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.
Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:
We also welcome additional proposal themes not listed related to kink.
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
Details and Information
The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335. This includes:
~ conference registration fee
~ book of Abstracts
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Sunday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Sunday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Monday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Monday lunch
~ Monday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines
Friday 31st May 2019
Friday 14th June 2019
Friday 5th July 2019
Booking Form Submissions
by Friday 24th July 2019
Circulation of Draft Programme
Friday 23rd August 2019
Final date for payment
Friday 13th September 2019
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted
Monday 11th November 2019
Final programme to printing
Radlicka 3216/1g. 15000 Prague +420 234 801 111
We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.
Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.
Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.
You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!
The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.
One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes
The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 5th July 2019 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 23rd August 2019.
It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.
There are a number of ways payment can be made.
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:
Dr Rob Fisher
149b Wroslyn Road
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.
Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.
All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.
What’s so Special?
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.