New campus group provides a place to discuss non-normative sexuality and intimacy

This week Campus Insider sat down with McCoy Edmonds, the President of the Case Undergraduate Fetish Foundation (CUFF). CUFF is an educational group formed for the CWRU community to discuss non-normative sexuality and intimacy.

What is non-normative sexuality and intimacy?

Non-normative sexuality, also commonly referred to as kinks and fetishes, covers a broad spectrum of practices ranging from BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) to pup play. BDSM, first used in 1969, is probably the most represented form of non-normative sexuality in media and has become an umbrella term for most non-normative sexual practices.

Edmonds noticed that because of the taboo nature of non-normative sexuality in our society, many people are unaware of what falls under the category of non-normative sexuality, and in some cases, are misinformed by media.

“People think that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is a great example of BDSM, when in reality the author is trying to use something she has no idea about,” said Edmonds. “BDSM is a lot about power plays, so switching that up and getting pleasure from that switch from normal life. It’s a really interesting way to explore what power is.”

CUFF’s Objective

CUFF is about supporting people who feel marginalized because of their sexual interests and bringing them together with people who want to learn more about BDSM and the subculture surrounding it.

“I got excited about CUFF, not as a person specifically interested in non-normative sexuality myself, but I’m interested in the social implications surrounding it and supporting those who are interested,” said Edmonds. Edmonds hopes to discuss what BDSM is and what it is not.

“Part of what BDSM is how others like the media view it,” said Edmonds.

CUFF in the next few years

Since CUFF is such a new group on campus, they don’t have funding yet, but they are preparing a lot for next year and are working on gaining visibility in on CWRU campus.

“We’re planning not only for speakers, but also for meetings that discuss a variety of topics,” said Edmonds. “Once a week or every other week, we plan on holding fun events so people can get to know each other and create a comfortable environment for learning and discussion.”

Speakers will range from professors to community members. The topics will be scheduled, so that there’s one topic per meeting. Club members can discuss their interests as well as learn about others’.

“We’ve talked to the LGBT center and they’ve given us their support, and they’re willing to help us out in any way they can, which is really exciting for us,” said Edmonds. “There is a Cleveland scene, but people just don’t know about it a lot of the time, so we’d like to integrate a bit of that into CUFF. At this point, we’d really like to broadcast that this is a club for everyone­—not just people who are interested, but also those who’d like to be supportive or who are just interested in learning more.”

There will be a meeting for interested students to go over the basics and to plan for next year on April 20.