I have become greatly disturbed by the lack of good ethics within the scene or BDSM lifestyle. I am horrified by the cruel and selfish needs of those who engage in predatory behavior, and those who excuse or defend it. I abhor rape, sexual assault, and a flagrant disregard for mutual consent – whether that be via manipulation and deceit, blatant force, or willful negligence. I respect only those that can show respect and try to uphold responsible and ethical practices. This includes the demonstration of understanding and compassion for those who have been victimized within the scene.
While I have always held this belief strongly and reiterate them my workshops and writing, it seems necessary to turn into a fully documented Ethics Policy. Developing an actual policy is done for three reasons: (1) to guide our decisions as to whether to participate with a group or event where significant allegations or events have taken place; (2) to apply said decisions with equal measure regardless of personal relationship with those involved; (3) to send a message to the community and organizers who are concerned about unethical behavior that we each play a part and can do something about it.
Because I am driven to act in a fashion that is consistent with my views and principles, I am making this statement to any and all:
Terms for presenting to any group or organization is that it must not harbor widely banned individuals (with bans being the result of major behavioral issues, assault, rape etc) or those with a history of serious consent violations. I will neither support nor associate with any group, organization, or members of a community that either excuses or condones these types of behaviors. This includes both those directly involved or by conscious negligence (i.e willful inaction). I will not be party to adding to the perceived legitimacy of such a group or encourage values that defends or excuses such behaviors. This is non-negotiable; these are my principles, the sacrifice of which is a Hard Limit.
This is my way of being a part of the solution, versus part of the problem. My hope is that if I, and other presenters join me, we are taking some oxygen out of the inferno. While I would regret withdrawing from those who are eager for education, we are all part of the equation – including various lifestyle group leaders, presenters, and key members. No matter what one’s role, we are part of the eco-sphere of a culture. If we are to uphold core values, then we must fight and live with the inconveniences of standing up for our principles.
I am available for booking if every reasonable effort is being made to hold everyone to the same standards of ethical conduct and behavior, no matter your connections or friendships. I don’t do politics, I do patterns of behavior as truth. If the pattern of an individual or group of individuals is a problem, then it must be addressed – not rationalized away.
The local groups or communities we serve need to feel safe. Without safety we fear, and when we fear we shut ourselves down to new experiences and ideas. Without safety we cannot reach others, and as a presenter I cannot reach those that have closed or guarded their minds. Thus we cannot fulfill my purpose in these events as educators. Safety comes from two sources, the sense of safety we create ourselves through strength, competence, and confidence, and the safety we feel in the environment around us. We can promote both in our workshops and classes, in our policies and conduct. We can promote responsible and respectful relationships and activities within a high risk community by not making excuses.
As such, I further offer the following pledge to event organizers and group leaders who are interested in my workshops and classes:
- to bring my best self to your group or community, to act and behave as a trusted professional, and to be well prepared to execute my workshops or classes to the best of my ability, with equal measures of care and diligence.
- to conduct myself in the most ethical manner possible, free from conflict of interest or pursuits. This includes a policy of abstaining from casual/pickup play during the course of the active event.
- to Lead by Example in conduct and action: making choices which demonstrate a combination of excellence and passion while providing knowledge authentically and as transparently as possible.
- to fully cooperate with the rules and overseeing boards of the organization, including house rules, codes of conduct, policies, resolution boards, and committees.
- to offer consultative support and advice, if sought, to help any inviting organization consider their own policies and methods for handling events and situations with responsible compassion, transparency, and fairness, to the best of my ability.
I will do this regardless, but I want to make it clear. It is my hope that a statement such as this, clear and unequivocal, will be appreciated by victims of rape, assault, and serious consent violations. It is also my hope that other presenters, organizers, influences, and leaders will join me in taking a clear stance. WE need to be our own light to encourage responsible behaviors, because no one else will.
Copyright 2017 Limits Unleashed