Sexual politics

Photogallery 1 “Friends and lovers”

Photogallery 1 “Friends and lovers”

Photogallery 1 “Friends and lovers” – Lær og kjærlighet – Love and Leather/ rubber

LEFT: An open relationship?

BELOW: – Give me a golden shower!

Both pictures from Rob‘s leather/rubber-section in the Europride parade Saturday August 23rd 2003.

 

 

Leather dykes celebrates Europride in Sackville Street Manchester

 

 

These leather lovers (below) in Sackville Street wanted to be on the ReviseF65 pages when we told them about the purpose to remove fetish and SM diagnoses.
MIDDLE AND RIGHT: Rubber and leather lovers before the Saturday parade

 

 

Picture from Rob‘s leather/rubber-section in the Europride parade Saturday August 23rd 2003.

 

Discrimination 2000

Mistet jobben pga SM-orientering (publisert 15. juni 2003)

En 26 år gammel kvinne mistet i desember 2000 vikarjobben sin som selger i et forsikringsselskap på Østlandet på grunn av åpenhet omkring sin SM-orientering.

Av Svein Skeid

Hun hadde et vikariat med muligheter for fast ansettelse og gjennomgikk 6-7 ukers intern teoriopplæring og oppnådde beste resultat av hele kullet av nye vikarer.
Etter å ha blitt med i salgsteam, dro teamet på teambuilding-seminar. Under seminaret ble de ansatte blant annet oppfordret til å fortelle sine kolleger noe om seg selv som de andre ikke kjente til. Kvinnen lurte litt på å fortelle om sin SM-interesse, men følte at det ikke ble helt riktig, og valgte heller å bidra med noe annet. Senere samme kveld, etter at middagen var fortært og stemningen ble løsere, åpnet hun seg opp for 2-3 kolleger og fortalte litt om SM-interessen. Dette ble møtt med godt humør og tatt imot som noe “kult” av kollegene, og i de første par ukene tilbake på kontoret, ble det spøkt og fleipet litt med “kinky” vitser i pauser og slikt, spesielt mellom kvinnen og disse kollegene. Teamlederen hørte spøkene, men delte ikke humoren.

To uker senere fikk kvinnen sparken. Sjefen skyldte på økonomien og sa han hadde tatt inn for mange nye ansatte. Dette kom som en stor overraskelse på henne, med tanke på de gode resultatene på teoriopplæringen.

Hos konsulenten i vikarbyrået, fikk kvinnen etterpå et velmenende råd om at det er lurt å være litt mindre åpen om sitt privatliv på arbeidsplassen. Kvinnen forklarte konsulenten at hun trodde forsikringsselskapets økonomi var årsak til oppdragsavbruddet, hvorpå konsulenten ble litt perpleks et øyeblikk – akkurat nok til at kvinnen skjønte at økonomien slett ikke hadde noe å si.

To måneder etter dette, annonserte forsikringsselskapet på nytt etter nye vikarer til sine salgsteam – vikariater med muligheter for fast ansettelse.

Kvinnen valgte å ikke sloss for jobben sin, med tanke på at hun kun var vikar og derfor ikke hadde like store rettigheter som en fast ansatt ville hatt. I tillegg ville hun blitt stående som en bråkmaker, og kanskje miste muligheten til arbeid gjennom vikarbyrået i ettertid.

Det finner mange eksempler på at fetisjister og SM-ere mister jobben på grunn av sin SM-tilhørighet og orientering. Andre trues med oppsigelse dersom de fortsetter å informere offentlig om gruppens menneskerettigheter.

En undersøkelse blant leserne til “The Leather Journal” i 2001 kan tyde på at én av fire fetisjister opplever jobb-diskriminering.

En undersøkelse foretatt av SM-rettighetsorganisasjonen The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, NCSF, viser at én av 13 SM-ere hadde mistet jobben på grunn av sin legning.

 

English text

Dismissal of temporary worker

December 2000, a 26 year-old Norwegian heterosexual woman lost her temporary job as a salesperson in an insurance company in Eastern Norway because of her openness about her SM-orientation.

By Svein Skeid

This occurred despite the fact that she had completed internal training with the best results of the entire new intake of temporary staff. At a teambuilding seminar, participants were invited to tell their colleagues something about themselves that the others didn’t know about. The woman wondered whether to tell them about her interest in SM, but felt that this would not be quite right and therefore chose to contribute something else. Later the same evening, after dinner had been eaten and the atmosphere was more relaxed, she opened up to two or three of her colleagues and told them a bit about her interest in SM. This was met with good humour and taken as something “cool” by the colleagues, and in the first couple of weeks back at the office, this was joked about with “kinky” jokes in breaks, especially between the woman and these colleagues. The team leader heard the jokes, but did not share in the humour. Two weeks later, the woman was dismissed. The boss blamed this on the firm’s financial situation and said that he had taken on too many new employee s. However, the consultant in the deputy agency that had sent her to the firm in the first place afterwards gave her a friendly hint not to be so open about private matters in her next job. Two months later, the insurance company advertised again for new temporary staff for its sales team – temporary work with the possibility of permanent employment. The woman chose not to fight for her job, in the belief that she was only a temporary worker and therefore did not have the same rights as a permanent employee. Additionally, she would have been labeled as a troublemaker and would perhaps have missed out on the possibility of getting work through the temping agency in the future (Source: Personal documentation).

 

The Law Commission

The British Law Commision says no to SM discrimination

An official appointed British Law Commission in 1995 came to the conclusion that SM or sadomasochism, short of causing serious or permanently disabling injury, should be no crime between consenting adults. After the 1993 Spanner verdict, Britain has been alone in Europe to criminalize safe, sane and consensual SM sex.

By Svein Skeid

The director of the civil rights group Liberty, John Wadham, welcomes the document, according to The Pink Paper 22. December 1995. – Under the Law Commission’s new proposals, he said, the Spanner men would never have been prosecuted.

The Commission’s document contains the most wideranging and detailed official survey ever conducted into SM activities. It includes evidence from a wide section of legal, medical and public opinion, and a number of women’s organizations stressing the importance of adult consent independant of religious, spiritual, athletic or sexual SM purpose.

Professor of Law, David Feldman, widely cited in academic literature and by international courts, say in the consultation paper paras 10.46, that:

“In his view the interest (whether public or private) in allowing people to express their sexuality, which forms a fundamental part of a person’s personality, is no less important than the interest in allowing people to pursue sports. Sport is fun, but sex for many people is more than fun: it is a form of selfexpression.”

Feminists Against Censorship’s Avedon Carol, (paras 10.51) commented on a Spanner seminar at the ICA on March 10 1994 that “prosecuting consenting SMers was not going to help the victims of real violence” and contrasted the resources spent on prosecuting the Spannermen with the lack of police interest in charging women-batterers.

Criminalisation and false reports on innocent people weakens the credibility of real victims of violence. This is not in the interest of women.

As with other assaults, women also seem to suffer the most violence because of their sexual SM orientation, love or selfexpression. More than one third of leather women have experienced harassment, persecution or physical assault – – much of this executed by other women. Within the women’s community, over half (56%) of the 539 lesbian and bisexual women surveyed experienced discrimination, harassment, or physical assault from other women because of their participation in consensual SM. (The “Jad Keres Report” 1994.). “The NCSF Violence & Discrimination Survey 1998 found that 1/3 of over 1000 leather/fetish/SM persons surveyed suffered violence, discrimination and persecution — losing their job or even their children because of their sexual lifestyle and identity.

Also the experiences of the norwegian SM support group Smia-Oslo show that several of ourfemale members haved tried to commit suicide because of bashing, harassment and discrimination from other lesbians and the society.

The 1995 Law Commission evaluated the infliction of consensual pain and roleplay in religion, sport and sado-masochism, and found no reason to legally discriminate people because of their sexual SM orientation. They will apply the same age limit to activities involving the infliction of pain-creating injury for the purposes of religious mortification or for spiritual motives as to similar activities for the purposes of sexual gratification.

According to the Times, the UK government is considering rewriting the 130-year-old “offences against the person” laws which were used to prosecute the Spanner SMers, based on The Law Commission’s recommendations.

SM Gays in Pink Paper welcomed the report, but said they would continue to press for the proposed age of consent to be lowered to 16.

The Law Commission report notes that SM sex acts are “engaged in by large numbers of people, many of whom are utterly respectable,” and that there are many more heterosexual people quietly having SM sex in the suburbs than there are gay leather men in London clubs.” They include a considerable number of politicians, lawyers and judges.

The Law Commission is an official Government body that produces among other things Consultation Papers about particularly difficult or unclear areas of the Law. The Law Commission reports are intended to clarify the situation and are used by Politicians to help them draw up future Parliamentary Bills in the particular area of concern. When the Law is clarified by a change of Law it is usually in line with the recommendations of The Law Commission Consultation Papers. It therefore follows that The Law Commission recommendations are most important in the formulation of English Criminal Law.

 

UK report – August 2003

IML 2003 is official supporter of the ReviseF65 Project

Eric and Svein have been rallying support for SM human rights in the UK during august 2003. Representing the ReviseF65 project, they have held four workshops with in all more than fifty people attending. At all the workshops there were represented different gay and straight SM/fetish leaders and mental health specialists from several countries, and during August the number of members on the ReviseF65 mailing list has increased by 50 percent. One of the workshops received the visit of International Mr Leather, John Pendal. Afterwords he decided to support officially the ReviseF65 project.

International Mr Leather, John Pendal (picture left) published August 26th that ReviseF65 is one of five projects that he will support during the year he holds the title. This should provide a good opportunity for informing people about our project work.

John Pendal is one of very few Europeans who has been awarded International Mr Leather. He got the title at the IML contest in Chicago May 25th 2003. He has taken this year off, to give the role his full attention.

Eric and Svein met him at Europride in Manchester 2003. The ECMC leather club MSC Manchester Superchain had invited John to walk in front of their leather-section in the Europride parade Saturday 23rd 2003. For some time Eric and Svein have had mail contact with MSC‘s hon secretary Ian A. He helped us to get a location for our ReviseF65 workshop in Manchester. Friday 22nd Ian presented us to John (picture right) and Sunday John surprisingly attended our ReviseF65 workshop at Malmaison Hotel. It was very interesting and a big honour for us to be able to present our work to the International Mr Leather.

After the lecture we met John at Manchester Legends Bar celebrating MSC Superchain‘s 20th birthday. We asked him if he would consider the possibility of becoming an official supporter of the ReviseF65 project. He answered “yes” immediately and asked Svein to be photographed together with him in front of the Norwegian flag to demonstrate his support (see the upper picture in the right column).

On Monday we wrote John a mail from an internet café in Manchester and thanked him for his support. Tuesday Ian Gurnhill in Spanner Trust (picture left ) told us that John had linked up the ReviseF65 project on his IML Link page. Friday August 29th, we met John and his partner David at the Hoist leatherclub in London. This is John‘s home club where he received the title “Mr Hoist 2003” in February. John told us that he now also had linked the ReviseF65 project to his Support site. This means that ReviseF65 is one of five projects that IML 2003 endorses. This support is of course a big inspiration for us in our work.

In addition to the workshop at Malmaison Hotel, Eric held a “women only” workshop Sunday August 24th at UK’s First International Womens‘ SM Conference in Manchester. On his first trip to the UK, Svein held a successful workshop at the SM Pride festival in London Saturday August 2nd. Another workshop was held at Central Station, Kings Cross, London Thursday August 28th. This lecture was one hour delayed because of the big power-failure (picture right) that stopped all traffic at London‘s Underground system for hours.

The four ReviseF65 workshops attracted from 4 to 40 participants each. At all the workshops central human-rights activists attended. Discussions, dinners and strategy meetings with these SM/leather leaders gave us feedback which will be important for our continued project work.

In addition, our two visits to the UK gave us the opportunity to take a lot of SM/fetish pictures, which we consider an important ingredient of the Revise F65 website.

Annual Report 2003

The ReviseF65 project
ReviseF65 in a new Haworth book

An article by Dr. Odd Reiersøl and Svein Skeid on the Revise 65 project will be published in a forthcoming special, double issue of the US periodical Journal of Homosexuality on SM. The article will be published simultaneously by The Haworth Press INC as a book on SM.

2003 has been a successful year for the ReviseF65 project and the most active until now. The production this year of professional articles and lectures constitutes a solid basis for the long-term work towards the removal of SM and Fetish diagnoses. The article and lectures set focus on the lack of scientific basis for today’s diagnoses and that they lead to discrimination and violence against the SM, Fetish and Transvestite population. With this, an important first part of the committee’s mandate has been fulfilled.

The ReviseF65 committee asked for, and received support on April 29 and May 8 from the Norwegian Association of Gay and Lesbian Physicians (HLLF) and the Norwegian Society for Clinical Sexology (NFKS).

We have had a tight collaboration with our mother organization, LLH, the Norwegian National Association for Lesbian and Gay Liberation. On June 28, during the Gay Pride Week, the ReviseF65 webmaster Svein Skeid (picture), was honoured with the Gay Person of the Year Award. It is very encouraging for the further work to revise the Fetish and SM diagnoses, to receive such a prize from LLH.

LLH leader Tore Holte Follestad also delivered a letter from the ReviseF65 group to Mr. Dagfinn Høybråten, Minister of Health (Christian Democratic Party) on November 28. This laid out the professional and human rights arguments which underlie the move to take away the SM and Fetish diagnoses. This is the first official initiative from the ReviseF65 group to Norwegian political authorities.

Professional articles and lectures

Psychologist Odd Reiersøl’s 2002 article “SM: Causes and diagnoses”, can be read atwww.reviseF65.org/reiersol1.html. So far, this article has been translated into German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Russian, in addition to English. On August 21, 2003, Odd Reiersøl and Svein Skeid’s article “The ICD Diagnoses of Fetishism and SM” was finally accepted for print in a forthcoming special, double issue of the US periodical “Journal of Homosexuality” on SM. The article will be published simultaneously by The Haworth Press INC as a book on SM.

On June 20, 2003, psychiatrist Reidar Kjær (picture) made the presentation “Do we need all the Paraphilias?” at the International Psychiatric Conference on Diagnosis in Psychiatry. This was held in Vienna Austria and arranged by the World Psychiatric Association. Dr Kjær also held lectures (in Norwegian) entitled “Is SM and Fetish still a disease?” at the Gay Pride Days in Kristiansand on June 6, at the Gay Pride week in Oslo on June 24, and at the SM house “Nonna” October 24.

On March 10-14 2003, two members of the ReviseF65 mailing list; the Brazilian sexologist and clinical psychologist Maria Cristina Martins and the psychologist, psychoanalyst, Ph.D. in Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis by Paris VII University, Paulo Roberto Ceccarelli, presented a survey about SM and Fetish diagnoses at the XV World Congress of Sexology in Cuba. Their article, “The so-called “deviant” sexualities: Perversion or right to difference?”, can be read at the Revise web site. Dr. Charles Moser also gave a lecture about the paraphilia diagnoses at the same conference. Moser and Peggy J. Kleinplatz’ article “DSM-IV-TR and the Paraphilias: An Argument for Removal”, can also be found linked up from the ReviseF65 main page.

The web pages and the mailing list

The ReviseF65 index page was totally renovated in 2003, with separate professional and human rights sections. In the professional part you can read Dorothy Hayden’s interesting article “Is Sadomasochism a mental pathology?“.

Kathrin Passig’s exclusive special ReviseF65 version of the Datenschlag’s BISAM bibliography, which was established late 2002, was updated in October 2003. The bibliography is divided in two parts, one for the revision of diagnoses, and one for “Recommended general publications”.

Included in the Human rights section is information about the support to the ReviseF65 project from the International Mr Leather, John Pendal (picture). Eric and Svein met him during Europride in Manchester. He attended one of the four workshops we held in England during August. Pendal made public on August 26 that ReviseF65 is one of five projects that he will support during the year he holds the title. This should provide a good opportunity for informing people around the world about the Revise work. Svein also held a workshop during SM Pride in London August 2, and took hundreds of pictures of the SM Pride parade. Picture gallery from Europride in Manchester can be found here.

During 2003, the article about how Denmark removed the diagnosis of Sadomasochism in 1995 wastranslated into English. The Brazilian physician Beatriz Kotek has translated our web pages to Portuguese.

During August, the number of subscribers of the ReviseF65 mailing list increased by 50 percent, due to Reidar’s lecture in Vienna and Svein’s workshop in London. The list moderator, Ole, approved 40 new members to the list in 2003. At the end of the year, we were 87 members on the mailing list. Still we think there is low activity on the list. We hope that new members will present themselves and that people will express their opinions about and experiences of the diagnoses in question.

Svein Skeid, leader

ReviseF65 meets SM Germany

Report from Folsom Europe 2004

In 2004 the federal German organisation BVSM e.V. – Bundesvereinigung Sadomasochismus e.V. – started the work to remove the diagnoses of Sadomasochism, Fetishism and Transvestic Fetishism from their national version of ICD, International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organisation, WHO. This is important because, as with the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality, the more countries that stop using stigmatizing national SM and Fetish diagnoses, the bigger is the possibility that WHO will follow suit.

The ReviseF65 committee, located in Norway, had important talks with activists from German SM organisations both during Europride in Cologne in 2002, and held a workshop during the Folsom street weekend in Berlin September 3.-6., 2004. This brings hope to intensify the work towards SM/fetish prejudices in general, and the efforts to delete stigmatising SM and Fetish diagnoses from the ICD classification, in special.

ReviseF65 attended Europride in Cologne 2002. Among other things, we had important talks with german SM-activists, and was interviewed by the magazine of SMart-Rhein-Ruhr e.V.. This organisation is running 15 BDSM-communities within 11 towns in Germany. The SMart-Info brought a lot of information about the ReviseF65 efforts to delete stigmatising SM and Fetish diagnoses from the ICD classification published by the WHO – World Health Organisation.

Three weeks before the first Folsom Europe street fair in Berlin 2004, the ReviseF65 committee got a very warm invitation from the BVSM e.V. – Bundesvereinigung Sadomasochismus e.V. to meet them at their Folsom Street Fair booth to present and to inform people about our work. This Federal German organisation had been built up in the two years since I last visited Germany.

At a very short notice, together we were able to organise the production of 500 ReviseF65-flyers in both English and German which was distributed by Ole Johnsen and Svein Skeid from the ReviseF65 committee together with Erik Weisdal during the ten hour long Saturday street fair. As if there wouldn´t have been enough work organising the BVSM booth, Raven and Jayneway managed to organise the possibility for Svein to hold a lecture on Sunday, 5th, the day after the Folsom Europe. Within few days they found a space we could use for free and even organised a wonderfull buffet. Nearly 30 SM activists from organisations all over Germany, Austria and Holland visited the lecture and took part in the discussion afterwards. During the talks at the buffet it suddenly came to happen that what was planned as a nice afterhour for the Folsom weekend transformed into a network meeting of SM activists.

Before, during and after our stay in Berlin September 3.-6., 2004, we learned that central SMart-members I talked to in 2002, was founding member of the new federal SM organisation BVSM e.V., and that one of the main goals of BVSM is to work for the deletion of SM and Fetish diagnoses from the national version of the ICD in Germany. Both SMart-Rhein-Ruhr e.V. and BDSM-Berlin e.V. also support the ReviseF65 project.

This is very important because, as with the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality, the more countries that stop using their national SM and Fetish diagnoses, the bigger is the possibility that the World Health Organization will follow suit. This far, the diagnoses of Sadomasochism and Transvestism is completely out of use in Denmark since 1995. In the U.S., Sadomasochism, Fetishism and Transvestic Fetishism is considered to be a healthy form of sexual expression as long as it does not impair the daily functioning of the subject.

The Gay Movement more than 30 years ago considered it of fundamental importance to first delete the diagnosis of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), before any further major human rights improvement was possible. If a group is considered mentally ill, very few people will listen to your arguments aiming at reducing prejudice in society.

The ReviseF65 movement apply the same judgement today. We consider unprofessional and stigmatising SM and Fetish-diagnoses as possibly one of the biggest obstacles to the acceptance of our human rights. Abolishing them is a very important step in the effort to reduce prejudices towards the SM-Leather-Fetish-population.

The pansexual ReviseF65 committee, located in Norway, sets focus on the lack of scientific basis for today’s diagnoses and tries to stimulate the building-up of an international activist and professional network to delete these diagnoses.

One thing I am sure of. The BDSM community is able to reach our goal ourselves. We are not dependent of the Gay movement. But we can learn from their experiences as I referred to in my lecture during the Folsom weekend. Don’t expect anybody to fight for your freedom from discrimination, if you don’t do it yourself.

Like the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality that is no longer applied by the WHO, the SM and Fetish diagnoses are rarely used in clinical practice as a means to assist people. On the contrary the stigma attached to the diagnoses justifies various forms of harassment and discrimination of this sexual minority by the society. The ReviseF65 group can document that people are losing their jobs, the custody of their children etc., because of their SM-love, lifestyle and self-expression. Much of the discrimination is directly or indirectly a result of the diagnoses.

The ReviseF65 representatives look upon the Folsom Street Fair in general, and the Sunday ReviseF65 lecture in special as a big success. We have got feedback from our German friends that this visit and our contact can lead to closer cooperation and stronger efforts to delete the sm/fetish diagnoses.

All european Leather-SM-Fetish communities were invited to participate. One of the goals with The Folsom Europe Street Fair (like the mother arrangements in the US and Canada) was to strengthen the bonds within the Leather-SM-Fetish community, to raise money to several social projects like hiv and aids, and to reduce SM-Fetish pre-judgements by stepping in to the open public. The arrangement was supported by the City of Berlin, the Berlin Police, the Industrial Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Berlin and the Berlin Tourism Office.

What impressed us Norwegians most, besides all the people at the lecture, the wonderful weather, the very well organised street fair and all the proud and friendly leather/SM people of all colors, interests and sexual orientations, was among other things, the booths with leather- and rubber-men fighting hiv and aids, the Association of Gay and Lesbian Police Officers Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., the police Berlin with it’s contact persons for homosexual lifestyles, and not least all the SM activists at the booths of BVSM e.V., BDSM-Berlin e.V. and SMart-Rhein-Ruhr e.V. .

Svein Skeid

Leader of the ReviseF65 commitee

Sexual Freedom NOW (published 1996/98)

Testimony from Physicians and Psychiatrists
for the NOW S/M Policy Reform Statement

Physicians and psychiatrists about SM as a valid expression of adult consensual sexuality and an important part of people’s sexual orientation.


Psychiatrist Susan D. Wagenheim, M.D.

As a board-certified psychiatrist and supporter of the National Organization for Women, I write in support of amending the policy statement on consensual S/M. It is my understanding that S/M practice is a valid expression of adult consensual sexuality. In my private practice, I hear patients tell me frequently that they were “born this way”; ie submissive or dominant in sexual nature. Their experience is that S/M is their sexual ORIENTATION, and they “come out” to themselves much as homosexual and lesbian people do. With that understanding, there is no place in NOW for discrimination against a woman’s right to choose; her right to choose how, when and with whom to express her sexual self.
Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D.

S/M practitioners have been victimized by society as a whole and by many groups that should know better. There is no credible evidence that S/M practitioners have any more problems or issues than other sexual orientations. There is no data to suggest that S/M leads to violence. All research so far, indicates that S/M practitioners are indistinguishable from individuals with other sexual orientations, except by their sexual behavior. The revision of the NOW policy is long overdue.
June M. Reinisch, Ph.D., with Ruth Beasley, MLS. The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex

St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1990.

“Researchers estimate that 5 percent to 10 percent of the U.S. population engages in sadomasochism for sexual pleasure on at least an occasional basis, with most incidents being either mild or staged activities involving no real pain or violence. It appears that many more individuals prefer to play the masochist’s role than the sadist’s. It also appears that males are more likely to prefer sadomasochistic activities than females. This means that male sadists may have difficulty in finding willing masochistic females to be sexual partners.

“If partners are located, an agreement is reached about what will occur. The giving and receiving of actual or pretended physical pain or psychological humiliation occurs in most cares only within a carefully prearranged script. Any change from the expected scenario generally reduces sexual pleasure.

“Most often it is the receiver (the masochist), not the giver (the sadist), who sets and controls the exact type and extent of the couple’s activities. It might also interest you to know that in many such heterosexual relationships, the so-called traditional sex roles are reversed — with men playing the submissive or masochistic role. Sadomasochistic activities can also occur between homosexual couples.”
Havelock Ellis Studies of the Psychology of Sex (early 20th cent)

“The essence of sadomasochism is not so much “pain” as the overwhelming of one’s senses – emotionally more than physically. Active sexual masochism has little to do with pain and everything to do with the search for emotional pleasure.” Ellis believed that culture tries to stifle our “natural impulses, which become expressed through various emotional/physical representations of the heirarchal structure of society.”
Iwan Bloch 
Strange Sexual Practices (1933)

“Sexual abnormalities” were common in ordinary people, and that aberrations and deviations were as essential to life as the “sex impulse” itself. Masochism exists among socially powerful men for whom it was a “liberation from conventional pressure and the professional mask.”
Theodore Reik’s 
Masochism in Modern Man (1941)

“Pleasure is the aim, never to be abolished and the masochistic staging is but a circuitous way to reach that aim. The urge for pleasure is so powerful that anxiety and the idea of punishment themselves are drawn into its sphere.”
Bill Thompson 
Sadomasochism (1994)

“As SM devotees carefully refine these simple acts, by dressing them up in role-play, it is easy to see how they are deliberately manipulating various forms of stimulation in the service of sexual arousal; and how this consenting scene where the submissive’s pleasure is carefully planned is obviously very different from a truly coercive act like rape, which involves aggressive action designed to inflict acute pain on a non-aroused victim.”
Dolf Zillmann (1984) [D. Zillmann along with Park Elliot Dietz are two of the world’s leading authorities on the relationship between sex and aggression.]

“As the arousing capacity of novel partners is likely to fade and acute emotional reactions such as fear and guilt are improbable accompaniments of sexual activity, what can be done to combat the drabness of routine sexual engagements that is expected to result from excitatory habituation? Rough housing, pinching, biting and beating emerge as viable answers. In terms of a theory it is the controlled engagement of pain that holds promise of reliably producing excitatory reaction for transfer into sexual behavior and experience…. Pain then always can be counted on to stir up excitement, however, pain must be secondary to sexual excitedness. It must be dominated by sexual stimulation. Only when thus dominated can it be expected to enhance sexual excitedness.”
Park Elliot Dietz (1990) [P.E. Dietz is a forensic psychologist who consistently tries to point out the absurdity of the link between s/m devotees and psychotic criminals.]

According to Dietz, the five main differences between psychotic sadistic serial murderers and SM devotees:

1. Psychotics search for unwilling partners. S/M devotees use a “safeword” that the submissive can say at any time to end the scene, thus the submissive retains real control throughout the encounter.

2. Psychotics force their acts on the victim rather than aiming at pleasing the submissive (as in s/m). The psychotic sadistic acts are quite different from s/m practices, and usually include: forced anal penetration, forced fellatio, or violent vagina-penetration with various foreign objects -rather than the penis.

3. The sadistic offenders’ demeanor is diametrically opposed to s/m devotees: usually the psychotic is detached and unemotional throughout the torture, while the s/m dominant appears to achieve a “high” or pleasure equivalent during the scene.

4. Psychotic criminals torture their victims, inflicting serious and permanent injury, trying to arouse terror in their victims. S/M devotees skillfully enhance the sexual arousal of their partner, following the rules and guidelines that were established before the scene, thus creating only the illusion that the submissive is not in control.

5. Psychotics usually have a past history of sexual crimes such as rape or incest. S/M devotees are average people who typically don’t have criminal pasts.
The sociologists took their lead from the anthropologist Paul Gebhard, whose 1968 essay “Fetishism and Sadomasochism” undermined the idea of individual pathology by pointing to sadomasochism’s cultural roots, and the futility of defining a widespread and diffuse sexual practice by reference to a few “extreme” examples. He stated that S/M practices were “only prevalent in its organized form in literate societies full of symbolic meanings.” This means that far from being a manifestation of a base instinct, sadomasochism required a considerable amount of intelligence and organization.
1929 Hamilton survey on marriage habits: 28% males and 29% females admitted that they derived “pleasant thrills” from having some form of “pain” inflicted on them.
William A. Henkin, PhD.; November 1992 letter to the committee that advocated changes to the entries on sexual sadism and masochism in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

“In conclusion: consensual sadomasochism offers its adherants an opportunity to explore paraphilic urges and fantasies, not in a dangerous or debilitating fashion, but in a safe and supportive manner, where those urges and fantasies can be pleasurably satisfied, and where their values in a person’s psychic life can be revealed.

“Within the past decade prominent clinicians and scholars in the fields of psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, and clinical sexology, eschewing the received wisdom of past masters who south to fit clinical observations to their theories, rather than the other way around, have instead made serious attempts to understand the activities of consensual sadomasochism as well as the dynamic processes that underlie them, and to devise theories that fit the evidence they found in the lab, in the consulting room, and in the field. They have proposed that consensual erotic power play is not a psychiatric disorder: that instead, it can simply be a form of sexual pleasure, and that as a path of psychological and spiritual development it can even be the evidence and experience of triumph over childhood adversity.

“Absent distress, harm, or functional impairment, to define such activity as a mental disorder is to place chains on the human spirit, and to produce a chilling effect on the very processes we as psychotherapists are trained and charged to abet: the healing and liberation of damaged and imprisoned personalities, and their integration in the full creative expression of human beings.”
Dr. William A. Henkin, 1989 presentation to the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (now Sexuality) with Sybil Holiday, published in 1991 as “Erotic Power Play,” Sandmutopia Guardian.

A Clinical Introduction:

“Everyone accomplishes some degree of self-identification in the normal course of growing up. But the process of growing up is one of acculturation as well as one of maturation, so that as we are in the midst of discovering all those special attributes that make us who we are, we are simultaneously being trained to subdue, suppress, or otherwise disown important facets of ourselves. In the ensuing confusion, few people grow up whole. Instead we are to one degree or another dis-integrated, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as being separated into component parts or particles; reduced to fragments; having had our cohesion or integrity broken up. Disintegration is the condition that as adults we either accept or try to alter.

“One of the most direct ways I know for a person to gain access to hidden facets of his self, and hence to move toward integration, is to explore his sexual personas ; and one of the most direct ways I know for a person to explore his sexual personas is to examine the attitudes he brings to sexual activity. But to examine sexual attitudes usually requires more than intellectual assessment: it first needs exposure, practice, and hands-on experience. It also requires a perspective concerning the variety of people’s experiences that is not influenced by cultural norms.”

On negotiation:

“Negotiation includes both initial and ongoing, verbal and non-verbal communications. In erotic power play, negotiation is the underpinning for consensuality: you cannot agree, or consent, to give something if you do not know it has been requested, or to accept something if you do not know it has been offered. In addition, the more completely and openly people negotiate about what they want or have to offer, the more they establish their parity, as it is difficult for unequals to negotiate truly: all parties know that ultimately the person with more inherent power can pull rank.”

On Ritual:

“A major function of ritual is to let us know who we are beyond the confines of our small, individual selves. Baptisms, confirmations, bar and bas mitzvahs, long pants, graduations, marriages – all ceremonies tell us, even as they announce it, who we are to ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and our world.

“Anthropologists, ethnologists, mythologists, and other psychologists of culture note that where a heritage of meaningful rites of passage does not exist, people will feel enough of a spiritual imbalance to make up rituals of their own. It’s become a cliché that our society offers us a paucity of rituals that touch the spirit, and that those that exist are for the most part competitive or not negotiated: football games, invasions of small islands, and the episodic opportunity to vote for more of the same.

“In erotic power play, rituals of substance can be conceived, developed, and executed in ways that can touch their participants on numerous levels at once: they can be physical, emotional, cognitive, or spiritual; sexual, political, and religious; they are simultaneously as sophisticated and creative as the human imagination can make them, and as basic and primitive as the psyche’s drives for power and sexual fulfillment.”

Discrimination and violence towards the SM/fetish population (Revise F65, 2004; NCSF, 1999)

(Some more discrimination cases are included under “Discrimination and stigmatization” on the full index page: Site map!)
Discrimination and violence towards the SM/fetish population (Revise F65, 2004; NCSF, 1999)

 

A lot indicates that the instances of violence, harassment and discrimination in connection with work, home and custody of children that we are aware of are just the tip of the iceberg. As the situation stands today, it is often spokespeople for SM interest organisations etc. that by the power of their visibility experience discrimination. The pathologising and diagnosis of the World Health Organisation (WHO) are often the direct or indirect cause of these attacks.

As a person interested in SM/fetish, you risk losing your job, custody of your children, problems with neighbours, your innermost circle of friends and your closest family members. This then means that we might not have so many sources of support left in our lives. Many people therefore choose to keep their orientation hidden because of the fear of what could happen if they disclosed this.

As a consequence, many individuals do not report being attacked because of the fear of being further harassed by the police. Even if 36 percent of respondents in the American study described below experience violence and harassment, 96 percent of these didn’t report this. As a taboo minority, SM ers and fetishists also experience a significant degree of suppression and invisibility in society, including in the press. When we are referred to, this is usually in connection with “scandals” where the people in question’s sexual orientation is used as a piquant detail to spice up the story for readers.

Violence and harassment

A study (n=1017) undertaken by the SM rights organisation The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), shows that belonging to the SM community and SM sexual orientation generally speaking means that an individual exposes themselves for being socially stigmatised.

Thirty-six percent of subjects had been subjected to violence or harassment because of their SM/fetish orientation. This included verbal insults (reported by 87%), physical violence (25%), stalking (19%), damage to property (19%), blackmail (17%), sexual harassment (13%), rape (10%) and other types or violence or harassment (7%).
https://ncsfreedom.org/component/k2/item/452-ncsfs-violence-and-discrimination-survey.html

The swedish police department Säpo point our that lesbians and gay men are the group that is exposed to most violence and persecution in Sweden. The worst attacks have happened at events with a theme of SM and fetish. See:www.revisef65.org/fefestninger.html [Norwegian text only]

EXAMPLE 1
In Norway, the newspaper Klassekampen (27th July 1990) and the monthly publication Blikk have documented how in 1992 a van with nazi symbols drove round the centre of Oslo threatened and shot at gay leather/SM men.

EXAMPLE 2
Nazi attack against RFSL
Nazist violence and murder of homosexuals is a large problem in Sweden. Leather- and SM- gay men are hardest hit.
Source: Qmagazine October 13, 1998
http://www.revisef65.org/linkoping2.html [Swedish text only]

EXAMPLE 3
Neo-nazis screamed, “bögjävlar” (“fucking buggers”) and made Nazi salutes to SM/fetish gay men. Nazi vandalism to the offices of the gay organisation RFSL has set off a debate about the risk level, with RFSL demanding that homosexuals should be covered by the law on hate crimes towards minority populations.
Source: Qmagazine October 19, 1997.
http://www.revisef65.org/linkoping.html [Swedish text only]

Discrimination

Thirty percent of individuals in NCSF’s study had experienced discrimination because of their SM orientation, preference or method of expression. Forty percent had experienced harassment, 25% loss of job or contract, 17% loss of promotion, loss of custody of children 3%, denial of membership to an organisation 11%, unauthorised arrest 5%, or other forms of discrimination.
https://ncsfreedom.org/component/k2/item/452-ncsfs-violence-and-discrimination-survey.html


Discrimination by official bodies

EXAMPLE 4
Lack of legal security for SM-ers
Denmark: Attacker escapes prosecution. By Ole Martin Larsen. Police in Copenhagen have refused to prosecute a man for rape because the victim is a masochist. The woman herself raised the alarm to police from the man’s home. She was found there by a police patrol, dissolved in tears, chained with both foot- and handcuffs and with blood streaming from cuts in her thighs. Despite this, the police consider that there is not sufficient evidence to convict the man.
“Even if I am a masochist, no still means no, and that should be respected. And I said this clearly, amongst other ways by calling the police. What is my legal security worth if this cannot lead to a conviction”, said the woman, a female doctor, to Berlingske Tidende. She has appealed to the public prosecutor about the police’s decision. According to the sadomasochist’s organization SMil, the case is unique, and raises a fundamental question of whether a no from a masochist has the same value as a no from others. Because of this, SMil considers the matter to be concerned with the legal security o f sexual minorities.

Source: Berlingske Tidende/Arbeiderbladet 22th October 1994.

EXAMPLE 5
Murderer goes free because victim was a sadomasochist
In August 1993, an American court of appeal let a brutal murderer free because the victim had written a sadomasochistic fantasy in their diary. In this way, people’s right to consent is placed outside the law because of their sexual orientation, even to the extent that their death has been involved.
Leitner v. State (1983) 631 So. 2d 278-9.
www.csun.edu/~hfspc002/PoliceFreeGaySlaves.html

The “sadomasochist” is often seen as having given up h/er rights to protection from violence or abuse. It is clear that homosexual men as prosecution witnesses face similar difficulties in credibility as heterosexual women. In August of 1993, an appellate court released a man convicted of murder because the murder victim had written a long sadomasochistic sexual fantasy in his journal and the trial court had refused this journal entry as evidence at trial. The fantasy is reproduced for the delight of the court in its entirety in the published case. The unspoken implication here is that a man who fantasizes about homosexual sadomasochism has somehow consented to a brutal murder: “The journal excerpt was essential to the appellant’s defense. It suggested Craven may have desired to be involved, and may have been involved in voluntary sadomasochist sex when he was killed. If he suffered from these desires, then he might have sought out an amenable partner”[20] who eventually killed him. (That wasn’t very “amenable” of the partner if you ask me). Again, the law has constituted the sadomasochist as an always-already willing victim, even to the point of death.[21] This opinion also highlights the idea of “voluntary sadomasochistic sex” as a “desire” that one “suffers from,” a common thread in much of this discourse. The official status of “perverse” desire is thus situated as a medical and psychiatric condition that places those “afflicted” beyond the protection of the law and unworthy of inclusion in “civilized” society.


EXAMPLE 6
English rapist freed because of victim’s SM orientation
In a rape case heard at Leicester Crown Court in England on 29th November 1994, the defendant was freed even though rapist Ben Emerson had admitted the attack. The discovery of SM toys in the woman’s flat, together with her sexual leaning, led to the rapist being freed. Do we see any similarities here to the general debate concerning rape about “loose” and scantily clad women who are not taken seriously when they say “no”. It is actually the woman’s sexual leaning that stands in the dock, not the perpetrator’s acknowledge attack.
Source: Press Association Newsfile 30th November 1994; “Student Cleared in Body-Piercing Rape Case”.

1994: The “crime” of being a pervert: Despite of a self identified rapists confession, on 29 November 1994, a man was found “not guilty” of rape at Leicester Crown Court, because SM-toys was found in the female victim’s apartment. “There can be no doubt from the evidence that what was really on trial during this event was the prosecution witness’s sexuality — the mere existence of an interest in kinky sex made her charge of rape untenable”, writes Ben Attias at the California State University of Northridge, USA. “A woman’s privilege to say “no” to sex is here circumscribed by the discursive apparatus invoked by her sexuality — a woman with an interest in sadomasochism, rubber skirts, and body piercing, judge and jury seem to have reasoned, cannot be raped. Her sexuality implicitly predisposes her to consent to sex — she is inscribed as always already willing.” [Ben Attias http://www.csun.edu/~hfspc002/PoliceFreeGaySlaves.html] [“Student Cleared in Body-Piercing Rape Case,” Press Association Newsfile, 30 November 1994].

Rape Defendant Ben Emerson

Despite this frank confession, Ben Emerson was awarded a verdict of “not guilty” of rape on 29 November 1994, after a two-minute jury deliberation at Leicester Crown Court. The judge commented to the jury, “I wholeheartedly agree with your verdict.” The judge had actually recommended to the jury that it render a quick decision before even hearing the defense’s case: “At the end of the prosecution case the judge summarized the alleged victim’s evidence and reminded the jury how she and Emerson had oral sex without her objecting at her home….the judge told the jury: ‘When he went to get some baby oil to massage her body, what is this young man to think when he finds in the drawer artificial penises, magazines designed to excite sexually? He finds a riding crop near her bed and chains on the bed,” (ibid). After the trial, a friend of Emerson stated, “Justice was served in the end.”

“Justice,” in this case, meant the release of a self-identified rapist because the “alleged” victim had committed the prior crime of being a pervert. There can be no doubt from the evidence that what was really on trial during this event was the prosecution witness’s sexuality — the mere existence of an interest in kinky sex made her charge of rape untenable. A woman’s privilege to say “no” to sex is here circumscribed by the discursive apparatus invoked by her sexuality — a woman with an interest in sadomasochism, rubber skirts, and body-piercing, judge and jury seem to have reasoned, cannot be raped. Her sexuality implicitly predisposes her to consent to sex — she is inscribed as always-already willing. Ben Emerson, quoted in “Student Cleared in Body-Piercing Rape Case,” Press Association Newsfile (30 November 1994). www.csun.edu/~hfspc002/PoliceFreeGaySlaves.html

EXAMPLE 7
USA: Released after multiple rapes
Donald Kekich, Bruce Battista, Harold Phillips and Daniel Phillips were found not guilty by Ohio’s court of appeal of having carried out rape and mistreatment throughout the night of 14th July 1977. The victim Jane Lucas had been careless enough to write a birthday card to Kekich from which her masochistic interest was clear. By the force of her sexual leaning she was seen as “always willing” and prepared for sex and in practice declared to without the legal capacity to oppose the attack.
Source: [17] State v. Battista, Case Nos. CA 4815 & CA 4816, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth Appellate District, Stark County, Ohio, Slip Opinion 8th November 1978.

On 8 November 1978, an Ohio appellate court handed down a similar verdict to two men accused of rape, felonious assault, and felonious sexual penetration. The court included a detailed description of the events of 14 July 1977 in the court transcript, providing an account of victim Jane Lucas’ testimony “[a]t the risk of memorializing the conduct of the Defendants for the future delight of the sexually perverse.”[17] This invocation of a notion of potential prurient interest in the testimony of the victim is characteristic of the Court’s treatment of the issues involved — outright violence is sexualized and treated as potentially “nonserious” in the serious context of the courtroom.[18]

According to Lucas’ testimony, she drove to Donald Kekich’s apartment with the intention of having sex with him. When they got there, Kekich told her to undress and asked if she needed to use the bathroom. In the bathroom, she was grabbed by a naked man (Howard Phillips, another of the defendants), raped, and severely beaten. Kekich and Phillips continued to rape and beat her for hours, later taking her to the apartment of other friends who joined in her torture, which lasted all night and included being threatened with a shotgun, which was then shoved inside of her while pictures were taken.

The defendants were convicted of “felonious sexual penetration,” but were acquitted of rape and assault on the basis of the discursive apparatus mobilized by the following testimony: “She asked for everything. She asked to blow you, she asked to go to bed with you. I mean, every sex act that happened was through her. I mean came out of her mouth and with each and every guy,” (Bruce Battista). The appellate court vacated convictions on rape and assault charges based on testimony from a friend of Lucas’ that she had overheard Lucas express masochistic fantasies, and the following birthday card sent by Lucas to Kekich, with whom she had a sexual relationship prior to the assault:

“I think you’re a brute, an animal and a Sex Fiend! — And I want you to know I appreciate it! Happy Birthday! To a man who won’t stand anything he doesn’t like, do without anything he desires, or even be polite to people unless they please him. As mean as you are – you will live a century & then some – Happy Birthday, Turkey!

…Love, Janie Lucas”

According to the appellate court, “It is evident in the instant case that Jane Lucas who accompanied Donald Kekich, Bruce Battista, Harold Phillips and Daniel Phillips initially by invitation got much more than she bargained for. However, it is equally obvious from evidence of record and especially from the birthday card admitted as Defendants’ exhibit, supra, that had acts which followed been limited to sexual conduct it would not have been necessary to compel Jane Lucas to submit by force or threat of force and that no charges would have been filed with nothing further being heard of such occurrences.”

Here the mere suggestion that Ms. Lucas might have consented without force to a sado-masochistic sexual relationship is taken as a priori evidence that she cannot legally be raped. Again, her sexuality inscribes her as always-already willing. The appellate court’s conviction of the defendants on charges of “felonious sexual penetration” further indicates that what went wrong on July, 14, 1977, was not so much the violence and terror to which Ms. Lucas was subjected, but rather the introduction of a foreign object into one of her orifices — the defendants, in other words, were convicted of violating a dildo law. (The relevant portion of the law states as follows: “No person without privilege to do so [it is unclear who has this privilege] shall insert any instrument, apparatus, or object into the vaginal or anal cavity of another, not the spouse of the offender, when any of the following apply: (1) The offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force…”)

 

EXAMPLE 8
The Spanner case
A hundred years after the case against Oscar Wilde, England has been the only land in Europe to criminalise safe, sane and consenting SM-sex between equal gay partners. Heterosexual sadomasochists have been found not guilty for similar activities. In the European Commission of Human Rights, seven lands voted to free the Spanner gay men, while 11 wanted to convict them. Subsequently the court unanimously followed the majority vote in 1997. The tragedy here is that the Nordic lands would have counted in the balance of votes. If they had supported the Spanner gay men, then the opposite outcome would have been achieved. The Norwegian representative didn’t even turn up to vote. In the English highest court of appeal (1993), the Spanner men were sentenced by three votes to one. The convicted men have received moral and economic support from a collective Norwegian and international gay movement and a range of Norwegian political organisations with many hundreds of thousands of members from both the political left and right. This was a broad mobilisation of people for important principles such as freedom from harassment and not being allowed to work in the public sector, the right to free expression and adult individuals’ right to take their own decisions regarding their bodies and sexuality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Spanner

An official appointed British Law Commission in 1995 came to the conclusion that SM or sadomasochism, short of causing serious or permanently disabling injury, should be no crime between consenting adults. – Under the Law Commission’s new proposals, the Spanner men would never have been prosecuted, according to the director of the civil rights group Liberty, John Wadham (Pink Paper December 22, 1995).
http://www.revisef65.org/lawcomm1.html

Discrimination on the internet

EXAMPLE 9
AOL discriminates against gay SM people
Gay rights organisations threatened to boycott internet service provider AOL because America OnLine discriminated against SMers, whilst racists’ and homophobes’ expressions are tolerated. On Monday, NationalGayLobby.org demonstrated outside the town hall in San Francisco because AOL had removed the user profile of a SM gay man which included the words “submissive” and “bottom”. Activists warned that this would be just the first in a series of protests if AOL didn’t stop the censorship or throw out the homophobes.
Source: Wired News 25.10.1999.
www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,32106,00.html

EXAMPLE 10
SM-censorship on Geocities
The Swedish website Robin1 for lesbians and gay men was censored by Geocities after Robin1 posted up theme pages on fetishism. There was no pornography on the pages. Here, you can read Robins story about the censorship and about his own coming out process as a leatherman. Skeive nyheter December 1997. www.revisef65.org/fesmsensurgeocities.html[Sorry, only in Swedish]

Scandalisation in the press

“Sado-murder” and “sado-rape” are usual headlines when the tabloid press want to bring out the spicy details that are supposed to send a shiver down reader’s spines and sell more papers. Despite modern research having shown that SMers are no more likely to commit crimes, the person’s “sadomasochistic” learning is used as an obvious explanation for why the attack took place. The media do the same as they used to with homosexuals in terms of how they build up stereotypes. It is exactly this kind of media blunder that was in our time the reason that in 1981 an anti-discrimination law was passed in Norway relating to gay men and lesbians (Else Bugge Fougner and Berthold Grünfeld in Norway’s Offentlige Utredninger (NOU) om strafferettslig vern for homofile, 1979).

One of many possible examples, the case described here is the witch hunt against the SM-er and weapons inspector Harvey McGeorge.

EXAMPLE 11
Witch hunt against human rights activist
The American weapons inspector Harvey McGeorge (53) was scandalised and ridiculed in the press throughout the world because he had worked to inform people about safe, sane and consenting SM sex. The weapons inspector’s Swedish boss, Hans Blix, stated however that McGeorge’s private life was not relevant to his position as a weapons inspector. Source: Smia-info 30th November 2002. www.revisef65.org/fefnsm.html [mostly Norwegian. One English link]
http://www.londonfetishscene.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2207:qsaddamasochistq-revealed-as-weapons-inspector&catid=30&Itemid=76

Loss of job

There are many examples where fetishists and SM-ers lose their jobs because of their SM interest and orientation. Others are threatened with dismissal if they continue to inform people publicly about the group’s human rights.

A survey among readers of “The Leather Journal” in 2001 could indicate that one in four fetishists experiences discrimination at work.
http://www.theleatherjournal.com/?q=politics

A study undertaken by the SM rights organisation The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, NCSF, shows that one in 13 SM-ers had lost their job because of their orientation.
https://ncsfreedom.org/component/k2/item/452-ncsfs-violence-and-discrimination-survey.html

EXAMPLE 12
Threatened with dismissal
”Lasse”. In 1996, Oslo local authority threatened to dismiss a 22 year-old Norwegian bisexual male musician from his job in a free theatre group for children if he did not stop giving out information about fetishism in the media. The man was at this point a committee member in the Norwegian fetish organization Colorful People and had taken part in a debate on fetishism on ZTV. The man chose to sacrifice his freedom of expression in order to keep his job.
Source: Personal documentation.

EXAMPLE 13
Dismissal of temporary worker
”Kjersti”. In December 2000, a 26 year-old Norwegian heterosexual woman lost her temporary job as a salesperson in an insurance company in Eastern Norway because of her openness about her SM-orientation. This occurred despite the fact that she had completed internal training with the best results of the entire new intake of temporary staff. At a teambuilding seminar, participants were invited to tell their colleagues something about themselves that the others didn’t know about. The woman wondered whether to tell them about her interest in SM, but felt that this would not be quite right and therefore chose to contribute something else. Later the same evening, after dinner had been eaten and the atmosphere was more relaxed, she opened up to two or three of her colleagues and told them a bit about her interest in SM. This was met with good humour and taken as something “cool” by the colleagues, and in the first couple of weeks back at the office, this was joked about with “kinky” jokes in breaks, especially between the woman and these colleagues. The team leader heard the jokes, but did not share in the humour. Two weeks later, the woman was dismissed. The boss blamed this on the firm’s financial situation and said that he had taken on too many new employee s. However, the consultant in the deputy agency that had sent her to the firm in the first place afterwards gave her a friendly hint not to be so open about private matters in her next job. Two months later, the insurance company advertised again for new temporary staff for its sales team – temporary work with the possibility of permanent employment. The woman chose not to fight for her job, in the belief that she was only a temporary worker and therefore did not have the same rights as a permanent employee. Additionally, she would have been labeled as a troublemaker and would perhaps have missed out on the possibility of getting work through the temping agency in the future.
Source: Personal documentation

EXAMPLE 14
Dismissal of teacher at primary school
“Eros”. Norway, place unknown, 2003. A person of unknown sex, aged between 20 and 40 years. The person worked as a teacher in a primary school and is active in the Norwegian SM scene. In the course of the first few months in 2003, members of the local community around the school worked became aware of the person in question’s SM preferences. The person in question had not “come out” by themselves; this knowledge being made public was due to gossip behind their back. The gossip reached the school’s administration and the person received a sharp reaction from the school’s leadership: they were dismissed from their position at the school. It is hopeless to take up the fight again a dismissal like this. Such dismissals are clearly against the law, but should a person win a case against their employer, it would be just about impossible for the person to return to their workplace. The possibilities are all too great that the remaining employees would be in possession of misinformation and prejudices which would mean that they would not look upon that person as unsuitable to work with children, and as a result would “freeze” them out within the workplace.

EXAMPLE 15
Lost children because of SM diagnosis
“Hilde”. In 1997, a 42–year-old Norwegian woman in Eastern Norway let herself be pressured by her own lawyer to give up her custody of her two daughters after her divorce. The lawyer considered that the woman had a poor legal case because SM is defined as a psychiatric illness in Norway. This happened after her ex-husband got hold of the woman’s holiday photographs which showed her interest in SM – sado-masochism. He passed the photographs on to his lawyer. The children were also informed about the woman’s orientation. Today, the woman lives almost 40 Norwegian miles (400 kilometres/248 English miles) away from her children, but has partially regained contact with them after many years without contact.
Source: SMil-bladet, no. 2, 2002.

EXAMPLE 16
Children lost their father for 10 years
“Severin”. In 1983, a 39-year-old Norwegian man, who had been open with his wife of 12 years about his homosexual SM-orientation, lost shared custody rights of his three children (6, 10 and 12 years) because of his fetish- and SM-orientation. The smallest details of the man’s private sexual life was described by his ex-wife and her new husband in the court case (with jury). After this, he did not see his children for 10 years, until them became old enough to themselves make contact with him. Today, the man has a good relationship to them. An important element of the case is that the man was granted visitation rights to the children, something that was sabotaged by his ex-wife throughout the years of separation from his children.
Source: Personal documentation.

EXAMPLE 17
SM-preference does not affect caring ability
“Janne”. A 28-year-old Norwegian heterosexual woman had her parental rights to her two small boys under the age of six withdrawn in 2000 after she had asked the Child Protection department for help after the break-up of her partnership with the children’s father. Her ex-partner later became aware of her new interest in SM via an unknown source and informed the Child Protection department of this. SM-orientation was taken as a sign of illness and that the woman was not fit to be a parent. She was also reported for inadequate parenting of her children. The ”judgment” on the loss of parental rights including the woman’s SM-orientation, was announced by the Child Protection department in the presence of the children. After this, the woman was only allowed to have the children for between one and a half to two hours, one or two times a month, under supervision. She was not allowed to see the children in her own home. It became clear in the time following the judgment that the children had not received inadequate parenting from the woman, but instead one or both were born with a mild learning difficulty, which made him/them somewhat more demanding than unaffected children. The woman has employed a lawyer who is pursuing the case. The woman also wishes that something good should come out of the whole affair; namely that experts used in comparative cases in the future should intuitively know that the sexual preferences of adults – what one enjoys together with one’s partner – has nothing to do with a person’s qualities as a parent.
Source: Personal documentation.

Trashing: SM women harassed by other women

As with other types of attack, it looks as if women are especially vulnerable. According to the Jad Keres report from 1994, 56% of lesbian or bisexual women have experienced discrimination and violence from other women in the lesbian scene because of their interest in SM

https://ncsfreedom.org/component/k2/item/453-violence-against-s/m-women-within-the-lesbian-community-a-nation-wide-survey.html

One quarter of the sm women surveyed were physically assaulted by members of the lesbian community.

Discrimination within the lesbian community affects 30% of the women surveyed because of their sm orientation, including being ejected or refused admittance from a public accommodation, denied housing, and/or refused membership in a social, recreational, political, educational or spiritual lesbian group.

The lesbian author Pat Califia (Patrick Califa-Rice) in an interview with the Swedish paper Homoplaneten describes the harassment “trashing” of American SM activists:

“SM lesbians are beaten up and closed out from women’s social meeting places. Our literature is burned, they call our employers and say that we are perverts so that we lose our jobs”.
Source: “Samtaler med Pat Califia” [Talks with Pat Califia]. RFSL 12.10.1998.
http://www.rfsl.se/?p=3815&aid=4757

Things show that trashing where the most radical feminists harass women also happens in Norway. SM lesbians here too are denied entry to women’s social meeting places.

EXAMPLE 18
“Banners that express support of SM go against the basis guidelines for
having banners and the “8th of March”- days intentions and are therefore unacceptable in the parade.
Decision of the 8th of March committee in Oslo on 20th February 1997.
Source: Letter and telephone call from 8. mars-komiteen 1997.

EXAMPLE 19
A 32-year old lesbian woman was in 1997 outed and publicly exhibited as an SM‘er at her place of work by a Norwegian extreme radical feminist. The 32-year-old had taken part in a newspaper debate on SM and arranged a meeting on this theme. The feminist participated in a educational gathering at the woman’s workplace. The 32-year-old was not at the gathering, but figured as a therapist on a video used in the session. The feminist recognised the lesbian women on the video and said in front of the victim’s colleagues, head of department and representatives from other institutions “It is shocking that this woman works as a therapist when she is an SM-er”.
When the lesbian woman came back to work after the weekend, shocked colleagues told her what had been said. The victim felt that she had to turn up at a meeting of all the employees and prepared herself for the fact that she might no longer be able to work there. After this, the situation calmed down and the woman no longer works there.
Source: personal documentation

EXAMPLE 20
It can seem as if certain feminists systematically teach women to fear SM women and SM lesbians. The same 32-year-old mentioned above also experienced in 1995 that a colleague at an institute for outreach work with young people refused to work with the SM woman “because she couldn’t feel safe with the woman’s attitude towards violence”. The woman was called in by her boss in connection with the matter, but he didn’t have any problems with the SM lesbian’s sexual orientation. Neither did the third person in the team, a muslim American, have problems with this. The woman was at that time the leader of an SM rights organisation.
Source: personal documentation.

“The Gay Leatherman” – a SM Documentary

SMfilm

“The Gay Leatherman” - a SM Documentary

 

The short film “The Gay Leather man” (“Lærhomsen”) with participants from SMia, SLM and Revise F65, was shown for the first time June 23, 2006 in Oslo. The 25 minute long documentary, which in a humorous way demystifies the most common prejudices against fetishism and sadomasochism, has later been shown for several educational purposes in addition to film festivals including Lillehammer and Volda Norway, Gay Days in Oslo, Fulda Germany, Stockholm, Cleveland, San Francisco, Kiel Germany, and several times at CineKink New York. English subtitles.

The film ”The Gay Leatherman” (Lærhomsen) from 2006 has already become a classic. The 25 minutes long documentary by Lars Joakim Ringom demystifies in a humorous way the most common prejudices against fetishism and sadomasochism.

The film was met with standing ovations at the German speaking BVSM-congress in june 2007 because of it’s “balanced combination of empathic documentation, situation comedy, unexpected turnovers and an intensive BDSM session.”

A journalist and sexologist from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, wrote:

“The Gay Leatherman is a beatiful, warm, humorous and touching short film. It is about how to live as a gay leatherman, and how sadomasochism can be practised in a safe, sane and consensual way.”

Svein Skeid, a Norwegian SM activist, shows us public reactions to rubber fetishism in front of central institutions of power in Oslo, like the Parliament building and the Royal Castle.

The film is interesting for everybody into those interests never the less if you are gay, bi or straight. It can also be be suitable for educational purposes, e.g. health workers, and may be, public tv viewing.

The non-commersial film, with non-professional partisipants, is subtitled into English.

 

52 pictures from The Gay Leatherman:

11 pictures from The Gay Leatherman:
http://web.mac.com/olavtrygg/iWeb/Parade07/Laerhomsen.html

In German:
http://www.sklavenzentrale.com/index.php?dores=1&act=mag&article&artID=2373

In Norwegian
:
Standing ovation in Germany (2.6.07)
www.revisef65.org/fulda.html

Honourable mention at the Film festival in Volda april 2007.
VG 18.4.2007 www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=191045
Dagbladet 2.7.2006 www.revisef65.org/SMfilmGro.html
P4-nyhetene 19.4.2007 www.p4.no/story.aspx?id=228115
Blikk 18.4.2007 www.blikk.no/nyheter/sak.html?kat=1&id=8021
Blikk 22.9.2006 www.blikk.no/nyheter/sak.html?kat=1&id=6417
Wikipedia about Lars Joakim Ringom
http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lars_Joakim_Ringom
About Svein Skeid www.revisef65.org/fesveinhomoaerespris.html.

Mandate, background and some of the Revise F65 efforts since 1994

Revise F65:
Professional and health political work 1994-2009

NB: LLH in 2016 changed its name to FRI – The Norwegian Organization for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

 

The award-winning work to remove SM and fetish diagnoses is groundbreaking because health care professionals and human rights activists cooperate across sexual orientation and across borders to lay a foundation and set the premises for a pioneering human rights reform.

By Svein Skeid

The ReviseF65 committee is a subsidiary of LLH, the Norwegian LGBT Association, with a political mandate from all the biennial LLH National Conventions since 1996. ReviseF65 also has a mandate from the international lesbian and gay movement (ILGA 1999), The European leather club confederation (ECMC 2000) and the federal German SM organization (BVSM e.V. 2004). 

The LLH mandate

The purpose of Revise F65 is to remove Fetishism, Transvestism and Sadomasochism as psychiatric diagnoses from the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and translated into national versions world wide (mandate from the 1996 biennial national convention of LLH).

The mandate was based on a national survey conducted among the nearly two thousand lesbian and gay members of LLH, “rejecting discrimination of leather, SM and transgender people, and judging this diversity as a valuable resource” (according to the 1998 LLH convention).

According to the 2000 LLH convention (picture), Revise F65 “shall establish a professional basis for the work and lobbying official authorities to remove the diagnoses.”

At the 2004 LLH convention, the Revise F65 mandate was explicitly expressed in the organization’s political platform. This is especially important and a big victory because the Norwegian gay and lesbian movement often ”forget” to include their SM/fetish minority in their budgets, working plans and the previous political platform from 1996.

Professional and human rights work

Even though the main purpose is to abolish SM and fetish diagnoses, Revise F65 is also involved in general work against discrimination and harassment of fetishists and sadomasochists. Some of this work is mentioned here.

In addition to national work, Revise F65 also have an international mandate to motivate other countries to remove their national versions of the SM/fetish ICD diagnoses. The more countries that remove their diagnoses, the greater is the possibility that the World Health Organization will follow suit. This is what happened in many countries in the years before the World Health Organization removed homosexuality as a diagnosis from the ICD classification in 1990.

Inbetween formal committee meetings there has been national and international network building, lectures, workshops, participation at congresses, seminars and festivals. We have been giving interviews, publishing articles, film production, book contribution, periodicals, and lobbying of official health politicans and mental health professionals.

The ReviseF65 project concerns both gays, straights and transgender people. Therefore the ReviseF65 committee consists of leather/SM/fetish men and women representing organizations of leather and SM gays, – lesbians, bi- and heterosexuals, as well as professionals in sexology, psychology and psychiatry. Several dozen people have been involved during the years to a greater or lesser degree on a national basis. Even more people on an international level.

The name “F65” is a chapter in the International Classification of Diseases describing the so called “paraphilias”, earlier called “perversions”. It also contains other paraphilias. Obviously, we primarily want to delete the SM and Fetish diagnoses concerning consenting adults.

Background

Today we know that SM and fetish people played an important role in the modern gay rights movement from the very beginning in Norway and world wide. We were central in establishing the gay and lesbian organization in Norway in the 1950’s. Many leading persons in the gay movement have later been into fetish and SM, and still are. ”Without a face”, we are working for the welfare of gay and lesbians in general. Nevertheless, as a minority within a minority, gay and lesbian leather people experience discrimination within the homosexual movement.

When Norway’s first fetish and SM club, Scandinavian Leather Men (SLM), was founded in 1976, the gay leather members were regarded as violent and reactionary nazis. When the pansexual SM-organization SMil was established in 1988, leading Norwegian psychiatrists called it’s members ”violent” and ”disturbed persons” not being able to feel empathy.

The impetus behind the F65 repeal movement was the flourishing of SM pride, with fetish men and women parading through the streets during Gay Pride week. Leather people were tired of being object of derision in the tabloids.

The group Lesbians in Leather founded in 1993, was a precursor of Smia, founded in 1995, a human-rights group for lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people.  All these groups, namely Lesbians in Leather, Smia and ReviseF65 are subsidiaries of LLH, and were founded by Svein Skeid.

From 1993 to 1997 Smia campaigned and set about fund-raising (£ 2000) in favour of the defendants in the British Spanner Case, which started in Manchester 1987. We gained support of several dozen Norwegian political organizations, including women‘s rights groups and trade unions, not to mention the unanimous backing of the Lesbian and Gay movement.

In 1997, the Revise F65 committee was formally established by Smia, individual transgender people, and mental health professionals. SLM and SMil joined the committee in 1998, thus the coalition continued to grow.

Long term project

Since 1996, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision, the Norwegian Directorate of Health and Social Welfare (since 2002), andthe Norwegian Directorate of Health (since 2008), has supported Smia’s work financially to strengthen the self-esteem and identity of gay leather men as part of strategies to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Stigmatizing fetish and SM practices, in our opinion, amounts to an insult against healthy leather-people and, therefore, runs counter to effective public health and safer sex education efforts. It seemed like a paradox that the same official health authorities who grant money to LLH, SLM and Smia, who encourage a positive identity for fetishists and sadomasochists for the HIV prevention and other issues, also represent the agencies that employ the discriminatory and stigmatizing diagnoses of these practices.

The American Psychiatric Association, APA, considerably revised their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) spring 1994. Fall 1994 and May 1995 Dual-role transvestism and the SM diagnoses were repealed in Denmark. Both decisions were founded on research showing that SM is no disease.

Inspired by these incidents, the Norwegian gay and lesbian organization in September 1994 and June 1996 asked the Norwegian Health Authorities for help to bring about the same changes in Norway. The answer from the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision was totally negative.

We then realized that our initiative would be a long term project.

 

 

March 8, 1996. Smia was thrown out of the International Women’s Day parade in Oslo because of our slogan “SM is interplay, not violence”. The mistaken blending of SM and violence were introduced by the Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing and is still kept alive by the ICD chapter F65.5 Sadomasochism.
Decision by the March 8 committee in Oslo Februar 20, 1997 (letter and telephone from Turid Kjernsli in the March 8 committee) (The newspaper Klassekampen March 8, 1996).

July 1998. The online newspaper skeivenyheter.no wrote about SM/fetish diagnoses and BDSM human rights in the years before revisef65.org was established.

November 1998. SM – A sexy diagnosis. “Removal of SM and fetish diagnoses is one of the most important tasks of the human rights group Smia.” Smia is the prime mover behind the Revise F65 group. Report in the monthly gay and lesbian magazine Blikk.

Participants in the ReviseF65 group in 1996 promoted the democratic revision of the rules and policy of the gay leather umbrella organization “European Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs”, ECMC, so as to address issues of sexual politics. In 2000 the more than 50 ECMC member clubs, following a proposal by SLM-Oslo, decided to support the Revise F65 effort.
The gay and lesbian magazine Blikk Desember 1998. “Fri tanke”, the magazine of The Norwegian Humanist Association December 10, 1998.

January 1999 professional leader [fagsjef] Ellen Hagemo in the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision wrongly contended that “we cannot just change the national version of the ICD diagnoses”. (According to report from Revise F65 meeting January 20, 1999.)

The umbrella organization for European gay and lesbian rights, European ILGA, issued a statement at it’s 1999 conference in Pisa, Italy, supporting the efforts to remove the diagnoses from the ICD. The Revise F65 member Ole Johnsen also gave a workshop.

February 19, 2000. Svein Skeid (picture) was awarded honorary member of the SLM leather organization for his work over twenty years for BDSM human rights and the BDSM community, including the work to remove fetish and SM diagnoses.

The LLH Convention in 2000 once again approved the ReviseF65 project, which “shall continue until the goal is attained”.

November 18, 2001. Svein Skeid held a presentation about SM human rights, including the Revise F65 efforts, at the University of Agder, Norway.

The Revise F65 web site, established in 2002 in Norwegian, English, German and Portuguese, along with the corresponding mailing list, has facilitated national and international networks. In 2002 the ReviseF65 group had mail correspondence and personal contact with activists and professionals or held lectures in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil and USA. Updated 2012: Iceland, Sweden, Finland, South Africa, Chile, Taiwan, Cuba, Australia, Italy, France, Scotland, Czech Republic and Poland.

“There is something very exciting about connecting up with others who work towards the same goals across the world. Thank you for making this possible.”
Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Psychologist , sex therapist and sex educator teaching at the University of Ottawa, Canada, July 30, 2002)

The web site has also given Revise F65 a good opportunity to disseminate a range of material about its work. Psychologist Odd Reiersøl’s 2002 article “SM: Causes and diagnoses“, in particular, was a great inspiration both in Norway and abroad. To our knowledge, the article has been translated into German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Russian, in addition to Norwegian and English.

In november 2002 member of the Revise committee Eric Barstad (picture) attended the lesbian SM congress WALP in Amsterdam. 148 participants from eleven countries listened to her briefing about the diagnoses, and during a mini workshop she made important international contacts.

The story and effort of the ReviseF65 project was printed late 2002 in the Bulletin of the Norwegian Society for Clinical Sexology. The ReviseF65 committee asked for, and received support on April 29, 2003 and May 8, 2003 from the Norwegian Association of Gay and Lesbian Physicians (HLLF) and the Norwegian Society for Clinical Sexology (NFKS). NFKS state:  “The Norwegian Association for Clinical Sexology in its support wishes to emphasize that the use of psychiatric diagnoses in relation to homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual fetishists, sadomasochists and transvestic fetishists is stigmatizing and therefore an encroachment upon this group as a whole” (letter of June 11, 2003).

“We have been working with the Revise F65 diagnoses for some years now and we realise that it has a long way to go. But if I live till I am eighty, and we are taken off the sick list at that time, I will be fairly pleased. You can compare it with the fight for gay and lesbian human rights. It took a long time for them to be deleted from the sick list too.” Svein Skeid (52) interviewed by the SMil magazine no 4, 2002.

Dr. Charles Moser (picture) held a a lecture for the American Psychiatric Association’s APA’s annual meeting in San Francisco May 16-22, 2003. Revise F65 project psychiatrist Reidar Kjær had a one hour long talk with Dr. Moser in connection with the APA Conference.

On June 20, 2003, psychiatrist Reidar Kjær (picture) held the presentation “Do we need all the Paraphilias?” at the International Psychiatric Conference on Diagnosis in Psychiatry. This was held in Vienna Austria and arranged by the World Psychiatric Association. Dr Kjær also held lectures (in Norwegian) entitled “Are SM and Fetish still diseases?” at the Gay Pride Days in Kristiansand on June 6, at the Gay Pride week in Oslo on June 24, and at the SM house “Nonna” October 24.

On June 28, 2003 during the Gay Pride Week in Oslo, Svein Skeid was honouredwith the Gay Person of the Year Award, because of his SM human rights work in general, and the ReviseF65 work to remove SM and fetish diagnoses. The award was an acknowledgement to everybody that has supported and contributed to the ReviseF65 work (and that is many people!). Among them the contributing organizations LLH, SMil, SLM, Smia and our specialists in psychology and psychiatry. The award is also an acknowledgement to everybody working for an open and inclusive leather/SM/fetish society.

LLH leader Tore Holte Follestad personally delivered a letter from the ReviseF65 committee to Mr. Dagfinn Høybråten, Minister of Health (Christian Democratic Party) on November 28, 2003. This laid out the professional and human rights arguments which underlie the move to take away the SM and Fetish diagnoses. We never got any answer to this letter.

Two days later, November 30, 2003, SMia and Revise F65 also sent the application “Diagnoses, discrimination and HIV” to the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs [avd. Forebyggende sosial- og helsetjenester] asking them to remove stigmatizing psychiatric diagnoses from the Norwegian version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). We never got any answer to this question either.

March 10-14, 2003, two members of the ReviseF65 mailing list; the Brazilian sexologist and clinical psychologist Maria Cristina Martins and the psychologist, psychoanalyst, Ph.D. in Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis by Paris VII University, Paulo Roberto Ceccarelli, presented a survey about SM and Fetish diagnoses at the XV World Congress of Sexology in Cuba. Their article, “The so-called “deviant” sexualities: Perversion or right to difference?”, can be read at the Revise web site. Dr. Charles Moser also gave a lecture about the paraphilia diagnoses at the same conference. Moser and Peggy J. Kleinplatz’ article “DSM-IV-TR and the Paraphilias: An Argument for Removal”, can also be found linked up from the ReviseF65 main page.

The ReviseF65 index page was renovated in 2003, with separate professional and human rights sections. In the professional part you can read Dorothy Hayden’s article “Is Sadomasochism a mental pathology?“.

After ReviseF65 lectures and strategy talks in Cologne 2002, Berlin 2004, and Fulda 2007, the federal German BVSM e.V. organization since 2004 is working towards the same goal as ReviseF65 – to delete the national German version of the F65-diagnoses. The same do Smart Rhein-Ruhr, BDSM Berlin, Papiertiger, die Datenschlag-Chronik des Sadomasochismus and Das Fetish & BDSM-Referat Uni Ulm.

After five workshops at Europride in Manchester 2003, SM Pride in London 2003 and Kinkfest in London 2004, Revise F65 cooperates with Spanner Trust and International Mr Leather 2003, John Pendal, who became our official supporter and world wide ambassador. He also visited Revise F65 in Oslo, May 2004.

http://www.revisef65.org/UKreportIML.html

http://www.pawscave.dircon.co.uk/IML/support.htm

http://www.pawscave.dircon.co.uk/IML/being10.htm

http://www.revisef65.org/smpride.html

http://www.revisef65.org/manchester.html

Lectures on Revise F65 were given at two international psychiatrist congresses and onesexology congress in 2004.

In 2004 Revise F65 established a bank account and made it possible to use a “Make a donation”-button on the ReviseF65 webpage.

In November 2004 Revise F65 published a case study indicating that stigmatizing psychiatric diagnoses legitimize harassment and violence towards the fetish/SM population.

We also published evidence that SM/fetish people have no higher degree of psychopathologythan the rest of the population. Revise F65 also tried to carry out our own research projects. But in spite of several attempts, we didn’t succeed. The efforts were aborted due to lack of support from the educational and political institutions approached.

According to Wikipedia, “ReviseF65 is now [2004] by far the most active and visible groupworking with sexual politics and human rights for sadomasochists and fetishists in Norway.”

 

 

2005

May 2005 the leader of Smia and Revise F65 contributed to the brochure S&M and fetish sex between men, dealing with how to go about sadomasochism and fetish sex between men safely without transmitting HIV and other kinds of sexually transmitted infections. Supported by the Norwegian Directorate of Health and Social Welfare, translated to English December 4, 2007.

June 23, 2005 the Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid gave a lecture on the subject: “SM – health or disease?” at the Faculty of Theology (!) in Oslo, Norway for 90 gay and lesbian christians from all over Europe.

Revise F65 not only cooperates with mental health professionals. October 17, 2005, we published the article ”SM and the law”, concluding that SM or sadomasochism is legal in Norway as long as consent is given and no serious injury is inflicted. It is illegal to leave somebody helpless in bondage, and a safeword is highly recommended. The author of the article, Halvor Frihagen, is a lawyer in Oslo, Norway.

2006

At the international Labour Day May 1, 2006, the Norwegian Labour Party arranged an “Online May Day March” where everybody was encouraged to propose online slogans for Mai 1-banners. The banner “Say no to discrimination of homosexuals” was approved by the webmaster. SMil and Revise F65 proposed “Say no to discrimination of BDSM people”. The banner was removed. So was the slogan “Remove fetish and SM diagnoses”. SMil and Revise F65 wrote letters to the Norwegian Labour Party protesting against censorship of kinky friendly slogans in an online May Day 2006 parade. We also had a meeting with the gay and lesbian Labour Party group.

The short film “The Gay Leather man” (“Lærhomsen”) with participants from SMia, SLM and Revise F65, was shown for the first time June 23, 2006 in Oslo. The 25 minute long documentary, which in a humorous way demystifies the most common prejudices against fetishism and sadomasochism, has later been shown for several educational purposes in addition to film festivals including Lillehammer Norway, Volda Norway, Gay Days in Oslo, Fulda Germany, Stockholm, Cleveland, San Francisco, Kiel Germany, and several times at CineKink New York. English subtitles.

An article by Cand. Psycol Odd Reiersøl and Svein Skeid on the Revise 65 project published in Sadomasochism, Powerful Pleasures (2006), concludes that The ICD diagnoses of Fetishism, Transvestic fetishism and Sadomasochism are superfluous, outdated, non scientific and stigmatizing. The article was published simultaneously in a special, double issue of the periodical Journal of Homosexuality Volume 50, 2/3.

Revise F65 in 2006 established a cooperation with The National Leather Association’s Domestic violence project and published an article about the differences between SM and violence.

September 28, 2006. The lesbian, BDSM and trans activist Tore Barstad/Eric Jåsunddied 32 years old from complications related to type 1 diabetes. Eric participated in the constitution of Revise F65 and has been leader of Smia and Revise F65. Eric was a self-defined female to unisexual SM/leather/rubber transgender person. Eric participated in dozens of press interviews and seminars to demystify SM. In particular Eric held close contact with the national and international lesbian BDSM community, including the Swedish lesbian BDSM group LASH, which was a central actor to repeal fetish and SM diagnoses in Sweden.

2007

January 2007. ”With leather for freedom”. Interview with the leader of Smia and Revise F65 Svein Skeid about his BDSM human rights work for more than twenty years, included the work to remove fetish and SM diagnoses. The periodical Cupido no 1, 2007.

February 17, 2007. The leader of Revise F65 Svein Skeid informed the SLM annual general meeting about the book project ”Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures” (2006), which SLM supported financially. Especially I emphasized the historical role of gay leather men and women as a primary driving force behind establishment of the ReviseF65 movement, the gay and lesbian movement, the leather pride flag and the moral ethical slogan ”Safe, sane, consensual”.

In applications of February 15, 2007 and February 15, 2008, to the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs (Departement for environment and health), SMia and Revise F65 offered to give lectures for staff members at the Directorate about the stigmatizing effect of fetish and SM diagnoses on the fetish/SM population. The offer was never replied to.

April 15-19, 2007, psychologist Odd Reiersøl (picture) gave an important lecture at the WAS-congress (World Association for Sexual health) in Sidney Australia. Mental health professionals and health politicals from all over the world attended, among them several Norwegians. The lecture was later published as the article “The Fetish and SM Diagnoses in ICD-10” in the Journal of the Norwegian Psychological Association, Vol 45, no 6, 2008, pp 754-756.

Psychiatrist Reidar Kjær May 3, 2007 held the lecture “Stigma, psychiatry and the SM/fetish diagnoses” on a sexologist seminar about Shame and Sexuality at Sexologisenteret NB 22 in Oslo. We also showed the documentary “The Gay Leatherman”.

May 7, 2007 Classification Coordinator Bedirhan Ustun, MD, at the World Health Organization in Geneva invited Revise F65 to cooperate with the work leading up to the ICD-11 revision:

“The revision process of ICD from 10 to 11 is about to start and will be revised for the 11th version tentatively in 2015. The revision work will include special attention to Chapter V Mental and Behavioural disorders (F00-F99). Thanks for your interest in the ICD work and we hope to collaborate with you in the revision process.”

June, 2007. ”After the US considerably revised their DSM Manual spring 1994 and Denmark totally repealed their transvestism and SM diagnoses 1994/95, there is not anylonger only one way to read the ICD bible”. Svein Skeid’s article ”SM – myths and reality” at the Norwegian gay web community Gaysir.

2008

July 29, 2008. During Europride in Stockholm, Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid had talks with RFSU, participated in panel discussions and gave a presentation about the Revise F65 work. We literally gave them our memory stick with all relevant political health arguments and scientific evidence.

November 17, 2008, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) announced that Fetishism and Sadomasochism, along with four other sexual behaviours will be deleted from Sweden’s national version of the ICD diagnoses from January 1, 2009.

November 17, 2008. In a press release, the Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid characterized the Swedish decision as a victory for the fetish/SM population and for the Revise F65 strategy to motivate other countries to remove their national versions of the ICD SM/fetish diagnoses.

November 18, 2008. The Norwegian BDSM Organization SMil sent a letter to the Ministry of Health and Care Services asking him to remove fetish and SM diagnoses in Norway. In an answer December 19, 2008 the Ministry of Health and Care Services said they had given the Directorate of Health the responsibility to take a decision in the case.

2009

January 1, 2009. Inspired by Revise F65, the six diagnoses sadomasochism, fetishism, transvestism, fetishistic transvestism, multiple disorders of sexual preferences and gender identity disorder in youth, were deleted from Sweden’s official list of medical diagnoses. Except for gender identity disorder in youth, these are the same diagnoses that Revise F65 recommends be removed from the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases.

February 2, 2009, psychologist Odd Reiersøl and Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid had a short meeting at the Norwegian Directorate of Health where we delivered a memorandum with health political and professional arguments explaining why the SM and fetish diagnoses should be removed from the Norwegian ICD-edition.

http://www.revisef65.org/whitepaper.html

February 3, 2009, the Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid participated in the Norwegian tv program ”Studio fem”, demonstrating safer SM techniques and telling the audience the reason why SM and fetishism no longer are diseases in Sweden.

At a meeting with the Revise F65 committee and the Norwegian Directorate of Health May 11, 2009, Senior adviser Arild Johan Myrberg informed us that a decision to repeal Norwegian fetish and SM diagnoses can be announced fall 2009 with the intention of bringing the decision into force January 1, 2010.

September 17, 2009: Most English articles updated on ReviseF65.org, dead links removed or updated and English explanations added to several Norwegian articles.

September 24, 2009. In accordance with the invitation to Revise F65 from the WHO coordinator Bedirhan Ustun MD, May 7, 2007, Revise F65 sent an ”ICD White Paper” with health political and professional arguments to WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which is responsible for the ICD revision. The World Health Organization has now started the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, and an ICD-11 alpha draft is expected to be ready by May 10, 2010.

http://www.revisef65.org/icd_whitepaper.html

October 12, 2009. In a mail to Revise F65 from the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Senior adviser Arild Johan Myrberg informed that a decision to repeal Norwegian fetish and SM diagnoses once more is postponed with no specified date for bringing the decision into force.

November 18, 2009, psychologist Odd Reiersøl and Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid had a 40 minutes long phone talk with Senior Project Officer Dr. Geoffrey M. Reed, responsible for the revision of the ICD-10 Mental and Behavioural Disorders at WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Dr. Reed expressed great interest in the fact that more and more countries now remove fetish and SM diagnoses from their national versions of the ICD.

According to Dr. Reed, substantial changes in the ICD are dependent upon broad scientific and political support.

”It will be helpful for the recommendations to come from as broad an international coalition as possible, if possible with the formal involvement or endorsement of scientific and professional societies or governments.”
(Mail to Revise F65 September 25, 2009.)

November 30, 2009, Revise F65 sent a new letter to the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services expressing deep consern about the fact that the decision to remove fetish and SM diagnoses has been postphoned three times by the Directorate of Health. Supported by several psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists and mental health organizations, we stressed that the more countries that change their national ICD versions, the bigger is the chance that WHO will follow suit.

December 4, 2009. The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services now supports Revise F65 100%. In a letter from the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Directorate of Health was instructed to remove the diagnoses of Transvestism, Fetishism and Sadomasochism from the Norwegian version of ICD-10 from 2010. The Ministry asked for a confirmation by December 21, 2009.

December 21, 2009. In their answer to the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Directorate of Health pointed out that they are positive to the idea to remove Transvestism, Fetishism and Sadomasochism from the Norwegian version of ICD-10, just like Sweden has done. The Directorate strongly apologized for all the delays in 2009, and aimed to bring the case to a conclusion by February 1, 2010. “The decision can then possibly be brought into force immediately”, the Directorate wrote.

December 21, 2009. The next weeks Revise F65 will send a “Call to action” to our contacts world wide asking for testimony, quoted reference and supporting evidence from psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists, researchers of human sexuality and organizations in order to remove Fetishism, Sadomasochism and Transvestic Fetishism as paraphilic diagnoses from ICD, The International Classification of Diseases published by WHO. Such statements should be sent to Revise F65 (mail: sskeid(A)online.no), and will be forwarded by us to WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

As Dr. Reed emphasized, it will also be of great importance to move as many countries as possible to change their national diagnoses of Fetishism, Fetishistic transvestism and Sadomasochism.

Revise F65 recommend to abolish the following ICD diagnoses because they are superfluous, outdated, non scientific and stigmatizing.

F65.0 Fetishism

F65.1 Fetishistic transvestism

F65.5 Sadomasochism

F65.6 Multiple disorders of sexual preference

F64.1 Dual-role transvestism

See more health political and professional arguments at:

http://www.revisef65.org/icd_whitepaper.html

 

Regards,

Svein Skeid,

Leader of Revise F65

 

Examples of statements, quotes and evidence of support:

http://www.revisef65.org/europride3.html