If you’ve never heard of them before, a MOOC sounds like a weird video game. But, the acronym actually stands for massive online open course. Unlike KinkLeaders (which is an online course, but neither massive nor open) these courses are often huge! They tend to be taught by faculty at Universities, some of which are the top-tier research institutions around the world. You can find courses on almost any subject! I’ve realized that there are often classes that may be pertinent to kink educators. The thing that makes these courses great is that they are open to anyone regardless of prior education, they are flexible in that you are accountable for only as much of the material as you personally wish to engage with, and they are FREE!
One of the most popular and active platforms for MOOCs is Coursera but there are several others as well. Here is a list of classes that are either currently available on Coursera or will be starting in the next few months.
I know that many of us are looking at teaching in the community and these classes represent a way to get at least undergraduate level training in a variety of subjects and disciplines. A cursory scan of the list reveals the following classes that might be interesting for kink leaders/educators:
Those are just the ones that jumped out at me from scanning the list through the lens of my own interests. I’m sure you can find many more. There are a few of these that I might be interested in studying in a smaller group so if any of you are interested, please let me know.
Something I truly love about being a member of smaller communities is that for the most part, we look after our own. When someone needs a ride to an event, people band together to help them out. Here in Denver, we have Leather Magick, a kink specific charity group that local dungeons (public and private) fundraise for. When someone is moving in either of the community, the class is placed to garner help for them. When someone is sick, someone organizes visits from community members, food for family, and more. We frequently take care of our own, which is something I don’t always see in larger communities that tend not to have as many disenfranchised identities.
What I don’t see as much of in these communities (at least, as much as I’d like to see) is the concept of bartering. I firmly believe in bringing back the barter system. As we see our economy continue to ride a rollercoaster, and given that many members of the kink and queer communities are disproportionately broke/straining for money, it’s time to barter.
If you’re the type of person who ever thinks about starting your own business, or being a freelancer, or turning your passion or hobby or interest into your career, chances are fairly high that you’re also a risk-taker. Eschewing the traditional “9-5, work for someone else, take home a paycheck and build up a retirement account” takes a certain amount of guts and a certain amount of utter craziness, and the amount of each will vary from time to time. But trust us when we tell you, going it on your own is not for the faint of heart.
However, particularly if the freelancing or business you’re thinking of jumping into involves sex or the adult industry in any way, there are certain precautions you should take before making the big leap. But how do you know what you don’t know?
So I just had a coaching session with someone fabulously Woo (Sofia Wren, if you’re interested) who pointed me towards the blog of another life-coach type – Tara Mohr. And Tara has a post up about Mentoring With Excellence.
Some of it is stuff we’ve discussed on Kink Leaders before (teaching with anecdotes or from personal experience, but being up front about doing so), some of it is new material. I particularly appreciated the explanation of “coaching questions” and how they work.
Anyway. Since mentoring is a sort of one-on-one, open-ended (Socratic Method?) type of teaching, and since a whole bunch of us are on the educator path (by the looks of things), I though I wouldn’t be the only one who found it helpful. Consequently, I’m linking it here.
Go forth and read. :-)
Just stumbled upon this post and I thought it had some great things to say about power exchange as a viable relationship choice, and not necessarily kinky; kink as a movement; and ways to be activists in the world and immediate community. Hope you enjoy!
Keynote for the 2013 MTTA Retreat
First, I want to thank you all for being here, and I also want to thank Master Taino for his tireless persistence in creating space outside of the BDSM demographic for people to focus and concentrate on living healthy power dynamics. I’m incredibly grateful for all he does to make space for this subject.
Today you probably thought that you were getting a speech from Raven the woo-woo guy, probably on something spiritual. While that does describe my workshop tomorrow, tonight — in spite of the shaman coat, surprisingly — you’re actually getting Raven the activist. And I want talk to you about the past, and the future.
By Sexquire (originally posted on FearlessPress.com)
Whenever I tell someone about my business Sexquire, I am often asked “well what does that mean?” I describe the business as a “sex-positive business services company”, so I can see how a person might think “What? Sex positive business services? Do you hand out condoms with tax returns? Screen porn in the lobby?” The answer to both of those is no, but I’m going to take this first column to explain what this does mean to me and what type of clients we work with.
I am now and have always been a business attorney, working primarily with small and medium sized businesses. I handle all sorts of matters for my clients, from setting up their companies to reviewing contracts to trademarking names and logos to negotiating them out of all manner of places they don’t want to be. I’m sort of a jack-of-all-trades business adviser, and love nothing more than helping a small business owner or independent contractor take their business and themselves places they never thought possible. Along the way, I was fortunate enough to pick up some sex-positive businesses and individuals as clients. And let me tell you, when your daily work involves manufacturing companies whose work boils down to “bending metal into other things,” finally getting to work with businesses you believe in that do amazing sexy work? That’s a gift.
A very long time ago – yes, even before the internet, if you were to allow yourself to believe that such a time existed – a certain author was asked what one book he would take with him if he were stranded on a desert island.
Normally a question like that is designed to see how sophisticated the askee’s tastes are. Will he say the Bible? The Complete Works of Shakespeare? Great Expectations? What profundity awaits us today?
In this case, the answer was a little more prosaic than that: “Thomas’ Guide to Practical Shipbuiding.”
Let’s start with a story.