One of the biggest difficulties queer, kinky, and/or polyamorous people face when looking for therapists or other mental health support is that professionals get very little training about any kind of sex, much less “alternative” sexualities. Despite the lack of any real correlation between being kinky (for example) and having mental health issues, many therapists assume that BDSM players are also abuse survivors. Of course, many kinky folks are, simply because there are a lot of survivors in the world, but if sexual assault caused kink, there’d be even more kinky folks. Similar attitudes about queers and polyamorous folks are also pretty common.
So it’s really great that the Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities is hosting the 3rd Annual Alternative Sexualities Conference on September 23 at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market St. in San Francisco. (Here’s a map.)
The presentation schedule is simply amazing. If you’re a therapist or other clinician, there will be plenty of useful information. Some of the talks include:
- What’s the story? Clinical, Cultural, and Personal Narratives
About Alternative Sexualities with Marty Klein, PhD
- SM Shadow Journeys into Trauma and Healing with Dossie Easton, MFT
- Historical Developments of Kink/Leather Communities with Rob Bienvenu, PhD and Gayle Rubin, PhD
- Neither Lazy Nor Crazy: “Barebacktivists” Reframing Risk with Alan D. Brown III, PhD, and Jeremy Holloway
You don’t need to be a professional to attend, so students and others with an interest in the topic are definitely welcome. And of course, therapists can get continuing education credit, too. Here’s the registration form.
And after the conference is over, head up to the Castro Theater for the 5th Annual Good Vibrations Independent Erotic Film Fest! It’s going to be an amazing show.
[Disclosure- I work at Good Vibrations and I’m on the CARAS advisory board.)