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London: Gay men’s health charity provides bondage and S&M course

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  1. What is happening to this site?

    Is it trying to transform itself from a news site into a new Gaydar?

    1. Staircase2 12 Mar 2013, 2:58pm

      Actually I completely disagree – Pink News has a large readership of gay people and so it makes perfect sense for the organisation to put out a press release true Pink News of their upcoming courses.

      Not quite sure what it is you’re saying actually…

      While I agree that Pink News has become woefully tabloid in many of its articles of late, I wholeheartedly disagree that this particular piece shouldn’t be here.

      There has been a growing tendency for gay men in particular to so desperately crave the respectability of normality that they are willing to turn their backs on our hard fought sexual liberation and become the very prudes that created the unfair laws that oppressed us for so long….

      This is not good

      1. My point is that this is a national news site. Not a London-centric messageboard for people with specific kinks.

        I’m no prude, believe me I’m far from it, but I do not believe this is the place to advertise this.

        1. ChrisMorley 12 Mar 2013, 3:59pm

          “This is a national news site”. Banning items about what’s going on in London (or Manchester, Blackpool, Brighton, pick a town) would make it difficult to justify reporting any news story from London, wouldn’t it?
          There is no message board function here.
          Where exactly is the right place to advertise such a course for ‘specific kinks’ through a press release?
          If it was a course for guys into men in suits, would that be OK?

          1. I have no problem with news stories being published about any region.

            My argument is that this isn’t a news stoy. It’s an advertisment for a sex course in London. And a very niche fetish one at that. If it was a course teaching general sex education to help empower young people, that would be different and most definitely newsworthy.

            And no, a course about men in suits wouldn’t be suitable. I don’t want advertisments. I want news.

            Do you honestly think that people into this stuff are unable to find it via any other method than through Pink News?

            If so I must introduce you to this wonderful new service:

            http://www.google.com

  2. This is good. People who are into S&M need to know these things.

    1. People who are into S&M do need to know these things, yes. But is this really the place? What next? Safe Dogging courses advertised in the Guardian? Fisting for beginners in the Times? This is a NEWS site.Though the people running it seem to have forgotten that recently.

      1. ChrisMorley 12 Mar 2013, 4:11pm

        This looks like legitimate news to me – news about new courses and events appear in all kinds of papers and websites.
        Most websites / national and local papers have a prominent What’s On section.
        Mumsnet publishes details of all kinds of courses of interest to mums, some of whom are lesbian;
        Antiques.co.uk carries details about BBC Antiques Roadshow dates and antique fairs.

        Relax – skip these items if you are not interested.

        1. Very true I completely agree with you, I just wish there was more stuff like this out there for the people that are interested, if there was a Women’s group doing this I would want to know and there aren’t many places that will put this kind of thing up, a lot of people are curious about these kind of things but they never make the news

  3. Yes, it’s not very relevant, not NEWS as such, and the GMFA have provided this course years ago, already. Don’t sell it to us as something new…check your facts first.

  4. There are occasions when I log on to my favourite gay news site wherein it feels like stepping into an alternate reality, in which the world as I knew it is even more insane than I imagined it to be.

    In an adjacent thread, GMFA head Matthew Hodson laments the vast drying up of sexual health resources and tacitly admits to the fact that HIV campaigns have not engaged with gay men.

    And now this?

    Now I have no problem with bondage:- a little bit of slap and tickle does nobody any harm so long as boundaries are drawn and respected.

    But in the current climate is this the sort of thing GMFA can justify when it is also crying poverty?

    And what message as the “gay men’s health charity” is the GMFA transmitting in the absense of any courses that seek to empower gay men into respecting their sexual health and the well being of those we partner with?

    Or is this yet another example of the HIV sector actively participating in the sleazification of gay culture ala Hardcell.org.uk?

    1. Incidentally, I know PN has column inches to fill (blush), but kindly consider differentiating twixt what are new items and what are blatant advertorials.

      The latter have surruptitiously been slipping in to the main news section of late, comments disabled presumably to muffle the yelps of abject indignation from PN diehards.

      On closer inspection t’would appear that gay men are being charged £60 to learn 101 ways to apply clothes pegs and mummification made easy.

      I know times are hard for GMFA and austerity bites, but really!!

      Weren’t the small ads at the back of QX intended to see those short of a few bob through the hard times?!

      Just saying…

      1. It’s becoming the Queer Daily Mail…not that I read that of course!

        :-0

  5. , Last week it was build a garden conservatory & this week s&m for beginners …. Next ??

    1. ‘Cross-stitch Made Easy’ would get my vote! :)

  6. Matthew of GMFA 12 Mar 2013, 3:25pm

    As many readers of Pink News know, GMFA used to regularly run the Bondage course alongside a wide variety of Groupwork (including Getting a Boyfriend, Assertiveness etc.). We have not run this course for more than 5 years as we have not had funding to do so, although we often receive enquiries about it.

    The volunteer facilitators of this course recently asked if we would work with them to run the course again, this time charging participants so that the costs of providing the course do not come out of GMFA’s funds, nor from HIV prevention funds.

    The Bondage Course does provide gay men with information on safer sex, including setting limits and negotiation of safer sex. In fact, this was a major factor in the volunteers being keen to run the course again, as younger gay men have started getting into the heavier sex scene in recent years but without the benefit of the discussions around safer sexual practise that used to be far more commonplace.

    1. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the course being offered. I just can’t understand why a course for a particular kink is being advertised on a news site. Especially when they are far greater needs regarding the sexual health of our community. Advertising a niche doesn’t seem like the wisest thing to do.

    2. Question: Do you think it is outrageous that gay children leave school with no relevant sexual health education? I learnt a skewed version of sex from porn devoid of love and intimacy and my first sex was with a man twice my age. I definately was not empowered or in control, quite the opposite insecure about my normality I was open to being taken advantage of by a string of men. I was not taught about the importance of condoms (my school said these were to prevent pregnancy, no mention of infections or other nasties and ‘risky’ behaviours. I wasn’t taught about the importance of regular sexual health screening or where my nearest clinics were etc…

      Do you not think that younger gay men would benefit by actually having this in the first place rather then learn by experimentation and their vulnerability exploited by others? If I had known this when I was 16 I would have made a lot of different choices and a lot less risks.

    3. Matthew, you miss the point entirely.

      It isn’t a question of whether or not such a course should exist.

      It IS a question of GMFA’s judgement in attaching its name to a course which, by association, mainstreams what are very underground sexual tastes:- just as THT’s hardcell.org.uk mainstreamed extreme sex by being advertised in QX and Boyz.

      As the self-proclaimed “gay men’s health charity” you should be being seen to take the lead in pushing programmes and courses that seek to empower gay men:- not titilate them with courses which have as their premise the subjugation and disempowerment of one or more persons over another.

      No doubt your cloud cuckoo land PC logic will try to justify why such a course is needed at this time and why we should not judge, blah blah.

      But thankfully gay men are finally seeing clearly the type of mindset that’s run riot in misguiding sexual health for 20 years, and how it’s time to get effective, REAL sexual health education back on track.

      1. ChrisMorley 12 Mar 2013, 4:35pm

        I’d rather the LGBT community was inclusive and accepting that we cover a wide range of types, preferences and interests.
        This is just one course, the first time in 5 years, and there’s a clear demand from some men for it.
        You say subjugation and disempowerment, maybe others see adult role-play.
        Policing who and what is acceptable doesn’t help people who don’t share your views.
        These are not ‘very underground’ sexual tastes. These activities are freely available in gay stores on videos, and on many websites – there’s a lively market, even if you are not interested.
        Even if they were ‘very underground’ tastes, men with them are just as entitled to support and safer sex information as anyone with more vanilla tastes in sex and relationships.
        Live and Let Live?

  7. So… where’s the S&M club for gay women?

    Seriously though, yeah, I agree with the other people here saying that this really isn’t the place for this. It’s not really news after all. I’m sure people looking for S&M clubs (whatever their sexuality) can just as easily Google it.

  8. Damn, what did I do with that gimp mask?

  9. Tiggy Sagar 12 Mar 2013, 5:23pm

    I would say it’s newsworthy because it’s controversial in the light of funding cuts.

    1. Good point, Tiggy!

      Now why didn’t I think of that?! :)

  10. Good so I know which “charity” not to donate for.

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