Seattle Sexuality Resources


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This guide to Seattle's sex-positive resources is intended only for adults, and assumes familiarity with safer sex precautions as well as the self-discipline necessary to practice them.

Two national non-profits which defend the fundamental freedoms sex-positive culture relies on are the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org) and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (http://www.ncsfreedom.org). Planned Parenthood Foundation (http://www.plannedparenthood.org) birth control and STD education efforts are also important. If you enjoy reading this guide, consider supporting at least one of these three organizations.

The latest version of this guide is available at http://www.sexuality.org/seattle.html

Starting Points

These resources may be considered good starting points because participation in them is open regardless of gender or orientation, and because they strive to serve many different parts of this region's sex-positive culture.

The Center for Sex-Positive Culture
(formerly known as ``The Wet Spot'' or ``The SPCC'') is a non-profit organization which operates a real-life, membership-based community center for the benefit of the Pacific Northwest's sex-positive culture. Currently housed in a 4400 square foot main building (with several annexes) near downtown Seattle, this organization is unique in that it strives to serve all the local communities which comprise its region's sex-positive culture (e.g., the BDSM community as well as elements of the swing community, and everything around and in-between). This organization is a good starting point because it offers a wide variety of events, classes, dances, vendor fairs, informal social evenings, guest speakers, an extensive library, and discussion/support groups, with something almost every night of the week, and because gender and orientation are not barriers to membership (for example: single men are as welcome as single women). See http://www.sexpositiveculture.org for information on becoming a member as well as their current event schedule, and http://www.paradiseunbound.com for information on their annual campout called ``Paradise.'' It's also well worth noting that several local merchants offer 10% discounts to current CSPC members, including Babeland, Wild at Heart, and The Crypt.
Babeland
is one of only a small handful of sex toy stores across the country which would be comfortable to almost anybody, and serves a unifying and welcoming role in our area similar to that of the CSPC. In addition to knowledgeable and friendly staff, and a selection of the best available sex toys, movies, and books, this shop offers flyers and networking information for other local organizations along with excellent monthly classes (see their web site for details). Babeland is located at 707 E Pike Street in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. See http://www.babeland.com for directions.

The Swing Community (aka ``The Lifestyle'')

On-Premise

New Horizons
is widely considered the most beautiful on-premise club in the entire country. Located on thirteen acres of wonderfully landscaped property and offering a full range of amenities including three hot tubs, it's easily the most luxurious sex-positive venue in the entire Pacific Northwest. It is not uncommon for a Saturday party at New Horizons to be attended by over 200 people. See http://www.horizonsclub.com for more information on this club (including a virtual tour) and the process of joining.
Eros Events
hosts its events at a Redmond retreat center with a unique indoor heated pool. More information is available at http://www.eros-events.org
The Sapphire Network
is Seattle's newest club, and hosts its events at a variety of locations. More information is available at http://www.thesapphire.net
Pacific Sex-Positive Group
hosts one event every month. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pspg/ for more information.
Washington Swing City
hosts two events every month in the Tacoma area. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Washington_Swing_City/ for more information.

Off-Premise

Original Circles
See http://www.original-circles.com for more information. This organization hosts two dances a month and an annual getaway called ``Campout.''
Northwest Couples and Bi Females
See http://www.nwcbf.com for more information. This is an online discussion group which also hosts regular social events, including an annual campout.

The BDSM/Leather/Fetish Community

Seattle's BDSM community is particularly active and vibrant, and is distinguished from similar communities in other cities by its relative ease of entry as well as by its unusually low levels of separation/misunderstanding between its gay men's leather community, its gay women's leather community, and its ``pansexual'' leather community. [Note: This has been a defining characteristic of Seattle's BDSM community for some time, and largely stems from the various communities which comprise it sharing physical space to an unusual degree. The legendary ``KC'' parties, held from 1989-1994 on reserved nights at a local on-premise swing club, attracted almost the entire BDSM community due to the physical beauty and size of the space. From 1995-1999, a Capitol Hill restaurant called ``Beyond the Edge Café'' served as a nexus for the entire community due to its central location and friendly management. After this restaurant's closure and the Center for Sex-Positive Culture's subsequent opening in 1999, the CSPC (in part due to its size and in part to the inclusive nature of its mission) has had a similarly unifying effect.]

General

The Center for Sex-Positive Culture
hosts pansexual (i.e. open to all genders and sexual orientations) BDSM play parties every Saturday, men-only play parties on one Friday a month, women-only play parties on another Friday of the month, one bondage party a month, several workshops a month, a variety of BDSM-related discussion and support groups, and typically a monthly guest speaker or author appearance followed by a special theme party. See http://www.sexpositiveculture.org for more information on becoming a member.
Babeland
hosts BDSM-related workshops in their store fairly frequently, which anyone may register for. See http://www.babeland.com for a current schedule.
Munches
The Seattle area has a long-standing tradition of informal BDSM community social gatherings at local restaurants (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munch_(BDSM) for background). The best way to find the current list is to sign up for a free FetLife (http://www.fetlife.com) account and search for the group Seattle_Talking

For the Men's BDSM/Leather Community

Seattle Men in Leather
is a social and educational organization for the Seattle men's leather community. SML hosts a variety of events for their members, including brunches, dress code socials at The Cuff (their home bar), and club nights at two of Seattle's men's bathhouses. They also host an annual run called ``Equinox'' and a monthly ``Tribal Instinct'' men-only educational workshop. See http://www.seattlemeninleather.org for details.
Leather Bars
Although not restricted to men, Seattle's leather bars are definitely geared towards men. The two most popular bars are The Cuff (1533 13th Ave, see http://www.cuffcomplex.com) and the Seattle Eagle (314 East Pike Street, see http://www.seattleeagle.com). The Eagle is smaller, and has a ``rougher'' feel, while the Cuff features a full dance floor and an expanded kitchen.

For the Women's BDSM/Leather Community

Women's Welcoming Committee
Monthly meetings, open to women only, which provide an introduction to all that's available in the Seattle area. Questions are welcome, and experienced players are also welcome to attend and share their perspective. See http://www.wwcseattle.org for details.
Seattle girls of Leather
A group of self-identified Leathergirls which hosts monthly meetings as well as a discussion board, performs outreach at Leather events throughout the Puget Sound area, and volunteers for a variety of non-profit organizations. See http://www.sgol.org for details.
Havoc Seattle
An annual leatherwomen's conference. See http://www.havocseattle.com for details.

Other Seattle BDSM/Leather Resources

Leather Reign
An annual Seattle leather community conference focusing on D/s, more advanced how-to workshops, and the ``why'' of BDSM. See http://www.leatherreign.org for details.
Bondage Lessons by Max
Customized workshops and classes on bondage technique. See http://www.bondagelessons.com
The Palms Seattle
A mixed gender spanking group, which hosts one social dinner a month, a monthly video review brunch, and a monthly ladies luncheon. See http://www.thepalmsseattle.com

Out-of-Town BDSM/Leather Resources

Triskeli Guild
Located near Bellingham, this organization sponsors the annual In the Woods campout. More details are available at http://www.triskeli.org

Dancing

The Center for Sex-Positive Culture hosts an event called ``Grind'' every Thursday, distinguished from similar events in Seattle by the fact that their facility is alcohol-free and smoke-free, and by the fact that play equipment and space are provided. Another popular spot (generally with more of a goth crowd) is the private club known as Mercury (http://mercuryatmachinewerks.com). Fetish, gothic, or at least black clothing is the norm in each case.

Women who prefer women-only dance spaces should check out Girl4Girl Seattle (see http://www.girl4girlseattle.com) and Cherry (see http://www.cherryseattle.com).

Men and women who are either above-average in size/weight, or who love women who meet that description, might enjoy checking out the dances offered by BBWNorthwest. See http://www.bbwnorthwest.com for details.

Classes on various types of sexy dancing are available through (for example) the Academy of Burlesque (see http://www.academyofburlesque.com) and Pole for the Soul (see http://www.poleforthesoul.com).

Men's Bathhouses and Clubs

These clubs are intended for men who have sex with men, and are open until at least 5am seven days a week. As a practical matter, if you have unsafe sex at places like these (ESPECIALLY anal intercourse without a condom), no matter what the guy you met there looks like or what he tells you, then you may be clinically insane: safer sex is always important, but here it's particularly important.

Steamworks
is located at 1520 Summit (see http://www.steamworksonline.com). It has a traditional men's bathhouse layout.
Club Z Baths
is located at 1117 Pike Street (see http://www.thezclub.com). This club seems to attract an especially diverse clientele, and hosts Seattle Men in Leather's club night on the second Thursday of each month.

Spiritual Sexuality Classes and Workshops

Body Electric School
This school offers both its men's and women's courses in the Seattle area. See http://www.thebodyelectricschool.com for details.
The Present Sense
Robyn Lynn, instructor. See http://www.thepresentsense.com
Learning Tantra
Tanja Diamond, instructor. See http://www.learningtantra.com
Sacred Exploration
Betty Martin, instructor. See http://www.bettymartin.org
Kissing School
Cherie Byrd, instructor. See http://www.kissingschool.com

Erotic Arts Events

Seattle Erotic Art Festival
This annual erotic art festival has gathered national attention for the quality of its offerings. Some art is offered for display only, some for sale, and some for auction. Represented are typically some of the best erotic artists working today, though artists at any stage of their careers are encouraged to submit their work to the festival committee for consideration. See http://www.seattleerotic.org for information.

Polyamory Resources

Poly Potlucks
A long-standing Seattle tradition, these events are held on the third Sunday of every month. After a potluck dinner, attendees break into small groups to discuss some aspect of polyamory, as it applies to their lives. See http://www.scn.org/~spg/ for more information.
Poly Campouts
Polycamp (see http://www.polycamp.org) has been held each year since 2004: they've been well-received so far, and will probably continue to grow in attendance over the next several years.
Poly Workshops
The annual Norwescon science fiction convention (see http://www.norwescon.org) generally hosts a range of panels on polyamory. Poly workshops are also frequently held at the CSPC and Babeland.
Poly Discussion: Online
The sea-poly mailing list (see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sea-poly/) hosts free-flowing discussion on the subject of polyamory, and also serves to announce informal poly gatherings which aren't announced anywhere else.

Crossdressing Resources

Emerald City Social Club
An active social organization for the crossdressing community. See http://www.theemeraldcity.org
Esprit Gala
An annual convention for the Pacific Northwest's crossdressing community. See http://www.espritconf.com

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Resources

General

Pride
Seattle's annual Pride Parade and Rally brings together hundreds of community and community-friendly groups, and attracts about 100,000 people. See http://www.seattlepride.org for details.
Events
The Seattle Gay News (the print version of which is published weekly) maintains a comprehensive event calendar for the local GLBTQ community. See http://www.sgn.org
Recovery
A resource specifically for gay, bi, lesbian, or trans survivors of abuse is The Northwest Network, see http://www.nwnetwork.org

For Gay or Bi Men

Gay City
A remarkably forward-looking organization for gay men. See http://www.gaycity.org
Northwest Bears
The term ``bear'' is often used to describe men with facial hair, a cuddly body, and a solid level of comfort with their own masculinity and body size. Northwest Bears is one of Seattle's organizations for bears and their admirers, see http://www.nwbears.com
Lifelong AIDS Alliance
Offers monthly workshops on issues such as sex, relationships, dating, intimacy, and safer sex. See http://www.lifelongaidsalliance.org
The Olympians
A gay men's nudist organization which has been hosting events since 1987. See http://www.theolympians.net for more information.
Romp Naked
As its organizers put it, Romp Naked is a ``nude, erotic, and sensual gathering of men,'' though not a sex party: rather, simply an opportunity to dance and enjoy the feeling of being around other men in a clothing-free environment. Held several times a year. See http://www.rompnaked.org for more information. Note that you don't have to identify as gay or bi to attend: once again, we would like to emphasize that this is not a sex party.
Rain City Jacks
``A non-profit, private JO club for adult men in the Seattle area, hosting several monthly JO events in a highly erotic, fraternal and sex-positive atmosphere.'' Their mission statement is: ``To promote and facilitate group masturbation for adult men, expand our individual sexual awareness, celebrate the basic goodness of our sexual impulse, and build a culture of mutual respect and dignity among our fellows.'' See http://www.raincityjacks.org for more information.

For Lesbian or Bi Women

The Wildrose
Seattle's women's bar. See http://www.thewildrosebar.com for details.
Seattle Bisexual Women's Network
A very active organization for bisexual and bi-friendly women which hosts weekly workshops and discussions. They also publish the quarterly newsletter North Bi Northwest. See http://www.sbwn.net

For Bi Men and Women

BiNet Seattle
A social organization for bisexual or bi-curious people and their partners. They sponsor weekly discussion/support group meetings, one monthly social, and periodic special events (e.g. their annual picnic). See http://www.binetseattle.org. The BiNet Seattle web site also offers information on the Seattle Bisexual Men's Union (which hosts monthly gatherings) and Boys Time Out (which hosts monthly gatherings for bisexual men who are ``married or otherwise interested in women'').

For the Transgendered Community

Ingersoll Gender Center
A comprehensive counseling and referral center for those in any stage of questioning their gender identity. IGC hosts weekly support/discussion groups, monthly educational events, and a monthly book group. See http://www.ingersollcenter.org
Gender Odyssey
An annual conference for the gender variant and their families, partners, and allies. See http://www.genderodyssey.org
Anne Lawrence, MD, Ph.D.
Practices clinical sexology and transgender medicine. Specialties include gender identity issues and transexual women's issues. Adheres to HBIGDA standards of care. See http://www.annelawrence.com
Jude Patton, CMHC, CMFT, PA-C
Therapist in private practice, specializing in transgender and intersex issues, but also providing services to the gay, lesbian, and bi communities. AASECT certified, and on the board of FTM International and Ingersol Gender Center. Experienced in referrals for hormone therapy and surgery, and the associated HBIGDA requirements. See http://www.ftminfo.net/jude.html

Health Care

HIV/STD Testing

For HIV/STD testing and Hep A/B vaccination referrals, visit the King County Public Health Site at http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/communicable/hiv/resources/testing.aspx or call 206-205-7837 (though most people end up going to the Harborview STD Clinic, which offers HIV testing as well as the full spectrum of STD tests, including the Herpes I, Herpes II, and Hepatitis C tests upon request: call 206-731-2271 to make an appointment).

Reproductive Health and Contraception

A Planned Parenthood clinic is centrally located at 4500 9th NE (see http://www.plannedparenthood.org/ppgnw/). At various times, the Department of Health (call 206-296-4960) has also offered free vasectomy programs.

At the time this guide was written, emergency contraceptive pills (special doses of birth control pills that can reduce the chances of pregnancy up to five days after condom failure) were available at Bartell Drug stores without a prior visit to a clinic or physician. The Queen Anne Bartell Drug location (600 First Ave N / 206-284-1353) had expanded late-night hours. See http://ec.princeton.edu for current details, however.

Counseling and Therapy (in alphabetical order)

Gaelen E. Billingsley, MA, ABS
Offering relationship therapy, and listed in the polychromatic.com poly-friendly professionals directory. See http://www.gaelenbillingsley.com
Rebecca Bloom, ATR-BC, LMHC
Individual counseling for people of all sexuality and gender identifications, using talk and art therapy. BDSM, D/s, and polyamory folks welcome. Specialties in anxiety, depression, life transitions, and PTSD. Insurance accepted. See http://www.bloomcounseling.com
Joy Davidson, Ph.D.
Licensed as a marriage and family therapist, an AASECT certified sex therapist, and offering psychotherapy, couples therapy, and sex therapy. Author of the book Fearless Sex, and a sex advice columnist for several national magazines. She has experience with a wide range of clients and lifestyles including transgender, poly, BDSM, and gay/bi. See http://www.joydavidson.com
Kristen Knapick, MA, LMHCA
A mental health counselor associate who specializes in working with those for whom kink, polyamory, sex work, queerness, or gender variance are a part of life, whether the source of a problem or not. She has lengthy experience with each of these communities, and a non-judgmental perspective on mental health within them. See http://rethinktherapy.wordpress.com
Roger Libby, Ph.D.
Lecturer, co-author of the textbook Sexual Choices, fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, and board-certified sex therapist. Experienced with sexual and relationship counseling, as well as marriage counseling. See http://www.drrogerlibby.com
Genjo Marinello, MA, LMHC
A state licensed mental health counselor with an M.A. in Psychology and a degree in spiritual direction from the U.B.C. Vancouver School of Theology, Genjo has extensive counseling and therapy experience with sexual minorities, including concerns related to BDSM and other forms of alternative sexuality. As a Buddhist priest and a Quaker, he also serves as a spiritual director with the Anamchara Multifaith Center for Sexual Minorities. His office number and e-mail address are 206-328-3944 and genjo_m@hotmail.com.
Ray Robbins, MA, MHP
``I provide thoughtful and compassionate counseling to clients of all sexual and relational orientations. A great many of my current clients come to me from Seattle's sex-positive, and polyamorous communities, and I enjoy helping people with sex and sexuality issues. I am kink friendly and honor and respect clients working in the sex industry. I am also experienced in helping others with addiction and chemical dependency issues. I can be reached at 206-679-0908 or raycrobbins@comcast.net''
Sharon Sanborn, MA, LMHC
Offering counseling, art therapy, and hypnotherapy for individuals and couples in Queen Anne, Seattle. Welcoming to alternative lifestyles and GLBTQ. Poly and kink friendly. Insurance accepted. See http://www.seattlearttherapy.com
Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education, and Research
Providing quality sex therapy to the Seattle community since 1975, staff therapist credentials include ABS certification and clinical fellow status with the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists. See http://www.sextx.com
Eileen Stein, MSSW, LICSW
A clinical social worker and psychotherapist who works with both individuals and couples. Nonjudgmental and alternative-lifestyle aware, her web site also indicates experience in counseling alternative routes to conception and parenting for straight, gay, and lesbian couples. See http://www.eileenstein.com/alt.html
Kate L. Stewart, MA
A kink and poly friendly psychotherapist based in Seattle, focused on working with alternative sexual and gender identified clients and people who are going through transitions in their lives. See http://katelstewart.com

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