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At the oral argument in the 9th Circuit on Oct. 19, Judge Carlos Bea asked a key question: “Why is it illegal to sell something that it’s legal to give away?”

on Saturday, 04 November 2017. Posted in NCSF News, Media Updates

Allure

And while being kinky still comes with social stigmas, Stephanie*, a 25-year-old woman involved in the New York City kink scene, says kinks are increasingly viewed as mainstream. “I always thought you couldn’t have an unconventional lifestyle and fall into success. Now I know you can live a kinky lifestyle and still be successful,” Stephanie says.

Consent Month Photo Winners

on Wednesday, 11 October 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

NCSF is very proud to partner with Arizona Power Exchange (APEX) in sponsoring Consent Month every September! APEX provides the consent bracelets and maintains the ConsentMonth.com website, updating the calendar and helping to spread the word about consent.

This year, 21 consent-themed events took place in September, with almost 1,600 people visiting the ConsentMonth.com website. Over 800 of our distinctive “Got Consent? / ConsentMonth.com” bracelets were distributed at these events.

We had a great showing this year with 9 photographs submitted for the Consent Month Photo contest. NCSF and APEX are thrilled to announce the winner is slave pattie’s photo entitled “Consent Brainstorm”. 

slave pattie describes her winning photo: 

"Three main words/statements that come to mind when I think of consent are: peace of mind, commitment from both parties to follow through on negotiations and clarity of what each other wants or allows."

CM 2017 Win 

 

The runner up photograph is “Together” by Archer who photographed APEX members wearing Got Consent? Bracelets.

 CM 2017 Run

 

See all of the photos that were submitted at http://consentmonth.com/consent-event-photo-contest/

 

NCSF and APEX thank all of the photography entrants, and will be using some of the photos that were submitted on promotional material for Consent Month and NCSF Consent Summits.

 

Participate in Consent Month next year, September 2018, by holding a consent event or submitting a consent-themed photograph for our contest.

 

 

Disaster Relief Funds

on Tuesday, 26 September 2017. Posted in NCSF News

To help the many people who have been hit hard by natural disasters in the past 6 weeks, NCSF has compiled the following list of charities that you can donate to:

Puerto Rico

ConPRmetidos promotes innovation by connecting Puerto Ricans abroad to those on the island. This local nonprofit also has a fund to help victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Unidos, by the Hispanic Federation is coalition of elected officials in New York and Puerto Rico who joined the Hispanic Federation, a Latino nonprofit, to launch this relief fund for Puerto Ricans affected by Maria.

AmeriCares is the relief and development organization is working with officials in Puerto Rico to provide emergency medical supplies, and has stocked emergency shelters with $1.8 million worth of medicine and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Caribbean Islands

Fund for the Virgin Islands is the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands collecting donations through this fund, which will be used both to support short-term relief efforts and to enhance the well-being of future generations.

Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund is how the Dominica’s government is collecting donations, through crowdfunding website JustGiving. Donations will pay for temporary roofing, blankets and non-perishable foods.

Mexico

Mexican Red Cross has been accepting direct donations online and has set up an Amazon Wish List for necessary items.

Direct Relief has staff in Mexico City and has pledged that 100 percent of its donations will go directly to relief efforts, including delivering medical supplies to affected areas.

GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding organization, has pledged that all money donated to its earthquake fund will go to recovery and relief efforts.

Fondo Unido México is part of the United Way network, and they have an emergency fund to help the areas affected by the earthquakes as well as the recent series of hurricanes.

Florida

GlobalGiving’s Irma Relief Fund is accepting donations here.

Organizations accepting donations for the welfare of animals include the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Best Friends Animal Societyand the South Florida Wildlife Center.

Texas

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are asking for donations.

To help animals, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society. The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has set up an animal emergency response hotline (713-861-3010) and is accepting donations on its website.

The United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund helps with immediate needs as well as long-term services like minor home repair. Visit its website to donate or text UWFLOOD to 41444.

The L.G.B.T.Q. Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help people rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more.

If you have additional charities that you have vetted and believe are worth supporting to help those who are in need, please add them in your comment.

 

 

September is Consent Month!

on Thursday, 07 September 2017. Posted in NCSF News

The Lawyers Are Coming and It’s a Good Thing

on Friday, 01 September 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

By Dick Cunningham

 

In its major project on revising the criminal laws on sexual assault, the prestigious American Law Institute is taking a hard look at consent as a defense in BDSM-related prosecutions. And NCSF is providing important input to that project.

 

As many of you are painfully aware, courts throughout the United States have consistently refused to recognize consent as a defense in criminal assault cases that arise from BDSM incidents. Even though the ALI’s  Model Penal Code—which has been adopted by most states—says consent is a defense to assault unless “serious bodily injury” has occurred, courts regularly ignore that rule. They regard BDSM as violent assault and issue rulings that use of nipple clamps for dripping hot wax constitutes "serious bodily injury”.

 

NCSF brought this issue to the attention of the Sexual Assault Project, which has taken the issue very seriously.  This is important, because the ALI is one of the most prestigious legal organizations, and their Model Penal Code—of which the new sexual assault rules will be a part—is adopted by most states.  If they reclassify BDSM prosecutions as sexual contact instead of violent assault and if they clarify the importance of consent in the practice of BDSM, the criminal treatment of our communities will change dramatically for the better.

 

NCSF has been active in the Project’s deliberations, communicating with the Project Chair, submitting quite detailed legal analyses, providing education to dispel misconceptions about BDSM, and—beginning with the ALI’s annual meeting—attending and participating in the discussions of sexual assault issues. We have been making the following principal points:

 

• BDSM is intimate and erotic behavior and thus should not be prosecuted as a violent assault by one person against another.

• Specifically, BDSM belongs in the category of “sexual contact” crimes, where prosecution depends on the determination that consent was not given for the erotic contact. BDSM does not belong in the same category as rape, because penetration—if it occurs at all is not truly part of the BDSM activity.

• The project needs to be aware of the importance placed upon consent in the BDSM communities to understand that BDSM scenes may involve (as part of the fantasy) understandings that the usual expressions of unwillingness “no”, “stop”, etc. can be disregarded and instead prearranged “safe words” (“red”, “yellow”, etc.) may be used.

• The project also needs to understand that consent needs to be “informed consent”, not only in BDSM, but also in all sexual assault contexts.  By “informed consent”, we mean the participants need to agree (a) who will be involved, (b) what is agreed to be done and not done, (c) the potential risks, (d) where and how the bottom will be touched, (e) the location or venue where the acts will be conducted and (f) the procedure for stopping or moderating the acts.  

 

Our issues will be front and center at the mid-October meeting of the ALI Sexual Assault Project and NCSF has, at the ALI’s request, submitted detailed comments. And I, as NCSFs Consent Counts counsel have joined the ALI and will be an active participant in the October session.

 

Keep your fingers crossed. This could produce something very important. 

 

For more information about this important project, please consider attending the NCSF and TES Consent Summit in New York City on September 16 - https://www.ncsfreedom.org/press/blog/item/consent-summit-in-new-york-city

 

Re-Opening The Mark... Even Better Than Before!

on Friday, 01 September 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

What are We Raising Funds For?

We Need to Re-Open!

 

After 12 years of CPI successfully running The Mark as a private membership club with no issues or concerns, we were the target of a salacious "investigative news" story by a local television station this past July, which led to Metro Nashville closing us down, citing our non-compliance with a newly-enacted "sex club" ordinance.  As everyone who knows us can tell you, we consider ourselves a community center and about as far removed from the concept of a "sex club" as imaginable... but since the ordinance lists the possibility of nudity and sex within its definition of a sex club (whether they are the focus or not), we now are one, since we espouse both a body-positive and sex-positive culture.

 

The Zoning/Codes folks have actually been very kind, wonderfully helpful, and as understanding as possible.  Walk-throughs and inspections have returned no code violations, but there are costs associated with all this, we have no revenue sources to count on, and it appears that (under this new designation) we will have to complete the access ramp that we had started early this year for full-up ADA compliance.  Yes, we had intended to do this anyway this summer... now there is no putting it off! ...

 

Consent Summit in New York City

on Sunday, 20 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and The TES Association present the Consent Summit, an all-day event of workshops and discussions on consent in New York City. Attitudes are changing about consent, and it’s time to join in the conversation. Consent and the law, consent in power exchange relationships, and dealing with consent incidents–you can’t have sexual freedom without consent!

9:30 am – 6pm on Saturday, September 16th 

@the LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

Register here: https://nationalcoalitionforsexualfreedom.wildapricot.org/events

Along with Carmen Vasquez as Keynote Speaker, other experts including Judge Rudy Serra, Kate D'Adamo, David Stein, Lia Love, Russell J. Stambaugh, Sar Surmick, Judy Guerin, Kevin Carlson, Graydancer, Heather Gardner, and more will headline the Panel Discussions and Workshops:

Consent & the Law

Consent Activism: Past, Present and Future

Consent in Power Exchange Relationships

Train the Trainers: How to Talk About and Teach Consent

Consent Violations Survey

Towards a Better Understanding of Consent Incidents

During the Luncheon there will be exciting breakout groups led by knowledgeable Moderators:

Fetish/Sex Workers - Mistress Leigh

TNG – Jewel

Event/Party Producers – Zero

Power Exchange and M/s – Ashley

Special Needs – Dr. Michael Aaron

Hypnosis – Jaden 

Tickets:

All day event with luncheon - $50

TES Members all day event with luncheon - $40

Students and Seniors - $35

All day event with luncheon and Pay It Forward* - $75

*Pay It Forward allows those who are economically advantaged to assist people who are not. It's a reminder to all of us that money can create barriers between us. If you need a scholarship to attend, please contact NCSF to find out more - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Don't Let Congress Censor the Internet

on Wednesday, 09 August 2017. Posted in Front Page Headline, NCSF News

Electronic Frontier Foundation Action Alert

There’s a new bill in Congress that would threaten your right to free expression online. If that weren’t enough, it could also put small Internet businesses in danger of catastrophic litigation.

 

Don’t let its name fool you: the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) wouldn’t help punish sex traffickers. What it would do is expose the Internet content platforms that we all rely on every day to the risk of overwhelming criminal and civil liability for their customers’ actions.

 

SESTA would erode one of the most important laws protecting free expression online. Under current law, an intermediary (like a social media platform or a message board) can’t be held legally responsible for the content created by its users for purposes of enforcing certain laws affecting speech online.

 

SESTA would extend more criminal and civil liability for sex trafficking to content platforms, thus making opening or running such a platform an extremely dangerous venture. The law would affect any company, organization, or individual that hosts content created by someone else on the Internet: social media sites, photo and video-sharing apps, newspaper comment sections, and even community mailing lists. Small Internet startups would become vulnerable to extremely costly legal threats. So would web platforms run by nonprofit and community groups, which serve as invaluable outlets for free expression and knowledge sharing.

 

There’s a similar bill in the House. With many lawmakers showing their support for these bills, it’s crucial that Internet users tell them how damaging the bills will be for free speech and innovation on the Internet.

 

Tell your members of Congress: sex trafficking is a real, horrible problem, but these bills are not the solution.

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