Sex positive content sponsored by the Center for Sex Positive Culture.
The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for the leadership and administration of the Volunteer Team. This includes recruitment and training of new volunteers, continuing education and training, the creation of staff lists for events, the creation of a monthly calendar where volunteers can sign up for shifts, the tracking and totaling of hours worked, the assignment of volunteer status based on the number of hours worked, a monthly report to the CSPC Board of Directors, and cooperation with FSPC Staff and the FSPC Board of Directors to facilitate a congenial relationship between volunteers of the two organizations.
On Saturday, April 13th,I was honored to give the afternoon keynote speech at the Kink LINCS Conference in Seattle, WA. This 3-day leadership conference for kink, leather, and other alternative sexual communities covered a range of topics, all of whom boiled down to LINCS: Lead – Inspire – Network – Connect – Succeed. Though writing the keynote was a challenge, getting on stage before the audience was even harder. I was speaking to people who had been leaders within these populations for years long before I ever walked into my first party 15+ years ago. But I steadied my nerves, breathed deep, and was grateful for the experience.
We Are All In The Selling Business Featured
I delivered this speech on April 12, 2013 as the opening keynote address at Kink LINCS, a leadership and community-building symposium held in Seattle, Washington for those who are part of the leather, BDSM, kink, fetish, poly, swing and other sex-positive communities.
Good evening. Welcome to the beautiful city of Seattle, and to the great weekend the Kink LINCS folks have in store for us.
I would like to thank all of the organizers of Kink LINCS for asking me to be here this weekend…all of the volunteers who have offered their time and effort to make this event happen…all of the sponsors who have underwritten some of this event’s costs…and most importantly, thanks to everyone in attendance, all of you, for believing that our kink and relationship alternatives scene needs inspired, informed and skilled people to help keep us all moving forward in positive ways.
Negotiation, 101 to Jazz Featured
~~intro by Celia Waddell (Lee Harrington's blog follows.)
Do we HAVE to? No, we don't have to, but when we choose not knowing and sharing our limits, unpleasant results are common. Consenting matters, and there are many ways to consent. I'll talk a bit about negotiation basics and then share a wonderful blog from Lee Harrington about Jazz Negotiation. Don't worry that there is a “right” way to do negotiate or you might be doing it “wrong.” Instead, get out there, share your passions, limits and desires and see what happens.
You must be willing to disappoint me. No, I'm not kidding. I choose to play like kids:
I get over a hundred messages each month from people I have not met. Many of these have to do with House Wildfire, http://thecspc.org or Myself! Often, the party inquiries are quite simple and I enjoy reassuring people about CSPC events. I also have profiles on various sites and occasionally place a personal ad for potential mischief.
Sometimes it happens. You see something. Your inner voice is yelling at you,
“This is SO WRONG!!"
These instincts that tell you to call the police when someone's backpack or phone gets snatched on the train can be a challenge in BDSM play space. (We'll talk about Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission and Sadomasochism another day.) You're enjoying a play party, dancing and watching a couple start to play. Then suddenly the top hits the bottom and you know it HURT. You've heard the advice:...
As 2012 draws to a close, I'm taking a look back. One of my greatest joys of 2012 is being Lady Wildfire. I have the great privilege of being able to create and host my fantasy at the Center. A year ago I was finishing my 4th, and final year as co-team lead of the Hump with TeeeBone. I greatly enjoyed working with the team and creating an event that merged the visions of many wonderful people. I miss them. With House Wildfire, the vision is all mine and I'm excited that those who came enjoyed my fantasy. One comment said, “Loved, loved, loved House Wildfire!” I am a very lucky woman.
Thanks Allena for reminding us the differences we make just by being who we are and following our hearts to do the wild, deep, silly, kinky things that we do. ~~Celia...
“Be who you is
'cause if you be who you ain't...
Getting communication right is tough. Here are Sar Surmick's suggestions on doing it better. We're very excited to have him presenting for us next Thursday and Saturday. ~~Celia
Communication is one of the hallmarks of both the Polyamory and Kink Communities. You
can’t swing a cat-o-nine tails without hitting some conversation about what makes up good
communication. And that’s a good thing. The more people learn to talk with one another, to
negotiate effectively, and to listen, the more our communities benefit.
But how do we communicate in small groups? What happens when there are five of us that need to make a decision together? Where do we learn those skills? Unfortunately, most of us learned to talk in small groups from our parents, our teachers, and our bosses. The thing all of these have in common is a power differential; the person speaking has power over the people listening, sometimes a lot of power.
How many times have you had a group discussion that devolves into nothing more than a
shouting match, or cold silence? Have you sat in a group, patiently waiting your turn to bring
something up, only to find the end of the meeting comes first? How about bringing up a good point, only to have someone else say, “Yes, but…” These outcomes, and many others, happen around the belief that the person speaking holds the power. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are ways for people to sit down together to have authentic communication that builds
connection instead of setting up competition. The first comes from understanding that small
groups are different, in part because they are made up of all the people involved. Any group that comes together, becomes more than the sum of its parts.
When communicating in small groups, here are some important things to remember:
- It’s about having power with people and building partnership, not trying to seize power.
- Each person brings what power they can to the group to create something more than they could make on their own.
- Everyone in the group deserves a chance to speak and be heard. Give everyone a chance to speak their truth, listen while others speak theirs, and allow silence, even when it’s uncomfortable.
- Groups have their own rules, benefits, and pitfalls. An important part of group development is making sure those rules, benefits, and pitfalls are all agreed upon.
- Communication includes both verbal and non-verbal information, and lots of both.
- What someone says is only part of the story. How they say it, what their face looks like, how they’re sitting, etc. also tell a lot.
Impact in groups is non-linear. What you say to one person can, and often will, impact
others in the group, sometimes in ways never considered, much less intended. The
same is true for non-verbal signals. And though it takes time, making space for those
unintended impacts can open amazing opportunities for learning and understanding.
Groups react as a system influencing the course of the conversation, who speaks and
who doesn’t, and how people feel about the interaction. The whole of the group is more
than the sum of the individuals involved, and sometimes it will react in ways that no one
intended. To put it another way, if there is blame, then the group as a whole takes that
blame; if there is joy, then the group as a whole shares that joy.
Most of the time, when we get caught in a group, we just ride out the wave until we either make it back to shore or get dunked. But I think there is another way. If nothing else, remember that working in groups is a skill all its own, one not taught in most schools. It takes practice, trial, and occasionally error to learn and get better at it.
If you want to learn more about authentic small group communication, there are two workshops coming up:
An Introduction to Small Group Communication - Thursday Nov. 8th – 7:00-9:00pm
An All Day Workshop in Effective Small Group Communication - Saturday Nov. 10th –
- Sar is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Redmond WA. He specializes in working with
Polyamorous Folk, LGBTQ Youth, Kinky Folk, and identity issues. Outside of the therapy room, Sar presents discussions on sex, sexuality, small group communication, and identity. He can be reached at: www.significantconnections.com
Today’s blog is by Bendyogagirl and is about submission. Whether you are new to submission or you submit (or receive submission) every day of your life, I suggest you take a look at Bendy’s Suggestions for Submission~~
- Know that at our core, each and every one of us is worthy of love, respect, compassion. This includes those who wish to be degraded and humiliated, those who wish to degrade and humiliate and the ones with whom you disagree.
- Know that what works for you is right for you, and it may not be right for someone else.
- There's so much time. Take it. Enjoy it. Savor each morsel of play and conversation. If someone is worthy of you, they will take the time with you.
- Be responsible for your own feelings and emotions.
- This is one of the few non-negotiable standards I hold for all of my adult relationships, meaning... if I'm negotiating with someone and they can't agree to this, I walk. There is some discussion here which might help illuminate how personal responsibility around feelings maps to relationships.
- Have an overt conversation about consent and what it means to you, so your partner can honor it. Do the same in reverse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Consent has to do with giving permission - it is not about asking for forgiveness. If you find yourself being asked for forgiveness or asking for forgiveness...communicate more and deeper. Consent is hot.
- There's a difference between therapy and something being therapeutic.
- In my opinion, WIITWD (What It Is That We Do aka bdsm play) can be therapeutic, and that's amazing. That said, if you are looking to your play/relationships to fix something in your life which is holding you back from your highest good, also find a therapist. What I mean by that is, if you have a food addiction, finding a Dom to tell you what to eat isn't going to change the fact that you have the addiction - that requires other work.
- Know your why. What's the reason you are considering this person, or this activity? "I don't know" is perfectly acceptable as a reason, and if that's the case, share that with your partner. Being honest about your why does mean you will be vulnerable with the person you’re with. Vulnerability is a very powerful space. Oh, PS: This goes for tops as well.
Myself, the CSPC’s masturbation friendly sex party, has been my favorite event for a couple of years now. Self-pleasure tends to be frowned on at BDSM Kink and Sex parties. Allowing only partner sex is one of the ways organizers create a sense of safety. Myself brings masturbation “out of the closet.” The men who attend are pleased with a wide variety of attention and interactions. The vibe is extremely polite....and often very hot. This party does encourage partner sex play and sexy D/s play as well as masturbation.
I ran Hump for four years and I’ve just enjoyed my first House Wildfire. While these events, and several others, find special places in my heart, Myself continues to be my favorite party of all. So many people are taking a first step at Myself. Perhaps this is the first time she’s been naked with a bunch of men around. Perhaps he hasn’t talked about the shape of his cock. Perhaps we haven’t heard a series of orgasms like that, ever. Maybe they have always wanted an appreciative audience for their sex play. Maybe he can’t even express the fear and joy in his heart when he sees that whip. We’re opening up a bit of ourselves, to be watched, to watch, to come together with our own desires. Perhaps we never touch each other, or even speak, and yet we are having a very unique experience together.
to unique pleasures,
Hereʼs a question for you:
What makes sex satisfying or important to you?
- A. Orgasm or physical pleasure
- B. Connection with your partner
- C. A big, hard erection
- D. Your partnerʼs pleasure
- E. Some combination of all of the above
I ask this question because almost no one answers exclusively “A big, hard erection!”and yet so much emphasis is put on erections in male sexuality. It seems that we have set up a system that assumes erections are vital to having good sex when in fact they are usually a secondary factor for most people.
1 in 10 men over the age of 21 have erection difﬁculties (web MD) and by age 45 most men have experienced some form of erection issues (medicinenet.com). This means the majority of male bodied people will experience erection issues at some point (or several points or a sustained period of time) in their lives. So why arenʼt we talking about this and why donʼt we hear more about how to navigate sex without relying on erections?
Here is a very helpful article on calming things down. I hope you enjoy it! ~ Celia
By TK, Continuing Education Team CSPC
Jack just touched Jill’s toy bag and she doesn’t know him. She rushes over and angrily confronts him.
He responds already pissed that he had to move it because she put her stuff on top of his. Your response
determines whether a difficult situation is averted or moves on to become volatile or hostile. The only
way is to have practiced skills ingrained to de-escalate the incident.
Over time, training, and research, I have developed a few pointers that have saved the day. I am not
an aggressive person generally. In fact, I am submissive and have to overcome my basic nature to be
assertive. Conflict and confrontation sends me looking for the nearest exit. However, even the most
passive person can learn to diffuse a crisis.
I love orders. Orders are a good way to make the submissive playmate take action. This afternoon I received some very sideways orders. My dominant playmate said, “I believe you will wash my rope and bring it back to me.” I wasn't convinced. They had just tied a piece of rope against my labia and around my hips. I was a bit pre-occupied. Was this an order? It was.
I do intend to mostly obey orders from this particular playmate, choosing in each moment to obey or not. The language of this 'order' made me confused. My mind leapt to asking myself if I believe it or not. I didn't believe it. Perhaps I would wash the rope and tie it into a rope cock. Perhaps I would tie it to my bed and make them come and get it. Perhaps.......and my mind was off to a thousand silly possibilities.
I have often thought of the Center as an umbrella that gives us a place to participate in a vast variety of fun, friendship and support. I've been thinking that an umbrella seems too connected and too uniform to be a good descriptor. Here are some thoughts about the people of the Center as a tapestry.
What does my strand look like? I arrived in Seattle six years ago. I had heard of the Center during my straight veggie oil RV travels with my husband and our children. I was very excited when a friend brought me the first time. I became a watcher. This was back in the days of Grind on Thursday and Pan parties on Saturday. I came, I danced, I grew a few roots. The following year I met a new playmate and started having sex at events (yes, that really took me an entire year!). My thread grew stronger and connected to a few more people.
This is Allena's keynote speech from NW Leather~~
I had a terrible time figuring out what to say. I’ve already done my “It’s About Sex” speech. Then I thought I could talk about 50 Shades of Gray since it’s all the rage right now, but that didn’t work either. I’ve spoken at conferences, on TV, radio, in documentaries and I usually am not at a loss for words (those of you out there who know me, know how true that is). However, I’m not a part of the Master/slave community and while I know that Northwest Leather Celebrations is more than about the Master/slave community it is the primary focus. So, what can I bring to this? I’m a simple bi/poly/switch who knows a lot of people in the M/s community but doesn’t partake of it.
So, I got to thinking, what about this conference stands out and how does it compare to my life, the Center for Sex Positive Culture in Seattle and the greater leather community and its leaders. I initially found two common threads. Perseverance and Personality. The clubs, conferences, organizations that have survived long term have survived because of Perseverance and Personality and then I realized that there was one more P word. Principles. It’s kind of like a three legged stool. All three are important...
It happens that too often we learn of the death of a member of the kink community because they took a very big risk. Sometimes, as in this case, they knew everything about what they were doing. Unfortunately, that is little comfort to those left behind. Please heed Archean's warning: --Celia
(This is a reposting of Archean's FetLife Journal Entry, shared with permission.)
Archean and the staff at Kink Engineering are sad to report that Mad_Scientist (Matt) passed away on May 23rd, 2012, at the age of 35. His death was accidental. He was a great friend, a brilliant mind, and an exceptional lover.
Hello! I am proud to announce the Center's new blog. This blog will feature articles about the wide variety of Center communities, members and educators and relevant information from around the world. Thanks for listening.
We are happy to recieve comments and submissions.