Saturday 9th March 2019 – Sunday 10th March 2019
Prague, Czeckerland 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 EuroFuckyLand. 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
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?
- Teaching kink
- Affect and kink: Shame; vulnerability; power; eroticism
- Types of kink: Fetishes; Edge Play; Bondage/Restraint; Physical
Discipline; Intense Stimulation; Sensory Deprivation; Body Alteration
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:
Prague 2019 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
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
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
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
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
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.