Media Update – October 2, 2003

1. Sample Letter to the Editor regarding the Black Rose conference
2. Ocean City groups oppose fetish convention set for Nov.
3. OC woman plans protest against sex convention
4. Event could tarnish resort: Black Rose doesn't fit image
5. Furor Mounts Over Sex Expo
6. O.C. Woman Plans Protest Against Sex Convention
7. Controversy Heats Up In OC Over Sex Convention
8. Student bondage club makes comeback at ISU

1. Sample Letter to the Editor regarding the Black Rose conference
2. Ocean City groups oppose fetish convention set for Nov.
3. OC woman plans protest against sex convention
4. Event could tarnish resort: Black Rose doesn't fit image
5. Furor Mounts Over Sex Expo
6. O.C. Woman Plans Protest Against Sex Convention
7. Controversy Heats Up In OC Over Sex Convention
8. Student bondage club makes comeback at ISU

Special Notice:

NCSF is actively engaged in media advocacy on behalf of Black Rose and their conference being held in Ocean City. Please write a letter to the editor, using the sample below as a guide. If you are not from the local area, include the fact that Ocean City relies on tourists from other locations to contribute to the economy of their town.

Dear Editor,

In regards to your recent article on the BR conference, this is a private event for adults only. The attendees are just like you–they are parents, friends, coworkers, and married couples. The attendees are participating in this educational conference to get safer sex information, and to learn more about themselves and their relationships. They are responsible, law-abiding citizens who have the right to privacy.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Your City or State
Your Phone Number (for verifications purposes only)

Ocean City groups oppose fetish convention set for Nov.
By Chris Guy
Baltimore Sun
September 27, 2003

Plans for a convention in Ocean City promoting sadism, masochism, bondage and other sexual fetishes have sparked a furor and threats of protests from business, religious and community activists in the Atlantic resort.

"This is just an atrocious group, and now their Web site is linked to the Ocean City events calendar," said James McGinniss, who says he hopes to arrange a rally at the Princess Royale. "There are a lot of people who want to see this stopped, but so far it's been individuals."

"I've been chastised by some locals and some businesses. The e-mails and phone calls are running 2 to 1 against this group," said Jon B. Tremellen, the hotel's general manager. "I believe that if we prevent them from coming here, we open the door to all kinds of discrimination. We've had [the Unification Church] and other groups that someone might not like, but I've never refused to rent to any group that had valid references."

"Nobody wanted to put this in the face of people in Ocean City," said Wright, a self-described sadomasochist who lives in New York and works as a science-fiction writer. "We're interested in promoting safe techniques, which is something that requires practice. There will be no [public] sex. There are probably 250 events around the country every year without problems." [cont.]

To read this article go to:
http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.rose27sep27,0,4663342.story?coll=bal-local-headlines
To respond, write to: feedback@sunspot.net

OC woman plans protest against sex convention
By Joe E. Carmean Jr.
Daily Times (MD)
September 26, 2003

An Ocean City woman is organizing a protest to deter the more than 2,000 members of a sadism and masochism group from coming to the Lower Shore in mid-November.

Christine Pinnero, an Ocean City mother of four, said Thursday that when she learned of the Black Rose convention, she began organizing a protest, which is set for Nov. 2 at noon. "Maybe people think someone like myself is a prude, but I'm not," she said. "But, I've raised four children and moved to this so-called family area only to be totally, totally disgusted."

Susan Wright, spokesperson for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, said Thursday that Black Rose is an educational group. "More than 75 percent of the people are couples, most of them married, who are looking for ways to improve their relationships," she said. "In fact, 5 to 10 percent of the adult population engages in some form of sadism, masochism at least on a limited basis."

Wright said she doesn't want people to get hung up on the sexual aspects of Black Rose, but she also said its members have a right to congregate wherever they chose. "People don't have to agree with us or come to the conference or approve of what we're doing," she said. "But, they do have to tolerate us because that is what America is all about, diversity." [cont.]

To read this article, go to:
http://www.dailytimesonline.com/news/stories/20030926/localnews/333216.html
To respond, go to: http://delmarvanow.com/customerservice/contactus.html
and cc: jcarmean@salisbury.gannett.com.

Event could tarnish resort: Black Rose doesn't fit image
Editorial
Daily Times (MD)
September 24, 2003

Worcester County's All America City will play host to an unorthodox event that has residents, town officials and business owners in an uproar. Ocean City, while not officially sponsoring the event or in any way advocating the practices of members of the nonprofit group Black Rose is nonetheless the chosen spot for a convention that will attract thousands of people who engage in, well, let's just say unusual sexual practices. The event is touted by the organization as "three days of leather, workshops and parties."

The bottom line is Ocean City has no legal right to ban the group from gathering in the resort. But concerns expressed by residents and business owners are certainly legitimate. Ocean City has worked hard to create and maintain a family-friendly image. Black Rose, which promotes and encourages sadism, masochism, dominance and bondage, and even teaches techniques for engaging in these practices with like-minded individuals, is anything but family-oriented.

Some Ocean City residents complain loudly about the noise created by bikers and hot-rodders respectively when they gather in the area for events, but there is no comparing noisy vehicles and drag-racing with the level of discomfort this event is creating.

Father John P. Klevence of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Ocean City said of the event: "I don't think this is the best thing for Ocean City." [cont.]

To read this editorial, go to:
http://www.dailytimesonline.com/news/stories/20030924/opinion/319735.html
To respond, go to: http://www.delmarvanow.com/customerservice/contactus.html

Furor Mounts Over Sex Expo
By Benjamin L. Mook
The Dispatch (MD)
September 26, 2003

As first reported in The Dispatch last week, starting on Nov. 14, upwards of 1,000 members of Black Rose, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit group espousing support for "the many different expressions of power in love and play," will be in Ocean City for a weekend of events and workshops. The seventh annual self-titled event is billed by the group as the "world's largest" pansexual, bondage and sado-masochism gathering. As word of the convention spread, so has the groundswell of opposition ranging from religious leaders and community activists to outraged parents.

Plans began to spring up this week to organize rallies and even possibly a petition drive to stop the convention from happening. Among those who felt the need to publicly display their distaste over the spirit of the event is West Ocean City resident and mother of four Christine Pinnero. She plans to walk the sidewalks in front of the Princess Royale on Nov. 2 in an effort to persuade the property to cancel the convention.

The Ocean City Ministerial Society is expected to discuss the event at its next meeting as is the Common Cause Coalition at its meeting tomorrow. Even the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association touched on the convention at an executive meeting yesterday.

The furor over the Black Rose convention has come as a surprise to Susan Wright, spokeswoman for the Baltimore-base National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, an advocacy group for those pursuing sado-masochism, bondage and other alternative lifestyles, which is allied with Black Rose. "This is definitely a little unusual," she said.

Wright said most of the people into the lifestyle promoted by Black Rose are indistinguishable from others outside of what they choose to do behind closed doors. She said members often include professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, teacher and police officers, who share a preference for sado-masochism. [cont.]

To read this article, go to:
http://www.mdcoastdispatch.com/blackroseprotests_092603.html
To respond, write to: editor@mdcoastdispatch.com

O.C. Woman Plans Protest Against Sex Convention
WBAL News (MD)
September 26, 2003

On one side of the debate in this convention and tourism town on Maryland's lower shore is the Black Rose, a sado-masochist group whose 2,000 members plan to hold their national conference in mid-November.

"It's going to be a lot of sitting in chairs and people lecturing on how to better your relationship," said Susan Wright, a member of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and a spokeswoman for the group. "We're teaching people how to engage in alternative sexual expression safely. We teach how to communicate what you want and spice up your sex life."

On the other side is a group led by an Ocean City mother of four who sees the upcoming convention as an affront to her community's family image.

"Maybe people think someone like myself is a prude, but I'm not," said Christine Pinnero, who wants to lead a protest on Nov. 2. "But, I've raised four children and moved to this so-called family area only to be totally, totally disgusted." [cont.]

To read this news report, go to:
http://www.thewbalchannel.com/news/2515126/detail.html
To resond, go to: http://www.thewbalchannel.com/wbal/

Controversy Heats Up In OC Over Sex Convention
WBOC News (MD)
September 28, 2003

The alternative sex organization Black Rose is holding its annual event in November. 1200 members will be staying in the beach town to learn about bondage and dominance. The town's residents say it threatens their reputation of being a family destination.

"I think it would turn people away, we are squeaky clean, we pride ourselves, spent lots of money to do that, real adverse setback to everything we stand for."

City officials say they understand their concerns but they are reluctant to get involved. [cont.]

To read this article, go to:
http://wboc.com/showstory.asp?sid=17662&cid=2&secid=0
To respond, write to: wboc@wboc.com

Student bondage club makes comeback at ISU
By Staci Hupp
Des Moines Register
October 1, 2003

Jayme Howard spends his days at computer science class. At night, the Iowa State University freshman learns how to tie up and spank partners. He gets his nighttime lessons from Cuffs, a campus club that teaches students about bondage and other sexual fetishes.

A Christian family advocate said Tuesday that the group shows a need for lessons in morality among ISU students. "This is an alarm bell," said Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center in Pleasant Hill. Hurley says rape is vastly underreported on college campuses.

"I think for the university to condone this act in the light of the rape problem is like throwing gasoline on a destructive fire. It's just going to make it worse," he said.

"I have a high level of confidence in the ability of students to deal with these types of matters," said Regent Bob Downer of Iowa City. "It does strike me that this is a matter that is of a sufficiently unusual nature. It should be ascertained that there is no unlawful activity."

Hurley urged student leaders to deny club financing. "While the argument is made that this is consensual . . . sadism is disrespectful and masochism is self-disrespectful," Hurley said. "To fund something that is degrading or sexually violent can only lead to heartache." [cont.]

To read this article, go to:
http://www.dmregister.com/news/stories/c4780927/22390514.html
To respond, write to: letters@dmreg.com

HOW TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Feedback letters are an effective way to convey a positive image of alternate sexual practices such as SM, swinging, or polyamory. You can help to correct negative social myths and misconceptions about these types of practices. These letters help achieve the advocacy goals of the NCSF.

Generally, for a letter to be published, it's important to include your name (or first initial, last name), city and daytime phone (for verification only). For more information, see:
http://www.ncsfreedom.org/media/writelettertoeditor.htm

Please alert us to positive, negative or neutral stories about SM, swinging and polyamory at media@ncsfreedom.org

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