IUPUI invites rape erotica author to teach BDSM to students

The IUPUI Office of Health and Wellness is planning to host an Introduction to Bondage (a form of BDSM) workshop on Feb. 13 at 5 pm in the Campus Center Room 305. The description asks interested students to register in advance for the event, explaining that the workshop is “free and open to all IUPUI students.” (Featured image credit: Douglas Bolt, Fetlife).

“Bondage is a form of consensual and recreational sex play that involves tying, restraining, or binding a person with rope, handcuffs, or other items that can restrict movement,” the online description of the IUPUI event said. “Attend this workshop to learn the ropes (literally) with an introduction to rope bondage taught by a local expert. All materials are provided to give you hands-on experience with safe rope tying techniques.”

The Collegiate Commons reached out to the IUPUI Office of Health and Wellness Promotion for more information. 

Ryan Anderson, Assistant Director of the IUPUI Office of Health and Wellness

“It will be an hour-long workshop with the first portion being our instructor Fynch talking about basic bondage techniques, skills, and safety, consent and communication with bondage, and in general, and demonstrating a few ties on her partner,” said Ryan Anderson, Assistant Director of the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion, in an email to the editor-in-chief of The Collegiate Commons. “The second part of the workshop will be an opportunity for participants, based on comfortability, to practice basic ties demonstrated first by our instructor. Nylon rope will be provided and I along [with] our instructor and others will be walking around to assist.” 

Editorial Note: Given the sensitive and explicit nature of the topics presented in the following paragraph, caution is advised. The featured image on this story was Fynch’s profile picture on FetLife, and we have been informed that Douglas Bolt took the photo. The image was included for transparency in order to educate readers on campus about exactly who the IUPUI Office of Health and Wellness was inviting to campus, what they intended on doing, and what bondage may look like. As we are a nonprofit, no commercial benefit was derived from using this work.

Who is Fynch?

Anderson listed a short biography in an email with The Collegiate Commons, which was taken from another site advertising one of Fynch’s training sessions. 

The linked registration form also revealed the stage name of the “local expert.” It says “learn more about her below,” but does not include any links. The only direct source on the internet is her account on FetLife, a controversial fetish social media site associated with rape and child pornography. In fact, one of Fynch’s erotica writings on the site, entitled “playtime,” recounts a terrified girl wearing a “onesie” being graphically raped by multiple men, who emotionally manipulate and blame her for their actions. 

(According to Dr. Elizabeth L. Jeglic, a sexual violence prevention expert, most child sexual abuse “involves elements of sexual grooming… many of these tactics involve the psychological manipulation of the child so that they feel that are in some way responsible for the abuse, which can result in feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame.”)

Anderson also has an account on FetLife, @RYRY94, that was created in October of last year. A day after its creation, he followed Fynch and IndyTIES, an organization where Fynch is a trainer.

Lack of Safeguards

Events held by IndyTIES specify that they are only for those older than 19 years old and require an ID. Notably, the IUPUI event lacks any such requirement.

[RELATED: IU Student Government budgets $42,000 for sex items]

College Tuition Compare has estimated that IUPUI has 303 students under the age of 18. It is important to note that giving sexual materials to minors is a class 6 felony under Indiana law, and that a product or service “that is designed for use in, marketed primarily for, or provides for… masochism or a masochistic experience, sadism or a sadistic experience, sexual bondage, or sexual domination” is considered sexually explicit material.

Prior to this year, Indiana Code provided a defense to prosecution if the material that was disseminated was “educational,” although updates as of Jan. 1 removed that provision. It is still a defense if the entity distributing the material is “a bona fide college, university, museum, college library, or public library… or university library, or by an employee of such a school, college, university, museum, college library, or public library, or university library acting within the scope of the employee’s employment.”

Fynch does not appear to be an employee of the university, and it is unclear if she is being compensated for this training. It is also unclear if the school ran a background check on her. It is improbable that they would have been able to without knowing her actual name.

The Collegiate Commons submitted a public records request seeking more information from the university, and this article will be updated accordingly. 

Parental Concerns

At the time of writing, several parents made it known to The Collegiate Commons that they had complained about the event to campus leadership. 

“As a mom of a freshman that follows the IUPUI parents Facebook page, I became aware last night of a ‘bondage workshop’ being offered by the Health and Wellness office at IUPUI (attached),” one parent emailed Interim IUPUI Chancellor Murdoch-Kinch, and shared with The Collegiate Commons. “This is an outrageous and uncalled for use of public funds/tuition. With so many other urgent needs (mental/spiritual crises with our students), I find it abhorrent that the school throws this in the face of our students to legitimize something that conflicts with the school’s emphasis on student safety. Is this more of a priority than teaching basics of navigating relationships, dealing with college stressors (finanacial/academic/etc), or even date rape/suicidal thinking? This is not a wise use of resources.”

[RELATED: The Sound of Freedom should make us come to terms with our role in modern slavery]

The IUPUI School of Social Work also advertised the event

For more information about the event, email the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion here.

Indiana University has hosted and defended a similar event before. Read about it here.

UPDATE: After receiving broader media attention, the IUPUI Office of Health and Wellness Promotion decided to cancel the event.

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5 thoughts on “IUPUI invites rape erotica author to teach BDSM to students

  1. EDITORS: Can this be shared with Indy Star, WISH-TV, FOX59, WTHR, WRTV, etc? IUPUIs endorsement of a sex bondage expert and presentation of these materials/techniques to minors is illegal. Perhaps this angle would get the attention of larger media? There are parents AND students who see this as an attack on the culture of safety which continues to deteriorate in and around the urban campus of IUPUI.

  2. This goes deeper than you know, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You want a story, I’ll give you a story. I will give you everything!

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