Our Dynamic Takes on Consent

We believe that consent: 

  • must be negotiated in a mutually understood mode of communication, including mutually explicit body language; consent looks different for different individuals; 
  • should rely more on “opting in models” vs “opting out models”; 
  • is revocable and subject to change and amendment by all parties involved; 
  • should be a fully informed decision; the burden of informed and risk awareness is on all parties involved – if a person doesn’t know something there needs to be an understanding, an offering of resources, and provision of time to reflect on an agreed-upon knowledge base; 
  • can be negotiated in dynamic states* but this is based on a person’s understanding and communication of what occurs in the instance of this state of being. 

*Dynamic states vary.  In some cases people are able to consent and in other cases they are not – this information must be obtained before engaging in activity.  Dynamic states can be a result of: medication or treatment including self-medication, expected variants within one’s physiological or psychological state, and recreational substances.  Everyone has their own baseline and can decide what that baseline is in order to discuss consent.

We believe in the right to medical privacy. 

  • We believe that sharing medical information and disability status information requires consent.
  • We believe that people are not obligated to share any or all of the medical or social parts of their disability in order to “prove” something.
  • We believe that people should be able to obtain information regarding transmissible infections of any kind in order to make risk-aware interpersonal agreements.
  • We believe that those who have an infection that spreads even without direct physical contact jeopardize the accessibility of physical spaces.
  • We believe that people can abstain from activity based on any information that is shared or not shared.
  • We believe that sharing something about someone’s disability or sexuality without their consent is not okay as being “out” about disability status is not a static state.
  • We believe in the importance of building understanding to recognize that people with disabilities do not all belong to the same subgroups and respond appropriately to the reality that some disabilities are more stigmatized than others.
  • Regardless of disability type or status, we believe that all people have the right to safe, supportive, and respectful interactions – in personal and care relationships.

We believe in consent-informed kink. 

  • We believe there are differences between care as a kink vs care as a caregiver and the differences are consent, expectations, and responsibility outside of the dynamic.
  • We believe kink requires explicit risk-informed and risk-educated negotiation that discusses the boundaries of play, power, sexuality, headspace, degree of fantasy, post-play engagement, responsibility of players, emergency plans, and accountability.
  • We believe that risk aware means risk informed and educated. We acknowledge that information is available to all but that everyone will have varying degrees of knowledge and information. We believe it is up to the players to be on the same page in regards to both generally known and individual risks.
  • We believe that players need to be educated about not only what can go wrong in the moment, but what can go wrong in the aftermath and have a plan of responsibility for every step.

We believe there is a difference between consent violations and consent accidents; we believe these can take place when interpersonal boundaries are discordant.

  • We believe that people can change their preferences.
  • We believe that full breaches of agreement result in consent violations and accidents.
  • We believe that partial breaches of agreement require us to stop or pause as necessary to assess the situation before going forward or these partial breaches of agreement can result in consent violations and accidents.

We believe that disparate power/privilege factor into consent.

  • We believe that an awareness and acknowledgement of privilege and power structures are crucial; when people deny they have power or privilege, abuse can happen.
  • We believe there must be open lines of communication about disparity of privilege, awareness of privilege, community “norms” and taking responsibility for differences. 
  • We believe people should have awareness of the added responsibility and enmeshment around dual relationships.
  • We believe that lateral abuse and advantage can take place despite awareness of power and privilege.
  • We believe that someone in a less privileged role can still override power dynamics with abusive behavior.