Introducing KinkForAll: A no-limits sex-positive unconference

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maymay

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Nov 24, 2008, 8:08:11 PM11/24/08
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Hi everyone!

First, thank you for joining the KinkForAll mailing list. Briefly, my name is Meitar Moscovitz[0]. Friends call me "maymay."

I'm a bit of a geek, and I'm very heavily involved in the Web technologies communities. In addition to that, however, I'm also fascinated by human sexuality and everything related to it. I'm bisexual, kinky, and a self-professed lover of all things peripheral to mainstream sexuality.

One of the things I've been frustrated with for a long time is the utter lack of accessibility to young people when it comes to these topics. Sure, we have gender studies courses, but these are academic circles that have little to no interaction with the wider community. That is terribly sad. Further, if a young person (or frankly, ANY person of any age) wishes to engage the wider sex-positive community in the places where it has its discussions, this comes with a terribly high price tag. Sexuality conferences are typically large, expensive, and very intimidating.

In response, to this, I'd like to bring the ideals and philosophies of transparency with privacy that exist today in the open source/technology communities to the sex-positive communities. I feel this is a natural fit because the power of the people is never so strongly heard as when it is showcasing the power of human sexuality and love.

Therefore, I'm planning to take the fantastic unconference[1] model that BarCamps[2] use and build on it to make the first-ever inaugural KinkForAll happen in New York City in March, just a few short months away. The concept of a KinkForAll is described in more detail at the web site http://KinkForAll.org.

To make this a reality, I need participants. Not volunteers, necessarily, but *participants.* In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, a KinkForAll relies solely on participants at the event, and there are no spectators. If you attend, you have to help make it happen.

So that's me, and this is the start of KinkForAll. After quick introductions, let's move on to the practicalities of finding an appropriate place to make this happen, and how we can get the vision of KinkForAlls out to the rest of the sexuality communities.

I am really looking forward to doing this with you all. This is OUR event—yours, mine, and everyone else who attends. Let's make it rock!

Cheers,
-maymay
Blog: http://maybemaimed.com
Community: http://KinkForAll.org
Volunteering: http://ConversioVirium.org/author/maymay

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://maymay.net
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference
[2] http://BarCamp.org

BostonBen

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Nov 25, 2008, 10:54:35 PM11/25/08
to KinkForAll
Hi May,

Thanks for letting me know about this project, it sounds amazing.
It's hard for me to know exactly what my schedule will be like in a
few months, but if I can I'd love to be a part of this. I'm curious:
what kind of a venue do you have in mind?

Boston Boy

On Nov 24, 8:08 pm, maymay <bitetheappleb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone!
>
> First, thank you for joining the KinkForAll mailing list. Briefly, my name
> is Meitar Moscovitz[0]. Friends call me "maymay."
>
> I'm a bit of a geek, and I'm very heavily involved in the Web technologies
> communities. In addition to that, however, I'm also fascinated by human
> sexuality and everything related to it. I'm bisexual, kinky, and a
> self-professed lover of all things peripheral to mainstream sexuality.
>
> One of the things I've been frustrated with for a long time is the utter
> lack of accessibility to young people when it comes to these topics. Sure,
> we have gender studies courses, but these are academic circles that have
> little to no interaction with the wider community. That is terribly sad.
> Further, if a young person (or frankly, ANY person of any age) wishes to
> engage the wider sex-positive community in the places where it has its
> discussions, this comes with a terribly high price tag. Sexuality
> conferences are typically large, expensive, and very intimidating.
>
> In response, to this, I'd like to bring the ideals and philosophies of
> transparency with privacy that exist today in the open source/technology
> communities to the sex-positive communities. I feel this is a natural fit
> because the power of the people is never so strongly heard as when it is
> showcasing the power of human sexuality and love.
>
> Therefore, I'm planning to take the fantastic unconference[1] model that
> BarCamps[2] use and build on it to make the first-ever inaugural KinkForAll
> happen in New York City in March, just a few short months away. The concept
> of a KinkForAll is described in more detail at the web sitehttp://KinkForAll.org.

zaedryn meade

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Nov 26, 2008, 1:43:28 PM11/26/08
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
hey everybody!
 
pleasure to 'meet' you ... I'm Zed, aka Sinclair of Sugarbutch Chronicles. I've never heard of this "unconference" idea before, but I think it's genius and that it'll be incredibly well-received and a great way to get some good conversations going about kink.
 
I'm wondering what all needs to be done in the pre-planning stages ... sounds like we're still working on securing a venue. I'm not an event planner, so not sure exactly how to help there, but I'll try where I can.
 
Aside from that, after chatting with Maymay a bit it sounds like talking to people about this kink+unconference idea and getting them excited to participate is a major goal in the coming months. I've got a few people in mind already for sure :)
 
I want to write it up on Sugarbutch (and Best Sex Bloggers, and maybe some other places) eventually, too ... I am tempted to wait until we have a date & venue, though perhaps even just a call for participants/unorganizers/presenters would help us GET the date & venue, so maybe that should happen now?
 
zed
 
 
 


 
--
www.zaedryn.com

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

maymay

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Nov 27, 2008, 12:21:47 AM11/27/08
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Nov 26, 2008, at 2:54 PM, BostonBen wrote:

> Hi May,
>
> Thanks for letting me know about this project, it sounds amazing.
> It's hard for me to know exactly what my schedule will be like in a
> few months, but if I can I'd love to be a part of this. I'm curious:
> what kind of a venue do you have in mind?
>
> Boston Boy

Hi Boston Boy,

First, obviously, it's so nice to see you jump on board! We'll know
more about the particulars of a schedule once we have more details
worked out. Those details will fall into place the closer we get to
March, naturally.

So you ask about the venue. Currently there is no specific venue in
mind. To be blunt, the specific venue doesn't really matter as long as
it can support the following:

* Minimum of 2 "rooms" that can run sessions in parallel, plus
* 1 social area for people to chill if they don't want to be at any
of the running sessions during a particular time slot, plus
* possibly an eatery area for people who have brought food for the
day to lay that food and drink out. This could also be the social area.
* Is free (as in beer)—participants of this inaugural KinkForAll
must not pay an entrance fee to be a part of the unconference.

The venue doesn't need to support any amenities. Electricity would be
nice, of course, but we don't technically need it. ;) Literally, we
just need a space safe enough to gather and discuss sexuality topics.
Everything we'll use at the KinkForAll can be brought by
participants[0].

One of the rooms or the social area can double for the morning's
introductions and announcements as well as the evening's debriefing,
and of course depending on the number of people participating we can
make due with larger or smaller size rooms.

I'm not-so-secretly hoping that we can call in a favor from
ConversioVirium.org[1] so we'll be able to use Columbia University's
Hamilton Hall[2] on one day (ideally a weekend). I'm not sure if
that's possible though, and I've not yet approached Conversio Virium
about the possibility. Another venue I was thinking about is OneTaste
NY[3], however I don't have much contact info for them and would need
someone to help get me in touch with whoever runs that organization. I
do know, however, that they have a good space that meets the above
criteria.

Naturally, I really want to hear from other people who have ideas
about where this could happen. If you've got an idea please email the
list!

Thanks,

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://kinkforall.pbwiki.com/KinkForAll - See the "Bring" headline.
[1] http://ConversioVirium.org/about/
[2] http://ConversioVirium.org/events/#meeting-location
[3] http://www.myspace.com/onetastenewyorkcity

maymay

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Nov 27, 2008, 12:48:02 AM11/27/08
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Nov 27, 2008, at 5:43 AM, zaedryn meade wrote:

> hey everybody!
>
> pleasure to 'meet' you ... I'm Zed, aka Sinclair of Sugarbutch
> Chronicles. I've never heard of this "unconference" idea before, but
> I think it's genius and that it'll be incredibly well-received and a
> great way to get some good conversations going about kink.

Hi Zed!

The unconference idea is actually relatively old. Check it out on
Wikipedia[0] and have a look at the BarCamp.org pages to get a sense
for the heritage of the idea. I'm pretty much shamelessly migrating
the idea from BarCamp and using it for promoting sex-positive
discussion in meatspace (as opposed to cyberspace). As such, I'm
taking a lot of inspiration and guidance for how I should help host
such an unconference from their accumulated knowledge[1].

> I'm wondering what all needs to be done in the pre-planning
> stages ... sounds like we're still working on securing a venue. I'm
> not an event planner, so not sure exactly how to help there, but
> I'll try where I can.

Yeah, I'm not an event planner either. The good news is that the event
itself doesn't need to be planned beyond the very informal structure
that it already inherits from BarCamp and friends. As for pre-
planning, we definitely need to eventually find a venue and we also
need to secure that venue at a particular date and time. I've
responded to Boston Boy's queries about what we need from a venue in a
previous message[2].

> Aside from that, after chatting with Maymay a bit it sounds like
> talking to people about this kink+unconference idea and getting them
> excited to participate is a major goal in the coming months. I've
> got a few people in mind already for sure :)
>
> I want to write it up on Sugarbutch (and Best Sex Bloggers, and
> maybe some other places) eventually, too ... I am tempted to wait
> until we have a date & venue, though perhaps even just a call for
> participants/unorganizers/presenters would help us GET the date &
> venue, so maybe that should happen now?
>
> zed

Yes, exactly! I'm convinced that if we show people the idea and get
them excited about it participants will come flooding out of the
woodwork. Again, this is THEIR event (it's EVERYONE'S event). Zed,
when we spoke, you got excited about it because it was a chance to
talk about butch/femme. Boston Boy got excited about it because it was
a chance for him to talk about grappling/wrestling and erotic
hypnosis. It's exciting for me because it's an opportunity to talk
about taking cutting edge ideas from technology and adapting them to
serve the sex-positive communities and help make positive social
change possible.

When you talk about this with people, make sure they understand that
this event is an event where they get to talk about the sexuality
topics that they are passionate about. Moreover, make sure they
understand that they don't need to be experts, or have fancy
slideshows prepared. This is as much a networking and social event as
it is an information, educational, and activist event. Finally, we
also need to make it clear that this is NOT solely about BDSM/kink.
Kink would not exist without the gay leather community, for instance,
so I'd love to have someone lead a session about gay leather culture.
I'd also love to see people talk about 8against8.com and how GLBT
political movements are shaping the public's perceived notions about
homosexuality.

Literally, every sexuality topic under the sun deserves to be involved
in this and each individual who participates will gain invaluable
support, knowledge, and inspiration from being exposed to all the
other sexuality topics that are present.

So to sum up, right now the thrust of our efforts has to be getting
the word out. Point people to the KinkForAll.org web site[3], and
encourage them to join this mailing list. Encourage them to add their
name to the participants table[4].

And lastly, DO blog about KinkForAll! Before you do, though, think
about the above as a call to action. I haven't written it up on my
blog yet only because I want to make sure that when I do I'll be able
to say "If you're interested in this, join up online via the mailing
list but ALSO talk to this person and that person FACE-TO-FACE at such-
and-such event." I am very, very cognizant of the need to get people
talking about this OFFLINE as well as online, because an unconference
does not happen in cyberspace. It is supported by the Internet, sure,
but it happens in person. And that's the final thing that we really
need to get across: the success of the event is determined by the
people who show up and help out. NOT by sponsors. NOT by companies.
NOT by spectators.

Since I'm Sydney, AU at the moment, that's where all of you currently
in New York City come in. Start talking to your friends about this
when you go out and see them for drinks or lunch or whatever. Yes, we
should be blogging this. But we also need to talk to people in person
about it.

Zed, is Viviane[5] holding a Blogger's Tea anytime soon? And if so,
are you going? If you are, that's a PERFECT chance to talk about and
drum up interest. If there's an upcoming Pleasure Salon[6], that's
another perfect opportunity. Boston Boy, are you close with anyone who
is currently in New York City? Email them directly and link them to
the KinkForAll.org web site and this mailing list and tell them about
the idea, get them excited about it.

Very soon, while the word spreads in person, I'm going to write up my
own post on my blog and try to do everything I can to spread interest
and help coordinate whatever I can from afar. But again, people on the
ground in NYC are really going to make or break this. As a last note,
remember that the more people we have, the less each one of us,
individually, has to do to make this a success. That's the whole point
behind crowdsourcing—and what we're doing is crowdsourcing a sex-
positive conference. :)

I hope this wasn't too rambly. ;) Perhaps most importantly of all,
please remember to keep communicating with one another (and me) on
this public list.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference
[1] http://barcamp.org/BarCampHostingPoints
[2] http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/e276379e4f92c9cd#msg_50c9fdf7b01d64e7
[3] http://KinkForAll.org/
[4] http://KinkForAll.org/KinkForAllNewYorkCity
[5] http://thesexcarnival.com/
[6] http://pleasuresalon.wordpress.com/

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