A conference devoted to the discussion of stroke sufferers' sex lives and relationship prospects. It's the first of many events which we go on to support over the years by providing subsistence and taking care of the good people both organising and attending. As it happens, the Skin Two Expo - which we always try to attend - coincides with the event. This year, we choose a charity appearance for Different Strokes.
A notable HR moment arrives as all CCK staff receive additional training and upgrade their CVs at the same time. Courses taken range from NVQs in Customer Service to Conflict Handling to management. We also put Emily on an Everywoman's Leadership Course (Personal and Business Mastery). She has fun and is the youngest power woman there. "They were all lovely, although it was a little intimidating at first," Emily says.
"Spiritual Space", a monthly meeting for Christians of all denominations, starts at Coffee, Cake & Kink. Led by Father Alex (Church of England), the group focuses on discussion and exploration of spirituality and particularly, though not only, the Christian faith, in relation to alternative lifestyles. In the course of the first evening, Alex binds an old, leather-bound copy of the Bible with bondage rope, and encourages participants to slide into it cards describing their personal faith issues; it is never to be unbound, with all individual prayers to be given to God. The Bible lives at CCK for a number of years, and is accessible to all asking for it. Combining discussion and prayer, "Spiritual Space" is an exceptionally rare project aimed at helping people become whole, and work out the clashes between their spirituality and sexuality while being fully supportive of both. The little-known event raises numerous eyebrows, while attracting a wide range of people, who sometimes travel considerable distances to attend. For many, it is of enormous support and transformational power, and has continued at various venues since 2005.
Where does an "unexhibitable" artist go to exhibit their work? CCK! Ulli Richter's art treads a fine line between the subversive and the barely legal. A Berlin-based photographer, noted for both his artistic and "leather" photography, Ulli is known for capturing real people, in real "play", and in uncompromising, controversial contexts. The resulting photography, while excellent, is not for the faint-hearted. Consequently, it cannot be easily shown to the public and would not be accepted by any gallery or, indeed, any other space (whether mainstream, alternative, or LGBT). True to our mission of pushing boundaries, we decide to stick our necks out and spend eight long hours shortlisting images that would challenge without getting us shut down. The result is a notable gay SM exhibition, the first in two decades in London (and indeed UK). In due course we are visited by both the police and the council... and they end up staying for coffee. The exhibition is a great success, and it runs its course uninterrupted and without incident.