Learning S/M
From NewsLink, Summer 1998

Education is GMSMA's most pervasive function, and one of the most important benefits of membership. It is offered through Programs, Dungeon Demonstrations, Workshops, Seminars, and SIGs (Special Interest Groups). The most comprehensive of these events are the last three types, organized yearly by the Education Committee.

Open only to members, and occasionally restricted as to size or experience level of attendees, these events are held on weekends at people's homes. Workshops and seminars are one-session events; SIGs take a single group of participants through a minimum of three sessions.

While certainly stimulating, all these events are carefully conducted from a learning point of view, and could never be confused with a sexual orgy. You may be tying a rope around someone's balls or learning to flog his back, but the context of education is very clear. Safety, technique, and the psychological aspects of each activity are thoroughly covered. Questions are encouraged throughout. The facilitators are highly prepared, and the 2-3 hour sessions fly by quickly.

On the other hand, don't think the sessions are pedestrian. The hushed atmosphere as people watch the teacher draw a knife bloodlessly across the chest of a volunteer; the whoosh of a f