plane ticket for a flight
that departed from Boston on Jan. 20.

Now, Whitfield Sharp says Murrell is "humiliated" and lost custody of her
two grandchildren Wednesday only 14 days after they were awarded to her by
Judge Nelson Dillday of the Salem Probate Court.

In addition, Whitfield Sharp provided copies of court records showing
Murrell has a pending assault and battery case against the victim after he
allegedly attacked her and a handyman inside her 35 Baltimore St. home in
2007. Murrell filed a separate police report against the victim after he
was allegedly caught on video stealing Murrell's credit cards, which were
later used fraudulently, from her pocketbook.

"He is not a reliable source," she said. "The night before he went to the
police Ariana said she intended to be a witness against him... She told
him to get out of the house." Police arrested Murrell on Monday at her
workplace, a Lewis Street tax preparation business, and charged her with
sodomy, rape, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and
battery.

The victim says, among other allegations, that Murrell sodomized him when
he didn't agree to photograph himself naked to post on the Internet. She
also allegedly forced him to wear costumes and participate in bondage
sessions with other men.

Murrell filed trespassing charges against city workers in June after when
they tried to impose a cease and desist order because she was building an
illegal room on her house. The victim tells police the room was being
turned into a dungeon, according to police reports.

FULL ARTICLE

A project of NCSF and ITCR: The Foundation of NCSF
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