Update: KinkForAllNewYorkCity now has a date (Sunday, March 8th) and a venue (the LGBT Center). Our next challenge is finding sponsorships and continuing promotional efforts.

Update: KinkForAll New York City was a stunning success.

As if I didn’t have enough projects going right now, while here in Sydney, Eileen and I had an idea for a social and educational event that will promote positive ideals of sexuality from and to many communities and organizations. The idea is called KinkForAll, and I need your help to make the first KinkForAll event a reality this March. Below is the 411 on KinkForAll as well as links for where to learn more.

Most of all, I need your help to spread the word that KinkForAll event exists. To that end, please copy the flyer text below and post it on your blog(s), send it to any mailing lists you belong to, talk about it to your friends, and generally help get the word out. For this hugely beneficial movement to succeed, it needs enthusiastic participants on the ground—and that’s you!

I should probably also mention that I would greatly appreciate help in spreading the word even if you are not local to New York City. Simply spreading awareness about the New York City-based efforts and getting more people interested in this idea in general will be beneficial for people regardless of where you or they happen to live right now.

Here’s the flyer text to copy:

PLEASE COPY AND CROSSPOST THIS MESSAGE FREELY.

If you have already heard about KinkForAll through the grapevine, then please consider this email a reminder. If you haven’t, then please take a minute to scan this message. You’re receiving this message because someone trusts you to read it with an open mind. Smile! :)

Vitals
======

What: A no-limits sex-positive gender and sexuality unconference.
Why: To inspire a creative, interactive and open environment where everyone feels comfortable talking, learning, and being inspired by all kinds of sexuality.
When: March, 2009 (exact date yet to be determined)
Where: NYC (We’re still looking for a venue! Can you help? See ‘Get Involved,’ below!)
Who: Everyone
How much: Free (as in beer as well as freedom)

Details
=======

KinkForAll is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people of the kink, queer, sex-positive and related communities to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, presentations, and interaction from all participants.  (It is inspired by the BarCamp community.)

ANYONE WITH SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE OR WITH THE DESIRE TO LEARN IS WELCOME AND INVITED TO JOIN. When you attend, be prepared to share with others. When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.

A KinkForAll is a special kind of gathering because there are no spectators, only participants. Attendees must give a talk or a presentation, help with one, or otherwise volunteer/contribute in some way to support the event. This is called sharing and we like it. All presentations are scheduled the day they happen—there are no pre-scheduled presentations or keynote addresses. The people present at the event will select the presentations they want to see.

Anyone can present, on any topic related to sexuality. You do not necessarily have to teach a new skill or idea. You might share an experience, review a product, or read a poem. The goal is to start a discussion, make connections, and exchange knowledge. Presentations promoting specific commercial products or companies are discouraged.

Learn more about what to expect at
http://kinkforall.pbwiki.com/WhatToExpect

Learn more about the event guidelines at
http://kinkforall.pbwiki.com/TheRulesOfKinkForAll

Get Involved
============

We need your help in spreading the word. Please help by participating. Here’s how:

1. Get excited by reading the ideas on http://kinkforall.pbwiki.com/KinkForAllNewYorkCity
2. Add your name or handle to the list of participants
3. Join the mailing list and introduce yourself by emailing [email protected]

If you have access to a venue, or know someone who has access to a venue, please email the [email protected] mailing list with that information.

Still have questions? Read the Frequently Asked Questions at
http://kinkforall.pbwiki.com/FrequentlyAskedQuestions

or email [email protected] for more details.

KinkForAll Online
=================

Participate online before the event at your favorite social networking web site.

Homepage: http://KinkForAll.org
Google: http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KinkForAll
Identica: http://identi.ca/kinkforall
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KinkForAll/40066342762

All primary organizational efforts are being coordinated via the mailing list. Join for free and help turn ideas into realities!
http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall

The flyer text to copy is above this line.

I’ve already been thrilled at some of the inertia that is beginning to build behind this idea. The implications of such a thing happening are remarkable!

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 (if you’re in school—which I am thankfully not), 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 run by the sex communities are typically large, expensive, and very intimidating. Many people, not just young people, just don’t have several hundred dollars and a week’s time to dish out going to sexuality events where the primary attraction is…well, having some kind of sex. (We can fuck for free, thank you.)

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. It is a real tragedy that sexuality communities do such a horrendously poor job of taking advantage of available social technology to further their cause. In addition to everything else, starting KinkForAll is also an attempt to help rectify that situation.

This kind of an unconference is not a new idea. If you examine the BarCamp.org pages, you’ll see a massive similarity between them and the pages at KinkForAll.org. This is intentional. I’ve been at BarCamps of various kinds before and the results are always outstanding. I am convinced that replicating the same positive energy is possible for sexuality communities, albeit slightly more difficult because of the novelty of the idea for this group of people.

Such unconference-style gatherings are purposely loosely structured in order to let regional and communal influences permeate the event. That is a good thing. It means that KinkForAll as a concept will evolve in parallel to the notions created by BarCamp. At the same time, it’s important that people who care about the idea and the potential for positive social change that it has are able to guide the concept as an idea in that positive direction. This is why the “rules” of KinkForAll are written so meticulously, and are so carefully generalized. You’ll find several references to the fact that this is not a play event, for example, and that this differs from other events run by the BDSM and related communities in particular, well-defined ways. Again, this is intentional.

If any of this strikes a chord with you, you can read more at the introduction on the mailing list. I also strongly encourage you to participate—the only cost is your time and effort, and you get to decide how much of that you want to spend. The benefits, however, can be immeasurable.

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