(12/2/13) We’ve come a long way in bringing about more candid and open conversations regarding sexuality, but the unintended irony is that we might actually have too much of a good thing in some cases. While the quantity and quality of available resources is significantly better today than it was just a few years ago, we’re now facing a period of information overload. This is to say that there are so many resources that it’s difficult at times to distinguish between what might be useful or not. When you don’t really know where to start, fear being judged or are concerned about misinformation, where should you turn?
One place to start is Kink Aware Professionals (KAP), a non-profit directory of medical, legal, therapeutic and administrative professionals who understand and support various sexuality concerns and lifestyle choices. Conceptualized by psychotherapist Guy Baldwin in the mid-80s and further developed by sex educator-activist Race Bannon, KAP has been managed by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) since about 2005 and focuses on professional service providers in the U.S. and Canada with limited listings for other areas. Additionally, some providers offer their services either electronically or by telephone. Professionals appearing in KAP listings volunteer to be listed and are not routinely vetted by the NSCF, however, most are verifiably credentialed in their particular field of expertise and are usually classified by experience level.
Although the name implies that the services covered are limited to professionals with an understanding of kink-oriented lifestyles only, KAP is actually much more diverse in scope, offering a wide array of resources to help regardless of particular interest. The basic categories offered include:
- Accounting and finance professionals
- Counselors and therapists
- Medical doctors
- Health and wellness practitioners
- Businesses that provide service primarily by internet
- Life coaches
- Miscellaneous (e.g., mediators, investigators, etc.)
- Spiritual advisors and wedding officiators
- Web design and information technologies
The bottom line is to be of service to people wanting to find professionals who are sensitive to their specific needs regardless of their sexuality–and to not have their sexuality factor in prejudicially. KAP has been meeting that goal head on for over 25 years and, thanks to the growing crop of professionals adding their voices, is getting even better. It’s certainly one solid method for cutting through the cacophony these days when a professional ally is needed.
If you have had experience with a service provider listed in KAP, we’d like to hear from you. Additionally, if you know someone who might be able to benefit from this program, please pass this article along to them (a ‘share’ button is below for your convenience).