DC: We are a go!

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Nikolas Coukouma

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Sep 27, 2009, 2:27:40 AM9/27/09
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Since Wednesday, we've collected $570. Thanks so much to everyone
who's donated! The venue is now definitely covered. Also, British
Lucky Paul should drop off the funds he's been holding tomorrow
evening.

So, KFA DC: Saturday, November 21st, at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School:
http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/KinkForAllWashingtonDC#DateandTime

Please help spread the word!

Cheers,
-Nikolas

at...@atrus.org

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Sep 28, 2009, 12:24:35 PM9/28/09
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On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 2:27 AM, Nikolas Coukouma <at...@atrus.org> wrote:
> ... The venue is now definitely covered. Also, British
> Lucky Paul should drop off the funds he's been holding tomorrow
> evening.

I had a minor crisis late last night, as the PayPal->bank transfer hadn't gone through yet, I didn't have enough money to cover the venue myself, and British Lucky Paul wasn't heard from. Fortunately, a friend of mine was nice enough to make the payment; I have a receipt from earlier this morning.

> So, KFA DC: Saturday, November 21st, at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School:
>  http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/KinkForAllWashingtonDC#DateandTime

I've tweaked the times on the wiki a bit. It now says that the event starts at 10:30am and ends at 6pm. I still plan to do opening comms at 10:40, but I thought it made sense to tell people to arrive a few minutes before that and make a nicer number.

I also poked at the encoded times (in hCalendar microformat); I'd had the wrong UTC offset (-4hr, which is current, versus -5hr which is what it will be at the time of the event :p ). I also noticed that the link for generating an iCal file ("Add KinkForAll Washington DC to your calendar.") was producing bad data. So, I created an iCal file semi-manually and linked to that:
http://nikolasco-pub.s3.amazonaws.com/kfadc.ical

> Please help spread the word!

I've been poking at flyers and whatnot. One thing I'm considering doing is having some postcards made. Some searching suggests that this place has one of the best prices (about 12.5c/each for 500, including shipping)
http://www.nextdayflyers.com/postcard-printing-marketing/4x6-postcards.php

I'll post my designs once I finish twiddling them a bit more.

Cheers,
-Nikolas
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Paul

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Sep 28, 2009, 12:43:46 PM9/28/09
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Nikolas,

I was waiting to hear from you about coming to pick up the money, I
don't have the time to deliver it to you. Your comment, combined with
responding to my earlier email off list makes me look unresponsive. I
don't mind that the funds I raised are now going to an event that is
very different to the one I envisaged, but I am not personally willing
to put my energy into it. The two locations I proposed were rejected
due to a lack of metro access but a High School? It just seems like a
disaster waiting to happen, one that may have repercussions beyond
kinkforall - for the broader DC scene. I hope I'm wrong. Give me a
call to schedule a convenient time.

Paul.
703-873-7007
www.britishluckypaul.com

at...@atrus.org

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Sep 28, 2009, 1:39:43 PM9/28/09
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Argh. Sorry Paul, I misunderstood our off-list exchange (which you've been very prompt with, and I appreciate that a lot). After mentioning my willingness to meet you at a metro-accessible location and giving you my address+map and my phone number, I expected you to let me know what was convenient for you. I failed to explicitly request a location or specify one. Mea culpa.

I am woefully ignorant of the differences that you refer to, since I know very little about what happened before I joined the mailing list. I've gone through the archives to what seems to be the first message (Mar 9, 2009) and intend to browse the threads relating to DC later. There's clearly been a shift, and I'd like to know what happened.

I am, frankly, frustrated that you're only now voicing concerns about the venue (particularly with how strongly you seem to feel). I am a bit worried about a KinkForAll in a public building (particularly a school) producing an uproar, but I also feel that it is a good location overall and that it will likely work. I've been very up-front with everyone I've discussed hosting this event with, including the people at the Montgomery County Community Use of Public Facilities Program.

-Nikolas
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maymay

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Sep 28, 2009, 6:39:09 PM9/28/09
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On Sep 28, 2009, at 10:39 AM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> I am, frankly, frustrated that you're only now voicing concerns
> about the venue (particularly with how strongly you seem to feel).

I'll second this. Paul, can you tell us more about why you're
concerned about a high school as a venue? Did you also have problems
with the idea that Amy proposed earlier about using a University as a
venue? If so, I don't recall hearing your objections to that venue on
this list. Can you point me at where you expressed them? Thanks. :)

> I am a bit worried about a KinkForAll in a public building
> (particularly a school) producing an uproar, but I also feel that it
> is a good location overall and that it will likely work. I've been
> very up-front with everyone I've discussed hosting this event with,
> including the people at the Montgomery County Community Use of
> Public Facilities Program.
>
> -Nikolas

Yeah, I think we're definitely pushing the envelope with holding a
KinkForAll event at a high school, but we did the same thing with
holding KinkForAll Boston at a University, and that went superbly and
I feel it complimented the educational intent of KinkForAll very
nicely. I believe a high school would similarly match the educational
intent of KinkForAll events. They are, after all, about information
and education, and schools—of all stripes—are institutions of
learning, right?

I wonder, do some people feel that a high school is less appropriate
than a university? If so, why?

Thanks again for everyone's contributions and continuing participation
in these extremely important discussions.

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

Chris !

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Sep 28, 2009, 8:20:35 PM9/28/09
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Hey Y'all,

I think that the point Paul was making deserves consideration.  Particularly, I think we will need to be able to answer the following questions with some level of certainty:

1) How aware is the school system of what this event is?  (Nikolas, it sounds like they have been pretty cool with it, but it would be great to get more info).
2) How closed off is the event?  For example, will teenagers who are at school on weekends for a meet be able to drop in unintentionally?
3) If someone under 18 were to want to attend, would that be appropriate for this event (we have had a previous discussion about this... with mixed opinions).
4) If this does become an issue (i.e. parents get wind of it, etc.) how would it be dealt with?

To answer the question put forth by maymay, I do think that there is a major psychological difference between a University and a High School... both for the public and attendees.  I suspect that anything, even if only by association, that threatens the 18 year old legal barrier is somewhat volatile.  Whether this is right or wrong, I think that we can expect to hear more about this.  It was only about 5 years ago that protesters and media showed up to a kink event here in MD... so this isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility.  The whole "they are coming for our children" argument certainly has been used with great effect in the past...

All this being said, I don't think that this should necessarily mean that we can't do it.  I just think that we will need to be comfortable answering these questions.  Finally, I wanted to add to Nikolas that you have done a great job of looking at all the options, and I'm impressed by all the work you have done... so thank you!

That's just my two cents...
Chris








> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: DC: We are a go!
> From: bitethea...@gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 15:39:09 -0700
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com

maymay

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Sep 28, 2009, 9:01:09 PM9/28/09
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On Sep 28, 2009, at 5:20 PM, Chris ! wrote:

> 2) How closed off is the event? For example, will teenagers who are
> at school on weekends for a meet be able to drop in unintentionally?

If we share the understanding that a KinkForAll "is free and open to
the public," and that its goals are to be "accessible to all", do you
think it's inappropriate for teenagers to participate at a KinkForAll
event? I believe we've had teenagers participating at previous events,
although I'm uncertain if they were legally minors. Even if they were,
though, TTBOMK, nothing that happened at a past KinkForAll event was
illegal for minors to be a part of.

> 3) If someone under 18 were to want to attend, would that be
> appropriate for this event (we have had a previous discussion about
> this... with mixed opinions).

Again, I am wondering what people think about this question in
conjunction with the ideal that KinkForAll is "free and open to the
public" and strives to be "accessible to all." Would you consider
excluding minors from an event like that to be in keeping with the the
KinkForAll principle of openness? If so, can you explain why? I'm
curious to hear opinions on this.

> 4) If this does become an issue (i.e. parents get wind of it, etc.)
> how would it be dealt with?

Now *this* is a really tough, and very *do-able* question! :) (That
is, a question that brings up stuff we can start to *do* things about;
prepare for; as per do-ocracy.)

> To answer the question put forth by maymay, I do think that there is
> a major psychological difference between a University and a High
> School... both for the public and attendees. I suspect that
> anything, even if only by association, that threatens the 18 year
> old legal barrier is somewhat volatile. Whether this is right or
> wrong, I think that we can expect to hear more about this. It was
> only about 5 years ago that protesters and media showed up to a kink
> event here in MD... so this isn't entirely outside the realm of
> possibility. The whole "they are coming for our children" argument
> certainly has been used with great effect in the past...

That makes a lot of sense, Chris. Since I don't know about this
previous event in Maryland, can you tell me more about what the event
was like that people used the "they are coming for our children"
tactic against? What kind of event was it? Was it similar to
KinkForAll? If so, in what ways? Was it different from KinkForAll? If
so, in what ways?

Also, how much do you think the public perception of the event that
was protested had to do with the protest itself? Do you think that
changing public perception (and perhaps also misconception?) about
what "kind of event" KinkForAll is would help us deal with the
possibility of protests?

> All this being said, I don't think that this should necessarily mean
> that we can't do it. I just think that we will need to be
> comfortable answering these questions. Finally, I wanted to add to
> Nikolas that you have done a great job of looking at all the
> options, and I'm impressed by all the work you have done... so thank
> you!
>
> That's just my two cents...
> Chris

Me three! Nikolas has been incredible. Can we clone him? :)

David Phillips

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Sep 28, 2009, 9:23:58 PM9/28/09
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On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:01 PM, maymay <bitethea...@gmail.com> wrote:
Even if they were,
though, TTBOMK, nothing that happened at a past KinkForAll event was
illegal for minors to be a part of.


Agreed.  KFA is not a play party--it is verbal masturbation at the convergence of eroticism, carnality, and intellectualism... and that sounds strangely like the lives of students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
 
Again, I am wondering what people think about this question in
conjunction with the ideal that KinkForAll is "free and open to the
public" and strives to be "accessible to all."

As one who has come to cherish his pre-adolescent forays into sexuality, I believe that engaging teens within the conversations at KFA would be as controversial as a Gay-Straight Alliance--and that's something the host school is well past. I have engaged a friend and Queer parent in the school attendance district on this matter, FWIW.

> 4) If this does become an issue (i.e. parents get wind of it, etc.)
> how would it be dealt with?

Now *this* is a really tough, and very *do-able* question! :) (That
is, a question that brings up stuff we can start to *do* things about;
prepare for; as per do-ocracy.)

 Two factors are in our favor, and we should not shy away from them:  (1) religious groups use schools for services under the same contracts, and those of us at KFA view our lives in a holistic context embracing a connection between sexuality and spirituality; and (2) no sexual activity is taking place at the event.
 
>  It was only about 5 years ago that protesters and media showed up to a kink
> event here in MD... so this isn't entirely outside the realm of  possibility.  

Apples and oranges.  The subject event was oriented towards play, not intellectual discourse. 

Chris !

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Sep 29, 2009, 7:34:18 PM9/29/09
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Hey Y'all,

Just to follow up on the discussion about planning an event at a high school, I realized that I was probably a bit unclear about a couple things.

First, I don't actually think some huge uproar will happen.  Admittedly, it certainly seems like a scenario in which that is more likely (given that the location could majorly push some peoples buttons).  However, the risk should be balanced with a recognition that our community has the tendency to self-censor or closet itself because of such misgivings.

Second, I should make clear that I don't think there is anything inherently "wrong" with holding it at a high school.  We have every right to be there... it is a public space.  However, awareness that we have legal rights is different than planning an event where we want a good and diverse attendance.  It is a challenge to get people to come to a new, and admittedly unusual, event, which is deliberately designed to lack structure and leadership of people who are "responsible" for it.  So, does the the location add an additional challenge?

I think it is possible that people who would otherwise attend will write the event off because of the location.  When you cross kinky sex (even in a non-play discussion context) with participants who are under 18, and the setting of a high school, I and probably a lot of other people get kinda leery.  I don't think I need to go into great detail as to why (discomfort with teenage sexuality, worry about perceptions of pedophilia, concerns of protests and being outed, etc.). because it is less relevant whether these are valid concerns than that they, realistically, are likely to come up.  The questions I posed are ones which I'm guessing will arise and that we will need to answer before many people will be willing to attend (I have pasted them again at the end of this email for reference, if you didn't see them the first time). 

A final note is that it is possible to state, as part of the event description, that it is intended for people over 18 (even if it isn't enforced through any mechanism).  In our last discussion of this topic, that is what we ended up deciding for the KFA DC... but that was a while ago.  I am not dismissing the fact that there are really good arguments on both sides for this debate, and am fine if the current plan is to not use a cutoff.  I just want to point out that the public event description doesn't preclude making decisions about how to present the event.

Cool cool... I'll leave it there for now...
Chris


1) How aware is the school system of what this event is?  (Nikolas, it sounds like they have been pretty cool with it, but it would be great to get more info).
2) How closed off is the event?  For example, will teenagers who are at school on weekends for a meet be able to drop in unintentionally?
3) If someone under 18 were to want to attend, would that be appropriate for this event (we have had a previous discussion about this... with mixed opinions).
4) If this does become an issue (i.e. parents get wind of it, etc.) how would it be dealt with?




From: redhotm...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 21:23:58 -0400

Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: DC: We are a go!

Insert movie times and more without leaving Hotmail®. See how.

maymay

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Sep 29, 2009, 7:52:41 PM9/29/09
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On Sep 29, 2009, at 4:34 PM, Chris ! wrote:

> A final note is that it is possible to state, as part of the event
> description, that it is intended for people over 18 (even if it
> isn't enforced through any mechanism).

We could certainly state that, but I wonder: is KinkForAll intended
only for people over 18? Do *you* think so? If so, why? I asked this
before, too:[0]

> > 2) How closed off is the event? For example, will teenagers who are
> > at school on weekends for a meet be able to drop in unintentionally?
>

> If we share the understanding that a KinkForAll "is free and open to


> the public," and that its goals are to be "accessible to all", do you
> think it's inappropriate for teenagers to participate at a KinkForAll
> event? I believe we've had teenagers participating at previous events,

> although I'm uncertain if they were legally minors. Even if they were,


> though, TTBOMK, nothing that happened at a past KinkForAll event was
> illegal for minors to be a part of.
>

> > 3) If someone under 18 were to want to attend, would that be
> > appropriate for this event (we have had a previous discussion about
> > this... with mixed opinions).
>

> Again, I am wondering what people think about this question in
> conjunction with the ideal that KinkForAll is "free and open to the

> public" and strives to be "accessible to all." Would you consider
> excluding minors from an event like that to be in keeping with the the
> KinkForAll principle of openness? If so, can you explain why? I'm
> curious to hear opinions on this.

I would like to see the questions above, including the ones Chris has
raised, thoroughly addressed before a decision to exclude people under
the age of 18 at a KinkForAll event is made.

On Sep 29, 2009, at 4:34 PM, Chris ! wrote:

> In our last discussion of this topic, that is what we ended up
> deciding for the KFA DC... but that was a while ago.

Really? Where did this discussion reach a conclusion? I remember the
discussion but do not recall a decision being made.

> I think it is possible that people who would otherwise attend will
> write the event off because of the location.

I think so, too. Chris, would you say that this isn't the case with
encouraging photography? Or with the 20 minute time limit on
presentations? Or with the no-prescheduled-presentations format of a
KinkForAll? If these other things also make it possible that people
who would otherwise attend write the event off, what distinctions do
you draw between these things and a possible age cut off such that one
of these things is okay while another isn't?

Finally, you've asked another question:

> 4) If this does become an issue (i.e. parents get wind of it, etc.)
> how would it be dealt with?


…but I'm unsure if you've offered any suggestions or thoughts on how
to deal with it yet. I asked before if you had any idea of how to deal
with this, since I have my own ideas but want to hear from others,
too. So…any suggestions, Chris?

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/abfbaf13d9d11b09/af2130cacd583ec8#af2130cacd583ec8

Chris !

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Sep 29, 2009, 8:35:40 PM9/29/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Hey Y'all,

Some quick responses:

I think that different KinkForAll's may make perfectly valid, and different, decisions with respect to an age limit.  From a theoretical standpoint, I would prefer that there be no age limit.  From a standpoint that is cautious and seeks to minimize risks to an event while maximizing its "social acceptability", I can see an argument for excluding a small number of individuals to benefit a whole.  I think that making decisions between these two options is going to be highly situational.  In the case of KFA DC, I am fine with either decision... I just think we will have to be prepared to communicate about it clearly.

As maymay pointed out, these types of decisions involve striking a balance.  The photo policy is a good example.  If it were the case that, say, 98% of the people who would have wanted to attend cancelled because of this policy, would it still be a "good" policy even it if was fitting with the sentiment of the event?  I would say no.  There are different ways to serve group needs, and holding on tooth-and-nail to principles at the cost of overall benefits doesn't serve anyone well.  

But that is a hypothetical situation (and a wrong one at that... given that people did come).  The question is will this policy significantly influence who comes to KFA DC, and do we care if they don't show up.  Here is my honest, but purely subjective, guess:  if we have an event that is open to those under 18 in a high school location, maybe 70% of potential attendees will have misgivings.  Depending on how we communicate about this, anywhere from 10%-60% of these people simply won't show.  Is this a good guess?  I dunno.  Feel free to chime in with your own estimates.  If most people seem to think the estimate should be in the 0-5% range, then I think we should put this issue to rest and not worry about it.  If people think it is in the over 30% range, then I think it might be worth further discussion. 

Finally, to address the issue of what happens if we, say, get mobbed by angry parents, etc.  First, I'm guessing that the school would cancel the event if that seemed likely to happen.  At the very least, I imagine we'd get wind of it.  In that case, we could: a) cancel, b) say hell with it and go ahead with it, c) invite them into the event an let them sign up for a time-slot.  Speaking personally, I would leave immediately if there was an uproar (but I have personal job related reasons for not wanting to get involved).  However, I could see any of these responses as working.

Take care,
Chris

PS; now that I think of it, my recollection of a decision that we would have an 18 year old cutoff for KFA DC was of an in person conversation between myself, Amy, and Paul... so it was not on the email list and therefore was not "official."  If the event had occurred it would have been brought up again).



> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: KFA-DC: High School Location
> From: bitethea...@gmail.com
> Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 16:52:41 -0700
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com

maymay

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Sep 29, 2009, 9:12:05 PM9/29/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Sep 29, 2009, at 5:35 PM, Chris ! wrote:

> I think that different KinkForAll's may make perfectly valid, and
> different, decisions with respect to an age limit.

Hm. Chris, would you say that different KinkForAlls should be able to
make different decisions regarding implementing a ban on recording?
Discussions on this list have indicated unease with recording, but
have always actively encouraged it. Even KinkForAll Boston, which was
the first event to make an opt-in so-called "photo policy," (and which
I strongly disagreed with) actively encouraged people to record their
presentations. At the event itself, I saw at least 3 distinct
instances where people went from NOT wanting themselves or their
presentations recorded to ACTIVELY WANTING themselves recorded or
wishing they had been recorded. I blogged about that because it was so
amazing to see.[0]

Put another way, in your view, would you see an event that enforces a
ban on recording devices as a KinkForAll event? How do you see that as
being congruent with the many parts of the wiki and previous
discussions on this list that take the opposing view, that banning
recording is not okay at a KinkForAll?

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that individual KinkForAll events
would create arbitrary rules like this or like age limits. Rather than
create a contradicting set of global versus local concepts, which
seems confusing at best, I would rather see people create different
events of their own choosing. You're involved in another kind of kink
event called OpenKink, which if I understand it, was born out of
dissatisfaction with the format of KinkForAll, but borrows some of the
things you do like. Would a kink event that has an age limit be more
like a KinkForAll in this respect or an OpenKink gathering?

> From a theoretical standpoint, I would prefer that there be no age
> limit. From a standpoint that is cautious and seeks to minimize
> risks to an event while maximizing its "social acceptability", I can
> see an argument for excluding a small number of individuals to
> benefit a whole.

Huh. Are you saying that people at KinkForAll shouldn't take risks? Or
are you saying that explicitly excluding people is okay? This is a
very different argument than the one in which you raised an age limit
concern. KinkForAll itself is a risk. Many people said it wouldn't
work. Some people went so far as to encourage others not show up
because the lack of a ban on recording devices made it too risky for
people who are not completely out about their sexuality. And yet I
think we can all agree that so far, KinkForAll has been pretty
successful, if not wildly so. Do you think this would have been
possible if we had minimized risks instead of embracing the inherent
benefits that risk and exploration can garner?

If explicitly excluding people is okay, what makes it okay in your
mind to exclude people under 18 and not, say, feminist swingers or gay
republicans? Unless you think it's okay to exclude them, too…? Sorry
to pressure you on this, but now you're really both confusing and
concerning me.

> As maymay pointed out, these types of decisions involve striking a
> balance. The photo policy is a good example. If it were the case
> that, say, 98% of the people who would have wanted to attend
> cancelled because of this policy, would it still be a "good" policy
> even it if was fitting with the sentiment of the event? I would say
> no. There are different ways to serve group needs, and holding on
> tooth-and-nail to principles at the cost of overall benefits doesn't
> serve anyone well.

So is what you're saying is that if we would have had an event of 100
people but 98 people didn't show up because they were uncomfortable
with the concept of the event, we should change the concept? I'm
really confused about that. Aside from the fact that there has never
been an attendance problem at a KinkForAll event and in fact every
KinkForAll event that has been concerned about attendance has had
leaps and bounds more participants than at first expected (KFANYC1
expect 45, got over 200, KFA Boston expected less than 40, got more
than 80, and that includes venue confusion and a significant lack of
publicity), are you really saying that you'd rather give up the
"sentimentality," the principles of your event, for the sake of
attendance? Really?

Do other people think that KinkForAll should change its key concepts
so that we get more people in the doors? If there is disagreement
about that, I *really* want to know ASAP, because that is kind of a
major schism, isn't it?

> But that is a hypothetical situation (and a wrong one at that...
> given that people did come). The question is will this policy
> significantly influence who comes to KFA DC, and do we care if they
> don't show up.

Chris, what do you think of James Sheldon's concept about Open Space,
and the phrasing of this concept:[1]

One of the principles of open space is "whoever comes are the
right people."

> Here is my honest, but purely subjective, guess: if we have an
> event that is open to those under 18 in a high school location,
> maybe 70% of potential attendees will have misgivings. Depending on
> how we communicate about this, anywhere from 10%-60% of these people
> simply won't show. Is this a good guess? I dunno. Feel free to
> chime in with your own estimates. If most people seem to think the
> estimate should be in the 0-5% range, then I think we should put
> this issue to rest and not worry about it. If people think it is in
> the over 30% range, then I think it might be worth further discussion.

So again, I pose this question to you: if 60% of the people who are
concerned about being at a KinkForAll event in a high school wouldn't
show, do you think that these are "the right people" to be there, or
not?

Similarly, I pose this question to everyone else: if you participated
in a KinkForAll event despite or because of the prevalence of
photography, were *you* the right person to be at the event, or not?
And vice versa.

> Finally, to address the issue of what happens if we, say, get mobbed
> by angry parents, etc. First, I'm guessing that the school would
> cancel the event if that seemed likely to happen. At the very
> least, I imagine we'd get wind of it. In that case, we could: a)
> cancel, b) say hell with it and go ahead with it, c) invite them
> into the event an let them sign up for a time-slot. Speaking
> personally, I would leave immediately if there was an uproar (but I
> have personal job related reasons for not wanting to get involved).
> However, I could see any of these responses as working.
>
> Take care,
> Chris

I *really* like the idea of inviting protesters to sign up for a time
slot! What do others think of that? I think that's a fantastic way to
deal with the situation. +1 from me!

> PS; now that I think of it, my recollection of a decision that we
> would have an 18 year old cutoff for KFA DC was of an in person
> conversation between myself, Amy, and Paul... so it was not on the
> email list and therefore was not "official." If the event had
> occurred it would have been brought up again).

Ah, that's why I didn't hear anything about that. I don't want to
speak for him, but if I were in Nikolas's shoes, not having access to
the information about that hypothetical previous decision would make
me more than a little upset having had secured a venue for KFADC at a
high school. :) Would you agree that keeping a record of decision-
making processes publicly recordable and archived makes it easier for
people who want to join KinkForAll and help us out to get up-to-speed?

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://maybemaimed.com/2009/09/14/freeing-sexuality-information/
[1] http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/2ae6551aadde16ce/76edcd96932816d2?lnk=gst&q=sheldon#76edcd96932816d2

Bitsy

unread,
Sep 29, 2009, 9:31:44 PM9/29/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
> You're involved in another
> kind of kink 
> event called OpenKink, which if I understand it, was born
> out of 
> dissatisfaction with the format of KinkForAll, but borrows
> some of the 
> things you do like.

Interesting. A quick google search only turns up http://openkink.org/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/OpenKink/105843303916 , which is a neat idea, but I assume not what is being talked about?



at...@atrus.org

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Sep 29, 2009, 11:11:01 PM9/29/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
I believe the "OpenKink" reference is to this:
http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/c9528a4cda0fe7ac/#24ccd69f919dd043

Cheers,
-Nikolas
signature.asc

Chris !

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Sep 29, 2009, 11:14:25 PM9/29/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Hey Y'all,

I'm not entirely sure that I'm being helpful in continuing this line of discussion.  If anyone feels like this is an issue worth discussing further, please feel free to chime in.  

Bottom line:  I don't care what KFA settles on as it's policies for age limits, so long as it is clear.  That being said, I personally don't have a problem with policies that exclude certain groups if there is a good justification (which might very well not be the case in this situation).  I also am not opposed to adjusting policies to increase attendance or fit the needs of an audience... it just depends what the tradeoff is and whether it is worth it.  But these are larger debates which aren't particularly helpful here, so I will desist.

Take care,
Chris




> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: KFA-DC: High School Location
> From: bitethea...@gmail.com
> Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 18:12:05 -0700
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com

at...@atrus.org

unread,
Sep 29, 2009, 11:55:47 PM9/29/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> 1) How aware is the school system of what this event is?  (Nikolas, it
> sounds like they have been pretty cool with it, but it would be great to get
> more info).

The event is registered as "KinkForAll" with the Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF), and (as mentioned) I gave a very brief verbal description to one of their people (a scheduler? I am unsure of her position or name).

The school system is likely completely unaware. From a legal perspective, they are also largely irrelevant, since I did not sign a contract with them.

CUPF handles reservations for virtually everything in the county: schools, libraries, executive buildings, court rooms, ball fields, and regional service centers. As I understand it, their mandate is to make everything available that they can, unless there's a particular reason not to (e.g. shop rooms with power tools in them).

The reservations made by schools (e.g. for student clubs) and the ones made by CUPF seem to be completely opaque to each other.

In addition to the CUPF's mission, there is Maryland state law, which states:
State law, Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-108, requires that each county make its public school facilities available for community purposes upon written application. These purposes include public speaking, educational, social, recreational, religious, and other lawful purposes. Except for day care programs, school facilities may be used only at times that will not interfere with regular school sessions or other bona fide school activities. All meetings must be open to the public.

Furthermore, in the agreement there is this bit:
The User must keep the program or activity open to the public as required by State law, and must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.

The agreement also outlines what is considered unacceptable:
The Activity must not:

1. present a clear and present danger to public safety or to the peace and welfare of the community, the county and/or the state;
2. present a danger of damage to public or private property;
3. constitute a public nuisance or create a traffic hazard;
4. provoke or add to a public riot or breach of peace;
5. interfere with or adversely affect the school’s educational function; or
6. attract large numbers of unsupervised minors.

CUPF website:
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cuptmpl.asp?url=/content/cupf/index.asp
Usage agreement:
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/cupf/documents/agreement.htm

> 2) How closed off is the event?  For example, will teenagers who are at
> school on weekends for a meet be able to drop in unintentionally?

I'm not aware of any attempts to isolate the various users of these community spaces. CUPF does make some efforts to account for, say, loud music in one room and not placing a group right next door.

> 3) If someone under 18 were to want to attend, would that be appropriate for
> this event (we have had a previous discussion about this... with mixed
> opinions).

This seems like a good place to mention one caveat from the agreement:

Certification Regarding Activities Involving Minors. This section applies only to Activities involving minors (under 18).
A. The User certifies no one who will have any contact with minors during the Activity has ever been convicted of or pleaded (1) guilty, (2) “no contest” or (3) nolo contendere to a felony (whether or not resulting in a conviction).
B. The User certifies no one who will have any contact with minors during the Activity has ever been convicted of or pleaded (1) guilty, (2) “no contest” or (3) nolo contendere to a misdemeanor involving sexual misconduct (whether or not resulting in a conviction).

I see no way to enforce this beyond announcing that such people are not permitted due to the terms of our agreement with CUPF.

> 4) If this does become an issue (i.e. parents get wind of it, etc.) how
> would it be dealt with?

In terms of my contract with CUPF, there's a provision for an investigation; we're obligated to let them inspect the facility and our "records". There's also a list of terms for termination; the only one that seems pertinent is "CUPF deems the use inappropriate for the Facility".

I hope the above is helpful...

Cheers,
-Nikolas
signature.asc

maymay

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Sep 30, 2009, 12:59:42 AM9/30/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Sep 29, 2009, at 8:55 PM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> I hope the above is helpful...
>
> Cheers,
> -Nikolas

It is. Thanks for being so specific and transparent with everything,
Nikolas. :)

I don't see any conflict with what the KFADC venue contract with CUPF
indicates and what we are doing. Does anyone else see a conflict here?

In fact, it seems that this bit from the contract actually requires us
to remain open to minors, which I'm very happy to see:

> The User must keep the program or activity open to the public as
> required by State law, and must not discriminate on the basis of
> race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex,
> marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.

Unless, of course, minors do not count as being part of the "public",
which I have no legal insight into.

at...@atrus.org

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Sep 30, 2009, 2:57:20 PM9/30/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
In response to this thread, I've sent an e-mail to CUPF with a detailed description of KinkForAll, including links and example topics. Included are the following queries:
* How aware is the school of the event? (Note: we'll be advertising the event)
* What are our obligations with respect to minors' encountering felons and sex offenders
* Is it possible to say "no minors" (whether or not this is desirable is a subject of some debate) (Note: the "no discrimination" clause of our agreement includes age)
* If people become upset about this event (e.g. on moral or religious grounds), what will happen with our permit? (Note: we are not currently aware of such a group, but it seems possible)

Minor note: while preparing the e-mail, I noticed that the "Event" field of the scheduling request is:
KinkForAll: non-profit, free to attend, open to the public unconference on gender and sexuality

Anywho, hopefully we'll have some answers soon.

Cheers,
-Nikolas
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maymay

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Sep 30, 2009, 3:00:21 PM9/30/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Sep 30, 2009, at 11:57 AM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> In response to this thread, I've sent an e-mail to CUPF with a
> detailed description of KinkForAll, including links and example
> topics.

What was the "detailed description" you provided? Which links did you
send? What example topics did you cite?

at...@atrus.org

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Sep 30, 2009, 3:10:22 PM9/30/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM, maymay <bitethea...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 30, 2009, at 11:57 AM, at...@atrus.org wrote:
>> In response to this thread, I've sent an e-mail to CUPF with a
>> detailed description of KinkForAll, including links and example
>> topics.
>
> What was the "detailed description" you provided? Which links did you
> send? What example topics did you cite?

Full text of the message:

On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM, <at...@atrus.org> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've obtained a permit for an event, at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
> (request #S0914379 permit #220602), and have some questions that aren't
> specific to the particular school.
>
> First, some background:
> KinkForAll[1] is an unconference on sexuality (and related topics) that's
> open to the public (and free). There's no schedule of speakers arranged in
> advance. Anyone who shows up can write a topic on a sticky note and add it
> to the schedule grid. Recording is generally encouraged, so the previous
> events in other places are very well documented[2][3][4]. Past topics have
> include both theory and practice, some examples are:
> * The Privilege of 'Outness': Does Proud Equal Out?[5]
> * Negotiation & Setting Boundaries: Making the Conversation Sexy[6]
> * Kink and Pop Culture (and then there's "Secretary")[7]
> * Prostate Massage
> I've tried to pick a fairly representative sample, favoring talks with
> recordings available.
>
> With that in place, here's the questions I've encountered:
> * How aware is the school of the event? (Note: we'll be advertising the
> event)
> * What are our obligations with respect to minors' encountering felons and
> sex offenders
> * Is it possible to say "no minors" (whether or not this is desirable is a
> subject of some debate) (Note: the "no discrimination" clause of our
> agreement includes age)
> * If people become upset about this event (e.g. on moral or religious
> grounds), what will happen with our permit? (Note: we are not currently
> aware of such a group, but it seems possible)
>
> Thank you for your time,
> -Nikolas Coukouma
>
> [1] http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/
> [2] http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/KinkForAllNewYorkCitySchedule
> [3] http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/KinkForAllNewYorkCity2Schedule
> [4] http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/KinkForAllBostonSchedule
> [5]
> http://media.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllNewYorkCity/Angel-Privilege_of_Outness.mp3
> [6]
> http://media.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllNewYorkCity2/Negotiation%20and%20Setting%20Boundaries%20-%20Sascha.mp3
> [7]
> http://media.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllNewYorkCity2/Kink%20and%20Pop%20Culture%20-%20Tilda.mp3
signature.asc

Chris !

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Oct 1, 2009, 8:28:26 PM10/1/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for your description, Nikolas!  I think it really helps clarify things (and also makes me much less worried).  The public access policies seem to make the debate over age irrelevant, at least for this location.  Even better, it gives an additional justification, which might be helpful if this becomes an issue.

With your letter, I can't see any reason why CUPF could possibly claim that they weren't aware of what the event was.  So, I suppose that if there will be a problem we will hear about it in the response.

As for whether they could terminate the contract, I'm guessing that it would be better to assume that they would figure out a way if they wanted to (that's what lawyers are for).  I'm guessing that exclusions such as "provoking breaches of the peace", "interfering with the educational mission", "possible presence of those with a record of felony of sexual misconduct", or the "inappropriate use" could be twisted to get out of the contract.  But I don't see any reason to worry about this too much if CUPF clears us.

I'm still inclined to think that possible participants might have questions about these issues.  Do y'all think that we should have an explanation on the wiki page?  If so, how prominent should it be?  I'll take a stab at writing text... but I'll admit that I have been pretty slow with turnaround lately.  Maybe we should wait until we hear from CUPF, anyway.

Take care, and thanks again Nikolas!
Chris




> From: at...@atrus.org
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com
> Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 23:55:47 -0400
> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: KFA-DC: High School Location
>
> On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > 1) How aware is the school system of what this event is?  (Nikolas, it
> > sounds like they have been pretty cool with it, but it would be great to get
> > more info).
>
> The event is registered as "KinkForAll" with the Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF), and (as mentioned) I gave a very brief verbal description to one of their people (a scheduler? I am unsure of her position or name).
>
> The school system is likely completely unaware. From a legal perspective, they are also largely irrelevant, since I did not sign a contract with them.
>
> CUPF handles reservations for virtually everything in the county: schools, libraries, executive buildings, court rooms, ball fields, and regional service centers. As I understand it, their mandate is to make everything available that they can, unless there's a particular reason not to (e.g. shop rooms with power tools in them).
>
> The reservations made by schools (e.g. for student clubs) and the ones made by CUPF seem to be completely opaque to each other.
>
> In addition to the CUPF's mission, there is Maryland state law, which states:
> State law, Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-108, requires that each county make its public school facilities available for community purposes upon written application. These purposes include public speaking, educational, social, recreational, religious, and other lawful purposes. Except for day care programs, school facilities may be used only at times that will not interfere with regular school sessions or other bona fide school activities. All meetings must be open to the public.
>
> Furthermore, in the agreement there is this bit:
> The User must keep the program or activity open to the public as required by State law, and must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.
>
> I hope the above is helpful...
>
> Cheers,
> -Nikolas


Lauren found her dream laptop. Find the PC that’s right for you.

at...@atrus.org

unread,
Oct 1, 2009, 10:30:36 PM10/1/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:28 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> As for whether they could terminate the contract, I'm guessing that it would
> be better to assume that they would figure out a way if they wanted to
> (that's what lawyers are for).

I agree. My point here is more that it isn't trivial and we'll get (very nearly all of) our money back if it does happen.
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at...@atrus.org

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Oct 1, 2009, 10:30:38 PM10/1/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:28 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> As for whether they could terminate the contract, I'm guessing that it would
> be better to assume that they would figure out a way if they wanted to
> (that's what lawyers are for).

I agree. My point here is more that it isn't trivial and we'll get (very nearly all of) our money back if it does happen.

signature.asc

at...@atrus.org

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Oct 1, 2009, 10:36:39 PM10/1/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:28 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I'm still inclined to think that possible participants might have questions
> about these issues.  Do y'all think that we should have an explanation on
> the wiki page?  If so, how prominent should it be?  I'll take a stab at
> writing text... but I'll admit that I have been pretty slow with turnaround
> lately.  Maybe we should wait until we hear from CUPF, anyway.
> Take care, and thanks again Nikolas!

I think this is reasonable. I'd prefer to wait on the points I sent questions about until we get a reply (or at least until sometime next week).

You're welcome.

Cheers,
-Nikolas
(Sorry about the multiple e-mails. Some glitchy software sent the message before I was done with it... twice)
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maymay

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Oct 1, 2009, 11:01:20 PM10/1/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 1, 2009, at 7:36 PM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:28 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm still inclined to think that possible participants might have
>> questions
>> about these issues. Do y'all think that we should have an
>> explanation on
>> the wiki page? If so, how prominent should it be?

Do you think these theoretical questions that might arise in possible
participant's minds would become more prominent than they might have
been otherwise if we made such questions more prominent on the page?
Are potential problems something we want to highlight this way?

>> I'll take a stab at
>> writing text... but I'll admit that I have been pretty slow with
>> turnaround
>> lately. Maybe we should wait until we hear from CUPF, anyway.
>> Take care, and thanks again Nikolas!
>
> I think this is reasonable. I'd prefer to wait on the points I sent
> questions about until we get a reply (or at least until sometime
> next week).

I agree; it's a reasonable question, at least for us to pose, if not
to specifically highlight. I also agree that it's probably worth both
thinking through and waiting to hear the reply from CUPF before we
take action.

Chris, et. al., would you say that taking action in an attempt to
solve potential problems is more or less likely to be successful *and*
useful than taking actions to resolve problems that already actually
exist?

Cheers

Chris !

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Oct 4, 2009, 12:22:14 PM10/4/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Hi Y'all,

With respect to whether or how we should discuss the implications of the location or age limit:

I honest don't know what the correct balance is.

Pros:
By addressing the issue on the website or in otherwise in our materials we 1) pre-emptively frame the discussion in a way that we want to, 2) can prevent concerns from getting out of control or mis-information being spread, and 3) give people the information they might need to make their own decisions about whether to attend.

Cons:
It will almost certainly increase awareness of the issue, and may in fact make it into a bigger deal than it would otherwise.  It also may also present a negative light on the event, because it is bringing forth a debate from the outset.

I think that this could be further discussed if we look at some potential wording, and there might be a middle-ground that we think might emphasize the positives rather than negatives.  Regardless, I suppose it makes sense to wait for the response from CUPF before we go into this further...

Take care,
Chris






> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: KFA-DC: High School Location
> From: bitethea...@gmail.com
> Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 20:01:20 -0700
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com

maymay

unread,
Oct 4, 2009, 4:19:40 PM10/4/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 4, 2009, at 9:22 AM, Chris ! wrote:

> Hi Y'all,
>
> With respect to whether or how we should discuss the implications of
> the location or age limit:
>
> I honest don't know what the correct balance is.

I don't either. That said, we're (thankfully) not without guidance
with regards to things we don't really understand fully or how best to
act on. (See below.)

> By addressing the issue on the website or in otherwise in our
> materials we 1) pre-emptively frame the discussion in a way that we
> want to, 2) can prevent concerns from getting out of control or mis-
> information being spread

One of the ways in which KinkForAll events have managed to happen at
all, much less managed to happen as successfully as they have, is that
participants have been guided by a simple concept, called YAGNI,
(something that's been brought out before). It's exceptionally
powerful, but also very straightforward. It means:[0]

• Always implement things when you actually need them, never when you
just foresee that you need them.
• You already have too much to do right now. Doing more now is a very
bad thing when you already have too much to do.
• Keep it simple. If you need it, you can do it later. If you don't
need it, you won't have to do the work at all. Take that day off.

Chris, would you say that both your points 1 and 2 about pre-emptively
framing a discussion and preventing concerns from getting out of
control are things that are actually happening, or that you are merely
foreseeing (I would say fearing) would happen?

> and 3) give people the information they might need to make their own
> decisions about whether to attend.

Yeah, I also think that giving people the information they might need
to make their own decisions about whether to attend or not is a very
important thing to do. So the question I have is, do you think we're
not already doing this as well as we could be? How do you think we can
do it better?

Most if not all KinkForAll promotional text I have created and that I
have seen others create include the phrase, "free and open to the
public." Do you think rephrasing this in some way would help clarify
*who* it is open to? Do too many people have different definitions of
who "the public" is? If so, what are they? To me, "the public" is
synonymous with "all members of society," which very clearly includes
minors.

> Cons:
> It will almost certainly increase awareness of the issue, and may in
> fact make it into a bigger deal than it would otherwise. It also
> may also present a negative light on the event, because it is
> bringing forth a debate from the outset.
>
> I think that this could be further discussed if we look at some
> potential wording, and there might be a middle-ground that we think
> might emphasize the positives rather than negatives. Regardless, I
> suppose it makes sense to wait for the response from CUPF before we
> go into this further...
>
> Take care,
> Chris

I agree with this (very) strongly, as well. I think YAGNI can help us
here, too. It's obviously not in our best interest to do something
that would cause one of the cons Chris has identified to happen.
Without a response to Nikolas's email from the CUPF, I think waiting
on this and instead focusing our efforts on the massive other piles of
work we have to do, like how Jade is trying to improve the on-ramps to
the community[1], and how Nikolas is beginning to create promotional
material[2] for KFADC now that we have a venue, is the best option.
Also, would you guys agree that not acting on this yet and, for
instance, waiting for the CUPF response on this issue is what
"YAGNI" (You Aren't Gonna Need It)[0] would have us do?

Cheers,

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/UnorganizingIntroduction#AvoidingUnnecessaryEffortYouArentGonnaNeedIt
[1] http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/65ae704881080e3d
[2] http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/645e61a0a0fd51d

at...@atrus.org

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Oct 5, 2009, 11:20:31 PM10/5/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
I received a reply from the CUPF folks earlier today. The full text is below, but it sounds like we're okay?

Do we have reason to believe "known sex offenders are going to be involved, attending or are part of the target audience."? I don't believe so. I mean, "people who talk about sex" are probably a higher risk than "people who talk about how remaining celibate is key", but we're not targeting them. (For that matter, the same question needs to be asked re:felons).

I also need to point out that their reply is misleading in its suggestion that moving to a non-school venue would remove the relevant clause (re:minors, felons, and sex offenders) from our contract.

Cheers,
-Nikolas

Full text of the reply I received:
On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Beach, Stephen <Stephe...@montgomerycountymd.gov> wrote:
> Mr. Coukouma,
>
>
>
> Hello and we hope you are well. We’ve spoken with our Director, Ms. Gong,
> about your event and will try to answer your questions. Please keep in mind
> that ours is a permitting agency of County government. Part of our mission
> is to make public facilities, including schools, which are a separate
> entity, available for community use.
>
>
>
> Your event has been booked under your name, as is our practice. The school
> is aware that your group anticipates using the space, but it’s unlikely they
> are aware of the full nature of your program. With regard to publicizing
> your event, please be advised that no flyers or other materials can be
> posted or distributed at the school without permission of the Board of
> Education, as is their policy.
>
>
>
> Because of the nature of the event and based on the information you’ve
> provided, like you, we cannot know whether or not groups or individuals will
> have a negative reaction upon learning of your event, nor are we able to
> speculate how that will evolve, should it happen. It is important to note,
> however, that per guidelines of our parent Board, the Interagency
> Coordinating Board (ICB), all events scheduled in public facilities must be
> open to the public, so it is not permissible to 'ban' minors from your
> event, so long as it is held in a public school setting. We realize this
> might create serious issues for you and suggest you consider having us look
> into your use of a non-school government facility rather than a school,
> which is, of course, frequented by young people. More critical is your
> concern about potential sex offenders attending your event. It is crucial
> that you be aware that the Montgomery County Board of Education does not
> permit known sex offenders on the premises of any public school. Indeed,
> this office cannot knowingly permit use of space when known sex offenders
> are going to be involved, attending or are part of the target audience. If
> you feel it’s likely that your event will be attended by members of this
> population, it is imperative that we know and we can then assist you in
> seeking an alternative, non-school venue.
>
>
>
> Please do not hesitate to contact Kathy or me if you would like further
> information or if you would like us to discuss with you possible alternative
> sites for your program.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
>
>
> Stephen Beach
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maymay

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Oct 5, 2009, 11:28:40 PM10/5/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:20 PM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> I received a reply from the CUPF folks earlier today. The full text
> is below, but it sounds like we're okay?

Reading the reply from the CUPF, I'm actually very relieved. It's a
pretty level-headed and extremely calm, helpful reply, AFAICT.

> I mean, "people who talk about sex" are probably a higher risk than
> "people who talk about how remaining celibate is key", but we're not
> targeting them.

Well…I wouldn't say that "people who talk about how remaining celibate
is key" is a population *less* likely to attract people that some
folks are concerned about being present. Case in point: catholic
priests.[0] Need I say more?

> I also need to point out that their reply is misleading in its
> suggestion that moving to a non-school venue would remove the
> relevant clause (re:minors, felons, and sex offenders) from our
> contract.
>
> Cheers,
> -Nikolas

Good point. This doesn't seem to be a school venue issue, it's an
overarching legal issue. In fact, one that would be extremely
interesting to talk about at a KinkForAll presentation, I think.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/28/sex-abuse-religion-vatican

Chris !

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Oct 5, 2009, 11:31:19 PM10/5/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Hi Nikolas,

It seems like what we really need to know is if we put on our website a statement that goes something like "because of our contract with the venue, people who have had legal cases involving felonies or sexual offenses cannot attend this event" would cover the event legally.  
From the email, it sounded like there were some non-school venues available.  Do you know if any of them seem like a possibility?  It seems to me like it might head off some potential issues...

Take care,
Chris



> From: at...@atrus.org
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com
> Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009 23:20:31 -0400
> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: KFA-DC: High School Location
>


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maymay

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Oct 5, 2009, 11:34:24 PM10/5/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:31 PM, Chris ! wrote:

> From the email, it sounded like there were some non-school venues
> available. Do you know if any of them seem like a possibility? It
> seems to me like it might head off some potential issues...
>
> Take care,
> Chris

Um…what? How would that head off potential issues? Specifically in
reply to:

On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:28 PM, maymay wrote:

>> I also need to point out that their reply is misleading in its
>> suggestion that moving to a non-school venue would remove the
>> relevant clause (re:minors, felons, and sex offenders) from our
>> contract.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> -Nikolas
>

> Good point. This doesn't seem to be a school venue issue, it's an
> overarching legal issue.

Cheers,

at...@atrus.org

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Oct 5, 2009, 11:58:58 PM10/5/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 11:31 PM, Chris ! <boko...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Nikolas,
> It seems like what we really need to know is if we put on our website a
> statement that goes something like "because of our contract with the venue,
> people who have had legal cases involving felonies or sexual offenses cannot
> attend this event" would cover the event legally.
I agree. I'm rather frustrated that my message specifically said "What are our obligations ..." and they provided such a nebulous response.

> From the email, it sounded like there were some non-school venues available.
>  Do you know if any of them seem like a possibility?  It seems to me like it
> might head off some potential issues...
There are other places[1], yes. When I looked at them before, they didn't seem as nice a fit. Now there's also the overhead of another round of scheduling and notifying people of the change, blah.

I'm also unsure of how much it would help, honestly. The contract clause would still be there, we still couldn't forbid minors from attending, and they'd still be able to find out about it. It does make it less likely that a minor would stumble upon it.

Besides the contract, there's the annoying issue of obscenity law. I finally found some relevant portions of the Maryland Code[2]; although I suspect it's not actually applicable[3][4], I'd be much happier if no one needed to worry. Again, this wouldn't be fixed by changing the venue; the risk would just be reduced somewhat. I think greater reduction could be achieved by simply not describing sex acts -- looking at the schedule grids for past events, this would seem to only eliminate a handful of presentations.

My current thought is that some disclaimers and "words of caution" should be enough to keep us out of trouble.

Cheers,
-Nikolas
(DISCLAIMER: I am in no way a lawyer, much less your attorney)

[1] http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cuptmpl.asp?url=/content/cupf/html/info-cupf/renting.asp
[2] http://www.michie.com/maryland/ (see: Maryland Code - CRIMINAL LAW - TITLE 11. INDECENCY AND OBSCENITY
[3] SUBTITLE 1. ADULT SEXUAL DISPLAYS AND RELATED CRIMES - § 11-103. Same - Exhibition to minors. (part b, "For monetary consideration or other valuable commodity or service")
[4] SUBTITLE 2. OBSCENE MATTER - § 11-210. Exemption from subtitle.
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Chris !

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Oct 6, 2009, 12:21:30 AM10/6/09
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Hey Y'all,

I do think that getting clear what the obligation is would be is pretty important.  I also ask this partially out of concern for you, Nikolas.  If you are the one on the contract, I'm guessing that you would be responsible if anything went wrong...

To clarify, the reason why I suggested alternative venues (in addition to the fact that CUPF suggested them), is that my concerns (or unfounded fears, if you will) are that a high school location, a "kink" themed event, and open age policy is a volatile combination.  Removing one of those three factors (the high school location), might lower the potential controversy considerably.  Again, whether or not anything actually might happen may be less important than the sense of concern that it could (which, again, I am currently projecting because we don't have much information yet on whether I am accurate in this assumption).

I agree with Maymay, though.  The tone of CUPF's email was very measured, which is a good sign.

Chris

maymay

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Oct 6, 2009, 12:35:01 AM10/6/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 5, 2009, at 9:21 PM, Chris ! wrote:

> To clarify, the reason why I suggested alternative venues (in
> addition to the fact that CUPF suggested them), is that my concerns
> (or unfounded fears, if you will) are that a high school location, a
> "kink" themed event, and open age policy is a volatile combination.
> Removing one of those three factors (the high school location),
> might lower the potential controversy considerably. Again, whether
> or not anything actually might happen may be less important than the
> sense of concern that it could (which, again, I am currently
> projecting because we don't have much information yet on whether I
> am accurate in this assumption).

Chris,

As a do-ocracy, if you feel this concerned about everything, I would
suggest that you secure for KinkForAll Washington DC another public
venue with better facilities, more capacity, and more accessibility
than the one Nikolas has already secured.

While your concerns are…interesting to me…since it seems that there
are a number of people who have never participated at a KinkForAll
event projecting, as you said, a whole lot of fear, uncertainty, and
doubt into this discussion, I wonder what the people who have put
effort into learning about KinkForAll by actually being present at
previous KinkForAll events think about things. I'd love to hear from
more of those people now, too.

Chris !

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Oct 6, 2009, 12:58:18 AM10/6/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Agreed.  I would love to hear from other people.

I don't get the impression that either Maymay or Nikolas have concerns about the high school location.  Since we are working with a sample size of three, it seems that we should continue with that in mind until we hear from others.  Nikolas, if you change your mind and want to look into other possibilities, I would be happy to discuss how we could work together to make that happen.

Take care,
Chris


> Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: KFA-DC: High School Location
> From: bitethea...@gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009 21:35:01 -0700
> To: kinkf...@googlegroups.com

Heliotrope

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Oct 6, 2009, 1:19:48 AM10/6/09
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Hey, 
I've been well-away from the list recently and am only beginning to pick my way through what's been going on, but I wanted to add my voice as someone who as been to all of the three KFAs that have been held so far. In my opinion, there is no reason why this event should not be held in a high school, and open to minors. The only thing that we have to worry about, apparently, are the possibility of registered sex offenders being present - which I think is no more likely among this group of people than among any other, if not in fact less. A simple word of warning should suffice, to make clear that we are following that obligation. 
Beyond that, Kink For All events are educational events, with no nudity, no sexual demonstration, no anything that would be unacceptable for minors. It is, indeed, a bit unorthodox to hold an event focused around sexuality education, specifically, in a public high school, but really, so much the better, right?! I'm thrilled that we were accepted, I don't think we'll do anything to get ourselves into trouble, and I'm ever-so-glad that sexuality spheres are beginning to make use of the public resources that have been available to other groups for so long. 
I'll be there on the 21st, and I hope to be meeting in a high school cafeteria and being eerily reminded of my own school days. 
Hope to see you all there, 
Emma

Siobhan Lynch

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Oct 6, 2009, 8:56:26 AM10/6/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com, <kinkforall@googlegroups.com>
As a parent - I actually feel strongly in the direction that KfA be
open to the public - especially adolescents.

Here is my reason why:

1) if you don't want your kid there - then don'tet them go. Parents
should take more responsibility for what their under-18 children do.

2) there is a dearth of decent sex/sexuality education in today's
schools. Many parents put it off on the school system to
teachsexuality ed, yet they get upset web they do.

Many parents do not take responsibility for teaching kids responsible
and safe sex behaviour.

If KfA is a safe venue - then we can be sure kids will be educated in
a safe - responsible manner. I did not see one presentation (including
my own) that a mature teen could not handle at KFANYC.

3) Given the contract provision that known(convicted or under possible
conviction) sex offenders are not allowed on/near the premises - I
feel that the venue is damn near perfect except if the school is
holding other school activities near or passing by the rooms Kfa would
be using.

This gives the public/parents the Ability to "opt out" regarding their
kids exposure.

If - for whatever reason - kids are scheduled to be there that day -
and the rooms are not away from the school activity - then maybe this
isn't the right venue.

4) I really believe that this is Kink for All and an educational event
- I would rather my child learn fom you guys than a random porn site
on the Internet.

-Trish (who found out a friend/my ex's current partner died this
morning - so has no clue if this made sense)

Sent from my iPhone

at...@atrus.org

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Oct 6, 2009, 12:21:57 PM10/6/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Siobhan Lynch <slync...@gmail.com> wrote:
...
> 3) Given the contract provision that known(convicted or under possible
> conviction) sex offenders are not allowed on/near the premises - I
> feel that the venue is damn near perfect except if the school is
> holding other school activities near or passing by the rooms Kfa would
> be using.
>
> This gives the public/parents the Ability to "opt out" regarding their
> kids exposure.
>
> If - for whatever reason - kids are scheduled to be there that day -
> and the rooms are not away from the school activity - then maybe this
> isn't the right venue.
...

KFA won't be isolated, beyond being limited to the several classrooms and the cafeteria that we've rented. The classrooms seem to be nicely clustered together (based on their room numbers: 111,112,114); I don't know how much space there is between those and the cafeteria.

We can put up signs in the halls, make announcements in our rooms, etc. I'm interested in your thoughts about whether such measures would be adequate...

Thanks and best of luck,
-Nikolas
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maymay

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Oct 7, 2009, 10:19:59 PM10/7/09
to KinkForAll
Just to bring this to people's attention, the issue of whether or not
a public High School is a good venue for KinkForAll Washington DC is
also being discussed a bit on Twitter. (Follow the #KFADC hashtag[0]
to see everything, or go to the Live page at
http://wiki.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllWashingtonDCLive to get live
updates of KFADC discussions around the web.)

So far, 1 additional person has said that Bethesda Chevy-Chase High
School is "a great choice of venue"[0] for KFADC.

At this point, I am eager to start discussing the facilities in
detail. Will we have Internet access provided to us? If not, how can
we create a connection ourselves? I'll start a new thread with that
topic shortly so as not to dilute this thread, or will reply to a
thread of that nature started by someone else.
EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23KFADC
[1] http://twitter.com/bokunenjin/statuses/4695721999
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