MOOCs: A great resource for leaders and educators in the kink community

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.

Rebuilding the Barter System by Shanna Katz

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.

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What I learned from Collectives, Burningman, Rogue Raves, and The Fetish Fair Fleamarket by @bendyogagirl

his is the first post in what will be a 3-4 part series of pontifications on the different relationships at events (producer-presenter, presenter-producer, presenter-attendee, attendee-presenter, producer-volunteer, etc..) and my opinions about ways to create harmony, good sportsmanship and happy events.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m one of a handful of people who are the primary drivers of this little event, which attracts approximately 3000 people annually.  I say one of a handful or primary drivers in so far as there is a core group of 10-15 of us who manage everything from the relationship with the hotel, to booking presenters, to scheduling the hundreds of volunteers who make the event run, to bringing in vendors, to managing the finances, insurance, contracts, logistics, special events, etc.  The Fetish Fair Fleamarket (TM) is a major event.