Policy of Consent
1.0 Intent of Document
This document is intended to give guidelines as to how Consent works at PRA Inc. events. The guidelines cover all participants at regular classes and special workshops and our parties. All people attending PRA Inc. classes must be familiar with this document.
This consent policy can only apply to PRA events. We have no power to investigate complaints that do not occur at PRA Inc. events.
What is Consent?
Consent is:” permission for something to happen or agreement to do something”
At Peer Rope Adelaide Inc. we are sharing Kinbaku or Shibari skills with our members in class. This activity places the Rope Model in a position of vulnerability as they are often restrained. For the enjoyment of our hobby it is essential that the participants feel safe to participate and enjoy. This feeling of safety is only built by the earning of trust by Riggers by negotiating consent and then staying within the agreed boundaries.
What PRA considers consent to be is when 2 people have a discussion and agree what is proposed to happen next , what are the agreed boundaries , any limits or triggers , any foreseeable risk and any aftercare requirements. Both parties must agree to “YES” to start.
Informed Consent is when sufficient information is exchanged between the two parties to have a common understanding of any risks involved as well as the details of what has been agreed to happen.
Explicit Consent is the detailed discussion of the particular activity about to be undertaken and a specific “YES” to proceed is given by both parties.
PRA requires both Informed and Explicit Consent type discussions to occur.
Implied Consent is when two people who regularly tie as a Rigger / Rope Model couple agree to tie without having a specific discussion for this occasion and assume the previous discussions will apply. PRA only considers this acceptable if the couple are Long term partners (tied more than 10 times together) and would still insist a “has anything changed this week from our normal limits” type of discussion occurs prior to commencing
As a general rule Consent discussion can have the following outcomes
A YES = approval to proceed.
A verbal No is always= No we will not continue.
If no discussion has occurred on a topic then this is always a NO result for consent.
Any impairment in mental state, decision making abilities, coercion and pressure is not acceptable and NO consent is considered given in this situation.
If at any time consent is withdrawn ALL activities must immediately cease and the Rope Model released from the tie IMMEDIATELY.
Note that any Rigger can refuse to tie with a Rope Model and any Rope Model has the right to refuse to work with a rigger. Mutual willing consent is required on both sides.
PRA Policy on Consent
All people attending PRA classes and workshops shall have an Explicit and Informed discussion on Consent prior to any two people commencing tying in class. All Instructors and Special Guest are required to have received consent before touching any person in class.
4.0 Types of consent discussions
4.1 Rigger and Rope Model are not well known to each other
What is the Riggers experience , What is the Models experience
What does the proposed tie involve e.g. legs, floor work, suspension. Where will ropes be placed?
Any physical limitations or concerns either party has –medical conditions fainting, diabetes, stiff elbow etc.
Are there any limits , triggers or hard NO’s that the person has e.g. no touching feet
Does the model understand there may be residual rope marks
Respectful limits of where the Rigger can touch e.g. how to place breast ropes
How will the parties check in and communicate during the tie to check everything is ok
How will the parties know when to stop e.g. say “Stop” or “safe word or call Red” etc.
Model agrees to inform Rigger if they are detecting anything unusual or “strange feelings”
Are both parties happy to tie together and proceed
4.2 Rigger and Rope Model regularly tie together
How are they both feeling this week
Anything needs to be avoided or toned down from usual conditions
What the tie will involve this week
Are they both happy to proceed to the tie
Instructors have different members in their groups each week and will interact with most couples in any one night. Instructors should ask for permission of the class members at the start of the lesson to carry out these interactions and determine if there are any reservations or limitations they should know about from the members.
If an instructor needs to touch a Rope Model then specific consent needs to be obtained prior to commencing at that moment. Examples would be breast , genital area , crotch ropes , painful pressure spots etc. where the model is already tied and some assistance is required.
4.4 Visiting Instructors and Special Guest
As external instructors are not members of PRA and are unfamiliar with our approach to Consent special steps will need to be taken.
When engaging external people, PRA organisers will inform the Special Guest of our consent policy and expectations. The Special guest must agree to comply with the consent policy in PRA before they are engaged.
When the Special guest arrives they will be inducted in our policy.
During class we will require the Special guest to obtain consent the first time they interact with each Rigger / Model pair so there can be no misunderstandings of permissions given.
4.5 Activities at parties
Whilst Peer Rope Adelaide Inc. is primarily focused on Shibari activities we often run play parties with many varied activities. The rules for consent discussions also apply at these parties. No play unless explicit informed consent discussions have taken place and an enthusiastic YES is given by all parties.
Note at parties the universal safe words of “Red” for stop immediately are used. The safe words of “yellow” or “Mercy” are used to indicate check in, slow down and change the activity.
If any party goer has different safe words then please inform the DM prior to play commencing.
5.0 Breeches of Consent
Many consent violations occur though poor communication and misunderstanding from the earlier discussion.
Breeches can only be rectified when people alert the organisers to a problem. We strongly encourage anybody who believes they have had a consent violation carried out against them to speak immediately. We are always in a class environment and the members of PRA are here to look out for each other. A single raised voice of “stop” or “red” in class will have 20 + people there to support them.
If a person believes a consent violation has occurred but is uncomfortable to raise it publicly then please let the organisers know privately as rapidly as possible. The greater the length of time from the report the harder the investigation is.
Once the issue is raised the Committee will appoint a sub group of the committee to investigate immediately and report back to the full committee.
If miscommunication is the cause then mediation between the parties may be an outcome if appropriate which can include apologies, education and retraining.
Consequences for the Violator will be determined for each case solely on its merits but may include probation periods or asking the person to leave PRA and not return for the most serious of cases.
People accused of a violation should always remember that participants will talk and look out for each other and the person accused may end up with no person willing to partner them in the future unless resolved satisfactorily.