An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Saturday 9th March 2019 – Sunday 10th March 2019
Prague, Czech Republic
As an umbrella term for an expression of sexuality, kink and its associated expressions may evoke a variety of feelings. From curiosity, excitement, and enthusiasm to shame, disgust, and judgment, there is no shortage of opinions. Often those outside the kink community, or the ‘scene’, make assumptions about the activities and the people within it, based in part on religious or cultural norms, their own (mis)understandings, or books or films they may have seen.
In psychological terms, kink is just another expression of human sexuality; kink can encompass a myriad of activities and attitudes just as any form of sexuality can; it is part of the continuum, and the lines between conventional and kinky sex are far from easy to discern. As well, varying levels of kink exist, in all walks of life, and just as with every other sexual identity there are limits and likes and dislikes, levels of acceptance, and beliefs about it within the community itself.
In part due to recent novels and films, there is a growing acceptance – at least in the so-called Western world – of the kink lifestyle, but it’s important to remember that kink has been around for as long (most likely) as sex has. It has been written about for centuries (de Sade springs to mind), and it has been alluded to in film and photography as long as those arts have existed. For recent examples of course we have the 50 Shades phenomenon, but kink is showing up on Netflix in historical dramas (Babylon Berlin) and in Young Adult mainstream programming (Riverdale) as well as being available for visual consumption all over the internet.
The facet of interactive kink that is available to those not in the scene is intriguing as well. Anyone can attend Fetish Balls that occur in most large cities, and participate or just watch events – exhibitionism and voyeurism are not just accepted but encouraged – and kink demos show up at Cosplay Cons of all kinds across the US and Europe. Most of what the general public sees and hears about kink involve ropes, whips and chains – part of a subcategory called BDSM, a compound acronym for one form of kink that has gained more acceptance and popularity in mainstream media. BDSM stands for Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), and Sadism and Masochism (SM) and incorporates both physical and psychological elements. Physically, it may contain restraint and/or intense sensations while psychologically it may incorporate elements of power exchange. By definition, BDSM is explicitly consensual and never includes coercion or abuse, contrary to assumptions by those not privy to the intricate negotiations that precede any scenario.
Consent is in fact one of the underlying principles of the kink world – at least among those who practice it responsibly – and there are classes and seminars held to familiarize attendees with the terminology, the questions and answers, the potential risks, and more. Classes are also held in various techniques and skills, with bondage and flogging – whips – being most common.
Just as with other forms of sex play, kink crosses gender, sexual identity, age, race and socio-economic boundaries fluidly. Essentially, everywhere you find people having sex, you’ll find some of them crossing these lines. All in all, with kink becoming more mainstream, it warrants a closer look.
This inaugural inclusive interdisciplinary Kink conference sets out to investigate the variety of ways in which kink is being portrayed and practiced in people’s lives. We aim to highlight the different, often conflicting ways it is portrayed in the media with a view to forming a publication to engender further collaboration and discussion.
We hope to bring to light both the center and the fringes, creating a safe space in which to discuss, analyze, think about, and ask and answer questions about the ways that kink has been and continues to be a viable, healthy, exciting and safe expression of sexuality, and to examine taboos, stigma, discriminatory practices, biases and assumptions made about those who practice it.
We hope to create a lasting network of professionals in all fields related to this topic who will continue to share ideas, research findings, best practices, understandings, and perspectives in the global arena. We recognize that our focus in this CFP is for the most part a Western perspective, and we hope to rectify that through the work brought forth at this conference, and into the future.
We welcome any relevant and insightful contributions from classic presentations to proposals for workshops; topics for debates, panels or round tables; sharing of event-appropriate professional or personal experience or new apps, tools, toys, or technologies; or meaningful forms of artistic expression (film, poetry, photography exhibitions etc.)
Unlike other conferences, our event intends to include a variety of perspectives and disciplines from academics, scholars, practitioners, therapists, journalists, lawmakers, educators, enthusiasts and artists to collaborate on interdisciplinary aspects of kink.
Some of our suggested main issues to be approached include (but are not limited to):
The history of kink: Historical origins; evolution of acceptance and disapproval; pathologizing kink
Kink and Media: How is kink portrayed in literature, art, music, film, pornography, and popular media?
The politics of kink: Laws surrounding kink; stigma; discrimination
Relationships and kink: Relationship dynamics; relationship rules and contracts
Kink and censorship
Kink and technology: How is technology advancing kink?
Kink as an identity
What kink can teach us about consent: Safe, Sane and Consensual vs Risk Aware Consensual Kink
Fantasies and kink: The power of roleplay
Issues in therapy
Scene setting, safety, and aftercare
What happens when kink goes wrong?
Affect and kink: Shame; vulnerability; power; eroticism
Types of kink: Fetishes; Edge Play; Bondage/Restraint; Physical Discipline; Intense Stimulation; Sensory Deprivation; Body Alteration Activities
We also welcome additional proposal themes not listed related to kink.
What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 12th October 2018. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 26th October 2018
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 25th January 2019.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Kink Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
For enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details and information please visit the conference web page: http://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/gender-a...
Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions