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SouthEast Consent Summit

on Monday, 11 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

SouthEast Consent Summit on February 23-24, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. www.consentsummit.info

Flyer SebastianGray

APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force Initiatives

on Friday, 08 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

The American Psychological Association Division 44 Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force promotes awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships. These include but are not limited to: people who practice polyamory, open relationships, swinging, relationship anarchy and other types of ethical non-monogamous relationships.

 

Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most peoples life experience. However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This Task Force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities.

 

The goal of the Task Force is to generate research, create resources, and advocate for the inclusion of consensually non-monogamous relationships in four areas: 1) basic and applied research, 2) education and training, 3) psychological practice, and 4) public interest.

 

We have included our current initiatives and leadership team. Currently, we have a diverse group of 75 professionals who are volunteering with the Task Force. If you are interested in getting involved with an initiative and/or have an idea for a new project, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We welcome support from mental and medical health professionals, legal professionals, graduate students, and community members alike.

 

We would also like to invite you to join our mailing list to receive updates when you sign our petition to support relationship diversity. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

We are honored to serve in this role and organize to promote the interests of the consensual non-monogamy community on behalf of APA Division 44. Thank you for your interest support in this endeavor.

Sincerely,

 

Heath Schechinger, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist, University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley

Co-chair, APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force

 

Amy Moors, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Chapman University Research Fellow, The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University

Co-chair, APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force

 

APA Division 44 CNM Task Force Initiatives & Leadership

 

1. Consensual Non-monogamy Fact Sheet (Lead: Amy Moors, Ph.D.): An easy-to-read infographic that provides helpful information about CNM, including a definition, stats, dispelled myths, and recommendations for further reading.

 

2. Healthcare Brochures (Co-leads: Michelle Vaughan, Ph.D. & Heath Schechinger, Ph.D.): Resources designed to educate medical and mental health providers about consensual non-monogamy.

 

3. Consensual Non-monogamy Inclusive Practices Tool (Lead- Heath Schechinger, Ph.D.): A benchmarking tool to highlight inclusive clinical practices and policies related to equity and inclusion for people engaged in CNM.

 

4. Therapist Recommendations (Co-leads: Heath Schechinger, Ph.D., Dossie Easton, Geri Weitzman, Ph.D., & Amy Moors, Ph.D.): This team is creating a guide with empirically informed recommendations for therapists working with clients who engage in consensual non-monogamy.

 

5. CNM Literature Project (Co-leads: Daniel Cardoso, Ph.D. & Michelle Vaughan, Ph.D.): A resource designed to summarize, index, and organize peer-reviewed and historic CNM literature that can be used by researchers, educators, and clinicians.

 

6. Special Call Campaign (Co-leads: Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Ph.D., Sharon Flicker, Ph.D., Daniel Cardoso, Ph.D., & Ashley Thompson, Ph.D.): This team is responsible for organizing special calls (e.g., journal issues, conference symposia) related to consensual non-monogamies.

 

7. Intersecting Identities Campaign (Co-leads: Leonore Tjia, M.A., Roberto Abreu, Ph.D., & Christopher Stults, Ph.D.): This team is promoting awareness of issues facing individuals engaged in consensual non-monogamy with multiple marginalized identities through writing a peer-reviewed paper on the topic, compiling a list of advocacy groups that work intersecting CNM identities, and challenging common homogeneous narratives about CNM.

 

8. LGBTQ Training Resources Campaign (Co-leads: Dawn Brown, M.S. & Stephen Forssell, Ph.D.): This team will work with local and national LGBTQ leaders to increase CNM representation in LGBTQ resources (e.g., The Safe Zone Project , Healthcare Equality Index). They are creating resources addressing the intersection of CNM and LGBTQ identities and providing recommendations for how to can be inclusive of CNM.

 

9. Anti-discrimination Campaign (Ashley Thompson, Ph.D. & Ryan Witherspoon, Ph.D.): This team is committed to addressing discrimination issues related to consensual non-monogamy, such as the effects of stigma and discrimination and the implications for family law and employment discrimination, as well as CNM being a protected status. This team is producing a peer-reviewed paper.

 

10. Therapist Locator Campaign (Co-leads: Heath Schechinger, Ph.D., Bree Zimmerman, M.A., & Deanna Richards, Ed.M.): This team is dedicated to removing barriers to accessing culturally competent care by organizing a campaign to include consensual non-monogamy (and/or related terms) on therapist locator directories.

 

11. Inclusive Education Campaign (Co-leads: Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Ph.D. & Apryl Alexander, Psy.D.): This is developing a pledge campaign to promote CNM inclusion in education and training programs. One project will include recruiting educators to pledge being inclusive of consensual non-monogamy in their courses. They will maintain a database and promote awareness of individuals and organizations who pledge in order to increase visibility and advocate for inclusion.

 

12. Inclusive Demographic Forms Campaign (Co-leads: Jen Rafacz, Ph.D. & Rachel Ann Kieran, Psy.D.): This team is committed to increasing awareness about including relationship status/structure (e.g., monogamous, polyamorous) on client history/intake and demographic forms. A couple initiatives of this group include writing an article addressing inclusive demographic forms, organizing a pledge campaign, and providing sample language for assessing relationship style on demographic forms.

 

Advisory Board

 

Our Advisory Board consists of individuals with substantial experience in a particular domain (e.g., therapy, public outreach, research) who have made themselves available to provide consultation and guidance to the Task Force Co-chairs and project Leads. Our network of advisors include:

Alan MacRobert

Charles Moser, PhD, MD

Cris Beasley

Cunning Minx

Dave DoleShal, Ph.D.

Dossie Easton

Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D.

Jes Matsick, Ph.D.

John Sakaluk, Ph.D.

Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D.

Richard Sprott, Ph.D.

Susan Wright, M.A.

New Laws Forced Sex Workers Back On SF Streets, Caused 170% Spike In Human Trafficking

on Friday, 08 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News, Media Updates

San Francisco KPIX

Violent crime is way down in San Francisco, according to the latest police statistics. But one major category is bucking the trend: police recorded a 170 percent jump in reports of human trafficking in 2018.

The huge spike appears to be connected to the federal shutdown of sex-for-sale websites. The goal of shutting them down was to curb human trafficking. Instead, it seems to have had the opposite effect.

SouthEast Consent Summit

on Thursday, 07 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

SouthEast Consent Summit on February 23-24, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. www.consentsummit.info

Flyer DickCunningham

SouthEast Consent Summit

on Thursday, 07 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

SouthEast Consent Summit on February 23-24, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.www.consentsummit.info

Flyer Panel 1

Slixa Essay Contest: $10,000 in prizes awarded

on Wednesday, 06 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

By Slixa

In the wake of the signing of the FOSTA-SESTA package into law, charitable giving and providing support for community based organizations, events, and initiatives are at the forefront of our minds here at Slixa.

In December of 2018 we issued our first ever call for entries on the subject of FOSTA-SESTA and were completely overwhelmed by the volume and quality of thoughtful responses we received. It was clear that this community is already profoundly aware of the damaging nature of these laws and well informed on their potential future ramifications.

Entrants were asked to submit comprehensive, well researched, in-depth essays focusing on FOSTA/SESTA, and how the legislation has legally, and politically impacted the community at large and service providers personally.

FIRST PLACE
Against FOSTA/SESTA: One Canary's Cry From Inside the Coal Mine
By Lucy Kahn

“Each of us affected by this bill are multi-faceted beings leading complex and interwoven lives at the intersections of many identities and demographics. While currently the impact of FOSTA/SESTA is felt most acutely by those of us participating in the commercial sex trade, this bill affects everyone—sex workers are just the canaries in the coal mine trying to make our warning call before it’s too late.” Read the full essay now.

Lucy will receive $2500 USD and her chosen advocacy group, SWOP Los Angeles will receive a matching donation from Slixa. Find out more about SWOP LA at the end of Lucy’s essay.

RUNNER UP
The Death Of The Dabbler and The Erasure Of Sex Work From The Common Internet
By Grace Marie

“It really is amazing to me that less than a decade ago all the online tools necessary for my survival in this business were free and accessible to women in every city -- and not just the big cities catered to by ad sites -- every city! Craigslist was effectively the anti- pimp: a safe space where adult sex workers from all over the world could freely advertise their offerings and screen clients from the comfort of their homes with no need of a pimp to broker the deal.” Read the full essay now.

Grace will receive $1500 USD, and her chosen advocacy group SWOP Los Angeles will receive a matching donation from Slixa. Find out more about SWOP LA at the end of Grace’s essay.

2ND RUNNER UP
Global Implications Of FOSTA
By Meghan Peterson

“The anti-trafficking industrial complex, which includes non-governmental organizations and legislative bodies, actively harms sex workers by promoting moralistic agendas, furthering carceral feminism, and diverting funding from workers who could benefit from social services rather than rescue efforts.” Read the full essay now.

Meghan will receive $1000 USD, and her chosen advocacy group, COYOTE, will receive a matching donation from Slixa. Find out more about COYOTE at the end of Meghan’s essay.

Guest Blog: Resilience

on Tuesday, 05 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

By Russell J. Stambuagh, PhD, DST, CSSP

“I Can’t Drive 55” -- Sammy Hagar
“Anything worth doing is worth over-doing”! An anonymous wag
“So put me on the highway, and show me a sign,
And we’ll take it to the limit one more time” -- Glen Frey, Don Henley, and Randy Meisner
“Roads? Where we are going, we don’t need roads”! -- Emmet Brown

Limits, and the Problem of Idealization:

This exploration of the need for resilience, repair, and reconciliation begins with limits, and the chosen quotes highlight just how ambivalent our society is with these. Likewise, organized kink, with its transgressive impulses, desire for safety, genuine reverence for equality and freedom, and its love of exceptionalism, is similarly split. It took NCSF over 6 years to hammer out a satisfactory definition of ‘consent’ among its coalition partner organizations to use in NCSF literature because of the huge diversity of what that term ‘consent’ might mean, and because of the fear that someone’s freedom might be sacrificed to someone else’s sense of limits. Safety is not the prime directive for kink, notwithstanding its pride of place in our PR slogan. Those who truly want safety above all else, are probably best advised to stay home!

But limits are particularly problematical because novelty is exciting. Risk is a turn on. And the role definitions of good kinksters feature facing fears, giving up control, embracing stress and pushing one’s personal limits. In this regard, some kinksters sound like athletes. Often, their mission is to play by the rules, but to transcend limits. Some good submissives want dominants to push their own limits. Some good tops want to do exactly that to others. The Mother-May-I style of consent might be worth trying on a lark, but almost no one wants it to be the backbone of their playing style. NCSF and the therapeutic community agree that continuous affirmative consent needs to be maintained at all times, and there are many ways this can be accomplished that are not wooden and mechanical, but there is great variety among people into kink about how this is understood and implemented. Continuous consent can be very hot if done correctly, but, like everything else in kink, not everyone is in to that.

Role playing aggravates this, because our role descriptions are infiltrated by idealization. Helen Fisher blames this on the neurotransmitter serotonin’s influence on the appetitive or courtship phase of human mating. I say we develop fantasies about our ideal partners and go seeking them. Fisher says millions of years of evolution has built brains that do the work of getting us so attracted to someone that reproduction might occur, and that means using the neurophysiology of obsession. Fisher and I are each at least partly right. Long before our observations, Romeo and Juliette said this:

“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliette is the sun.
Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, for she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off!
It is my lady! Oh, it is my love.
Oh, that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing! What of that?
Her eye discourses, I will answer it.----
I am too bold. “Tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their sphere ‘til their return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of those cheeks would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp. Her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans that cheek upon her hand.
Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand
That I might touch that cheek.”

“What is in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called
Retain that dear perfection that he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself! -- William Shakespeare, ‘Romeo and Juliette, Act II, scene 2’

It seems that Romeo and Juliette have it bad for each other, each is deeply in the throes of romantic idealization. Elizabethan playgoers recognized excessive romanticism in this famous poetry over 400 years ago. And this illustrates that idealization is a danger not just for kinksters, but for lovers of all preferences and identifications. But idealization is particularly dangerous for kinksters because lust is privileged in the kink communities. Shakespeare here is saying that love is the close cousin of madness. Having resisted stigma, risked contact with people who may or may not be all that safe sane and consensual in the name of lust, kinksters act like lust matters.

Cognitive dissonance alone acts to build commitment to kinky passion and relationships. We value what we have suffered, sacrificed, and worked ardently to achieve. And having done all of this, we would like to imagine that our partners are specially, even magically gifted and committed. Even kink educational efforts, which are designed to inject a measure of reason into how play is conducted also wind up defining good and bad role playing. Kinky folk challenge themselves to be good masters, good slaves, and good masochists just as we all strive to be good citizens, good parents, and good professionals. Consensual non-monogamists do it too. I remember overhearing in the hallway at an event one man telling another how he would never attempt to maintain 6 paramours at a time again; five was too many! This left me wondering if the Turkish Sultan ever had a garage sale!

This can make some dominants want to hit harder, be more demanding, and be pushy. It can make some submissives feel like they are being bad at their role if they use their safeword or fear they will harm the performance of their partner if they stop a scene. Novice submissives not only need to be taught that they cannot have every piece of candy in the store on the first trip, but that it is a sure sign of inexperience to proudly declare they have no limits and will try anything. As endearing as such devotion may feel, it is more wisely understood as a failure to recognize one’s own limits, rather than the communication of ultimate affection. This collision between inexperience and idealized roles is largely responsible for the 2014 Consent Violations Survey finding that 75% of the violations occurred either before, or within the first three years of our respondents’ involvement in the organized kink community.

But problems with limit setting and consent violations do not simply end after three years of training and experience. As kinksters become more experienced, they learn their limits, and some wish to push those limits. They often are exposed to new experiences where they have yet to learn their limits. Some relax their guard. And with increased intimacy and commitment, lovers want to please each other more, not less. The problem of being edgy may get better with self-knowledge and kink education, but it never disappears. And for some pushy kinksters who constantly seek to know their limits, it is hardly possible to know one’s limits without ever exceeding them.

From Consent Violations to Consent Incidents:

In our previous research, the NCSF 2014 Consent Violations Survey, my colleagues Susan Wright and Derrell Cox and I decided to use the term ‘violations’ because we wanted to cast the broadest net possible to capture problem experiences that might illuminate any systematic problems in how organized kink handles consent. That NCSF team had been working hard for several years with NCSF’s Coalition Partners to define a broadly acceptable concept of consent, and this research was meant to be a reality check about how well individuals thought consent worked in local organizations and events. We were looking for problems, not strengths.

Our results showed some problems, and we have reported back on these, but we also learned that many consent ‘violations’, while they constituted situations in which respondent’s play experience did not meet their expectations, did not really constitute ‘violations’. Our respondents, astute readers, and we investigators recognized that these unmet expectations could be painful, scary, and even traumatic, but did not stem from behaviors that the respondent viewed as malevolent. The best alternate term was volunteered by Charlie Glickman; the more neutral ‘consent incidents’. Although we knew from the start asking the questions this way loaded the dice, it was a new perspective for me to consider that we might have created a less sensitive instrument for investigating coping strategies for consent events that focused on individual participants’ responsibilities for resolving incidents because of our a priori emphasis on organizational solutions. It is clear from the diversity of incidents however, that every bit as important as organizational solutions; dungeon masters, complaint policies, mentoring, safeties, and educational programing might be in reducing predatory behavior and novice vulnerability, education in self-protective preparations is important, too. A great many consent incidents constituted success stories about overcoming problems that are somewhat routine, and in our next survey, every effort will be made to be less fixated upon primary institutional prevention, so we can mine the wisdom inherent in such successes. …

SouthEast Consent Summit

on Monday, 04 February 2019. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

SouthEast Consent Summit on February 23-24, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. www.consentsummit.info

Flyer BenSchenker

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