Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you all!
Consent Kitty Extraordinaire here to talk about consent <3
~Please read to the end~
As tickets are being distributed *yayyy* and we draw nearer and nearer to our homecoming: let us (re)orient ourselves to the ethos of Burning Man itself, and of Camp Contact and how that pertains to the cultivation of Consent Culture
THE 10 PRINCIPLES OF BURNING MAN
The 10 principles can be found at this link as well as in the 2018 pamphlet that comes with the golden ticket:
Leaving No Trace
At CC we are a strong Do-ocracy, practicing Radical Self-reliance. We want you empowered as an individual to do -xyz-, and if you need help with -xyz- there should always be enthused campmate(s) there to help you.
x-You need breakfast? Make some in our beautiful kitchen!
y- a tarp is coming down, a hose is leaking, camp is moopy etc. Fix it! If you aren’t really sure how, that’s your chance to be creative, learn something new, and/or work together with someone to problem solve.
z- a boundary or limit of yours has been crossed by another BM/CC attendee. Take care of yourself. Please, do what you need to take care of yourself. Whether it is saying something, stepping away, talking to a friend, approaching a member of our angel support team, etc. When you take care of yourself and find ways to express what you feel and experience, it holds a power of education, accountability, and an overall added sense of autonomy. Saying something is a great way to open a dialogue about how and why that person overstepped and provides a chance for them to hold space and really receive the ways in which their behavior affected you. When speaking up, it is a moment of calling in, rather than calling out. Do not attempt to call someone in if you yourself are feeling traumatized, raw, or triggered by a person/their actions/their effect on others. A member of our consent team can be a mediator in facilitating this dialogue.
Which brings us to Radical Self-expression.
We all have so much to offer, express, and experience. It comes with the responsibility to respect and be sensitive to others. We all have different desires and different edges, boundaries, and limits . Respect that what one person may find totally acceptable, may well offend another. The key to navigating these complex differences is to cultivate a practice of listening and checking in. This is especially true in sensitive areas like emotional and sexual intimacy. There is a balance to expressing yourself and listening for the impact of that expression.
This do-ocratic, cooperative, balanced, respected space is what we aim to uphold in the Communal Effort of Camp Contact. We all have a Civic Responsibility to behave in sustainable, proactive, and responsible ways to foster all the love and connection that brings us together year after year.
Our actions and reactions resonate. So it follows to bring focus to immediacy. Being in the moment, participating, exploring uncharted physical/emotional territory, diving head in or jumping out of experiences… This is all based around what is right for you and only you. Listen to your heart, listen to your spirit, trust in your gut, or when in doubt, ask a friend!
Things to Consider
Before ever stepping foot on the playa meditate ahead of time:
-what are my hard edges/limits
-what are my softer boundaries/edges
-what am I ready/wanting to feel with others
- what am I ready/wanting to share with others
-how will I feel in situations when someone may challenge my edges/boundaries
-how will I feel in situations when someone may be forward in their requests or inquiries
-how will I feel in situations when someone crosses my boundaries/limits
-when my boundaries/limits are crossed, how can I best care for myself
-when my boundaries/limits are crossed, how can I act in ways that are soft, centered, yet forthright (calling in vs calling out)
-what does consent mean to me
-what does it feel like to give/receive a Yes and No
-when receiving a no, how can I act in ways that are soft, centered, and empathetic
Going into the burn with these things well considered before hand will make it easeful to address IRL and give way for you to be as radical, participatory, and immediate as you can be
The 11th Principle
Consent, at its base, is an agreement. It is voluntarily accepting and agreeing to a proposal or desire of another individual.
This includes sexual and non- sexual, as well as verbal and non-verbal interaction, especially in the realm of contact dance.
In most cases, it’s best to ask for what you want, and appreciate whatever response you get. Autonomy is super cool and consent is sooo sexy. In other cases, and on the dance floor, body language is the major indicator to what someone is available or open for. Be aware, be sensitive, and pay attention to one another. Care for one another. If you are confused or something is unclear, always come back to the verbal.
When receiving a no, be grateful!! That person is loving themselves, so we have to recognize and encourage that behavior.
Say “THANK YOU so much for taking care of yourself” *repeat it to yourself now, practice feeling happy for them*
COERCION IS NOT CONSENT.
COERCION is NOT consent.
Coercion is not consent.
Less than a Yes is a No. Maybe is a No. Do not try to persuade or pressure anyone to do anything.
If you are uncertain whether you are a yes or a no, pause, and talk about it. A no isn’t always a deal breaker for interaction. A “No” to one thing may simply mean finding other ways of relating, and getting to know each other from different approaches. Everyone is different. Being flexible in what you desire and are able to give leaves much more room for others to receive an offering.
The following videos/links are golden in conceptualizing consent!
11th principle, Consent on the Playa:
Consent for kids of all ages:
Sexual Consent + replace sex with any activity or expectation:
Wheel of consent:
Dr. Betty Martin also has an abundance of videos and content focused on consent culture.
Physical consent: Whether its a hug, a dance, a spanking, an orgy, a high-five, a massage, etc. everyone is different in what they want. Be conscious of your autonomy and others’. Unsure of the other person’s boundaries? Ask! Assume their boundaries are different than yours.
Emotional consent: Hold space for one another. Lots of emotions and feelings bubble to the surface at the burn. Be sensitive in your inquiries, and navigate deeper conversations/vulnerable space by consistently checking in.
How is this landing with you? How are you feeling? Do you want to share more/ Can I share something with you? Curiosity and sharing are different from prying and forcing conversations. Be curious, not demanding.
Sexual consent: Dropping in with someone new, it is suggested and super awesome to talk about
what are your “no’s”?
will your needs and expectations in our relationship change if we do this? If so, how?
STD tests + exposure
birth control + pregnancy
how do you experience gender? pronouns?
will you introduce me to your body + what you want me to call your bits?!
outside relationship agreements
friends + ex’s (check-ins needed?)
power dynamics (social status, experience level)
are you in an altered or distressed state that might move you away from making healthy choices?
What to do when your boundaries/limits are crossed on the playa (low intensity-high intensity):
-address it individually as soon as possible
-find an angel support team member to facilitate a calling in
-naked heart’s consent team is also available to us
-go to the bureau of erotic discourse
-if you are/were in an altered state, make your way to zendo space
-notify a ranger
-notify the police
What to do and how to act if you crossed someones boundaries:
TLDR: Think about what you want from your burn. Don’t be a fucking creep. Don’t be an insensitive asshole. If someone is being these things we gotta call them in, hold them accountable. See something? Feel something? Say something. Finding it hard to find the words? Reach out to a consent kitty, because we got you boo. Anything is possible on the playa. Your burn is what you make it, so let’s all do our part to make the most of Burning Man 2018 iRobot <3
If you are interested in being part of our angel support team, please reach out to Boss (Hannah Dye) or Spacious (Darrel Duane). You can also join in the consent conversation on mattermost :)
We are also looking for leadership (1+) to oversee the operation and maintenance of our “Yes” portal, which is an intimate space provided for camp contact members to engage with each other tucked away from the littles and public eye. If you are interested in taking this on let us know!
With shimmies, sparkles, love and lust
In dust we trust,