Category Archives: General News

S.S.C. vs R.A.C.K

After hearing Robyn Friedman’s NCSF presentation “BDSM and the Law” we have had some interesting discussions in the office about legal responsibility in BDSM activites. We asked Robyn to tell us her opinion of the legal ramifications of the two most common credos in BDSM culture: “Safe-Sane-Consensual” and “Risk-Aware-Consensual-Kink”.

I was asked to write up a few words to explain my opposition to Risk-Aware-Consensual-Kink (R.A.C.K.) and preference for Safe-Sane-Consensual (S.S.C.)  Let me start by saying that I am not trying to tell you what you should believe, just giving you a little food for thought. 

As soon as you claim that you are aware of the risk, but you go forward anyway, you have raised your legal culpability from negligent to reckless.  That is my professional opposition to the R.A.C.K. acronym.

From a personal perspective, it was just unnecessary, as all the elements of R.A.C.K were already present in S.S.C.  Safe doesn’t mean that there is no chance of harm, it means that you have taken precautions to insure you are doing it as safely as you can.  Sane refers to your ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and act accordingly.  Consensual means that both parties have consented to what will occur, and for the consent to be valid, it needs to be informed consent, which means that both parties should be aware of any risks associated with what they intend to do.  Therefore, both the “Risk Aware” and “Consensual” aspects of R.A.C.K have always been present in S.S.C.

After reading this, we moved into discussing why something that puts one at a larger legal risk is so appealing to some people who engage in BDSM activities. For some in the BDSM community there seems to be a thrill gained from being a sexual outlaw, doing something “out there” or dangerous. It stands to reason if it is part of your identity that you are someone who courts danger, you wouldn’t want to be proclaiming yourself safe, as that would lessen your enjoyment of the activities at hand. Thanking that what we are doing could be dangerous is exciting. Our perceptions are shaped by what words we use. Safe often does not equal excitement.

The world is watching us, and that is something that the BDSM community might want to take into account. There are many people who don’t see the joy or excitement in doing dangerous activities and never will. Safe-Sane-Consensual helps those people understand why someone would do BDSM activities. Skydiving is risky, but the average person knows that there are many safeguards and protections in place even without knowing what they are. Safe-Sane-Consensual lets those unfamiliar with BDSM and kink know that there are safeguards in place for these activities, as well.

For a historic perspective on “Safe-Sane-Consensual” read this account by David Stein. It’s interesting to see in the supplemental excerpts that there are some very different definitions of those three words.

Thank you to Robyn Friedman for her expert opinion. Robyn is a Defense Attorney currently residing in Seattle, Washington, with a practice mainly consisting of criminal defense, high conflict dissolution and family law, and some estate planning for those in sexual alternative relationships, and has been active in the local community since 1995.  She has been doing presentations for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom since 2000, and from 2002 through 2005, she acted as the Director of their Legal Education Outreach Program.  She can be reached at [email protected].


Photo by Jim Duvall.

More useful and sexy skills!

We are very pleased to offer two workshops this week. On Thursday, we have 8 Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory (before I tried it and frakked it up) with Cunning Minx of the Poly Weekly Podcast. On Sunday, we have invited Will from Naming Desire to share Conscious Self-Pleasuring with us.

Thursday, August 21 at 7pm

8 Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory (before I tried it and frakked it up) with Cunning Minx

minx speaking ccon west 2013Join Cunning Minx, longtime poly and kinky podcaster, as she shares some hard-learned poly lessons gleaned from both her own experiences and from those shared by thousands of podcast listeners. Attendees will walk away from this session knowing how to identify key poly communication and relationship pitfalls and with specific techniques to apply to avoid them. Tickets available at the door for $25 each.

After the workshop, there will be a free book signing in the Library from 9-9:30pm!

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Sunday, August 24 at 4pm

Conscious Self-Pleasuring with Will

will-of-naming-desireConscious self-pleasuring is practiced where you are—solo or in the presence of companions you choose. Conscious self-pleasuring often produces a state of arousal that is free of fantasy, unfinished emotional business, religious dogma, cultural caveats and habitual sexual behaviors. In this erotic trance state, an individual becomes aware of the body as a source of wisdom, happiness and freedom. In this workshop, Will teaches you foundational ideas and basic elements of erotic practice.

Attendees will receive a $5 off voucher for the Myself!, a self-pleasuring themed party at the CSPC (next door) that starts at 5:30pm.

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Friday through Sunday, August 22-24

Northwest Leather Weekend

NWLW2014A Weekend Of Education, Community & Hot, Sexy Leather!  There will be social time, workshops, a cruise on Lake Union & Lake Washington & of course PLAY! This event will benefit the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Center for Sex Positive Culture. Tickets are $70 in advance for the whole weekend or you can pay for each day’s events individually. Ticket information is available via Brown Paper Tickets. Check out the FetLife event listing for more details.

Sacred Sexuality Meet Up Cancelled for Paradise

The Sacred Sexuality Meet Up, which meets at the CSPC on the second Saturday of each month, will be cancelled for the month of August. The organizers will be enjoying Paradise Unbound and wish you a lovely and blessed time enjoying the summer weather.

The meet up will resume in September on the 13th at it’s regular time of 3:30pm. Topic to be announced.

Join the FetLife Group for more information.