Since this is a completely volunteer-fueled group, there are practical limits to our ambitions. The SPB coordination team is there to facilitate the ideals and goals, as far as they can, without being held responsible for shortcomings. As the issues presented are sometimes very complex and diverse, they can take a case-to-case decision based on trust.
Cells, Coordinators and Volunteers
To make a group like this work, we need people who facilitate and make it possible and safe.
While realising coordination is needed, SPB wants to steer away from hierarchical power structures and titles. We therefore do not use titles like (vice) presidents or directors and the like, but cells and coordinators.
The coordination team currently consists of nine functions:
- Events Coordinator
- Care Coordinator
- Membership Coordinator
- Inclusivity Coordinator
- Communications Coordinator
- SPW Liaison
- Treasury Coordinator
- Inventory Coordinator
These functions are grouped in four cells: Events & Care, Membership & Inclusivity, Communications & SPW Liaison, and Treasury & Inventory. The secretary helps to link and coordinate the different cells.
The members of the coordination team are elected / confirmed at the yearly General Assembly.
We warmly welcome volunteers to participate in any of the cells! All contributions are appreciated, whether they are small or big.
In case of severe incidents, a per-case Regulatory Committee (RC) is set up, having 4-5 members coming from a pool of volunteers for the RC as gathered at the GA. An RC must contain at least one and at most two members of the Coordination Team.
Events & Care
Events are the main activities of SPB.
SPB is not an event bureau but rather a community. Organising events is therefore a shared responsibility of the whole group, do not be afraid to step forward!
SPB’s events fall in one of four levels, indicating the type of (physical) interaction. This level indicates the maximum that can happen at the event, but is not a guarantee that it will happen. Details are often mentioned in the event description.
- Level 1 are “Social”: workshops and lectures, social and educational gatherings with no disrobing. E.g. Book-Clubs, Movie Nights, the SPB Café… Non-members may be allowed at some of these events.
- Level 2 ”Sensual”: touch that is nurturing and affectionate. No Sexual Energy, (functional) nudity possible. E.g. massage, naked yoga, nude drawing, feather touch (non-erogenous), cuddle movie…
- Level 3 “Sexy”: sexual energy allowed, but no penetration/orgasm. E.g. play parties, tantra massage…
- Level 4 “Sexual”: most consensual activities are allowed, also penetration. These activities must follow safer sex guidelines (also for partners).
- Non Consensual Sexual Activities (e.g. necrophilia, zoophilia): we cannot condone these as consent cannot be given. However, we can have (Level 1) conversations about them without judging them.
The level system is used to protect the safer space. You can only participate in Level 3 events after having successfully participated in at least three Level 2 events. Likewise, Level 4 participation requires prior participation to at least three Level 3 events.
However, SPB is not a game, and there is no obligation to “climb up” the levels.
As events are run by volunteers (=members), please be mindful when RSVPing. No-shows are frowned upon.
To ensure a good balance in event participants (e.g. gender balance), event registration is not necessarily first come first served, a waiting list may be used to allow the host to respect balances.
Some events are marked as Outings: these are not purely SPB events, and therefore do not have the same guarantees for a safer space as there may be other people present (e.g. visit to a swinger’s club). There is no guarantee for a safer space, and a caretaker will not necessarily be present. However, as SPB members, you are still expected to apply SPB’s principles.
SPB events have caretakers assigned in function of the nature of the event, who keep an eye on the wellbeing of the participants, and provide a safe space if people need to take some distance from the event for a moment.
However, all participating members are the primary caretakers! Members must be mindful of their own behaviour, and check in with the people with whom they interact to make sure they are OK.
Membership & Inclusivity
On average, SPB receives several applications each week from people wanting to become members. In order to protect and preserve the safer space, these applications are thoroughly reviewed to ensure the person has the right sex-positive mentality to be an SPB member, and that they will not be a threat to the group.
The answers to the questions on the MeetUp form are only the beginning of this. We also like to meet potential new members at one of our cafés to get to know them in person. If an application is deemed OK, the person can be invited to an orientation.
The orientation is an in-person event to further get to know each other, to answer questions, and to do some exercises and workshops, e.g. on consent. This document is essential pre-reading for the orientation. During the orientation, knowing that the violin is purple may therefore help prove that you indeed read this document (remember this!).
Another factor in the application process is diversity. There has always been an unbalance in applications, with cis-hetero white men forming a disproportionately large group. Therefore, potential members will only be invited to orientations in a way that keeps our diversity in balance.
Because of the diversity balance, and because we want to keep our number of members at a reasonable number, we strive for an active membership, and ask people that have become inactive or uninterested to release their place so other, more active members can join.
Finances & Inventory
SPB works as low-budget as possible. However, some costs need to be covered:
- Website hosting, MeetUp account
- Rainbow House
- Banking costs
We do not require yearly dues to be paid; instead, at each event we work with a suggested donation. We do not want money to be a barrier to participating in SPB, so it is OK to not donate if that is too difficult, and equally OK to donate a bit more than the suggestion if your situation allows it and you want to share.
As SPB is fully volunteer based, we do appreciate hearing about any possible contributions to the group, such as possible venues for events, event ideas, volunteering skills, etc.
SPB also maintains a library. It holds a number of books and DVDs on Sex Positive subjects, but also some sensations and sex gear for usage at events (such as gloves, condoms&lube, a couple of demo ropes…). This can be borrowed by SPB members and/or used at SPB events. We are open to suggestions for extending the library.
Communications & SPW Liaison
This cell looks after all our communication channels. This includes the public Facebook group, the secret Facebook group, the MeetUp account, flyers…
They also manage our liaisons with outside organisations, such as the Rainbow House, Cavaria, Casa Rosa, etc.
SPB is a chapter of Sex-Positive World. While there is no hierarchical relationship between both, we have good links with SPW, and through them with the other SPW chapters.