Consent & Code of Conduct Guidelines
Our Consent & Code of Conduct Guidelines are intended to make clear that SOJ values consent at all of our events.
There have been recent changes to these guidelines which remain a work in progress at the moment. We recognize that not all scenarios are covered so feel free to contact us if you have concerns that you think fall outside of the scope laid out here.
The following applies to SOJ events. Venue rules and policies are always respected and may supercede portions of this policy.
Society of Janus and attendees to our events are all responsible for creating a culture that values consent and inclusion. Anyone who cannot positively contribute to the desired culture of the space should not attend our events. Anyone who negatively impacts this culture must make changes or may be uninvited from future events.
Inclusion at Society of Janus
Society of Janus is, and has always been, an organization made up of the community and in service to the community. We are stronger for our diversity, including adults of all genders, orientations, colors, ethnicities, roles, and experience levels. We welcome all who have a genuine interest in kink and who respect each other's rights to self-expression, self-exploration, and authenticity. At each and every one of our events, we will strive to maintain and enforce a respectful and safe space for all attendees in celebration of this diversity and expect the same from attendees.
What is Consent
Consent is a choice. The people giving consent to engage in a BDSM scene, sexual contact, or enter into a power exchange relationship must do so voluntarily and without being subjected to threats, fraud, coercion, or deceit. Look for the presence of a "yes", not the absence of a "no". A "no" should be immediately accepted without undue persuasion, influence, or intimidation to encourage someone to do something they've expressed hesitation about doing. Coercive tactics (e.g., threats, leveraging a power relationship, etc.) or pressure (e.g., making someone responsible for your disappointment, continuing to ask for something after a boundary is stated, or emotional manipulation) should never be used.
Consent is informed. Everyone involved must know enough so that the consent given is on an informed basis to the planned BDSM/sexual activities or to the power exchange relationship. This includes understanding the physical, mental, health, and emotional risks that can occur when engaging in BDSM relationships or activities.
Consent is competent. All parties must have the unfettered ability, knowledge, judgment, or skill to have an interaction. A person must have sufficient mental capacity to give consent and each person has a legal obligation to make sure that this is the case with all of their partners. In order to consent, you must be in a clear-headed state of mind (e.g. not in “sub space”, not under duress, pressure, coercion, etc.) and not impaired by alcohol, prescription medicine, or recreational drugs.
Consent is specific. All parties must agree to what BDSM activities, sexual
activities, touching, and/or type of power exchange relationship they will exgage. All parties are clear about what they are doing together and the boundaries of all proposed activities. Where there is a lack of specificity, participants act with heightened caution and attunement.
Consent is ongoing and revocable. Anyone can revoke consent to anything at any time during the activity. If a pre-negotiated and agreed upon safeword or safe sign — or any other pre-negotiated expression of a withdrawal of consent — is ignored then consent has been violated. If consent is revoked, play must stop immediately. Partners should check in frequently and especially when anything changes about the interaction (e.g., introduction of new people, activities, or levels of intensity).
Consent is communication. It is ethically and legally important to communicate before and during your scenes, as well as throughout a relationship or dynamic . There should be a mutually understood means of communication between the participants, whether it’s plain speech, safewords, or a safe sign.
Consent is the foundation of all play and/or interactions at Society of Janus events. All parties must be freely and willingly participating.
Event Code of Conduct
To maintain a culture of consent and inclusion, Society of Janus maintains the following behavior guidelines for our events.
Reporting a Consent Violation or Other Incidents
Any problem that you feel needs the attention, regardless of whether it occurred at a Society of Janus event or elsewhere, can be reported.
There are multiple methods of contacting SOJ:
- Verbally speak to the event host or Consent Liaison (or designated representative).
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org which goes directly to our Consent Liaison and Coordinator.
The Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator, if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest) will be the person interfacing with involved parties and making recommendations to the Business Meeting for consideration.
If the complainant feels that the Consent Liaison has a conflict of interest then they may request that someone else fulfill that role.
For incidents that occur at an event, the event host may take information and give it to the Consent Liaison for follow up.
- Reports need not be limited to incidents that occur at SOJ events.
- Consent violations and other incidents do not need to be “big” to be taken seriously. Repeated minor infractions can result in consequences. Severity, patterns, and accountability can all be taken into consideration.
- No one is exempt from obtaining proper consent. Everyone has the right to be free from harassment. No one is exempt from the rules and policies, including presenters, hosts, and community leaders.
- Although SOJ expects event attendees to uphold these guidelines to the extent possible, no representations or guarantees are being made about our ability to act on alleged violations of these guidelines and all participants/attendees retain full, sole responsibility for their safety and the safety of others with whom they interact. Rules, policies, and procedures may be updated at any time to make our events as safe as possible.
- Alleged consent violations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
- With the permission of the complainant, the event host or Consent Liaison may ask for details about what occurred from involved parties and witnesses who are willing or able to provide information. The complainant may give this permission or add further information at a later time with the Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator, if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest) if they are unable to fully articulate details immediately following the incident.
- Someone who is alleged to have violated the consent policy may be asked to leave the event at which it happened. Special consideration will be given to the wishes of the victim of the consent violation, though the final decision belongs to the event host.
- If the incident is reported to an event host, information about any harassment, violation of consent, or reason for refusing participation will be given to the Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator, if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest).
- The Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator, if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest) will reach out to the person making the complaint to follow up and, with permission from the complainant, the alleged violator with the aim to evaluate if procedural changes are needed and recommend if further action is warranted. This information will be compiled and, in consultation with the Coordinator, recommendations will be presented to a Business Meeting for consideration. The complainant may make a written or verbal statement to the meeting if they wish by prior arrangement.
- SOJ reserves the right to temporarily uninvite anyone from events pending a final decision by the Business Meeting. This kind of action will be at the discretion of the Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator, if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest).
- When a decision is made, it will be communicated to the affected parties. SOJ does not make public statements about decisions or advance any accusation(s) or definitive statement about what did or did not happen by making a decision. SOJ only makes decisions about who is allowed to be at our events.
- Regardless of any outcome, SOJ will not tolerate post-complaint shaming or retaliation.
Possible actions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Issue an official warning to the reported person.
- Ban a participant from attending events for a period of time or indefinitely.
- Record the information and recommend no action at this time.
If someone is uninvited from Society of Janus events, it does not necessarily close the door on being reinvited in the future. Being reinvited involves petitioning the Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest) and demonstrating what accountability has been taken and why they should be allowed to attend events again. The Consent Liaison or designee will bring the information back to the Business Meeting for consideration.
Some suggestions of how to demonstrate accountability could include:
- Public letter to the community.
- Repair conversations with involved parties or their designated representative (always at the harmed parties’ discretions)
- Checking with other partners about unknown impact you might have caused.
- Attending relevant classes or courses.
- Reporting back to the Consent Liaison (or a person designated by the Coordinator if the Consent Liaison position is vacant or if there is a conflict of interest) about what has been learned and what steps have been taken to prevent future incidents.
- Having an accountability escort to events.
These accountability suggestions are a starting point for an individual’s own accountability journey and completing them does not guarantee re-admittance to Janus events. Potential for re-admittance will take into account:
- The personal work put in, actions taken, and sincere acknowledgement of responsibility.
- Impact on the victim’s ability to be present in and enjoy the community
- Perceived likelihood of future consent violations.
With this policy, Society of Janus is striving to create a culture of consent and accountability and any actions taken are not about punishment but, rather, creating a safer place for both the victims and our community.
These guidelines adapt policies and information from NCSF, Bonobos, SFSI, and other sources.