Discrimination Against Kinky Parents

“Depathologization of consensual BDSM,” written by Susan Wright as Invited Commentary in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, is now available:


This article tracks the discrimination against kinky parents in child custody cases that were reported to NCSF before and after the American Psychiatric Association (APA) differentiated between consensual sexual behavior and the Paraphilic Disorders in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

Family court judges regularly removed child custody or visitation rights from adults who engaged in consensual BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing behaviors. After the proposed changes to the DSM-5 were made public for commentary in 2011, there was a significant drop in discrimination against BDSM-practicing individuals.

A total of 808 parents contacted the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom’s Incident Reporting and Response (IRR) program from January 2005 to December 2017 to report that a determining factor in their child custody hearing was their BDSM, fetishism, cross-dressing and/or non-monogamous behavior.

In 2008, 124 parents contacted NCSF for assistance compared to 15 parents in 2017, four years after the 2013 publication of the DSM-5 which clarified that the majority of individuals who are active in community networks that practice sadistic and masochistic behaviors do not meet the DSM-5 criteria for a mental disorder.

To find out more about NCSF’s DSM project (1987-2017) click here – http://www.ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/dsm-v-revision-project/dsm-v-program-page

Source: ncsf

12 Questions People In Polyamorous Relationships Are Sick Of Hearing

Huffington Post

“I’ve heard every version of this and despite my big heart, it always makes me want to punch someone in the face. The condescension and self-righteousness are almost more than I can break down, but consider this: Polyamory is not a compromise we make because we have lower standards; it’s a preference — some even consider it an orientation. Doing it right cultivates an intense depth of intimacy. Just like choosing to be exclusive, we’re just growing closer through different experiences. You may prefer cross-country skiing, but that doesn’t mean everyone who snowboards is settling.” ― Zaeli Kane, who runs the YouTube series The Commotion: A Divine (Romantic) Comedy with her partner Blake Wilson. She’s been with her husband Joe Spurr for 14 years and they have a daughter. Joe has a girlfriend named Ixi.

Source: ncsf

Urethral Sounding with John C. Luna – Ep 38 American Sex Podcast

Urethral sounding– what is it? Why do people do it? How do people do it? Is it safe? Does it hurt? Why does it scare the bejeezus out of me? Why does it also sound hot AF? And what exactly do urethras even sound like anyway? No matter what your questions are, John C. Luna […]

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Meet the 2017-2018 Metagenics Medical Advisory Board

At Metagenics, we’re continually seeking ways to help make personalized nutritional intervention the standard of care in the promotion of optimal health. This fall, we assembled a group of expert healthcare professionals for the inaugural Metagenics Medical Advisory Board meeting, which took place in Renton, Washington, outside Seattle. The company’s goal was to gain insight […] More

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Cloudflare: FOSTA Was a 'Very Bad Bill' That's Left the Internet's Infrastructure Hanging


“[Terminating service to Switter] is related to our attempts to understand FOSTA, which is a very bad law and a very dangerous precedent,” he told me in a phone conversation. “We have been traditionally very open about what we do and our roles as an internet infrastructure company, and the steps we take to both comply with the law and our legal obligations—but also provide security and protection, let the internet flourish and support our goals of building a better internet.”

Source: ncsf

6 Ways to Stop Absorbing Other People’s Emotions

“Sometimes I think I need a spare heart to feel all the things I feel.” — Sanober Khan

I felt her agony and loneliness as if it were my own. Even as I write that sentence, my eyes well up and heaviness fills my heart. Then, I’m reminded to apply the advice I give others.

My mom was a special person, a sensitive soul just like me. Actually, I’m so much like she was, yet so different. One of the differences between us is that I had an opportunity to observe her life’s challenges. I saw her challenges reflected within myself and made a conscious choice to find healthy ways to cope.

You see, my mom was a deep feeler and felt the emotions of people near and far. I imagine it was her strong empathy and personal challenges that led her to want to help others, as a wounded healer in a sense.

But as a helper and healer, she struggled with her mental and emotional health over the years. Witnessing her life moved me to learn how to regulate my own sensitive emotions and set healthy boundaries.

Sometimes I wonder if not knowing how to manage her empathy is what made her sick.

There are many ways to understand the challenges my mom battled before her death in 2007. From her perspective, she had a rare, unknown physical illness. Some who knew her may have thought she was manipulative and attention-seeking. Some would see an addiction to pain medication. Psychologists would diagnose her with psychosomatic disorder, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Maybe all and none of those explanations are true. But perhaps she didn’t have any “disorder” at all. I’m not really asserting that to be true, but merely posing a curious question. What if she was just a sensitive, empathic person who lacked the skills to manage the pain around and within her? What if one unhelpful coping mechanism led a to slew of other ailments?

I believe my mom felt real physical and emotional pain. I struggled to fully understand her over the years. But after many years of reflection, I now trust her experience because of what I know about my own sensitive nature.

As sensitive people, we may present with high emotion and feel easily overwhelmed by our senses. We’re often told by the world that there’s something wrong with us. And when we think there’s something inherently wrong with us, we tend to tuck these traits away into our “shadow” or unconscious mind.

Well, now we’ve not only tucked away our core nature, but possibly the empathic depth that goes along with being a sensitive person as well. There may be a part of us that knows that we’re emotional sponges. Yet, we may choose to ignore our nature without really learning how to manage our empathy in such a way that prevents “dis-ease” and fosters well-being.

This was me for a long time.

Not only am I prone to feeling depleted and drained in situations with certain people, but emotional pain of others tends to show up in my physical body. When I over-feel, my throat feels like it’s closing and as my chest constricts, my chronic back pain flares up.

My boyfriend was complaining of one of those small, painful pimples inside his nose recently. I got one as well. We joked about sympathy pains, but I do wonder sometimes.

I’ve felt the emotional pain of my family, friends, clients, and strangers. It’s not a simple, “Oh, I feel bad for him.” It’s feeling the despair and rejection of that teenager whose parents didn’t pick him up when he was released from the behavioral hospital where I worked. It’s the deep anguish of being that relative who feels no one believes her and she’s all alone.

I feel challenged to find the right language to express it all because the deep heartache and heavy burden is a feeling not a word.

The thing is that no matter how painful it is to feel the weight of the world in my body, I wouldn’t trade my depth and ability to feel for anything. The empathy that comes with high sensitivity is a true gift if we know how to use it.

We need more kind, compassionate souls if we want to heal the world. Sensitive people have a natural capacity to show kindness because of our profound empathy.

Deep empathy gives us a special strength in relating and connecting to others. When we genuinely care, we’re more apt to be able to understand another person in a way not that all people can. Our sincerity can help us to develop meaningful, fulfilling relationships.

Relationships offer us a chance to not only grow a deep sense of connection with another human being, but also an opportunity to learn about ourselves. Both of these are integral to the human experience.

And as sensitive people, we not only feel the intensity of pain, but also the intensity of joy.

Yet, regulating our empathy is key to stopping the flood of emotion from overwhelming our ability to cope and care for our well-being.

If we want to stop absorbing emotional baggage from others, it all starts with taking care of our physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. I know it sounds like the whole world is harping on the idea of self-care, but there’s a reason for this.

When our own immune system or energy is depleted, we become a perfect sponge for sopping up emotions. We must take care of ourselves to avoid absorption in the first place.

1. When You Notice Heavy Emotion, Start by Labeling What You’re Feeling.

Labeling helps to bring us into a state of pause, which can help us to gain a little distance from the emotional experience for a moment.

2. Ask Yourself Whether What You’re Feeling Is Yours, Someone Else’s, or a Mix of the Two.

It can be difficult to discern the difference sometimes. One approach I like to take is if I think I might be feeling a particular person’s “stuff,” I’ll imagine the person as completely whole, content, and full of light. Then I’ll revisit my own experience and see if I still feel the same way.

This played out in a recent loss in my life. While I was experiencing my own grief, when my relative who was closest to this person seemed to start to heal, I realized that much of my sadness released as well.

3. The Moment You Catch Yourself Feeling Emotions That Aren’t Yours, Raise Your Awareness of What’s Happening Within You.

It can help to say the word “compassion” to yourself as a way of intentionally focusing on what you can do to be supportive rather than allowing yourself to be overpowered by emotion.

4. Take a Deep Breath and Notice Where in Your Body You Feel the Most Calm, Grounded, or Neutral.

It might be as simple as your toe or finger. Bring your attention to that place in your body and allow it to be a centering force to keep you grounded while you process and release any feelings you may have absorbed. Sometimes just having one calm place in our body can serve as a resource when the rest of you is feeling overwhelmed.

5. Return the Other Person’s Emotions to Them.

It is not your responsibility to carry other people’s emotional distress, and equally important, it helps absolutely no one. Try saying to yourself, “I’m letting this emotional pain that is not mine go now.” Remember that other people have to go through their own processes in order to grow.

6. Use Visualization to Fully Release the Emotions.

I find that it helps me to visualize a waterfall flowing through my body as a final release of any residual emotional gunk I might be carrying.

At the center of all of the above steps is building the awareness to know when we’re allowing ourselves to absorb and and adopting tools to reduce this propensity. As a sensitive person, your empathy is a gift that the world needs. It’s up to each of us to channel our empathy into greater compassion so that we can remain strong and well.

This post is courtesy of Tiny Buddha.

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Smallville Star Allison Mack Arrested and Charged With Sex Trafficking

E News

Mack has been accused of recruiting slaves by telling them they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them. She allegedly required her slaves to engage in sexual activity with Raniere in exchange for money or other benefits. If the alleged slaves did not participate, it was thought that damaging information about them and their families and friends would be released. According to court documents, Mack’s alleged behavior took place approximately between February 2016 and February 2017.

Source: ncsf

Insights into Loneliness

Experts are warning us that we are in midst of a loneliness epidemic. In fact, the U.K. has recently appointed a minister of loneliness to deal with what Prime Minister Theresa May says is a “sad reality of modern life.” Our mobile society (with people increasingly moving away from family and friends), our technologically wired culture (where people are engaging less with their real-life environment and other people in it), and the growing pressure to work more (so, in part, that people can consume more), create a kind of existential stew that contributes not only to loneliness, but also to a general loss of connectedness.

Loneliness is invading more and more people’s lives, increasing stress, depression, even affecting physical health (it’s associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease, and research shows that it is as bad for people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day). But what can a person do, given the modern-day barriers that can lead to these feelings of isolation? Perhaps it’s about building our own small communities within the larger context of society, making meaningful connections within the very situations and structures that may have contributed to our loneliness in the first place.  

Loneliness can overtake people in small, quiet towns and in large, bustling cities. It can overwhelm the stay-at-home parent as well as the top executive of a major corporation. No matter where you’re living or what you’re doing, the answer is about making connections with people who care about you — and whom you care about as well. Whether you have moved away from family and friends or are feeling isolated in your own hometown, there are ways to find a new support system. Sometimes it’s as simple as joining a newcomers club or checking out groups, such as a book, food and drink, or hiking club (meetup.com lists many different categories — music, film, social, and tech are only a few examples). A friend of mine also says that she’s combated loneliness by going to the gym on a regular basis, which not only helps her physical and mental health, but also keeps her connected to a community that she’s slowly but surely created and that she fondly refers to as her “fitness family.”   

Although clubs and gyms are great ways to meet and connect with people who share similar interests, sometimes loneliness stems from something larger than a general lack of community. Sometimes loneliness hits people because they feel as if no one in their lives can understand their struggles and pain. I know from personal experience that when I first experienced anxiety, I had never felt so alone. Even though I had family and friends around me, it seemed as if I were stranded on a kind of emotional desert island.

With time, I learned to use many modalities to help free my mind from the constant “what-if” thoughts (including the cathartic act of writing, replacing negative self-talk with productive statements, and studying self-help books on anxiety). Part of my healing process also involved connecting with other anxiety sufferers on Twitter. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my struggles decreased my overall sense of isolation — and, yes, even loneliness. I have read many similar sentiments online as well. So while our technologically obsessed culture can increase alienation and loneliness, it can also have quite the opposite effect. It’s learning how to use it to your advantage by connecting to others going through similar struggles, by not only getting support — but also giving it.

Loneliness can also stem from work exhaustion. In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review (June 29, 2017), states that close to 50% of people in the General Social Survey of 2016 said they were often or always exhausted due to work. This is a 32% increase from just 20 years ago — and it’s important to note that there’s a significant correlation between feeling lonely and work exhaustion. (This article also notes that research by Sarah Pressman at the University of California, Irvine demonstrates that loneliness reduces longevity by a whopping 70%). Given these startling statistics, it’s important to recognize if one’s feelings of ongoing loneliness are due to work burnout. And if that’s the case, then it may be time to challenge priorities and find a healthier life balance.

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Muscular Strength Tied to Brain Health

A new study finds that muscular strength, measured by hand grip, is a significant indicator of brain health. This link was found to be consistently strong in both younger (under 55 years) and older people (over 55).

Previous studies have only demonstrated the connection in elderly people.

The findings also show that maximum hand grip strength is strongly linked to both visual memory and reaction time in people with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. In the future, the researchers plan to investigate whether weight training could benefit the brain health of people with mental health conditions.

Using data from 475,397 participants from across the United Kingdom, the new study showed that on average, stronger people performed better across every test of brain functioning used. Tests included reaction speed, logical problem solving and multiple different tests of memory.

In addition, maximal hand grip was strongly correlated with visual memory and reaction time in over one thousand people with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.

“When taking multiple factors into account such as age, gender, body weight and education, our study confirms that people who are stronger do indeed tend to have better functioning brains,” said Dr. Joseph Firth, research fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University in Australia.

“We can see there is a clear connection between muscular strength and brain health. But really, what we need now, are more studies to test if we can actually make our brains healthier by doing things which make our muscles stronger, such as weight training,” said Firth.

Firth analyzed the numbers using data from the UK Biobank. Previous research by the group has already shown that aerobic exercise can improve brain health, but the benefit of weight training on the brain has yet to be fully investigated.

“These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions,” said Firth, also an honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester.

“Our research has shown that the connections between muscular strength and brain functioning also exist in people experiencing schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder — all of which can interfere with regular brain functioning.”

“This raises the strong possibility that weight training exercises could actually improve both the physical and mental functioning of people with these conditions.”

The study analyzed data from the UK Biobank (2007-2010), which included 475,397 individuals from the general population, and 1,162 individuals with schizophrenia.

The findings are published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Source: NICM, Western Sydney University



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Study Links More Sugar Consumption to Poorer Cognition in Kids

Study Links More Sugar Consumption to Poorer Cognition in Kids

Eating more fruits and less sugar — and avoiding diet soda during pregnancy — could have a beneficial effect on a child’s cognitive functioning, according to a new study.

Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study found that poorer childhood cognition occurred, particularly in memory and learning, when pregnant women or their children consumed greater quantities of sugar.

Substituting diet soda for sugar-sweetened versions during pregnancy also appeared to have negative effects, according to the study’s findings.

However, children’s fruit consumption had beneficial effects and was associated with higher cognitive scores, researchers said.

For the study, investigators collected dietary assessment data for more than 1,000 pregnant women from 1999 to 2002 who participated in Project Viva. Their children’s diets were assessed in early childhood.

hild cognition was assessed in early- and mid-childhood, at approximately age 3 and 7, researchers reported.

Key findings from the study include:

  • maternal sugar consumption, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), was associated with poorer childhood cognition, including non-verbal abilities to solve novel problems and poorer verbal memory;
  • maternal SSB consumption was associated with poorer global intelligence associated with both verbal knowledge and non-verbal skills;
  • maternal diet soda consumption was associated with poorer fine motor, visual spatial, and visual motor abilities in early childhood and poorer verbal abilities in mid-childhood;
  • childhood SSB consumption was associated with poorer verbal intelligence at mid-childhood;
  • child consumption of both fructose and fruit in early childhood was associated with higher cognitive scores in several areas and greater receptive vocabulary;
  • fruit was additionally associated with greater visual motor abilities in early childhood and verbal intelligence in mid-childhood;
  • Fruit juice intake was not associated with improved cognition, which may suggest the benefits are from other aspects of fruits, such as phytochemicals, and not fructose itself.

“This study provides evidence that there should be no further delays in implementing the new Nutrition Facts label,” said lead investigator Juliana F.W. Cohen, Sc.D., School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College and the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The new label will provide information on added sugars so that pregnant women and parents can make informed choices regarding added sugars and more easily limit their intake.

“This study also provides additional support for keeping federal nutrition programs strong, such as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the National School Lunch Program, because their promotion of diets higher in fruits and lower in added sugars may be associated with improved childhood cognition,” she continued.

Source: Elsevier

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