CARAS Support for the National LGBTQ Task Force 2018 Leather Leadership Award for Durk Dehner

CARAS participated in the National LGBTQ Task Force 2018 Leather Leadership Award given to Durk Dehner, President and co-Founder of the Tom of Finland Foundation.  The award was given on January 25, 2018, during the 2018 Creating Change Conference held in Washington, DC.  

It may not be generally known that The Tom of Finland Foundation offers resources and support for artists and scholars, including archival materials relevant to the study of leather and kink cultures. For more information, visit:

Dr. Rob Bienvenu, Ph.D., CARAS co-founder, represented CARAS for the ceremony.

Images from the award ceremony posted to The Task Force twitter feed are below:

February 5, 2018 / News Research

A successful presentation at Creating Change 2014

On January 31, CARAS presented to a standing-room-only audience at Creating Change 2014.  This presentation was an overview and introduction to the BDSM/Kink communities specifically for the larger LGBT activist and community organizers that make up the audience and attendees at Creating Change.  In 2014, the conference attendance was at about 4,000 people.

The presentation can be viewed here:

March 11, 2014 / News

Alameda County Leather Corps donates $1,264 to CARAS

At their 20th anniversary celebration on November 9, 2013, the Alameda County Leather Corps donated $1,264.00 to CARAS in support of our research support and education efforts.

Since 1993, ACLC has given over $200,000 to charities serving Alameda County, including the AIDS Project of the East Bay, Children’s Hospital of Oakland, Shelter Against Violent Environments, Lambda Youth Group, Tri-Valley Health Services, and many more. ACLC's most important goal: to locate and assist small service providers and agencies not receiving large government or corporate grants. 

Financial support like this from community organizations has a huge impact on our ability to foster and nurture more research on alternative sexualities and to provide more education within healthcare fields.

It is support like this that keeps CARAS alive and growing.  We are grateful for the support and encouragement of the Alameda County Leather Corps!

January 4, 2014 / News

Cutting Edge Research Project - Intimate Partner Violence in BDSM Relationships

Cutting Edge Research Project Endorsed by CARAS

Intimate Partner Violence in BDSM Relationships

CARAS has endorsed a project entitled Survey on Intimate Partner Abuse Among Practitioners of BDSM/Leather/Kink Lifestyles.  The project's principal investigator is Dr. Elizabeth Fawcett at the Texas Women's University.  The project has already been supported by National Leather Association - Dallas chapter and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.  

Please note: the study has two parts, an online survey (see link below) and an interview.  You may participate in the survey and interview, or just the survey.


“Invitation to Participate in a Needs Assessment Interview on Intimate Partner Abuse Among Practitioners of BDSM/Leather/Kink Lifestyles” 

Posted on January 5.

*Adult, aged 18 or over,
* have ever been in a Leather/BDSM/kink relationship in which you experienced intimate partner abuse, and
* sought help from publicly available domestic violence/intimate partner abuse services, or 
* wanted to seek help from publicly available domestic violence/intimate partner abuse services, but did not do so.  

The interview will take no more than 2 hours to complete.

Please respond no later than May 10, 2014.

Your participation is voluntary. All responses are confidential. However, there is potential risk of loss of confidentiality in all email, downloading and internet transactions.  The final results of this study will be used for research and may also be published in a summary format in a peer-reviewed journal.

The purpose of this interview is to gather information regarding the quality of experiences had by those who sought help from domestic violence/intimate partner abuse service providers, or those who wanted to seek help, but did not do so. The overall goal is to help service providers and outreach educators improve the quality of information, responses and interventions regarding the unique needs and experiences of individuals who live a BDSM, Leather or kinky lifestyle.

Would you be interested in participating in an in-depth face-to-face or telephone interview (to last no more than 2 hours) about your experiences? If so, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Fawcett at or call 972-742-7717 to set up an interview.  

If you have any questions about the interview, please contact Elizabeth Fawcett, Ph.D., M.P.H., at  This study has been reviewed according to accepted Institutional Review Board (IRB) procedures for research involving human subjects, and approved.  If you have questions about the rights of research participants or the way this study is being conducted, you may contact Texas Woman’s University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 940-898-3378 or via email at

There is potential risk of loss of confidentiality in all email, downloading and internet transactions.


The survey link is available here:

The survey may take approximately 25-35 minutes to complete.

Please respond no later than January 31, 2014.

January 4, 2014 / News

6th Alternative Sexualities Conference a Success!

On Saturday, September 28, seventy-two scholars, community members, researchers, therapists, counselors and graduate students gathered at the San Francisco State University downtown campus to spend a full day hearing the latest research on swinging, polyamory, asexuality, BDSM/kink, leather, and fetish sexualities and communities.

The event was hosted by the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality, part of the SFSU.

Dr. Amy Stone started out the day with a keynote address entitled "Similar Networks, Different Movements: Comparing the LGBT Movement to Activism about Alternative Sexualities" - which was a great comparison of the similarities and differences between the LGBT communities and the Kink/BDSM/leather communities / consensual non-monogamy movements and the difference in activism - in spite of having very intermingled roots back in the 50s and 60s.  Be on the lookout for her work, as Dr. Stone is working on publishing her analyses in the near future.

The rest of the day brought 15 different presentations, involving sociological analyses, clinical practice reflections and techniques, research reports, and roundtable discussions.  

The day ended with a plenary address by Dr. Charles Moser, reviewing the current DSM-5 take on paraphilic disorders and the lack of empirical support, clinical utility, and diagnostic/logical problems with the disorder entries as published. 

The next Alternative Sexualities Conference will be May 22, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois.  Hope to see you there!

September 30, 2013 / News