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The Clearing of Consent On Regulating Sexuality at Alternative Culture Events


Te Clearing of Consent On Regulating Sexuality at Alternative Culture Events Katessa S. Harkey, Study Author

Survey Team Bruce Bartlett, Technical advisor Avi Kindlefyre, Technical advisor Community advisors: Saffire Bouchelion Colleen Dee Laura Malchert Gould Megan Lilah Martin Kristen Reynolds

The interpretations and analysis of the survey data and accompanying research represent the opinions of the Study Author only; who takes full accountability for their contents.

Complimentary Copy. All Rights Reserved. Permission is expressly affirmed to any educator (institutional or otherwise) to use these materials in course design. Videos explaining key content are being drafted and are available on the Author's YouTube Channel.


NW Council for Consent Culture 2017


Copyright Š 2017 by Katessa S. Harkey All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal. Permission is expressly affirmed to any educator (institutional or otherwise) to use these materials in course design. First Printing: 2017 ISBN 978-1-365-78016-5 All Responsibility claimed by the Study Author. 10255 SE Liebe Street Portland, OR 97266 www.SpiralCultCircus.com


Dedication To the children of Pan, Babylon, and Melek Taus: May you always remember. And To my detractors: May you be numerous and dedicated to the cause we share. Print copies of this edition are highly flammable.


Contents 1.Acknowledgements.....................................................................................................................9 2.Introduction...............................................................................................................................10 3.Demographics............................................................................................................................28 4.What We Believe.......................................................................................................................55 5.Setting Boundaries....................................................................................................................72 6.Consent Violations: the Short Form.......................................................................................81 7.Consent Violations: the Long Form........................................................................................92 8.Reporting.................................................................................................................................102 9.The Meta Problem..................................................................................................................110 10.Enforcement..........................................................................................................................137 11.The Religion of Consent.......................................................................................................154 12.Appendix I: Sample Safety Documents...............................................................................168 13.Appendix II: General Announcement.................................................................................180 14.Appendix III: A Warning to Fellow Young Girl-Shaped-Things....................................182 15.Table of Tables......................................................................................................................183


1. Acknowledgements I would like to thank the participants in this study for their contributions, both those who took the surveys and those who dared to tell me the truth during the design phase and throughout the fieldwork. Obviously, this momentous activist undertaking would not have been possible without you. The construction of this study owes an intellectual debt to the work of Helen A. Berger, Evan A. Leach, and Leigh S. Shaffer as reported in "Voices from the Pagan Census: A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States" (University of South Carolina Press, 2003). Without their foundational work in sampling hidden communities, the possibility of this study would not have been conceived. A special note of gratitude is due to the ladies present at the Women's Healing Circle, who first demanded community transparency of me. I didn't know if I could do it. I hope this is what you wanted. To my Mother, I owe an existence on this planet and my life-long commitment to true social justice. So there's that. To Sol Invictus, for the dawning of a new day. To all the artists, activists, clowns and freaks who have made Spiral Cult Circus what it has been, there is no where I would rather be than right here with all of you under One Big Tent. We'll see you all again next year at Primal Ordeal. Blessings, Cousins. Finally, I would like to thank my partner Jonathan Mooney for all his support and companionship over the years. His tolerance of my ravings on these difficult subjects while I've been researching and writing has been saintly. Even when everyone else was calling me “Rape Girl�, you never did. Good job, sweetie.

If al printrs were detrmined not t print anyting tl tey were sure it would ofend nobody, tere would be very litle printd. - B. Franklin

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2. Introduction Community Placement of the Study Author My name is Katessa Harkey, and I am the Storyteller of Spiral Cult Circus. We are a small Hermetic Fraternal Order operating in Portland, OR. The purpose of our organization is, in part, to create spaces in which the diversity of practitioners is well-represented. Our Covenstead (or house ministry, for those unfamiliar with the term) has been serving the needs of the disadvantaged artist and activist communities of Portland, OR for over five years. Our tradition holds that sexuality, like all aspects of human life, is sacred. I am also a fetish model and hold a Dungeon Monitor's Association certification. I consider my Kink identity to be Primal. I am a switch tending sub; but this varies by partner and occasion. I was born into a family of Festival and Convention organizers, cutting my teeth at age 11 by serving a security shift at a Trek convention. My father was buried in his engineer's uniform. I am poly, identify as non-binary, and have been involved in LGBTQ activism since I was 17. I am an ecosexual. Politically, I consider myself a Libertarian. Most would call me a classical liberal, but I am leery of any identification that wants me to carry a banner. I have never been involved in party politics, instead focusing my attentions on issues activism. If I be strung up as a feminist, then let me be strung up alongside my sister evidence-based, Equity feminists. At Spiral Cult Circus, we provide traditional ministerial services; a platform for communitygenerated performance art; education; and, to the best of our ability, a social safety net for those experiencing relational traumas in their lives. Our church structure represents the egalitarian ethic of this community. Unlike the majority of my peers who operate as corporations soli, if I fail to live up to the duties of my office I may be removed from my position by a Board of Directors. (See our Statement of Guiding Principles, pages 162-163.) I have no authority beyond that which is granted me by our documents or those of specific events. That is, I am a representative and not a ruler. In brief, we strive to be a community united around an ethic of personal responsibility and brotherhood. As a member of the clergy, I take very seriously my duties to retain the privacy of those who share with me their stories. This is the main function I serve for members of my community. It was on this assurance that native informants during the fieldwork process were willing to speak with me candidly. Many of the most effected individuals remain in the community; and thus in danger. I will, therefore, avoid throughout as much as possible the inclusion of identifying information except that which has been publicly revealed or was part of internal business of the organization; or with the express permission of individuals effected.

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Inciting Incident I became involved in this situation by sheer chance and proximity. I was online at the time when the instigating incident, an explicit accusation against a young leader in the community by the name of Ethan Edwards (who gave permission to the inclusion of his story), hit. This “activist” announcement was posted on numerous “community watering hole” pages on Facebook. It claimed that Edwards was a known predator in the community that had now moved on to Hawaii and was likely to predate upon women there. The reporter graphically described an incident she considered to be date rape; but which led to an ongoing relationship with him of significant length. She said she felt obligated to speak out because she had seen a picture of him with friends in community in Hawaii. Nevertheless, within moments, the thread (associated with a local Sacred Dance event popular with many different sub-communities) was gathering commentary. I was one of the first responders to the main thread, offering my help in any way possible. I was contacted within minutes by a number of members of the community expressing deep distress. The thread grew as the community cycled through fear, anger, and rage. One community member who contacted me asked if I would help lead a women's healing circle in response to the trauma of the event. As the alternative energy was behind a picket of a sister organization, I readily agreed. My task there was to facilitate an allies circle; and afterwards help moderate a group discussion. The effort seemed to be having its desired effect of helping those emotionally impacted release their pain in a healthy way. During the discussion, women expressed frustration at organizational opacity and apparent lack of responsiveness. Unfortunately, near the end of the discussion period, one of the leaders from the impacted group arrived, clearly flustered. Apparently, issues of closing down the week's event had delayed her arrival to that point. Without having participated in the facilitated structure of the allies circle, the group cohesion of the moment did not include her. Later, some participants reported feeling that the purpose of the meeting was in this manner co-opted toward explaining the choices of the organization and away from taking any meaningful action to address the real issues. On the other side, the leader hoped to soothe community fears by demonstrating that the organization had acted in an ethical manner. It was clear that the whole incident had taken a heavy emotional toll for her. As an event organizer myself, I would never want to find myself in that position, and I offered her my condolences. From the discussion that had occurred up to that point, it was clear that what the women who attended were asking for was a critical analysis of the internal response to accusations of consent violations. If the man accused really was such a danger to the community that it warranted allowing his character to be so dramatically called to question publicly in a group forum, then why had organizers allowed him to continue in his position for so long? On the other hand, if he was not so clearly guilty as to warrant this, why had leadership decided to allow the thread to remain on the wall?

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Te voluminous tread was highly contntous. Above is a pair of responses folowing Etan's atempt t address te accusatons; and near immediat ejecton fom te space. He was altrnatly caled out for bot tying and not tying t resolve te issues raised. Women’s Circle Minutes 02/08/2015 Katessa Harkey (Recording) Opening and Introductions were conducted. The Ally Circle was positively received. Group Discussion & Brainstorming Session: •

It was suggested that either Sacred Circle Dance or some coalition organization could establish a panel of qualified volunteers to approach at such events. ◦ Issues: Women don't know who they should talk to. They don't want to inflict or receive harm by approaching the wrong person, and they don't want to distract organizers from their event tasks. Participants who have traumatic experiences do not know who has had appropriate training to deal with the situation. Though it was suggested that a traumatized person ought to be able to approach anyone for assistance, evidence of poor responses online entered as substantiation of argument to the contrary.

It was noted that Sacred Circle Dance fully supports the creation of community lead support groups around the issue.

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Some participants did not like the idea of creating a written required protocol for interactions on the dance floor any more specific than the current model. ◦ Issues: Would defeat the sense of exploration and play; would require intrusive interactions. The current model has not prevented outright dismissal of basic rules: ex. Stalking behavior; groping.

Some participants expressed a lack of faith that the current model is equivalent to a “zero-tolerance” policy. This perception is bolstered by institutional opacity. ◦ Issues: Lack of chain of evidence (incident reports, etc.) of actions by those receiving reports. Confidentiality requirements prevent transparency. ◦ One participant contended and others agreed that no “one-size-fits-all” policy could be devised, as every situation is different and must be handled with the utmost care.

Issues: Sometimes the reporter asks for confidentiality. Sometimes there is no way to substantiate a claim. Sometimes the reporter is unclear about the gravity of the occurrence. Sometimes the situation appears to be resolved after application of appropriate mediations between parties. Sometimes reporters do lie due to ulterior motives or mental illness; and false accusations can ruin an innocent life.

Responses online and in-session have included many references to and points of view on reporting incidents to the police. ◦ Issues: The process of reporting to police is itself re-traumatizing and is no longer recommended by activists in the field for most cases. Additionally, not all behaviors unacceptable within this community are illegal. It is inappropriate to attach any weight at all to whether a survivor reported an incident to the police; especially in a way that suggests this may validate or invalidate the survivor's experience. The survivor must not be shamed for this choice in either direction.

All present expressed a desire that the safer spaces policy be reviewed and made more prominently available at dance.

Participants desire a clear written policy describing the actions the institution will take upon receiving a report; and clear definition of what types of behavior in what circumstances the institution will consider actionable.

A request was repeated for a volunteer position to be created as the responsible party for safety and security at events (called by several an “ombudsman”) to act as liaison between participants and organizers. ◦ Issue: Participants stated they felt reticent to approach organizers who are busy providing the group dance experience.

“Prepare Portland” training was suggested as a resource in the community. Those that wish to serve in helping capacities in the community might receive training through this resource; or possibly training events might be created as a collaborative effort.

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It was stated that it is outside the parameters of Sacred Circle Dance to address these issues, which are endemic to the community served. Nor can organizers be present off the dance floor itself.

Issues: Lack of resources; not in keeping with the particular practical mission of the organization. Lack of internal trained personnel.

Procedural: ◦ The Group agreed generally to a desire for future meetings. The next weekend was declined. Sunday the 22nd was suggested. More time to get between dance and the event space was requested. ◦ The question of gender composition was raised. It was requested that at least one further meeting be provided as women’s only space. Most were amenable to opening the space to all genders at some near point in the future.

Community Tension The tension expressed by the community came down to the cognitive dissonance created by the interpretation of the dictum that we must “believe the victim” or we are supporting rape culture. Yet, over the last ten years I have watched this dictum generalized well beyond the specific original intent of sexual assault to include everything falling under the heading of “consent violation”; as well as private strife between relationship partners and even to ideological crimes. In other words, we have come to a place where failing to believe in an approved program narrative might itself make one a consent violator by the standards of some persons in positions of power. This is of course in their own best interest, as event producers are essentially in the business of selling a sense of safety. How much easier to market to an interested population consumed by fear? Thankfully, at least in this locality, there seem to be few of these; yet they are frequently the loudest voices in the room. They get their way through bullying, intimidation, name-calling, and threats of relational and social violence. Those persons are peppered in among the vast majority of thoughtful, responsive venue owners, event producers, presenters, entertainers, staff members and promotors (in roughly that social pecking order) who make it all happen. Volunteers are actually in an even worse position: they are held to more social scrutiny than any one else on a team; they have no social padding around mistakes; they have no say in the structure of the organizations they serve; and they are seen as more or less fungible by many producers. Furthermore, if they were not economically disadvantaged in some way, they would have simply purchased a ticket to the event. At the same time, the uninitiated community is self-aware as regards the fact of a “social meta-game” occurring around them all the time, though they can't see its details. This is obvious because organizations are in competition with one another for members, resources, and social recognition. Publicly, we're all friends here; privately, my party is safer than yours. Calls for transparency were invariably met with deference to the privacy of the individuals involved, fanning the fervor. Organizers reported feeling caught between a rock and a hard place. There is no clear distinction between who is a leader and who a member of community. There are no guidelines on who's rules apply where and to whom; and what steps or actions constitute appropriate enforcement.

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Structuring the Survey & Organization

It became apparent that for the sake of credibility and real community ownership a survey methodology would have to be employed. As the issues in question touched on the lives, interests and material livelihoods of nearly every organizer and crew member in the community, no existing body could be suitable if the effort was to serve the interests of the whole related network and not just one individual, group, or subculture. Another concern was that a significant portion of the community has no representation anywhere that is recognized generally by other leaders due purely to class disadvantage. It was determined in conversation with others on the forming committee that the NW Council for Consent Culture would be a purely academic, apolitical organization formed to the purpose of studying and reporting on issues internal to the network of Consent Communities that produce events in the Pacific Northwest. It was agreed we would act as a formal non-profit organization throughout our operation, however long it took to warrant formal incorporation. It was further agreed that the organization would take no position on matters internal to other organizations; nor act to defame anyone in the community; nor use the organization as a platform to promote the events of any community over the events of any other. This document was posted in the “About” section of our Facebook page as the primary interface for the organization, and was approved by all members. “The NWCCC has been formed to support organizations that host group safer touch and/or sensual/sexual spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Established Feb. 17th, 2015 by a small steering committee, the group is still in its formative stages and is seeking public input and commentary in the process. We recognize that these activities are carried out in a variety of cultural contexts; and that many members both organizing and attending are often shared between some or all of these contexts. Sometimes, sex and relationship educators in different communities use the same words in very different ways. This results in a variety of miscommunications and unintentional missteps. “This body will provide a channel of communication amongst these organizing bodies; firstly, so that the communities can more quickly notice patterns with problem members who regularly violate space and boundary agreements; and to aid in distinguishing these situations from honest and forgivable mistakes or false accusation. “Secondly, the organization will study and report upon these issues in the community. Given the often explosive nature of these situations, survivors may be reticent to come forward; while hearsay is subject to hyperbole. The NWCCC will create, disseminate, collect, tabulate, and report on the current state of satisfactory practices and predation within Consent Culture communities.

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“Based on its findings, the NWCCC will support efforts to bring more education into the community to correct for imbalances revealed by the study and future initiatives; revising recommendations and presenting them in the community. “The steering committee consists of Kristen Reynolds, Colleen Donaldson, Megan Lilah Martin, and Katessa Harkey. This board operates on limited consensus; where consensus fails, simple majority democracy rules. At this time, the team requires agility to be able to work toward establishing the organization and gathering foundational documents such as the community survey. “The best way you can help at this time is by using the pinned post as a forum for public commentary on the types of information sought by the community. And of course, when we have prepared the survey, take it! And please spread the word to your friends and fellow organizers. We want to honor the experiences of all community members, whatever their social locations. “Also, feel free to share on our page about classes and workshops that focus on relational communication, healthy touch, support groups and other aspects of consent culture.” This assurance was very necessary if we hoped to gather honest, clean data. Also to this end, the survey design phase was to be run as a community initiative using draft proposals, comment periods, and a diverse team of community advisors. Circumstances & Conditions For the sake of those unfamiliar with the back-room politics of event-based communities, a brief explanation is in order. Large and small, these events form the cornerstone of alternative community. Like all grassroots culture, organizations are typically the brainchild and personal “territory” of their creators. This is fair: the degree of work and personal self-sacrifice involved with making such dreams into reality are incalculable. This person (or in some cases a couple, polycule, or “house”) becomes the embodiment of the organization. The entire fabric of their social life becomes tied-up in promoting the events and recruiting the volunteers, staff and presenters without which the event could not survive financially. Unpaid labor is the backbone of any event community. Volunteers are being distinguished herein as those who were not paid for their services; as opposed to Crew or Administration who typically receive token stipends for professional services worth well more in the standard market. These dedicated people consider it a fair exchange so long as the experience they were promised is the one they get. Without them, there would be no event. Organizers of events in the same general category tend to work together to increase community involvement over-all; and because we are frequently organizers, presenters, and crew at one-another's events. Yet these are uneasy marriages, as events and organizations are also in competition with one another for attendees, active and involved membership, and so forth. If organizers have a falling out and allow their dislike for one another to end in a dissolution of ties between organizations, general members may be forced to socially “choose sides” in the matter. This can lead to deep inter-relational trauma and, in some cases, the destruction of one or both groups.

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This phenomenon is so well-known that the aphorism regarding the lifecycle of any major event is that if you make it past year seven, you will probably make it to twenty. So if they are so unstable, why do people invest so much of themselves and their lives in them? These community groups serve as a surrogate extended family and social network in an era in which the natural family structure is virtually destroyed by economic forces, societal expectation, and accommodation. They also substitute for major religious ritual (which in the past was frequently annual) in terms of creating a liminal experience in which personal change may occur. Consent Communities also frequently represent a more marginalized group of people inclined to seek the company of their own various kinds. Indeed, the origins of Consent Culture as we know it lie in the Kink & Fetish and GLBTQ communities. As legal battles for sexual freedom (such as the decriminalization of homosexual acts) were won, new opportunities to create community opened up. However, these gains are recent and easily rescinded; therefore many members of the community choose to remain “in the closet” as it were. The community is still quite protective of the identities of its members - as well it should be. In many magical traditions in the Sacred Sexuality community segment, members swear oaths binding them to retain the privacy of other members. In order to gain acceptance in the more mainstream social sphere, organizers worked to assure that the events they wanted to host represented legal, consensual activities between adults. This was necessary to gain access to venue spaces; permitting procedures involving county government; and so forth. It is the language developed by these now-scarred and aged warriors of the sexual revolution that has been adopted by pop-culture feminism and Consent Culture in specific. Yet my mother (one such wounded warrior) would hardly recognize the spaces for which she helped make a place in the world today. The mainstreaming of our alternative cultures has had benefits in terms of community growth; but at the same time has cost us some portion of our radical and revolutionary spirit. In many cases, we have traded away our ethics of autonomy and freedom for respectability and marketshare; and because the external structures in place demand that someone or some office be accountable for the actions of an organization to government apparatus. This is a part of the social contract for organizers: because you are the one who will be held accountable, you have a vested interest in ensuring that your organization operates legally and that events are held in reasonably “safe” environments (so much as due diligence demands). In exchange, participants agree to adhere to space guidelines and to act in a manner while at events that minimizes disruption or detracts from the experiences of other guests. Organizers are therefore very leery of anything that might harm the reputation of their events, themselves, or persons within their sphere of operations. Impact The scope of the problem is enormous. It impacts the community at large in that policies and procedures implemented at major events “ripple back” and effect the choices made by local organizers once home. Consider the strange case of the Michigan Women's Music Festival. This event was a space organized for women by women to recognize the artistic works and merit of those of their gender; and to be in lesbian-oriented space with others of their kind. However, strife arose over the issue of trans-inclusivity. Attendance at the protest action against MichFest at the age of seventeen represented my initiation into the queer activist community. I had learned from my friends at Full Circle Temple (a sadly-departed women-only trans-inclusive space) that transwomen were being denied access

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to shelters and other resources because of their trans status. In this environment, it was argued, it was irresponsible for a major festival to hold such policies. Outraged, I borrowed a tent; spent my last ten dollars on canned ravioli; and less than a week later got in a van full of strangers to go half a continent away and stand up for my friends. While the action ostensibly focused on the issues listed above (this was what the pamphlet I helped distribute to Festies at the gate said), this was not the actual source of the anger as expressed to me by others present at the action; or by those festival attendees who came over to see the show and hit on transmen. The problem came down to one of identity: must a lesbian accept for herself transwomen partners as at least a possibility, or be labeled transphobic? May she be attracted to transmen and still call herself a lesbian? Is it rude to express your interest in a transman if you do consider yourself a lesbian? As the years went by, however, the status of trans individuals in society improved greatly. It was difficult to argue for the continuation of the protest action on the original stated grounds. Many transwomen in fact did attend the festival, with the loosening of the policy to allow each sister to act in accord with her own conscience in the matter. Ultimately, we witnessed in this instance the shameful destruction of one sovereign queer space by a small minority of opponents belonging to another even after reasonable accommodation had been offered. In the end, the organizers of the event could no longer bear the strain and the attacks on themselves and those musicians that chose to play the event. As reported by the queer news site Advocate, Lisa Vogel (the festival's founder) sent this message to the community on April 21, 2015: “'We have known in our hearts for some years that the life cycle of the Festival was coming to a time of closure,' she wrote. 'Too often in our culture, change is met only with fear, the true cycle of life is denied to avoid the grief of loss. But change is the ultimate truth of life. Sisters — I ask you to remember that our 40 year Festival has outlived nearly all of her kin. She has served us well. I want us all to have the opportunity to experience the incredible full life cycle of our beloved Festival, consciously, with time to celebrate and yes, time to grieve.' She acknowledged, 'There have been struggles; there is no doubt about that. This is part of our truth, but it is not — and never has been — our defining story. The Festival has been the crucible for nearly every critical cultural and political issue the lesbian feminist community has grappled with for four decades. Those struggles have been a beautiful part of our collective strength; they have never been a weakness.' She urged the 'Festival family' to 'please take what you love about Michigan and use it to create something new and beautiful.'”1 On the day MichFest fell, I was quite sad. It was certainly not the outcome I had hoped for when I went on that fateful road trip so many years ago. The TERF wars are well documented elsewhere, and are not the main focus of this work. However, it is important to note that destruction through activist action is always a distinct possibility for events. They are frequently so financially fragile that even one bad year or a few bad months can put them under water. If an organized force shows up at your event, or even if actions such as boycotts or pickets are carried out, you will probably be cast as the villain whatever the circumstances. This is simply what makes the most aesthetically pleasing narrative for any commentators or journalists 1 Ring, Trudy. "This Year's Michigan Womyn's Music Festival Will Be the Last." Gay News, LGBT Rights, Politics, Entertainment. Advocate, 21 Apr. 2015. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

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who might be attracted to the drama of the story. That is one reason we must be very judicious and selective in our use of these activist tools as regards sister organizations. We are as likely to destroy the thing as to change it in a positive direction. We all have plenty enough enemies not to manufacture them out of allies. The Community Meeting It was understood at the outset that the survey would be a long-term project. While we were in collaboration on its structure and content, the committee found it desirable to organize a more immediate response. We agreed that the purposes of the event would be threefold: to hear solutions to these issues from diverse consent communities; to help address community tensions; and to encourage participation in the survey when it became available. We also hoped to get a sounding on how broad the scope of the problem was in our particular geographic location. We specifically agreed to try to avoid dwelling on the particulars of incidents, but to focus rather on systemic problems and community-created solutions. Kristen Reynolds (Touch Positive Portland) handled the logistics while I created our webbased platform, graphics, and promotions; and began fieldwork and the structure of the survey. Monies gathered at the event would cover the cost of the venue & trained facilitator, with any remainder to be used toward formal incorporation costs. It was held Friday, April 10 th, 2015 at the Process Work Institute, at which Reynolds was (at the time) a student. Here was the description of the event, which was approved by all committee members: “We are different from the mainstream culture when it comes to how we view sensuality and touch. Are we living our dream the way we really want to? As we grow into our new culture what issues are coming up that we want to address together? “A facilitated meeting for interconnected consent and connection based communities in our region. If you care about consent and consider yourself to be a member of consent community, please attend this important meeting. If you aren't sure if that's you, ask yourself whether you attend gatherings that have a safer spaces policy, written or otherwise, in which varying degrees of touch are allowed to occur. (This includes sexual, asexual, and platonic spaces.) Help us work toward transparency within our beautiful community. “We are inviting communities that are dance and other movement-related communities that involve touch, LGBTQ and other sexual minorities; festivals and conventions that have touch-positive spaces or room parties; members of the kink and fetish communities; and members of alternative spirituality communities. “Dawn Menken has been selected as the professional facilitator. She is a professor at The Process Work Institute in Portland. The school is internationally renowned for its work in conflict resolution. Students graduate with a master's degree and routinely go to some of the most conflicted areas in the world: Greece, Israel, and Ireland as examples. “Learn more about the institute: http://www.processwork.org/ “Dawn has been selected for her expertise in facilitating large group discussion processes in which the group remains singular rather than breaking out into smaller cells. This methodology allows for greater presence, communication and witnessing in the group at large. “Dawn Menken, Ph.D., is a group facilitator, conflict resolution educator, and author. She is on the faculty at the graduate school at the Process Work 21


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Institute and has a private practice where she works with individuals, couples and families. She is the author of Speak Out: Talking About Love, Sex and Eternity and Raising Parents Raising Kids: Hands on Wisdom for the Next Generation. “For more information about her work please see: www.dawnmenken.com. “Cost: $10 “Kristen Reynolds is graciously paying Dawn out-of-pocket in faith that the community will support her in this effort. If you truly cannot afford a $10 contribution, then please pay whatever you can. Any additional proceeds will be used toward start-up costs for the organization.” Unfortunately, at the event itself, it appeared that some kind of communications breakdown had occurred. The facilitator did not seem to understand the agreed-upon purposes of the meeting; or else had only been informed of Reynolds' interests in the matter. Rather than looking together for common problems and practical solutions, the facilitator used an emotionally purgative process experience that encouraged attendees to dwell on the Edwards situation. This was, supposedly, to reveal the feelings of the group and therefore somehow resolve them. Several participants registered extreme dissatisfaction with this lack of focus on the concrete. Real conditions in the community were creating the problems; the emotions were only a symptom. J'ohn B Mackin, active in the Free Cascadia movement, was so dissatisfied as to ask for his money back for himself and his partner. Here is the initial letter he wrote: “I am writing in regards to the meeting this evening. The Facebook marketing said that it 'will cover issues that have come up for our groups, but will not focus exclusively on boundaries or consent.' “My concern is that deep democracy was not exercised this evening. Instead the meeting was primarily focused on one topic and that was the rape accusations of a certain individual. There were multiple opportunities to discuss other consent issues but the moderator did not facilitate these other topics. “Ultimately this felt more like a support group than a facilitated meeting focused on creating, fostering, and growing consent culture here in the PNW. I was invited under the impression that the committee was interested in having representatives of 'LGBTQ and other sexual minorities; festivals and conventions that have touch-positive spaces or room parties; members of the kink and fetish communities; and members of alternative spirituality communities' discuss issues of consent in their communities. While there were attendees that attempted to begin conversations about these topics, the conversation went directly back to the same individual accused of rape. “Because the content of the meeting was not as advertised I would like to be refunded my entrance fee along with my partner's fee who was also in attendance.” When contacted during the writing of this report for comment on what her instructions had been, the facilitator responded: “My comment is that the event was open to anyone in the sexual consent culture to focus on issues they felt were important. My job was to facilitate and process what emerged. The strongest issue in the foreground was the accusation that some people in the community had felt violated. The meeting explored the importance not only of consent but of being aware of feedback in our relationships. “From my perspective, people seemed really satisfied with the experience. Not only did people linger and give positive feedback, but they also went further with the discussion after I left. In addition, I even had folks contact me to thank

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me. But with that said, in any group process there will always be people who are not satisfied and that is important too. Those folks bring up the next things that are incomplete and need attention. A two-hour meeting with 100 people will never be sufficient to all. So good job in getting feedback and working further on issues in your community that need focus.” It seems, from her memory of the events, that the facilitator was told the goals of the meeting were precisely the opposite of the committee's agreed-upon intentions. In attempting to understand why and how this had occurred, I looked into the background of the Process Work Institute, as Reynolds was a student there at the time. In very short order, I discovered this troubling information from the Willamette Week regarding an investigation into the organization by the Office of Degree Authorization: “In February of 2000, however, an anonymous letter alleging sordid and sundry shenanigans at the PWCP landed on Contreras' desk. The allegations, made by a former student, painted a bizarre picture of psychotherapy run amok. The complaint made three serious charges. “First, the letter claimed that students progress not by completing a course of study but by divining the unspoken requirements of the Mindells and their inner circle of Diplomates. Gaining access to this exclusive clique is key to academic advancement, the complaint alleged, and sex with higher-ups is a common path to success. “Second, the complainant alleged that the academic and therapeutic aspects of the program are so intertwined that violations of confidentiality are inevitable and create an atmosphere of paranoia and palace intrigue. “Finally, according to the complainant, the master's degree is professionally useless even within the Process Work community, its primary purpose being to provide INS protection to foreign students while they earn the much-coveted diploma, which is not a degree recognized by the INS......” “Kohn was unable to confirm that sex between students and teachers was related to academic success, but he did find that 'romantic and intimate relationships between students and teachers are accepted without basic prohibition.' In that regard, he noted, PWCP is way out of step with mental-health professional standards.”2 Details only became more sordid from there... But more on that later. Moving Forward During the week after the Community Meeting, I had arranged to meet again with Reynolds about what needed to happen next to move forward with the survey effort, which was supposed to have been the primary goal of the organization. After I resisted the suggestion that the NWCCC be subsumed by another event producer support group for women only (in violation of the stated goals and agreements of the committee at the outset), she indicated no further interest in participation in the project. 2 Shafer, David. "Dream Academy: And You Thought Your Degree Was Useless..." Editorial. Willamette Week [Portland, OR] 28 Aug. 2001: Dream Academy. Willamette Week, 28 Aug. 2001. Web. 12 Dec. 2016. <http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-285-dream-academy.html>.

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I also met with Megan Lilah Martin (Mindful Meltdown Ecstatic Dance), who expressed that she had been there primarily in support of Reynolds and was no longer interested in participating in the effort in preference of focusing on her business and an upcoming vacation. Both registered formal resignation letters. Colleen Donaldson (conscious movement instructor) had become so dissatisfied with the handling of these affairs that she decided to remove herself from the original effected community in silent protest. As she no longer felt a sense of belonging to the effected community, she did not have real investment in continuing with a long-term activist effort. She graciously agreed to stay on the board until suitable replacements could be found; ultimately, Bruce Bartlett (one of the Technical advisors to the survey) and Shawn Kronos (a respected and venerable organizer in the Kink & Fetish community). At this point, Donaldson also resigned. In the weeks following the Community Meeting, tensions continued to run high. More names were named as potential threats to the community. Some of these persons (all men, as far as I was made aware of) were forced to engage in acts of public penance of one kind or another simply to stay in community. Others refused and were ejected or experienced shunning. Certain parties made it their business to seek personally damaging information about individuals and disseminate it as widely as possible, claiming that no other form of justice would bring satisfaction. This was primarily accomplished through the use of social media platforms, namely Facebook. However, it is known that some individuals were physically targeted and “watched” at events, to see if they committed any wrongdoing. In one known case, those seen associating with a man were contacted and warned that he was a danger; all without any contact, investigation, or intervention on the part of leadership aware of the situation. In effect, consent enforcement was being used as an excuse by these individuals to themselves engage in behaviors that would otherwise be treated as “stalking”- and roundly condemned by all. In this environment, the response of most community organizations with a vested interest was to begin offering yet more for-pay consent classes and certifications. (The one notable exception was that Sex Positive Portland began offering a free monthly introduction to consent, a requirement to those wishing to attend SPP gatherings. This demonstrated a high level of community ethic and responsibility.) Everyone was quite eager to protect their reputations, and attendance at such workshops and courses are the only existing certification. Therefore, the socially disadvantaged cannot engage in this sort of gamesmanship. Unfortunately, the educational materials at such events are typically cobbled together from whatever pieces the educator has heretofore obtained; which are largely the opinions of their authors; and often many years out-of-date. Since we are all acting under one big Sex-Positive Umbrella now, no one wants to engage in any critical analysis of the programs offered by any other organization or educator, even where these are mutually exclusive. Evidence-based programs are no where to be found. This is through no fault of educators: until the time of this effort, all known examination processes have been internal to particular organizations and unpublished. No major, recent studies exist which examine the operations of consent within consent communities as they are today- polyculture advertised to every possible alternative sub-culture. Materials are based on what has been shown by experience to work in the laboratory-like settings of facilitated events, and have been honed in that direction over a span of decades. In real life and even at festivals, however, there is rarely an authority figure in the room to whom one may appeal. No one knows what happens when you let these programs out of the laboratory and into people's daily lives.

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Further compounding the problem, consent has become a major focus of interest in the mainstream sphere, and every organization and its dog seems to have its own model and trademarked acronym. Everything from castles to cars to cups of tea have been used as overlysimplistic metaphors for the real, messy business of moderating human sexuality in the present moment. This problem has only compounded since the initiation of this study. On April 15, 2015, I followed up with Mackin with a phone call to beg his pardon on behalf of the organization for the miss-step; and asked what we could do into the future to better serve. He mostly expounded upon the themes in the letter; and expressed great displeasure at the current state of consent activism. At that point, I could only concur. The Survey Instrument As the organization was operating by necessity without a budget and the community initiative process required multi-user access, I determined that the only method would be to create the survey using Google Forms; and for me to run the necessary calculations and comparisons by hand without recourse to expensive software and online services. The survey instrument was therefore limited to the available options in that program.3 Methodology was to mention the survey to community members, its purpose, and ask them what they thought about it. A wide variety of issues and problems were brought up as the possible sources of strife. Certain themes arose again and again in the stories people told; and others demonstrated the uniqueness of the location of each individual. Certain prejudices were also detected. Survey sections were designed that reflected the perspectives of the individuals spoken with as to the possible causes; and as more stories were gathered additional options were added to questions. Thus, the survey instrument itself represents the field notes; but managed in such a way that no identifying information is included even incidentally through temporal demarcation. Community advisors were selected to ensure representation of diverse experience and perspectives in the final survey instrument. These were as follows: • Saffire Bouchelion: A movement instructor and accomplished musician, Bouchelion graciously agreed to review the document especially with concern to issues of racial sensitivity. • Colleen Dee: A Committee Member and movement instructor, Colleen was the youngest advisor, ensuring representation of the youth experience which is often quite different at events. Also a member of the organization primarily implicated in the Edwards situation. • Laura Malchert Gould: An active member and organizer in the Pirate community, Laura's perspective shed light on how these issues impact the general eventing community outside of those which offer formally moderated sex and touch spaces, but still have an ethic of consent in place. • Megan Lilah Martin: A Committee Member and organizer in the Ecstatic Dance community, Megan offered advice and critique from a feminist perspective. (Resigned near completion of the second draft stage.) 3 It should be noted for anyone attempting to duplicate this study that Google has since changed the program, and this effort would have been impossible with the current iteration of it. Thankfully, all grandfathered documents continued to operate fully throughout.

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â&#x20AC;˘

Kristen Reynolds: A Committee Member and leader of Touch Positive Portland, a far more conservative touch-based organization. Kristen helped in the judicious consolidation of survey materials and identification of effected communities. (Resigned near completion of the second draft stage.)

The Technical advisors to creating the instrument were Bruce Bartlett and Avi Kindlefyre, who additionally commented on content to ensure fair representation of men's perspectives. Both have extensive experience in computer technology and helped with the necessary, practical tedium of combing the program for bugs. I myself represented the queer presence in the process, as a gender non-binary, pansexual and poly person. This method ensured the fair inclusion of all perspectives, but had the down-side of generating a study of quite the length and breadth. Negotiating between the community advisors and the technical advisors, I worked to trim the survey as much as possible without erasure of anyone's experiences or beliefs. The final instrument took between a half hour and an hour to complete, depending on the number of incidents one wished to report. We worried that this would limit participation. To attempt to address this concern, I agreed to create a second, shorter version of the survey that was essentially identical but featured an abbreviated incident reporting section so that most data collected could still be combined. This choice provided the opportunity to examine a second question: does ease of reporting incidents change the quantity or quality of reports made? Past a certain point, the tension between all the community advisors' requirements and his continued dissatisfaction with the final product meant that Kindlefyre couldn't work on the project anymore, though we parted ways amiably. This was entirely my fault, as I myself became terribly frustrated with the magnitude of the project and structural limitations. I have nothing but gratitude for all the work that he put in on the project, and his valiant efforts to tolerate me in some of my more difficult moments. It was his opinion that with a survey of that length, we would never reach the stated goal of collecting a thousand surveys. I agreed with him, but could not alter the instrument in such a manner that it no longer represented the community initiative process that had created it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; else sacrifice all credibility. I hoped that, with all the interest and encouragement expressed, the community would rise to the occasion and work with us to make the snowball sampling method successful. In the end, I must admit, Kindlefyre was entirely correct in his predictions. However, the data that has been collected, between this and a subsequent very short survey, paint a distinctive picture of this small pond as a sample case.

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On the Matter of Ethan Edwards... I was contacted by a concerned community member who informed me that Edwards had returned to the Portland area; and to ask if there was anything to be done about it. I explained that the NWCCC was an academic organization; and that we were formed under the precept that the organization would not act as an enforcing body. On further thought, however, it occurred to me that Edwards and his situation had been allowed to become the focus of the Community Meeting that our organization hosted; even though that had not been the original intent. His reputation was quite likely further damaged, were that possible, by the proceedings. It seemed to me that for the sake of fairness and completeness I ought to hear his side of the matter. I contacted him via Facebook with this message on 8/13/2015. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Greetings, We have only met briefly a couple times in person, but I feel obligated to reach out to you due to your influence on the creation of an organization that I serve. In the aftermath of the FB boondoggle on the Ecstatic Dance page, there were a number of efforts organized to attempt to address what was happening in the community. The NW Council for Consent Culture was one of them. We are preparing to release a survey regarding the experiences of those who have had perceived incidents of violation; and of those who have been accused. It has been my responsibility to produce an unbiased survey from gathering internet data and speaking with members of the community on the matter. While I have heard extensively from your accusers, I have not heard from you (other than your public FB posts); nor anyone willing to speak to any mitigating circumstances of the situation you found yourself in. However, I have heard from other men asserting that they have been falsely accused for social reasons. If you would like to speak to me about this issue, it would help me feel more sound in the basis of the survey I am preparing to release. I understand you will be visiting Portland in the near future. If you will agree to meet, let me know when works for you. Thank you and best regards, K.S. Harkeyâ&#x20AC;? While Edwards was initially skeptical of my motives, he was interested in the survey and agreed to meet. I invited him to my home, treated him as any guest, and did my best to make him comfortable. He described a months-long ordeal involving a sensitive situation with a mentally-unstable young lady in a housing crisis that ended poorly; and a vindictive and clingy former partner using the situation to exact retribution. He described friends and allies of years turning on him as if they didn't even know him. He described being hunted online from place to place over Facebook as he tried to go anywhere else to begin a new life. Finally, he came back to Portland because they wouldn't let him leave it behind. Leaders who didn't even know him, much less his situation, had been called upon by angry and scared community members to ban him from events he had never even attended. He described pain; heartache; and unbelievable loss. He went on for about three hours. And he said that I was the first person to sit down with him and actually hear out his side of the story. Whatever one thinks of the whole messy matter of Ethan Edwards, I think we can all agree that if something like that had happened to us, we'd at least want the people condemning us to take the time to run a basic investigation including an interview.

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Introduction & Participation Agreements The introduction was carefully constructed to ensure the data was gathered responsibly with regards to informed consent as a human right for those who are the subject of scientific study. The preamble reads as follows: Introduction: “This survey has been created through a community initiative process to gather data on perceived violations of consent in the interconnected alternative communities of the Pacific NW event region. Although these communities span a broad range of disparate interests and activities they all share in common a greater comfort with social touch than is usually found in "mainstream" spaces. Events and groups also tend to share between them organizers, educators, presenters, and other culture-making personnel. Depending on group and setting the included touch activities may range from platonic to fully sexual. For the purposes of this survey, we are referring to all of the related communities that share the ethic of making spaces safer for participants in such activities as "consent communities". “The six community segments we have identified are: Wellness Lifestyle Festival & Convention Kink & Fetish Sacred Sexuality GLBTQ Political “The most basic agreement of any safer space is that participants will honor each person's sovereignty over his or her own body in that no one will subject another person to unwanted touch. For purposes of this survey, this is the minimum standard of ethics implied by the word “consent”. Other, stricter, interpretations of the word exist; and each group develops a set of rules or norms intended to support this basic premise. Typically these rules or norms are influenced by the nature of the touch activities thereby governed. “Our hope is that through gathering and collating this sensitive information we can identify what is and is not working well in our communities. We appreciate your feedback. Participation Agreement: “Please respect the process by filling out one or the other survey; and only one time. “Please set aside an adequate amount of time to respond to whichever version of the survey you choose. The short form should take 10-30 minutes to complete; the long form could take up to an hour, depending on how many experiences you choose to report in detail. You do not have to report in detail on all occurrences. “If you should require assistance in filling out this survey, please contact NW Council for Consent Culture. “For legal reasons, only respond to this survey if you are over 18 years of age.

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“By submitting this survey, you represent that you self-identify as a participant in Consent culture; and that you are at least 18 years of age. By submitting this survey, you consent to the use of the data collected by the author of the survey and NW Council for Consent Culture for research, presentation, publication and educational purposes. No identifying information will be gathered; therefore your identity will remain confidential. “You must agree to the statements below in order to continue on to the survey. “I affirm that I am 18 years of age or over. “I affirm that I self-identify as a member of consent community in the Pacific Northwest region. “I acknowledge that I understand that no identifying information will be collected about me or any specific organization and that my participation is anonymous and voluntary. I may choose to opt out at any time before submitting the survey. “I affirm that I will answer questions truthfully to the best of my ability and will submit the survey only one time. “I consent to the use of the data collected by the author of the survey and NW Council for Consent Culture for research, presentation, publication and educational purposes.” The survey instruments were finalized and released on August 31 st, 2015. I appeared on Fight Church Television (hosted by Jessie Sponberg) 4 to promote the survey to the marginalized deep activist communities and to raise awareness about the issues involved. Organizers who had expressed interest in and support for the survey effort were informed of the release, and we have nothing but gratitude to those who took pains to disseminate it to the community. It was advertised to many Facebook groups in the effected communities and on mailing lists to which I belong. I promoted the survey at nearly every event I helped organize. With as much fervor as there seemed to be around consent at the time, I sat back and waited for the responses to pour in. I would continue waiting for a long time.

4 Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6KPG_aAvgieVXdEic80MDg. "Fight Church Television (to Catch a Tomato)." YouTube. Fight Church Television, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

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3. Demographics The total pool of responders between the long and short form was 44; 19 and 25 respectively. Geographic location of responders was centered around Portland and Salem (61.36%), with the bulk of the rest from the Seattle area. A few responders were more far-flung. This distribution was typical of any but Megafestivals in the Pacific Northwest. Due to the size and nature of the pool, all interpretations herein should be considered as applicable only to the community represented; that is, the collection of organizers and creators making consent community events in the nexus between Seattle and Portland. All break-downs are for internal comparison purposes and are not generalizable. More men than women responded, 49.99% and 34.09%; with 6.81% reporting non-binary. 11.36% selected “Prefer not to respond or don't believe in gender”. One of the non-binary participants identified as “transfeminine”; and one of the “prefer not to respond” reporters was born intersex. The make-up of the reporting pool ran counter to expectations, as consent has classically been considered a “women's issue”; and leadership in the community tends toward radical queer and other feminist ideologies. Heterosexuals made up 59.09% of the pool; while 31.82% marked “Bi-, Pan-, or Omnisexual”. 9.09% selected “other”. About half the responders (52.27%) preferred open relationships; and a further 20.45% preferred multiply-committed relationships, indicating an overwhelmingly polyamorous group. Only 22.73% selected “monogamous”; and 4.55% marked “other”. The pool was reflective racially of what is typically observed at these events in terms of a distinct lack of racial diversity. Only 11.36% of the pool identified as a Person of Color of any heritage, as opposed to the current 22.9% of the general population in America. 5 By comparison, estimates of POC at Burning Man are only 1%.6 Age of responders ranged from 21-73, with two responder entry errors unresolvable. The mean age of participants was 46.33, with a median of 42. The survey also asked responders to give their estimated date of entry into consent communities. The pool boasted 406 years of combined experience; the mean being 9.23 and median 8. However, the most frequent response given was 1, indicating a community that is currently attractive to new participants. IDENTIFYING SUB-COMMUNITIES One of the key components of the survey design was the identification of responders with the communities to which they are most acculturated; and depth of participation. Identifying these communities was the focus of initial committee meetings. The threshold of definition that we settled on for participation in a consent community was, “Any community that hosts spaces in which touch or sex are likely to occur, and which attempts to make spaces safer as regards such activity.” Note that this definition includes nearly all event organizers, as avoidance of such problems is key to maintaining the reputation of the event; yet not all communities are equally involved in determining the parameters of consent by creating education or commentary on the matter. History of interest and oppression were considered. After much debate and consultation with leaders in the community, the following list of sub-communities was established: Wellness Lifestyle, Convention & Festival; Kink & Fetish; Sacred Sexuality; GLBTQ; and Political. 5 "Population Estimates, July 1, 2015, (V2015)." UNITED STATES QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. United States Census Bureau, 1 July 2015. Web. 13 Dec. 2016. 6 Thrasher, Steven W. "Is Burning Man Becoming Less Overwhelmingly White?" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 13 Sept. 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

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Table 1: Basic Demographics by Gender Men Age

Period of Involvement

Orientation

Relationship Style

Women

NB/NR

Total

Mean

48.15

44.79

44.5

46.33

Median

45.5

48

40.5

42

Mode

-

54

-

39

Mean

8.55

9.17

11.13

9.23

Median

4.5

5

12

8

Mode

0.5

1, 3, 17

12

1

Heterosexual

95.24%

26.66%

37.50%

59.90%

Bi-, Pan-, Omni-

4.76%

66.66%

37.50%

31.82%

Other

4.76%

6.66%

25.00%

9.09%

Monogamous

28.57%

20.00%

12.50%

22.73%

Multiply Committed

28.57%

6.67%

25.00%

20.45%

Open

42.86%

66.67%

50.00%

52.27%

Other

0.00%

6.67%

12.50%

4.55%

Table 2: Communities Characteristics Total InvolvePartici% ment pants Points

Mean

Median

Mode

Entry Point Total

%

WL

39

88.64

121

2.75

3

3

10

22.72

FC

39

88.64

134

3.05

3

3

8

18.18

KF

32

72.73

61.5

1.4

1

0, 1

10

22.72

SS

34

77.27

75

1.7

1

1

9

20.45

Q

28

63.64

51.5

1.17

1

0

2

4.55

P

38

86.36

84.5

1.92

2

2

5

11.36

It was further postulated that one's degree of participation in a given community will likely effect one's opinions, experiences, and outlook. Three measures were used to define this: degree of participation in each community was ranked and tallied; and responders were asked through which community they first entered consent culture. The rank of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Former Memberâ&#x20AC;? was assigned a value of 0.5, as former members in a field frequently still have an impact on a given community; and in some instances may have more than typically active participants. One surprising result was the clear lack of participation in GLBTQ community represented by the pool. This may be reflective of the fact that no gay men or lesbians participated in the survey, though representative communities were expressly contacted.

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It is also true that, with the advent of social acceptance for gender minorities, participation in specifically-queer community may be receding in favor of interest communities. In example, someone who works with Basic Rights Oregon might have selected the category “Political”; while a drag performer might have selected “Festival & Convention”. The disappearance of such specifically-queer community spaces on the scene has been noted even by non-involved bystanders. This may be a function of identity politics. Again, we note some members of queer community targeting others. “In the past two years, events catering to lesbians, like the monthly meet-up Fantasy Softball League, have been targeted online as unsafe spaces for trans women and others who don't identify with feminine pronouns. This past summer, semi-regular parties for lesbians, like Lesbian Night at Old Town's CC Slaughters, changed their names and focus to avoid controversy and be more inclusive. And lesbian-owned bars that draw lesbian customers, like Escape, shun the label so as not to offend.”7 When tabulated, FC and WL communities received slightly more total involvement points than all the rest combined (255 and 242, respectively). This data also reveals that participants who came to this community by way of Sacred Sexuality or Wellness Lifestyle are far more involved than their counterparts. What distinguishes these communities? The majority of participants entering through either WL or FC communities reported serving in an organizational capacity. Furthermore, most reporters who were of the rank “regular attendee” or above in the SS community who entered via the SS community gave similar report in the WL category; though this was not reciprocally true. Participants entering by way of the SS community tended to become more broadly involved in the community than their counterparts. In other words, organizers, event crew, and regular attendees in the SS community are likely similarly engaged in the WL community. Since this group of participants is positioned influentially in both of the most influential blocks, it represents the most influential in terms of setting policy and procedure for events. This is, in essence, the party in power. Table 3: Overall Involvement by Point of Entry Involvement % Mean Median Points

Mode

Qty Entering

% of Entries

SS

144

27.3

16

16

16, 18

9

20.45

WL

104

19.72

10.7

10

9, 18

10

22.72

KF

100

18.96

10

9.5

5, 6, 1215

10

22.72

FC

95

18.01

11.88

12

10, 15

8

18.18

P

54

10.24

10.8

0

-

5

11.36

Q

19

3.6

9.5

9.5

-

2

4.55

7 Rosenthal, Ellen. "Who Crushed the Lesbian Bars? A New Minefield of Identity Politics." Willamette Week. Willamette Week, 30 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

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Table 4: Total Involvement Points by Community & Gender NB/ Men Mean Women Mean NR

Mean

Total

%

FC

64

3.05

46

3.06

24

3

134

25.40%

WL

50

2.27

47

3.13

24

3

121

22.94%

P

35.5

1.69

25

1.67

24

3

84.5

16.02%

SS

30.5

1.45

32

2.13

12.5

1.56

75

14.22%

KF

25

1.19

21.5

1.43

15

1.88

61.5

11.66%

Q

15

0.71

18.5

1.23

18

2.25

51.5

9.76%

Mean average involvement was similar between genders for the FC & KF communities. Non-binary and no response individuals lead in Political and Queer involvement. In the Political community, involvement between men and women was nearly identical, while women were much more likely to report involvement in the Queer community. In the WL community, women and non-binary individuals reported higher rates of involvement than men. In the SS, the involvement of men and non-binary responders was similar; and women were the break-away leaders. Men were the least likely to report involvement in the Kink and Fetish community, which runs counter to one prejudice identified during the fieldwork and tested in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beliefsâ&#x20AC;? section. If the KF community were unsafe for women and non-binary persons, one would expect an excess of male participation. It is also possible, however, that men were less likely to report involvement because of this prejudice.

Six intrconnectd event-based cultural communites were identfed as primary partcipants in te local Consent Communit network. Tere may be oters overlooked by tis catgorizaton; and networks may vary by event region. Communites fequently host cross-over events and share some elements of culture, yet have teir own histries, taditons, and custms equaly worty of respect by al members of te greatr whole.

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The Communities At this point, a brief description of each of these sub-communities is in order. It is clear from this data that while some people participate in most or all of these communities, some are only very familiar with one or two. It should also be noted that one responder selected “0” in all categories, indicating that there may be at least one community segment the initial process did not identify. Future study might be directed in determining what this invisible community is. Festival & Convention Communities built around conventions and festivals share in common some topical interest. These interests are as varied as the people who make them; however, people who enjoy this type of event often attend a variety of them. It is also true that some only attend such events as related to one field of interest. This category mostly attends events for a sense of fun and camaraderie; and to meet others who share similar interests. In other words, they are there for a party. The distinguishing feature of this type of event is its size. Conventions and festivals draw a large pool of people together, making them an excellent networking opportunity. These are also the type of event most likely to have a vendor hall, meaning creatives in these fields have cause to attend and bring their spirit and influence to the space. These events may be supported by fundraising activities held throughout the year, but these are typically few and larger. Presenters are selected to appeal to a broad base, meaning name recognition is everything. Presenters who become “toxic properties” through public controversy may be dropped from an event. Indeed, this is one method detractors use to put pressure on those whom they dispute. Wellness Lifestyle These communities are united around a commitment to self improvement as a way of challenging the status quo and effecting one's own healing. Coming out of hippie culture in the late 50's and 60's, these have a tradition of involving consciousness-expanding activities that induce altered states of consciousness. Alternative living communities are well-represented in this sphere. Events in this category may be of any size. Festivals and conventions are not uncommon; but unlike their counterparts in the FC community supporting events tend to be smaller and held more regularly. This community supports a large number of individual educators, presenters, and event producers. Because of the deep competition between these offerings for marketshare, this community tends to be highly fractious. Relationships between leaders last only so long as mutual benefit is apparent. Leaders are at a high risk of reputation assassination. Elements of arts and culture tend to focus on the eastern and otherwise exotic; with interest in the occult a frequent factor. This community is also traditionally interested in effecting political change through non-violent action, in accordance with the campaigns of the Civil Rights movement.

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The Clearing of Consent

Political These communities are as varied as the name implies. Many are united around issues activism (such as sustainability, racial justice, the needs of local bicyclists, etc.); but others are more interested in alternative economic and political ideologies (Marxism, Socialism, Anarchism, etc.). Some are involved in party politics. Events in this category are widely varied. Protest actions are rarely highly planned affairs. Other large events include conventions and summits. More typical are local classes, action committees and support groups. “Houses” are the most basic unit of the community beyond individual. This community also boasts a large proportion of “hidden” groups; those that act outside the observance of the public. This is necessary often to protect the identities of members from persecution by the establishment. Many of these organizations are one another's direct opponents. Leadership in this community actually benefits from controversy, as even detrimental coverage increases the visibility of a given issue. Furthermore, any accusation may be chalked up to the complicity of the reporter with the opposing forces. Outside of the formal parties, there is little opportunity for financial advancement in this area. However, some do work in the administration of large non-profits, the bulk of whose proceeds go toward the payment of such staff. Art and culture-making in this arena tend to be small and a-commercial. Events are largely volunteer-created and free or sliding-scale. Most participants are to some degree anti-Capitalist, though certainly not all. Sacred Sexuality In Sacred Sexuality communities, sex itself is treated as a particularly spiritual aspect of the Practitioner's life. Due to early influences, this community is highly characterized by the views and beliefs of the Golden Dawn by way of British Traditional Wicca and Thelema. In these models, the uniting of masculine and feminine principles is the most potent method for “raising energy” toward a purpose. The influence of Tantra also reflects this. Tensions have arisen between this model and the fact that queer identities rarely comply in any simple way with its traditional underpinnings. Attempts have been underway to address this fact since the 70's. Leadership in these organizations tends to be predominantly female, in accordance with the gynocentrism of its origins; and deliberate efforts to reform Tantra – patently misogynistic in its original form. Events in this category may or may not be expressly sexual as far as the advertising materials state. Many organizations are leery of expressly identifying the sexual natures of their intentions due to historical persecution. In accordance with the “Old Laws” of BT Wicca, one must not do anything to bring undue attention to the children of the Craft; or reveal the identities of participants. Organizers are especially concerned with not being labeled a “cult”. While some resistance to this community still exists, it comes primarily from vehemently-Christian spheres. The practice of witchcraft and occultism has become just like any other hobby group as far as business is concerned. Most major bookstores have supported a New Age section for decades. The largest events in this category are rarely expressly sexual, but a sex-positive atmosphere accepts and encourages casual coupling. Organizers rely on this fact to attract participants to events. Smaller events include rituals, classes & workshops, trainings and retreats, and cultural events. The term “Temple” is frequently used in lieu of the word “Sex Party” or “Dungeon”.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Kink & Fetish Unlike the preceding communities, the Kink & Fetish community has to do with aspects of sexual identity that are inherent to the individual. The choice to participate in community through events of course remains with the person. However, whether or not a person does so does not change her status as a member of a marginalized sexuality. The Kink & Fetish community pioneered the technology and language of consent as a way to fight back against systemic oppression against them. All sexual activity, they argued, should be legal between two adults of age and capable of giving legal consent. Through the activism of their leaders, the current attitude toward this community has completely shifted, heralded by the advent of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Events in this community vary from large annual conventions, camping events and festivals to monthly classes and munches. Dungeon parties are the most quintessentially BDSM events; and what most people think of when they hear the term. However, there are all kinds of other community events. The sexual nature of events, if any, is always clearly stated in marketing materials. This is considered necessary for the informed consent of attendees. This scene varies dramatically by location. In major cities where the community is large, groups are often organized around “Houses”; many of which are run in accordance with the will of the people there as a D/s space. These may or may not host events. Leaders of such are so frequently accused of wrongdoing that reports are frequently discarded. Art and culture in this community is abundant and well-received; though typically underground.

Te Leater Pride fag, designed by Tony DeBlase, is now used generaly troughout te Kink & Fetsh communites. Its designer declined t give an intrpretaton of its meaning.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

GLBTQ As previously noted, with the advent of generalized acceptance and support, a united GLBTQ community is swiftly becoming a thing of the past. Events focus on the needs of some particular sub-group rather than the community at-large. Another identity-based category, queer individuals may or may not choose to engage in community events. Queer community used to be centered around gay clubs and bars; and queer nights at mainstream venues. Other aspects of queer culture include support groups and meet-ups for general or specific categories; political action committees; resource centers and etc. There are some large queer events such as camp-outs and retreats, but these are less common than with other categories. Queer events are typically volunteer-created. Individuals working in administration in the non-profit sector may make a living in the community. Presenters and entertainers may also be supported by the community, but sustainable success is rare. These must typically appeal to a broader audience in order to continue past a certain point.

Te pride fag represents te diversit of sexual identtes. Composition & Distribution Participation in leadership capacities in an organization is only one path to influence. The other major factor is access to resources, material and temporal. Those who have the most stability in their lives enjoy the most freedom to attend events and otherwise make community. The larger events which have the greatest impact on community-wide policies through mimicry are frequently unavailable to the least advantaged among us. These must garner employment or work-trade opportunities if they wish to attend. Homeownership confers the privilege of a default venue from which to begin operations for a small group. Renters and leasers must have the tolerance of their landlords and, potentially, roommates. Members of intentional communities are at an advantage in this regard as the space comes with a supportive collective of people. Those who suffer homelessness are generally in no state to act in this capacity; though a few have managed. We therefore selected a method of determining status which reflected these two markers: annual household income and housing situation. Responses were ranked and tallied to yield the value called “Status”. “Prefer not to respond” in the income question was estimated at a value of 1 to preserve the statistical median.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 5: Distribution of Organizational Power: Status, Involvement, & Gender

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 6: Organizational Power by Status Quartile Women Quartile %

Men %

NB/NR %

Mean Age

Mean Mean Housing Income

Mean Status

Mean Involvement

1st

45.45

27.27

27.27

40.09

1

-0.18

0.64

13.59

2nd

27.27

54.55

0

44.91

2

0.82

2.82

10.36

3rd

27.27

45.45

27.27

53

2.36

1.82

4.18

11.27

4th

36.36

45.45

18.18

48.1

3.27

2.73

6

12.73

Perhaps the most startling information this comparison reveals is that those falling in the lowest quartile, despite all the disadvantages of their station, are the most involved in creating the community. This may be due in part to the fact that the poor must often work at events in order to gain admission. Another explanation might be that the more marginalized one is, the less access one is likely to have to more traditional communities such as churches and professional organizations. Those falling in the first quartile are at an extreme disadvantage as compared to their peers. The average participant is 40 years old, in a short-term rental situation, and makes less than $15,000 a year. The U.S. Census Bureau lists median annual income for 2010-2015 at $53,889.8 They have high average involvement by the mean, with 7 out of 11 reporting high average or above. On the other hand, the next most involved quartile (5/11 high average or above) is the fourth. The typical participant in this group is substantially older (48); owns their home; and makes over $80,000 per year. The second and third quartiles are quite similar, their main difference being income. These responders have, by the mean, low average involvement and are renting long-term. Participants in the second quartile are around 45 years old and make between $15,000 and $25,000 a year. Those of the third are 53 years old and make between $50,000 and $80,000 per year. It should be noted that only three participants were under the age of thirty, though youth culture organizations were expressly contacted. It is unknown whether this group is simply less likely to take a study of this length and nature; if they didn't trust the surveying organization; or it was due to some other factor. This may indicate an older population in the community over-all. It is also true that two out of the three participants registering extreme involvement chose not to report their incomes. While an estimate of â&#x20AC;&#x153;1â&#x20AC;? was entered to preserve the median, we don't actually know what their incomes are. A review of the data by median reveals a large disparity of stability between the upper and lower halves, but quite similar involvement. Table 7: Status & Involvement by Medians By Median: Mean Housing Mean Income

Mean Status

Mean Involvement

Below

1.5

0.32

1.73

11.98

Above

2.82

2.27

5.09

12

8 "Population Estimates, July 1, 2015, (V2015)." UNITED STATES QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. United State Census Bureau, 1 July 2015. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00>.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 8: Involvement by Sub-community, Status & Gender

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 9: Roles and Involvement Values

Role

Involvement Value

Organizer, Presenter or Performer

5

Event Crew or Administration

4

Regular Attendee

3

Occasional Attendee

2

Infrequent Attendee

1

Former Community Member

0.5

I do not participate in this community.

0

Examining Influences In Table 8, involvement ratings by community were sorted from lowest to highest totals; and then sorted again from lowest to highest over-all involvement. Influence in a community with less influence provides less influence to the individual; while involvement in a more influential community provides more. This yields a chart revealing where the centers of power are in this pool. Overall, this was a highly involved pool of responders. 56.81% reported involvement in at least one community at the ranking of 4 or 5, representing organizers, presenters, performers, crew and administration. Only two people identifying as men who were sexed male at birth fell into the upper quartile of involvement. This indicates that while men made up a larger portion of overall responders, they had very low representation in organizational leadership. Only one of these men was of abovemedian status. There are significant differences between the pools by gender, as first noted in Table 1. Men responding were over 95% heterosexual, while only 26.66% of women were. 57.14% of men reported being in monogamous or multiply-committed relationships, while only 26.67% of women did. This indicates that, on average, more men in the community are seeking a relationship with long-term commitment potential; while women are more likely seeking casual and occasional romance. Needless to say these differences in intention will impact the structure and nature of a given space if the pool of most influential organizers is heavily overweighted to one side or the other. Simply making a space “sex-positive” does not mean that everyone wants the same experience out of their encounters. It appears that in this pool men may be attending events in hopes of finding that “special someone”; while women are more likely to be interested in novelty and play.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Gender, Status, and Involvement Examining markers of status by involvement quartile, we find that the largest block of individuals with the highest level of involvement are women. The vast majority of status was held by men falling below the median in involvement. Therefore, those with the most to contribute to the community in terms of resources have the least representation in leadership; and those with the most involvement are dramatically unrepresentative of the pool in terms of gender and relationship preferences. Table 10: Status by Involvement Quartile and Gender Men Mean Women Mean

NB/NR

Mean

1st

26

3.71

11

3.67

1

1

2nd

3

5.17

12

6

7

2.33

3rd

17

2.83

13

3.25

4

4

4th

6

3

14

2.33

17

4

Table 11: Involvement by Quartile and Gender with Total Leadership Roles Held Men Ranks Women Ranks NB/NR Ranks 4&5 4&5 4&5 1st

36.5

1

17

0

5.5

0

2nd

59

1

17

2

31

2

3rd

84.5

12

51

4

15

2

4th

40

6

105

12

66

11

Effect of Community of Entry The initial forming committee agreed that community of entry would likely have an impact on the acculturation of a given individual. Someone will be attracted to a particular community for a reason; either by identity, ideological leaning, social proximity or whatever. Something about that community appealed, meaning the participants in a given point of entry cohort should share something in common. Then, there is the simple matter of first exposure generally taking precedence unless the experiences were negative. As is apparent in the correlation study on Table 13, those entering through the SS community had the highest tendency to disperse into other communities as organizers, crew, and regular attendees. The group is composed mostly of women. Five out of nine of these individuals became involved in every community. This group reported no former members. Those entering through WL communities dispersed into leadership in FC culture; became attendees at SS events primarily; and KF to a lesser degree. This pool sent a large number of participants to be occasional attendees at other events and had the highest mean status, possibly making this the over-all community breadbasket. Those entering by way of the KF community were most likely to become leadership in their own community. However, this group registered three entries of â&#x20AC;&#x153;former community memberâ&#x20AC;? in the KF category, the highest of any single axis on the chart. Their next highest community of dispersal was the FC community. They were infrequent and occasional guests broadly, much as the category preceding.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 12: Correlation of Point-of-Entry with Status & Involvement

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 13: Comparison of Status & Involvement by P.O.E. SS WL KF Status:

FC

P

Q

Total

34

43

29

31

7

6

Mean

3.78

4.3

2.9

3.88

1.4

3

4

4

4

3

1

3

150

112.5

100.5

91.5

54

19

16.67

11.25

10.05

11.44

10.8

9.5

16

10

9.5

12

9

9.5

Median Involvement: Total Mean Median

Responders entering by way of FC community were (all but one) organizers and crew in their community. These tended to also take up leadership or regular attendee roles in the WL community. Broad, infrequent involvement was also evident. This cohort was also comprised of nearly all men. The Political category boasted our mystery guest to its credit. Perhaps this responder is interested in consent as a political matter but is not engaged in attending community events. The two organizers who reported this as their point of entry were highly involved in others; while the other two responders were infrequently involved. The GLBTQ pool is simply too small to say anything about. However, it is noteworthy in the following dispersal webs that no significant leadership or regular attendees were sent to this community from other points of entry. Table 14: Dispersal of Leadership (Ranks 4 & 5) Note: In the following diagrams, dots are the origination points; while stars are destinations. Threshold is the quantity of participants of that involvement level sent to justify inclusion in the diagram.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 15: Dispersal of Regulars (Rank 3)

Table 16: Dispersal of General Population (Rank 1 & 2)

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 17: Total Dispersal

Queer Cultural Communites share few tes wit teir actvist roots. Te GLBTQ communit as a distnctve phenomenon may be on te decline. SS communites have been highly efectve at intgratng wit oter communites, while few oters have sent reciprocal members. Combined wit te fact tat tose entring trough te SS reportd relatvely higher status; te higher cost of admission t SS events and te histry of marginalizaton of oter communites representd, tis reads as a map of cultural colonizaton more so tan cross-polinizaton, at least in tis sample case.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Why is the SS So Different? Sacred Sexualities are, by definition, religious in nature. Beliefs about spiritual matters are typically deep-rooted and much more difficult to change than, say, scientific understandings. Because of the holistic nature of such philosophies adherents will typically consider their spirituality to encompass every area of their lives. Thus, all of their choices and decisions are predicated on a comparison to the spiritual beliefs they hold. When a belief is taught as a certitude to a body of recipients, it is called dogma. Purity, or the continual upholding of all the various points of dogma, becomes the driving force in the convert's life. Adherents become highly invested in their identity as a Practitioner. Ultimately, the reason for practicing magick of any kind is to attain power; whether that be the power to control oneself or the power to control others. The SS is an attractive home to narcissists, sociopaths, solipsist and other egotists who find a ready pool of naive seekers looking for an idol to adore. In many cases, abuse is the direct result. The Sacred Sexualities community comes from a historical background of internal strife and bickering. In the past, the community was extremely small and organizationally incestuous. Furthermore, its permissive attitude toward altered states of consciousness brought about inadvertently a tolerance of those with various strains of neurodiversities. SS communities have deep respect for the lost social positions of visionary and shaman. While this is to our credit, this has also made for a less mentally-stable pool over all. Adherents also tend to believe that whatever combination of programs they have found is the key to the happiness and enlightenment of others. This is encouraged by leadership, who have a financial investiture in recruitment. At the same time, leadership will frequently limit access to the organization, as past a certain size a crowd is impossible to control through sheer force of personality. Since religious organizations are the only group classification that does not have to file formal paperwork with the U.S. Government (provided they do not accept taxexempt donations), representing yourself to be a church is a savvy business move for those that wish to maintain opaque institutions. Since the '70's, the SS communities have been highly influenced by radical feminist ideologies by way of such luminaries as Starhawk. While these early efforts at creating womancentered spirituality were brilliant and highly necessary at the time to achieve parity, the world has moved on. Even most Christian church organizations available today welcome the leadership of men and women alike. Genderqueer and Trans leadership are the next horizons of challenge. The attitudes of the Dianic groups have survived this fundamental shift in culture, however; and as exhibited in Tables 9 and 11, may now be doing more harm than good. If a pool contains a population that does not have equal access to representation in leadership positions, that population is by definition marginalized within that context; even if that population is elsewhere advantaged. In the microclimate of Consent Communities, women are at the greater advantage; and those coming from an SS background most of all. Since men are the centers of status-based resources within the community, it behooves us not to drive them all off through unresponsive leadership or out-right repression.

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

The Business of Credentials Occultists have been in the habit of mutual enforcement of credentials as a method of exercising community control throughout our recent history. In the Gardnerian tradition, as the most typically mimicked model, “lines” are counted up by who initiated whom back to the tradition's founder. This represents a distinct Transmission-model paradigm. The Practitioner's “legitimacy” comes directly by the authority invested in them by another; as opposed to arising from within or as a function of education or merit.9 Lines express their displeasure at one another by declaring each other illegitimate and refusing their right to enter circle with similarly-initiated brethren. If it is discovered that your initiation was carried out by someone from the “wrong” line, your only recourse is to seek out someone from the “right” line and go through the initiation again. Some Gardnerians now make a practice of collecting these up to ensure admission in any Circle. The “Old Laws” governing these practices expressly forbid charging money for such initiations. So enterprising spiritual entrepreneurs, brought into the community by way of Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Feri, and other early traditions, have created their own derivative and hybrid initiatory programs for which they may charge. (This is to say nothing of the many “New Age” organizations that share similar structural features and no traditional compunctions against pay-to-play religion.) So long as they claim to render no authority within the originating tradition by way of these, they have violated no rules - technically. The leaders and bodies of these communities are just like everyone else, with human foibles and failings aplenty. But in the most toxic forms of these types of structure, the hyper-focus on purity and zealotry become mimetically infectious. Leaders exert control of the group through the imposition of rules; required mentorship; control of accepted programming; and taboos and prohibitions. In advanced cases, leaders may make individual demands of specific members different from requirements of the group at large. Access to romantic or working partners may be regulated. Members not interested in participating in the creation of this micro-reality quickly become dissatisfied and leave; with the remaining pool becoming ever-more socially dysfunctional. This is what is meant when people use the word “cult” in common parlance. Whether Occult, Christian, or Alternative Psychology-focused, these organizations are a toxic blight in the roots of our community, churning out so-called leaders who we must, by tradition, honor the credentialing of if we wish them to respect ours. They, in turn, typically discount any credential available without financial investment. Returning now to our friends at the Process Work Institute... “Jason Reynolds, a Northwest neighbor who hosted a French PWCP student two years ago, was appalled by what he saw going on at the school. 'Everyone was having sex with everyone else, and some people were being persecuted and traumatized,' says Reynolds, who has a background in professional mental health. 'There was no sense of boundaries, no sense of professionalism.' And Mindell, he continues, 'was invested with almost godlike importance.'"10 In fairness this report comes from 2000, and the school may well have cleaned up its act since then. According to their website, as of December of 2016 the institute is accredited by the

9 For the sake of disclosure, the author was initiated to the First Degree in a BT coven and served as Maiden, but claims from it no mark of legitimacy. The Spiral Cult Circus does not charge for initiation. Any party presenting with the knowledge base required and willing to accept the responsibilities entailed is entitled to the Initiation of the First Coil. 10 Shafer, David. "Dream Academy: And You Thought Your Degree Was Useless..." Editorial. Willamette Week [Portland, OR] 28 Aug. 2001: Dream Academy. Willamette Week, 28 Aug. 2001. Web. 12 Dec. 2016. <http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-285-dream-academy.html>.

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The Clearing of Consent

Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.11 Yet, on its “Diplomates” (highest tier) program page, it states: “The title of Processwork Diplomate is recognized by the International Association of Process-oriented Psychology (IAPOP). Processwork Diplomate status does not confer any academic degree, nor can it be used as the basis for licensure, admittance into an academic program, or membership in any professional association besides IAPOP.”12 In other words, nobody else thinks that what they are doing there is psychology in any professional sense of the word. Shafer reported one class description read: “Process Work offers an awesome technology for noticing, entering and unfolding the dreaming process. Yet when we are working with others and ourselves, we often have trouble crossing the border into other worlds. We will work on developing our fluidity in crossing between consensus reality and the magical world of our dreaming process."13 They even engage in practices describable as faith healing. However it tries to hide it, this organization is teaching an essentially magickal paradigm in an essentially Occult-school format, complete with world-traveling charismatic leadership and a history of reports of sexual abuse. Given these circumstances, under no condition should a community meeting regarding issues of transparency by leadership and consent violations have been held on the premise of such an organization; or a facilitator therefrom engaged. For their part in allowing this to occur by failing in basic due diligence, this author humbly begs your pardon. As Reynolds was, at the time, a student of the organization she must be considered by the author to be a victim of its probable environment rather than a bad faith actor. Had the facilitator been aware of the massive conflict of interest involved, one would hope that she would have declined the event. One of the first responses I received after posting the call to the community for Final Comments was from a concerned group owner who had attended the Community Meeting and had not had a good experience. Her suspicious response indicated that the event was a bad enough memory in her mind to have rung alarm bells over a year later. The credibility of our effort was certainly undermined.

To al tose who may have been harmed, disturbed, or disappointd by te inital Communit Meetng or its possible consequences I personaly apologize.

11 "Accreditation." Processwork.org. Process Work Institute, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2016. 12 "Becoming a Processwork Diplomate." Processwork.org. Process Work Institute, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2016. 13 Shafer, David. "Dream Academy: And You Thought Your Degree Was Useless..." Editorial. Willamette Week [Portland, OR] 28 Aug. 2001: Dream Academy. Willamette Week, 28 Aug. 2001. Web. 12 Dec. 2016. <http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-285-dream-academy.html>.

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The Clearing of Consent

Telling the Difference This organization has hidden its essential nature by operating under the guise of a holistic psychology school. Camouflage such as this is quite common, especially with the cross-over to the Wellness Lifestyle communities. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to spot the difference between benign cults and toxic ones; and legitimate spiritual and self-work organizations attempting to serve the community rather than be served by it. In reality, both must occur if the organization is going to continue to operate, and there's the rub. The only problem is, people in these communities are loathe to admit the basic fact that they are operating within a superstructure which is capitalist and hierarchically structured. Because of religious protections, leaders in the SS community are at the most freedom to act when they act as un-filed corporations soli, at least at first. Even once a church incorporates, the standard term of office for its head is life. In most Christian churches, the institution of an accountability board comprised entirely of the pastor's own personal appointees ensures that even should charges arise, they shall be swept under the carpet.14 Many pagan and occultoriented groups don't even have bylaws; much less procedures in them for handling conflicts and reports against leadership. They are, in essence petty dictatorships or at best sociocracies wherein the best manipulators win.

“It's my club, and if you don't like it tere's te door.” Due to the structures dictated by the demands of legal codes, few other options are appealing. Leaders with a claim to religious intent have no incentive to put the product of their years of toil and labor potentially in a place where it might be appropriated by others clambering for standing and position. It hasn't seemed to occur to anyone that all the clambering might just be the problem. But social jockeying does not in and of itself a toxic environment make. It is all a matter of degrees. As reported in the Encyclopedia of Sociology, Volume 1 by Richard J. Ofshe, Ph.D.: “The key factors that distinguish coercive persuasion from other training and socialization schemes are: • The reliance on intense interpersonal and psychological attack to destabilize an individual's sense of self to promote compliance • The use of an organized peer group • Applying interpersonal pressure to promote conformity • The manipulation of the totality of the person's social environment to stabilize behavior once modified”15 He goes on to elaborate: “Significant differences existed between the social environments and the control mechanisms employed in the two types of programs initially studied. Their similarities, however, are of more importance in understanding their ability to influence behavior and beliefs than are their differences. They shared the utilization of coercive persuasion's key effective-influence mechanisms: a focused 14 Rivera, Raul. "Two Clauses in Your Bylaws That Can Save You and Your Ministry." Everything You Need to S t a r t a M i n i s t r y. S t a r t C H U R C H , 1 6 J u n e 2 0 1 1 . W e b . 1 0 J a n . 2 0 1 7 . <https://www.startchurch.com/index.php/blog/view/name/two-clauses-in-your-bylaws-that-can-save-you-andyour-ministry>. 15 Ofshe, Richard J., Ph.D. "Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change." Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change. Cult Education Institute, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2016. <https://culteducation.com/group/798-abusive-controllingrelationships/3260-coercive-persuasion-and-attitude-changes.html>.

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The Clearing of Consent

attack on the stability of a person's sense of self; reliance on peer group interaction; the development of interpersonal bonds between targets and their controllers and peers; and an ability to control communication among participants.”16 Is this all starting to sound just a little too familiar? Among local consent “leaders”, it is this same group of people who have been cashing in on the current environment of fear and hostility. After the Community Meeting, one participant remarked that the whole thing felt a bit like an infomercial for the organization, and it essentially was. Got a dispute about consent? Great! Our people can help... for a price. It is thoroughly unethical to act as psychological help and mediator at one and the same time when you benefit financially from the continuation of community strife. We have left the foxes to guard the henhouse; somehow thinking that it was alright because they were mostly lady foxes. Closer to Home: The Phoenix Goddess Temple We have just passed the five-year anniversary of the Phoenix Temple Raids. For those who may not be aware, this was a police operation that shut down an SS space run by a woman named Dr. Tracy Elise in Phoenix, Arizona. A transplant from the over-saturated Seattle market17, Elise and the practitioners (mostly women) operating there claimed to be offering sacred neoTantric healing services to the community; while the powers-that-be determined it was in fact a brothel. During the trial, the courts of Arizona rejected any claim to religious exemption for the purposes of the offering of sex work. Elise argued that the payments made were donations to the church, but women were compensated for their efforts out of these; suggested $200-$600. Tax exempt donations to a church may not inert to the benefit of any individual member- but then the Temple itself was not registered as a non-profit. Therefore, the “seekers” were just leaving the money on the nightstand, so to speak.18 Noted the county attorney, "'We're not viewing this in any way as somehow protected by the first amendment,' Montgomery said. 'This is not religious expression. This is a criminal activity and those responsible thought they were being too clever by half by coming up with different terms.'"19 The choice to advertise on Backpage with full pictures and waist/bust/hip measurements might have somewhat hurt their arguments with the jury, but the advertising did its job. At the time it was shut down, the Temple was bringing in an excess of $20,000 a month. The documents seekers were required to sign indicating that they were engaging consensually and not for sexual gratification offered no legal protection.

16 Ibid. 17 D'Andrea, Niki. "Phoenix Goddess Temple's "Sacred Sexuality" Is More Like New Age Prostitution." Phoenix N e w T i m e s. P h o e n i x N e w T i m e s , 0 2 A p r . 2 0 1 6 . W e b . 1 8 D e c . 2 0 1 6 . <http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/phoenix-goddess-temples-sacred-sexuality-is-more-like-new-ageprostitution-6447544>. 18 Clark, Alicia. "Phoenix Goddess Temple Leader Found Guilty of 22 Counts." Azcentral. Arizona Republic, 03 Mar. 2016. Web. 18 Dec. 2016. <http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/03/02/phoenixgoddess-temple-leader-found-guilty-22-counts/81219800/>. 19 Caron, Christina. "Phoenix Goddess Temple Raided as Alleged Brothel." ABC News. ABC News Network, 09 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/US/phoenix-goddess-temple-raided-allegedbrothel/story?id=14481945>.

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According to reports, “Elise told the court that goddesses did not have to perform an act a seeker requested if she did not want to. Elise said if a goddess did not want to do something, another goddess who was willing would continue the session.”20 Arguments for sacred sex work rely on the concept that the fact of the consensual nature of the exchange make it holy; and under the purview of constitutional guarantees of religious freedom ought therefore to be allowed. Sacred sex workers then have a vested interest in the control of the concept of consent; and furthermore in making it more rarified. If consent is hard to obtain with certainty elsewhere, one might just as well go to an expert to avoid potential trouble. One certain way to make sure you've got consent is to pay for it. None of this means that Elise wasn't entirely earnest in her beliefs. By all accounts, she is a woman of high faith. A review of her continued recordings delivered from prison via YouTube is absolutely heartbreaking. Many upstanding members of the community appeared to testify on her behalf and continue the fight to have her released. The organization even had a handbook and taught the Goddesses classes in how to be of service. Let us turn now to one of these. Of the many charged accomplices was one of the rare male practitioners at the temple, Wayne Clayton. According to the Arizona Republic, “Clayton also taught "Tools for Trauma," an approach that gives partners of those who have been sexually abused a strong compassionate protocol for healing trauma, which involved recreating the moment the victim lost control of his or her body, according to the website.”21 The undercover reporter who broke the story witnessed such a session and recounted it thus... “Jane's been having weekly sessions with Clayton for the past three months. Each session lasts two to three hours. The session starts with 10 to 15 minutes of talking before moving to role-playing. 'I'm your father! Have respect!' Clayton yells, smacking Jane's butt. Jane's crying when Clayton strips and they switch roles. Now, she spanks him to let her 'anger out.' She smacks Clayton's ass with both hands repeatedly. 'I'm 2 years old, and you're rubbing your penis on me!' She screams. 'I'm doing what's best for you,' Clayton deadpans. Jane continues smacking Clayton with tears streaming down her face. 'I should have told on you — you ugly, ugly man! I just hope you're burning in Hell! That's all I have to say to you!' After the role-playing, it takes a while for Jane to calm down. Clayton typically does deep-breathing exercises with her to 'isolate energy.' Then he asks Jane whether she's ready to move into the 'release' part of the session...”22 What exactly is happening here? In the context of a consensually negotiated BDSM scene, this would hardly raise an eyebrow in most dungeons these days. If this were a straightforward private club offering acknowledged D/s services, there would be no cause for complaint (except that legal professional Dom services don't come with happy endings in most localities).

20 Angelo, Alexa N. "'Sexual Healer' at Goddess Temple Sentenced to Probation." Azcentral. AZCentral, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2016. <http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/04/22/phoenix-goddesstemple-wayne-clayton-sentence-abrk/26191373/>. 21 Ibid. 22 D'Andrea, Niki. "Phoenix Goddess Temple's "Sacred Sexuality" Is More Like New Age Prostitution." Phoenix N e w T i m e s. P h o e n i x N e w T i m e s , 0 2 A p r . 2 0 1 6 . W e b . 1 8 D e c . 2 0 1 6 . <http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/phoenix-goddess-temples-sacred-sexuality-is-more-like-new-ageprostitution-6447544>.

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If this were a private scene between two individuals, there would be no issue whatever. But this service is being sold as therapeutic under the premise of a clergy-client relationship; which designation is backed up by the claims of the organization and (presumably) the beliefs of those practicing it. That context makes the whole matter a bit different. How can one be certain that the power differential between clergy and client, if it is truly believed and received, is not influencing the seeker's choices in a given moment? How might this come into play in a role-playing scene acting out a real trauma from the past involving just such a situation? The recounting completed, “'I'm gonna pull out,' Clayton says. 'Keep the breathing going. I want you to turn over and we'll do some anal release, get the anger out of there. Then you'll be cooked.' Jane says she feels 'cooked' already. 'We don't want you to leave lopsided,' Clayton says, changing gloves...”23 There are some very specific guidelines around the confounding of therapeutic and interpersonal relationships for professionals, and for very good reasons. The reporter interviewed Diane Genco, a licensed professional counselor dealing especially with abuse and sexual trauma. She gave the opinion that any therapy that involved touching the patient in a sexual way was exploitation. The same rules governing dual relationships fall equally upon the shoulders of members of the clergy. So then, if not a therapy; and not prostitution; and not a BDSM service; and not protected by recourse to freedom of religion; what then are we left with? What, indeed. Let us consider the alternative narrative of the State: that the operation was essentially a brothel trying to veil the business as a church. Imagine the possibility that at least some of the clients viewed it in that light. In that case, it would mean that a certain percentage of the population not only seeks out but is willing to pay good money for experiences of retraumatization for the purposes of sexual gratification – that is, as a fetish and not for healing purposes. Would these Goddesses have still been just as happy to provide such services if they knew that were the case? Goddesses and providers at the Temple were assured that their activities would be upheld by the courts under the First Amendment if challenged, though there was no prior cause to support that claim. Having turned state's evidence in exchange for a plea deal, Clayton remarked, “'In being so involved in getting the School of 1 up to speed, I did miss red flags and did not take action when I should have,' Clayton told the judge. 'I was working so hard and didn't want to make waves.' He said, 'I'm really very very sorry for any support or complication I played in illegal activity.'"24 Ignorance of the law, however, is no defense for legal adults. The practitioners were there by their own free will and volition; and were consenting participants. They certainly had every right to take the risks involved with challenging the status quo, and more are following in their footsteps. “In 2009, three temples in Seattle -- the Sacred Temple and two Moon Temple locations -- were raided on suspicion of being brothels. All three were run by a woman named Vivian Ellis, who legally changed her name to Rainbow Love. According to Love's Web site, she was "mentored" by Tracy Elise for five years."25 23 Ibid. 24 D'Angelo, Alexa N. "'Sexual Healer' at Goddess Temple Sentenced to Probation." Azcentral. Arizona Republic, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2016. <http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/04/22/phoenixgoddess-temple-wayne-clayton-sentence-abrk/26191373/>. 25 D'Andrea, Niki. "Phoenix Goddess Temple's "Sacred Sexuality" Is More Like New Age Prostitution." Phoenix N e w T i m e s. P h o e n i x N e w T i m e s , 0 2 A p r . 2 0 1 6 . W e b . 1 8 D e c . 2 0 1 6 .

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Let us earnestly hope that the efforts to end the prohibition on sex work will be successful in the near future. The Phoenix Goddess Temple was only unusual in its degree of success and public disgrace. It is no wonder that a zeitgeist of paranoia and pogroms has overtaken the community. Any consent-related accusation might bring scrutiny to the relationships of those to whom one is connected; and in some people's cases those connections are illegal. From past example, one can count on one's friends to act in their own self-interest should the law become involved. If there is ever to be transparency around these issues, sex work must be legalized so that organizations, programs, and practitioners in the SS and WL communities that are actually sexwork oriented can come out of the closet. Then we can disambiguate the roles of client, student, teacher, clergy, sex educator and providers of all the various types of occult and new-thought services on the market today. We can also then clarify the distinction between those of us who are and those who are not sex workers. For the record, the author's services are occasionally engaged as a fetish model – one legal form of sex work – and they stand in solidarity with all those fighting for the legitimization of their livelihoods. Like many young queers, they have also had the misfortune in their past of being forced circumstantially into illegal prostitution through homelessness. Sex work is not a “safe” profession. Decriminalization is the only thing that will make it safer; both for those who choose it and those who are left with no choice. As for Elise? The jury returned guilty on 22 counts related to owning and operating a house of prostitution and running an illegal enterprise. When the verdict was handed down, “As the court officer approached her, she bowed her head and held her hands together in the prayer position to be handcuffed. 'Don’t forget, just don’t forget why we’re doing this,' she called to her family and friends.”26

“People who live in glass houses should not trow stnes.”

<http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/phoenix-goddess-temples-sacred-sexuality-is-more-like-new-ageprostitution-6447544>. 26 Wasser, Miriam. "The Trouble With Sex: Why Phoenix Goddess Temple Founder Insists She's a Priestess, Not a Prostitute." Phoenix New Times. Phoenix New Times, 09 Sept. 2016. Web. 18 Dec. 2016. <http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/the-trouble-with-sex-why-phoenix-goddess-temple-founder-insistsshes-a-priestess-not-a-prostitute-8213397>.

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Final Comment “Erratica” Woman 12/15/16 1:35 pm

“I lead a small consent group for the local Portland, OR burner community (it's called PDX BED), and unfortunately I wasn't aware this survey was happening. One thing that has long troubled me about the overall consent community is that the concept of consent seems to almost always be framed as a thing that applies to sex and nothing else. Many consent groups seem to use consent as a tool to get people laid, but don't acknowledge any need for consent and respect in any other aspects of life. Even the largest consent group in the burner community, the [Bureau of Erotic Discourse], works with the assumption that everyone's ultimate goal in life is to have sex, and all efforts must be focused on helping that happen, and no other viewpoint is allowed. I actually had to leave the [Bureau of Erotic Discourse] group after an admin reprimanded me for objecting to a rape joke. “Part of the reason I formed my consent group was to address that exact issue. Yes, I absolutely want to try to address the violations and sexual abuses that go on in our community, and find ways to help victims and protect people from known abusers, but at the same time I want to emphasize that consent does not need to be just a convenient way to convince people to give you sex. I know so many people in my community who go to "sex-positive" events and end up being ridiculed, harassed, and insulted because they choose not to join in certain activities. Or people in the poly community who insult and degrade anyone who chooses monogamy. What about consent in everyday life? Why must respect be something we only give people when we're trying to get them into bed? “There are too many folks out there who are using "consent" and "sexpositivity" as a tool to pressure people into doing things they don't want to do, the exact opposite of what those concepts stand for. There are a lot of people who don't think that asexuals, for example, need to be included in talks about consent because there's this idea that if someone isn't going to give you sex, then they have no reason to exist. Fact is, lots of asexuals have sex, some really enjoy sex, but they are seen as irrelevant. “I also want to find better solutions for dealing with known abusers. And yes, I agree that blasting their names in public forums is most often a really bad idea. It opens up victims and allies to charges of libel and defamation, like what we saw in the Joseph Brown case. We also see a lot of people who generally despise abuse, then when someone they know is accused their first reaction is to deny, defend, excuse, rather than face the idea that someone they know may be an abuser. We have several abusers in our community who are continually given a free pass because they're pretty and fun, or because "it must have been a misunderstanding", or because "Well they never tried to rape ME, so it can't be true". I don't know any magical way to solve that issue, but it does need to be addressed.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think part of our work in addressing abuse needs to be acknowledging that our sex-positive philosophy is creating a space where saying "no" is not allowed. There are a lot of folks in the sex-positive community who think there's nothing wrong with mocking and verbally abusing people who say no, due to this idea that all sex is good, therefore anyone who says no is bad. Where does that leave all the people who don't want to be having sex 24/7? Where do they go if they live in a community that assumes that having sex is everyone's ultimate goal in life? How are we being accepting by insisting that polyamory is good, but monogamy is bad, because people should have the right to choose, but only if they choose this one, specific, "right" way?

What passes for humor on a women-only Sex Educatr's FB group. Tis postng is not atpical.

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4. What We Believe Beliefs What we believe about consent in part determines whether we believe that something someone has done is inappropriate behavior. These values and expectations, as revealed in the following tables, may vary by gender; community Point of Entry; whether one is an organizer or an attendee; and by status. This is very important information for producers establishing the guidelines for their events, as one's experience will be colored by one's own social location. There were actually quite a few more beliefs identified as significant than it was realistically possible to test. The list was cut down to just those beliefs most likely to influence interpretation of an experience as a consent violation; regularly repeated prejudices; and matters dictating where responsibility for consent and its maintenance fall. Beliefs were then broken down into various groupings for comparison. Gender analysis should help reveal how differences in life experience may be influencing perceptions. Point of Entry was predicted to be the most likely factor in acculturation. If this is so, variances by P.O.E should be regularly observed in the data. Comparison by influence pool will show whether the leadership and the general population of the community believe the same things â&#x20AC;&#x201C; important, since it is the leaders that get to write the rules. Examination of status quartiles should reveal if class differences are in play in what we believe.

Table 18: Beliefs Scaling Key Percentage Agreeing 0-20

Mostly Disagree

21-35

Uncertain Disagreement

36-50

Ambiguous Disagreement

51-65

Ambiguous Agreement

66-80

Uncertain Agreement

81-100

Mostly Agree

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Table 19: Scaled Belief Totals & by Gender Total M W N # Agree % % % %

Statements

30

1

2.27 4.76

0

0

People who are GLBTQ are unlikely to offend against people's boundaries.

29

2

4.55 4.76

6.67

0

Everyone experiences consent violations with the same frequency.

0

The kink and fetish community disproportionately attracts problematic people.

26.67 0

I can always tell when someone has sexual intentions toward me.

28

4

9.09 14.29 6.67

27

5

11.36 4.76

26

7

15.91 14.29 20

25

7

15.91 14.29 13.33 25

You should never say "maybe later" to a request at an event.

20.45 9.52

33.33 25

Asking a person to engage in a greater degree of touch than was volunteered is a pressuring behavior.

24

9

12.5

Restorative justice is always an adequate solution to consent violating behaviors.

23

10

22.73 19.05 26.67 25

I don't believe any touch activity spaces should allow for non-sobriety; even consensually and with a dedicated server in place.

22

16

36.36 57.14 26.67 0

It is the event organizer's responsibility to keep unsafe people out of events.

21

22

20

23

52.27 47.62 53.33 62.5

By and large, consent violations happen to women and people presenting that way.

19

25

56.82 42.86 66.67 75

I consider touch and sexuality to be in some way transcendent or sacred.

50

42.86 73.33 25

Sex while only one party is intoxicated can't be consensual.

18

26

59.09 66.67 46.67 62.5

It is the responsibility of the party initiating touch contact to ensure continued consent to the touch activity throughout.

17

28

63.64 76.19 46.67 62.5

I want my partner to pay close enough attention to me to know what I want.

16

28

63.64 61.9

75

Sometimes people seek out situations that violate their consent.

64.91 66.67 73.33 50

"Flagging", or indicating people's availability for different types of interaction by use of a physical marking system (bracelets, ribbons, et al.), makes my events more enjoyable.

15

29

60

58


Katessa S. Harkey

#

14

Agree

30

The Clearing of Consent

Total %

M %

W %

N %

Statements

68.18 76.19 66.67 50

If you regularly engage with an individual in physical touch, it is okay for that person to assume they have your consent to the same degree of touch until you say otherwise. A written safer spaces agreement needs to be made available at every event in which touch activities are likely to occur.

13

30

68.18 71.43 80

12

30

68.18 76.19 53.33 75

Two people who are intoxicated can consensually have sex.

70.45 80.95 73.33 50

It is the responsibility of a participant to verbally interrupt any unwanted touch activity. I like a clear distinction between events where it's okay to look for people who may want to participate with me romantically or sexually; and those in which it is disallowed.

11

31

37.5

10

32

72.73 66.67 80

9

34

77.27 76.19 73.33 87.5

If you want to use a condom or other barrier method, it is your responsibility to say so.

8

36

81.81 90.48 86.67 50

Records should be kept of incident reports given to event leadership.

7

36

81.81 95.24 93.33 25

Sex with a condom should be the assumed default in consent communities, even in nonevent interactions.

86.36 100

If you don't want to engage with an individual, you should just tell that person rather than trying to be polite about it.

6

38

75

73.33 75

5

38

86.36 95.24 66.67 100

I don't want to be repeatedly asked for the same activity by the same person in a given situation.

4

38

86.36 80.95 93.33 87.5

You should get informed consent to use any specialized techniques you know that intensify a touch experience.

3

41

93.18 95.24 86.67 100

Reports can be blown out of proportion to what actually occurred.

2

42

95.45 93.33 100

87.5

There should be a specific person or office that is always available to be approached with consent violation experiences at events.

1

44

100

There are touch situations in which you don't need to ask verbally to do every little thing.

100 100

100

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The Clearing of Consent

Table 20: Beliefs by Point of Entry Note: Because of the sizes of each of these pools, the SS, WL, KF, and FC are relatively comparable; while the P & Q are much smaller and more susceptible to idiosyncrasy. However, values have been included for reference and to avoid erasure. # SS WL KF FC P Q Statements 30

0

0

0

0

20

0

People who are GLBTQ are unlikely to offend against people's boundaries.

29

0

0

0

0

40

0

Everyone experiences consent violations with the same frequency.

28

0

10

10

12.5

20

0

The kink and fetish community disproportionately attracts problematic people.

27 33.33

0

10

12.5

0

0

I can always tell when someone has sexual intentions toward me.

26 22.22

10

30

0

20

0

Restorative justice is always an adequate solution to consent violating behaviors.

25 22.22

20

20

0

20

0

You should never say "maybe later" to a request at an event.

24 11.11

10

20

25

40

50

Asking a person to engage in a greater degree of touch than was volunteered is a pressuring behavior.

23 33.33

50

10

12.5

0

0

I don't believe any touch activity spaces should allow for non-sobriety; even consensually and with a dedicated server in place.

22 33.33

20

40

62.5

40

0

It is the event organizer's responsibility to keep unsafe people out of events.

21 66.67

60

50

25

20

100

Sex while only one party is intoxicated can't be consensual.

20 33.33

50

60

62.5

40

100

By and large, consent violations happen to women and people presenting that way.

19 100

40

70

50

20

0

I consider touch and sexuality to be in some way transcendent or sacred.

18 55.56

60

60

75

40

50

It is the responsibility of the party initiating touch contact to ensure continued consent to the touch activity throughout.

17 77.78

50

40

87.5

80

50

I want my partner to pay close enough attention to me to know what I want.

16 77.78

90

50

50

60

0

Sometimes people seek out situations that violate their consent.

50

"Flagging", or indicating people's availability for different types of interaction by use of a physical marking system (bracelets, ribbons, et al.), makes my events more enjoyable.

15 66.67

70

70

75

40

60


Katessa S. Harkey

#

SS

The Clearing of Consent

WL

KF

FC

P

Q

Statements If you regularly engage with an individual in physical touch, it is okay for that person to assume they have your consent to the same degree of touch until you say otherwise.

14 77.78

50

70

75

80

50

13 77.78

50

70

75

60

A written safer spaces agreement needs to be 100 made available at every event in which touch activities are likely to occur.

12 55.56

60

70

75

100

50

Two people who are intoxicated can consensually have sex.

11 88.89

80

40

87.5

80

50

It is the responsibility of a participant to verbally interrupt any unwanted touch activity.

90

90

37.5

80

50

I like a clear distinction between events where it's okay to look for people who may want to participate with me romantically or sexually; and those in which it is disallowed.

9 66.67 100

60

87.5

100

0

If you want to use a condom or other barrier method, it is your responsibility to say so.

8 77.78

80

100

100

100

Records should be kept of incident reports given to event leadership.

Sex with a condom should be the assumed 100 default in consent communities, even in nonevent interactions.

10 66.67

60

7 88.89

80

70

87.5

80

6

90

70

100

100

90

80

100

80

I don't want to be repeatedly asked for the 100 same activity by the same person in a given situation.

100

5 88.89

0

If you don't want to engage with an individual, you should just tell that person rather than trying to be polite about it.

90

100

87.5

40

You should get informed consent to use any 100 specialized techniques you know that intensify a touch experience.

3 88.89 100

90

87.5

100

100

4 88.89

Reports can be blown out of proportion to what actually occurred.

2

100

90

100

100

80

There should be a specific person or office 100 that is always available to be approached with consent violation experiences at events.

1

100

100

100

100

100

100

There are touch situations in which you don't need to ask verbally to do every little thing.

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The Clearing of Consent

Table 21: Beliefs by Influence Pools Note: Influence pools were established by first separating by those with a total participation score of less than 10; then separating the remainder at 15 participation points (or half the total possible.) Those falling in the bottom pool who were an organizer or member of crew in at least one community were moved up to the middle pool. This yields three pools of influence: General Population; Lower Involvement Leadership; and Upper Involvement Leadership. # General Lower Upper Statements 30

0

0

7.14

People who are GLBTQ are unlikely to offend against people's boundaries.

29

15.38

0

0

Everyone experiences consent violations with the same frequency.

28

15.38

5.88

7.14

The kink and fetish community disproportionately attracts problematic people.

27

21.43

11.76

21.43

I can always tell when someone has sexual intentions toward me.

26

30.77

11.76

7.14

Restorative justice is always an adequate solution to consent violating behaviors.

25

0

11.76

35.71

You should never say "maybe later" to a request at an event.

14.29

Asking a person to engage in a greater degree of touch than was volunteered is a pressuring behavior.

24

23.08

23.53

23

23.08

17.65

28.57

I don't believe any touch activity spaces should allow for non-sobriety; even consensually and with a dedicated server in place.

22

30.77

41.18

35.71

It is the event organizer's responsibility to keep unsafe people out of events.

21

53.85

47.06

50

Sex while only one party is intoxicated can't be consensual.

20

76.92

35.29

50

By and large, consent violations happen to women and people presenting that way.

19

23.08

64.71

78.57

I consider touch and sexuality to be in some way transcendent or sacred.

18

46.15

58.82

85.71

It is the responsibility of the party initiating touch contact to ensure continued consent to the touch activity throughout.

17

53.85

70.59

64.29

I want my partner to pay close enough attention to me to know what I want.

16

61.54

64.71

71.43

Sometimes people seek out situations that violate their consent.

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Katessa S. Harkey

# 15

General 69.23

The Clearing of Consent

Lower 70.59

Upper

Statements

57.14

"Flagging", or indicating people's availability for different types of interaction by use of a physical marking system (bracelets, ribbons, et al.), makes my events more enjoyable.

14

84.62

64.71

57.14

If you regularly engage with an individual in physical touch, it is okay for that person to assume they have your consent to the same degree of touch until you say otherwise.

13

69.23

58.82

78.57

A written safer spaces agreement needs to be made available at every event in which touch activities are likely to occur.

12

69.23

76.47

57.14

Two people who are intoxicated can consensually have sex.

11

61.54

70.59

85.71

It is the responsibility of a participant to verbally interrupt any unwanted touch activity.

10

61.54

76.47

78.57

I like a clear distinction between events where it's okay to look for people who may want to participate with me romantically or sexually; and those in which it is disallowed.

9

76.92

70.59

85.71

If you want to use a condom or other barrier method, it is your responsibility to say so.

8

92.31

76.47

78.57

Records should be kept of incident reports given to event leadership.

78.57

Sex with a condom should be the assumed default in consent communities, even in nonevent interactions.

7

84.62

82.35

6

84.62

76.47

100

If you don't want to engage with an individual, you should just tell that person rather than trying to be polite about it.

5

84.62

88.24

85.71

I don't want to be repeatedly asked for the same activity by the same person in a given situation.

4

84.62

82.35

92.86

You should get informed consent to use any specialized techniques you know that intensify a touch experience.

3

100

88.24

92.86

Reports can be blown out of proportion to what actually occurred.

2

92.31

94.12

100

There should be a specific person or office that is always available to be approached with consent violation experiences at events.

1

100

100

100

There are touch situations in which you don't need to ask verbally to do every little thing.

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Table 22: Beliefs by Status Quartile # 1st 2nd 3rd

4th

Statements

30 9.09

0

0

0

People who are GLBTQ are unlikely to offend against people's boundaries.

29 0

9.09

9.09

0

Everyone experiences consent violations with the same frequency.

28 18.18

9.09

9.09

0

The kink and fetish community disproportionately attracts problematic people.

27 18.18

27.27

0

0

I can always tell when someone has sexual intentions toward me.

26 18.18

18.18

18.18

9.09

Restorative justice is always an adequate solution to consent violating behaviors.

25 18.18

9.09

9.09

27.27

You should never say "maybe later" to a request at an event.

24 27.27

9.09

18.18

27.27

Asking a person to engage in a greater degree of touch than was volunteered is a pressuring behavior.

23 0

27.27

36.36

27.27

I don't believe any touch activity spaces should allow for non-sobriety; even consensually and with a dedicated server in place.

22 45.45

45.45

27.27

27.27

It is the event organizer's responsibility to keep unsafe people out of events.

21 36.36

36.36

54.55

72.73

Sex while only one party is intoxicated can't be consensual.

20 72.73

54.55

45.45

36.36

By and large, consent violations happen to women and people presenting that way.

19 63.64

36.36

63.64

63.64

I consider touch and sexuality to be in some way transcendent or sacred.

18 54.55

63.64

72.73

45.45

It is the responsibility of the party initiating touch contact to ensure continued consent to the touch activity throughout.

17 54.55

72.73

72.73

54.55

I want my partner to pay close enough attention to me to know what I want.

16 63.64

72.73

45.45

72.73

Sometimes people seek out situations that violate their consent.

15 81.82

63.64

54.55

63.64

"Flagging", or indicating people's availability for different types of interaction by use of a physical marking system (bracelets, ribbons, et al.), makes my events more enjoyable.

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#

1st

The Clearing of Consent

2nd

3rd

4th

Statements

14 63.64

81.82

72.73

54.55

If you regularly engage with an individual in physical touch, it is okay for that person to assume they have your consent to the same degree of touch until you say otherwise.

13 63.64

63.64

81.82

63.64

A written safer spaces agreement needs to be made available at every event in which touch activities are likely to occur.

12 72.73

63.64

72.73

63.64

Two people who are intoxicated can consensually have sex.

11 54.55

100

63.64

72.73

It is the responsibility of a participant to verbally interrupt any unwanted touch activity.

10 81.82

54.55

81.82

72.73

I like a clear distinction between events where it's okay to look for people who may want to participate with me romantically or sexually; and those in which it is disallowed.

9 81.82

100

81.82

45.45

If you want to use a condom or other barrier method, it is your responsibility to say so.

8 90.91

90.91

54.55

90.91

Records should be kept of incident reports given to event leadership.

7 63.64

100

72.73

90.91

Sex with a condom should be the assumed default in consent communities, even in nonevent interactions.

6 81.82

100

81.82

81.82

If you don't want to engage with an individual, you should just tell that person rather than trying to be polite about it.

5 81.82

90.91

90.91

81.82

I don't want to be repeatedly asked for the same activity by the same person in a given situation.

4 90.91

90.91

81.82

81.82

You should get informed consent to use any specialized techniques you know that intensify a touch experience.

3 81.82

100

100

90.91

Reports can be blown out of proportion to what actually occurred.

2 100

90.91

90.91

100

There should be a specific person or office that is always available to be approached with consent violation experiences at events.

1 100

100

100

100

There are touch situations in which you don't need to ask verbally to do every little thing.

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Mostly Disagree Statements in this category fell in the bottom 20% in overall agreement. 30. People who are GLBTQ are unlikely to offend against people's boundaries. One of the statements included to test for prejudice repeated regularly during the initial field-work discovery process; yet countermanded by the experiences of others. The one individual who agreed with this statement identified as a man; entered by way of the Political community; was in the upper influence pool; and the lowest status quartile. 29. Everyone experiences consent violations with the same frequency. During the initial discovery process, organizers reported that some individuals more frequently experience issues. This was phrased as an inversion to avoid bias. Only two people agreed with this statement, indicating the community common knowledge that some people are experiencing consent violations more frequently than others. 28. The kink and fetish community disproportionately attracts problematic people. One of the statements included to test for prejudice repeated regularly during the initial field-work discovery process. While only four people agreed with this statement, that still represents about 9% of the overall pool. Surprisingly, three out of the four responders agreeing were men. One each responder was attributed to the Wellness Lifestyle, Festival & Convention, Political; and the Kink & Fetish community itself. 27. I can always tell when someone has sexual intentions toward me. 5 responders agreeing, 4 women and 1 man, representing 11% of the pool. This statement is problematic because it signifies a tendency to project motives on to another person with whom one is interacting. Requests may be interpreted as sexual or romantic when not intended that way by the interested party. 3 out of 5 were from the SS community, and 1 each from the FC and KF. 26. Restorative justice is always an adequate solution to consent violating behaviors. A check-question on the matter of enforcement. 15.91% agreed in total; 14.29% of men; 20% of women; and 12.5% of non-binary/no response individuals. This represented 22.22% of those with a P.O.E. in the SS community; 10% of the WL; 30% of the KF; 20% of the Political; and none of the FC or GLBTQ. 30.77% of those agreeing were from the General population, while far fewer in leadership agreed with the statement. Results were fairly evenly distributed by status. 25. You should never say "maybe later" to a request at an event. A matter of etiquette that is a point of contention between environments. Said to have originated in Swinger culture. Discourages â&#x20AC;&#x153;hopefulsâ&#x20AC;? from wasting an evening waiting instead of finding other opportunities. 15.91% agreement with similar rates between men and women; but 25% agreement in the NB/NR pool. SS, WL, KF & P reported around 20% each; while FC & Q reported 0. A whopping 35.71% of the upper leadership pool agreed with the statement, while absolutely no one in the general pool agreed. 11.76% of lower leadership agreed. 27.27% of the uppermost status quartile agreed; as did 18.18% of the lowest; and 9.09% of the middle two quartiles.

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Uncertain Disagreement Statements in this category fell between 21% and 35% in overall agreement. 24. Asking a person to engage in a greater degree of touch than was volunteered is a pressuring behavior. This is a matter of serious contention that may be leading to a lot of confusion. Instructions in most standard consent courses encourage participants to clearly request what they want to achieve clear consent. However, in some cases simply making the request may be interpreted as a consent violation. 20.45% of the pool agreed overall. A full third of women agreed; as did a quarter of NB/NR individuals; but only 9.52% of men did. Point-of-Entry reports were all over the map between 10% and 50%. About 23% of the General and Lower Leadership pools agreed; while only 14.29% of Upper Leadership agreed. 27.27% of first and fourth quartiles agreed, while 9.09% of the second and 18.18% of the third did. 23. I don't believe any touch activity spaces should allow for non-sobriety; even consensually and with a dedicated server in place. 22.73% of the pool agreed with this statement over-all, or more than one in five. This indicates a tendency toward the regulation of all environments to suit one's own preferences rather than self-exclusion from undesired environments. About a quarter of the women and NB/NR pools agreed; while slightly under a fifth of men did. Half of the WL pool and a third of the SS pools agreed; but was else-wise negligible in other P.O.E.s. 28.57% of upper leadership agreed; but surprisingly only 17.65% of lower leadership. 23.08% of the general population agreed. The image becomes clearer looking through the Status window: absolutely no one in the lowest quartile agreed with the statement; while 36.36% of the third quartile agreed. 27.27% of the fourth and second agreed. Ambiguous Disagreement Statements in this category fell between 36% and 50% in overall agreement. 22. It is the event organizer's responsibility to keep unsafe people out of events. At public events, it is impossible for organizers to vet everyone who buys a ticket. It is dangerous, therefore, to assume that any individual is â&#x20AC;&#x153;saferâ&#x20AC;? than usual simply because they are present at a community event. 36.36% of responders agreed with this statement. Agreement was highly differentiated by gender: 57.14% of men agreed; while only 26.67% of women did. No NB/NR responders agreed. P.O.E. Pools were all over the map, the most agreement coming from the FC community at 62.5%. KF & P were at 40%; SS at 33.33% and WL at 20%. Neither Q responder agreed. Leadership was slightly more likely to agree with this statement. 41.18% of lower leadership and 35.71% of upper leadership agreed; while only 30.77% of the general population did. The pool was split by status median: 45.45% in the first and second quartile agreed; while 27.27% of the third and fourth quartile agreed. 21. Sex while only one party is intoxicated can't be consensual. The community is extremely split on this issue. There was exactly 50% agreement to this statement. Nearly three-quarters of women agreed, while only 42.86% of men did. 25% of NB/NR individuals agreed. Breakdowns by P.O.E. were highly varied. 66.67% of SS and 60% of WL responders agreed; 50% of KF; only 25% of FC; 20% of Political; and both Q responders agreed. Distribution was fairly even between rank pools. By status, below-the-median individuals were far more likely to disagree: 36.36% of first and second quartile responders agreed; 54.55% of third quartile; and 72.73% of the highest status individuals agreed.

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Ambiguous Agreement Statements in this category fell between 51% and 65% in overall agreement. 20. By and large, consent violations happen to women and people presenting that way. Recent studies show that men in America are experiencing rape, sexual assault, and coercion at much higher rates than ever imagined.27 Due to this prejudice, men may be less likely to report than women. Changes in the specificity of questions asked by the CDC have brought about these revelations. Slightly over half of responders agreed with this statement; 47.62% of men; 53.33% of women; and 62.5% of NB/NR individuals respectively. SS individuals were the least likely to agree at one-third of the pool; while both Q individuals agreed. Other pools ranged between 40% and 62.5%. Slightly over three quarters of the general population agreed; while only 35.29% of lower leadership and 50% of upper leadership did. The lower a responder's status, the more likely they were to agree with this statement. 72.73% of the lowest quartile agreed; 54.55% of the second; 45.45% of the third; and 36.36% of the uppermost. 19. I consider touch and sexuality to be in some way transcendent or sacred. Differences in the perception of the weight and relevance of sexual activity may lead to heartache and conflict if there is mismatch between the expectations of parties engaged. If the goal is consent, no one may be forced to engage in spirituality against their will. Slightly over half the total pool agreed with this statement; and responses varied greatly by gender. While only 42.86% of men agreed with the statement, 66.67% of women and 75% of NB/NR individuals did. Not surprisingly, 100% of SS individuals agreed, as well as 70% of KF individuals. Only 40% of WL and 50% of FC responders agreed. One P community responder agreed, while neither of the Q responders did. The general population was far less likely to agree with this statement than leadership: 23.08% versus 64.71% of lower and 78.57% of upper leadership. In terms of status, 63.34% of first, third, and fourth quartile responders agreed, while only 36.36% of second quartile individuals did. 18. It is the responsibility of the party initiating touch contact to ensure continued consent to the touch activity throughout. 59.09% of responders agreed with this statement. Slightly more men and NB/NR individuals agreed (66.67% and 62.5%, respectively); while only 46.67% of women did. Three quarter of FC individuals agreed, while other P.O.E. pools ranged between 40% and 60%. Agreement by rank pool was highly dependent: 85.71% of upper leadership agreed; as opposed to 58.82% of lower leadership and 46.15% of the general population. Those falling in the third status quartile were the most likely to agree at 72.73%. The uppermost quartile reported agreement at 45.45%; while the first and second reported 54.55% and 63.64% agreement.

27 Young, Cathy. "The CDC's Rape Numbers Are Misleading." Time. Time, 27 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2016. <http://time.com/3393442/cdc-rape-numbers/>.

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17. I want my partner to pay close enough attention to me to know what I want. This statement relates to how we engage one another during touch activities; and may relate to expectations leading to conflict. 63.64% of the total reported agreement, highly varied by gender. 76.19% of men responding agreed, while only 46.67% of women did. NB/NR individuals fell in-between at 62.5%. FC responders reported a whopping 87.5% agreement; while Political and SS communities were close behind at 80% and 77.78% respectively. Other pools reported at 40 to 50%. Lower leadership were the most likely to agree (70.59%) while 64.29% of upper leadership and 53.85% of the general population agreed. The middle two quartiles reported 72.73% agreement; while the first and fourth reported 54.55%. 16. Sometimes people seek out situations that violate their consent. This statement begs the question, “What is consent?” If someone has sought out a situation, how could it be nonconsensual? 63.64% of total responders agreed, relatively even between men and women. NB/NR individuals, however, agreed at a rate of three quarters. All WL responders but 1 agreed (90%); with SS coming in second at 77.78%. Neither Q responder agreed; but other pools ranged between 50 and 60%. Upper leadership was slightly more likely to agree at 71.43%; as opposed to 64.71% of lower and 61.54% of the general population. Agreement varied by quartile: 72.73% of second and fourth quartile responders agreed; while 63.64% of the first and 45.45% of the third agreed. 15. "Flagging", or indicating people's availability for different types of interaction by use of a physical marking system (bracelets, ribbons, et al.), makes my events more enjoyable. Flagging is an old solution to the perennial problem of locating potentially interested partners at events from the Queer and Kink & Fetish communities. More recently, this has been used to indicate attendees' desire for communication around touch (even social) in general. 64.91% of the total agreed, with slight differences between men and women responders (66.67% and 73.33% respectively). Surprisingly, fewer NB/NR individuals agreed at 50%. Those communities which most regularly host touch-specific spaces were more likely to agree with the statement (between 66.67% and 75% in the SS, WL, KF, and FC communities); while the P and Q responded at 40% and 50% respectively. Upper leadership was least likely to agree at 57.14%; while lower leadership reported similarly to the general population (70.59% and 69.23%). While the lowest quartile of responders was highly favorable to flagging (81.82%) agreement in the other three quartiles was lower ranging from 54.55% to 63.64%. Uncertain Agreement Statements in this category fell between 66% and 80% in overall agreement. 14. If you regularly engage with an individual in physical touch, it is okay for that person to assume they have your consent to the same degree of touch until you say otherwise. This question comes up in enforcement on a regular basis. Various words have been proposed for the definition and negotiation of such arrangements, such as “perma-consent” (relating to long-term relationships) and “free” consent relating to short-term or single event arrangements. Overall, agreement to this statement was 68.18%. Men were more likely to agree than women (76.19% vs. 66.67%); while only 50% of NB/NR individuals agreed. Responders in the WL and Q pools were the least likely to agree (50%); while agreement in the other pools ranged from 70 to 80%. A whopping 84.62% if the general population agreed with the statement; while only 57.14% of upper and 64.71% of lower leadership agreed. Agreement by status was highest in the second quartile at 81.82%; with the third coming in at 72.73%. The lowest quartile reported 63.64%; while the uppermost was the least likely to agree at 54.55%.

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13. A written safer spaces agreement needs to be made available at every event in which touch activities are likely to occur. At present, most events that cost to enter have such a document; while less formal settings often do not. Such agreements help avoid conflict by establishing clear ground rules for a given space; but are only credible if enforcement is consistent, even-handed, and limited to the parameters given in the policy. Overall, 68.18% of participants agreed with this statement. Women were slightly more likely to agree than men (80% vs. 71.43%); but NB/NR individuals only agreed at a rate of 37.5%. Both Q individuals reporting agreed. Agreement between SS, KF, and FC communities was similar, ranging from 70 to 77.78%; while only half and 60% of WL and Political responders agreed, respectively. 78.57% of upper leadership agreed; as opposed to 58.82% of lower leadership. 69.23% of the general population agreed. 81.82% of the third quartile agreed; while 63.64% agreed in every other quartile. 12. Two people who are intoxicated can consensually have sex. At many events, alcohol and other intoxicants are officially prohibited; but no organizer can actually prevent determined attendees from partaking if they want to. Despite recent changes in some college campus policies, the legal criminal threshold on the matter is incapacity rather than impaired judgement.28 68.18% of participants agreed over-all. Agreement was similar between men and the NB/NR pool at around three quarters; while only about half of women agreed, or 53.33%. The SS and WL pools reported 55.56 and 60% respectively; while the KF and FC reported 70 and 75%. 100% of Political responders agreed, while one of the two GLBTQ responders did. Upper leadership were the least likely to agree at 57.14%; while lower leadership reported 76.47% agreement. The general population agreed at a rate of 69.23%. Agreement was fairly similar across status quartiles. 11. It is the responsibility of a participant to verbally interrupt any unwanted touch activity. This statement relates to how participants engage one another during touch activities. Short of telepathy, verbal communication is the only sure bet. If two participants have different expectations around this matter, conflict may easily arise. 70.45% of responders agreed over-all; with 80.95% of men and 73.33% of women agreeing. However, only half the NB/NR pool did. Between 80 and 88.89% of participant in the SS, WL, P and FC pools agreed; while one of the two Q responders agreed. In the KF community, agreement was only at 40%; perhaps reflective of older leather traditions in which the Dominant or Top is responsible for assuring the consent of the sub or bottom. 85.71% of upper leadership agreed with this statement; while 70.59% of lower leadership did. Only 61.54% of the general population agreed. 100% of responders falling in the second status quartile agreed with the statement, as did 72.73% of upper leadership. By contrast, 63.64% of the third and 54.55% of the lowest agreed.

28 Grinberg, Emanuella. "Schools Preach 'enthusiastic' Yes in Sex Consent Education." CNN. Cable News Network, 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/03/living/affirmative-consentschool-policy/>.

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10. I like a clear distinction between events where it's okay to look for people who may want to participate with me romantically or sexually; and those in which it is disallowed. This question relates to event and space agreement design for producers. Conflict may arise between participants if some are treating the space as platonic or introverted while others are seeking potentially interested partners. Overall agreement with this statement was at 72.73%. While women and the NB/NR pool reported similar agreement (80% and 75% respectively) men by contrast only agreed at a rate of 66.67%. While only 37.5% of FC participants and 66.67% of the SS pool agreed, 90% of WL and KF responders did. One of the GLBTQ responders agreed, as did 80% of the Political pool. While only 61.54% of the general population agreed, 76.47% and 78.57% of lower and upper leadership (respectively) did. 81.82% of first and third quartile responders agreed, but only 72.73% of the uppermost and 54.55% of second quartile responders did. 9. If you want to use a condom or other barrier method, it is your responsibility to say so. While common education is that condom usage should be nearly universal, it is ultimately a matter of personal choice. This is an important matter of physical safety, STI and pregnancy prevention upon which there is over-all 77.27% agreement. A similar 76.19% of men and 73.33% of women agreed; while 87.5% of the NB/NR pool did. While 100% of WL and Political responders and a slightly-less substantial 87.5% of FC participants agreed, 66.67% of SS and 60% of KF responders did. Neither Q responder agreed. In old Leather tradition, it is the responsibility of the penetrating partner to ask about barriers before the start of a scene. While 85.71% of upper leadership agreed, only 70.59% of lower leadership and 76.92% of the general pool did. A shockingly low 45.45% of upper quartile responders agreed with this statement; while the other quartiles registered 81.82% to 100% agreement. Mostly Agree Statements in this category fell between 81% and 100% in overall agreement 8. Records should be kept of incident reports given to event leadership. Over-all, 81.81% of responders agreed with this statement. A similar 90.48% of men and 86.67% of women agreed; while curiously only half of NB/NR responders did. While 100% of FC, P, and Q responders agreed with the statement, a similar 77.78% and 80% were reported in the SS and KF pools. The WL pool registered the lowest agreement at 60%. While 92.31% of the general population wants records kept, only 76.47% and 78.57% of lower and upper leadership feel the same. Oddly, while participants in the first, second, and fourth status quartiles overwhelmingly agreed at 90.91%, those in the third only registered 54.55% agreement. 7. Sex with a condom should be the assumed default in consent communities, even in nonevent interactions. This is a check-question to statement #9, which places the responsibility with the person desiring the modification from the most basic. If one participant assumes that condom usage is a given while their partner expects to be asked for the modification, conflict may arise. With overall agreement at 81.81%, men and women reported similarly at 95.24% and 93.33%. The NB/NR pool, however, only agreed a quarter of the time. Participants in the SS and FC communities agreed at 88.89% and 87.5% respectively; while 80% of the WL and P communities did. Agreement was a slightly-lower 70% in the KF pool. Both of the Q responders agreed. While agreement was similar across Influence pools, this was not the case with Status. While 100% and 90% of second and fourth quartile responders agreed, only 72.73% of the third did. 63.64% of the lowest quartile agreed.

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6. If you don't want to engage with an individual, you should just tell that person rather than trying to be polite about it. Coming in at 86.36% agreement total, this is one of two statements to which 100% of men agreed. Substantially fewer women and NB/NR responders agreed at 73.33% and 75%; or roughly three quarters. While neither of the Q responders agreed, 100% of the SS, FC, and P pools and 90% of WL did. However, only 70% of KF individuals did. Old Leather traditions are built around complex systems of etiquette; and responders may have reacted to the word “polite” differently than other responders. While 100% of upper leadership agreed with this statement, only 76.47% of lower did. 84.62% of the general population agreed. Responses were similar across Status pools. 5. I don't want to be repeatedly asked for the same activity by the same person in a given situation. Coming in at 86.36% total agreement, opinion differed greatly by gender. While 95.24% of men and 100% of the NB/NR pool agreed, only two-thirds of women did. Agreement in the SS, WL, FC and Q pools ranged from 88.89 to 100%. Agreement in KF and P communities was at 80%. Agreement across influence and status pools were similar. 4. You should get informed consent to use any specialized techniques you know that intensify a touch experience. This question is especially relevant as regards sacred and BDSM techniques. 86.36% of participants agreed with this statement. Somewhat fewer men than women agreed, at 80.95% vs. 93.33%. The NB/NR pool reported 87.5% agreement. While agreement was similarly high across most P.O.E. pools (87.5 to 100%) the Political pool only registered 40%. This pool may have been less likely to understand the thrust of the statement. Agreement across influence and status pools were similar. 3. Reports can be blown out of proportion to what actually occurred. 93.18% of responders agreed with this statement. While 100% of NB/NR and 95.24% of men agreed, somewhat fewer women did at 86.67%. Agreement was similar across P.O.E. pools. 100% of the general population agreed, while 92.86% of upper and 88.24% of lower leadership did. Agreement was similar across status quartiles, though slightly less in the lowest quartile. 2. There should be a specific person or office that is always available to be approached with consent violation experiences at events. This statement garnered 95.45% in total agreement. 100% of women and 93.33% of men agreed, while 87.5% of the NB/NR pool did. While only 80% of Political responders agreed, due to the size of the pool this only represents one individual disagreement. No significant differences were observed by other measures. 1. There are touch situations in which you don't need to ask verbally to do every little thing. This statement tests the idea that “rolling” or “affirmative” consent is always required in order for an activity to be consensual. If there are any situations in which ongoing verbal communication is not a requirement, then non-verbal communication is an allowable method of establishing consent. This is the only statement which registered 100% agreement from all responders.

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Conclusions Consent Communities are highly divided in their beliefs around what constitutes consent and what appropriate behavior at events is. No single factor showed itself to be the break-away predictor of an individual's opinions; but each showed itself to be significant in some instances. Organizers can assume nothing about an individual with whom they are interacting in regards to an incident report. If that person's beliefs vary from that which is written in a space agreement, they may feel wronged when no violation of policy has occurred. This can lead to highly uncomfortable situations for all involved. However, organizers may have recourse to these tables in considering how best to formulate policies so that they are in-line with the values of the audiences they are targeting for their events. There are a few stand-out issues that ought, however, to be addressed. Firstly, 100% of responders agreed that affirmative or rolling consent practices are not required in every situation. That means that if you want affirmative consent protocol to be in place in a given scenario, it is imperative that you ask for it. This is a matter of assuring one's own needs for safety are met. It cannot be assumed that your partner will think that this is one of those situations if you don't say so. Similarly, there is confusion around responsibility for barrier method usage. Though most participants agreed that this should be the presumed default (81.81%) a quite similar number (77.27%) stated that it was the responsibility of the party desiring a barrier method to say so. Between the two, speaking up for one's own needs is safer than making the assumption that the partner will use a barrier method. One very surprising value in the data was that while the vast majority of men and NB/NR individuals reported that they did not want to be repeatedly approached by the same person for the same activity at an event, only 2/3 of women agreed. We have been teaching it as a hard and fast that this is a pressuring behavior. Yet it is possible that up to a third of women are actually playing games of “hard to get”; thus the existence of the courtship pattern in the first place. Who do we accommodate; the 2/3 or the 1/3? Couple this with the fact that only 15.91% agreed that you should never say “maybe later” to a request at an event. Do we need different parties for different desires? What are we supposed to tell the menfolk? That a third of the time, “no” really might mean “maybe later”? It is clear that men more than anything else want clarity: 100% said that you should just be up-front if you aren't interested. But only about three-quarters of women and NB/NR individuals agreed. It is also disconcerting that a significant percentage of participants do not believe they have a responsibility to verbally interrupt unwanted touch: about 30%. Then we have the statement that some people seek out situations which violate their consent, which saw much higher agreement in the WL and SS communities where games of White-Knight/damsel, Healer/victim, and Guru/devotee are quite common.29 Perhaps with an understanding of just how much “grey area” there really is with consent in the real world, 93.18% of the pool agreed that reports can be blown out of proportion to what actually occurred. That's why it is so important that there is someone to help deal with issues at events immediately (95.45%) and that records of reports be kept (81.81%) .

29 In the KF community, such tendencies are more likely to be openly discussed and negotiated; and the roles recognized as mutually engaged fantasy.

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The Clearing of Consent

5. Setting Boundaries Setting Boundaries This portion of the survey was designed to establish what boundary-setting behaviors are most typical; and where communications break-downs might be occurring. Two sections were given, representing verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Responders were asked to rank the frequency with which they employed each specific behavior from 1 to 5. Responder totals in each category yield the values “Verbal Competency” and “Non-verbal Competency” respectively. The competency grading scale was established by setting the response “Half the time” at a C (3/5=60%), then scaling around that median. Wording of these statements was one of the more contentious points during the early creation phase of the survey instrument. Some advisors worried that the over-all current general disfavor toward non-verbal communication styles would color results; a point of deep dissatisfaction in some Kink & Fetish communities. Semantics were carefully adjusted to try to avoid such a phenomenon. The most contentious statement was #4 in the non-verbal section, “I rely on my partner to know from my physical responses if something has become uncomfortable.” The original statement included the word “trust” rather than the phrase “rely on”. Advisors worried that responders would see the feeling-word “trust” and respond in the affirmative; whether or not they actually behave in accordance with that sentiment in the real world in the moment. “Rely on” was substituted as an active verb more descriptive of behavior. However, based on responses, this choice may have yielded the opposite result to the original concern. Alternatively, given the over-all lower scores in non-verbal competency, it may be true that faith in non-verbal communication has become so low that skill in this area is slipping. This is extremely troubling, as non-verbal communication during touch activities is the more basic state of affairs; while verbal communication during such activities is the learned modification. While it is important to focus on opening up verbal communication around touch and sex, this must not come at the expense of non-verbal skills; or those who have had such training may lose the ability to engage safely with those who have not. Access to such training is, after all, restricted to those who can afford it; and the policies learned there are far from the only systems of etiquette that exist in sub- and multi-cultural or ethnic spaces.

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Table 23: Competency Grading Scale Percentage

Grade

85% - 100%

A

70% - 84%

B

56% - 69%

C

41% - 55%

D

5% - 40%

F

Verbal Table 24: Verbal Competency Totals & by Gender #

Total Mean

1

160

3.64

2

131

3

% of Possible

M %

Mean

W %

Mean

N %

Mean Behavior

72.73 63.81

3.19

84

4.2

75

3.75 I express the activities I want to do with potential partners that approach me.

2.98

59.55 49.52

2.48

72

3.6

192

4.36

87.27 87.62

4.38

85.33

4.23

90

4.5

4

173

3.93

78.64 80.95

4.05

72

3.6

85

4.25 I tell my partner if something becomes uncomfortable

5

147

3.34

66.82 65.71

3.29

64

3.2

75

3.75 I stop my partner if I am not sure of what I want.

6

178

4.05

80.91 83.81

4.19

70.67

Total 977

22.2

74.02

21.57 73.78 22.13 80

71.9

75

62.5 3.13 I approach potential partners with whom I am interested in engaging. I say "no" to or otherwise decline activities I do not want to do.

3.53 92.5 4.63 I ask my partners what I can do to make their experiences better. 24


Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 25: Verbal Competency by Point-of-Entry # SS Mean WL Mean KF Mean

FC

Mean

P

Mean

Q

Mean

1

77.78

3.89

74

3.7

74

3.7

72.5

3.63

52

2.6

90

4.5

2

66.67

3.33

60

3

54

2.7

50

2.5

64

3.2

80

4

3

91.11

4.56

88

4.4

82

4.1

90

4.5

80

4

100

5

4

82.22

4.11

80

4

74

3.7

85

4.25

80

4

50

2.5

5

75.56

3.78

68

3.4

56

2.8

67.5

3.38

80

4

40

2

6

75.56

3.78

76

3.8

78

3.9

90

4.5

84

4.2

100

5

23

74.33

22.3

69.67

20.9

22

76.67

23

Total 76.67

75.83 22.75 73.33

Table 26: Verbal Competency by Influence Pool # General Mean Lower

Mean

Upper

Mean

1

64.62

3.23

71.76

3.59

81.43

4.07

2

55.38

2.77

58.47

2.82

67.14

3.36

3

81.54

4.08

85.88

4.29

94.29

4.71

4

70.77

3.54

78.82

3.94

85.71

4.29

5

63.08

3.15

61.18

3.06

77.14

3.86

6

78.46

3.92

81.18

4.06

82.86

4.15

Total

68.97

20.69

71.76

21.53

81.43

24.43

Table 27: Verbal Competency by Status Quartile # 1st Mean 2nd Mean

3rd

Mean

4th

Mean

1

76.36

3.82

76.36

3.82

65.45

3.27

72.73

3.64

2

63.64

3.82

49.09

2.46

63.64

3.18

61.82

3.09

3

92.73

4.64

89.09

4.46

76.36

3.82

90.91

4.55

4

80

4

80

4

74.55

3.73

80

4

5

65.45

3.27

70.91

3.6

63.64

3.18

67.27

3.36

6

89.09

4.46

85.45

4.27

74.55

3.73

74.55

3.73

Total

77.88

23.36

75.15

22.55

68.48

20.55

74.55

22.36

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The Clearing of Consent

1. I express the activities I want to do with potential partners that approach me. The most basic step in establishing a desirable exchange, parties must somehow be made aware of one another's mutual interests, if any. Men were substantially less likely to verbally announce their interests in those approaching them: 63.81% vs. 84% (women) or 75% (nonbinary/no response). This score in the Political community was lower; but then this community generates few events at which socializing is a focus. The general population was far less likely to verbalize their interest under these circumstances: 64.62% vs. 71.76% (lower) and 81.43% (upper). Distribution across status quartiles was relatively similar. 2. I approach potential partners with whom I am interested in engaging. The reverse of statement one, this question tests assertiveness in making contact with desired partners. Parties must establish interest for a mutually desired encounter to occur. Again, men were far less likely to approach those in whom they have interest: 49.52% vs. 72% (women) or 62.5% (NB/NR). SS, WL, and Political P.O.E. communities earned a “C” grade; while KF and FC gave themselves a “D”; the idiosyncratic GLBTQ pair reported at 80%. While all influence pools were in the “C” range, the general population just barely eked in at 55.38%; with the lower influence pool reporting a similar 58.47%. The upper influence pool reported a much-more confident 67.14%. Oddly, while the other status quartiles hovered in the low sixties, the second reported in at 49.09%. 3. I say "no" to or otherwise decline activities I do not want to do. The only skill in which the community over-all gave itself an “A”; and the most important for maintaining consent in a scenario. The collective score was still only 87.27%. Scores were comparable across genders, but drops were seen in the KF (82%) and Political (80%) P.O.E. pools. While the upper influence pool registered near universal application at 94.29%, the lower was just barely in the “A” range at 85.88%; while the general population only registered at 81.54%. This represents a significant difference in experience between leadership and other participants, especially since organizers may avoid fraternizing with attendees due to perceived power differential. In this skill, the third quartile saw a significant dip to 76.36%, while the others remained in similar “A” range. 4. I tell my partner if something becomes uncomfortable. Coming in over-all at 78.64%, the community gave itself a low “B” in this category. Men were more likely to speak up for their needs during an engagement (at 80.95%) than women (at 72%); while those in the NB/NR category registered a more-satisfactory 85%. This lack of ability to communicate needs in the moment represents a serious problem, considering how many responders are organizers and leaders in the community. By P.O.E., those in the FC community reported a slight rise at 85%; while the Q pool only registered 50% (but keep in mind the difference in size of pool). Again the upper influence pool reported a greater degree of mastery of this skill at 85.71%, just barely an “A”. The lower influence pool came in at 78.82%, while the general population had just barely a “B” at 70.77%. Scores were similar across status quartiles.

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5. I stop my partner if I am not sure of what I want. While engaging in touch and sex, it is possible to change one's mind about what is happening. If you become uncertain, it is important to let your partner know so that you can both take a pause together and figure it out. Perhaps one of the more disturbing scores, over-all the community gave itself only a 66.82% on this one. Men and women responded similarly in the mid-C range; while the NB/NR pool registered a significantly higher 75%. While those in the SS (75.56%) and Political (80%) communities fared slightly better, the KF community only gave itself a 56%; while the Q pool registered 40%. Again the upper influence pool rose above the rest but still only came in at 77.14%. The lower and general were in the low sixties. The second status quartile saw a slight rise to 70.91%. 6. I ask my partners what I can do to make their experiences better. This statement revealed an odd spread. Coming in at 80.91% over-all, men were more likely to seek information about their partner's experience at 83.81% (versus 70.67% for women). The NB/NR pool shone in this aspect at 92.5%. The SS, WL, and KF communities hung together in the upper-mid 70's; while the FC community rose above at 90%. The Political registered a respectable 84%; while our two Q pool participants gave themselves 100%. Reports were similar across influence pools. Interestingly, the lower half of the pool by status quartile registered in the “A” range, 89.09% (1st) and 85.45% (2nd). The third and fourth lagged at 74.55%. Overall: The community's over-all verbal competency score was 74.02%, or a low “B”. Women appear to be more assertive in the initial courtship phase, but less able to communicate their wants & needs during an engagement, yielding similar over-all scores (men, 71.9%; women, 73.78%). Those falling in the NB/NR pool tended to exceed their peers at 80%. In all cases, the upper influence pool reported more perfect application of skills; with the lower and general pool typically falling in order behind. It is unclear whether this is because of actual greater skill; deeper concern for “technically” correct consent practices; more confidence instilled through more regular education; or some other factor. Curiously, those falling in the lower half of the status pool registered over-all higher scores than their peers; with the third registering a significant drop to 68.48%. These scores are deeply disturbing in a number of ways. This is a highly involved, highly interested, highly educated pool of responders in consent communities. If a full third of the time we are not stopping an encounter if we become uncertain about it, that is not good news. If more than 1 in 5 times we are not speaking up when something becomes uncomfortable, we have an issue. If around 13% of the time we are not saying “no” to sex and touch that we don't want, we have a serious problem.

Verbal Competncy: Needs Work!

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Non-Verbal Table 28: Non-Verbal Competency Totals & by Gender #

Total Mean

1

161

3.66

2

150

3

Mean

W %

Mean

N %

73.18 70.48

3.52

78.67

3.93

70

3.5 I use facial expression and physical proximity to indicate my level of interest in individuals or groups that approach me.

3.41

68.18

58.1

2.9

81.33

4.07

70

3.5 I use gestures or body language to let others know I am interested.

142

3.23

64.55 59.05

2.95

72

3.6

65

3.25 I use gesture or body language to accept or decline activities.

4

88

2

40.95

2.05

45.33

5

106

2.41

48.18 44.76

2.24

56

2.8

6

165

3.75

3.81

68

3.4

Total 812 18.46

% of Possible

40

75

M %

76.19

61.52 58.25 17.48

2.27 27.5 1.38 I rely on my partner to know from my physical responses if something has become uncomfortable.

66.89 20.07

79

Mean Behavior

42.5 2.13 I become hesitant or unresponsive when I am not sure of what I want. 85

60

4.25 I read my partners' bodies to discover what I can do to make their experiences better. 18


Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 29: Non-Verbal Competency by Point-of-Entry # SS Mean WL Mean KF Mean FC

Mean

P

Mean

Q

Mean

1

88.89

4.44

62

3.1

72

3.6

72.5

3.63

76

3.8

60

3

2

75.56

3.78

62

3.1

68

3.4

67.5

3.38

60

3

90

4.5

3

77.78

3.89

58

2.9

58

2.9

65

3.25

60

3

80

4

4

42.22

2.11

34

1.7

46

2.3

42.5

2.13

36

1.8

30

1.5

5

55.56

2.78

36

1.8

58

2.9

40

2

48

2.4

60

3

6

82.22

4.11

66

3.3

74

3.7

82.5

4.13

60

3

100

5

Total 70.37 21.11

53

15.9

62.67

18.8

61.67

18.5

56.67

17

70

21

Table 30: Non-Verbal Competency by Influence Pool # General Mean Lower

Mean

Upper

Mean

1

58.46

2.92

78.82

3.94

80

4

2

61.54

3.08

69.41

3.47

72.86

3.64

3

49.23

2.46

71.76

3.59

70

3.5

4

41.54

2.08

43.53

2.18

34.29

1.7

5

47.69

2.39

51.76

2.59

44.29

2.21

6

61.54

3.08

81.18

4.06

80

4

Total

53.33

16

66.08

19.82

63.57

19.07

Mean

4th

Mean

Table 31: Non-Verbal Competency by Status Quartile # 1st Mean 2nd Mean 3rd 1

76.36

3.82

70.91

3.55

67.27

3.36

78.18

3.91

2

70.91

3.55

60

3

69.09

3.46

72.73

3.64

3

63.64

3.18

58.18

2.91

63.64

3.18

72.73

3.64

4

32.73

1.64

38.18

1.91

41.82

2.09

47.27

2.36

5

45.45

2.27

40

2

49.09

2.46

58.18

2.91

6

78.18

3.91

70.91

3.55

74.55

3.73

76.36

3.82

Total

61.21

18.36

56.36

16.91

60.91

18.27

67.58

20.27

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

1. I use facial expression and physical proximity to indicate my level of interest in individuals or groups that approach me. We are a cryptic bunch, apparently, at 73.18%. (This score is comparable to its Verbal mirror at 72.73%.) More than a quarter of the time we are doing nothing to indicate interest in potential partners who approach us. Women fared slightly better than their peers at 78.67%. The SS P.O.E. pool came in high at 88.89%; while the WL and Q pools registered in the low sixties. The general population came in much lower than leadership at 58.46%; vs. 78.82% and 80% in the lower and upper, respectively. The middle quartiles reported somewhat lower at 70.91% (2nd) and 67.27% (3rd) than the outer two in the upper seventies. 2. I use gestures or body language to let others know I am interested. At an over-all rate of 68.18%, this statement incited vastly different responses by gender. Men registered 58.1%, while women came in at 81.33%. The NB/NR pool came in somewhere in the middle at 70%. It is possible that men have absorbed the idea that their body language is threatening or otherwise unacceptable. Yet women clearly report solid use of this communication skill in courtship. While the majority of P.O.E. pools reported in the sixties range, the SS came in at 75.56%; and the Q pair gave themselves a 90%. The general population came in slightly behind the similar upper and lower influence pools at 61.54%. The second status quartile (60%) dipped slightly below this time. 3. I use gesture or body language to accept or decline activities. This would include nodding, waving, moving to assist, etc. Again, this statement differed significantly by gender. Coming in at 64.55% total, women responded more positively to it at 72%; while men reported 59.05% and the NB/NR pool at 65%. Again the SS and Q communities rose above the rest at 77.78% and 80% respectively. The experience in the general pool differed vastly at 49.23%; while the report from lower and upper leadership hovered around seventy. The uppermost quartile rose above at 72.73%. 4. I rely on my partner to know from my physical responses if something has become uncomfortable. This outcome may have been effected by the linguistic turn of phrase â&#x20AC;&#x153;rely onâ&#x20AC;?. The intention was to focus attention on the physical manifestation of discomfort through active response or telegraphing. Community score was only 40%; with NB/NR individuals registering a significantly lower 27.5%. (As the Verbal mirror came in at only 78.64%, it is likely that sometimes the fact of a partner's discomfort during an encounter is going un-communicated.) By P.O.E., the SS, KF, and FC reported somewhat higher results in the low to mid forties; while the WL, P, and Q came in at the low to mid thirties range. Those in the upper influence pool reported the lowest reliance on their partner's observation at 34.29%; while the general population and lower influence pool were in the low forties. The spread by status quartile was ascending steps from low to high, ranging from 32.73% to 47.27%. 5. I become hesitant or unresponsive when I am not sure of what I want. This behavior represents telegraphing the confused state. Coming in over-all at 48.18%, men (44.76%) and the NB/NR pool (42.5%) reported significantly lower usage than women (56%). (Given that the Verbal mirror only received a total grade of 66.82%, it is likely that sometimes it is not being communicated when a partner becomes uncertain of his or her desires during an encounter.) Reports were highest in the SS, KF, and Q communities (55-60% range); 48% in the Political; 36% in the WL; and 40% in the FC. Responses were similar by influence pool. By status quartile, the upper came in far above at 58.18%, while the other three were in the forties range.

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6. I read my partners' bodies to discover what I can do to make their experiences better. This innocuous statement came in surprisingly low over-all at 75%. Women came in slightly below at 68%; while the NB/NR pool reported 85%. The WL and Political pools fell slightly behind in the low to mid sixties; while the Q pair gave themselves 100%. The general population came in far behind at 61.54%; while lower and upper influence pools hovered around eighty. Little difference was registered across status quartiles. Over-all: The community's over-all non-verbal competency score was 61.52%, or a slim-margin “C”. Women reported higher scores than men on every statement except #6; coming in at 66.89% (vs. men's 58.25%). The NB/NR pool was all over the map, but came to rest at 60%. The SS and Q P.O.E. pools took the lead at 70.37% and 70% respectively; while the WL trailed behind at 53%. While scores were similar across status quartiles, the fourth again reported the highest over-all. Based upon the vastly different responses given to some of the statements included, it would appear that men and women are receiving gender-coded messages about non-verbal communication, physical courtship, and body language. Since non-verbal communication skills are typically left out of consent classes, it is no surprise that this modality would be seen as less favorable. While the old “93/7” myth has been busted30, it remains true that a greater degree of content is communicated by our physicality than by what we choose to speak out loud – but only if our partners are prepared to listen.

Non-Verbal Competncy: Lacks Confdence!

Even sex educatrs are apparently having sex tey don't enjoy. 30 Thompson, Jeff, Ph.D. "Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game?" Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 30 Sept. 2011. Web. 27 Dec. 2016. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201109/isnonverbal-communication-numbers-game>.

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6. Consent Violations: the Short Form It was at this point that our two versions of the survey diverged. As previously mentioned, community advisors worried that the temporal investment represented by the long form would mean that responses would be impossible to collect. This estimate was partially correct; even with the foreshortened form available only 44 total responses were collected; 25 short and 19 long. However, this divergence offered the additional opportunity to examine how people report depending on the ease and requirement of detail in reporting. The Short Form In the short form, responders were offered a singular multi-selection instrument which asked, “In the last 5 years, how many times have you experienced the following consent violating behaviors at events?” Options were 0, 1-2, 3-5, 6+, and “Not a violation”. Report values were established for comparison purposes between differently-sized pools: 0 and Not a violation were assigned a 0; 1-2 was valued at 2; 3-5 at 4; and 6+ at 6. But first, participants were asked how many such incidences they had experienced in total. Initial perceptions were highly idiosyncratic, as evidenced by the fact that no one first responded in the middling range of 4-6 incidences. Of these responders, 11 first accounted that they had experienced 0 violations at events (44%) (“Low responders”); 7 reported 1-3 (28%) (“Typical Responders”); while a third group was comprised of 1 responder who said 7-9, 5 at 10+, and one who said “They happen to me all the time,” for a total of 7 (28%) (“High Responders”). These are termed “reporting rate pools”. Of the low responders group, 6 of 11 (54.55%) nevertheless proceeded to identify consentviolating behaviors that they had experienced. This may be interpreted a number of ways, but free responses from the “why didn't you report?” section immediately following may shed some light on the issue: • “In many cases reporting never occurred to me, or it was only a technical violation that didn't actually bother me (participant iyrg; man; High Responders pool; Report Value 32).” • “I'm a big girl, it wasn't a huge issue nor was it a crime (participant lamagirl; woman; Low Responders pool; Report Value 12).” • “They were "minor" and I communicated to the offender about them to my satisfaction (participant garry oak; man; Typical Reporting Pool; Report Value 4). • “Not important enough, not upsetting to me (participant Aloha; woman; Low Responders pool; Report Value 16)” • “Just didn't seem significant enough - I didn't feel harmed. I thought it was innocent (participant saia song; woman; Typical Responders pool; Report Value 8).” • “Reporting low grade harassment is generally pointless and has high social costs (participant Daisy; non-binary; High Responders pool; Report Value 20).” • “Others reported the incident and I was part of the response team other times (participant Terra Mystic; man; High Responders pool; Report Value 94).”

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What's going on here? It would appear that, for some people, a consent violation is a technical fault or flaw in execution of an external system of rules; whereas to others an action may only be a violation if a party perceives harm thereby. In other cases, awareness of the social meta-game around consent discouraged reporting; or participants preferred to handle the incident on their own in the moment rather than allowing a situation to develop requiring intervention. It is impossible, therefore, to know how many of reported incidents represent technical faults; how many resulted in trauma or harm; and even how many were considered violations by the reporters. Finally, in at least one case, it is evident that an organizer considered all incidents reported to him to have been consent violations that he â&#x20AC;&#x153;experiencedâ&#x20AC;?. This responder registered the single highest Report Value in the pool. For an organizer, having to deal with such situations is in itself a traumatizing experience, but this was not the thrust of the question on the survey instrument. There is no way to know how many other responders included incidents reported to them; as opposed to only those experiences in which they themselves were the violated party. Table 32: Notable Demographic Features of Reporting Rate Pools Note: No pattern was discernible by P.O.E. Low Responders Typical Responders High Responders Total

11

7

7

Mean Age

50.09

51

40.14

Mean Status

3.36

5

3.57

Mean Involvement

10.86

10.43

13.64

Mean

6

9.14

53.43

Median

2

4

52

Range

0 ~ 18

2 ~ 32

10 ~ 94

Men

54.55%

42.86%

42.86%

Women

27.27%

42.86%

42.86%

NB/NR

18.18%

14.29%

14.29%

Monogamous

27.27%

28.57%

42.86%

MultiplyCommitted

18.18%

42.86%

14.29%

Open

54.55%

28.57%

28.57%

Other

0.00%

0.00%

14.29%

Heterosexual

81.82%

57.14%

57.14%

Bi-; Pan-; Omni-

18.18%

42.86%

28.57%

Other

0.00%

0.00%

14.29%

Report Value:

Gender:

Relationship Style:

Orientation:

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Table 33: Short Form Consent Violations Totals Note: Behaviors which, without a doubt, constitute illegal activity (“grievous violations”) have been marked red in the Entry Numbers (#) column. Behaviors receiving 5 or more “not a violation” marks (20%) have been marked violet and are termed “disputed”. The remaining behaviors were split between behaviors that represent a primarily “social” offense (yellow); and those that are or might directly lead to a “physical” offense (orange). Not a 6 1 to 3 to # Vio- % 0 % % % and % Behavior 2 5 lation up 1

11

44

6

24

3

12

1

4

3

Clumsy application of consentbased techniques; you believe 12 the violation to have been accidental

2

6

24

6

24

5

20

2

8

3

12

Presumption of consent based on prior consensual contacts

3

9

36

5

20

6

24

1

4

4

16

Unwanted or socially forced conversation

4

2

8

16

64

3

12

3

12

1

4

Unwanted roughhousing

5

1

4

14

56

4

16

3

12

3

Inappropriate comments, gestures or other expressions of 12 sexual intent in a defined nonsexual space

6

3

12

12

48

5

20

2

8

2

8

Repeated verbal pick up attempts

7

5

20

15

60

3

12

1

4

0

0

Pressure to consume intoxicants that would impair judgment

8

3

12

18

72

4

16

0

0

0

0

Pressure to leave the event with offender

9

2

8

16

64

5

20

1

4

1

4

Stalking or hovering behavior

10

1

4

14

56

5

20

2

8

3

Touching without seeking 12 consent, if disallowed in the space

11

3

12

19

76

0

0

3

12

0

0

Non-consensual touch (a "no" or safeword has been communicated)

12

2

8

16

64

5

20

0

0

2

8

Intentional groping of swimsuit areas in group touch situations wherein this is disallowed

13

3

12

16

64

5

20

0

0

1

4

Threat of social or emotional harm

14

3

12

16

64

5

20

1

4

0

0

Jibes; harassment; bullying

15

3

12

19

76

2

8

1

4

0

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

85


Katessa S. Harkey

#

Not a Vio- % lation

The Clearing of Consent

0

%

1 to 2

%

3 to 5

%

6 and up

%

Behavior

16

3

12

10

40

7

28

2

8

3

12

Kissing without seeking verbal consent

17

2

8

20

80

3

12

0

0

0

0

Non-consensual kissing (a "no" or safeword has been communicated)

18

3

12

16

64

5

20

1

4

0

0

Pressure to perform specific unwanted activities

19

1

4

19

76

3

12

2

8

0

0

Non-consensual touch (a "no" or safeword has been communicated)

20

3

12

16

64

4

16

1

4

1

4

Pressure to engage in "energy exchanges" or other spiritual practices

21

2

8

19

76

4

16

0

0

0

0

Threat of social or emotional harm

22

3

12

16

64

4

16

1

4

1

4

Pressure to engage sexually without protection

23

2

8

21

84

2

8

0

0

0

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

24

3

12

18

72

2

8

1

4

1

4

Social or emotional pressure to engage in touch activities that led to unwanted touch

25

3

12

19

76

3

12

0

0

0

0

Social or emotional pressure to engage in sexual activities which led to undesired sexual activities

26

2

8

22

88

0

0

1

4

0

0

Physical violence

4

Intentional sexual violation after a â&#x20AC;&#x153;noâ&#x20AC;? (or safe word) has been communicated verbally or physically; including a "no" given to a specific activity that was ignored during other consensual activities. Sex obtained through coercion or threat. Sex while someone is unconscious and unresponsive. Rape.

27

3

12

20

80

1

4

0

0

1

86


Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 34: Mean Report Value by Reporting Rate Pool # Low Typical High 1

0

0.57

3.71

Clumsy... accidental

2

0.36

0.57

4

Presumption of consent...

3

0.55

0.86

4

Unwanted...conversation

4

0.18

0.29

2.86

Unwanted roughhousing

5

0.73

0.86

3.43

Inappropriate comments...

6

0.91

0.86

2.86

Repeated verbal pick up attempts

7

0

0

1.43

Pressure to consume intoxicants...

8

0.18

0

0.86

Pressure to leave... with offender

9

0.36

0.86

1.43

Stalking or hovering behavior

10

0.73

0.86

3.14

Touching without seeking consent

11

0

0

1.71

Non-consensual touch...

12

0.36

0.57

2

13

0.18

0.29

1.71

Threat of social or emotional harm

14

0.18

0.29

1.43

Jibes; harassment; bullying

15

0

0

1.14

Verbal threat of physical harm

16

0.55

0.86

4

17

0.18

0

0.57

Non-consensual kissing...

18

0.18

0.29

1.43

Pressure to perform... activities

19

0.18

0.29

1.43

Non-consensual touch...

20

0

0.29

2.29

..."energy exchanges"...

21

0

0

1.14

Threat of social or emotional harm

22

0.18

0.29

2

Engage... without protection...

23

0

0

0.57

Verbal threat of physical harm

24

0

0

2

Social or emotional pressure... led to unwanted touch

25

0

0.29

0.57

Social or emotional pressure... led to undesired sexual activities

26

0

0

0.57

Physical violence

27

0

0

1.14

Intentional sexual violation... Rape.

Mean

0.22

0.34

1.98

...group touch situations...

Kissing without seeking... consent

87


Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Table 35: Comparison of Violation type by Reporting Rate Pool Disputed Social Physical % of Total

Grievous

14.81%

25.93%

33.33%

25.93%

Low

0.23

0.36

0.24

0.05

Typical

0.5

0.45

0.42

0.29

High

3.29

1.84

2.25

1.02

Mean Report Value :

Disputed Violations Disputed violations are those which received 5 marks or more of “not a violation”. It cannot be known whether responders meant that the behavior is not in fact a violation of consent; or that organizers should not respond to it as if it were for whatever reason. Four entries met this criteria, representing 14.81% of the list of behaviors. This category garnered the largest mean report value by reporting rate pool over-all: 3.29 in the high pool. 44% of responders marked the first entry “Clumsy application of consent-based techniques; you believe the violation to have been accidental” as “not a violation”, the highest of any behavior. This was the only entry which specified that the error was accidental and unintentional. High responders gave this behavior the second-place spot in report value, indicating that technical mistakes of this type occur frequently; but are not considered a violation by a little less than half of participants. The second highest at 36% was “Unwanted or socially forced conversation”. While the author was uncertain whether this ought be included in the list of possible violations in the first place, it was one of the most frequently-mentioned points of discomfort at events brought up by informants during the initial fieldwork phase. This was reflected in the survey, as the entry tied for first place in mean reporting value. While it may or may not constitute a consent violation, evidently it makes people uncomfortable and happens frequently. The third most contested behavior was “Presumption of consent based on prior consensual contacts.” Recall that 84.62% of the general pool of responders agreed with the belief statement, “If you regularly engage with an individual in physical touch, it is okay for that person to assume they have your consent to the same degree of touch until you say otherwise.” In most informal spaces, this premise is fairly customary; but in others, especially more structured spaces, it is expressly discouraged. Confusion may arise if those more accustomed to one or the other find themselves in the inverse environment. If a public event is or has defined sexual or touch space, is important to make it absolutely clear what the custom around such matters is in the space agreement; or even those witnessing consensual touch that was not first verbally verified may claim discomfort for having simply witnessed the exchange.

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The Clearing of Consent

Special Concern: Intoxicants & Events The final disputed behavior coming in at 20% is “Pressure to consume intoxicants that would impair judgment.” It is curious that no one outside the high responders pool reported having this experience; which circumstance may be due to the older demographics represented in the survey at large. During the initial fieldwork phase, this type of behavior was frequently mentioned by younger informants; and especially as a reason why non-sober events were avoided.31 It is worrisome that 20% of responders did not count this type of pressure as a consent issue; however, in practice it can be difficult to divine the difference between a simple offer and actual pressure applied intentionally by an individual. Quite often the pressure comes internally, as one tells oneself a story about needing to do whatever is necessary in order to fit in. For those who do regularly find themselves in potential touch situations involving intoxicants, there is very little in the way of education; as the vast majority of learning scenarios are declared sober spaces (whether or not this is the case in actuality). Therefore, protocols around sobriety and insobriety are never addressed. One disturbing theme in stories related by informants were scenarios in which a participant did not inform their partner of their state of insobriety before engaging play; and then later became uncomfortable during the exchange. If such things are occurring even in event spaces that openly allow intoxication, how much more so would they be in declared non-sober spaces in which attendees may be yet more reluctant to honestly declare their state of sobriety to potential partners. Such relevant facts may be left out of reports given to leadership if not directly sought. However, in this area specifically, participants have been tacitly trained to tell “white lies” by a culture that publicly declares spaces sober while privately knowing that participants are largely not sober; and by making “exceptions” for anything which can be claimed as medicinal. Either a space is sober, or it isn't; and practically speaking no organizer can guarantee what attendees are going to do with their own bodies. Social Violations Social violations, representing 25.93% of the list, are those which, while certainly uncomfortable, are less likely to be or lead to an unwanted physical or sexual interaction. This does not imply that all social offenses are “lesser” to all physical offenses, however. For example, stalking behavior may be as simple as an overly-hopeful suitor or as egregious as a stranger following one home after an event. “Roughhousing” might represent a single instance of unasked-for tickle play; while verbal bullying might be or become harsh and persistent enough to cause someone to leave a community altogether. Nevertheless, in an event space, social issues are usually resolvable by a simple conversation about the etiquette of the space, while physical issues often require a more involved response. Social violations garnered the highest mean reporting values in both the low and typical pool (though by a slim margin in the latter); but curiously came in third in the high reporting pool. Excepting entries 5 and 6, the vast majority of reports indicated 1-2 instances. Though many people have had experiences of this kind, they appear to be isolated instances rather than endemic.

31 As an anecdotal example, the author's organization was publicly lambasted for offering a New Year's Eve ecstatic dance party at which the lodge bar was available to those who wished to partake. It was not considered that proceeds would go to help support a community space dedicated to local charity work and social support programs; nor that the goal was to offer a “safer”, monitored, inclusive, and no-pressure space on a holiday expressly celebrated by profligate drinking.

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The Clearing of Consent

The exceptions are “Inappropriate comments, gestures or other expressions of sexual intent in a defined non-sexual space,” and “Repeated verbal pick up attempts.” In the first case, participants may not be aware that a space is an intentionally platonic space. Alternatively, the attendee that feels wronged may be projecting their own values onto the space when in fact the space is not actually defined as strictly platonic. Since we know that only 11.36% of responders agreed with the statement “I can always tell when someone has sexual intentions toward me,” it is also likely that in some cases overtures meant to be platonic are being misconstrued as sexual by the receiver. Doubtless in some cases, individuals are ignoring the rules and seeking romantic connections in spaces where this is disallowed. The second exception also involves partner-seeking efforts. Outside of the Kink & Fetish community, it is atypical to simply approach a likely candidate and ask outright for physical activity. Even in the KF scene, “pick-up play” as this is termed is only “normal” in Dungeon events. The vast majority of participants are interested in connecting first on a social and/or emotional level. Therefore, they must do as must be done anywhere and attempt to strike up conversation with those in whom they have interest. In short, while people are being instructed in consent education to be forward with their intentions, rarely is such an approach likely to be well-received in the real world. Recall that in the verbal competency section, the statement “I approach potential partners with whom I am interested in engaging” only received an over-all 59.55% score; with men reporting 49.52%; women reporting 72%; and NB/NR individuals reporting 62.5%. Because of this ambiguity of preference within the community, it is impossible to predict whether or not a direct approach will be well-received. If there is a perceived power differential, a negative response may be more likely – hence the difference in tactical application between men and women. Such perceptions need not be true to be in effect in an encounter. Since the laboratory environment of workshop instruction and the encountered reality are at a mismatch here, it would behoove consent educators to add practice in reading non-verbal cues to their regimens to help in avoiding such uncomfortable situations. However, there are occasions in which a clear lack of interest is expressed verbally, but the approaching party ignores the stated desires of the target. In such a case, this behavior may become annoying or intimidating, depending on the personality of the effected party. In such cases, space monitors may need to intervene and inform the offending party that such behavior is unacceptable – and why! Physical Violations Physical violations (representing one third of the list of behaviors) are those which are or are likely to lead directly to unwanted physical engagement. Low responders reported this category less frequently than the social, while with typical responders the mean report value was only marginally less. High responders reported this category more frequently than social violations. Given how troubling this category of offense is, each will here be summarized separately. • 4. Unwanted roughhousing: only one report each in the low and typical pools, but multiple middling to high reports in the high reporting pool. This type of behavior is highly dependent upon the nature of the event for acceptability. (.18; .29; 2.86) •

10. Touching without seeking consent, if disallowed in the space: This seems to be a regularly-experienced phenomenon. In some spaces, it is considered inappropriate to engage even in social touch without first gaining explicit verbal consent. In other less formal environments, verbal consent only needs to be sought for intimate touch. (.73; .86; 3.14)

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The Clearing of Consent

12. Intentional groping of swimsuit areas in group touch situations wherein this is disallowed: Another reasonably common experience, establishing intentionality can be difficult depending on the size of the “puppy pile”. Often, the guideline is that one should not grip or grasp anyone anywhere, just to be on the safe side. (.36; .57; 2)

16. Kissing without seeking verbal consent: It is expected in just about any event space that one will obtain verbal consent before initiating any type of fluid exchange, even oral. In other, less formal spaces it isn't always expected. However, outside of an aware D/s context between consenting parties it is generally a good idea at least the first time such is engaged to ask verbally. (.55; . 86; 4)

18. Pressure to perform specific unwanted activities: Only 1 report each in the low and typical pools, but a handful in the high pool. Presumably, this type of violation is more likely in private than event spaces, as this is the precise behavior being watched for by organizers. (.18; .29; 1.43)

20. Pressure to engage in "energy exchanges" or other spiritual practices: Only one report in the typical pool; but a handful in the high pool. This type of violation may be difficult to spot, as the suggestion is usually couched as an offer of exceptional experience. Participants may experience such a strong offer as pressure whether or not this was the intent. Community roles and power differential may make such an interpretation more likely. (0; .29; 2.29)

22. Pressure to engage sexually without protection: One report each in the low and typical pools; a few in the high. “Common knowledge” suggests that this type of pressure is wielded regularly, but thankfully the reports don't appear to back up that perception within this community. Men and women responders both reported this experience. (.18; .29; 2)

24. Social or emotional pressure to engage in touch activities that led to unwanted touch: Very few responders noted this experience, and sparsely. This may be another type of violation more likely to occur in private rather than event space. (0; 0; 2)

25. Social or emotional pressure to engage in sexual activities which led to undesired sexual activities: One responder in the typical and two in the high pool. This may be another type of violation more likely to occur in private rather than event space. (0; .29; .57)

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Grievous Violations The first matter of note regarding grievous violations is that a small subset of responders tended to mark even these behaviors as “not a violation”. In point of fact, three responders (12%) did not recognize or acknowledge the legal definition of rape. One responder selected “not a violation” in every category, and so may not have read any of the descriptors. This was not true of the other two noted responders, however. Violence appears to be at a minimum at community events: Entries 23 and 27 (threat of physical harm and physical harm) tied for the lowest mean report value and were only noted in the High Responders pool. Excepting entries 17 and 19, only High Responders reported experiencing grievous violations. In the case of entry 17 “Non-consensual kissing (a "no" or safeword has been communicated)”, the mean report value was higher in the the Low Reporting pool and not experienced by those in the Typical pool. In all cases, the mean report value by pool was less than the over-all mean report value for that pool. Therefore, grievous violations were reported at a lower frequency than consent violations not necessarily constituting illegal activity. Entry 27, or rape, was reported by two responders. However, one of those two was the highest report value responder; who as noted before included second-hand reports as opposed to just his own experiences. It seems somewhat unlikely that his response in this regard of “6+” was representative of his own experiences. The other report was marked at the “1-2” level. The participant was a 22 year old woman who was an organizer in one community and a member of crew in another. She is bisexual and monogamous. Her status is 3 and she entered by way of the Festival & Convention communities. To her and all others for whom the safeties have failed, we offer our most sincere condolences.

One is one to many. Other Details One disturbing feature of this set of reports is the frequency with which responders said that an organizer, member of staff, or presenter was the offending party. Participants were also asked how frequently an offender seemed well-liked. Relative safety can also, apparently, not be judged by projected popularity. Table 36: Who are the offenders? Low Typical

High

Totals

Organizer, et al.: Total

1

7

19

27

0

9

2

0

11

1 to 3

2

4

4

10

4 to 6

0

0

2

2

7 to 9

0

0

0

0

10 and up

0

1

1

2

Well-liked:

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Non-Event Related Violations Six out of the twenty-five responders said that they had experienced consent violations with members of consent communities in circumstances other than at an event; or nearly one quarter of the pool. This included one responder in the low pool; three in the typical; and two in the high. All of these registered at least one instance in which the offender was someone they did not know well (four at 1-3 times; 2 at 4-6). Only two of these responders noted experiences of consent violations in the context of a long-term relationship with a member of consent communities, or 8% of the pool. One was a man, the other a woman. These were the two highest responders in the typical pool. Both said this had happened in their lives 2-3 times. All of these relationships were of the types “open” or “other”. Depth of relationships ranged from “occasional” to “living together”. This data seems quite low in comparison to the stories collected during the fieldwork phase. In fact, it was difficult to find stories that involved a violation at an event space of greater than nuisance impact; but interpersonal complaints were abundant. One possibility regarding this discrepancy is that responders might have been more reticent to reveal such personal information, even on an anonymous survey. Another might be some problem with the design of the survey instrument; or perhaps responders simply did not wish to answer more questions due to the length of the survey. Whatever the case, more in-depth research in this area is clearly needed.

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The Clearing of Consent

7. Consent Violations: the Long Form The Long Form instrument's violations sections were crafted entirely differently from the Short Form. In this version, those responders selecting “no” when asked if they had experienced a type of violation were shifted past the remainder of related questions, yielding no opportunity for suggestion to change their minds. Only responders who had first said that they had experienced consent violations at events later in the survey reported experiences outside of events or in long-term relationships. Therefore, there is no data in this set's “low” pool. Event-Related Violations Reporters were asked to report first and in the most detail regarding whatever incident they considered to be the most egregious in their experience during the tested period, or 5 years. Responders were given the option of reporting up to 5 additional experiences in somewhat less detail. While specific behaviors were identified, more emphasis was placed on collecting data regarding the identity parameters of offenders. Not one of these violations were reported to organizers. Table 37: Long-Form Event Violations (First Reports) First Reports Total

9

% of Pool

47.37%

Community of Event of Incident: SS

33.33%

WL

33.33%

KF

22.22%

FC

11.11%

Written Policy Available? (% yes)

55.56%

Gender of Offender Man

77.78%

Woman

22.22%

Orientation Heterosexual

100.00%

Caucasian

88.89%

Native American or Alaska Native

11.11%

Race

Offender Role New Participant

22.22%

Occasional Attendee

11.11%

Regular Attendee

44.44%

Event Crew

11.11%

Organizer

11.11%

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Table 38: Behaviors in Event-related First Reports # Total 1

1

1

2 3

1

1

1

4 5

1

2

Clumsy... accidental

0

Presumption of consent...

3

Unwanted...conversation

0

Unwanted roughhousing

1

Inappropriate comments...

6

1

1

Repeated verbal pick up attempts

7

1

1

Pressure to consume intoxicants...

0

Pressure to leave... with offender

1

Stalking or hovering behavior

6

Touching without seeking consent

1

4

Non-consensual touch...

1

2

...group touch situations...

8 9

1

10

1

11

1

12

1

1

1

1 1

1

1

1

13

1

1

Threat of social or emotional harm

14

1

1

Jibes; harassment; bullying

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

1

Kissing without seeking... consent

0

Non-consensual kissing...

2

Pressure to perform... activities

19

0

Non-consensual touch...

20

0

..."energy exchanges"...

21

0

Threat of social or emotional harm

1

Engage... without protection...

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

15 16

1

17 18

22

1

1

1

23 24

1

1

Social or emotional pressure... led to unwanted touch

25

1

1

Social or emotional pressure... led to undesired sexual activities

1

2

Physical violence

1

2

Intentional sexual violation... Rape.

9

33

26

1

27

1

Total

6

1

1

3

4

5

2

2

95


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The Clearing of Consent

Additional Comments: The survey instrument allowed for a write-in “other” selection. These additional comments were registered. • “In all 3 cases, I had indicated a desire for a sexual interaction, which was being leveled down with direct contact to me, on the assumption that I was consenting. I think in each case, the woman justified it to herself with, "He clearly wants this, because he just expressed a sexual interest."” •

“Waiting until I was physically unable to remove or defend myself from the situation before breaking the consent agreement.”

“Social and emotional violence, using power, status, and shame to silence and prevent a "no", or any response.”

Table 39: Additional Event-related Reports Total

%

Event Community: WL

2

2

1

1

1

7

63.64

KF

2

1

0

0

0

3

27.27

FC

1

0

0

0

0

1

9.09

Man

3

2

0

0

0

5

45.45

Woman

2

1

1

1

1

6

54.55

Yes

1

1

0

0

0

2

18.18

No

4

2

1

1

1

9

81.82

TRUE

1

0

0

0

0

1

9.09

FALSE

4

3

1

1

1

10

90.91

TRUE

2

1

1

1

1

6

54.55

FALSE

1

2

0

0

0

3

27.27

I don't know

2

0

0

0

0

2

18.18

Gender:

Reported:

Organizer:

Well-liked:

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The Clearing of Consent

Non-Event-Related Violations Table 40: Long-Form Non-event Related Violations (First Reports) Note: None of these incidents were reported to organizers. First Reports Total

5

% of Pool

26.32%

Gender of Reporter: Woman

60.00%

NB/NR

20.00%

Community of Offender: SS

20.00%

WL

40.00%

KF

20.00%

FC

20.00%

Gender of Offender: Man

80.00%

Woman

20.00%

Orientation of Offender: Heterosexual

20.00%

Bi-; Pan-; Omni-

80.00%

Race of Offender: Caucasian

100.00%

Nature of Situation: At my home

20.00%

After a relationship had formed

80.00%

Offender Role: Infrequent Attendee

20.00%

Occasional Attendee

20.00%

Regular Attendee

40.00%

Event Crew

20.00%

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Table 41: Behaviors in Non-event Related First Reports # Total 1

0

Clumsy... accidental

2

Presumption of consent...

1

2

Unwanted...conversation

1

2

Unwanted roughhousing

0

Inappropriate comments...

1

Repeated verbal pick up attempts

7

0

Pressure to consume intoxicants...

8

0

Pressure to leave... with offender

9

0

Stalking or hovering behavior

2

Touching without seeking consent

11

0

Non-consensual touch...

12

0

...group touch situations...

1

1

Threat of social or emotional harm

1

2

Jibes; harassment; bullying

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

1

Kissing without seeking... consent

1

Non-consensual kissing...

2

Pressure to perform... activities

1

Non-consensual touch...

1

..."energy exchanges"...

1

Threat of social or emotional harm

4

Engage... without protection...

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

1

Social or emotional pressure... led to unwanted touch

1

2

Social or emotional pressure... led to undesired sexual activities

26

1

1

Physical violence

27

1

1

Intentional sexual violation... Rape.

12

28

2

1

1

3 4

1 1

5 6

10

1

1

1

13 14

1

15 16

1

17

1

18

1

19

1

20

1

21 22

1

1 1

1

1

1

23 24

1

25

1

Total

5

1

3

7

98


Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

Additional Comments: The survey instrument allowed for a write-in “other” selection. These additional comments were registered. • “Rough sex when not in accord with preset agreement” • “nonconsensual physical restraint” Additional Reports: Due to a minor flaw in the original survey instrument, three “bogus” entries were collected prior to correction; and have been identified and excluded from the data set. The only remaining reports in this section are a series of five all coming from the same responder; the non-binary male-sexed individual reporting rape in this set of first reports. The approximate dates given appear to fall in a regularly repeating series, and the other information given is, in each case, identical to that given in the first report and in the prior section. None of these were reported to organizers. It appears that the responder was attempting to describe a long-term relationship with a woman marked by patterns of abuse; a situation covered by a question falling later in the survey. However, this woman's information is somewhat different than the relationship they describe later, indicating perhaps a habit of engaging abusive partners in this individual's life. It is noteworthy that the woman in question was described as “well-liked”. Violations in Long-term Relationships Table 42: Demographics in Long-term Relationship Reports Note: None of these incidents were reported to organizers. Gender of Gender of OrienRace of Relation- Status Date of Reporter Offender tation of Offender ship Style First Offender Incident Woman

Man

Hetero-

Woman

Man

Woman NB/NR

Caucasian Open

Conclusion of Situation

6

07/01/15

08/03/15

Bi-; Pan-; Caucasian D/s Omni-

3

08/01/15

01/05/16

Man

Bi-; Pan-; Caucasian Open Omni-

0

07/02/13

01/09/15

Woman

Hetero-

2

08/01/95

[Ongoing]

Caucasian Open

Four individuals in this pool (or 21.05%) reported experiencing consent violations in the context of a long-term relationship. As previously mentioned, this is at odds with the frequencies observed in reports during the initial fieldwork process. The most regularly mentioned behavior was “Pressure to engage sexually without protection.” While three out of the four responders in this category were women, only the man in the ongoing, long-term abusive relationship reported grievous violations.

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Table 43: Behaviors in Long-term Relationship Reports # Total 1 2

0

Clumsy... accidental

1

1

3

Presumption of consent...

1

1

2

Unwanted...conversation

1

1

Unwanted roughhousing

0

Inappropriate comments...

1

Repeated verbal requests...

7

0

Pressure to consume intoxicants...

8

0

Pressure to leave... with offender

9

0

Stalking or hovering behavior

2

Touching without seeking consent

11

0

Non-consensual touch...

12

0

...group touch situations...

1

3 4 5 6

10

1

1

1

13

1

1

Threat of social or emotional harm

14

1

1

Jibes; harassment; bullying

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

1

Kissing without seeking... consent

0

Non-consensual kissing...

2

Pressure to perform... activities

0

Non-consensual touch...

1

..."energy exchanges"...

0

Threat of social or emotional harm

3

Engage... without protection...

0

Verbal threat of physical harm

15 16

1

17 18

1

1

19 20

1

21 22

1

1

1

23 24

1

1

Social or emotional pressure... led to unwanted touch

25

1

1

Social or emotional pressure... led to undesired sexual activities

0

Physical violence

1

1

Intentional sexual violation... Rape.

13

21

26 27 Total

4

1

3

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Table 44: Relationship-specific Violations # Total 1

0

Application of financial control over behavior & choices

2

0

Emotional manipulation through angry behavior or tantrums

3

0

Control through promise of spiritual growth/attainment

4

0

Pressuring partner to become involved in unwanted causes, hobbies or clubs

5

1

1

Emotional manipulation through application of shame

6

1

1

Pressuring partner to sever ties with friends or family

7

1

1

Emotional manipulation through application of fear

8

1

1

Non-consensually pressing the edges of stated touch boundaries

3

Failure to comply with relationship agreements around STI prevention

0

Control through provision of resources "with strings attached" in a way that is not clearly defined by relationship agreements

2

Failure to comply with relationship agreements around participation with other partners; "cheating"

12

0

Insistence upon knowing the whereabouts of partner to an intrusive degree

13

0

Emotional manipulation related to housing stability

1

Excessive communication demands

9

1

1

1

10 11

14

1

1

1

15

1

1

Invasion of personal privacy

16

1

1

Control through the withholding of affection

17

0

Demanding more of a partner's time than the partner desires to share

18

0

Demanding more of a partner's resources than the partner is willing to share.

1

Emotional manipulation through application of guilt

1

Unwanted Dominance/Submission dynamic

0

Unwanted Sadism/Masochism dynamic

19 20

1 1

21 Total

3

2

1

8

14

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Poor Behavior vs. Patterns of Abuse Granting the limitations of the small sample size, we see three different “types” emerging. In the two central columns, the behaviors reported all have to do with respecting relationship agreements. Aside from disputed behaviors, these revolve around matters of STI prevention; and honesty and integrity about inclusion in a risk pool. While this is most certainly a matter of sovereignty worthy of concern, this type of issue is different from more violent offenses. As this set of behaviors were mentioned also in the first column, it is possible that these may serve as a “canary in the coal mine”. This responder significantly reported an “Unwanted Dominance/Submission dynamic” in the relationship, as well as pressure to perform specific unwanted activities. These two factors taken together with the remainder of the report suggest a situation that, if it is not currently abusive, is likely well on its way without some kind of intervention on the part of those within the dynamic. The final relationship described is, without a question abusive; and is apparently an ongoing ordeal of over twenty years for the non-binary, male-sexed individual in question. They describe a relationship with a woman who controls them through the application of shame, fear, and guilt; and by withholding affection. She isolates them and invades their privacy. She pressures them to engage with her in energy exchanges or other spiritual activity against their will. She deliberately pushes their stated touch boundaries. They endure touch they do not want. She has even raped them. The Numbers are Changing Classically, matters pertaining to sexual integrity such as consent, sovereignty, relational abuse and assault have been considered a concern of women. However, the CDC crafted its survey questions in 2014 to ask men more specific questions about their sexual experiences. 32 It would appear that if you ask men whether or not they have been raped, they will answer “no”; but if you ask them if they have had experiences that - were they to happen to a woman - would generally be considered to be rape, they will more often answer “yes”. Here are some relevant numbers from the CDC's fact sheet: • “Approximately 1 in 20 women and men (5.6% and 5.3%, respectively) experienced sexual violence other than rape, such as being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, or noncontact unwanted sexual experiences, in the 12 months prior to the survey.” • “Among male victims who were made to penetrate someone else, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (44.8%), acquaintances (44.7%) and strangers (8.2%).” • “4.8% of men reported they were made to penetrate someone else at some time in their lives.” • “13% of women and 6% of men reported they experienced sexual coercion at some time in their lives.”33 • “Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.”34 Note that, under current legal definitions, it is practically impossible for a woman to rape a man; yet we have 4.8% of men reporting being “made to penetrate” at some point in their lives. 32 Young, Cathy. "The CDC's Rape Numbers Are Misleading." Time. Time, 27 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2016. <http://time.com/3393442/cdc-rape-numbers/>. 33 United States of America. Center for Disease Control. Division of Violence Prevention. Sexual Violence. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control:, 1 July 2014. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. <https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf>. 34 Ibid.

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Final Comment â&#x20AC;&#x153;Suna Viroâ&#x20AC;? Man 12/16/16 6:24 pm I am a man who prefers manogamist relationships. I am also friends with some polyamourous folks so my views will really only touch on those two groups. As a man I take responsibility for being masculine, this is where I feel most noble within my self. I prefer to relate with feminine women and befriend masculine men, just in the way that they most challenge my personal growth. However, many of the men I talk to about being male and masculine feel the same way that I do. We feel betrayed by our culture which has completely failed to create a strong masculine right of passage for us to go through. The implications of this failure will be the end of civilization. This all has context and is leading to my point. Men need a right if passage to feel whole and to feel connected. A man who has not over come death, or some challenge is impotent and weak in his own eyes. This, coupled with an abismal education of asexuality and outlets for comradery leads to inobled grown boys always seeking that apparition of themselves. I have written essays on the correlation between sexual trauma in men leading to becoming rapists. My proposal is that sexual trauma precedes rape.. Always.. So in the context of consent, the consent that men need is to be men. Allowing men to grow in their focus, direction and intensity will directly contribute to their sensitivity and patience. It is an anxious man who acts first, asks later. But when he feels that his masculinity is required if him, that it is honoured in him and that he is free to direct it of his own will, then he will naturally know how. Do not suppress a man's masculinity if consent is what you want. I have had experiences sexually where I as the man felt incredibly used by my partner, after which they told me how used they felt. I know the value of consent and I know how it feels not to have given it. Sexual trauma has plagued my love life since I can remember, and I feel no desire to contribute to its perpetuation. Let's all consent. I will end with a beautiful quote that sums the motivation for rape, or sex lacking consent. "The difference between ravishment and rape is love" Love and peace my earthly lovers

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8. Reporting The Total Consent Picture Taken all together, this picture is quite muddy. Because the word “consent violation” might describe anything from an uncomfortable conversation at an event to a life-long battle with relational violence, there is no telling what is meant when the term is used. As demonstrated by the variety in the details of reports given, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for organizers receiving reports. Situations must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. It is also clear from some of the “free responses” given that participants are aware of the social “meta-game” around consent, violations, and reporting at events. This was cited multiple times as a cause not to report incidents. It is likely that repeat abusers within the community would become extremely good at navigating these social waters in order to avoid detection and deter reporting by those they harm. Of the 34 individual reports received in the Long Form, only 2 were taken to organizers – or 5.88%. On the Short Form regarding incidents at events specifically, 1 responder in the low, 2 responders in the typical and 3 responders in the high pool said they had reported incidents to organizers 1-3 times; while the total report value of behaviors marked was 504. Reasons for not Reporting In all cases, responders were allowed to freely select from a list of reasons for not reporting constructed from all those mentioned by informants during the initial fieldwork phase. Women tended to select more options than men or NB/NR individuals, selecting almost twice as many total options as men. Therefore, in the following table, frequency scaling has been set at double for women as compared to men and the NB/NR pool. This scaling helps reveal which reasons featured most prominently compared by gender. Table 45: Reasons for not Reporting Frequency Key Men & NB/NR [Women]: 0 [0]

None

1 [1-2]

Low

2 [3-4]

Some

3 [5-6]

Regular

4 [7-8]

Frequent

5 [9-10]

High

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Table 46: Reasons for Not Reporting # Men Women NB/NR

Total

%

Reason

1

3

10

0

13

12.5

I was confused about what was happening at the time.

2

1

2

4

7

6.73

I didn't know what would happen next if I chose to report.

3

1

1

3

5

4.81

I didn't know that reporting the incident was allowed or accepted.

4

3

1

0

4

3.85

I did not know if what had happened was against the agreements of the space.

5

2

5

3

10

9.62

The offender was a more well-known member of the community than I was at the time.

6

3

3

1

7

6.73

I didn't want to be labeled a "troublemaker".

7

2

2

2

6

5.77

I was afraid of the general social repercussions.

8

1

2

0

3

2.89

I was an organizer, speaker or performer at the event.

9

0

2

0

2

1.92

I was a member of event crew or administration.

10

5

5

1

11

10.58

I did not want to "make a scene" or interfere with everyone's good time.

11

1

6

2

9

8.65

I did not know to whom I was supposed to report the incident.

12

0

1

0

1

0.96

Organizers seemed too busy to be available to deal with the situation.

13

1

7

0

8

7.69

I mentally or emotionally "froze".

14

1

2

1

4

3.85

I was afraid I wouldn't be believed.

15

1

3

0

4

3.85

I was ashamed of what had happened.

16

1

2

1

4

3.85

I was afraid I would be blamed.

17

1

2

0

3

2.89

I was concerned for my professional reputation or livelihood.

18

1

1

0

2

1.92

I was afraid I would have to deal with police or other external authorities.

19

0

1

0

1

0.96

I don't know why I didn't report the incident.

Mean: Total:

28

58

18

104

5.26%

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Table 47: Remedy Categories Breakdown Category:

The Clearing of Consent

% of Total

1. Educational

27.88%

2. Social

26.92%

3. Structural

20.19%

4. Emotional

19.23%

5. Material

4.81%

6. N/A

0.96%

Working the Problem Reasons for not reporting were grouped by what type of approach might help effect a solution or mitigate the influences in play. The total number of individual selections in each category was compared to the total to derive percentages. Groupings were ranked from highest to lowest. This approach may help determine what types of effort are most generally useful if the goal is to encourage the reporting of consent-related situations that warrant it. Categories 1-4 are below considered. Matters in the 5th pertain to real-world factors about which organizers have no control. The sixth is, essentially, “I don't know”.

Educational This category contained the most frequently-reported reasons among both women and NB/NR individuals. “I was confused about what was happening at the time” was also the most highly reported reason over-all. Curiously, no NB/NR individuals cited it. “I didn't know what would happen next if I chose to report” was the most frequently reported by NB/NR individuals. The other two entries in this category are, “I didn't know that reporting the incident was allowed or accepted”; and “I did not know if what had happened was against the agreements of the space.” The first issue is of a different kind than the other three. Somehow, the message is getting lost that if you become unsure of what is happening or what you want during an encounter, your next course of action should be to verbally interrupt the proceedings. Recall that the community at large only gave itself a 66.82% in this skill over-all. If the goal is prevention over punishment, educators need to implement a practice of repeating this mantra as often as possible. Unfortunately, due to the staged nature of workshops this skill is basically impossible to practice in a class setting. An alternative might be to institute break-out small group sessions or journaling exercises with the prompts, “Have you ever gotten confused about what you wanted during a sexual encounter?” “What did it feel like?” “What did you do?” and etc. The other three in this category are event-dependent. Assuming that organizers have this material prepared and in place (there is a space agreement; a plan for handling reports; and so on) then what remains is making sure attendees know about it. While we would like to think that all participants will be responsible and read the material before signing waivers or entering the space, reality does not reflect this wish.

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Therefore, copies of the material should be well-distributed throughout a space. If there is to be a verbal “consent talk” or other opening remarks, the location of these documents should be mentioned; alongside encouragement to seek help if it is needed. For riskier or longer events, a basic overview of the event's plan for how it will handle reports, if any, may be in order. At the very least, the information should be available along with the other event documents. It is important to ensure that any enforcement procedures are themselves consensual; and consent must be informed. Social Falling just slightly behind the Educational category in terms of percentage of total, Social issues were a general concern to all genders. Chief among these was “The offender was a more well-known member of the community than I was at the time.” Community members are well aware that reports are treated differently depending on the relative social positions of the reporter and the reported-upon. One remedy is to have a very clear, step-by-step set of procedures that are always carried through regardless of who the reporters are or who is managing the report. But for this to be effective, the policy must be carried through – every time – to instill faith in the process. The next two in order belong together as a set: “I didn't want to be labeled a 'troublemaker'” and “I was afraid of the general social repercussions.” Try as one might to assert otherwise, participants know what usually happens when there is a dispute around consent, and may not be willing to take that risk. One way to begin to address these problems is by moving away from punitive models and toward restorative and educational ones. If the stakes decrease, so too will the zeitgeist of anxiety. This also mitigates the incentive for parties to engage in preemptive, hyperbolic, or retaliatory reporting; which all make situations practically impossible to resolve amiably. Finally, a handful of organizers and crew members didn't report because of their positions. The truth is, all kinds of factors go in to making such a decision. It may be that one simply has too much to do to keep the event running to stop and engage a reporting system. It may be out of embarrassment; or concern for setting a good example; for the sake of the event's reputation; and so on. Event staff are in an increased position of pressure and scrutiny as compared to their peers. When something happens to them, it is very important that they be able to deal appropriately with their emotions around the issue. At high-risk events, having a clear distinction between support staff that help with emotional issues versus security personnel that process rules violations may be a necessary step. It is worth it to ensure that staff and crew have the options they need to take care of themselves while meeting their commitments to the event.

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Structural Structural issues have to do with appropriate event planning, adequate personnel and awareness of procedure. This category included the highest reported reason among men, “I did not want to 'make a scene' or interfere with everyone's good time”; also regularly reported by women. Whatever procedures are in place, these should be crafted in such a fashion that engaging them in no wise involves other attendees; actually or incidentally. For example, a private space away from the rest of the event should be available to address issues with the involved. Response personnel should be free enough of other responsibilities that they are able to take care of the situation in a timely fashion without detracting from the program. Furthermore, participants need to be made aware of these preparations and amenities if they are to be confident enough to report should a problem arise. Similarly, “I did not know to whom I was supposed to report the incident” (reported regularly by women) is resolved by having a clear plan and disseminating it. Thankfully, only one responder reported “Organizers seemed too busy to be available to deal with the situation.” At events that don't have a specific space in which touch or sex are allowed to occur, this step may be overlooked. At other events that are trying very hard, there may be enough different “types” of organizer to make it confusing as to whom one is supposed to speak to about what. At lengthy events, it may not be clear who is on duty at any given time. A highly visible badge of office should be worn by responders on duty. Even though in all likelihood whomever one approaches will be willing to help or direct to the right person, anxiety around these issues may prevent reporting.

Emotional The final category about which organizers may do something, emotional issues were cited by women at a rate more than three times that reported by men. This category also contained the second-highest cited cause by women, “I mentally or emotionally 'froze'.” A more full discussion of this statement will be given momentarily. Two other reasons in this category were “I was afraid I wouldn't be believed” and “I was afraid I would be blamed.” Unfortunately, because of the social meta-gaming around consent these are both very real possibilities in many circumstances. So long as some people are willing to use event enforcement processes to effect social outcomes organizers must examine critically any report they receive. One way to mitigate this concern is to move away from punitive models. Without the fear of punishment there is little cause to try to “game the system”. Another is to provide at least one person at high-risk events from whom one may expect total confidentiality. Note that this is a safety for those who have experienced a traumatic event and are reticent to seek help otherwise for whatever reason. It may also help provide in the case of the final reason in the category “I was ashamed of what had happened”. The most important thing is to make sure that any victims of sexual assault or rape have access to the resources they need as soon as possible after the incident.

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What Is “Freezing”? The word “freeze” has lately been subject to serious semantic drift. Originally, this word was added to the sexual assault lexicon in place of the more technical terms, “tonic immobility” or “rape-induced paralysis”. As explained by Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D., at a seminar given by the National Institute of Justice: “And then finally, for some victims, it's the corticosteroids that have dumped out at very high levels and actually reduces the energy available to the body. Now, I've been talking so far about fight-or-flight. It's actually fight, flight, or freeze — that for some victims, they don't fight back. They don't flee the situation. Their body freezes on them because of this hormonal activation by the HPA axis. And it can trigger essentially an entire shutdown in the body. And the technical name for this is tonic immobility."35 As Campbell describes it, in “extremely fearful” life-or-death situations such as a violent assault, a series of hormones are introduced by the body in order to increase the likelihood of the survival of the organism. The first set of these (including adrenalin) increases the body's reaction time and physical capacities to spur the success of either a flight or fight response. When there is physical pain involved in the situation, natural opioids may also be released. But if the organism releases the corticosteroids at a high enough level, the body may go into a state of tonic immobility, characterized by a complete inability to move, speak, or act. That is why the older term for this state is “rape-induced paralysis”. “Behaviorally, it is marked by increased breathing, eye closure, but the most marked characteristic of tonic immobility is muscular paralysis. A victim in a state of tonic immobility cannot move. She cannot move her hands. She cannot move her arms. She cannot move her legs. She cannot move her torso. She cannot move her head. She is paralyzed in that state of incredible fear.”36 According to the medical definition of the word, tonic immobility is a state of uncontrollable paralysis that overcomes a victim of violent assault as a result of chemical effects on the body. Contrast the original definition and usage of the term “freeze” by sexual assault and rape victim advocates with the following: “Ideally, we have access to all possible defense reactions — fight, flight, freeze, submit, attach. And the right one is the one that most adaptively fits the situation we find ourselves in. But in reality, the defenses we use are largely determined by past traumatic or potentially traumatic situations, along with our temperaments and our efforts to adapt to family, cultural, and ecological conditions. Such conditioning naturally influences how we adapt to present moment experiences.”37

35 Campbell, Rebecca, Ph.D. "Transcript "The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault: Implications for First Responders in Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and Victim Advocacy"" The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault. National Institute of Justice, 3 Dec. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. 36 Ibid. 37 Kerr, Laura K., Ph.D. "Know Your Habitual Defense Responses and Live within Your Window of Tolerance." Laura K. Kerr, PhD. N.p., 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. <http://www.laurakkerr.com/2015/07/24/wotguide/>.

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In Kerr's model, the “freeze” response is one mechanism that may be “used” - a term implying the capacity for willful election – by the individual reacting. It is put on a level with any other emotional reaction or tactic an involved party might have in a given circumstance. Unless we admit of the extremely disempowering precept that no one ever has any control over their actions, this discrepancy becomes impossible to resolve. Here, then, are two commentators; women equal in credential and status; both of whom have clearly dedicated their lives to supporting victims of sexual trauma. Yet their definitions around this important concept are mutually exclusive. What's going on here? Coming out of the search for a “scientific” grounds for holistic awareness practices, the works of Dr. Daniel Siegel, M.D. have become quite popular among sex educators. Dr. Siegel's work is helpful in explaining in plain terms a simplified model of the functioning and anatomy of the brain to the uninitiated masses. However, some have balked at the far-reaching claims included in some of his materials, especially given the absence of empirical research to back it up. His procedure has been, admittedly, synthetic. As Siegel defends his work: “E. O. Wilson has written a wonderful book called Consilience (1998), which is a term meaning finding truths that are common and derived from independent ways of knowing... “You might ask, 'Where is the science behind it?' And the science does exist. The scientific approach is consilience. We are now going examine (sic) this consilient finding in which the independent fields of attachment research; mindfulness practice and research; wisdom traditions; mental health—and its corollary, psychotherapy—each have something in common with the prefrontal functions. As we’ll see, that commonality is something called 'integration.'”38 It is left to the reader to determine for themselves whether this is a fair representation of the nature of Wilson's work. Nevertheless, in his influential book Mindsight, Dr. Siegel gives this description to the fight/flight/freeze responses which has become fundamental to the new narrative of trauma-awareness: “Working in concert with the evaluative processes of both the limbic and the higher cortical regions, the brainstem is the arbiter of whether we respond to threats either by mobilizing our energy for combat or for flight, or by freezing in helplessness, collapsing in the face of an overwhelming situation. But whichever of these responses is chosen, when we are in survival mode our reactivity makes it quite challenging, if not outright impossible, to be open and receptive to others. So part of the process of developing mindsight involves reducing reactivity when it’s not actually necessary, as you will see later.”39 Again, we have the phrase, “whichever of these responses is chosen...” But we know that, with true tonic immobility, there is no choice. The victim is actually, literally, medically paralyzed. The difference here is context and application. Siegel's work, essentially an outgrowth of cognitive behavioral psychology, makes a philosophical analogy between the actual fight/flight/freeze response experienced in life-or-death situations and the anxiety induced by the stresses of the modern daily struggle and interpersonal conflicts. While these may certainly be difficult to face (and more so with intersectional factors in play) the chemical cascades initiated during a violent encounter are simply not present to the same degree in non-violent scenarios 38 Siegel, Daniel J. "Mindful Awareness, Mindsight, and Neural Integration." The Humanistic Psychologist 37.2 (2010): 137-58. MiCBT Institute. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. <http://www.mindfulness.net.au/publications/pdfs/Peerreviewed-articles/Mindful-Awareness-Mindsight-and-Neural-Integration.pdf>. 39 Siegel, Daniel J., MD. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. New York: Bantam, 2010. Print.

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barring some form of severe mental illness that would cause the interpretation of non-threatening scenarios as life threatening. While Dr. Siegel's work is broadly laudable in many ways, the manner in which it has been oversimplified and applied to contexts of non-therapeutic relationships is highly questionable. The whole point of the “mindsight” humanist philosophy is to become more aware of; and therefore more the master of; ones own mental processes – and to become better at interpersonal dynamics thereby. This goal is somehow getting turned around into an expectation that others will “use their mirror neurons” to predict and account for our needs. While this may be appropriate between committed partners aware of a history of trauma and agreements around additional care, it is inappropriate to expect such special handling from any random partner at a party. In short, relying on others to be telepathic is a poor plan of approach in a public event space. Meanwhile, soldiers like Dr. Campbell continue the fight to get knowledge of tonic immobility into the hands of law enforcement personnel; and ultimately into the Halls of Justice.

“I brought it up to him in te course of the intrview. He litraly cuts me off and he says 'It's to late now; te case is closed.' And I said, 'It's to late for tis case, but here — let me give you a mini presentaton on te neurobiology of tauma' and so on and so fort. And he's like, 'I didn't know. I did not know tat tis could happen.'”40 Unfortunately, she must now compete for mimetic turf with those who are using the term “freeze” to mean anything other than rape-induced paralysis.41

40 Campbell, Rebecca, Ph.D. "Transcript "The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault: Implications for First Responders in Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and Victim Advocacy"" The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault. National Institute of Justice, 3 Dec. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2016. 41 As it happens, the author has experienced one incident of stranger rape in which they were physically trapped and unable to escape; and in which they were legitimately afraid for their life. During this incident I experienced tonic immobility in the medical sense. It is a fundamentally different phenomenon from the more common social discomfort around asserting boundaries. In addition to the description given by Dr. Campbell, in my experience it was accompanied by intense vertigo; a metallic taste in the mouth (especially under the tongue); a locking of the jaw muscles; and jittering teeth as sometimes associated with amphetamine usage.

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9. The Meta Problem Before looking at what the community thinks organizers should do about consent violations, we must first take a pause to address the elephant in the room. At present, there has been no clear definition given of the term “consent violation”. This was in fact one of the main contentions preventing progress on the survey instrument at the outset, as the linguistic acrobatics required to avoid implying any particular position on the matter were Olympic in degree of obstacle. I had proposed a write-in question to allow open-ended responses on the matter, but it was pointed out that comparison would not be possible at the hoped-for submission rates. After a further year of fieldwork and community observation it became clear that (far from a singular, dramatic but isolated incident) power struggles around consent enforcement were an ongoing local community problem (as observed by the group of women at the initial Healing Circle). The decision was made to craft a much shorter, targeted survey that pierced the heart of the issue; in order to guide planning for the promised Community Meeting at the completion of this activist effort; and to verify what the data that had already been collected appeared at first gloss to show. Having additionally identified experiences indicative of social manipulation of consentrelated processes, questions to test prevalence of this phenomenon were devised. Demographic information was reduced to gender. Simple True/False reporting was used for the bulk of questions to encourage survey responses. This effort was more successful in sheer numbers. We collected 62 total responses: 31 women; 21 men; and 10 non-binary participants. Experience Rates Comparison The first part of the survey compares experience rates around consent training; violations at events and in private; accusation status; and also tests two key new concepts to detecting the meta-game at work. These verification statements are “I have been accused of a consent violation by someone other than the person I was said to have harmed” and “Someone has tried to convince me that someone else in a Consent Community violated my consent.” The first is an indicator that some form of vigilanteism or reputation assassination may be at work; though this may sometimes represent a “good Samaritan” situation. The second, however, should never – ever – happen in Consent Communities, and here is why: If the person is successful in persuading you that your consent has been violated, it will be from that point on as if the violation actually occurred. “'In the lab, I convince people through memory hacking that they committed crimes that never happened,' said Shaw, senior lecturer and researcher in the Department of Law and Social Sciences at London South Bank University. 'I do it to show that the interrogation process can really distort memories, in consistent ways.' To implant a false memory, 'you try to get someone to confuse their imagination with their memory,' she said. 'That’s it: Get them to repeatedly picture it happening.'”42 Someone else should not really even suggest to you that you might have been violated. That determination must be made by you and you alone. Therefore, this question represents a violation of another kind – one about unwanted Dominance/submission dynamics and gaslighting in the guise of social justice. It is also, unfortunately, about current trends in community enforcement.

42 Lunau, Kate. "A 'Memory Hacker' Explains How to Plant False Memories in People's Minds." Motherboard. Vice, 14 Sept. 2016. Web. 01 Jan. 2017. <http://motherboard.vice.com/read/memory-hacker-implant-falsememories-in-peoples-minds-julia-shaw-memory-illusion?utm_source=mbfb>.

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Table 48: Gender Comparison of Temperature Check Data Men Women NB/NR Total # (% True) (% True) (% True) (% True) 1

2

3

4

5

6

76.19%

14.29%

19.05%

19.05%

28.57%

14.29%

77.42%

32.26%

29.03%

6.45%

0.00%

12.90%

100.00%

60.00%

30.00%

20.00%

0.00%

20.00%

Statement

80.60%

I have had some form of consent training.

30.60%

I have experienced some form of consent violation at a Consent Community event.

25.80%

I have experienced some form of consent violation with someone from the community in private space.

12.90%

I have been accused of a consent violation by someone I shared touch with.

9.70%

I have been accused of a consent violation by someone other than the person I was said to have harmed.

14.50%

Someone has tried to convince me that someone else in a Consent Community violated my consent.

On fve separat occasions over te period of tis study (~1.5 year), a member of Consent Communites tied t convince te autor t say tat someone else had violatd teir consent. In each case, it was a woman (or female-sexed-at-birt gender non-binary person) in regards t a man (or male-sexed-at-birt gender non-binary person). In tree out of te fve situatons, te intntons appeared t have been punitve (one mistaken Good Samaritan; one comedy of errors)

.

In one case, te pressure applied was severe and taumatc. In al cases, te autor declined.

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More Questions than Answers The core conceit of hosted Consent Community spaces is that, in some way, organizers are making them “safer” for participants than they would be engaging with others privately. In this pool – albeit by simple yes/no comparison – events were safer for men by about 5%; less safe for women by about 3%; and twice as unsafe for NB/NR individuals. Overall, fewer people reported having experienced consent violations in private with community members (25.80%) than at Consent Community events (30.60%) by about 5%. This begs the question: if consent violations must be treated, each one, as equivalent in impact to a sexual assault, why is anyone willing to pay to attend events? Why, when roughly 30% of attendees are experiencing consent violations there; especially if it is safer at home? The obvious conclusion is that the attendees experiencing consent violations at events are not in fact impacted to the same degree as a victim of violent sexual assault or they would not come back. This, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of participants have had some form of consent education. Just over three-quarters of men and women; and 100%(!) of NB/NR individuals were trained. However, untrained individuals did not seem to be significantly more likely to experience consent violations. In fact, the NB/NR pool experienced them at the highest percentile rate in both categories. Could it possibly be that the more you know about ways one might commit a consent violation, the more likely one is to notice one occurring? If a consent violation occurs without anyone noticing, has consent been violated? Another interesting point: who is committing all these violations? Unless we imagine that there are vicious predators lurking in the bushes at Consent Community events just waiting for the opportunity to touch someone without explicit verbal permission – and doing so repeatedly – then at these rates, some of the reporters are likely also themselves violators. Men and NB/NR individuals were accused by the person they were said to have harmed at roughly the same rate; about 1 in 5. Only 2 women total – 6.45% - were accused. While an astonishing 28.57% of men had been accused by someone other than the person whom they were said to have harmed, absolutely no women and no NB/NR individuals reported this experience. All told, a full third of men reporting had been accused one way or another. Conversely, distribution is fairly even on the last statement, “Someone has tried to convince me that someone else in a Consent Community violated my consent”; between 12% and 20% As discussed before, the power of suggestion is strong and avoiding doing this accidentally is a major feature of forensic interview technique. However, there are myriad reasons to try to convince someone to go along with a pogrom. So (at least in this data pool) we are very well-trained; but despite this fact we are experiencing and committing consent violations at events and in private. Additionally, some people are misusing community consent proceedings to their own ends. Accusations against men are rampant; against NB/NR people slightly less so; while women are hardly ever accused. Everyone is subject to having others try to persuade them that their consent was violated. What is a Consent Violation? By this point in the research, it had become clear that, in terms of enforcement, there are essentially three operational definitions of a consent violation in use. An operational definition defines an object or phenomenon by specific measurable qualities; which testing may be repeated. It must be, in an instance, falsifiable. (Its opposite number is a theoretical definition, which is abstract in nature and changeable as understandings in a native field grow.) On the Temperature Check survey instrument, these three options were presented in the form “A Consent Violation occurs when...” These are outlined and (for our purposes) named as follows:

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[Note: the author has no legal credentials; nothing in this section constitutes legal advice; and the information is provided for educational purposes only.] Table 49: Operational Definition Totals by Gender Men % Women %

NB/NR

%

Total

%

Legal

9

42.86

15

48.39

4

40

28

45.16

Affirmative

5

23.81

12

38.71

3

30

20

32.26

Felt

7

33.33

4

12.9

3

30

14

22.58

The Legal Definition

“A consent violaton occurs when someone tls you “no” and you don't stp or you do it anyway; or when te person is clearly incapable of saying “no”.

This definition is based in how consent actually works as a legal premise in the United States. The principle of consent is applied in all manner of situations besides sexual. This statement is of course a simplification of the complex network of national, state and local laws around sexual conduct, but contains the important precept of “implied consent” where adult participants in activities are concerned. “The legal term implied consent refers to situations in which it is assumed a person consented to something by his actions. This means that, although the person has not given verbal or written consent, circumstances exist that would cause a reasonable person to believe the other had consented.”43 Note that, for legal adults, if you are aware of a situation; physically able; and do not intervene on your own behalf, you are presumed to be consenting. “Only certain individuals have been deemed legally capable of giving consent. Under our current legal system, consent will be considered inapplicable if: • The consent is given by a person who does not have authorization to provide consent. Thus, an individual cannot consent to the taking of his neighbor’s property because he does not have authorization to dictate what happens to the property. • The consent is given by a person who is held unable to consent by virtue of being underage, having a mental disorder, or being intoxicated and therefore unable to make a reasonable judgment about the conduct. • The law does not allow the victim to consent, such as in the case of statutory rape. • The consent was not voluntarily given, but was obtained by force or duress. In all of these circumstances, even if the criminal defendant argues that consent was obtained, courts will likely determine that the consent is legally invalid, and the defense will not apply.”44

43 "Implied Consent." Legal Dictionary. LegalDictionary.net, 08 Aug. 2016. Web. 01 Jan. 2017. <http://legaldictionary.net/implied-consent/>. 44 "The Criminal Defense of Consent." The Criminal Defense of Consent Overview. Justia, n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2017. <https://www.justia.com/criminal/defenses/consent/>.

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Conclusions In the legal definition, consent is a thing that you enact, whether through verbal or written contract (express consent) or through voluntary participation in the activity (implied consent). It is an expression of sovereignty which is a double-edged sword, laying the dual burdens of freedom and responsibility at the feet of the community member. Pros: Clear terms of transgression; compliant with the law of the land; enforceable; well-known; accepted by the most responders over-all (45.16%) and in each gender category; respects everyone's sovereignty; insists upon adult behavior. Includes long-term inter-relational violence as a means of violation. Protects organizers and attendees by preventing participants who deem themselves mentally or otherwise unfit to give consent from legally entering waivered events; as the signatory represents themselves to be capable of giving legal consent by signing the contract for entry in the first place. Cons: Requires careful scrutiny of reports received. May provide cover for some “morally-grey” behaviors; may upset complainants when consistently enforced; in current poor favor due to failings in the U.S. Justice system; may result in “he-said, shesaid” scenarios when no evidence is available. A participant with a history of trauma may internally experience duress even if their partner is unaware of the fact. May result in retaliatory or preemptive reporting. In cases of mutual intoxication, there may be no proof upon whom the burden of responsibility fell to interrupt the proceedings short of the “Victim Olympics”. The Affirmative Definition

“A consent violaton occurs when a verbal “yes” is not obtained for each tuch actvit engaged by al partes.”

Affirmative consent is also sometimes called “rolling consent”. It is only full affirmative consent if each activity is verbally requested and agreed upon by all involved parties, otherwise it fails to meet the “falsifiable” criteria of an operational definition. It eschews the possibility of implied consent and insists upon express consent in sexual matters in order to guarantee consent is present. In practice, the full form of this doctrine is only seen carried out in facilitated settings or by highly trained providers. In such circumstances it is possible to isolate singular touch activities from one another; articulate them; and then carry them out in a transactional manner. Organic human sexuality does not follow this model; nor does the law require such a threshold of care. Recall that the statement “There are touch situations in which you don't need to ask verbally to do every little thing” was the only belief statement garnering 100% agreement from all responders. Therefore, engagement of such structures by mutual agreement or in accordance with the rules of a space is non-different from any other negotiated “scene”. In this sense, those who cannot engage sexually without these parameters in place might be deemed “consent fetishists”. Yet, as previously noted, outside of clinical engagements, the fullness of this strategy is almost never applied. Consider that (unless there is a defined provider and receiver) not only would the initiating party have to ask for and receive permission for the touch, the receiving party would have to clear any reciprocal or included responses on their own part. Some models take this a step further and insist parties also agree on why the activity is occurring; or who the

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touch is “for”. At any point in such a scene that an activity is not first verbalized and cleared, a consent violation has technically occurred - whether or not anyone experienced harm. In practice, what most people mean when they ask for affirmative or rolling consent is a system of “landmarks”: particular activities that, to the party in question, represent an advancement in the degree of sexual activity engaged. If these landmarks are clearly specified at the outset of an engagement, anxiety around consent issues is relieved. Conflict may still arise if an activity “surprises” a receiving party: they just didn't think to mention it; or in their view it represents an advancement such that their partner “should have known better”. The most commonly expected landmarks are those around fluid exchange (including oral) and penetration. Secondarily, touching in areas covered by swimsuits also typically carry the expectation of verbal cue. In BDSM culture, certain types of activity are considered “edge-play” and should be verbally confirmed with a partner before engagement regardless of other agreements. Unfortunately, this list varies by geographic location. Some commonly flagged activities are: • Asphyxiation play • Pinning, holding, restraint • Play involving weapons (prop or otherwise) • Role-play that blurs the line between the “scene” and the real world • Bloodsports, water sports, scat play • Age play Campus Policies and the Origin of Affirmative Consent In response to widespread reports of campus sexual assault, for the last several years there has been an ongoing campaign to shift the culture there to a “Yes means Yes” affirmative consent protocol. The most recent and largest of these surveys indicates that about 23% of women and 5% of men were subject to unwanted sexual contact. 45 The campaign to fight this pervasive problem has seen large success at the local level with individual universities adopting policies and updating sexual education; yet these statistical trends continue unabated. Affirmative consent is a concept first introduced in the context of college campuses; and specifically at the quirky, extreme-Left campus of Antioch College in Ohio. Coming into enforcement in February of 1991, this remarkable document was the work of students; clearly attempting to address a campus culture in which sex and use of intoxicants were rampant. As evidence of the efforts of student activists, it is a credit to its creators. In bemoaning the eventual (though temporary) demise of the institution, Daum noted that the college had become a laughingstock for this policy – deemed unenforceable and disconnected from the realities of human sexuality. “In 1993, it suddenly became national news that Antioch required anyone engaging in sexual activity on campus to ask for and grant permission throughout every step of the encounter. Conceived by a group called Womyn of Antioch, the policy stipulated that consent could not be granted through body movements, nonverbal responses or silence. Furthermore, it stated that 'consent is required each and every time there is sexual activity' and that 'each new level of sexual activity requires consent.' Translation: dorm room make-out sessions were being punctuated by steamy questions like, 'May I kiss you now?', 'May I remove your (Che Guevara) T-shirt now?' 'May I' (you get the idea)...”46 45 Anderson, Nick, and Susan Svrluga21. "What a Massive Sexual Assault Survey Found at 27 Top U.S. Universities." The Washington Post. W P C om p a n y , 2 1 S e p t . 20 1 5 . W e b . 0 2 J a n . 2 0 1 7 . <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/09/21/what-a-massive-sexual-assault-surveyshowed-about-27-top-u-s-universities/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.0140b27c67f6>. 46 Dam, Meghan. "Who Killed Antioch? Womyn." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2007. Web. 02 Jan. 2017. <http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-daum30jun30-column.html>.

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Nevertheless, this early effort47 at a policy that might prevent “accidental” campus sexual assault by inexperienced young people became a template for those following behind. The defining provisions of the policy that have been taken into successive models include: • A specific definition of consent including not just intercourse but all sexual and touch activities • The requirement that consent be verbalized • The requirement that consent be verbally assured throughout the course of activity with each new act engaged • The exclusion of the possibility of consent in the case of intoxication • Extensive and precise guidelines on report types and enforcement • A gender/orientation non-discrimination clause • The preclusion of consideration of prior consensual contacts in grievance proceedings Significant core provisions which have not necessarily been mimicked in successive models include: • Defined responsibilities dependent on the roles of “initiating” party and “submitting” party • Explicit inclusion of activities involving toys, tools and props • The responsibility of engaged parties to likewise verbally rescind consent if they have previously given it • The inclusion of failure to disclose a known STI-status as an offense; with non-disclosure of known HIV status resulting in expulsion (and with “lesser” STI's, suspension) • The explicit specification that when an initiator has supplied intoxicants to the submitting party, they shall have no defense if accused of wrongdoing • A “Hearing Board” comprised equally of students, faculty, and administration, with stipulation that at least 5 of the 18 members be women The specific historical context of Antioch College at the dawn of the '90's included a culture that was, clearly, already highly progressive in political leanings; sexually adventurous; and characterized by the use of substances. Reading through the enforcement section of the policy it is clear that the intentions of the student authors were to resolve conflict before it arose; and to provide compassionate care to those having experienced sexual traumas. On the other hand, it took into account the local custom and provided for enforcement practices that were evenhanded with an eye to restoring community. Such progressive attitudes toward compassionate and responsive governance are not present in the majority of campuses today. Administrators act to defend the reputations of their organizations and not on behalf of the student body. It seems unlikely that appropriating just the core provisions of Antioch's policy and grafting them on to the existing culture and draconian enforcement structures would yield anything other than rotten fruit.

47 "The Antioch College Sexual Offense Policy." MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Antioch University, 4 Oct. 1993. Web. 02 Jan. 2017. <http://www.mit.edu/activities/safe/data/other/antioch-code>.

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California's Initiative, SB 967 In 2014, the State of California passed a bill requiring all colleges and universities to adopt specific sexual enforcement policies on threat of loss of funding. The core provision of the bill reads: “The policy shall include all of the following: (1) An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. 'Affirmative consent' means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. (2) A policy that, in the evaluation of complaints in any disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse to alleged lack of affirmative consent that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances: (A) The accused's belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused. (B) The accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.”48 Today (as in the world of Antioch) intoxication is believed to be one major contributing factor to experiences of sexual assault and other non-consensual touch activity on campus. According to the previously mentioned AAU study, 2.4% of undergraduate women reported an incident involving penetration while incapacitated (a category including intoxication) in the prior year. A further 3.6% reported such incidents involving sexual touch. For non-binary individuals those rates were 2.1% and 2.9%. Rates reported by men were much lower: 0.6% and 1.1%.49 It is no wonder, then, that policy-makers would seek to tackle the issue of campus sexual grievances with this angle in mind. But critics of the bill note that it creates a different standard for sexual grievances in school hearings than that required by the legal system. In this disturbing arrangement, the burden of proof is shifted to the accused to defend their innocence. “In evaluating sexual misconduct claims, SB 967 calls for schools to apply a 'preponderance of evidence' standard, similar to Title IX. It's a lower standard of proof, used in civil cases, instead of the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' bar used in criminal trials. “That's another point of contention for people who say SB 967 undermines due process rights by subjecting the accused to a lower culpability threshold without the protections offered by criminal and civil courts -- such as the

48 State of California. California State Senate. SB 967 Senate Bill - AMENDED. By Kevin De Leon and HannahBeth Jackson. State of California, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 02 Jan. 2017. <http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/1314/bill/sen/sb_0951-1000/sb_967_bill_20140804_amended_asm_v95.html>. 49 Cantor, David, Bonnie Fisher, Susan Chibnali, Reanne Townsend, Hyunshik Lee, Carol Bruce, and Gail Thomas. Report on the AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. Publication. Rockville: Association of American Universities, 2015. Web. 2 Jan. 2017. <http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/local/association-of-american-universities-campus-survey-onsexual-assault-and-sexual-misconduct/1747/>. Table 3-2.

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mandatory exchange of evidence known as discovery and restrictions on hearsay and prior bad act evidence. "'Those accused in campus tribunals are generally denied these protections -but nevertheless are subject to life-changing sanctions, based on little more than a hunch by campus court participants that one person's story is slightly more credible,' Cohn said.”50 Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Emeritus Professor at Harvard Law School, agrees: “Rather than requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt – the standard of evidence required to reach a conviction in a normal court system – many schools are willing to deliver a guilty verdict and permit punishment to be imposed based on a mere preponderance of the evidence: a showing that there is no more than a 51 percent likelihood that the assault occurred. “While that lower standard makes convictions easier to reach, it also means that for every 100 students who are disciplined under this standard, as many as 49 of them may well be innocent.”51 But of course, these are the legal opinions of men hypothetically entrenched in the patriarchy and with a vested interest in the matter. After all, fewer legal court cases equal fewer clients for lawyers. What do the victims think? In a letter submitted to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, the most respected victim advocacy organization in the country, RAINN, had this to say: “'The FBI, for purposes of its Uniform Crime Reports, has a hierarchy of crimes — a ranking of violent crimes in order of seriousness. Murder, of course, ranks first. Second is rape. It would never occur to anyone to leave the adjudication of a murder in the hands of a school’s internal judicial process. Why, then, is it not only common, but expected, for them to do so when it comes to sexual assault,' the letter asked. 'The simple fact is that these internal boards were designed to adjudicate charges like plagiarism, not violent felonies. The crime of rape just does not fit the capabilities of such boards.'”52 And that's the crux of the problem. While we might find the procedures of the legal system generally disappointing and taxing on victims, the fact remains that no other structures exist with the capacity to handle such allegations. If large organizations with access to records keeping, clearly structured grievance policies, and all of the best-educated people do not have the necessary capacities; how much less so a small local club? How much less so the owner of a venue or event producer? How much less so a generalized collection of self-appointed consent activists, vigilantes, or busybodies (depending on your point of view)?

50 Grinberg, Emanuella. "Schools Preach 'enthusiastic' Yes in Sex Consent Education." CNN. Cable News Network, 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 01 Jan. 2017. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/03/living/affirmative-consentschool-policy/>. 51 Dershowitz, Alan. "Innocent until Proven Guilty? Not under ‘yes Means Yes.’." Washington Post. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 1 Jan. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/10/14/howaffirmative-consent-rules-put-principles-of-fairness-at-risk/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.5bbc0d0ffd26>. 52 "RAINN Urges White House Task Force to Overhaul Colleges' Treatment of Rape | RAINN." RAINN Urges White House Task Force to Overhaul Colleges' Treatment of Rape | RAINN. RAINN, 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.rainn.org/news/rainn-urges-white-house-task-force-overhaul-colleges%E2%80%99treatment-rape>.

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Conclusions Affirmative consent is an approach that was designed by college students, for college students in an environment in which intoxication may well have been the rule rather than the exception. When in an altered state of consciousness it is easy to misinterpret non-verbal cues; thus the insistence on verbal communication. Traditional students coming into college out of high school are presumed to be inexperienced; students in the bedroom as much as in fact. Application of affirmative consent procedure certainly has its place: in a workshop context where all present are students in some sense; at trauma-centric events in which participants are at a greater degree of risk for disassociation; at events involving incapacitating intoxication; and of course, on college campuses if needs must. Applying such structures to adult recreational environments, however, lacks any legitimate defense in a purely rational sense – that's just not what it was designed for. Pros: With perfect use, ensures no “accidental” violations occur. Encourages communication between partners. Helpful for circumstances in which one or both parties is intoxicated. Protects teachers in workshop environments. May be helpful for recovering trauma victims. Establishing desired landmarks is a more workable form that may help alleviate consent anxieties. Cons: Subject to “he said/she said”; may place organizers at risk of succumbing to gender stereotypes in adjudication. Encourages “transactional thinking” in sexuality, placing the emphasis on activity over shared experience. Full form is impractical and unenforceable in non-workshop settings. Places non-verbal communication in a “suspect” category, discouraging embodiment. May encourage preemptive reporting. An activity may be a violation even if no harm was done. Renders nearly every BDSM interaction a consent violation. The Felt Definition

“A consent violaton occurs when te person you are sharing tuch wit doesn't actualy want te tuch tat is happening, wheter tey say so or not.”

In the Felt definition, focus is placed on the physical reactions of the involved parties as indicative of the presence or absence of consent in an emotional sense. The arguments made in support of this interpretation are manifold, but the first which a newcomer to Consent Communities is likely to encounter is etymological. The word is broken into its components con(with), and sentio- which is said to mean “feel” in the Latin (a point to which we will return momentarily). Taken together and with support from medieval French, we are told that consent means “to feel with”. Secondly, as a matter of practice, students are admonished that due to categorical oppression; gender dynamics; and rampant childhood abuse and sexual traumas we are all subject to a kind of emotional stunting that means we don't always act in accordance with our own true desires. In order to address this, we are instructed to use explicit verbal consent; and to take a moment after any request to “check in with ourselves” by deliberately feeling and analyzing our physiological reactions. These in turn are said to indicate “true” feelings on a matter.

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This instruction is said to apply even if our immediate mental reaction seems to be a clear “yes”. This definition makes it possible that one might engage in a sexual activity giving every appearance of consensual interaction; while internally one is not “really” consenting. Furthermore, one might not be aware of one's own lack of “true” consent in a given moment. Therefore, one must remain vigilant for the signs that one's partner is not consenting at any given time; and ensure very carefully throughout that no sexual contact occurs if they are not. In other words, you can't rely on your partner to say no or to stop engaging with you; and if they decide later that you should have known better, you have violated their consent. There is nothing you can say or do to defend yourself, because if they say they weren't consenting, then they weren't – because there can be no other measure but self-reporting around feelings. This phenomenon is termed “retroactive revocation of consent” by critics. Those who believe in it simply see it as “realizing” they were victimized. Ego Idem Sentio Ac Tu It is difficult to know where to begin, but the word does come first. There's no trouble with the prefix. The issue comes in the assertion that the Latin root means “to feel”. Although that is one listed meaning of the root, anyone with even a passing knowledge of Latin is aware that it is a language of relatively few words; many of which carry a variety of meanings determined by context and tense. In particular, from just one translation site, the Latin root sentio- might sometimes mean: to know, realize, experience, judge, perceive, suppose, be of opinion, be sensible of, believe, decide, declare, deem, discern, discern by sense, endure, feel the effects of, give an opinion, hear, imagine, mean, notice, observe, see, suffer, think, feel, undergo, understand, or vote. 53 By the same logic, one could just as easily argue that “consent” means “to suffer with”; an interpretation that would be precisely the opposite of the common-sense meaning in English. But let us look first into some more sensible arguments. Consider if the interpretation were any of the following: experience, perceive, be sensible of, discern (or by sense), notice, observe, hear, or see. Then settling the question would depend upon the outward signs given by each party. Is your partner continuing to engage with you? Are they exhibiting signs of sexual arousal, such as changes in breathing, temperature, etc? Have they given any possible signs of disinterest, such as pulling away from touch; or failing to respond to touch you thought would be pleasurable? Have they said that they don't want the touch? Or how about these: know, realize, judge, suppose, be of opinion, believe, decide, deem, imagine, think, or understand. These all have to do with cognition, or the application of meaning to the state of the facts of a situation. It is, of course, possible to be in error; but would a reasonable person presented with the same evidence agree with your interpretation of the situation? Again, we must refer back to real-world signs here to determine whether consent is occurring. It is also interesting to note with this meaning that if you become aware that you do not want what is occurring and continue to give all signs of active participation, you are engaging in deception. Since the full interpretation of the word becomes “to know (et al.) with” you are the one who has violated consent. Then we have endure, suffer, and undergo. There are some circumstances under which you may not desire something, per se, but it is in some way needful that an experience occur. That is why it is possible to give consent to a painful medical procedure. This comes into play in the bedroom in BDSM. Your body may be physically resistant to an activity that you, nonetheless, are consenting to experience.

53 "Sentio in English." Glosbe. Globe, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://glosbe.com/la/en/sentio>.

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A scene involving a situation in which a party is expected to give sign of lack of consent while in fact they do desire the activity is termed “consensual nonconsent”. In such a scene, participants might even verbalize words like “no” and “stop”. This is why safewords are important, insuring that the party in question still maintains the ability to interrupt the scene should it become nonconsensual nonconsent from their end. Furthermore, if we are honest, we will have to admit that sometimes sex involves transitory moments of discomfort. This becomes ever more true as we age. For those of us living with chronic pain conditions, all physical activity is subject to their effects. This does not mean that in those moments we are not consenting; nor do the presence of such moments indicate that the encounter as a whole was non-consensual. Otherwise, no sex the author has ever had was consensual. But let us return to the initial suggestion, that the word means “to feel with”. Unless we are proposing some form of psionic empathy, what exactly does it mean “to feel with” someone? Even granting with no contest the existence and function of mirror neurons, it is still one's own, synthetic feelings that one re-experiences – based on past occasions in which one felt similarly (as one interprets) to the other person.54 Note also that these only fire based upon what you physically observe happening; not upon the internal experiences of the other party, to which one has no access. Now let us apply the basic tenet of exegesis: a thing cannot mean what it never meant. In the Latin world, the concept of mind (taken primarily from Greek precedent) was newly birthed and did not resemble the compartmentalized abstraction that we accept today. All functions of internal experience were attributed to psyche, or soul; the vital force which also operated the body and distinguished animate from inanimate things.55 Romans drew no distinction between “emotional” and “mental” faculties – thus the variety of translations available above. In other words: at the time, to feel was to think was to believe. And what of the old French? Here we are given as a verb “agree” or “comply” in the early 1200's; and “approval” or “agreement in sentiment, harmony” circa 1300. 56 No indicator whatever is given of how this is established, excepting the origin reference in the Latin. The word most probably entered English via the influence of Anglo-Norman, the language of the courts from the 12th to 15th century CE – ironically thanks to William the Conqueror.57 More could be said of modern renderings of the word. Spanish gives us allow, tolerate or support. In Portuguese we have allow, permit, and agree to. In Italian, we find allow and permit as the most commonly given translations. (We also get the traditional proverb, “chi tace acconsente” - silence means consent. Compare to the American activist slogan “silence equals complicity”.) ESL learners are told that the word means “to give permission”. Then, of course, there is the American legal definition, which has already been addressed. Given that it is this definition by which a person's actions will be judged in a court of law, it seems odd to leave it out of the equation. Yet not one time in a consent class have I ever heard this meaning addressed. So where does that leave us?

54 Winerman, Lea. "The Mind's Mirror." Monitor on Psychology 36.9 (2005): 48. Http://www.apa.org. American Psychological Association, 1 Oct. 2005. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct05/mirror.aspx>. 55 Rubarth, Scott. "Stoic Philosophy of Mind." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. IEP, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/stoicmind/>. 56 "consent". Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 3 Jan. 2017. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/consent>. 57 Mastin, Luke. "The History of English - Middle English (c. 1100 - C. 1500)." The History of English. The History of English, 2010. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <http://www.thehistoryofenglish.com/history_middle.html>.

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While it is true that typing “consent” and “etymology” in a search bar will return the result “to feel with” this could hardly be called a full understanding of the origin of the word. Even if it were, simply because a word meant something in the past, that does not imply that it means the same thing today in either a denotative or connotative sense. Applying again the principles of exegesis, a thing cannot mean that which it does not mean, however much we might want it to do so. Teaching students that consent means “to feel with” and nothing else is a reduction so vast that it may only be woeful ignorance or a lie of omission. Damaged Goods The next component of this approach is the concept that because we have all been traumatized by past bad sexual experiences combined with the influence of an all-pervasive rape culture we cannot expect anyone to be in touch with their desires. This is referred to as a “trauma-informed” approach. The disturbing figures from the CDC have already been mentioned, and one in five women is certainly far too many. But let's hear from the critics, shall we? In the first place, this survey utilized some very odd methods, given its nature. It was conducted by telephone interview; with an abysmal 30% response rate. Secondly, rather than asking participants whether or not they had been raped, sexually assaulted, etc. interviewers described various types of sexual encounter and then determined from the responses whether or not they believed an assault had occurred.58 The questions themselves were frequently vague, inconsistent with one another, grammatically confusing, and emotionally charged. In one instance, the threshold of tolerance was even stated to be different between men and women through anatomical reference. “Looking at them, on page 37, the three questions with regards to alcohol- or drug-facilitated penetration included the phrases 'had vaginal sex with you,' 'made you perform/receive anal sex,' or 'made you perform/receive oral sex.' What is shocking is that the category for vaginal sex uses the word 'had,' whereas the categories for oral and anal sex (which men could also answer to) use the word 'made.' Obviously, this discrepancy created a significant increase for the rape rate for women.”59 This observation is quite curious, given that customary procedure for creating a series of related questions which will be accounted together is to maintain linguistic consistency throughout the questions. As a side note, the question about whether responders had ever been “forced to penetrate” was included in a lesser category than rape, though this appears to be the form of sexual violence that men experience more often. This is the only reason deviation of the form was even required. This question should by all rights be just as outrageous to women (and other vagina-owners) as it is to men. It removes our sovereignty in deciding whether or not we are able to give consent to sex while in a state of insobriety; while implying that men retain this capacity. This is nothing more than a continuation of the Victorian Purity myth; one major contributor to the remaining existence of the gender binary bias.

58 Hoff Sommers, Christina. "CDC Study on Sexual Violence in the U.S. Overstates the Problem." The Washington Post. WP Company, 27 Jan. 2012. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cdc-studyon-sexual-violence-in-the-us-overstates-the-problem/2012/01/25/gIQAHRKPWQ_story.html? utm_term=.8bd0c88ceab9>. 59 Levental, Yuval. "An Inquiry into the CDC's 1 in 5 Rape Figure." A Voice for Men. A Voice for Men, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/an-inquiry-into-thecdcs-1-in-5-rape-figure/>.

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I refuse to have my rights stripped from me by academics claiming to act in my defense because I happen to have a vagina; and this certainly cannot be allowed to fly under the banner of feminism. Recall that it wasn't the responder who decided – it was the interviewer. Other questions showed evidence of this sort of weirdly parental helicoptering, in some cases to an undeniably puritanical extent: “Participants were asked if they had ever had sex because someone pressured them by 'telling you lies, making promises about the future they knew were untrue?' All affirmative answers were counted as 'sexual violence.' Anyone who consented to sex because a suitor wore her or him down by 'repeatedly asking' or 'showing they were unhappy' was similarly classified as a victim of violence.”60 So then, excluding all of the noise and just looking at “completed forcible penetration”, the CDC's actual lifetime figure for women is 11.5% - slightly over half what the headlines indicated. All reported rapes taken together for the previous 12 month period were 1.6%, or an estimated 1,929,000. So how does that stack up to other figures? The NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey) is our most trusted and longstanding official inquiry into the matter of sexual crimes, and has been conducted biannually by the Bureau of Justice Statistics consistently since 1974. “On page 2, Table 1, for 2011, it was estimated that there were 243,800 total cases of rape and sexual assault combined. This translates to a rate of 0.9/1000, or assuming that the vast majority of rape victims are women, 1.8/1000 for women. Additionally, from 2002 to 2011, there was a decrease in cases of 30%. It should also be noted that out of all the crimes listed for that year, rape had the lowest number listed, second to serious intimate partner violence. Even the category for aggravated assault had approximately four times as many surveyed cases than rape.”61 Given the serious flaws already noted in the CDC survey instrument combined with the stated agenda of the administration commissioning it, the author is forced to conclude that the effort in total must be regarded as a political rather than sociological research exercise. The only question is, how does it benefit the State to make us believe that we are in the middle of a mass rape epidemic; when in fact rates are on the decline? And what the hell does it matter to the “Powers on the Left” if we drink and have sex at the same time? Rape Culture But surely, this is still too many; because one is too many. The customary belief is that these figures can be blamed on the existence in America of a pervasive “rape culture” that encourages the objectification of women's bodies. While it is quite true that historically women have been treated as the rightful property of their father or husband, it has been many a long year since that was literally true in this country. While it took some time to ferret out residual inequalities (such as the right to credit, inheritance, and etc.) at this point those battles have all been won. It is granted that women still war with the State for control of their bodies in regards to reproductive health. The continuing epidemic of male infant genital mutilation at the hands of a backward medical establishment is doubly troubling; representing not just a sexual assault against a human being but one against an infant that is permanently disfiguring. And while gains 60 Hoff Sommers, Christina. "CDC Study on Sexual Violence in the U.S. Overstates the Problem." The Washington Post. WP Company, 27 Jan. 2012. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cdc-studyon-sexual-violence-in-the-us-overstates-the-problem/2012/01/25/gIQAHRKPWQ_story.html? utm_term=.8bd0c88ceab9>. 61 Levental, Yuval. "An Inquiry into the CDC's 1 in 5 Rape Figure." A Voice for Men. A Voice for Men, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/an-inquiry-into-thecdcs-1-in-5-rape-figure/>.

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have been made by leaps and bounds in the area of transition rights, these gains are tentative and not universally available. These are all indeed serious matters related to sexual consent and the encroachment of the State, but are outside the scope of this work. Thankfully, there is still some slim line between the activist community and the State. So how is it that the affectation of objectification has continued even while literal legal objectification has more or less passed? Most sources blame first and foremost the media; and particularly the use of models to sell product. Another oft-decried purveyor are women's magazines. Here's what one young woman had to say about how she is “Saying No to Rape Culture”: “My name is Brenna, I’m eighteen, and I’ve been glossy-magazine-free for nine months now. That’s right. Back at the advent of 2011, I decided to eschew Cosmo, Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Marie Claire, Lucky, etc., in hopes of escaping a culture that I continually noticed was telling me how to dress, how to look, how to act, and how to spend my money. I began to get more and more skeptical about this form of media which I had previously deemed as harmless.”62 In their attempt at a description of rape culture comprised of a list of examples, one rape crisis center in California described Esquire editor Alex Bilmes' “blasé admission” that “'the women we feature in the magazine are ornamental' and 'objectified.'”63 Well, yes... everything in a magazine is objectified, because a magazine is an object. This is a common feature of examples given of rape culture in photography. Anytime a woman is portrayed in a sexual manner in popular media, it is treated under this philosophy. In other words, art featuring sexy women is verboten. Similar arguments defending the honor and integrity of male personhood are no where to be found, despite similar frequency of appearance and use as product prop. Having experience myself as a model, both for camera and figure drawing, I can attest that at least some people happen to enjoy the process of co-creating art that features themselves in the product. At the levels being targeted for ire, I can also assure that they were well and duly compensated for their efforts. Without realizing it, some feminist analysts are engaging in an odd sort of slut shaming in the name of social justice. If everyone involved in the process was consenting, how could the product underpin rape culture? What did Alex Bilmes have to say for himself? “He said that in his view Esquire was 'more honest' than many titles, citing the 'anti-feminist' example of a newspaper using a picture of model Naomi Campbell next to a financial story 'because she shopped at Marks & Spencer once'. He argued that Esquire was, in fact, 'less rigid' in its portrayal of women than women's magazines. “'We are more ethnically diverse, more shape diverse,' he said. 'In fashion magazines women are much thinner. We have older women, not really old, in their 40s.' He went on to cite the example of actress Cameron Diaz, who is in her 40s, as an 'older' women used on the cover of a recent issue of Esquire. 'Most women's magazines don't put them [older women] in their magazines.' “He said the women's magazine industry and advertising targeting women were primarily responsible for perpetuating stereotyped and negative images of women.”64 62 McCaffrey, Brenna. "Saying No To Rape Culture." Fbomb RSS. Fbomb, 25 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <http://thefbomb.org/2011/11/saying-no-to-rape-culture/>. 63 "What Is Rape Culture?" Women Against Violence Against Women. WAVAW, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/>. 64 Sweney, Mark. "Esquire Editor: We Show 'ornamental' Women in Same Way as Cars." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/mar/19/esquire-

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It would seem that either our friends at WAVAW didn't read the original article; or deliberately took the words of this man out of context. Such a considered, honest, and thoughtful interview piece could hardly be called a “blasé admission”, despite the sensationalized headline. In any case, it would seem that women's dollars are supporting the primary purveyors of glamorized visions of womanhood as well as anyone else's. But what is Rape Culture? Surprisingly, with all this literature, definitions are extremely hard to come by. Some authors even admit that the effort is impossible in any traditional sense of the word “define”, which generally involves creating a venn diagram excluding some things and including others. Noting the desperate pleas of her readership in the matter, one commentator made an attempt that was 2,215 words long. It began: “Rape culture is encouraging male sexual aggression. Rape culture is regarding violence as sexy and sexuality as violent. Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment, as the unbridled passion stirred in a healthy man by a beautiful woman, making irresistible the urge to rip open her bodice or slam her against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, or pull her by her hair, or shove her onto a bed, or any one of a million other images of fight-fucking in movies and television shows and on the covers of romance novels that convey violent urges are inextricably linked with (straight) sexuality.”65 For an essay that is supposedly against the whole business, this segment is written in an oddly titillating manner. It is also troublesome that the activities described by the author would be considered pretty “vanilla” by modern BDSM standards. One hates to imagine the fate of her pearls should this commentator pick up a copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey”; which, whatever one thinks of it, is still just a fantasy. Isn't is equally likely that such images are popular not because of an inculcated cultural predilection; but because a greater percentage of the population than was previously imagined has inherent BDSM-type sexual preferences? The essay goes on to claim that everything from the existence of war; to oppression of queers; to encouraging women to take self defense courses; to off-color jokes; to fashion accessories; to the fact that Amazon's automated recommendations turns up products related to “rape”; is rape culture. It even cites entertainment both for including and excluding rape in two statements falling right next to one another. The author concludes: “Rape culture is the myriad ways in which rape is tacitly and overtly abetted and encouraged having saturated every corner of our culture so thoroughly that people can't easily wrap their heads around what the rape culture actually is. That's hardly everything. It's merely the tip of an unfathomable iceberg.”66 Assuming such a phenomenon actually exists and this is not simply a colorful description of manufactured observer bias, does it actually result in rape in the real world? Again, we turn to RAINN for the voice of the victims: “In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming 'rape culture' for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.

editor-show-women-like-cars>. 65 McEwan, Melissa. "Rape Culture 101." Shakesville. Shakesville, 9 Oct. 2009. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html>. 66 Ibid.

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“While that may seem an obvious point, it has tended to get lost in recent debates. This has led to an inclination to focus on particular segments of the student population (e.g., athletes), particular aspects of campus culture (e.g., the Greek system), or traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., “masculinity”), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape. This trend has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.”67 The Plight of the Dysfunctional All of this notwithstanding, it is true that some members of the community report that their subjective lived experiences of trauma and their sense of an all-pervasive rape culture have brought them to a place in which they may not be able to verbally say “no” to or otherwise reject a sexual interaction that they do not want. Unlike the imminently recognizable state of tonic immobility, such participants will simply “go along with” the proceedings, giving no indicator to their partners of a lack of desire. Activities offered need not even actually be sexual to “trigger” in them this response. While the specific reasons given vary by reporter, the common thread between them seems to be the anxiety that their “no” will not be honored, thus rendering the experience a traumatic one similar to those they have experienced in the past. Ironically, by not using their no, such an outcome is guaranteed. These unfortunates have been trained to term this response “freezing” in Sigel's sense of the word. It is unknown whether he would agree with this usage. For the purposes of disambiguation both from Sigel's “Window of Tolerance” model and rape victim advocates' tonic immobility, from here out this phenomenon will be termed, “re-traumatization anxiety”. Because they have been trained to expect others to guarantee their consent, those experiencing this type of dysfunction do not accept culpability for their inability to use their “no” in that instance; and consider any such suggestion to be “victim blaming”. The person who engaged with them should have known better; and is now subject to their ire. In some cases it would appear that the anger felt at prior abusers is meted out upon the person with whom they engaged, regardless of the degree of the offense or the lack of intentionality involved. Claiming the victim role thereby grants them the upper hand in what has become an un-negotiated D/s exchange. In the sense that the other party involved was not made aware of the state of mind of their partner, and would not have chosen to violate their partner's consent had they been made aware, this is a form of nonconsensual nonconsent. In BDSM the consent of the Top or Dom is no less important than the consent of the sub or bottom – and true consent must be informed. If the issue is taken to event personnel, it is likely that the reporter will quickly claim the right to be treated as they believe a victim should be: that is, they should get to do, or have happen, or force the organizers to enact whatever it is they want to have happen next – regardless of what the rules say. Organizers may be at a loss as to how to deal with a situation in which someone is Domming them by taking the role of the victimized sub. Organizers will typically acquiesce out of fear of activist retaliation.

67 L . Recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Publication. RAINN, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 3 Jan. 2017. <https://www.rainn.org/images/03-2014/WH-Task-Force-RAINNRecommendations.pdf>.

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Finally, recall that in the Temperature Check data pool, men were accused extremely frequently; non-binary people somewhat less so; while accusations against women were nearly non-existent. While I have seen this pattern played out a handful of times with men who were subs, the vast majority of instances I have seen or had reported to me involved women or femalesexed-at-birth NB/NR individuals. The current dictum is that one must always believe the victim; but if both parties have claim to victimhood the current model in practice in most spaces is to believe the woman. In D/s spaces, the model in practice is to believe the sub. Both solutions are unsatisfactory given the statistics. If the situation is an example of re-traumatization anxiety at work, there is no way to not have a traumatic episode. If you side with the accuser, the accused succeeds in victimizing someone who intended them no harm; and with potential long-term social consequences. Side with the accused, and the accuser will perceive the situation through the lens of the retraumatization scene that they are still stuck in within their mind; casting the organizer(s) in the role of the oppressor. They have now succeeded in arranging to institutionally traumatize themselves. How is this a Good Idea? Those who argue for Felt Consent protocols resort to the principle of accommodation: that those with a disability deserve equal access to those who are able. They also argue that gaining positive experiences under compassionate circumstances will help the traumatized in their process of healing. Finally, they argue, such individuals have little access to sexuality outside of facilitated settings, as they generally lack the confidence to pursue sexuality in private spaces; and therefore compassion should rule the day. But the principle of accommodation cannot be applied in situations in which the inclusion of the disabled would represent a significant safety hazard to other users. In example, while the Deaf have access to licensure to drive a vehicle and interpreters must be provided in the DMV process, the blind are not permitted to drive for their own safety and that of others sharing the road. If those who experience uncontrollable re-traumatization anxiety represent a risk of consent violation and trauma to anyone that chooses to engage with them, then we can no more allow them in the space than we would allow blind drivers on the road. If this sounds harsh, consider: we do not allow minors in adult sexual spaces because the law has deemed that they are unable to take responsibility for their own consent. When a person enters a space signing a waiver to participate, they are representing that they are able to give consent in the legal sense. If they are misrepresenting themselves in this manner, it is a kind of fraud. While we can check ID's to verify age, we can have no guarantee of someone's mental fitness besides their own representation; which is made when they sign the document. In requiring everyone to sign these documents, we are also sending participants the message that everyone in the space has agreed to take responsibility as an adult for their own legal consent. This is what creates the freedom for everyone in the space to approach others and seek interaction. If we do not then enforce these standards, our attendees will rightfully lose faith in us and our ability to provide a safer space for them; and we will have no one but ourselves to blame. Does this mean that sometimes organizers will be lambasted for enforcing the rules? Of course. But when is that not true? Does this mean that the process of handling the problem will be traumatic for some participants? Sure does; but they are the ones who have chosen to carry out a non-consensual D/s scene, whether or not they understand this fact at the time. Does this mean that it will be easy? Hell, no. And if a day comes that it is, you should probably resign.

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Sex as Therapy Then we have the argument that those carrying this burden need to have a space that accommodates them because they require positive sexual associations in order to help themselves heal. There is some reasonable support for this idea. Proponents point to the existence of the helping profession of sexual surrogacy as an analogy. With sexual surrogacy, a clinical therapist determines that you would benefit from the services of the surrogate in some way and makes a referral. As one therapist explained: “In my own practice over the years I have successfully referred a man in his late 30's who had never had sex before and was very fearful, a woman who had never seen a nude man's body and wanted to understand how men functioned, a single father who felt he might be gay and wanted to safely experiment with another man, and several men of different ages with paralyzing performance anxiety or premature ejaculation. I have on occasion referred a young couple who wanted to learn more about pleasing each other and themselves.”68 Sexual surrogates are not themselves necessarily therapists; and indeed generally are not due to the potential legal concerns involved. Isn't this prostitution? Well, yes – to any common-sense definition of the term. Proponents argue that it varies from prostitution significantly enough to warrant an exception to the law. “Arising perhaps from our preconceived notions of male sexual competence, we label such men as 'johns' rather than patients, despite problems like physical disabilities, psychological traumas stemming from sexual abuse, or histories of sexual shame or embarrassment.”69 As the relationship between the surrogate and the client exists only for the defined duration of treatment, they argue, it should be considered therapeutic. According to the International Professional Surrogate Association (the credentialing agency), “The legal status of surrogate partners is undefined in most of the United States and most countries around the world. This means that there are generally no laws regulating the profession.”70 Historically, this program of care (arising in the 70's) has been left to operate mostly unchallenged; and is treated by media in a generally-positive way. So, how does it work in practice? So You Want to be a Surrogate... All of the information herein contained is taken directly from IPSA's website. If you want to become a surrogate, you fill out a lengthy and frankly personally invasive application detailing your personal sexual history and life story and send it to IPSA. An additional questionnaire establishes past training, volunteer experience, and whether or not you belong to or are familiar enough with alternative lifestyles.71

68 Alman, Isadora, MFT, CST. "Sexual Surrogates: Who and Why." Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 7 Sept. 2011. Web. 03 Jan. 2017. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-sociability/201109/sexual-surrogateswho-and-why>. 69 Muller, Robert T., Ph.D. "Sexual Surrogates Help Many Who Suffer Alone." Psychology Today. Https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/talking-about-trauma/201305/sexual-surrogates-help-many-who-sufferalone, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/talking-about-trauma/201305/sexualsurrogates-help-many-who-suffer-alone>. 70 "Legal Status." IPSA. IPSA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/what-is-surrogatepartner-therapy/legal-status/>. 71 " T r a i n i n g A p p l i c a t i o n P r o c e s s . " IPSA. I P S A , n . d . W e b . 4 J a n . 2 0 1 7 . <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/training/training-app/>.

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If you are accepted as a student, you then take a course of study as follows: “Length: Classes are approximately 100 hours, and require significant additional reading, writing, and studying. Applicants may apply for either the 12week training or the 12-day intensive training, or indicate availability for both. Locations: At least one class a year is held in California. Classes are scheduled for other locations when a sufficient number of appropriate applicants from a specific country, region or locale are accepted into the training program. Internships occur in locations throughout the world. Costs: Tuition for classes is $2,000 per participant. Partial scholarships are sometimes available. Additional Expenses: Trainees are responsible for the purchase of an assigned human sexuality textbook prior to the beginning of the course, and for their own lodgings, transportation and meals during the course. Interns generally receive payment from clients for each session, and from that income each interns pays his/her mentor an honorarium of $15 per client session.”72 About that internship, the first $2000 training only allows one to enter this portion of the program. Here we find out about another layer of the organization, Surrogate Partner Mentors. These supervise the intern and help them find clients. They must be chosen from the body of trained IPSA Certified Surrogates. The mentor gets a cut of the intern's income for session work. And IPSA “assists each Intern in locating and evaluating appropriate initial cases, in networking with their new professional community.”73 “During the Internship, IPSA training staff receive periodic evaluations of each Intern’s progress from the supervising therapists, mentors, and also from the Intern. Internships continue until the IPSA training staff is satisfied that the Intern is ready to continue as a Professional Surrogate Partner without the extra supervision and guidance accorded Interns; or until the Intern is failed from the training program.”74 In other words, the student pays for the privilege of training with the organization; which only allows them to apply for membership in the organization as an intern. While one is an intern, one's mentor makes money off of every session one performs. Without any specific parameters given, the intern graduates from internship when the people above them in the pyramid say so. They may be “failed out of the program” at any time. Assuming they graduate, they can then apply to become a Certified Surrogate. If approved, they must continue sending $75 a year to IPSA, or the credential lapses. Membership also submits to some form of “regular review” by their “peers”; parameters undefined.75 Let's say that you're not the surrogate, but the client. Your therapist is probably sending IPSA a $75 check annually for dues, too. 76 Outside the business of the writing of letters and the officiousness of therapy sessions, your therapist can now write you a prescription and hook you up with a very well-credentialed and expensive sex worker through IPSA's “referrals program”; 77 who may or may not be operating in a submissive role to someone else you are never going to meet. Your provider is certainly in a submissive role to the therapist; as they can end the arrangement at any time; or worse write a complaint to IPSA. 72 73 74 75

"Training." IPSA. IPSA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/training/>. "Internship." IPSA. IPSA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/training/internship/>. Ibid. " S u r r o g a t e P a r t n e r C e r t i f i c a t i o n . " IPSA. I P S A , n . d . W e b . 0 4 J a n . 2 0 1 7 . <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/training/surrogate-partner-certification/>. 76 " T h e r a p i s t M e m b e r A p p l i c a t i o n . " IPSA. I P S A , n . d . W e b . 0 4 J a n . 2 0 1 7 . <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/applications/therapist-member-application/>. 77 "Referrals." IPSA. IPSA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/referrals-2/>.

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In any case, whether an intern or “fully certified”, they may lose credentialing by upsetting the “Membership Committee” of the organization (who go unnamed on the website). IPSA has cleverly written the ethics code to include being an embarrassment to the organization or surrogates in general as offenses. Revealing personal information about anyone involved with IPSA is also forbidden.78 That's quite a lot of clandestine behavior for a therapeutic credentialing agency. There is absolutely no legitimate oversight of this profession, organization, or process; as the certifying body is itself sheathed in opacity. And, let's not forget, “3. The surrogate’s primary responsibility is to the therapeutic situation of which the surrogate, the client, and the supervising therapist(s) are integral parts. Within this situation, the chief focus and primary ethical responsibility is for the client’s welfare.”79 By this point, if the person servicing you is an intern, they have made considerable personal sacrifices to get just this far in the credentialing process, and will be desperate not to fail you in any way. You are hiring the use of somebody else's sub as a sexual partner. If that person is new to the organization, part of the money you pay them for their service goes to their Dom. If you end treatment through the therapist, your access to the sub goes away.80 Are you a sub or a Dom in this arrangement? Barring the complicity of therapists, this would be considered a pyramid scheme involving prostitution, pimping, and possibly insurance fraud. Recall that it is probably your therapist who has suggested all of this to you in the first place; and they get to continue billing your insurance for treatment as long as you “stick with it”. Let us consider an alternate definition for credentialing: a process whereby one purchases the privilege to make money doing something that is illegal for those who cannot afford to purchase the privilege. Note, this is only the oldest and most complex of such credentialing schemes. Other titles and programs exist to shield people who are essentially sex workers from prostitution charges. It is no wonder, then, that other models would be proposed. Proponents of the notion that these matters are better worked out between two mutually trained and consenting parties may be on to something. If all someone needs to work through their issues is positive experiences, it stands to reason that however one acquires these, the issues will be resolved. In cases that are primarily physical such as ED or immobility; or if it is a simple lack of experience leading to confidence issues; or if someone just wants to learn to be a better lover, this is probably true. However, one positive aspect of the IPSA model is the clear definition of roles. It is fair, when you have paid for the service, to expect your provider to take primary responsibility for your experiences during the course of an engagement. It is not fair to demand that a recreational sexual partner do the same; especially without informing them of the expectation. Furthermore, surrogates have received at minimum 100 hours of training and have undergone an evaluation period to guarantee certain standards. At the very least, IPSA wants no undue attention. The surrogate is ostensibly working directly with your licensed mental health professional to assure that the treatment is targeted to your needs. The therapeutic relationship has a defined beginning and end; and in the middle of the sandwich it is all about you. None of this is true in the context of an event or social community. If all that is wrong is a lack of experience or confidence, this may not be a big deal. But if someone has a complex history of sexual trauma or other relational abuse, this can be a huge problem. To a certain 78 "Code of Ethics." IPSA. IPSA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/ipsa/code-of-ethics/>. 79 Ibid. 80 Ibid.

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extent, projection is expected in mental health treatment; that's part of why it works. Mental health professionals are trained to recognize when this is happening; and to be personally stable enough not to take on the traits projected. Any random person at an event? Not so much. These relationships are all social, not therapeutic. There are no defined parameters that mean the person you are engaging with won't become personally involved with you. In fact, that's probably what you are hoping is going to happen. If you are using that person to address an emotional problem, and they are doing their best to help you, a cycle of dependency is almost inevitable. Mixing the expectations of provider and partner is a bad plan; the reason why we have professional therapists in the first place. If problems arise, whomever sees themselves as the one needing help is likely to project role expectations on the other person that they never agreed to accept. If both people think they are the one expecting help... Such a situation can completely rip a community apart. What is Compassion? The final argument for this model is that those who have suffered histories of traumatic sexual abuse do not have access to other modes of obtaining sexual interaction. Therefore, we must modify our own behavior and the expectations of spaces in such a manner that they are able to participate, even if it is at our own expense. This includes assuring them that, if they have a bad experience, the person they believe to have harmed them will be punished for their actions; and that they (the reporter) will be treated from the point of reporting as a victim; in direct opposition to the experience they can expect through legal channels. The claim “false reports are rare” has become an oft-repeated battle cry in the fight to get justice for victims of rape and sexual assault. Graphics depicting the distribution of victims; perpetrators who were reported, prosecuted, and sent to jai; versus false reports appear quite alarming in the daily feed. As noted by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center on their short fact sheet: “The majority of sexual assaults, an estimated 63 percent, are never reported to the police. The prevalence of false reporting cases of sexual violence is low, yet when survivors come forward, many face scrutiny or encounter barriers. For example, when an assault is reported, survivors may feel that their victimization has been redefined and even distorted by those who investigate, process, and categorize cases.”81 But how many is “low” or “rare”, and how do we know? For that matter, what is a “false report” in this statement; and to whom has it been made? In the first place it must be understood that the statement pertains only to reports made to legal entities of a sexual crime. No statistics exist regarding social accusations or accusations made to non-legal channels (such as clubs and organizations) or of matters that are not regarded as a violation of the law by the reporter. Therefore, this statement does not pertain to the situation at hand in any way. But let us continue with the line of reasoning, for the sake of thoroughness. A report to law enforcement may be classified in several ways. The “unfounded” category may be classed as either “baseless” or “false”. It may be found “baseless” if the report was of an activity that did not constitute a crime in the jurisdiction in question. A report may only be found “false” if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the reported crime did not actually occur. Though not an official categorization, the term “unsubstantiated” means that there is insufficient evidence to determine if a crime occurred.82 81 "False Reporting." National Sexual Violence Resource Center. NSVRC, 2012. Web. 4 Jan. 2017. <http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_False-Reporting.pdf>. 82 Ibid.

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The statistics about false reporting refer only to situations in which one could prove a negative. For anyone with a background in logic, the problem is obvious. Furthermore, such evidence must have somehow arisen in the investigation of the instigating report; and to have been of sufficient weight to justify investigation of the reporter. For obvious reasons, it is extremely unpopular to investigate the potential falsity of a report involving a sexual crime. Investigators also face the problem that reporters frequently give information that is only partially true. The National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women lists all of these reasons83 in great detail: • Trauma creates lapses in memory • Victims for whom it is a repeat trauma may mix aspects of other traumas into their recollection of the incident • Victims might have been intoxicated • Victims might be uncomfortable describing sexual acts to investigators • Victims may leave out information if they are afraid they won't be believed or that they will be blamed • Victims might leave out details regarding their own illegal activities (such as prostitution or drug use) • Victims may attempt to protect the perpetrator • Immigration status concerns • Victims may be from a culture that has taboos around sexuality • Victims may be reluctant to report crimes regarding others in their own cultural group as this can be seen as betrayal • Victims may alter facts to fit stereotypes in hopes of seeming more believable Yet, only if it can be shown that the assault did not occur at all is a report that is flawed in any of these ways (or others) considered a “false report”. The article continues: “Yet many investigators and prosecutors have seen this as evidence of a 'false report.' In fact, none of these situations meets the actual criteria for a false report — because even if aspects of the victim’s account of the incident are missing, exaggerated, or false, this does not necessarily mean that the sexual assault did not happen.”84 How, then, are we to determine what is a “true” report? If there is a preponderance of contradictions and incorrect information, any reasonable person would consider the remainder of a story suspect regardless of its contents. Another troubling aspect of the list is that it appears to excuse deliberate duplicity on the part of the reporter; or changing the story to one that the investigator will be more likely to accept. This might be excusable as the effects of trauma in the case of dealing with law enforcement personnel; but if it applies equally to reports made to community organizers, we are all in a lot of trouble. Most of us don't have the necessary skills, training, or experience to pick out when this is happening. The article goes on to recognize and bemoan, “We all know that false reports do really exist, and they are incredibly damaging both to criminal justice personnel and to the countless victims of sexual assault whose credibility they undermine.”85 Nothing whatever is said of the damage to the falsely accused.

83 Lonsway, Kimberly A., Ph.D., Joanne Archambault, Sgt. (ret), and David Lisak, Ph.D. "False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate and Prosecute Non- Stranger Sexual Assault." Voice 3.1 (n.d.): 11 1 . A m e r i c a n P r o s e c u t o r s R e s e a r c h I n s t i t u t e. Web. 4 Jan. 2017. <http://ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_3_no_1_2009.pdf>. 84 Ibid. 85 Ibid.

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And that's the trouble with just “believing the victim”. We have no idea how frequently the reports we receive as organizers are false, because it is extremely difficult to prove a negative; and because the situation is fundamentally different from reports to law enforcement – with much lower stakes. While making a false police report is a crime, falsely reporting a consent violation to organizers isn't (or at least not one that gets prosecuted). We have no idea how many are baseless, because victims have learned that they may be excused for changing the details to make them more “believable” and to fit expected stereotypes. Is there any help for us? “Therefore, if you were going to file a false report of sexual assault, you would probably describe a sexual assault that looks like the stereotype of 'real rape' that we have discussed at such length throughout this article. For this reason, it is not surprising that the potential indicators of a false report are actually the same as the stereotypic characteristics of 'real rape.'”86 If the same holds true for organizers and consent violations, then what we should be looking out for are consent violation reports that follow the stereotypical patterns that we ourselves have taught students to expect through the education that we have provided for them. That means a focus on technicalities (such as in the Affirmative Consent model used in workshops); exaggeration of emotional impact of non-sexual exchanges; attempts to cast the accused in a “superior” role (to assure victim status); and resistance to inquiry regarding specific details of the nature of the violation. Does that mean we go into each situation looking for a false report? Absolutely not. But the most common type of “unfounded” report received isn't false; its baseless. We must be absolutely certain that we get enough information from all parties involved to determine whether or not the rules were broken in some manner. Otherwise, some people will inevitably make reports for the purposes of hurting others with whom they are angry. We owe it to the community as a whole to ensure to the best of our ability that this does not result in unjust harm to the innocent, in accordance with the following applicable principles given in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.87 Remember, it can't be social justice if it isn't even regular justice. “Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.” “Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2)No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. 86 Lonsway, Kimberly A., Ph.D., Joanne Archambault, Sgt. (ret), and David Lisak, Ph.D. "False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate and Prosecute Non- Stranger Sexual Assault." Voice 3.1 (n.d.): 1-11 A m e r i c a n P r o s e c u t o r s R e s e a r c h I n s t i t u t e. Web. 4 Jan. 2017. <http://ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_3_no_1_2009.pdf>. 87 "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." United Nations. United Nations, 10 Dec. 1948. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/>.

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“Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. “Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2)In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. (3)These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”88 It also does the traumatized no good if we accept past victim status as a cause to treat them always and ever after as automatically the victim. The following passage regards economic contracts, but applies equally well to social and sexual ones. “As Wertheimer points out, it serves neither autonomy nor welfare to demand the fullest form of consent before we treat the relevant moral or legal threshold as being met. This has, perhaps, been most frequently and prominently discussed in relation to the doctrine of duress (discussed further below), where the doctrinal rule allows a party to void a contract if it can show an appropriate combination of wrongful threat on the part of the other contracting party, and a lack of reasonable alternatives to entering the contract on its own part. In considering when such a defense should be allowed, Judge Richard Posner pointed out that reading the doctrinal standard to allow rescission of the contract whenever contracting parties are in such dire economic circumstances that they have no practical alternative to entering the agreement, is actually contrary to the interests of parties in bad economic circumstances. If a poorly situated party could always get out of such agreements, few other parties would enter agreements with it.”89 [emphasis added] It does not serve those of us who have a history of sexual traumas to excuse us from the accepted standards of adult behavior. Nor does it serve any of the rest of us in consent communities to have our reputations shifted to one that includes a universal acceptance of retroactive revocation of consent. Sooner or later, nobody else will want to have sex with us; and we will all be too afraid to have sex with each other.

88 "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." United Nations. United Nations, 10 Dec. 1948. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/>. 89 Bix, Brian H., Ph.D. "Consent in Contract Law." The Ethics of Consent: Theory & Practice. Ed. Alan Wertheimer and Franklin G. Miller. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 251-80. Columbia University. Web. <http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/law-theory-workshop/files/Bix%20Workshop %20Paper.pdf>. The portion appearing in "The Ethics of Consent" is an earlier version of this full paper.

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Conclusions While proponents of the Felt Definition claim that it is the best model because it is the opposite of that used by the hated legal system, consent violation reporting is fundamentally different from legal reporting of criminal activity. Organizers do not have the same degree of power or access to the same skills and resources. Applying an inverse legal model is not, therefore, a logical approach. Furthermore, if we make claims that spaces are “safer” for trauma victims we are likely to attract precisely such a population to events. It is highly questionable to encourage trauma victims to perform unlicensed sex therapy on one another in public places. Retroactive revocation of consent as a policy will sooner or later result in environments that are terrified of touch due to the possibility of a consent violation report. Reporters subconsciously seeking an experience of re-victimization will find our events fertile grounds. Though it may seem from the outside that the Felt Definition creates the safest model for trauma victims, in the context of events it is in fact precisely the opposite. Pros: Appropriate in the context of therapeutic relationships in which one party consciously accepts responsibility for the other party's experience. Removes responsibility from the organizer receiving the report to investigate claims. May avoid traumatizing those with legitimate complaints. Cons: Least favored model over-all at 22.58%. Least favored model by women at 12.9% (only four individuals). Utterly ignores international standards of justice and fairness. Encourages exaggerated claims. Allows for retroactive revocation of consent. Damages everyone's ability to trust other participants. Damages the over-all reputation of members of the community, even if they do not personally adhere to this model. May create situations in which trauma victims harm one another. Ignores evidence that reports for social reasons occur even in the legal system. The waivers required at events imply the legal definition of consent is in force, because this is what protects organizers from liability. If organizers act to exclude the accused from community and the matter comes to light publicly, emotional harm to the accused might be sufficient – even without a defamation ruling – that a judge may find grounds for civil penalties. 90 The Final Word The Legal Definition of consent places the responsibility for the maintenance of consent on all involved parties. It is also the foundation that allows our events to operate, relieving liability concerns through informed consent documents and contracts for entry (waivers). The Affirmative Definition of consent is appropriate in monitored situations such as workshops and other educational programming. It is also useful in personal settings if a clear and specific set of landmarks is agreed upon at the outset. The Felt Definition of consent is only appropriate in therapeutic settings in which one party has formally agreed to take responsibility for the other party's experience.

90 Dunn, Lisa. "Beware What You Say on Facebook-Even If It's True." Willamette Week. Willamette Week, 8 Mar. 2016. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/03/09/beware-what-you-say-on-facebook-evenif-its-true/>.

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Final Comment “Steel” Man 12/15/16 10:42 am Dear loving spirits, Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for truth, justice and everyone's rights to sovereignty. With respect to sexual violations: Please do all you can to stop the vicious acts of involuntary genital mutilation / amputation (circumcision), which has been and continues to be intentionally done, daily, globally, to hundreds of millions of innocent, male bodied infants. Please have empathy, compassion and support for those of us, who have been so cruelly and permanently disabled. This is a huge and extremely serious aspect and cause of much of the unconsciousness in all of our lives. Please help stop this insane cruelty, and share this with all of your connections. peace, love, healing, harmony, gratitude and abundance. – Steel

Either:

Or:

“The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new statistics at the International AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna, Austria, that were obtained from SDI Health, a commercial source of medical statistics. The new statistics showed a steep drop in the number of circumcisions performed in the United States. The new data were presented by Charbel E. El Becheraoui, a CDC researcher. The CDC data, reported by the New York Times, showed that the incidence of circumcision declined from 56 percent in 2006 to 32.5 percent in 2009. According to these statistics, non-circumcision or genital integrity has become the normal condition among newborn boys in the United States.”91

Nearly a third of mothers are still choosing to permanently mutilate their son's genitals.

In order t comprehend te stat of Men's Sexual Actvism in America tday, it is imperatve t understand tat many men (rightfly) see temselves as victms of infant genital mutlaton, a sign of physical emasculaton fom which tey wil never fly recover.

91 "United States Circumcision Incidence." U.S. Circumcision Statistics. The Circumcision Reference Library, 14 Jan. 2012. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/USA/>.

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10. Enforcement Now that we have assessed that the majority of responders prefer the legal definition of consent be applied to reports received, and that existing alternatives are only appropriate in limited settings, what steps should be taken by organizers in the event of a report? It is ultimately up to producers to design the steps they will take, and this authority is final. However, if enforcement itself is to be carried out in a consensual manner and consistent with principles of justice and fairness, the desires of the body governed must be taken into account in the design. This concept forms the very basis of a free and civil society: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”92 Granted, these words were written regarding public governance, and our events and organizations are mostly private ventures and non-profits. Yet if we do not model our smaller “societies” microcosmically upon these principles, then we have no right to complain if the total macrocosmic output is despotic. “As above, so below.” Furthermore, if our programs do not result in “safety and happiness” for our attendees, they may leave en masse to come up with a better plan – as well they should. And the Survey Says... We will now return to the survey as a sample case. As a reminder, it is not being suggested that the opinions of this body of people are reflective of the population at large; or of alternative culture at large; or even of the geographic region at large. It is fair to consider these generally representative of the opinions of the people creating Consent Community events in the nexus between Seattle and Portland. It is recommended that organizers survey their own communities in some anonymous fashion to ascertain the views and desires of their own attendees, and to make decisions on that basis. The following data and analysis are offered for example purposes; and for those creating community in the particular pool surveyed in the study. It should be kept in mind that the majority of responders identified themselves as organizers or crew in at least one community. In this section, the introduction reads, “What should organizers/leaders do about reports they receive of consent violations? Consider how you would wish to be dealt with if a report were made about you.” The prompt was worded, “Answer regarding your own current philosophies and beliefs. Assume that the severity of the response will be level with the severity of the offense committed. All things being equal, organizers should...”

92 Jefferson, Thomas, et al.. "Declaration of Independence: A Transcription." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, 4 July 1776. Web. 04 Jan. 2017. <https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript>.

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Table 50: Enforcement Agreement Level Key Percentage Agreeing 0-20

Mostly Disagree

21-35

Uncertain Disagreement

36-50

Ambiguous Disagreement

51-65

Ambiguous Agreement

66-80

Uncertain Agreement

81-100

Mostly Agree

Table 51: Enforcement Procedures Agreement Totals # Agree % Question 18

8

18.18 Exclude the accused party permanently

17

12

27.27

16

13

29.55 Exclude the accused party indefinitely

15

14

31.82

Publicly declare the status of the accused and ask any others who have had an issue to come forward.

14

17

38.64

Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused

13

21

47.73

Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found

12

21

47.73

Assign the accused party a "watcher" at events to ensure no violations occur

11

22

50

Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time.

10

26

59.09

Try to arrange a facilitated discussion between accuser and accused

9

30

68.18 Look into the accused party's background

8

30

68.18

Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party

7

31

70.45

Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed.

6

34

77.27 Report the situation to the police, if applicable

5

34

77.27

4

35

79.55 Seek corroborating testimony

3

38

86.36 Create a written incident report and keep record of occurrences

2

38

86.36 Speak directly with the accused party

1

38

86.36

Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony

Warn other organizers within the organization of the danger represented by the accused party

Treat additional reports of incidents from others as corroborating evidence

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Table 52: Enforcement Procedures Agreement by Gender # Men Women NB/NR Question 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

19.05

20

12.5

Exclude the accused party permanently

38.1

13.33

25

Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony

38.1

20

25

Exclude the accused party indefinitely

38.1

33.33

12.5

Publicly declare the status of the accused and ask any others who have had an issue to come forward.

38.1

46.67

25

Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused

42.86

66.67

25

Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found

47.62

66.67

12.5

Assign the accused party a "watcher" at events to ensure no violations occur

71.43

33.33

25

Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time.

52.38

73.33

50

Try to arrange a facilitated discussion between accuser and accused

71.43

66.67

62.5

Look into the accused party's background

76.19

73.33

37.5

Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party

66.67

86.67

50

Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed.

95.24

66.67

50

Report the situation to the police, if applicable

85.71

73.33

62.5

90.48

80

50

Seek corroborating testimony

90.48

86.67

75

Create a written incident report and keep record of occurrences

95.24

80

87.5

90.48

86.67

75

Warn other organizers within the organization of the danger represented by the accused party

Speak directly with the accused party Treat additional reports of incidents from others as corroborating evidence

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Table 53: Enforcement Procedures Agreement by Influence Pool # General Low High Question 18

15.38

23.53

21.43

Exclude the accused party permanently

17

38.46

35.29

7.14

Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony

16

23.08

29.41

35.71

Exclude the accused party indefinitely

15

15.38

35.29

42.86

Publicly declare the status of the accused and ask any others who have had an issue to come forward.

14

23.08

41.18

50

Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused

13

38.46

35.29

71.43

Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found

12

46.15

35.29

64.29

Assign the accused party a "watcher" at events to ensure no violations occur

11

61.54

52.94

57.14

Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time.

10

61.54

47.06

71.43

Try to arrange a facilitated discussion between accuser and accused

9

53.85

70.59

78.57

Look into the accused party's background

8

53.85

70.59

78.57

Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party

7

38.46

64.71

85.71

Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed.

6

84.62

70.59

78.57

Report the situation to the police, if applicable

5

69.23

88.24

71.43

Warn other organizers within the organization of the danger represented by the accused party

4

92.31

70.59

78.57

Seek corroborating testimony

3

92.31

76.47

92.86

Create a written incident report and keep record of occurrences

2

84.62

88.24

92.86

Speak directly with the accused party

1

92.31

94.12

71.43

Treat additional reports of incidents from others as corroborating evidence

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Table 54: Enforcement Procedures by Status Quartile # 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Question 18

18.18

9.09

9.09

36.36 Exclude the accused party permanently

17

27.27

54.55

9.09

81.82

16

27.27

27.27

27.27

36.36 Exclude the accused party indefinitely

15

36.36

36.36

18.18

Publicly declare the status of the accused and 36.36 ask any others who have had an issue to come forward.

14

54.55

45.45

18.18

36.36

Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused

13

54.55

27.27

45.45

63.64

Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found

12

45.45

63.64

27.27

54.55

Assign the accused party a "watcher" at events to ensure no violations occur

11

45.45

63.64

27.27

63.64

Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time.

10

45.45

72.73

45.45

72.73

Try to arrange a facilitated discussion between accuser and accused

9

63.64

90.91

27.27

90.91 Look into the accused party's background

8

72.73

81.82

36.36

81.82

Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party

7

72.73

54.55

54.55

100

Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed.

6

72.73

90.91

63.64

81.82 Report the situation to the police, if applicable

5

72.73

72.73

72.73

90.91

4

72.73

90.91

72.73

81.82 Seek corroborating testimony

3

90.91

90.91

63.64

2

81.82

100

81.82

1

72.73

90.91

81.82

100

Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony

Warn other organizers within the organization of the danger represented by the accused party Create a written incident report and keep record of occurrences

90.91 Speak directly with the accused party 100

Treat additional reports of incidents from others as corroborating evidence

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Table 55: Enforcement Procedures by Community P.O.E. # SS WL KF FC P Q Question 18

33.33

10

20

12.5

20

0

Exclude the accused party permanently

17

0

30

20

37.5

80

0

Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony

16

44.44

10

20

37.5

60

0

Exclude the accused party indefinitely

15

44.44

20

40

37.5

20

0

Publicly declare the status of the accused and ask any others who have had an issue to come forward.

14

44.44

20

40

50

40

50

Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused

13

55.56

40

40

62.5

60

0

Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found

12

77.78

40

40

62.5

20

0

Assign the accused party a "watcher" at events to ensure no violations occur

11

55.56

50

20

87.5

60

0

Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time.

10

88.89

60

50

50

60

0

Try to arrange a facilitated discussion between accuser and accused

9

88.89

50

50

75

100

50

Look into the accused party's background

8

77.78

60

50

87.5

80

50

Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party

7

100

40

70

75

80

50

Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed.

6

66.67

80

70

100

100

0

Report the situation to the police, if applicable

5

77.78

90

60

100

60

50

Warn other organizers within the organization of the danger represented by the accused party

4

100

70

70

87.5

100

0

Seek corroborating testimony

3

77.78

70

90

100

100

100

Create a written incident report and keep record of occurrences

2

88.89

100

80

100

80

50

Speak directly with the accused party

1

100

80

90

87.5

80

50

Treat additional reports of incidents from others as corroborating evidence

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Mostly Agree Statements in this category fell between 81% and 100% in overall agreement. 1. Treat additional reports of incidents from others as corroborating evidence. The top three responses all received 86.36%. Men reported slightly higher than women at 90.48% versus 86.67%. The NB/NR pool came in at 75%. By influence pool, the general and low responded similarly in the low nineties. In the high, the figure was 71.43%. The low status quartile reported the lowest at 72.73%. The upper three ranged from 80% - 100%. 100% of the SS community agreed; while the KF & FC were similar at 90% & 87.5%. P and WL were at 80%. One member of the GLBTQ pool agreed. 2. Speak directly with the accused party 86.36% overall. Men agreed at a higher rate at 95.24%; with women at 80%. NB/NR were in-between at 87.5%. The general pool responded most positively at 95.24%. The high pool came in second at 87.5%. The low pool returned 80%. Status quartiles ranged from 80% - 100%. The WL & FC communities came in at a full 100%. The SS came in at 88.89. KF & P at 80%. One of the GLBTQ pool agreed. 3. Create a written incident report and keep record of occurrences 86.36% overall. Again, slightly more men than women agreed, 90.48% & 86.67% respectively. 75% in NB/NR pool. The general and high pool were almost identical in return at 92.31% and 92.86%. The low pool was much lower at 76.47%. By status quartile, the 1st, 2nd, and 4th were similar between 90% and 100%. The 3rd quartile was surprisingly lower at 63.34%. The KF, FC, P and Q ran between 90 and 100% The SS and WL communities returned much lower at 77.78% and 70% respectively. KF and P came in much lower at 60%. One of the Q members agreed.

Uncertain Agreement Statements in this category fell between 66% and 80% in overall agreement. 4. Seek corroborating testimony Coming in at the high end of the generally agree category, at 79.55%. Men agreed at the highest rate, 90.48%. Women agreed at 80%; but only half the NB/NR pool did. The general pool agreed at the highest rate, 92.31%. The low and high pool were more similar at 70.59% and 78.57%. The 1st and 3rd quartiles came in at 72.73%. The 2nd returned 90.91%; and the 4th at 81.82%. The SS and P communities agreed at 100%. The WL and KF communities were far less at 70%. The FC community returned 87.5%; while neither of the GLBTQ responders agreed. 5. Warn other organizers within the organization of the danger represented by the accused party A respectably high 77.27%. Men agreed at the highest rate, 85.71%. Women agreed at a somewhat lower state at 73.33%. The NB/NR pool agreed at the lowest rate, 62.5%. The general population agreed about as much as the high pool: 69.23% & 71.43%. The low pool agreed at a much higher rate of 88.24%. Agreement was similar between the first three quartiles: 72.73%. The uppermost quartile pool was much higher at 90.91%. The WL and FC communities reported the highest at 90% and 100%. The SS pool came in next at 77.78%.

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6. Report the situation to the police, if applicable. A 77.27% figure is somewhat puzzling; and especially given the gender break down. Men responded in near universal agreement: 95.24%; while women returned only 66.67%. Only half of the NB/NR pool agreed. The general population agreed the most at 84.62%. The low and high pool agreed much less frequently at 70.59% and 78.57%. The 2nd and 4th quartile were the highest at 90.91% and 81.81%. The 1st came in next at 72.73%. The lowest report was in the 3 rd quartile, 63.64%. By P.O.E., the FC and P communities agreed at the rate of 100%. The WL, KF, and SS communities returned 80%, 70%, and 66.67%. Neither members of the Q community agreed. 7. Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed. A total of 70.45%; but diverse opinion. Men only agreed at a rate of 66.67%, women returned 86.67%. NB/NR responders returned an even lower 50%. The general pool only agreed at a rate of 38.46%. The low pool only agreed at a rate of 64.71%; while the high pool did so much more frequently: 85.71%. By status quartile, a shocking 100% of the uppermost quartile agreed. The 1st quartile returned 72.73%. The 2nd & 4th were much lower at 54.55%. By community P.O.E., the SS returned a full 100%. The KF, FC, and P communities returned in the range of 70% to 80%. The WL community only agreed at the rate of 40%. One of the Q responders agreed. 8. Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party. 68.18% over-all. Men and women agreed at nearly the same rate: 76.19% and 73.33%. However, only 37.5% of the NB/NR pool did. The general pool returned at the lowest rate at 53.85%. The low and high pools agreed at a much higher rate: 70.59% and 78.57%. By status quartile, the lowest pool was the 3rd: 36.36%. The 1st returned 72.73%. The 2nd and 4th came in at 81.82%. Totals by P.O.E. were all over the map: 87.5% in the FC; in the SS and P we are given 77.78% and 80%; the WL only agreed at 60%; and the KF and Q returned 50%. 9. Look into the accused party's background A total of 68.18%; with similar reports by gender between 62.5% and 71.43%. Only 53.85% of the general pool agreed; while 70.59% of the low and 78.57% of the high pool agreed. The third quartile returned a shocking 27.27%; as compared to 63.64% in the first; and 90.91% in the 2nd & 4th. Results by community P.O. E. were likewise highly varied: the P community returned 100% and 88.89% in the SS. The FC agreed at 75%; while the WL, KF, and Q returned at 50%.

Ambiguous Agreement Statements in this category fell between 51% and 65% in overall agreement. 10. Try to arrange a facilitated discussion between accuser and accused All together 59.09%. Women agreed at a much higher rate of 73.33%. Men and the NB/NR pool returned 52.38% and 50%. The general pool reported 61.54%. The low pool substantially disagreed: 47.06%. The high pool agreed at the highest rate or 71.43%. The 2 nd and 4th quartiles reported 72.73%; while the 1st and 3rd gave 45.45%. The SS community agreed at a much higher rate than any other â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 88.89%. The WL and P communities reported 60%. The KF and FC only returned 50%; while neither of the Q responders agreed.

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Ambiguous Disagreement Statements in this category fell between 36% and 50% in overall agreement. 11. Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time. At only 50%, we're coming into the realm of disagreement. Men agreed with this statement at the highest rate: 71.43%. Oddly, women and the NB/NR pool agreed at a much lower rate: 33.33% and 25%. Returns were generally similar between influence pools: 52% to 61%. The 3 rd quartile returned 27.27%; the 1st was 45.45%; and the 2nd and 4th were 63.64%. The FC community agreed at a much higher rate: 87.5%. The SS and P community returned 55.56% and 60%. The KF community only agreed at a rate of 20%; while neither of the Q responders agreed. 12. Assign the accused party a "watcher" at events to ensure no violations occur With a total of 47.73%, gender distribution was quite varied. Women agreed at a rate of 66.67%, while men did so at 47.62%. The NB/NR pool only returned 12.5%. The high pool agreed at rate of 64.29%; while the general pool only agreed at 46.15% and the low at 35.29%. The 3rd quartile was the lowest at 27.27%. The 1 st returned 45.45%. The 3rd yielded 63.64% and 54.55%. The SS P.O.E. agreed at a startling rate of 77.78. The FC community agreed at the next highest rate of 62.5%. The WL and KF returned 40%. The Political community only returned one agreeing response, while neither GLBTQ responder agreed. 13. Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found. The total in this category was 47.73%. Women agreed at the highest rate: 66.67%. Men agreed at the rate for 42.86%. The NB/NR pool only agreed at a rate of 25%. The high influence pool returned a much higher rate at 71.43%. The general and low pools, on the other hand, came in at 38.46% and 35.29%. The 1st and 4th quartile showed 54.55% and 63.64%. The 3rd came in at 45.45%; while the 2nd was the lowest at 27.27%. By P.O.E. all but the Q pool (0) returned in the range between 40% and 60%. 14. Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused. The lowest in this category, with a total of 38.64%. Men and women agreed at similar rates (38.1% and 46.67%); while the NB/NR responders only returned 25%. The general pool agreed far less at 23.08%; while the low and high pools returned 41.18% and 50%. The lowest quartile returned 54.55%. The 2nd and 4th came in at 45.45% and 36.36%. The 3 rd quartile showed a much lower rate at 18.18%. The WL returned the lowest rate at 20%. Other P.O.E.'s ranged from 40% 50%.

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Uncertain Disagreement Statements in this category fell between 21% and 35% in overall agreement. 15. Publicly declare the status of the accused and ask any others who have had an issue to come forward. Coming in at 31.82%, agreement was similar between men (38.1%) and women (33.33%). The NB/NR pool only agreed at a rate of 12.5%. The general pool only agreed at a rate of 15.38%. The low pool returned 35.29% and the high at 42.86%. By quartile the 2 nd yielded the lowest at 18.18%; while the remainder were at 36.36%. The WL and P pools reported 20% agreement; while the SS, KF, and FC communities ranged from 37.5% to 44.44% (with the SS returning the highest). Neither Q responder agreed. 16. Exclude the accused party indefinitely. With a total of 29.55%, men agreed at a rate of 38.1%; women at 20%; and the NB/NR pool at 25%. The general pool only agreed at the rate of 23.08%; the low at 29.41%; and the high at 35.71%. The highest quartile pool agreed at the rate of 36.36%. The three lower pools reported at 27.27%. The Political P.O.E. pool returned 60%. The SS and FC returned 44.44% and 37.5%. The WL and KF returned 10% and 20%. Neither Q responder agreed. 17. Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony. A total of 27.27%; but widely varied by gender. Men returned 38.1%; while only 13.33% of women agreed. The NB/NR pool returned 25%. By influence pool, there is stark difference: while only 7.14% of the high pool agreed, 38.46 of the general and 35.29% of the low agreed. By Status quartile, the 4th agreed at a shocking rate of 81.82%. The 2 nd came in next highest at 54.55%. The 1st quartile showed 27.27%; while the 3rd only agreed at a rate of 9.09%. No one entering by the SS or Q pools agreed; while the KF returned 20%. The WL reported 30% and the FC 37.5%. The Political agreed at a rate of 80%.

Mostly Disagree Statements in this category fell in the bottom 20% in overall agreement. 18. Exclude the accused party permanently The least favored enforcement tactic at 18.18%. Men and women reported similarly: 19.05% and 20%. The NB/NR pool returned 12.5%. The general population agreed at the lowest rate: 15.38%; while the low and high pools reported 23.53% and 21.43%. By status quartile, the uppermost stood out at 36.36%. The 1st quartile returned 18.18%; while the 2 nd and 3rd showed 9.09%. By P.O.E., the SS community returned a much higher rate: 33.33%. Neither Q participant agreed; while the remainder of the groupings fell between 10% and 20%.

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Conclusions As in the belief section, no single factor showed itself to be the primary determinant of values in this area; yet it is clear that each had an influence in some cases. It is also apparent that desires vary sufficiently by gender and P.O.E. that in a diverse setting there can be no simple answer to the question, “How now shall we live?”. The following analysis should be considered exploratory only. Organizers are highly encouraged to poll their own local populations to ensure compliance with the will of their people. Investigation The only statements which garnered a “mostly agree” response over-all were investigatory in nature; and these are still subject to some dispute at 86.36%. The statement “speak directly with the accused party” was at a 15% variance between men and women responders (about 95% versus 80%). This is highly relevant given that we know from the Temperature Check survey that accusations against men are very common; while accusations against women are almost non-existent. However, national data suggests that men experience some types of sexual coercion at similar rates to women. Since the same high percentage of responders agreed that organizers should make and retain written incident reports (and this would be impossible to accomplish fairly without speaking to the accused) it is reasonable to assert that this is a step which, while it may be uncomfortable, should be taken. Furthermore, without written incident reports it would be difficult to accomplish the other statement in this set regarding the treatment of additional reports as “corroborating evidence”; especially if this is a matter of a long-term pattern rather than incidents at a singular event. Without such documents, the story may easily grow in the telling; and organizers would have to rely on their own fallible memories to piece together the picture. It is odd to note that those falling in the third status quartile reported a much lower agreement with the keeping of written incident reports. This may be a coincidence; or it may be that those of much higher or lower status see this as a measure that would protect them; while those in the third bracket (falling in what most would consider the middle to upper-middle class range) see it as something that might be used against them. The truth is, either is possible. That is why an incident report should be reviewed by all relevant parties for accuracy and disputes clearly noted in the document. An incident report does not say who is right or wrong; just that something occurred; who was involved; what everyone had to say about it; and what steps the organization took, if any. Those reporting in the highest influence pool (the most involved organizers) and those falling in the lowest status pool agreed with the treatment of additional reports as corroborating evidence at much lower rates. This may have to do with the next two investigatory steps by overall agreement: “seek corroborating testimony” and “look into the accused party's background”. If the report has come unbidden, it is a fundamentally different situation than if an organizer (seen in the light of power differential) has sought out the report. Simply asking the question might suggest to the attendee that a wrong has occurred. As noted by the esteemed criminal psychologist Julia Shaw: “'A memory is a network of brain cells,' Shaw explained to me. That network, which stretches across different regions of the brain, is constantly being updated. It’s an important function that allows us humans to learn new things and to problem-solve, among other skills. But as a result, it 'can be manipulated,' she continued. 'Each time you tell a story, you change the memory,' maybe dropping

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in new details, weaving in tidbits you really heard from somebody else, or forging new, and possibly inaccurate or misleading, connections.”93 In the context of sexual misconduct, these facts are highly disturbing. Moreover, once you begin asking questions about the situation it is impossible to know whether the people you have asked have then spoken to others in the community regarding the investigation. Rumors beget rumors, and in short order the organizer may find themselves receiving reports based on changes in the memories of community members that they themselves instigated by trying to investigate in the first place.

A response t te tread regarding te mater of Etan Edwards in which a responder re-evaluatd a past experience in light of te stry being tld. This may help explain the gap in the influence pools, with the general population agreeing at a much higher rate than either the low or high pools comprised of organizers; as most leaders have had opportunity to see these effects in action at least once. Yet surprisingly, the SS P.O.E grouping, who were the most likely to take up leadership roles in other communities, agreed with this statement 100%. The final two statements in the investigation section were inter-related: “Proceed with any actions regardless of whether corroborating testimony can be found” and “Proceed with any actions only if there is corroborating testimony” and both came in under 50% agreement: a serious problem. In a given situation it has to be one or the other, and neither option appears to be satisfactory to the majority. Some responders paradoxically agreed with both statements. Women came out far more in favor of the “regardless” version at 66.67%; and far less in favor of the “only if” version at 13.33%. Men agreed at a similar rate to both statements: 42.66% and 38.1%, respectively. The NB/NR pool registered 25% agreement with both statements. The high influence pool agreed with the “regardless” version at a much higher rate (71.43%) and the “only if” version at a much lower rate (7.14%) than responders in the general population and low pools (ranging in the 30's). The highest status quartile returned a highly variant 81.82% to the “only if” version; but were also the highest in agreement to the “regardless” version. No responders in the SS P.O.E. cohort agreed with the “only if” version; but the pool also only marginally agreed with the “regardless” version at just over 55%. The probable reality is that the answer to this question is highly situational, and no general rule may be established. Mediation Only one statement was made regarding the possibility of working the situation out between the actual parties involved. Paradoxically, for a community that recommends peaceful resolution of disputes as a generally preferred paradigm of existence, this method is almost never tried in practice. Typically one party or the other refuses the suggestion. However, you can write your space agreements to require participation in restorative justice measures on pain of expulsion. Some people will not like this, but you can do it. 93 Lunau, Kate. "A 'Memory Hacker' Explains How to Plant False Memories in People's Minds." Motherboard. Vice, 14 Sept. 2016. Web. 01 Jan. 2017. <http://motherboard.vice.com/read/memory-hacker-implant-falsememories-in-peoples-minds-julia-shaw-memory-illusion?utm_source=mbfb>.

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This option garnered only ambiguous agreement over-all: 59.09%. The rate of agreement between genders would seem surprising to most: 73.33% (women) versus 52.38% for men (and 50% in the NB/NR pool) unless you are aware that in such discussions women are typically given the upper hand through the prejudicial support of the facilitating personnel. They have been taught to do this because we have been told repeatedly, both directly and through the general culture that we ingest (remember “rape culture”?) that women are the victim. They've told us that so often and so frequently that we have learned to play the role of victim in our own minds even when we are not. This is not an empowering adaptation, and we need to learn to see when we are doing it. That can't happen if the facilitator is on our side no matter what. I realize that I am sacrificing a chip myself (for this is a matter that is always referred to the genitals) but I'm willing to do it in exchange for something much better: transparency, forgiveness, and restoration. The high influence pool agreed with this route much more frequently at 73.33%. For some reason the low pool disagreed with the thought substantially at 47.06%. The general population was just a few points over the total. A lot of us have seen attempts at this go very poorly by now. It only works well if people go into it actually willing to hear the other person and try to see it from their side of things. Otherwise, all you as the organizer can do is write the incident report. But at least you can get it all down in a way both parties will be willing to sign their names to as an accurate recounting; a requirement if you want to be able to legitimately keep and share the record of the report without exposure to liability. All of this absolutely must be outlined in the consent documents for the event if you are going to use it; and you must administer it precisely the same way every time. It is the only way that such a procedure has legitimacy. What on earth one might do instead is a fair question. The only other possibility is to question the parties separately; decide who you believe more; and mete out whatever seems like justice to you. Communication In general, the greater the degree of the spread of information, the less people agreed with a statement. It is important to note that once steps in this category have been taken it will be impossible to know whether any subsequent reporting received is “clean” or if it has been influenced by what the reporter has heard about the individual(s) involved. Furthermore, such an action represents a punitive step as it will influence the reputation of the accused in the community. Even if information is communicated “confidentially” the organizer in truth has no control over what happens next. It is no surprise, then, that internal communication received the greatest degree of support over-all. Surprisingly, men agreed with this statement at a higher rate than women (85.71% versus 73.33%); with NB/NR responders only registering 62.5% agreement. The low influence pool registered the highest agreement at 88.24%; which makes sense considering that this is the group that would most likely be receiving the information. The highest status quartile agreed with this statement far more than their peers at 90.91%. The WL & FC P.O.E. pools (90% and 100%) agreed most frequently; perhaps due to the contained nature and organizational structures of the types of events generally operated by such communities. Surprisingly, even couching the question in terms of how one would like to be treated in the event of an accusation, 77.27% agreed that if a situation warranted it (e.g. in the event of an accusation of rape or sexual assault) that the police should be contacted. While almost all men agreed (95.24%), only 2/3 of women did. Only half the NB/NR pool agreed. It appears that men trust the legal system to handle such serious complaints more than they trust event organizers; as well they should. In the legal system, you are guaranteed to be presumed innocent.

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It is possible that the far lower number among women represents a greater degree of fear of that type of authority: generally masculine; rules-oriented; and armed. It could also be that women could not imagine themselves as the accused in such a serious situation. The other interesting outlier was that 100% of FC responders agreed. Again, there are typically far more “unknown strangers” at an event in the FC community than in the others. If someone has made that much trouble, it is presumed the right thing to do so as not to jeopardize your relationship with the venue; which can spell the done-for of the event into the future. Now, keep in mind that every option past this point has a lower approval rating than contacting the police, if applicable. Dropping down now to 68.18%, the next is “Warn leaders in other organizations about the danger represented by the accused party.” This saw much lower agreement among NB/NR reporters at 37.5%. The general pool responded lower than organizers: 53.85% versus the 70's range for low and high. The trouble with this one is, again, probable spread of information. Whether you tell them “confidentially” or not they will likely also have people they feel deserve to know about the danger; and the tale will almost certainly grow in the telling. However, this depends on the nature of the circumstances involved; how serious the issue; the degree of certainty, and so on. It may also simply be required or expected in the case of coalition events. The final two fall so low in approval that they should probably not even be considered short of a situation requiring police intervention. These are “Inform as many related communities as possible of the danger represented by the accused” (38.64%) and “Publicly declare the status of the accused and ask any others who have had an issue to come forward.” Men agreed with both at the same rate of 38.1%; while women agreed slightly more with the first (46.67%) and slightly less with the second (33.33%). The NB/NR pool didn't like either idea hardly at all: 25% in the first and only 12.5% in the second. The difference here by influence pool is quite striking. Less than a quarter (23.08%) of the general population agreed with “Inform as many related communities as possible...”, 41.18% of the low and a full half of the high influence pool did. Even fewer in the general pool agreed with a “Public Declaration” at 15.38%; while the low pool returned 35.29% and the high 42.86%. It would seem that the leadership thinks this is a better idea than the vast majority of the typical guests at events. The lowest status quartile agreed more with the first of the pair at a higher rate than others: 54.55%. When there is a predator in the community, they will frequently target the weak socially; so this figure makes some sense. The third status quartile agreed the least with both of these statements at 18.18%. It is this group of people who have the most to lose potentially through such a public accusation; without necessarily the insulation that yet higher status brings (access to lawyers, first and foremost). By P.O.E., the WL community returned consistently lower agreement: 20% in both; while the SS returned higher: 44.44%. The KF returned 40% in both. The FC agreed with the first statement at a full half; but with the second only at 37.5%. It is clear that those entering by way of the SS community are more willing to expose people to community shame, but even that category did not rise to even a simple majority. In fact, none of them did. Punishment The only punishment option achieving even uncertain agreement was “Exclude the accused party until a set of requirements for reinstatement is completed,” coming in at 70.45%. Women agreed far more frequently with the statement however, at 86.67%; with men at just 66.67% (and 50% in the NB/NR pool). Given that the next statement, “Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time,” appears inter-related in reciprocal fashion, it does well to consider it alongside.

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With exactly half of the total pool of participants reporting either way, “Exclude the accused person from attending events for a designated period of time” garnered only 33.33% agreement among women, but 71.43% agreement among men. It is not atypical for the outcomes in proceedings that are gynocentric in focus to punish men by requiring them to do the equivalent of “penance” by attending consent classes and/or “healing” events in order to be allowed to rejoin community. Often teachers send students the way of their friends by these means. They also may require participation in communications classes; or peer counseling; or qui gong; or reiki or whatever their pet modality. You can see how conflicts of interest can easily arise here. Furthermore, it requires that the accused admit fault in the matter in the first place: “I have sinned, and hereby repent. And I must prove this by...” This is a fundamentally dominating tactic. And it is classist because it disproportionately effects you the poorer you are. If this is something that is being dictated to you without your ability to negotiate to something you agree with, it is an example of coercive persuasion. “The reform experience focuses on genuine vulnerabilities as the method for undermining self-concept: manipulating genuine feelings of guilt about past conduct; inducing the target to make public denunciations of his or her prior life as being unworthy; and carrying this forward through interaction with peers for whom the target develops strong bonds. Involvement developed in these ways prevents the target from maintaining both psychological distance or emotional independence from the experience.”94 Unless we want to run consent as a non-consensual cult, we absolutely cannot do this. If we are going to ask someone to do something to get more educated about consent, we must leave it up to them to choose from the options that are available. And since a larger portion of the population most likely to be accused prefers the alternative option, exclusion for a period of time, it may be appropriate to offer that as an alternative to ensure that we are not in fact engaging in coercive persuasion, even by accident. Notably, while agreement with the time-based exclusion was similarly popular across influence pools, the “set of requirements” option was preferred at a rate of 85.71% in the high influence pool and 64.71% in the low. This is really not surprising, given that this option provides leadership with the most social clout. It was widely unpopular with the general population at 38.46%. It was preferred by 100% of individuals in the 4 th quartile, who have plenty of money with which to “buy their way” back in to community. The 3 rd quartile disagreed quite strongly with the time-based exclusion at 27.27%, a fact for which I have no ready explanation. There is no guarantee either way that an individual will thereafter be reformed, even assuming they were guilty in the first place. Not surprisingly, 100% of participants entering by way of the SS community agreed with the “requirements” statement. This is the native mode of enforcement for every kind of breach in that environment. The FC community came out most in favor of a time-based approach at 87.5%; while the KF community approved the least at 20% (preferring requirement for reinstatement at 70%). The WL community disagreed with the whole business at 40% and 50%, respectively. All remaining options fell below half approval. “Assign the accused party a 'watcher' at events to ensure no violations occur,” came in just under half at 47.73%. This is definitely a punitive rather than investigatory measure, as it is quite possible and in some cases even probable that the watcher will be noticed; whether by the watched or others. It is also not a measure of scrutiny to which general participants are exposed. 94 Ofshe, Richard J., Ph.D. "Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change." Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change. Cult Education Institute, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2016. <https://culteducation.com/group/798-abusive-controllingrelationships/3260-coercive-persuasion-and-attitude-changes.html>.

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Furthermore, a watcher might observe an action that they see as a problem, while the person's partner doesn't or wouldn't have unless told otherwise. What does the watcher do: interrupt the proceedings now and prevent further “violations”, or do they wait until later and ask the partner whether anything felt “off” about the interaction? Do they just report what they saw as a violation to the leader who set them to guard? Remember, “Seek and ye shall find...” Again, we see the expected difference between the men's and women's pools: 47.62% versus 66.67%; but with only 12.5% in the NB/NR pool agreeing. We see another dramatic dip in the 3 rd status quartile at 27.27%. The SS P.O.E. pool comes out far ahead in agreement at 77.78%; with the FC behind at 62.5%. The WL and KF fell to 40%. The SS pool seems to come out ahead in a lot of these enforcement questions; while at conventions it is often necessary to assign a watcher in large, crowded spaces: “Gropers” are more of a problem. The final two remaining options are “Exclude the accused party indefinitely” and “Exclude the accused party permanently,” at 29.55% and 18.18% respectively. Both of these are coming in so low it should be quite clear that these should only be considered in the gravest and most certain of circumstances. Men agreed more with “indefinitely” 38.1% than with “permanently” at 19.05%; presumably as it was at least the preferable of the two. Women agreed with both at just 20%. The NB/NR pool didn't like either, 25% and 12.5% respectively. The general population disliked both ideas: 23.08% for indefinitely and an abysmal 15.38% for permanently. The high influence pool liked indefinitely a bit better at 35.71%; but permanently at only 21.43%. The low pool came in at around the total for indefinitely (29.41%) and similar to the high pool in permanently: 23.53%. The 4th quartile came out on top in both of these: 36.36% in both. Returns were a flat 27.27% for “indefinitely” in all the other quartiles, while “permanently” saw a slight rise in the 1st: 18.18% versus 9.09% in the other two. Except for an odd 60% in the Political community (remember, 3 responders) the SS community turned up in the lead at 44.44% and 33.33%. The FC community agreed at a rate of 37.5%. The remainder all fell between 10% and 20%. The Verdict When considering whether to use any procedure, it is important to consider what the consequences of enactment will be; and whether or not these consequences in and of themselves constitute a kind of punishment. If we are to avoid the tactics of coercive persuasion, we must consider the actual desires of the population that we as organizers are serving. From the report given here, this community at least is loathe to use tactics that involve exposing the accused to public shame; yet the social groupings most likely to be in positions of leadership agree with these tactics at a much higher rate. Participants also firmly rejected exclusion as a mechanism of social control; and abhorred permanent exclusion most of all. Yet again we see that leadership preferred these tactics more than the general population. The only things we can be fairly certain we should do every time is talk to the accused, make and keep written incident reports; and treat additional formally filed reports as corroborating evidence. People are very leery of mediation, and with good reason. However, other than punitive models it is the only available option; and the only restorative justice measure known.

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Table 56: Investigation Proceedings Agreement Comparison # T M W N G L H 1st 2nd 3rd 4th SS WL KF FC

P

Q

3

86.36

90.48

86.67

75

92.31

76.47

92.86

90.91

90.91

77.92

100

77.78

70

90

100

100

100

1

86.36

90.48

86.67

75

92.31

94.12

71.43

72.73

90.91

81.82

100

100

80

90

87.5

80

50

2

86.36

95.24

80

87.5

84.62

88.24

92.86

81.82

100

81.82

90.91

88.89

100

80

100

80

50

4

79.55

90.48

80

50

92.31

70.59

78.57

72.73

90.91

72.73

81.82

100

70

70

87.5

100

0

9

68.18

71.43

66.67

62.5

53.85

70.59

78.57

63.64

90.91

27.27

90.91

88.89

50

50

75

100

50

13

47.73

42.86

66.67

25

38.46

35.29

78.57

54.55

27.27

45.45

63.64

55.56

40

40

62.5

60

0

27.27

38.1

13.33

25

38.46

35.29

7.14

27.27

54.55

9.09

81.82

0

30

20

37.5

80

0

17

Mean 68.83 74.15 68.57 57.14 70.33 67.23 70.41 66.24 77.92 54.55 87.01 73.02 62.86 62.86 78.57 85.71 35.71

Table 57: Mediation Proceedings Agreement Comparison # T M W N G L H 1st 2nd 3rd 4th SS WL KF FC 10

59.09

52.38 73.33

50

61.54 47.06 71.43 45.45 72.73 45.45 72.73 88.89

60

50

50

Table 58: Communication Proceedings Agreement Comparison # T M W N G L H 1st 2nd 3rd 4th SS WL KF FC

P

Q

60

0

P

Q

5

77.27

85.71 73.33 62.5 69.23 88.24 71.43 72.73 72.73 72.73 90.91 77.78

90

60

100

60

50

6

77.27

95.24 66.67

84.62 70.59 78.57 72.73 90.91 63.64 81.82 66.67

80

70

100

100

0

8

68.18

76.19 73.33 37.5 53.85 70.59 78.57 72.73 81.82 36.36 81.82 77.78

60

50

87.5

80

50

14

38.64

38.1 46.67

54.55 45.45 18.18 36.36 44.44

20

40

50

40

50

15

31.82

38.1 33.33 12.5 15.38 35.29 42.86 36.36 36.36 18.18 36.36 44.44

20

40

37.5

20

0

58.64 66.67 58.67 37.5 49.23 61.18 64.29 61.82 65.45 41.82 65.45 62.22

54

52

75

60

30

P

Q

50 25

23.08 41.18

50

Mean

Table 59: Punishment Proceedings Agreement Comparison # T M W N G L H 1st 2nd 3rd 4th SS WL KF FC 7

70.45

66.67 86.67

50

38.46 64.71 85.71 72.73 54.55 54.55 100

11

50

71.43 33.33

25

12

40

70

75

80

50

61.54 52.94 57.14 45.45 63.64 27.27 63.64 55.56

50

20

87.5

60

0

47.73

47.62 66.67 12.5 46.15 35.29 64.29 45.45 63.64 27.27 54.55 77.78

40

40

62.5

20

0

16

29.55

38.1

20

10

20

37.5

60

0

18

18.18

19.05

20

9.09 36.36 33.33

10

20

12.5

20

0

36.92 41.18 52.86 41.82 43.64 29.09 58.18 62.22

30

34

55

48

10

25

100

23.08 29.41 35.71 27.27 27.27 27.27 36.36 44.44

12.5 15.38 29.41 21.43 18.18 9.09

Mean 43.18 48.57 45.33

25

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Katessa S. Harkey

The Clearing of Consent

11. The Religion of Consent In matters pertaining to religion, there is not but to each his own. Therefore, I herein speak first as a Magician and Priestess; and as the Storyteller of Spiral Cult Circus. It is my duty to my people to be the keeper of the wisdom of the tribe as encoded in the myths and stories of the vast array of ancient and modern myths. It is also my business to know what may be known of the histories, and to be able to apply the lessons that they teach to the matters at hand. Only if requested, I read the Tarot; my only working deck being Crowley's Thoth. I am also to keep up with the myth-makings of our brothers and sisters of the Path, and to share the best of these as widely as may be disseminated. We are a circus tradition, and we share a narrative magical philosophy of life. For the last five years, this has been my full-time work. I present to you not any writ; not any script; not any blessing of another hand to assure you of my authority to speak on these matters. I present to you only the works of my own hands. And as a Hermetic Practitioner I demand that you consider and judge them for yourself using the faculties of discernment and critical thinking to make up your own god-damned minds. I am not better than any of my people. This story is mine; and it is the truth. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (if any) and the guilty (if any). I am 14 years old. I am the precocious, world-scarred goth kid in a charismatic pentecostal church who has a Jesus Fish tattooed on her right hand. It is the hand I use to strum the guitar that I play during praise and worship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; while wearing black lipstick and nail polish, naturally. I had taught myself to play over the course of a month because I buckled the fuck down and decided to do so. The church declared it was a miracle and had me onstage in short order. I was essentially an adopted pastor's kid. My family had decided to convert to Mormonism. While the people were very nice, it just didn't sit right with me. I had been given an early radical feminist hippie education; and it had stuck. While I could manage to choke down the pill of radical apocalyptic christianity (for at least it was radical), Mormonism was just a stage too far. I had a subscription to Biblical Archaeological Review (a gift from my grandmother), and I knew the Book of Mormon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which I did read all the way through, by the way - was bologna. My mother announced to me one night that she was getting baptized and wouldn't it be great if we were baptized on the same day, it would be so special, yada yada yada... Not wanting to hurt her, I at first agreed. But... The night before it was supposed to happen, I went to her and told her I couldn't do it. She had it out of me why; then called the missionaries over and they had it out of me why; but in the end I held my ground. Since I was of the age of conscience in the religion (12), and my mother had told me I would have the choice of the two, I chose to return to the charismatics. Frankly, at least there were drums. Because the position of the Church of God (Tennessee) denomination held95 that Mormonism is not in fact a branch of Christianity but a dangerous cult (possibly connected with the antichrist) they had little choice but to agree to come and collect me. At first I was the youth pastor's responsibility, but after I began working in the music ministry department the duties were split. And so it was that eventually...

95 At the time. I have no idea of the current doctrine on the matter.

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I was out there five days a week: for prayer meeting on Tuesday; Youth Praise Team practice followed by Youth Service followed by Sanctuary Praise Team Practice; back on Thursday for Choir Practice; Saturday morning alternating Youth Choir practice and Youth Drama Team practice; Sunday Morning service and Sunday Evening service – and that's just if we weren't getting ready for Teen Talent, or the Christmas services, or the annual Easter Passion Play. Sometimes, I balanced an amplifier on my bicycle handlebars and rode there, if I had to. It does something really weird to your head when people have decided that you have a “destiny!” and a “calling to the ministry!” when you are that young, but it is pretty much standard. They pick out kids that exhibit natural aptitude for oration, clever kids, kids who can play musical instruments or sing or are good at theatre. They sell the idea to everyone using the parable of the Talents96; but on some few young minds it actually sticks. They tell you, “If you really believe that Jesus gave his life for you on the Cross at Calvary, why wouldn't you live your life for him?” And they have a valid point. Katessa Harkey has never done things by halves, I tell you what. If you are good, you will make good wherever you are, said my grandmother. The first thing about religion I had been taught was tolerance. It really doesn't matter what tradition it is you are committed to, per se. What matters is that you are committed to your integrity. I walk into the Old Sanctuary that Wednesday night, lugging behind me my amplifier and guitar case. Because I am hunched with the weight of it, it isn't until I get in a few steps that I look up from the nothing-but-the-blood-red carpet of the floors and see. I stop short. The walls of the cabaret stage have been papered over with hand-written signs reading things like, “If you love me, you'll let me” and “It isn't sin if we love each other” and... You get the drift. The various pastors' daughters were busy taping them up, and I pictured them crouched on the floor, writing out the obscene things in cheerful spirit-day marker. A wave of vertigo hit me, and I turned right around and left the room. I leaned against the wall of the foyer by the lady's room, closed my eyes, and tried calming my racing heart enough to pray. The youth pastor's daughter (an astonishingly-talented vocalist who led the youth praise team) came out to see what was going on. I told her in no uncertain terms that under no circumstances could I play praise and worship in front of that; and how could anyone possibly worship God while looking at that; and what on earth was anyone thinking? I think I scared her. She pleaded with me, hopping from one foot to the other; her bouncing pile of blond ringlets following in a mass behind. She was saying that her father was required by the contract of his position to address certain topics at least once a year, as a part of the standards of a church youth program. This was to ensure parents, basically, that it was covered and the job was off their hands. These were the Sex Talk and the Drug Talk. This was what he'd come up with for this year. I asked her how she thought someone might feel who'd ever heard any of those things in real life. She shifted her weight uncomfortably, and I said I was going to call my mother on the payphone to come pick me up. She asked me to please wait as she hurried off to speak to her father. When she returned with him, my hand was on the receiver.

96 Which are actually a measure of silver, and it's a story about making wise investments, but let's not quibble...

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He explained that he understood I was upset, and that he was sorry that they bothered me, but that they were really important to driving the point home. “You girls really are going to hear these things, and you have to be prepared to resist temptation!” He then explained that the idea had come from an authoritative youth minister's magazine, and shouldn't they know? Then he explained that Cassidy the keyboardist was out sick; and if I didn't stay and play, there would be no praise and worship at all. That did it. So I stood on that stage and I played. And I played with everything I had. And I sang it, too. I didn't usually do that, not here. I saved that for at home: the hours I spent every single day in my personal practice. It definitely had an effect. That night, the kids really came along. And I cried. And the tape started coming down. The first time, the youth pastor hurried to it and put the sign back up, running his sausage fingers hastily over the curling tape, then returned to his seat. The next one, his wife got; but as she went for that one, another started to go. It was in an awkward place, so they left it alone. A few minutes later the big, long strip of words that ran behind the worship team on the stage started peeling away, and the writing was (if you'll forgive the little pun) off the wall... By the end of praise and worship, every single sign had fallen down. Some might call this a miracle. I called it the stupidity of trying to make masking tape stick to a carpeted wall. But have it your own way. Throughout all of this, the Mormon church continued in its efforts to “win me over”. I was an odd digit on their ledger. Mormons take whole families. That is their model. You want to all be together in the Celestial Kingdom, right? You have to get baptized or you can't get in! Of course, if you're a member, you can get baptized on behalf of your dead relatives. But only if the Ward President issues you a Temple Recommend. Oh, and tithing is mandatory... The nice young missionaries came by at least twice a week, and I got extremely good at apologetics. (I think one of them might have gone home because of me. I didn't try to turn them back, after that.) I cooked them dinner, because my mother was totally disabled (and passed out on the couch addicted to prescription narcotics, by the way). All the while my grandmother was dying: a half-rotted corpse suffering from desperate senile dementia with here and there worse spates of utter lucidity. Three younger siblings wove about the place with the pack of rescue animals my mother could never refuse, screaming most of the time. The older two of the set were both violently, dangerously mentally ill. It was also my task to keep them, somehow, from hurting one another and the baby. And to keep CPS from taking us all away. The little one called them, “the Takers”. My cozy corner of the basement froze in winters where the nigh-time temperatures with wind chill reached thirty below. There was nothing but the warmth of a tiny electric heated fan; precariously run through a series of interconnected extension cord lengths; strung together along the ceiling beams to reach the outlet near the stairs. I had made myself a wall of bookcases to beat back the cascading mountains of junk – the combined hoards of two old scavengers (who knew better than to ever throw anything away) piled in with what was left of our things – from when we had had the semblance of a normal life. Gary, IN was built on a bog filled in with dirt, and is now sinking. The floor drains flooded regularly, and the piles of filthy laundry by the washer and dryer would grow moulder-y and mildewy, filling the place with a wretched stench I kept at bay with incense. And then, just

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sometimes, the sewers would back up out of the floor drain over there; and it would be my job to shovel the whole mess into garbage bags and get rid of it. Outside, the constant sound of the streams and rivers of bullets that crisscrossed the highways and byways of the collapsing exoskeleton of a busted steel town only ceased if someone really important had been killed. I wouldn't have traded it back for what we'd had before, though. Not that. Not him. Flash forward, oh... let's call it a convenient year-and-a-half-ish. The old youth pastor has been sent away to Florida along with his family for a “year of restoration”. They found porn on the church computer, and he broke down and 'fessed up to it. Just one website in a browser history. So him and his whole family got to be exposed to a public shaming and a year in disgrace. His daughter and her curls lost a year in her high school, to which she was quite dedicated; and her cherished, hard-earned cheerleading squad spot. I don't think I ever saw his wife smile a real smile again. It's not like it was kiddie porn or anything. They were clear on that point. But you have to set standards. Anyway, now we have a different youth pastor. This one is just volunteering for the job, because the church says it can't afford to pay him. 97 He doesn't have credentials. He doesn't even have teenagers. He's just a good man who loves God. By trade, he is a construction worker. He is very kind to me and treats me as a friend. Seemingly in response to concerns I had expressed about how “It doesn't seem like we really do much for each other!” he established a peer leadership & prayer team, what basically serves the function of peer counselors in a Christian setting. You're who they call when they have a real problem. He put me on that team forthwith. His pretty young brunette wife, being great with child, alternates sitting and standing up from the sanctuary's ill-padded chairs. Apparently, they've added “Abortion” to the list. Tonight's show will be bloodshed. I sit through it patiently. It's nothing I haven't heard before. But it does bother me. My family was always adamantly pro-choice, no matter what religion we were. Whatever we may choose for our own bodies, we can't ever make that choice for somebody else. It's their body. But here's a man I deeply respect telling a room full of teenagers that abortion is always a sin because it is murder. And then came the big ending. “I want you all to look around the room. Do you know a third of all your friends aren't here today? They aren't here because they were killed before they were ever born. You never got to meet them. You never got to know their names. You never got to skateboard together or work on school projects together. Because someone else ended their life before they got a chance to start it. Now what do you think about that? Do you think you didn't deserve to get a chance to meet them?” Or something to that effect. Silence filled the room. It was now Q & A time. No one so much as twitched. Grudgingly, I raised my hand. “Pastor Danny?” I paused, searching the ground for what to say. I found it, and looked up; ashamed. “I want you to look back there at your wife, Lindsay.”

97 The power couple who had taken over the music ministry apparently refused to do double duty like the last guy.

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I pointed and looked over to where she stood, leaned up against the wall for support. Thirty pairs of eyes swiveled to follow the finger. She cringed back from it as if struck. And I kept it there, but looked back into Pastor Danny's eyes. They begged for mercy. I could show him none. “Let's say the next time the two of you go in to the doctor to have a check-up on the baby, they tell you that something has gone terribly wrong. The baby is not going to live no matter what; and if Lindsay tries to carry it to term she is certainly going to die. Now I want you to look back there at your wife and I want you to tell me what you would tell her to do.” And he looked. And at least a full minute passed. The kiddies looked back and forth between them as they both fought themselves to a standstill trying not to cry in the darkening, widening silence. And when at last Danny spoke, his voice was cracked and barely audible. “I don't know,” he breathed. “I hope... I would have faith enough... to do the right thing.” And he walked off the stage. And now I am in El Salvador. It is the middle of the monsoon season there. We are staying at an orphanage. They've made room for us by packing them in like sardines elsewhere. The first night, they fed us better than the kids eat at Christmas. Our mission there was to save the Catholics through pantomime street theatre. I got to be part of the drawbridge. For those of you unfamiliar, youth missions trips were a big thing in the nineties. I went with Fuel International. These folks came on after a big Christian rock concert (at the end, when we were all kinds of stoked up about Jesus) that the youth group had attended as a field trip. This was just after Columbine, and the Christian Right was totally cashing in. You see, as the story went, Cassie Bernall got asked whether she believed in God right before Eric Harris shot her. “She Said Yes” and “Jesus Freaks” and violent video games and all that. This remarkable young woman, now a martyr (they told us), had been going to go on a missions trip that summer. Now who here is going to go in her place? I was the only one in my youth group who didn't stand, but it wasn't because I wasn't moved. My face burned red and hot. It was because I knew there was no way in hell I could get that kind of money together. And I couldn't stand up and pledge to go if I jolly well knew I probably couldn't, no matter how people looked at me. I sure tried my damnedest, though. I participated in every group fundraiser. I bowled the best game of my life before or since, earning around $500 off some very surprised pledgers. I was the only one who stayed awake the whole night at the rock-a-thon, powered by Jolt Cola. It still wasn't near enough; but in the end some kind soul covered the rest. I never found out who it was. The two and a half week long ordeal is too much to cover here. But there is one tableau we must visit if we are to visit this place at all. It is sometime around the beginning of week two, I think. It must have been, because everyone (except me) is getting sick from having drunk the water. (Turns out there was a miscommunication and we thought the little scamps were bringing us new bottles from the supplies we'd brought; when it turns out they were filling it from what they drank; you know how it goes...) We are at a garbage dump where people live. There are men, women, and children of all ages represented. Apparently, if you have more mouths than you can feed and the good Lord sees fit to send you another one; and by the Pope, you're not going to use birth control, then... Well, you take the oldest one down to the dump and let them loose to fend for themselves. At least then there was a chance they'd survive. So they said.

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Every day the people scour the piles for anything useful; and build a shelter to sleep in during the night so they don't freeze. Every morning the bulldozers come and knock them down again. We set up to do our pantomime. The crowd was completely silent, their eyes vacant. A mother nursed an infant. The smells of the ripe rot hung everywhere, a sickly-sweet miasma. Biting flies did. We got about a third of the way through it before I saw my fellow “doorman” convulse. I was kneeling on the ground at this point. The girl again made as if on a rack; turned over her left shoulder; and projectile vomited about three feet. Without missing a beat, she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and returned to position with that hand on her hip– frozen – as the “keyhole”. And smiled. Eventually we get through it, and I noticed the audience starting to line up. Then I saw activity was centered around the vehicle of our local contact. He was opening the trunk. And I understood. Only now that these people had sat politely through our little play would they be given the food that was brought for them. That was the trade. By the end of it all I was so angry and belligerent with the idiots from the Fuel organization that I nearly got myself sent home. They had decided, during our only rest day, to punish one group of girls because the other cohort said that we came in too loudly when we had ended our tortures the previous night. Sure, there was some bumping and jostling, but the lights were out in close quarters. We simply went about casting off our things and crawling into bunks: sick, sunburned and exhausted. I didn't really care one way or another about the hour-long time out. All I was going to do was sit there all day, anyway. But they had used the Bible to justify injustice; and they were now trying to use Bible study as a punishment. So if they were going to waste my day and shame my friends, I was going to add some interest to theirs. And I pulled out my Sword of the Spirit and we had a throw down. It was lucky there wasn't enough time left, really, to arrange to send me back. I stood in front of my congregation. We were being asked to give a testimony about our mission trip now that we were back home. “How had God changed us while we were there?” was the prompt. There was no particular order to it. It was “when the spirit moved you”. I sat glued to my seat trying to come up with something to say about the whole charade. I was at a loss. Finally, there was no one left. I sighed, and stood up in front of the room, a congregation in the arena of 300. And I decided to try a “test of the spirits”. I said how hard it was to be away from home, and all the standard tripe. I said that I was grateful to have been there – in its own way true. I said that what I had learned was that I was worried about expressing myself; but really if you are expressing yourself you can't be expressing God. I said I would work to be more of what my leaders told me God wanted; and less of myself everyday. And everyone cheered and shouted hallelujah. And that was when I understood in full certainty that one of two things was true. Either: (1) somehow the message had gotten horribly garbled, or (2) whomever their God was, he wasn't the same one as mine.

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1 Corinthians 13 1) If I speak in te tngues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am

only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2) If I have te gift of prophecy and can fatom al mystries and al knowledge, and if I have a

faith tat can move mountains, but do not have love, I am noting. 3) If I give al I possess t te poor and give over my body t hardship tat I may

boast, but do not have love, I gain noting. 4) Love is patent, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor oters, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of

wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with te tut. 7) It

always protcts, always tusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8) Love never fails. But where tere are prophecies, tey will cease; where tere are

tngues, tey will be stled; where tere is knowledge, it will pass away. 9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10) but when completness comes, what is in part disappears. 11) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I tought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man,

I put te ways of childhood behind me. 12) For now we see only a refecton as in a mirror; ten we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; ten I shal know fly, even as I am fly known.

13) And now tese tree remain: fait, hope and love. But te greatst of tese is love. -NIV

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Liber al Vel Legis Chaptr One 39) Te word of te Law is

THELEMA. 40) Who cals us Telemits wil do no wrong, if he look but close int te word. For tere are terein Tree Grades, te Hermit, and te Lover, and te man of Eart.

Do what tou wilt

shal be te whole of te Law. 41) Te word of Sin is Resticton. O man! refse not ty wife, if she wil! O lover, if tou wilt, depart! Tere is no bond tat can unite te divided but love: al else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it t te aeons! Hel. 42) Let it be tat stat of manyhood bound and loating. So wit ty al; tou hast no right but t do ty wil. 43) Do tat, and no oter shal say nay. 44) For pure wil, unassuaged of purpose, delivered fom te lust of result, is every way perfect. 45) Te Perfect and te Perfect are one Perfect and not two nay, are none! - Aleistr Crowley

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What I Tell My Students Risk-Aware Attitude My people have been trained not to put up with half-truths or bullshit. Therefore, I tell them the truth as I know it: that there are a lot of different systems about consent being taught; many of which contain points of contradiction; and that there are no sure bets because of this. Everyone assumes that they mean the same thing when they say consent, but they don't. Oh, they agree on the core precept: consensual sex is sex that you want. But as with many things, the Devil is in the details. Therefore, there is absolutely no such thing as “safe” sex in an emotional sense. Once upon a time, to try to sell kink to the masses so they would quit firing us and taking our kids away, some clever folks came up with the mantra, “Safe, Sane, and Consensual”. It was catchy. Looked good on a coffee mug. It worked. Only trouble was in the interpretation of that into actual, actionable policies at events. All sex involves some element of risk, however small. You could up and have a heart attack. You could play a little too rough and get bruises you didn't plan. You could get attached to the person and have it turn out they weren't that into you, after all. That's sex for you. So, as the clever reader has undoubtedly predicted, the community spent the next, oh let's say a nice round decade squabbling over who was going to get to define what exactly constituted “safe” and “sane”. Nobody dared touch consensual, as that was the cornerstone of the whole legal argument why what we were doing was not, in fact, assault. We didn't want to go back to those days, after all. It also let us yell “no” and “stop” if we wanted to as long as we had a “safeword” in place. But, well... some people wanted to be able to choke each other in public and some other people found that appalling. Oh, and we had plenty of folks running around labeling each other “unsafe”. Then some other clever folks reached the conclusion that, since no sex (much less BDSM) could be said to be “safe” and “true consent must be informed” a “risk-aware” model was needed: thus Risk Aware Consensual Kink was born. In this model, we admit that there are potential poor outcomes in the activities we are choosing to undertake and we accept those risks ourselves. (This also puts us more legally aligned with such activities as Boxing or Football or any other occasion upon which people beat the snot out of one another for sport.) I take responsibility for myself, and I accept the risks. I leave the choice ultimately up to the student, of course, as in all things. It's just words, after all. But Spiral Cult Circus space is RACK space. Play at your own risk.

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Statement of Guiding Principles Note: This section taken from the constitution of Spiral Cult Circus. 1 As a diverse, egalitarian community of Practitioners, we hold these Principles as useful in generating harmonious interaction in our Polyculture spaces; and in maintaining peaceable relations with other, like-minded organizations in the community: 2 “Don't burn the Witch.” 2.1 Being that the broader community of Practitioners is subject to constant internal strife and power struggle, Spiral Cult Circus shall take no position on matters internal to the proceedings of other organizations; 2.2 nor attempt to interfere with the ability of any Practitioner to participate in other communities, regardless of standing with Spiral Cult Circus or allied organizations. 2.3 Notwithstanding, anyone finding himself the target of such a witch-hunt is empowered to act as he sees fit. 3 “Buy ticket, take ride; your milage may vary; this might kill you.” 3.1 We recognize that in all activities of life, some risk is inherent. We accept that it is the responsibility of adults to: 3.1.1 assess the risks of any activity for him or herself; 3.1.2 to make appropriate inquiries to ensure informed consent; 3.1.3 and to finally accept the consequences of his or her own choices. 4 “Must be this tall to ride ride.” 4.1 We acknowledge that not all spaces and activities are appropriate to all people. 4.1.1 It is the responsibility of the individual to assess for himself whether to participate in any spaces or activities; and to exclude himself from those deemed inappropriate for whatever reason. 4.1.2 “Honor the Peace of the Hall.”: We expect our members to comport themselves in accordance with the written rules of any allied spaces which they choose to attend; and to engage cordially as guests while there. 4.1.3 Parents of children at family-friendly events are responsible for their minors at all times. 4.1.4 The inability of anyone to participate in a given space or activity shall not be accepted as evidence that the space or activity is unacceptable for those that wish to participate. 5 “Everyone gets the benefit of the doubt.” 5.1 In accordance with our declared statement of Fraternity amongst the brethren, we agree that we shall treat others with the same degree of Compassion, Respect, Integrity and Sovereignty with which we ourselves would wish to be endowed. Therefore: 5.1.1 In any matter of dispute, we shall engage one another in communication striving to understand our differences; and 5.1.2 in any matter in which we feel wronged, we shall assume the goodwill of our brother or sister; and 5.1.3 we shall strive together to avoid future iterations of the same disruption. 5.1.4 You have the right to the presence of the advocate of your choosing in all proceedings. 5.1.4.1 An advocate is acknowledged to be biased in the favor of the person for whom he or she acts as advocate. 5.1.4.2 The primary function of the advocate is to stop the proceedings should his charge become disassociated or otherwise unable to speak for himself.

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6 Finally, Spiral Cult Circus honors the Law of Thelema postulated by Aleister Crowley as the most succinct statement on ethics appropriate to the Hermetic Practitioner: 6.1 “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”; and 6.2 “Love is the Law, love under Will.” Unified Field Theory of Consent However otherwise legalistic, all Consent Models agree (if grudgingly) that whatever two adult parties negotiate between themselves in a private setting is consensual and binding for the duration of the engagement or until re-negotiated. To argue otherwise is to deny the basic premise of Sovereignty. For this reason, the first phase in any system is negotiation. Step one is to find out what the other person wants to do to establish consent in the proceedings. Following that, the parties must negotiate to something they can all live with. Remember, if you can't come to something that you can all live with, you should not play. Nobody should be forced to level past their edges, up or down. In the first place, this is when you get STI/prevention and birth control information. If things get steamy and you both shout, “Ah, too hell with it!” and go for each other, you want to be sure that this at the very least has been, shall we say, covered. Don't just talk about it; get the damn thing out. Then, talk about consent in terms of two scales: rolling consent versus free consent; and none to full consent.98 The first one is about how much checking in you want verbally. If they want full rolling consent, that's quite a commitment and easy to make mistakes. This is probably not appropriate to intoxicated, noisy, jostle-y sorts of spaces. This also only very rarely works perfectly for groups of more than three. In the middle range of the gauge is landmarks. Ask specifically if there are any verbal landmarks they want to set, and state yours. The more of them they have, the easier it is to make a mistake and accidentally violate their consent. Make sure you are really in a mental state to commit to however many that is. If not, you can try leveling down (which might come off as pressuring them to do something they don't want to do, so tread carefully here) or decline the encounter. Don't agree to consent parameters you don't want to play under, because that isn't consensual, either. At the opposite end of the gauge, we have “free” consent. Free consent operates under the legal definition in the most complete sense. To agree to free consent is to assert that you will take responsibility for your own “no”. That is, no matter what happens, so long as your partner stops if you use your “no”, you will consider nothing that happens a consent violation. This is the definition that allows for playful, embodied, mature, healthy adult sexuality by making both parties equally responsible for consent. It is the only model that does not subtly reinforce the gender binary bias by turning everyone into potential perpetrators and victims mentally. The only down side is it does not work if everybody isn't playing. But that is always true. This is the model most recommended for altered state situations, however one got there. (As a reminder, DO NOT do this on a college campus. They don't think you're adults there.) If you both know that you are too impaired to commit to rolling consent or landmarks but both still are exhibiting enthusiastic consent, you have recourse to this to avoid a technical foul – so long as you actually say the words out loud. You must both declare in words to the best of your ability the nature of your altered state to your partner, and that you are taking full responsibility for your choice to engage while altered.

98 Think of these as gauges with little brassy steampunk needles on. It will make it more fun.

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This is not a recommendation; merely a statement of fact regarding formal consent rules and the principle of Sovereignty. Of course, if the event was designated sober, you may be on the hook for that part of the equation anyway, should any conflict arise and be brought to the attention of the organizers. Obviously, if the other person passes out during, you must immediately stop, regardless of what the two of you think about it, if you are at an event. It isn't fair to expose the event to the liabilities involved with that kind of play. Oh – and yes, before you ask, this does stand up to formal consent scrutiny, because whatever the parties negotiated verbally – whether an organizer likes it personally or not – that is the set of rules that applies to the situation. Furthermore, you have simply chosen to apply the legal definition: the same one that is covering the organizer's ass. Remind them of this, if necessary. On the other gauge we have the degree of touch to which you are consenting. If it isn't full consent (whatever your partner might feel like trying with you) then again you will have to clearly establish the threshold – and I mean very clearly. Everyone's bases are loaded just a little differently, and in the middle of sex is no time to be playing “Who's on first?” “Everything up to...” is of no help either. Say something along the lines of: “I am fine with kissing, touching everywhere including the genital regions; and mutual masturbation. Ask verbally for anything else.” It may not be sexy, but it is necessary. It might be easier to have recourse to the final set of toggles... Caveats are things that you want to state as an exception. These may be things that are off limits because of relationship agreements; things you just don't enjoy; things that are an edge for you; or whatever. For example, the single most useful phrase in the English language may be, “Free and full, but I don't do anal.” Remember, no matter what happens, you've both already agreed that a “no” isn't a traumatic thing. It is just a statement of presence and a different choice of activity. Your basic trust in each other has in no wise been compromised. If your partner slips up and does something you asked them not to do, assume it was a mistake; use your no; and move on. If it keeps happening; or the minute you are not having fun anymore; or the minute you become confused about what you want; stop the interaction by using your verbal “no” or an agreed-upon safeword. If the person doesn't stop then, it is clearly and certainly a consent violation. Get up and leave. If you feel like somebody is pressuring you to do something you don't want to do, get up and leave. If you aren't sure what is happening and you can't seem to make your mouth work, get up and leave. If you think the person you are engaging with is trying to twist the permissions you did give to do something that was indicated to be undesirable, get up and leave. Whatever else is going on, take responsibility for yourself and your own safety. This is not blaming the victim. I have been the victim. I am telling you how best to avoid becoming the victim. When you are there in that space, there is no one to count on but yourself to do something to change the course of the story. The best thing you can do in any of those circumstances is get up and leave. You don't even have to say a word if you don't want to. I swear to you, if he or she or they were not trying to rape you, they would much rather you get up and leave then have you stay there and have a horrific experience. And if they were trying to rape you, then what the fuck difference does it make what they think? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best advice for festivals or conventions I ever got was from my mother when I was twelve, and it was this: “Don't go back to somebody's tent or room with them if you aren't going there prepared to have sex with them. Doesn't mean that's what's happening, but it saves trouble.” And she was right.

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If you want a barrier method to be used when you are having sex, take responsibility for yourself and carry one. Never assume that the other person is going to use a barrier method if you don't ask them to. It is not the assumed default everywhere, and even if it were the stakes are too high not to assert your requirements in the matter. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with people who have examined the statistical evidence and chosen for themselves not to require barrier methods with every partner. It is a personal choice you don't get to make for other people; and you have no business shaming them for it. You also don't have to have sex with them if you don't want to. On that note, the number of partners a person has or has had are relevant questions some people might ask. If you don't feel comfortable enough to tell them that, you probably shouldn't be having sex with them. Same goes for STI testing information. If you have made relationship agreements with someone, keep them. At the very least don't make someone else complicit in your lack of integrity without informing them of the bond that is being broken. Of course, not everyone's playing by “The Ethical Slut”. There are some couples that are both complicit in a “cheating game”. There are some with a “don't ask, don't tell” policy. There are some people stuck in “hypothetically poly” limbo, where their lover changes the rules at a whim. There are people living with fetishes they don't dare reveal to their partners. There are as many extenuating circumstances as you can imagine, and in each and every case it is up to you and no one else to decide for you what you do next with your body. Make the choice, and accept the consequences. And don't be a judgmental asshole. Don't use sex or the promise of sex to recruit people to your organization, political ideology, or belief system. That's just fucked up, and you wouldn't want somebody else to do it to you. If you are a spiritual practitioner or energy worker or whatever, don't do magick on people without their informed consent. If your practice has altered you energetically to the point that sex with you in and of itself might have consequences, let the other person know. If you accidentally “Wake Someone Up” during a sexual encounter, whether you meant to or not, take responsibility and get them the resources they need to not fuck themselves up. If you don't have them, either get them to somebody who does or get learning (or preferably both). Don't force anything on them, either. BDSM naturally carries all of the elements of ritual. You have been warned. If you are playing with consensual nonconsent at an event, make sure it is actually allowed. You should have a safeword; not just for your own safety but for the safety of the event. On two occasions, I have played that edge without a safeword in private and in a sacred context with people I trusted. For obvious reasons I can't recommend it, but my own experiences were positive. It's a damned dangerous game. What is edgeplay to some is vanilla to others. Play the games you enjoy and mind your own damned business. In my personal life I have found that if I simply offer people free and full consent in the first place, and explain it to them, they at first look extremely relieved; and next excited. But as I said, it only works if both people are playing the same game. Here's a sample elevator speech for your convenience and adaptation. The other person has usually stuttered something along the lines of, “Ss-so, how do you want to do this?” “I'd like to offer you my free and full consent. That means you can do whatever you want to me; and if I don't like something, I'll let you know. As long as you stop doing whatever it is, I won't hold it against you and it won't be a problem. We can keep playing and just do something else. And I hope you would want to share that with me and do the same. Does that work for you?” I've never gotten a no. That doesn't mean every time it has led to sex. It just leaves you both free to feel it out. 168


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Obviously, that doesn't work for more complicated D/s scenes, but there is plenty of education available for that. Don't play beyond your own margin of knowledge and ability to judge the risks of a prop or type of play. Don't let anybody else tell you what you should or shouldn't play with. Judge for yourself, do what you want to do, and accept the consequences. Nothing prevents the other person from lying, of course; but that's true no matter what you do – short of audio recordings or consent apps on your phone. If it's come to a point that we need that nonsense in our own bedrooms, something has gone horribly amiss. The God of Consent A not insignificant portion of the people engaged with making the new rules of consent are, like myself, coming at it from a Sacred Sexualities background. The only thing wrong with that is that these types of organizations are not currently and have not classically been models of virtue in this area. Furthermore it is a part of their nature to attempt to structure the relationships of their membership bodies in ways that the vast majority of us find untoward. We don't want the Consent Police in our bedrooms anymore than we want Uncle Sam. The idea that Uncle Sam might soon be sending the Consent Police after us all into our own bedrooms is terrifying. Consent is not a religious precept; it is a secular one. There is a reason that we have separation of Church and State in this country. Since the self-declared priest/ess/ixes of this New Religion of Consent have decided to march into our parties and demand we change the rules, I think it is fair that we ask how this Golden Calf they have made for us all to prostrate ourselves before is superior to what we've already got? And what will they do to those who refuse to bow down and worship? Will they do as they have always done and cast out the unbeliever? Only this time, in the name of their God called Consent? How many will the crowd suffer to be excised from it before they begin to resist, I wonder? Especially when the statistics show it isn't even their religion. And so for this reason I do not recommend that there should be a God of Consent. I recommend that we should apply logic and rationality to a practical and realistic view of human sexuality; and give – not sell – give people the tools they need to achieve consent with their partners as simply and consistently as possible. If that makes me a heretic, then so be it. As for me and my House, Love is the Law; Love under Will.

As for me and my House

Love is the Law Love under Will

93

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12. Appendix I: Sample Safety Documents These documents were created with reference to the safety documents, procedures, and cultures of many festivals and events in the community, chief amongst them: The Portland Leather Alliance's KinkFest; Surrender: an ecosex convergence; Network for New Culture NW events; Burningman; Rainbow Gatherings; Safe Kids Culture and the millions of unnamed mobs who create the room parties that are the life's-blood and underpinning of every fan convention and fantasy festival everywhere. These documents were drafted for the governance of the festival Primal Ordeal 2016. As this was a first year event and I found myself in the position to create it all from scratch, I took recourse to the data that had at that point mostly stopped trickling in and attempted to reflect in these documents what it appeared that the community most wanted. Of course, certain aspects were determined by the nature and type of the event. It was understood from the outset that this was an intersectional event: drawing first and foremost from the BDSM community as a place for the celebration and exploration of Primal identity. However, it was also a sacred kink festival, and members of the Sacred Sexualities community at large were invited to explore and participate in this experience together. Overall, the event was peaceful and all procedures functioned as intended. These are provided here not as a template, but as an example of what types of documents are needful; and what their contents, structures, and purposes are. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice; I have no legal credentials; this information is provided for educational purposes only. Consult a legal expert for the manufacture of your official â&#x20AC;&#x153;Waiverâ&#x20AC;? document.

Primal Ordeal

Mission Primal Ordeal exists to provide a safe space in which to celebrate our Primal natures and conduct sacred Ordeals work in a natural setting. Community Values We are creating together a sacred environment supportive of intense and transformational sacred experiences. Toward this end, we require that participants honor the following commitments throughout the event: Earth: Integrity "I will honor this space and the land we stand upon." The entire space and weekend are serving as our sacred temple. Please be considerate of our communal experience by following all space-related guidelines. Use areas for their designated intended purposes. Help us keep the camp clean by disposing of waste in appropriate receptacles. Recognize the limitations of the camp's resources and especially do not waste water. Keep your campsite free of litter. If you have a physical need and aren't sure how to fill it, please approach any staff member for assistance.

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Fire: Sovereignty "I will treat every being present as the master of his or her own Will." In sexual spaces, it is especially important that everyone be assured that no one will in any way attempt to abridge another's right to personal sovereignty. That means everyone is responsible to assess for themselves what activities and engagements are appropriate and desired. No one will be pressured to do anything they do not want to do. When we agree to honor each others’ "no", we are also creating room for an authentic and enthusiastic "yes" to occur. However, you are responsible for clearly and plainly asserting your boundaries. Similarly, if you find yourself a guest in someone's campsite please be courteous and respectful to your hosts. If someone is pressuring you to do something you don't want to do, please approach any staff member for assistance. Water: Compassion "I will bear witness with care to the travails we have come together to seek." Ordeals work invites temporary emotional instability as a matter of course. We agree that we are coming together to this end and purpose. Unlike many kink spaces, expressions of extreme emotion are invited and encouraged, both in and out of scene. Assume that anyone with whom you interact may be undergoing a transformational experience. It is ok to approach other participants to request heartfelt council for what you are experiencing. However, know that they may be processing something themselves - so ask first if they are in a condition to offer you care in your emotional state. If you need help processing something, approach any staff member and they will direct you appropriately. Air: Respect "I will be open to the diverse views of my fellow practitioners." The Sacred Kink community has members drawn from many backgrounds, spiritual traditions and walks of life. While we may intellectually disagree with one another on specific points, we are united in our goals and purposes so far as this event is concerned. There is certainly a place for lively discourse. If you find a conversation too heated, simply agree to disagree while it is still possible to do so without descending into hurtful speech. At the same time, please refrain from any remarks that denigrate a category of identity. Racist, sexist, homophobic or other categorically demeaning speech will not be tolerated. If someone is causing you harm in this way, please approach any staff member for assistance. Spirit: Attention "This place is a sacred temple because we are agreeing together to make it so." • • •

The purpose of a Community Values statement is to make sure that everyone is on the same page about the culture you are trying to create. This set was structured on a Western Elemental system because most American practitioners are familiar with it and it serves as a mnemonic device. Formulating values as commitments puts the onus on the community to create the environment they want to play in. 171


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Safety Plan In order to help facilitate a safer experience for all in this unique environment, we are implementing a safety plan that includes a three-part response team. Members have been chosen for their demonstrated skill in responding to the different types of issues that may arise. Credentials may include professional expertise, past service to the community in these capacities, class certifications, and etc. This event is following a RACK-based philosophy and model. This means that each of us will bear the primary responsibility for ensuring our own safety. Nevertheless, the organizers also accept their responsibility to attendees to do everything in our power to help create a safer space. Head of Safety All responders report to the Head of Safety. The Head of Safety will ensure shift coverage at the event, and handle any questions or concerns brought by Safety Team Members. They will help create and be thoroughly familiar with festival policies. In the unfortunate event of an ejection, the Head of Safety will be present with festival Producers as they handle the situation. The Head of Safety will collect and safeguard any Intervention forms that are created at the end of the originating Team Member's shift. They will apprise Producers of significant or developing issues at their discretion. Spirit Team The Spirit Team will respond to issues that relate to emotional or spiritual difficulties that may arise during the course of the event. They will also act as mediators, if requested, in minor upsets arising between parties. Mediation will be toward the goal of de-escalation and mutually acceptable settlement. They will also stand in if an accused party requests an advocate and has no personal friend or relation present or able to fulfill the role. They will refer other sorts of issues to the appropriate Team Member. Temple Team The Temple Team will oversee the Temple space during its open hours and ensure adherence to guidelines and respect for the space by participants. They will fill out a simple report form regarding any interventions that must take place. Interventions will only be enacted in life or limb situations or clear violations of the space guidelines.

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Guardian Team The Guardian Team will respond to breaches of venue and festival guidelines. They will deal with disputes between attendees which become heated using de-escalation methods first; and adjudication second. They may refer minor upsets to the Spirit Team for mediation. They will fill out a simple report form regarding any interventions that must take place. An accused party has the right to the presence of an advocate during investigatory interactions with the Guardian Team and festival leadership. If an accused party requests an advocate and has no personal friend or relation present or able to fulfill the role, the responding Guardian will contact the on-duty member of the Spirit Team to perform this function. Final Recourse: In the unfortunate event of egregious violation of the space in a way that directly harms another attendee or the festival (or if the attendee resists correction) the Team Member will report directly to the Head of Safety or Producers. Only after investigation and mediation, and as a last resort, the Producers will decide whether to eject the offender from the premise. This will be done with as much compassion as possible with the goal of “least harm”. No one will be forced to drive away from the property in an altered state of consciousness, regardless of the nature of the alteration. • • •

The purpose of the Safety Plan document is to provide a general overview of how organizers and crew will handle problems. Role descriptions identify the authorized personnel to handle different scenarios and to whom each office reports. The Final Recourse statement defines the extent of the power of festival personnel incase of extreme violations of festival policy.

Spirit Team Procedures Your primary role is to listen to individuals who need to sort through emotions that they are dealing with as a result of being in ritual space. You have been selected to the Spirit Team because you have demonstrated skill in this area. We are therefore not going to recommend a specific mode of operation to you, as each of you comes from a different background and have your own methodologies. There are, however, some ground rules: • The Spirit Team Member on duty shall have the Spirit Team radio; and shall respond to calls for a Spirit Team member. They shall pass it off at the end of their shift to the next person on duty; or return it to its place as directed at the end of the day. If already engaged with another attendee, the Spirit Team member will respond with this information and an estimate of time remaining in the interaction. ◦ Contact the Head of Safety to arrange back-up on any situation involving four or more people.

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Any member of the Spirit Team may be approached for help at any time, but you are only obligated to help when you are on shift. Otherwise, please consider your own needs and emotional state when deciding whether or not to help someone who has approached you. If you are not at that moment able, please help the person find the Spirit Team member on duty or another Spirit Team member who is able to help. Feel free to help if you are willing and able. Wait to be asked for help. In this environment, it is normal for someone to be expressing negative emotion in dramatic ways. ◦ Exception: If someone appears to be disassociated and unaccompanied in Common space, contact the Head of Safety immediately. Signs of this would include an absence of awareness of surroundings, talking to or interacting with people/things that aren’t there, etc. An accompanied individual in this state should be assumed to be engaged in a ritual and left alone. Don’t leave a person alone who has not resolved a distressed state. Have them accompany you if you must seek outside assistance; or ask someone else to run errands (such as looking for another Spirit Team member; acquiring ritual materials, etc.) Ask the person what would help them handle whatever they are dealing with. Don’t advise people about what they *should* do. If appropriate, offer the resources of the Temple to them for purification/release of the emotional state in a symbolized ritual manner. (Smudging, asperging, etc.) If they want help with this and you are not able, find a willing Team Member who is. Don’t spend more than an hour with any individual. If an hour expires and they are not in a good place to let go, offer to connect them with the Head of Safety. If a situation scares you, contact the Head of Safety.

How to handle conflicts: • •

Ideally, someone will approach you to ask for help with a situation that needs a thirdparty mediator when they note that it is escalating. If you see a developing situation, stay nearby in case you are needed. Wait to be asked about 10 feet away. Do not interfere unless the situation is disturbing others or is escalating out of control. Consider whether this is an actual conflict or part of a negotiated scene or ritual. If you must interfere, announce yourself as you approach. “Hello, I am a member of the Spirit Team. Do you need some assistance?” ◦ Accept: Listen to each side of the issue, one at a time. Give all parties the benefit of the doubt. Repeat the story back to ensure understanding of that person’s side. Try to explain each person’s point of view to the other. Look for solutions that satisfy all parties. If the parties refuse to reconcile or are continuing hostile behavior or are disrespecting you, do not hesitate to contact the Guardian on duty. ▪ Do not force parties to emotionally reconcile; simply resolve the immediate issue. ▪ Do not accuse parties of breaking rules; this will only escalate the situation. If you think someone has broken the rules in a manner that must be addressed, contact the Guardian team. ▪ Do not impose your beliefs on others. This is a diverse community, and not everyone here shares all of the same values. We are concerned with getting along in our diversity, not policing one another. 174


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▪ Do not spend more than 30 minutes in mediation. If no resolution is reachable at that time, contact the Guardian team. ◦ Reject: Explain that the current tone and tenor of the interaction is disturbing others, noting specific behaviors. Avoid creating shame or guilt. Ask the parties to either remove themselves to their own Sovereign Space (somebody’s tent) or cease the behaviors that are disturbing others. If necessary, tell them that you will be contacting the Guardian team if they do not cease the behavior. Return to position 10 feet away to observe and ensure compliance until you are satisfied that the situation is resolved. Direct other attendees to not interfere with the situation. Contact the Guardian team immediately if the situation escalates; or if it continues more than 10 minutes from the time you stepped back to observe. If you hear someone use the Camp Safeword “ZEBRA”, do whatever is necessary to interrupt the scene/situation; and contact the Head of Safety as soon as possible.

Guardian Team Procedures Your primary role is to enforce the rules of the space. Please be thoroughly familiar with these. You may also be called upon to assist in mediations that are highly charged as requested by Spirit Team members; and refer de-escalated situations to the Spirit Team for mediation if appropriate. • The Guardian Team member on duty shall have the Guardian Team radio; and shall respond to calls for a Guardian Team member. They shall pass it off at the end of their shift to the next person on duty; or return it to its place as directed at the end of the day. If already engaged with another situation, the Guardian Team member will respond with this information and an estimate of time remaining in the interaction. If the other situation requires immediate intervention, the Guardian Team member on duty shall contact the Head of Safety. Contact the Head of Safety to arrange back-up on any situation involving four or more people. The Guardian Team member on duty shall also carry a timepiece. • If you see someone breaking the rules, simply remind them of what the rules are. As long as the person immediately complies, no incident report form needs be filled out. If someone doesn’t want to comply, remind them that you do not want to have to fill out an Incident Report Form or contact the Head of Safety. If the attendee continues to refuse to comply, begin the Incident Report Form and contact the Head of Safety. Advise all parties that they have the right to the presence of an advocate of their choosing. ◦ Exception: Personal fires or Firearms. These are a venue-level breach and must be treated as such. Fill out an Incident Report Form and report immediately to the Head of Safety. • Any member of the Guardian Team may be approached for help at any time, but you are only obligated to help when you are on shift. Otherwise, please consider your own needs and emotional state when deciding whether or not to help someone who has approached you. If you are not at that moment able, please help the person find the Guardian Team member on duty or another Guardian Team member who is able to help; or the Spirit Team member on duty if that is more appropriate to the situation. Feel free to help if you are willing and able, but refer all individual emotional issues to a Spirit Team member. 175


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Wait to be asked for help. In this environment, it is normal for someone to be expressing negative emotion in dramatic ways. ◦ Exception: If someone appears to be disassociated and unaccompanied in Common space, contact the Head of Safety immediately. Signs of this would include an absence of awareness of surroundings, talking to or interacting with people/things that aren’t there, etc. An accompanied individual in this state should be assumed to be engaged in a ritual and left alone. Don’t leave a person alone who has not resolved a distressed state. Have them accompany you if you must seek outside assistance; or ask someone else to run errands (such as looking for a Spirit Team member, etc.) Refer emotional problems to the Spirit Team. The Guardian Team is there to enforce the rules. Don’t spend more than 30 minutes with any situation. If a half-hour expires and it is not in a good place to let go, contact the Head of Safety. If a situation scares you, contact the Head of Safety.

How to handle conflicts: • •

Ideally, someone will approach you to ask for help with a situation that needs a thirdparty mediator when they note that it is escalating. If you see a developing situation, stay nearby in case you are needed. Wait to be asked about 10 feet away. Do not interfere unless the situation is disturbing others or is escalating out of control. Consider whether this is an actual conflict or part of a negotiated scene or ritual. If you must interfere, have your Incident Report Form ready in hand. Announce yourself as you approach. “Hello, I am a member of the Guardian Team. Do you need some assistance?” ◦ Accept: Consider referring the situation to a Spirit Team member, if it has deescalated enough with your presence. In this case, no Incident Report Form is needed. If parties are too hostile and you choose to mediate the situation yourself, get names and begin filling out the incident Report Form. Advise all parties that they have the right to the presence of an advocate of their choosing. Listen to each side of the issue, one at a time. Give all parties the benefit of the doubt. Repeat the story back to ensure understanding of that person’s side. Try to explain each person’s point of view to the other. Look for solutions that satisfy all parties. If the parties refuse to reconcile or are continuing hostile behavior or are disrespecting you, do not hesitate to contact the Head of Safety. ▪ Do not force parties to emotionally reconcile; simply resolve the immediate issue. ▪ Do not accuse parties of breaking rules; this will only escalate the situation. If you think someone has broken the rules in a manner that must be addressed, treat this as a separate issue to the mediation at hand if possible, and deal with it separately after the interpersonal conflict is resolved. If the central point of the interpersonal conflict revolves around a breach of the rules, refer immediately to the Head of Safety. This especially includes consent-related situations. ▪ Do not impose your beliefs on others. This is a diverse community, and not everyone here shares all of the same values. We are concerned with getting along in our diversity, not policing one another. 176


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▪ Do not spend more than 30 minutes in mediation. If parties still refuse to accept resolution, you have license at this point to instruct the parties to agree to disagree; and simply stay out of one another’s way for the remainder of the event. We are here to keep the peace, not resolve everyone’s psychological problems. Note this on the Incident Report Form. Inform both parties that further incidences may result in the expulsion of either or both parties. If any party will not agree to this, contact the Head of Safety. • Exception: If this is a situation that was referred up the line to you from a Spirit Team member, limit the interaction to 15 minutes. Fill out the Incident Report Form. Listen to the story as the Spirit Team member gives it. Listen briefly to the core of the dispute as each side recounts it. Reiterate the solution opinion of the Spirit Team member. If parties still refuse to accept resolution, you have license at this point to instruct the parties to agree to disagree; and simply stay out of one another’s way for the remainder of the event. We are here to keep the peace, not resolve everyone’s psychological problems. If any party will not agree to this, contact the Head of Safety. ◦ Reject: Explain that the current tone and tenor of the interaction is disturbing others, noting specific behaviors. Avoid creating shame or guilt. Ask the parties to either remove themselves to their own Sovereign Space (somebody’s tent) or cease the behaviors that are disturbing others. If any party resists, tell them that you will be creating an Incident Report Form and contacting the Head of Safety if they do not satisfactorily comply and disperse within 10 minutes. Return to position 10 feet away to observe and ensure compliance until you are satisfied that the situation is resolved. Direct other attendees to not interfere with the situation. Contact the Head of Safety immediately if the situation escalates; or if it continues more than 10 minutes from the time you stepped back to observe. If you hear someone use the Camp Safeword “ZEBRA”, do whatever is necessary to interrupt the scene/situation; and contact the Head of Safety as soon as possible. • • •

The Purpose of the * Team Procedure outlines is to define for responders how exactly they are to engage with attendees to ensure cohesiveness between teams and responders and appropriate limitation of enforcement. More or fewer types of responder may be appropriate depending on the nature of the event. At the event, responders should be clearly and distinctively marked for ease of identification at the event.

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General Code of Sexual Conduct & Grievances Policy Spiral Cult Circus Spiral Cult Circus regularly hosts touch- and sex-positive events and spaces. We recognize that the values around these terms vary widely within our communities, and invite the participation of everyone. In some of these communities explicit verbal consent is the norm; while in others participants prefer non-verbal communication styles in courting. In some communities any attempt to “win over” someone in whom one is interested is a pressuring behavior; while in others it is a delightful aspect of the courtship game. Given the diverse cultures represented within our spaces, we are defining an inclusive ethic of sexual responsibility that presumes the intention of consent in all exchanges by all parties; and that emphasizes personal responsibility for asserting and maintaining one’s own boundaries. This model empowers us by insisting on confidence in the intention of those around us to interact only in consensual exchanges. We must let others know if something taking place is not in accordance with our desires, because the other person has not agreed to a non-consensual interaction. Expectations about Touch by Type: 1. Social touch is friendly touch that is not intended to convey sexual feeling or content. Social touch is normative in Spiral Cult spaces. If someone touches you in a social way and you do not desire social touch, politely inform the individual of your preference. a) Examples: Maneuvering through a crowded room; a tap for attention in a loud space; touch due to seating arrangements; ritual gestures like holding hands in circle; etc. 2. Affectionate touch is friendly touch intended to communicate non-sexual emotion. Seek verbal consent for affectionate touch the first time you initiate such with a person; and with anyone you do not know well. If someone touches you affectionately and you do not desire affectionate touch, politely inform the individual of your preference in the matter. 3. Healing touch is touch that serves a therapeutic purpose. All therapeutic touch should be clearly negotiated between the parties involved. Inform the giving party of any injuries or distress that may impact the proceeding. 4. Sexual touch is touch indicative of sexual or romantic feeling or content. Sexual touch should be kept to intended event spaces. You should seek verbal consent before initiating touch likely to be construed as sexual with any person with whom you do not have an ongoing consent agreement in place. Note that other forms of touch may be interpreted sexually by the receiver even if not intended that way by the giver. If someone touches you in a way that you interpret sexually and that is unwanted, politely inform the individual of your preference.

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5. In the case of events that have a designated, formal space for sexual touch, eventspecific guidelines will be made available at each event and will be accessible in the designated space(s). Read and follow these guidelines. Respect the space monitor(s). a) Honestly inform any party that you are engaging with sexually as to your degree of sobriety if you are intoxicated, as this may impact their choice to engage with you. You are responsible for communicating if you are or become too intoxicated to play. b)Assume responsibility for communicating any requirements you have that impact the other person's behavior. (ex. Condom usage; Birth control method; Consent check-in points; relationship agreements; STI status; menstruation; etc.) c) Spiral Cult Circus encourages the use of barriers in order to prevent STI transmission; however, this is ultimately the choice of participants. d)Inform partners if you will be intentionally engaging in energy-model practices or other active mystical or occult practices during the exchange. e) BDSM interactions must be fully negotiated, and more intense exchanges may not be allowed or advisable at some events. If you are unsure, ask the space monitor. BDSM exchanges should be kept to approved event spaces. f) Use good hygiene practices. Use your own towels/sheets (or those provided, if any) to ensure fluid containment. Dispose of trash in provided receptacles. 6. You may be engaging consensually in any of the above forms of touch and experience something specific that you do not like or is unwanted. If someone touches you in a specific manner that is unwanted, politely inform the individual of your preferences. 7. If someone does not honor your statements regarding your touch preferences at an event, seek out an organizer to file a report. You may only file such a report if you asked the individual not to or to stop doing something and he or she did or continued doing it anyway. Only if you are willing to take this step will any proceedings whatever be considered. Spiral Cult Circus takes accusations of sexual misconduct very seriously. Redress Throughout, the organizer responsible will make no assumptions founded on the gender, race, age, class, etc. of the parties involved. 1. Both the accuser and accused will be offered safer space until the situation is resolved. 2. The organizer responsible will speak with the accused individual in a respectful, private, and objective manner; and will begin from the assumption that the offense was unintentional. 3. The accused has the right to the presence of an advocate. An advocate is the accused's support person. Dealing with such a situation is in and of itself traumatizing and it is not assumed that the accused is guilty of intentional wrong. The presence of an advocate may reduce the harmful effects of such proceedings. If none in his/her party is willing or able to fulfill this role, one will be assigned upon request. 4. The organizer responsible will listen objectively to the accused's version of events and note it in the report. 5. If applicable, the organizer responsible will speak privately with witnesses and note relevant testimony in the report. 179


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6. Unless the misconduct (as described by the reporter) rises to the level of the criminal, the organizer responsible will volunteer to mediate a conversation between parties immediately and privately in a manner that helps each individual to understand the position of the other; with the intention of restoring relationship between the parties and maintaining the peace at events. 7. Unless the misconduct rises to the level of the criminal, any involved party refusing mediation will be asked to leave the event. 8. Reports will be retained. If an individual is the cause of frequent difficulties, he or she may be excluded from attendance at Spiral Cult Circus events. This includes individuals who are found to exaggerate claims or who attempt to abuse the Redress process for retributive purposes. However, Spiral Cult Circus will not engage proactively to affect the ability of any individual to attend events with other organizations in the community. Inquiries regarding submitted reports of misconduct will be answered with the submitted documentation. Reports of Criminal Misconduct: 1. Reports of misconduct rising to the level of the criminal will be referred to external authorities at the discretion of the reporting party. After completing steps 1-5 (Redress), the organizer responsible will check back in with the reporter, explaining the situation from the other person's point of view and the testimony of witnesses if applicable. If the reporter still believes that he/she has been willfully violated in a criminal manner, the accused will be asked to leave at the earliest safe moment and with as much compassion as possible; while the reporter will be offered safer space and referred to the nearest police department or hospital as and when appropriate. (Such situations require professional guidance and resources not available in an event space.) Otherwise, the organizer responsible will proceed with steps 6-8 under Redress. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

The Code of Sexual Conduct and Grievances Policy defines the etiquette of the space around sex and touch-related matters. It should be as clear and concise as possible. It should clearly define how reports of consent violations and other sexual misconduct will be handled by organizers.

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Temple Rules Temple Monitors (TMs) will be on duty to supervise activities in the Temple. Any questions or concerns regarding activities taking place during open hours should be directed to a TM.

All decisions by the TMs are final. There is no appeal process. Tip: You may choose to inform the TM on-duty if you are planning a scene/rite you believe might cause concern to avoid awkward interruptions during the activity. • • •

• •

• • •

• • •

This is a RACK (Risk-aware Consensual Kink) Space. You are the party primarily responsible for your safety. Only consensual exchanges are permitted. The camp-wide safeword is “ZEBRA”. Absolutely no recording devices of any type are permitted in the Temple. The following activities and types of play are prohibited: ◦ Gun Play - absolutely no showing or exposing of guns of any type ◦ Fire Play ◦ Scat or water sports play The entire Temple Complex should be respected as Sacred Space. ◦ The Outer Court is available to all permitted types of play. The Inner Sanctum is reserved to more serious exchanges and deep energy work. Follow basic good etiquette protocols: ◦ Do not handle or touch other people’s personal equipment or spiritual artifacts without permission. ◦ Do not intrude into a scene/rite unless specifically invited by the scene/rite participants. ◦ Watching scenes/rites from a respectful distance is permitted in the Outer Court (NOT the Inner Sanctum), and please keep all conversations, laughter, and comments to a minimum. DO NOT talk to participants while a scene/rite is progressing unless specifically invited. Clean up after your scene/rite, disposing of any waste in the provided receptacles. Bring your own sheets, blankets, or towels to facilitate fluid containment and for comfort. These are not provided by the event. Safer sex practices, including the use of latex or other barriers when body fluids are present, are strongly encouraged. Condoms will be available for use, but please bring and use your own supplies. Blood sport play is allowed only in designated areas. ◦ Dispose of sharps in the containers provided. Sharps containers are for sharps only.

The Temple (or Dungeon) Rules Document defines what is and is not allowed in shared sexual spaces. It should be brief and fit entirely on one page; and be posted in many places about the space itself and elsewhere at the event, if applicable. TM's or DM's over watch the area and make sure these rules are followed. Otherwise, they do not intervene except for life and limb situations.

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13.Appendix II: General Announcement This Position Paper was approved for dissemination by the Board of Directors of Spiral Cult Circus. Some of you have joined us in this journey only of late, and therefore may have missed some of the formative lessons that have created the organization Spiral Cult Circus. We are an egalitarian spiritual organization serving the activist and artist communities of Portland, OR. This grew out of an experiment in conscious movement and ritual creation (with a tip of the hat to the inspiring works of Antero Alli, Aleister Crowley, and many a holy bard...) In the beginning, we had only four rules: Don't burn the Witch. Buy ticket, take ride. Your mileage may vary. This might kill you. Must be this tall to ride ride. Everyone gets the benefit of the doubt. It has come to our attention that not everyone in our field understands these principles, or why we have them. Spiral Cult Circus was designed to be an inclusive space meant to foster diversity and understanding in the magical community. We have many highly talented, creative people skilled in all areas of event production. As such, we encourage our members to share their talents liberally with any organization working toward allied causes in the community that shows itself to be appreciative and trustworthy. It has been our experience that our shared communities are frequently fractious and prone to internal power struggles through “small pond” politics. The tactics of this method are inherently damaging to community: gossip mongering; bullying and intimidation; financial manipulation; and out-right abuse are all too common. There is therefore no telling what kind of a process anyone has received. This is the reason behind Rule #1; and also has to do with Rule #4. Rule #2 is relevant to the choice to participate in any activity involving risk. You are the party primarily responsible for your own safety. Sovereignty is a double-edged sword. If no one else gets to tell you what to do with yourself and your own body, than no one else can be blamed if an outcome leaves you hurt. You are responsible for the choices you make. Failing to interrupt something that is happening in your environment is giving implied consent to that activity, except in case of incapacity. In other words, if you don't want to mosh, stay out of the pit. Must be this tall to ride ride: we expect everyone in our community to behave like adults. All of us here are damaged. That is no excuse. All of us here have traumas. That is no excuse. All of us here have unique structures of oppression effecting our lives. That is no excuse. All of us have strong political, religious, and social opinions. That is no excuse. We are striving together to get beyond mere tolerance and “safe” spaces. We recognize that in order for growth and change to occur, we must encounter difference in a way that might lead to it. That involves risk, and it can't happen in monoculture spaces. That means we are going to have to learn to have a genuine respect for one another as people first, beyond our differences, if we are ever to unite in common cause with our natural allies in the fight against our shared, True Enemy. We can no longer continue ripping ourselves apart in petty squabbles, turned deadly serious by the participation in mob mentality. For the record, Spiral Cult Circus is not now, nor has it ever been subject to the Witch Hunts. We are neutral space, and we do not take sides in the internal politics of the organizations we serve; or any others in the field. In other words, we don't give a damn who has accused you of what. The only way you get ejected from our space is by coming there and making trouble. If anyone doesn't like that, tough shit. 182


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To all of you that have been effected by this persisting factor of life in the occult community, we offer this advice: don't engage. If someone wants to make you do a process that you don't want to do, don't. Negotiate something you can live with, or don't play. Don't accept as a mediator anyone that isn't a genuinely neutral third party. A genuine mediator will recuse themselves from any process the outcome of which might effect them personally. This is called a conflict of interest. It saddens us to report that participating in a mediation process with someone at all is being held up as evidence of wrongdoing by others in the community. We suggest you insist upon an informal meeting in which each person is allowed to bring one party of their choosing who is, admittedly, on their side – an emotional support person or advocate. Thereupon, work it out like adults. Don't be impressed by occult credentials. They are as good as the paper they are printed on. This is also true of any certifications or classes in the social justice field. There is no oversight, and typically these systems are the opinions of their creators; carried by the celebrity of whatever authors and commentators most match their own opinions. If you are trying to decide whether to trust a leader or not, look to the people who've left their organizations; and ask them “Why?”. If you are not the target but a bystander in one of these situations, be aware that if you participate in the persecution of the target you are helping give power to those carrying it out. You are complicit. Don't be fooled into tacitly supporting the persecution by assuming the accused party is guilty; especially if you know better. To do otherwise is cowardice and, in the case of a friend, betrayal. However, you must know this: whether you genuinely attempt to “call in” the perpetrator; try to organize publicly; or even simply don't “go along with” the persecution, you will likely become a target. They will aim these same social weapons at anyone who gets in their way. The more power you have in the organization, the more this becomes true. If you have one shred of self-respect, stand your ground as your knowledge of the situation and integrity require. Otherwise, be warned that you are helping to build the gallows upon which you yourself may one day be hanged. And good riddance.

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14. Appendix III: A Warning to Fellow Young Girl-Shaped-Things I realize I am hardly able to call myself a “young woman” anymore. I am 31, and therefore not to be trusted. But I was just recently in a place that you are about to be in, and it is a pit full of vipers. And so I beg you, please listen to me very carefully. Some people are going to try and use you. It won't be the people you're expecting. It will be people you love, trust, and respect. It will be people who look just like you, but a bit older. They will promise you they know more about life and everything, and you should pitch your energy in with them. If all they wanted was your energy, that would be just fine. But they don't. They want what your presence represents: a high value sexual target in the pool. The more you invest yourself in the organization, the higher value they place on your body in the sick little game they are playing. They treat your friends like potential targets for whatever it is they are selling; and they treat you like a cog in their machine. They do know more about the world than you. And some of them will happily use you and exploit you until they go a foot too far. Then you have got two choices: you can either decide that you are their bitch and their slave and their cur and whine and cower for mercy like a slovenly scullery girl; or you can laugh in their faces and walk away like an adult. These people live in a fantasy world that we support them in. The only way to win is to refuse to play. They of course will say they have thrown you out. They will come up with something, don't worry. And then you will see what a friendship that can be bought is really worth. I have seen this story through so many times around now it makes me sick with vertigo. How many times is it going to take? My body is my business, and if some other women-shapedmonkeys think they get to tell me otherwise because we happen to be the same shape and they have more money than I do, fuck them. I refuse to play out the toxic patterns of the gender binary bias in any of its forms. This Creature of Shadow I name toxic femininity: that tendency amongst women to use guilt, fear, and shame to limit access to sexual partners in a social network and thereby enforce gender-coded norms. This can be especially toxic if those norms include such other atrocities as a transactional model of relationships; use of coercive persuasion and hierarchies of sexual value. They've got us objectifying ourselves now, and everyone else! And more often than not, they speak the High Speech of feminism while they're about it. I never want to lay a hand to a partner's body unless it was as to the body of the God or the Goddess Themselves. And in the last 5 years I have watched that become only less and less possible as everyone retracts behind walls of fear and pain from the times they have been used and betrayed in the past; or accused of wrongdoing when nothing at all was said in the moment. This is not good news, people. Please, listen to me, fellow-girl-shaped-things: however you think of yourself, they will see you and treat you in accordance with what your body is shaped like. Trust me on this one. I dropped 100 pounds in a year and went from being the least valuable token in the room to one of the most. I don't even feel like I own this body or that it properly fits. It is a puppet I operate, and not to do with the person that I am. I'm an actor and a comedian; and that's a special kind of studied gender neutral. Still, they treat me in accordance with my tits. They will do the same to you, trust me. There's no way around it. The only question is, will you let them get you to treat you like you're nothing but your tits? I suggest you make a hard and fast decision – right now – and stick to it every fucking time.

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15. Table of Tables Table

Title

Page

1

Basic Demographics by Gender

29

2

Communities Characteristics

29

3

Overall Involvement by Point of Entry

30

4

Total Involvement Points by Community & Gender

31

5

Distribution of Organizational Power: Status, Involvement, & Gender

36

6

Organizational Power by Status Quartile

37

7

Status & Involvement by Medians

37

8

Involvement by Sub-community, Status & Gender

38

9

Roles and Involvement Values

39

10

Status by Involvement Quartile and Gender

40

11

Involvement by Quartile and Gender with Total Leadership Roles Held

40

12

Correlation of Point-of-Entry with Status & Involvement

41

13

Comparison of Status & Involvement by P.O.E.

42

14

Dispersal of Leadership (Ranks 4 & 5)

42

15

Dispersal of Regulars (Rank 3)

43

16

Dispersal of General Population (Rank 1 & 2)

43

17

Total Dispersal

44

18

Beliefs Scaling Key

55

19

Scaled Belief Totals & by Gender

56

20

Beliefs by Point of Entry

58

21

Beliefs by Influence Pools

60

22

Beliefs by Status Quartile

62

23

Competency Grading Scale

73

24

Verbal Competency Totals & by Gender

73

25

Verbal Competency by Point-of-Entry

74

26

Verbal Competency by Influence Pool

74

27

Verbal Competency by Status Quartile

74

28

Non-Verbal Competency Totals & by Gender

77

29

Non-Verbal Competency by Point-of-Entry

78

30

Non-Verbal Competency by Influence Pool

78

31

Non-Verbal Competency by Status Quartile

78

32

Notable Demographic Features of Reporting Rate Pools

82

33

Short Form Consent Violations Totals

83

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34

Mean Report Value by Reporting Rate Pool

85

35

Comparison of Violation type by Reporting Rate Pool

86

36

Who are the offenders?

90

37

Long-Form Event Violations (First Reports)

92

38

Behaviors in Event-related First Reports

93

39

Additional Event-related Reports

94

40

Long-Form Non-event Related Violations (First Reports)

95

41

Behaviors in Non-event Related First Reports

96

42

Demographics in Long-term Relationship Reports

97

43

Behaviors in Long-term Relationship Reports

98

44

Relationship-specific Violations

99

45

Reasons for not Reporting Frequency Key

102

46

Reasons for Not Reporting

103

47

Remedy Categories Breakdown

104

48

Gender Comparison of Temperature Check Data

111

49

Operational Definition Totals by Gender

113

50

Enforcement Agreement Level Key

139

51

Enforcement Procedures Agreement Totals

139

52

Enforcement Procedures Agreement by Gender

140

53

Enforcement Procedures Agreement by Influence Pool

141

54

Enforcement Procedures by Status Quartile

142

55

Enforcement Procedures by Community P.O.E.

143

56

Investigation Proceedings Agreement Comparison

154

57

Mediation Proceedings Agreement Comparison

154

58

Communication Proceedings Agreement Comparison

154

59

Punishment Proceedings Agreement Comparison

154

186


“Deep in my heart, I do believe, We shal overcome some day.” ~ Al Of Us


Print editons may be ordered directly trough Lulu at 40% of â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pennies over producton cost. Te autor regrets te high cost of fl color ondemand printng. An afordable black &whit tade paperback version is also available.

The Clearing of Consent: On Regulating Sexuality at Alternative Culture Events  

We all know that consent violations are rampant within alternative communities. Yet with the breadth of education on the market, it has beco...

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