Mixtapes for Hookers

Citizens Against Trafficking Tackle Folks “Recruiting Children” For Kink Seminars

On March 20th, Donna Hughes and an economics professor named Margaret Brooks sent out a Citizens Against Trafficking newsletter (PDF) that does not mention anything at all about trafficking.  Not even in passing.  Not once.

It does, however, use a completely imaginary threat of  “children learning about sex” to mock and discredit a man from San Francisco who briefly passed through Providence over a month ago.

Maymay is the creator of the KinkForAll unconference, an open forum for kink education that’s taken place in cities across the country over the past year.  The idea behind Kink For All is that anyone can attend and anyone can teach if they want to.  However, Hughes and Brooks are (belatedly) not amused:  “CAT believes [Maymay] and his friends are dangerous to the community.”  Because he may have something to do with human trafficking, the alleged area of concern for CAT?  No, of course not.

Because he is “recruiting children” to teach them about kink.

Hughes and Brooks argue that Maymay is interested in “recruiting children” to come to his events.  But in CAT’s world, children and minors are words that can be used interchangeably.  Also, the only evidence of minors attending any Kink For All events at all is “one teenager” who attended a New York event last summer.  CAT then warps that to say “According to [Maymay], children have attended previous KinkforAll events.”  Is one teenager “children”?  How old was this teenager?  Seventeen?  That’s a teenager, but that’s old enough to legally be have consensual sex with any other adult in the state of New York.  So why shouldn’t he or she be allowed to attend?

CAT’s haunting depictions of event planning are particularly amusing:

“The organizers of KinkforAll events are strategically working to hold their events in public places.”

Strategically working!  Also:

“[Maymay] is technologically savvy. He uses  social media like Twitter, Google wave, Facebook, Fetlife to plan and advertise their  events. He and his supporters print customized fliers with rip‐off tabs at the bottom and distribute these across the neighborhood weeks before an event. They actively reach out to the news media with press releases.”

Customized flyers!  Press releases!  Social media!

Of course, one person on the other side of the country can’t do much with customized flyers with rip-off tabs, which brings me to the point that Maymay wasn’t even the organizer of the Providence Kink For All event.  It was locally put on and promoted by SHEEC, the Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council at Brown.  So why doesn’t CAT launch into a tirade about Aida Manduley, who is the group’s president and who actually lives in Providence?  Just because Maymay’s an easier target, I’m guessing.  Over the course of the newsletter’s six pages, they criticize Maymay for his sex life, his apparently troubled childhood and his history of bipolar disorder.

In early February, Maymay posted a message to his Twitter followers asking for examples of “college-aged and younger youth” fighting for better sex education; CAT again uses the phrase “recruit children” when they mention this.

Hughes and Brooks may not be wrong when they point out that the vast majority of people are horrified and repulsed by kink.  But does that mean that those who do think it’s okay shouldn’t be allowed to learn about safe practices, about recent developments, or about new people in the area that are interested in this scene?

Hilariously, they also present KinkForAll as a for-profit venture, because there are t-shirts and tote bags available for sale at the events, because Maymay runs a (completely free and completely ad-free) Tumblr page, and because he “he is the webmaster for a BDSM college student group.”  Factoring in travel expenses, I would like to take a poll to see how many people would consider this to be a successful for-profit enterprise.  (Then again, math is not CAT’s strongest suit; they say Maymay’s got four more events coming up but then list five cities.)

Hughes and Brooks’s paranoid lunacy is fully realized in the newsletter’s final paragraph:

In our opinion, the open and  unstructured format of a KinkforAll event is dangerous because it encourages outsiders to attend, mingle, and speak anonymously with young people about unhealthy sex and violent  sexual practices. These conditions offer an open invitation for sex offenders to attend,  potentially placing both participants and the entire local community, especially children, at risk.

OK, guys.  Maybe you should try to think about human trafficking?  Some people think that’s a bigger concern than a weekend-long festival six weeks ago that was marketed towards Brown students.

[nb: Although I had heard about it I didn’t go to the Kink For All event; I actually did worry about the format a little, but mainly I skipped it because I’m not actually a very kinky person.]

UPDATE: In my original post I forgot to link to Maymay’s own response to the newsletter.  Also Elizabeth Wood, who has herself been the target of a CAT newsletter, responds.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Matt, my name’s Aida Manduley. ;)

Comment by sucklingserpents

Oh, also, KinkForAlls aren’t just about kink; they’re about all the intersections of life & sexuality (so, say, you’ll find talks on Taoism and sex, or aphrodisiac foods, or how to have a lot of fun in missionary position, whatever). Thing is, every conference is different, because the topics are chosen by the presenters and participants.

Anyway, I’d love it if you attended the next one in Providence. :)

Comment by sucklingserpents

Fixed! I actually meant to double-check your name last night when I started this, but I’m forgetful sometimes. Of course this happened the same day I pointed out CAT’s spelling errors.

Comment by mixtapesforhookers

Hey, at least you fix ’em, unlike other people. ;)


Comment by sucklingserpents

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