SPB is a community of individuals actively creating a culture of care, confidentiality, and consent. To foster a loving and drama-free environment which allows learning and personal growth, members are expected to stick to the following code of conduct in the community. As respecting this code is essential to safeguard the safer space SPB is, procedures are in place to handle transgressions appropriately.
- Personal hygiene: Members come to events clean and substantially free of odours, both natural and enhanced (some people are allergic and/or intolerant of essential oils, perfumes, and colognes).
- Sobriety: Members are mindful of alcohol and other intoxicants at events to give affirmative consent, be present, connected, and not be annoying to others. Members will therefore arrive and remain substantially sober at events. While a limited usage is tolerated at L1 (social) events (without leading to intoxication or other altered behaviour), it is not allowed at events of other levels or at orientations.
- Safer Sex Discussion: Members will use a safer sex dicussion, when appropriate, prior to any sexual or strongly sensual engagement with others. This includes, but not limited to,
- Honestly discussing STI status, including last tested and results.
- Communication and respecting boundaries without judgement or coercion prior to any engagement and during the engagement if they change.
- Ethically disclosing any relationship agreements with others.
- Discussing intentions and expectations pertaining to engaging with others in a sensual/sexual context.
- Members take responsibility for their own decisions and experiences at events and will seek support from the event host/facilitators or other members as needed.
- Members take care of fellow members by offering assistance directly or notifying the event host or caretaker when someone seems stuck, lost, confused, lonely or in trauma, or when a boundary violation / consent violation is observed.
- Members will take responsibility for their own experiences and will speak up rather than tolerate or endure experiences they do not like.
- Members will seek help from a caretaker if needed.
- Conduct Outside of SPB or Conduct from the Past
- While SPB endeavours not to let the difficulties between romantic or play partners outside of SPB events affect anyone’s membership, we keep an eye out for the kind of problematic patterns or egregious consent violations that are better addressed for the wellbeing of the community.
- We therefore keep the personal out of the communal unless a problematic pattern or repeat consent violation risk is seen.
- Non-Disclosure: We protect the privacy of our members. Not everyone is out and open about their exploration of sexuality, their orientation or their relationship practices in their personal or professional lives.
- Members will not divulge the identity of other members. This includes not recognising other members with non-members present unless agreed beforehand.
- Members will not share the experiences or stories of other members within or outside of SPB without their express consent.
- Members will not share Facebook posts from within the SPB secret group outside of that group without express consent from the original poster
- Members will not tag anyone on social media without their consent.
- Image Policy
- Members will not take photos or videos at events without permission from BOTH the event host/facilitator AND any and all individuals being photographed. Any further sharing of such photos or videos requires explicit permission from the picture taker and everyone in the photo or video.
- Members will not share photos or videos from within the SPB secret Facebook group outside of that group without express consent from BOTH the original poster AND everyone in the photograph.
- Members may not tag anyone on social media or outing anyone without their explicit verbal consent.
- Consent is essential for maintaining a safer space. It is never assumed. Members must always ask for consent.
“No” means No. “Maybe” means No. Silence means No. “If you think so” means No. Etc.
- Yes should be “Absolutely Yes!”, a full active consent. This does not necessarily refer to the way the “Absolutely Yes” is said (some people are more introverted than others), but to the fact that the consent giver must fully mean it and convey that message to the other.
- A refused, rejected or revoked consent must always be respected. The receiving member should not take this personally; on the contrary, they should be grateful that the other person is clear and honest about their boundaries.
- Consent is given specific to time and context. It only applies for the activity at hand at the moment of asking, and only for that instance of the activity.
- Consent can always be withdrawn, at any moment. Members should regularly check in with each other regarding consent, especially when in doubt or when observing e.g. hesitation or distress.
- Members may agree on a blanket consent between them on specific activities or topics. This should be used with care, and does not remove the need to check in on each other.
- Emotional consent must be obtained before sharing triggering recounts. Even with consent obtained, the speaking member should look out for people getting distressed.
- Direct communication is of highest value in SPB. All communications are voluntary and consensual (meaning free of coercion, harassment, or pressure).
- As much as possible, members will talk about and listen through issues in a constructive and caring manner.
- Members will avoid using blaming language or language that includes a diagnosis of someone else. We strive to talk from our own observations of what happened, how that affected us, and to say how we wish to be treated in the future.
- Reaching out to another member (phone, social media (including friendship requests), SPB website messages, others) without having had prior consent to do so explicitly from that member is not allowed.
- Gossip (repeating hearsay or building coalitions to gain support against other members) is not allowed or tolerated.
- Members will not share someone else’s story unless they have the explicit and informed consent to share it.
- We will ONLY publicly point out what another member said or did with that other member’s consent and ONLY in order to discuss a pertinent issue.
- Conflict Resolution
- Members will express concerns by directly speaking with the other member, the host, the facilitator, or the caretaker at the event, or by contacting a member of the Regulatory Committee.
- The aim of the Regulatory Committee is to deal with any issues that could arise between members that go against our 3 C’s basic rules.
- If you feel the need to make a complaint, you contact any of the volunteers for the Regulatory Committee (listed below). This person then contacts all the other volunteers for the Regulatory Committee in a private dedicated Slack channel.
- A group of minimum 5 of these volunteers (subcommittee), not linked personally to any of the people involved in the complaint, get together and take the necessary steps to resolve the issue (in another private dedicated Slack channel)
- Resolving the issue entails the subcommittee discussing the complaint. Then, depending on different aspects and on the severity of the case, the issue is sorted out through a restorative justice process, a talk to all parties involved separately, or harder actions that need to be taken (such as a sanction or removal of a member).
- The committee of course aims to deal with each case with care, consent of all and where confidentiality is strictly respected.
- Social Media: SPB social media forums, such as the public and private SPB Facebook groups, the Slack forum for volunteers, and any other social media forums involving SPB members / activities are not an arena to air grievances or concerns about a specific person or to complain about an event, SPB, or the community as a whole.
- ALL such posts can be removed by an administrator or moderator.
- The administrators or moderators can close the discussion on a thread if it does not meet these standards.
- RSVP to attend an event is a commitment.
- If a member cannot make an event, they must change their RSVP as soon as possible to allow the event host to contact possible members on the waiting list. If this happens shortly before the event (e.g. same day), the member should also notify the event host via a message on the event page or a private message to the host.
- No-shows are frowned upon. Not showing up without warning is not necessarily a no-show (e.g. car problem) on the other hand, cancelling very shortly beforehand due to neglect could just as well be considered a no-show.
- Following up on no-shows will therefore be gradual, and be based on judgement calls. Eventually, excessive no-shows could lead to suspension or expulsion.