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:
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
In the case of events that have a designated, formal space for sexual touch, event-specific 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).
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.
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.)
Spiral Cult Circus encourages the use of barriers in order to prevent STI transmission; however, this is ultimately the choice of participants.
Inform partners if you will be intentionally engaging in energy-model practices or other active mystical or occult practices during the exchange.
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.
Use good hygiene practices. Use your own towels/sheets (or those provided, if any) to ensure fluid containment. Dispose of trash in provided receptacles.
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.
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.
Throughout, the organizer responsible will make no assumptions founded on the gender, race, age, class, etc. of the parties involved.
Both the accuser and accused will be offered safer space until the situation is resolved.
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.
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.
The organizer responsible will listen objectively to the accused's version of events and note it in the report.
If applicable, the organizer responsible will speak privately with witnesses and note relevant testimony in the report.
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.
Unless the misconduct rises to the level of the criminal, any involved party refusing mediation will be asked to leave the event.
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:
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.