Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BDSM and the Law



Picture this:

You’ve invited friends to your home, including a well-known Violet Wand expert and his wife, the demo bottom. They’ve been at it for a while, she lying with cuffed hands and feet on the medical table and he wielding all his magic wands all over her naked body. She’s very vocal in her appreciation, so much so that the new neighbor calls the police. When they burst in, she’s deep in sub space and can’t vouch that she wasn’t abused.

Or this:

The long-time couple, whom everyone in the dungeon knows, is at it again, one of them cuffed to a ring in the ceiling, the other getting him deeper and deeper into the Zone with harder and harder smacks from a brutally stiff paddle. He’s adroitly reading his partner’s body language which tells him the sub is nowhere near the end of his endurance; he’s squirming and yelling and dancing around in ecstasy. Someone—a discarded lover? A misogynist? An all-round trouble-maker?—reports the location to the police and they see what they immediately consider abuse.

Or this:

A woman’s parents become aware of her involvement in the BDSM community and initiate an action with the court to challenge the mother’s fitness as a parent and the custody of her children. The sole basis for the custody challenge is the mother’s consensual adult BDSM interests.

For the ten to twelve percent of Americans who practice some form of BDSM, any of these possibilities—and others—can become a nightmare. To the folks in the above scenarios, we can only hope that the responding officials have been given some education about the lifestyle. We can also hope the participants know about the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF).

This is the Mission Statement from NCSF’s website.

The NCSF is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the US that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions.

The NCSF aims to advance the rights of, and advocate for consenting adults in the BDSM-Leather-Fetish, Swing, and Polyamory Communities.

We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach, in conjunction with our partners, to directly benefit these communities.

The Coalition was founded by Susan Wright in 1997. She chaired the successful DSM-5 Revision Project (de-stigmatizing BDSM from being a mental illness), and coordinated the SM Policy Reform Project for the National Organization for Women (NOW) which resulted in rescinding their anti-BDSM policy.

NCSF provides many services to the BDSM community, including:

·         Kink Aware Professionals. NCSF maintains a database of attorneys, doctors, therapists and other professionals who are sympathetic to the lifestyle.

·         Resource Library. NCSF provides downloadable information on statistics, publications, presentations and tips on dealing with the media.

·         Incident Response Program. NCSF offers a place where individuals and organizations who are harassed or discriminated against because of their lifestyle can get help. They also provide legal assistance in instances that meet certain criteria, including the possibility of ramifications for the entire kink community.

·         Education Outreach Programs. NCSF offers over 20 workshops designed to educate both within and outside the BDSM community.

They also have been instrumental in writing the "Alternative Events" policy for Marriott Corp (2,900 properties) and Intercontinental Hotels (3,800 hotels). They have also helped thousands of people deal with the challenges society has thrown at them, such as legal problems with zoning, child custody, assault, battery and kidnapping charges, or social issues like job loss or being thrown out of their homes by a landlord who doesn't like their lifestyle.

Please visit their website to discover more of what they do. While you’re at it, note that NCSF is supported by voluntary contributions. Help them educate and assist the kink, polyamory and swinger communities by making a donation now.

NCSF Founder Susan Wright will give several workshops at Doctor Charley Ferrer’s BDSM Writers Con, including “BDSM and the Law” and “Consent Isn’t Black and White”. The conference will be held August 21-24 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. You can learn more about the Conference here.

~~ Cris Anson

5 comments:

  1. Those scenarios are very scary. I can only imagine what might happen or how the situation might end up. Even after a whole consensual night, someone could come back with anger. That's what happens in relationships at times and then it's a mess.

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  2. Exactly, Melissa. That's why NCSF is so valuable.

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  3. Excellent post Cris! Great examples too. Thanks for bringing this up. I'll share.

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  4. Thanks, Kathy. It deserves to be shared.

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  5. All those scenarios have actually occurred; including the one where the male had a consensual threesome and went to jail for it despite the women saying they consented. Conduct unbecoming a soldier was one of the accusations at his trial. Amazing how such incidents occur but the media never addresses it. I wish authors would bring some of these issues to light in their books. Hint Hint smiles.

    I'm so please NCSF will be at BDSM Writers Con. They are a valuable resource to any one who believes in sexual freedom whether it's BDSM or vanilla.

    We not only need to have readers and authors at BDSM Writers Con; we need attorneys and doctors, cops and social workers as well. Anyone that deals with emergency services or medical/mental issues should learn what BDSM is to dispel many of the misconceptions and reduce prejudices.

    Ensure to tell your friends. And feel free to contact your local police department and colleges to spread the word.

    Live with passion,

    Dr. Charley Ferrer
    BDSMWritersCon.com

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