This Week in Kink, November 18, 2017

Somebody needs to explain to me what’s going on the US, because every time I read something I get more confused. In New York a health teacher has been suspended from her job because she invited a guest lecturer to teach her class about LGBT issues. Parents complained to the school about a pack given out to the students which taught about gender identity and sexual orientation. Meanwhile, the California State Board of Education has approved 10 LGBT-inclusive history textbooks for K-8 classrooms.

In a bid to crack down on child exploitation and strengthen the Justice Department’s ability to track offenders, the US State Department has began revoking the passports of convicted child sex offenders and those affected will need to apply for new ones, which will be marked on the back page with “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a convicted sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).”

Not everyone is happy. Some politicians and human rights groups point out that it makes no distinction between someone who is a serial child rapist and someone who is convicted under the unclear and controversial interpretations of the law which has seen sexually active teenagers convicted.

In an example of how confusing these laws are, recently the school district of Salem-Keizer in Oregon came under fire for following the mandatory reporting law, which requires them to report the names of any student under 18 they learn or suspect is sexually active. They said it was the law, so they had to do it, but others are asking why, and saying it breaches the trust between teacher and student.

the asexual flag

Broadly speaking, asexuals do not experience sexual attraction. That’s not the same as abstinence (which is behavioural), or aromantics (who do not feel the attraction of being romantically linked with another person). Archer Magazine recently published a nice personal story on the complexities of sexual attraction and romantic attraction. Many asexuals do date, but you can imagine how tiresome it is leapfrogging over all the sex-seekers. ACEapp is a new dating app that seeks to provide a safer space for asexuals to connect. It’s currently only on Android, but other versions are coming soon. Join them on Facebook to keep up with the news.

Australia’s same-sex marriage postal survey is over. 12.7 million people voted, which is an impressive 79.5% turnout for a non-compulsory, non-binding survey, and the results were a landslide “yes” at 61.6%. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says it’s an overwhelming vote for fairness and promises to have the legislation through before Christmas.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the move to recognise the Western SoMa area of San Francisco as “The San Francisco Leather Cultural District”. That movement is gaining momentum, and the SF Leather Cultural District Working Group, which includes well known activists such as Race Bannon and Guy Baldwin, is actively conducting forums and community meetings and building support. You can participate or follow their progress on their new website.

All the old jokes about things that are “built by committees” came to mind when the Leather Archives & Museum announced their new mission statement in a recent press release:

Making leather, kink, BDSM, and fetish acessible through research, preservation, education and community engagement.

Love your work guys, but this is a classic example of trying to go so wide that you end up saying nothing.

When a list promises to be “surprising” or “little known”, it usually isn’t. But, there’s some great research behind Kinkly’s 6 Little-Known Health Benefits of Kinky Sex. Who knew that swallowing semen may prevent miscarriages and pre-eclampsia, or that it had anti-depressant qualities?

Feature image from CNN Politics — US passports to identify convicted child sex offenders

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