If you are uninspired by gifting yet another pair of socks to your sex-positive loved one, then you have come to the right place! Presented here alphabetically are ten non-profit organizations that support causes near and dear to many polyamorists’ hearts. While not all of them are specifically related to consensual nonmonogamy (CNM), every one of these organizations works to make the world safer for positive, consensual, and joyous sexual expression. All of these non-profits educate and advocate for human rights for people in diverse relationships, and some of them conduct research, publish journals, and host conferences as well. If you really want to give something tangible to the sex-positive people in your life, the blog ends with two more gift ideas for holiday shoppers.
If your giftee has a soft spot in their heart for helping young people ages 14 to 25 in the US and around the globe, then Advocates for Youth is a great organization for a donation in their honor. Serving all genders and sexual orientations, Advocates for Youth provides sex positive, realistic, and informative sex education. Their mission is to “champion efforts that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates is advancing a positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health across unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ health and rights.” Donate to Advocates for Youth here.
With a two-pronged mission of both supporting research on alternative sexualities, and disseminating research findings beyond academic circles, the Community-Academic Consotium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS) has been filling in the gaps of knowledge about kink/BDSM and consensually non-monogamous populations (CNM) since 2005. A donation here is best for a geeky giftee who likes to support the science of kink and CNM. Every other year, CARAS hosts the Multiplicity of the Erotic (MOTE) conference on advances in research and clinical practices related to sexually and relationally diverse populations. Something that distinguishes CARAS from the other scholarship-oriented non-profit organizations listed here is that CARAS provides research mentoring, human subjects protection training, and Institutional Research Board (IRB)* approval services for research on alternative sexualities (in conjunction with CPS below). Donate to CARAS here.
An education and research organization, the Center for Positive Sexuality (CPS) aims to “promote the positive, health aspects of sex and sexuality through open, honest, and accurate education.” CPS is a sister organization with CARAS and hosts the Positive Sexuality Conference every other year (alternating with MOTE), as well as providing IRB services with CARAS. Distinguishing CPS from these other non-profits, the Center publishes the peer-reviewed Journal of Positive Sexuality. For a giftee who wants to support open access to interdisciplinary research in a peer-reviewed journal, you can donate to the Center for Positive Sexuality here.
Not to be confused with the very similar sounding Center for Positive Sexuality above, the Center for Sex Positive Culture has been serving sexy folks in Seattle since its inception as the Wet Spot in 1999. Even though they are mourning their beloved founder Allena Gabosch who passed away in November of 2020, the Center is still going strong and offers its educational and community building advocacy online for now and will resume in-person events when the pandemic has passed. Donate to the Center for Sex Positive Culture here for the giftee who lives in or visits Seattle and wants to support community and education for people in kinky, polyamorous, and swinging relationships.
The Chosen Family Law Center offers legal assistance for underserved diverse families. Their mission is to cultivate “equitable social and legal recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) and polyamorous families and individuals, as well as other underserved family forms such as platonic co-parents or multigenerational families; eliminate prejudice and discrimination and defend human, civil, and other rights for these communities; and offering education to lawyers, therapists, and other professionals to enable them to best serve these communities.” If you want a gift for the special person who wants legal rights for diverse families, then you can donate here to the Chosen Family Law Center in their honor.
The Effing Foundation’s mission is to “mission is to reduce sexual shame and normalize conversations around human sexuality by fostering sex-positive art and education.” In practice, that means focusing on “programs that are inclusive of women (cisgender and transgender), people who are members of gender/(a)sexuality/relationship minorities, people of color, people of size, neurodiverse people, and/or people with disabilities (mental illness, chronic illness, and/or other physical disabilities).” You can donate here to the Effing Foundation in honor of a giftee who wants to provide direct support to diverse sex-positive artists and educators.
The pioneer grandmother of organizations dedicated to polyamory, Loving More began in 1995 as a magazine and series of meetings, and over its decades of service to polyamorous communities has grown to include yearly conferences in Denver and Philadelphia, affiliates across the United States, a media outreach section, and fostered community and connection for polyamorous people across the United States and around the world. For a giftee who wants to support polyamorous conferences, community, advocacy, an online magazine, and education, you can donate to Loving More here.
Since 1997 the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom has been advocating for human rights and legal protections for people in consensually nonmonogamous and kinky relationships. Their programs include Consent Counts educational and incident reporting resources, Kink Aware Professionals listings of kink friendly and knowledgeable lawyers, therapists, and other professionals, and an incredibly rich library of legal and educational resources on kink and CNM. If your giftee loves sexual freedom and wants to support research and advocacy, then you can donate here to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance aims to improve healthcare access and provision for practitioners of BDSM. Noting the almost complete lack of training regarding BDSM in most medical and mental health care programs, TASHRA seeks to fill that gap with continuing education for counselors, therapists, and medical professionals. Making a donation to TASHRA is best in honor of a giftee who wants to help break down barriers to healthcare access for kinky people. Donate to TASHRA here.
Inspired by early feminist sexual freedom warrior, author, and 1870s presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation . In addition to its yearly Sexual Freedom Summit, Woodhull has been pursuing a lawsuit attempting to overturn FOSTA** (and winning), working to end sexual violence, and recognizing people “who have made landmark contributions to the sexual freedom movement through education, advocacy, research, sexual health, and activism” with the Vicki Sexual Freedom Awards. You can donate here to the Woodhull Freedom Foundation for the giftee who wants to protect sex-workers rights and support chosen families.
If you really want something tangible to give as a gift, consider the beautifully illustrated Sex Educator Trading Cards featuring folks like Dirty Lola and Kevin Patterson from She Vibe. You could also get any of the delightful books, games, polycule portraits, and comics that Tikva Wolf produces at Kimchee Cuddles.
*Institutional Review Boards preview research designs that involve human subjects to ensure that the respondents can provide informed consent to the risks related to participation, and that respondents are protected from negative impacts of research to the greatest extent possible.
**FOSTA is the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 which intended to protect victims of sex trafficking but has instead made life far more difficult for people engaged in consensual sex work.