Educator’s Code of Conduct
Studio Friction Educator's Code of Conduct
Modified specifically for Studio Friction from the Kink Educator’s Code of Conduct
At Studio Friction, we hold ourselves and our educators accountable to our community and the individuals we serve. This Educator Code of Conduct is separate from our Attendee Code of Conduct, and is meant to be understood, agreed to, and followed whenever one is representing Studio Friction as an instructor, presenter, educator, performer or volunteer.
- I will represent myself honestly, giving complete answers to all questions during the booking process.
- I will provide complete and accurate information about my experience and qualifications.
- I will be clear and up-front about my expectations regarding logistics and compensation.
- I will show up on time and be prepared.
I will consistently use excellent consent practices in private and in public. Studio Friction defines excellent consent as:
- Verbal or written when teaching or playing in public. Verbal, written, or covered by a pre-existing relationship or negotiation when in private.
- Conducted with an understanding of both my capacity and the capacity of the other individuals involved.
- Fully informed, with all parties understanding what is agreed to.
- Expressed with explicit and enthusiastic agreement.
- Consistent and continuous, where any doubt or confusion means stopping.
- Not coerced, nor forced, and free from manipulation.
I will practice and model excellent consent during my classes:
- I will teach consent in every class as it pertains to the content I am teaching.
- I understand I have no implied consent to touch or demonstrate on any student. I will obtain specific verbal consent from each person before touching someone, explaining where and the purpose: Ie: “May I touch the rope on your arm to check the tension?
- I will not conduct new negotiations or solicit new consent in front of a classroom audience. Instead, I will explain: “Throughout the course of this class, it may be beneficial at times for me to touch you or the rope on you. I will do my best to ask each of you individually before doing so. It is your responsibility to make sure that I am aware if you withdraw consent at any time. However, if there is an emergency and I need to give assistance for safety, consent may be revoked by all parties to ensure the safety of the participant as established by the instructor.”
- I understand that consent in previous classes or situations does not imply consent in the present or future.
Understanding of Power Dynamics:
Due to the nature of volunteering or educating at Studio Friction, there is almost always an implied power dynamic. I will strive to be aware of this as much as possible, in order to avoid unintentionally exerting coercive influence when gaining consent. I acknowledge that there are many implicit power dynamics at play while conducting a rope bondage lesson, and having an agreement between students and instructors is paramount to the comfort and safety of everyone involved.
Examples of Implied Power Dynamics at Play:
- Established Community Member/Newbie
- Board/Committee Member/Non-Studio Member
- Other (age/race/gender/sexual orientation, etc)
Maintaining Boundaries with Students:
This is intended for -new- relationships and ongoing curriculum and does not apply where tying or romantic/sexual relationships already exist before a student/teacher relationship is developed, or for one-off classes.
- In the first session of a new curriculum series (e.g. class 1 of Beginner 1), I will inform/remind students that Studio Friction policy prohibits new relationships that cross the teacher/student boundary in curriculum courses. This includes playing, dating, romantic, and sexual relationships. This agreement applies for the entire duration of the student/teacher relationship, and for 30 days following the end of the curriculum session. This agreement shall extend for the duration of the next curriculum class sessions, for as long as applicable. The exception to this is if there are more than 30 days between curriculum sessions, and the student has not declared their intention to continue taking curriculum classes from that instructor.
- I will not approach anyone for play with whom I have an exclusive and ongoing teacher/student relationship.
- I shall disclose to the board if there is an existing romantic, play, or sexual relationship with a student enrolled in my class before the start date of that session.
- I will not tie students in any play capacity for the duration of the teaching relationship, per the first bullet above. If a student asks for a tying partner to test/lab a tie, the instructor is free to refer them to another member of the community, or lab the tie with the student, with another person (preferably another instructor) present.
- In the interest of naming dynamics that may not be obvious, if I do have a preexisting relationship with an individual who is enrolled in my curriculum courses, I will disclose that relationship to the class at the start of the session (first class). This will serve to set the context for why an instructor may be behaving differently with a particular student.
Instructors Conducting Demos in a Class Setting:
I will be mindful of the consent risks and the power differentials associated with doing demos in a class setting. Keeping in mind that some demos have more consent risks than others, I will avoid putting any student in a situation where their ability to give meaningful consent could become compromised.
- I will use fellow educators or existing play partners for demos whenever possible.
- I will choose partners who can contribute expertise to the subject and level of the class.
- As part of any class that includes demos, we will incorporate a consent discussion specific to the demos, In some cases, this may include summarizing our pre-class negotiation, and/or demo-ing part of our negotiation.
- I will treat everyone in a respectful manner and make them feel included.
- In both my personal and professional life, I will not discriminate against anyone because of that person's race, color, body type, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality, and pregnancy status), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
- I will not retaliate against anyone because they have submitted a complaint about discrimination.
- I will introduce myself using my pronouns and make every effort to use others’ identified pronouns. When appropriate, I will ask people what pronouns they use.
- When teaching online classes, I will use and encourage others to include their pronouns in their title.
- I will include my pronouns in my professional rope bios.
- I will not pressure a student who chooses not to share their pronouns with me.
- I will do my best to create an environment free from hostility, and I will take accountability and action when something I do inadvertently creates a hostile environment for any group of marginalized people.
- Except when teaching gender-specific topics, I will do my best to present material in a gender-neutral fashion rather than assuming specific gender roles.
- I will do my best to use gender-neutral or medical terms, e.g. genitals - penis and vagina, sexy bits, chest, instead of saying breasts, etc. to describe the traits of the bodies. Whenever possible, I will teach techniques that are applicable to all genders, body types, and physical abilities/disabilities. I will offer modifications when requested, and safe to do so.
- I am aware that students in my class may have special learning needs and will do my best to accommodate them with educational approaches that best allow my classes to learn, utilizing lecture, demonstration and hands-on techniques whenever possible.
- I will try to avoid heteronormative language such as, “When a man and a woman have sex…”.
- I will be mindful that folks may have multiple partners and that tying pairs may not be “couples.” I opt for the language of partners over partner when referring to a student’s relationships.
- I will teach within my area of expertise, and will not teach above my skill level.
- I will only teach material I thoroughly understand and am capable of teaching correctly.
- If I teach techniques that are contrary to commonly accepted best practices, I will clearly communicate that and explain my reasons for doing so.
- I will respect each person’s right to choose their own risk profile.
- I will not pressure anyone to perform techniques outside their risk profile.
- I will make it clear that students are welcome to audit any techniques they are not comfortable performing.
- If I teach high-risk techniques or activities, for example; suspension, neck rope, breath play, needles etc. I will clearly communicate the risks involved and encourage my students to negotiate in class before engaging in any hands-on practice.
- I will respect each venue’s policies about high-risk activities.
- I will engage openly and honestly when addressing any reported consent issues, including participating in an accountability process with anyone who reports that I violated their consent or injured them. I will also be accountable for things that may occur that could cause harm, including but not limited to consent violations.
- I will follow this code of conduct and the accountability processes of producers and any organizations I work with.
As an instructor, I will proactively will provide Studio Friction with complete and accurate information about:
- Any consent incidents I have caused or been accused of
- Any injuries I have caused or been accused of
- Any accountability processes I have been the focus of
- Any sanctions or exclusions from other kink organizations
I understand that I may have access to my student’s personal information.
- I will not disclose any personal, confidential or sensitive information I may receive.
- I will not use or attempt to use any such information in any manner which may cause or be calculated to cause injury or loss to either Studio Friction, its members, or my students.
- I will not contact students using information gained through studio/class administration without their expressed, prior consent. In other words, don't look up someone's phone number in the system and start sending them texts asking if they want to play etc.
By teaching for Studio Friction, I acknowledge I have read and agree to abide by the above Code of Conduct.
If I am found to be in violation of any provision in this document, I understand that I may have an opportunity to participate in an accountability process with the Studio Friction Concerns Committee. This process may include (but is not limited to): additional education, discussions with the committee and its designees, and limits on my membership.
If I violate this Code of Conduct, I understand that whether or not I am allowed to continue teaching for the Studio is at the sole discretion of the Studio Friction Board of Directors.