Code of Consent and Conduct
Code of Consent and Conduct
This code applies to everyone involved in or attending Studio Kink. In your role at Studio Kink and at other times as a representative of Studio Kink, you are expected to uphold our Code of Consent and Conduct. This code applies both at Studio Kink, as well as in the wider community. This code is not comprehensive; real world situations often involve a complicated interaction of factors (this should never be an excuse). In situations that are ambiguous, you are unsure of what to do, or the situation is not covered by the Code of Consent and Conduct, consult Studio Kink Management for advice. If you have any suggestions please email them to email@example.com.
We do not expect you to be perfect. We do expect you to strive to be the best version of yourself, and to help others uphold this Code of Consent and Conduct. If you notice something that doesn't sit right with you, please bring it up with the Studio Kink Team and reference the code of conduct.
Integrity is the value of striving to apply all ethical considerations consistently across different situations and throughout our lives. We expect everyone involved in Studio Kink to be positive examples of Ethical BDSM practitioners at all times.
Consent is a mutually understood agreement, entered into freely and willingly, granting a specific set of permissions that can be withdrawn at any time.
Explicit verbal consent must be obtained before intentionally touching anyone. It is the responsibility of the person initiating the activity to ensure consent has been gained prior to starting.
Never assume there exists an implied consent.
Be as specific as possible when asking for consent.
If the nature of the activity changes or the participants’ understanding changes then consent for the change must be sought, otherwise the activity must end.
Be aware that any participant can withdraw consent at any time.
Someone can not be held to a predetermined agreement. Consent must be ongoing.
Respect indecision (it means there is not consent).
Do not set out to convince someone of an answer or to change their mind.
Respect someone saying no.
If someone says no, do not ask them that thing again.
Be gracious in accepting someone saying no to you.
Gain consent for each different activity.
Consent to one thing does not imply consent to anything else.
Make every effort to understand coercive influences. We encourage everyone to be aware that “Yes” does not always mean “Yes”. Consent should at all times be enthusiastic, informed and continual.
Be honest. Consent is uninformed if it is gained through dishonesty.
This specifically means in a class situation:
Always ask consent before touching someone, explaining where you are touching them and the purpose.
Eg “May I touch the rope on your arm to check the tension?”
Eg “May I complete the tie at the back to show this rigger the path?”
Eg “Do you mind if I show you where you place your hands?”
Do not rely on global consent.
Make sure you ask each person the first time and ideally every time before touching them.
Tell people they can withdraw consent to being touched at any time by either informing you out loud at the start or quietly in person. Still try to ask every time.
Consent in previous classes or other situations does not imply consent in the present.
Do not ask the entire class for preemptive or blanket consent.
Do not say at the start of class, “does anyone not consent to being touched?”
Instead explain, “Throughout the course of class, it may be beneficial at times for me to touch you or the rope on you. I will do my best to ask each of you individually before doing so. It is also your responsibility to make sure that I am aware if you withdraw consent to do so at any time.”
Only perform demonstrations on people that you have organised and negotiated in advanced of the class.
Do not ask during the class for a volunteer.
In the event you need to perform a demonstration in a class and you have not organised and negotiated this ahead of time, or if your plans fall through, seek advice from your supervisor. If a supervisor is not available then do your best to run the class without the demonstration.
Additionally, if you are not the person running the class, ensure you also have consent, from the person running the class, to demonstrate or assist others (in addition to the consent from the specific person you wish to touch).
We also expect everyone involved with Studio Kink to model consensual ethical BDSM values both inside and outside of the classroom. This means, unless explicitly negotiated otherwise, engaging in the above mentioned model of consent.
This includes but is not limited to the following principles:
Don’t negotiate up during a scene.
If someone asks to add something to a scene that wasn’t negotiated before hand, say no and add it to things to be discussed when negotiating before your next scene with the person (assuming you decide to scene again together).
Hurt not Harm.
Harm is lasting damage that diminishes a person's ability to enjoy life or pursue happiness. You should strive to never harm another.
Avoid unintentional pain.
Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality
You may have access to personal information about individuals or financial and other confidential matters.
As such it is a condition of your engagement as a Volunteer that you will not disclose any such personal, confidential or sensitive information that you may receive.
You shall not use or attempt to use any such information in any manner which may cause or be calculated to cause injury or loss to either the organisation or its customers.
We expect everyone involved at Studio Kink to uphold the value of honesty. Honesty means never deceiving another or oneself through either actions, words or omission. Being honest means compassionately and kindly communicating information that is relevant to your interactions with another.
Studio Kink welcomes people from all walks of life, and does not tolerate discrimination on any grounds!
We do not tolerate any form of harassment or abuse (verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual). Harassment includes offensive verbal comments (related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion), deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of classes or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
We do not tolerate the use of misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or racist language.
As a representative of Studio Kink we expect you to do your utmost to use respectful, inclusive language and behaviours.
For more information on inclusive language please read these links which we feel align with out values at the time of writing:
Implied Power Dynamic
Due to the nature of volunteering or educating at Studio Kink, there is almost always an implied power dynamic. The history, brand and official nature of Studio Kink, combined with a student/teacher dynamic and your role create an unspoken power imbalance. We ask you to be aware of this, as much as it is possible to be, in order to not unintentionally exert coercive influence when gaining consent.
An example of this would be to not arrange private play with a new student while acting in (or potentially perceived to be in) your capacity as a Studio Kink volunteer. At Studio Kink we acknowledge that people coming into the space are coming to learn and as such there is likely a power differential based on knowledge and social norms (student teacher dynamics).
Studio Kink Brand
Be aware that as a volunteer your words and actions represent Studio Kink.
This means you require permission to make statements representing Studio Kink or your role and involvement at Studio Kink.
Specifically but not exhaustively:
Be clear when you are stating a personal opinion as opposed to referring to Official Studio Kink Policy
Eg when responding to online questions
Don’t say “well at Studio Kink we do things this way”
The written use of the name Studio Kink must be approved explicitly in writing from a member of the Studio Kink Management Team. This includes personal promotion and advertising.
Eg if you are participating at another/external event and it mentions your involvement at Studio Kink
Introducing person-x from Studio Kink
Use in personal biographies or promotional material
Ethics and ideologies, as well as our understanding of them, can change over time. As such this is a living document. This means that we will do our best to update it to reflect current best practices and our beliefs. We also cannot hope to produce a comprehensive guide. As such we will update this document based on experience gained and suggestions made. Whenever significant change to the spirit of this document occurs, it will be done in consultation with stakeholders. You will be emailed (on the address provided when signing at the bottom) either as part of this consultation process or to inform you of the change. We understand that this policy cannot cover every situation. As such we welcome the continuing discussion about and improvement of this policy. If you have any concerns, suggestions or comments please let us know either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting a Studio Kink Team member.