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The soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm FAQ list (Part 4 of 7)

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The soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm FAQ List
Where the kinky knowledge resides!
Part 4 of 7

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
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*The FAQs Themselves*

PART 1:
 1. What do B&D, S&M, D&S, "top", "bottom" mean?

 2. What is a "scene", and what is "negotiation"?

 3. What is a "safeword"?

 4. When is pain not pain?

 5. What are some basics of safe SM, emotionally and physically?
PART 2:
 6. Is everyone either a top or a bottom?  What's a "switch"?

 7. How can I learn to be a good top?

 8. How can I learn to be a good bottom?

 9. Is BDSM sexual?

10. Why is bondage fun?

11. Why is whipping fun?
PART 3:
12. What is body piercing? What is "C&B" play, or "genitorture"?

13. What is cutting/play piercing/burning/branding/electrical play? 
    What are "bloodsports"?

14. What is it about breath control? Is it safe to make someone pass 
    out?

15. What are "golden showers"? How about "scat"?

16. Is anal sex safe? Why do people do it?

17. What is "fisting"?
PART 4:
18. Does the way I play qualify as "real" SM? What is "real" SM, anyway?

19. What is it about leather/latex/high heels/corsets/other fetishes?

20. What about shaving body hair and/or crossdressing?

21. Why am I defending SM?

22. Is SM degrading or abusive? Were most SM people abused?
PART 5:
23. Why is SM taboo, and is SM criminal, unnatural, immoral, 
    unethical, or unhealthy?

24. Isn't the bottom always in control?

25. Can someone _really_ be someone else's slave?

26. What are the "codes"?

27. My fantasies scare me. What if I get too into SM?
PART 6:
28. I want to throw a play party; how do I go about it?

29. I want to attend a play party; what is the etiquette?

30. What's the deal with this anonymity stuff?

31. Are SM people being politically and socially harassed?

32. What topics are or aren't acceptable on s.s.b-b? (including, 
    what's s.s.b-b's charter?)

33. I'm sick of certain topics on s.s.b-b. How can I avoid them? Also, 
    what's with all these ads?


34. OK, so I can't post ads to s.s.b-b.  Where CAN I post them?

35. I don't have access to soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm; what can I do 
    to get information about the scene?

PART 7:
36. What are some websites/books/magazines/organizations/stores/news 
    archives where I can get SM information or toys, or meet people in the scene?


=======================================================================
*18. Does the way I play qualify as "real" SM? What is "real" SM,
anyway?*

Sometimes on a.s.b, people will post wondering if what they do is
"heavy" enough to be worth talking about. How can a mere novice who
just got spanked for the first time presume to post about how it felt,
when there are people out there who wouldn't even have noticed it?

The answer to that is twofold. First, there are an infinite number of
ways to play. This is one of the reasons I like SM to mean Sex Magick;
Magick doesn't need to involve pain, or intensity, or bondage, or
role-playing, or anything at all. Sex Magick is whatever you do that
fulfills a fantasy of yours. **There is no right or wrong way to do SM,
as long as it is consensual.** If you agree to it, and if it feels good
(during and after the scene), it's the right thing for you to be doing.
This FAQ list is really just a series of suggestions; take them or
leave them, it's totally up to you.

(There are players out there who get way heavier than I ever will--into
realms that I personally consider unsafe and even a little insane. Heck,
for some people, being whipped is an insane idea. But the most important
thing is the consensuality and the mutuality of the play--that everyone
involved in the play _wants_ to be doing what they're doing, and that
everyone can call it quits if need be. What other people think is not
relevant; it is _their_ play, and _their_ choice as to what risks they
wish to assume.)

Second, the "intensity" of a scene has very little to do with the level
of "physical sensation" involved. Again, the magic is in the way it
makes you _feel_. We were all novices once; we all know the thrill of
trying something new, taking your dreams and making them real. _That_
is what makes SM intense and enjoyable--that ineffable rush of new
horizons unfolding, the incredible sensation of trusting someone else
with your body and your mind, or of receiving the gift of control over
someone else. It doesn't matter whether you get there through S or M or
B or D or none of the above; once you're there, it's fantastic! AND,
it's worth posting about!

Sometimes, discussion on a.s.b veers into a heated debate about what is
involved in "real" dominance and submission or "real" BDSM play. The
fact is, given the diversity of players and playstyles in "the
scene"--and in fact the number of _separate_ "scenes" in "the
scene"--it is hard to pinpoint any one behavior as the benchmark by
which "real" is defined. The principal common thread I can see is that
people into SM are seeking to explore their fantasies about power
and/or sexuality, to bring some of their dreams into their personal
lives.

One thing is sure: attempting to set strict boundaries around what is
and isn't "real" SM, or what is and isn't "true" submission or pain play
or roleplay, is an endeavor fraught with peril. More often than not,
people who believe they know the definition of "true" SM are interested
in flaming others who disagree, rather than in honestly sharing their
perceptions while remaining open to the views of others. As with any
labels or preset "norms" of human behavior, one can debate endlessly
about whether the "norm" is really "normal", or one can speak from
one's personal experience. The latter generally leads to better and
more revealing discussions.

One topic that does come up in this context, though, is whether only
consensual SM is real SM--or rather, whether the term "SM" excludes any
behaviors that are not consensual. As I stated in the beginning of this
FAQ, I use "SM" here to refer to acts between consenting adults; most
a.s.b posters and people in the scene likewise use "SM" as short for
"consensual SM." There is no doubt that many people who practice
consensual BDSM enjoy fantasies involving acts of nonconsensual
bondage, dominance, submission, sadism, and/or masochism. But when it
comes to real life, consent is of fundamental importance. A story may
include nonconsensual acts and yet be an SM story; an SM relationship
can become abusive while remaining an SM relationship; but when people
here on a.s.b and in the larger scene talk about SM as it ought to be
and should be (and in my experience, as it usually is), they mean
consensual, healthy SM.

Some people state, "SM originally referred to the practices described in
the writing of the Marquis de Sade [to whom consent was irrelevant], so
modern SM people are lying when they say consent is important in 'real'
SM!" They're simply playing the "change the definition of 'real' to one
which I can flame about" game. Besides, if we _were_ all lying in order
to deceive people into playing with us (so we could then abuse them), we
would be doing ourselves a massive disservice by educating people about
consent and about negotiation--knowledge which would serve to protect
people from us! You'll need to judge whether we mean what we say about
the importance of consent.

A frequently heard acronym on a.s.b is "YKINOK"--which stands for "Your
Kink Is Not OK." a.s.b is largely composed of postings by people whose
sexual practices are considered unhealthy or at least weird by many
others. We recognize here that different people really do have
different sexualities, and different preferences. Hence, we try to
avoid blanket statements such as "Behavior X is WRONG!" or "Behavior X
is NOT OK!" or more generally, "_Your_ kink is NOT OK!" We would
instead say, "Your kink would not be OK _for me_. Here are some of the
risks I see in that kink. How do you deal with them?" From that point,
discussion and education can flow, as they cannot from a flat YKINOK.
(And conversely, we don't say, "Your kink IS OK!"--since there are
almost _no_ behaviors that _everyone_ enjoys. The OK-ness of consensual
practices is, and must be, determined on an _individual_ basis.)

Previous section Created 10 August 1995, last updated 10 August 1995
=======================================================================
*19. What is it about leather/latex/high heels/corsets/other fetishes?*

All these things--erotic clothing or objects of whatever type--are
"fetishes".  A fetish is any object which has sexual connotations for
you.  If it makes you feel sexy to wear it, or to see it on someone
else, it's a fetish.  There's nothing wrong with having fetishes; in
fact, it's a rare person who _doesn't_ have any!  Some people are turned
on by armpits; some by painted toenails; some by good old lingerie.  The
techniques of negotiation and communication that I've already talked
about can also come in handy in exploring your particular fetishes,
whatever they are.

Leather is one of the most basic fetishes in the scene.  Leather skirts,
leather chaps, leather harnesses, leather cuffs, on and on. Likewise for
latex.  Much of the appeal of these two substances, it seems to me, is
in their tightness and their shininess; clothes made out of them enhance
your awareness of your sensual self, and restraints made out of them can
cling like a second skin.  In general, leather and latex are two really
big categories of fetish--and a fetish is defined as something that
turns some people on; if you have to ask, you probably won't understand!

Leather clothes absorb fluids; don't get them wet.  Plain water will
damage the leather; blood or other bodily fluids will also leave their
scent in the leather.  You can use saddle soap and water to clean your
leather, and neats-foot oil to keep it supple and in good condition.

Latex doesn't absorb water-based fluids, but oils will damage it, and
prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause it to break down.  When
putting your latex on, apply lots of talc to yourself and to the insides
of your latex; this will make it easy to slide it on.  Don't pull the
latex with your nails, or it'll rip; likewise make sure you cut your
toenails before putting on latex stockings.  After removing latex
clothes, wash them with water to remove oils, then dry them (and some
say powder them) for storage.

There are also PVC clothes ("wetlook" clothes), which are usually black,
shiny, and stretchy.  PVC is basically plastic-coated fabric, and is
washable, as well as relatively inexpensive.

Of course, good old lingerie can be very arousing indeed.  It's often
true that a little clothing is even sexier than none at all.  Erotic
costumes and attire can add a lot of spark to a scene; they can set the
stage like nothing else.  The mind is the biggest erogenous zone, and
role-playing and mock acting can be very very hot. whether combined with
any other elements of SM, or not.

As for corsets and high heels: they're both restrictive garments that
enhance the curves of the body, and that work really well as part of SM
play--they can enhance the domineering tread of a mistress or hobble the
steps of a slave.  They are some of the classic fetish items.  High
enough heels can make it altogether impossible to walk, which can be
very sexy!  Corsets, properly applied, can dramatically change the shape
of your body, while intensifying sensation through- out.  And corsets
and high heels, like any fetish, can be combined with many many
different kinds of scenes.

Other fetishes: dirty jockstraps, boxer shorts on women, formal clothes
on men, cowboy gear, uniforms (police/military/what-have-you), nurses'
outfits, harem girl attire... the list goes on and on. If it turns you
on to wear it or to see your partner wearing it, why not make it part of
a scene?  (A button I heard about recently: "Are you into casual sex...
or should I dress up?")

In general with fetishes, anything goes!  If you find yourself becoming
more involved with a fetish than you want to be, then you can take steps
to look at your behavior and determine if you want to change it. But if
you like it, and your partner likes it (or likes that you like it), and
if it's consensual all around, then go for it! And if you like fetish
clothing, check out the alt.sex.fetish.fashion
newsgroup--it's young, but it's growing....

Previous section Created 10 August 1995, last updated 10 August 1995
=======================================================================
*20. What about shaving body hair and/or crossdressing?*

Another fetish many people have is smooth skin, with no body hair.
Shaven skin is silky soft, completely and utterly naked, and very
vulnerable. Shaven legs, armpits, or genitals can feel very different
indeed than hairy ones... and since the name of the game is sensation,
naturally shaving and SM can go together!

Since shaving is conventionally a female activity, it carries an added
charge when men are shaved. It can be at once humiliating and enormously
arousing. Many men enjoy shaving themselves in order to play with
cross-dressing (dressing as a woman); hence I mention these two topics
together. Shaving first.

How to shave? Consider showering, or taking a bath, first; it softens
the skin and the hair.  Use a sharp razor and a bowl of hot water;
splash water over your leg (or wherever) and lather with shaving cream.
Then shave _with_ the direction of the hair (i.e. shave down the leg
towards the ankle, or shave from the navel towards the crotch); going
against the direction of the hair can lead to ingrown hairs when it
starts to grow back. Shave with short strokes, dipping the razor
frequently in the bowl to remove the hair. If you shave only seldom,
you may go through a couple of razor blades doing your legs alone.
Don't press too hard (to avoid razor burn).

Some people who shave infrequently use an electric razor first to remove
most of the hair, then a hand razor for the remainder and on the
sensitive areas. (Electric razors tend to pull hair, and they are most
annoying on genitals.) Some people swear by waxing (using sticky wax to
pull hair out) or by other non-shaving methods of hair removal; to each
their own. Shaving can be part of a scene; I've seen many gay-male SM
movies with big male tops forcibly shaving their prisoners, and I've
also seen dominatrixes washing then shaving their bottom's asses. (It's
hard to reach back there yourself, and being bound while a razor GENTLY
strokes your most sensitive region is... well... VERY intense!) Then
once they're shaven, you can go on to all sorts of other fun.

About crossdressing: many men enjoy dressing in female clothes, either
because the clothes feel good, look good, or are humiliating to wear.
Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that lots of people enjoy this
sort of thing. Makeup is often part of this sort of play, as well. Many
women also enjoy dressing up as men; switching gender roles can open up
a vast range of possibilities. Some people call this "genderfuck"--i.e.
fucking with one's perceptions of gender, or fucking someone who's
assuming a different gender, or both.

There is a spectrum of attitudes among those who play like this. Some
just enjoy wearing opposite-sex clothes because they feel nice. Some
fantasize about actually being a person of the opposite sex, and use
those fantasies in their scenes. Some people want to take it to the
point of going out in public dressed as, and acting like, the other
gender so accurately that they pass--i.e. are mistaken for the gender
that they're assuming. They may find doing this enjoyable because of
the fun in faking people out, and/or the thrill of successfully
transforming oneself into one's fantasy image.

Some people actually feel that their biological sex is fundamentally at
odds with the gender they feel themselves to be. They may feel like a
man who happened to be born with a woman's body, or vice versa. These
people are known as transsexuals, and may have operations to change
their bodies and genitals to more closely correspond to the gender they
most identify with. Transsexuals are still very widely stigmatized; it
is not easy to live in this very gender-based and sex-role-oriented
society if you don't conform to the standard pattern, and transsexuals
definitely do not. And while many of the kinds of genderfuck I
mentioned are "play", transsexuals are not playing; their gender
identity is a vitally serious issue to them. (Though when they _want_
to play, there are few people who know more about it :-)

It's important to realize that these groups of people are distinct; just
because a man enjoys wearing panties underneath his business suit does
not mean he has any desire to get a sex change operation. As with all
aspects of human sexuality, gender and gender play encompasses a wide
array of levels, and honest communication is the only way to know what a
particular person is into.

Gender play can be combined with all the other things in this list to
create some extraordinarily powerful sex magick. As always, listen to
your desires, decide how much you actually want to make real (and how
quickly), communicate, and play!

Previous section Created 10 August 1995, last updated 10 August 1995
=======================================================================
*21. Why am I defending SM?*

One of the problems with SM is the social programming against it. Our
culture isn't used to the idea that sex is fun and pushing one's limits
in search of pleasure is a damned enjoyable thing to do. Moreover, there
are many people who confuse fantasy and reality where SM is concerned,
and who think that SM players do likewise.

In this FAQ posting I have attempted to explain the ways I and my
friends feel about SM. I am doing this because I used to know very
little about SM; I only knew I was interested. Through s.s.b-b and lots
of new friends and LOTS of wonderful experiences, I learned. My life
has been enriched and my relationships deepened and strengthened by my
experience with SM. Now I want to describe all that in as open and
frank a manner as I know how.

If you believe SM is sick or disgusting, that is your prerogative. This
FAQ makes clear how it is not generally unhealthy to its practitioners;
it is up to you whether you accept this information or not. You do not,
however, have the right to stifle or censor those who would discuss this
aspect of themselves, because of your personal opinion about their
practices.

If you don't think you'd like it, that's more than fine with me; I would
just ask that you be open to what the SM community may have to teach
about consensuality, negotiation, safety, and exploration.

When I first started fantasizing about SM-related activities I was very
young indeed--under ten years old. I don't know where these aspects of
my sexuality came from; certainly not from my family. But when I started
learning about SM, I was first excited that there were others out there
who enjoy these things, and then depressed that there is lots of wrong
and harmful information out there about SM people and what we do. This
FAQ list is my attempt to help spread some better information, in the
hopes that the more everyone knows about what SM really is (and what it
is not), the harder it will be for people to use twisted facts to
condemn others because of their sexuality.

Also, there are things I'm describing that I don't enjoy (at least not
yet :-) This is not the FAQ List of the Gods, so don't take it as such;
listen to what I say and draw your own conclusions. And fer pete's sake,
post to soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm with your questions and thoughts and
fantasies and dreams; the blood of s.s.b-b is always freshened by new
posters! (It helps distract us from the flame wars!)

Previous section Created 10 August 1995, last updated 115 Decust 1995
=======================================================================
*22. Is SM degrading or abusive?  Were most SM people abused?*

Often people approach SM with nothing but negative stereotypes in their
mind.  The will-less slave dominated by the overbearing thoughtless
master.  The pervert who enjoys being hit because he thinks he deserves
no better.  These images, negatively charged with connotations of abuse,
do not reflect the reality of consensual SM.

First, were SM people abused as children?  This is a common stereotype.
Straw polls of people on s.s.b-b seem to indicate no particular pattern
of abuse, and there have been very few, if any, scientific studies of
the question.  Some people see an increased correlation, but there is
little actual evidence.

This stereotype is usually just _assumed_ to be true, as an expression
of SM-negativity--"Oh, anyone who likes that must have been really
damaged as a kid."  Similar claims were once widely made about
homosexuals and homosexuality.  (As one data point, I personally wasn't
abused as a child, for which I'm grateful.  And I'm very into various
aspects of SM, for which I'm also grateful.)  In general, in fact, no
one seems to have any idea of why some people enjoy SM behaviors or
fantasies, and others don't.  Rather like no one really knows what
determines sexual orientation, or preferred body type, or much of
anything else where human sexuality is concerned.  The notion of a
"normal" sexuality is widely overrated... the range of variations is
incredible.

Once you actually look at people who are involved in SM, and at what
they do, you realize that what is actually happening is a powerful
expression of love, which expands into sensual realms outside the
ordinary.  True SM is consensual, strengthening, and sustaining; true
degradation is _not_.  Therein lies the difference, and it is truly an
all-important difference.

Occasional debates on s.s.b-b revolve around the (relatively few) people
who practice full-time dominant/submissive relationships.  Such
relationships require lots of self-inquiry and self-examination to see
that both partners are benefiting and growing.  Sometimes the claim is
made that such BDSM relationships are just ways for the dominant to
break down their submissive's will, and to accept abuse because the
submissive (according to the dominant, and perhaps also in the
submissive's own opinion) deserves no better.  (This is essentially what
a wife-battering husband does: he takes control of his wife's
self-perception, and convinces her that the abuse is the necessary price
to be paid for her to remain with him; it is no more than her due.  And
moreover, she is not to complain.)

This kind of relationship is _not_ a consensual BDSM relationship; the
dominant in a consensual relationship listens to and respects the limits
of their bottom, and does not seek to break down the bottom's
personality, but rather to build it up through the kind of relationship
that both enjoy and desire.  Such relationships almost always contain an
"escape clause," such that if the bottom is truly feeling deprived or
abused, the bottom can ask to set the roles aside and talk with the top
as equals.  (In other words, a relationship safeword.)  Such concern for
clear communication when things don't go well (as well as when they do)
is the hallmark of a healthy BDSM relationship.  And every text I have
read about long-term BDSM relationships stresses the importance of
emotional safety issues.  (As I mentioned previously, people who have
issues around their sense of self should be aware that SM is potentially
risky in that area.  Of course, _any_ relationship is potentially risky
for such people....)

Doing SM as part of a mutual, consensual relationship can be enormously
affirming.  SM can be a way to give yourself to your lover more deeply
than you ever thought you could, and can give outlet to fantasies you
never imagined could come true.  This kind of active, dynamic
self-expression can give a tremendous boost to the self-esteem and the
psychological well-being of both partners.  Getting what you want out of
your sex life may not be a cure-all, but it can sure help a lot.  I
recommend the book _Ties that Bind_, listed at the end of the FAQ, to
people exploring these issues.

(Some call all this doubletalk, denying that _anyone_ could ever
_really_ benefit from submitting to a lover whom they trust. All I can
say to that is, my personal experience is far otherwise, as is that of
many of my friends, and many professional therapists acknowledge that
it's quite possible for a submissive in a consensual relationship to be
very psychologically healthy.  Decide for yourselves whether we are to
be believed.)

Another root of the negative stereotypes is simple aversion to sexuality
in general.  The concepts of "limits" and "negotiation" are inherently
revolutionary, in a world where many people can't bring themselves to
talk about _anything_ related to sex.  Yet without understanding these
concepts, it's hard to understand SM.  Everyone who first looks at SM
needs to do some amount of pushing past their prejudices; for some it's
harder than for others.

Some people wonder how women into SM can consider themselves feminists.
Isn't feminism about controlling your sexuality, about not submitting to
anyone else, ever?  Personally, I believe (and _many_ women on s.s.b-b
agree) that feminism is about empowering women to make their _own_
choices, to live life their own way, without being limited by ideas
about what women "should" do or how they "ought" to behave. And in that
light, it makes little difference whether the limiting ideas are those
of the patriarchal CEO or the "radical feminist" criticizing
SM in _Ms._ magazine; both the CEO and the writer are attacking womens'
right to do as _they_ choose.

At this point I want to include some material sent out by the
Leather/Fetish Celebration committee about abuse in the SM community.
This is valuable stuff for anyone interested in distinguishing
consensual SM from abuse; while no list of questions can substitute for
personal inquiry and knowledge of the people involved, this list is at
least thought-provoking.  (There is no consent-o-meter to determine
whether someone is consenting to SM behavior; the best we poor humans
can do is look at situations on a case-by-case basis.)

Thanks, Leonard.

    The Celebration Wants You to Know About...  Domestic Violence
    in the S/M Community

     Domestic violence is not the same as consensual s/m. Yet, abusive
    relationships do exist within the leather-s/m community, as with
    all groups. Unfortunately, due to our sexual orientation, abused
    persons who are into s/m may suffer additional isolation and may
    hesitate to turn to available resources for fear of rejection
    or of giving credence to stereotypes. No group is free of domestic
    battering; but fear, denial, and lack of knowledge have slowed
    public response to this serious social problem.

     Domestic violence is not restricted to one particular group within
    the s/m community.  A person's size, gender, or particular sex
    role (top-bottom, butch-femme) is irrelevant; anyone can be subject
    to abuse.

     Abuse tends to be cyclical in nature and escalates over time.
    It is a pattern of intentional intimidation for the purpose of
    dominating, coercing, or isolating another without her or his
    consent. Because of the intimidation factor, where there is abuse
    in any part of the relationship, there can be no consent.

     Defining the Problem: The following questions can help a person
    to define the problem, which can have characteristics that are
    physical, sexual, economic, and psychological.

     Does your partner ever hit, choke, or otherwise physically hurt
    you outside of a scene? Has she or he ever restrained you against
    your will, locked you in a room, or used a weapon of any kind?

     Are you afraid of your partner?

     Are you confused about when a scene begins and ends? Rape and
    forced sexual acts are not part of consensual s/m. Battering is
    not something that can be "agreed" upon; there is an
    absence of safe words or understandings. Has she or he ever violated
    your limits?  Do you feel trapped in a specific role as either
    the top or bottom?  Does your partner constantly criticize your
    performance, withhold sex as a means  of control, or ridicule
    you for the limits you set?  Do you feel obligated to have sex?
     Does your partner use sex to make up after a violent incident?
     Does your partner isolate you from friends, family, or groups?
     Has your partner ever destroyed objects or threatened pets? Has
    your partner abused or threatened your children?

     Does your partner limit access to work or material resources?
    Has he  or she ever stolen from you or run up debts?

     Are you or your partner emotionally dependent on one another?

     Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of
    emotional distance and being very close? Is your partner constantly
    criticizing you, humiliating you, and generally undermining your
    self-esteem? Does your partner use scenes to express/cover up
    anger and frustration? Do you feel that you can't discuss with
    your partner what is bothering you?

    No one has the right to abuse you. You are not responsible for
    the violence. You are not alone; connect with other survivors.
     There are reasons for staying in abusive relations: fear of (or
    feelings for) the abuser, and lack of economic or emotional resources.
    If you stay, help is still available. Find out about shelters,
    support groups, counselors, anti-violence programs, and crisis
    lines in your area; ask a friend to help you make these calls.
    Plan a strategy if you have to leave quickly. Line up friends
    and family in case of an emergency.

     Battering is a crime. Find out about your legal rights and options.
    You can get the court to order the person to stop hurting you
    through an Order for Protection or Harassment Restraining Order.
    You do not need a lawyer.

     We Can Reduce Domestic Violence: Domestic violence does exist
    in the s/m-leather-fetish community.  We can make it clear that
    we will listen to those who have the courage to speak out. Understand
    that leaving is difficult. Let the person make his or her own
    choices. Keep all information confidential. Encourage survivors
    to take legal action and seek support. Help find safe housing
    and legal advocacy. Hold batterers accountable and urge them to
    seek treatment. Deny that drug or alcohol use can excuse battering.
    Support changes in that person's behavior.

    Leather groups in our community are crucial to reducing domestic
    violence. Invite knowledgeable speakers; lead discussions; print
    up a list for members of what resources in your area are s/m-supportive.
    Educate your local legal and social service system about our lifestyle;
    encourage their appropriate intervention.

     Safe Link is a clearinghouse for materials and questions about
    domestic violence, specifically for persons who are into leather,
    s/m, or fetish sexuality. It offers a list of readings and is
    currently compiling a roster of supportive speakers, shelters,
    and therapists, and information on understanding and using the
    law. Write to Safe Link c/o the Domestic Violence Education Project,
    National Leather Association, 548 Castro Street #444, San Francisco,
    CA 94114; or call the NLA at 415/863-2444, or email nlaintl@netcom.com

    Posted by ixion@dorsai.dorsai.org, from the program of the Int'l
    S/M-Leather-Fetish Celebration; Text provided by Jan Hall.  The
    Celebration specifically authorizes and encourages the reproduction
    and redistribution of this information.

Previous section Created 10 August 1995, last updated 10 August 1995
=======================================================================
Thanks for reading!
Hope you learned something! Remember, your sexuality is wonderful;
treasure it and nourish it!

Created 10 August 1995, last updated 2 15 Dec 1999, and copyright
{http://www.unrealities.com/adult/copyrite.htm} by Johnson Grey
{johnson_grey@unrealities.com}.

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