After many years of maintaining the Kink Aware Professionals web site, I recently turned over ownership to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
A Brief History of Kink Aware Professionals (KAP)
Between 1982 and 1986, Guy Baldwin, a private-practice psychotherapist in Los Angeles, developed a small list of other kink-sensitive therapists across the United States. He made referrals from the list on request. In late 1986, after he’d begun writing a monthly column on leather relationships for Drummer magazine called “Ties that Bind,” Guy arranged with Tony DeBlase, editor of Drummer, to run a monthly classified ad to make contact with other kink-friendly therapists. Letters arrived from everywhere (email wasn’t commonly used yet). Soon Guy had received and replied to dozens of contacts from all across the country. Some time later a small portion of the kink-sensitive therapist referral list was published in DungeonMaster, a magazine for the gay male BDSM practitioner.
Soon afterwards Race Bannon was talking with Guy Baldwin about his list. Guy showed Race folders full of letters from therapists wanting to be part of the referral list. Guy’s schedule wasn’t allowing him to keep up with the correspondence and after some discussion Race proposed taking over maintenance of the list. Guy agreed and Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) was born.
Guy and Race knew that people who enjoy the adventurous side of sex often end up having a difficult time finding mental health professionals sensitive to their needs. Too often clients hear that it’s their sexuality that’s the problem. That’s rarely the case. The usual issues facing these clients aren’t related to their sexual interests at all, but the sex-negative bias of some psychotherapists gets in the way of effective therapy.
Initially, the only way to effectively disseminate the KAP list to those that needed it was in printed form sent by mail. And that’s how the list was disseminated for the first few years. Later the internet and the web allowed the KAP list to be accessed online by anyone with an internet connection.
Other professional categories were added to the KAP referral list over time, but the number of professions was eventually reduced to the core three professions critical to kinky people in times of need: psychotherapists, attorneys and medical professionals. KAP now provides listings of hundreds of professionals that the alternative sexuality community can access at any time.
In January 2006, Race Bannon turned over management of the KAP list to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.