Folsom Weekend Kicks off with Collaboration Between Open Minds and CARAS

By Karen Davison and Keely Kolmes

Folsom weekend started off this year with a couple of events important to the work of Open Minds.

On Friday, September 27th, for the first time, CARAS (Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) and Open Minds co-hosted an event for Kink-Identified Clinicians. It included a social mixer, introductions and group discussion, and then thoughts on next steps.

Special thanks to Kirsten Beuthin and Alex Korsunskaya for heading up the subcommittee to coordinate this collaboration with Richard Sprott and CARAS and also to Myles Downes for giving a brief talk about Open Minds to those in attendance who did not know about our group. Approximately 25 clinicians attended this event.

The following day, the 6th Annual CARAS 2013 Alternative Sexualities Conference was held in downtown San Francisco, with 72 registered mental health professionals and clinicians in training from across the county. There were several Bay Area Open Minds members present.

The day began with a Keynote address by Dr. Amy Stone, contrasting the history of political advocacy for the LGBT community and the Alt Sex community. The closing talk featured Dr. Charles Moser addressing the logical flaws and clinical problems regarding the DSM-V’s paraphilia diagnosis. Attendees chose from multiple talks throughout the rest of the day that included themes related to BDSM, fetishes, open relationships, and swinging. Many of the talks were videotaped and will be available FOR FREE online at Kink Academy.

CARAS announced upcoming grants for research, prizes for research, and the next conference May 22, 2015 in Chicago.