This is a general list of rules and policies that everyone must abide by at Rope Bite meetings/events that is always evolving as we all learn and grow. Please know that we use the spirit of the rule and not the literal words of it. The overall goal is to make a safer, welcoming, open, and inclusive space where people of all types can come together and share without any fear of judgement or discrimination. We also know that no one is perfect and will make mistakes along the way. We are all continuing to learn and evolve. Being humble and learning from your mistakes is key. If you are unsure about something, err on the side of caution and ask. It is far better to ask than assume and harm someone.
Rope Bite Pgh strives to make an inclusive and safer environment as well as a fun experience for everyone who attends. All of your language and actions need to be consensual for all involved and around you. Harassment of others will not be tolerated. This includes racist, homophobic, transphobic, whorephobic, sexist, ageist, ableist, sizeist, or other prejudicial remarks. If any of that is part of your play dynamic, refrain from engaging in any of that while at any skill share or classes as these are not play environments.
- The first fundamental rule for all interactions with others or their belongings is to ask first.
- Practice inclusive negotiations before practicing with someone. Negotiate what you plan to do and your intentions rather than negotiate what isn’t OK with the other person. Limit your activities to that which you clearly negotiated and save other things for another time when you can discuss it first.
- Understand and acknowledge any power dynamics (experience, age, perceived social status, etc.) as you negotiate.
- Respect and honor the word “no” and practice saying it yourself. We all have limits and boundaries that we aren’t comfortable crossing. A great way to respond to a “no” is to say thank you and promptly move on. Asking for an explanation or a way around the no is not respecting their consent and boundaries. No consensual non-consent (CNC) dynamics are permitted in educational environments so if a no is heard and not respected, it will be treated as a consent issue.
- Rope is inherently dangerous and risks need to be talked about and negotiated. Go into any tie risk aware of both the physical and emotional risks. Practice mutual responsibility while advocating for the well-being of all involved.
- If you do not agree with or fully understand a rule or policy, ask for clarification before breaking it or trying to find a way around it.
- We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. What is most important is to acknowledge the transgression, accept the consequences, and learn from it. Consequences can range from warnings to being banned and are all decided on a case by case basis. Overall we want to create an environment where we can all learn from our mistakes thus we don’t usually lean towards banning people immediately unless the situation absolutely calls for it. Doing the work to learn from your mistake goes a long way in decision making processes.
- Understand that we are in the venue based upon negotiations, consent and mutual trust just as you are attending Rope Bite with the same understandings. All events are considered private events limited to those who are over 18 and consent to abide by the rules and policies. No one has a right to attend and the venue or Rope Bite have the right to determine who may or may not attend.
You are free to have your phones in the event but please make sure they are on silent or vibrate. If you need to use your phone for a call, please go to an area where others aren’t or outside. If you need to text/use your phone, keep it pointed down so that no one thinks that you are trying to take a photo. If you wish to get a photo of something, make sure that the only people that are in the photo are those who have directly consented to you taking a photo. Move to an area where there is nobody in the background like against a wall or an unused corner of the space or wait to take a photo till others are gone from that area. Do not interrupt others to ask if you can get a photo of something that they are doing. If they wanted a photo of it, they can ask someone to take one or do it themselves. Video and audio recordings are strictly prohibited. While you may be able to control who is in the frame, you can’t control what voices it picks up and people can be identified from their voices.
General Rope Bite skill share/class rules:
- Above all else, respect others and their boundaries.
- This is not a play environment so refrain from anything that isn’t directly rope related and isn’t part of what you are learning, practicing, or sharing with others.
- Nudity is acceptable but genitals must be covered. The exception is for learning, practicing, or sharing CBT ties and only during the time that you are actively engaged in that.
- No penetration or bodily fluids.
- No gags unless it is directly part of a class and negotiate alternate methods of communication first if it is.
- Clean up after yourself and keep your area tidy. Don’t leave rope laying all around especially where others are walking through or tying.
- Do not leave your things in a tying area or hardpoint if you aren’t actively using it. Please move off to the side to free up that space for someone else to use it. Share space / resources with others.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com which is monitored by Russ/Twistedview. Should you wish to bring up your concerns to someone else, Unicornlicious has volunteered to be a conduit for questions, concerns, or reports. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on FetLife.
Below are some external resources to learn more about consent. If you don’t think that you need to learn any more about consent, you most likely need to learn more. Taking the time to learn more and expand your views on things will go a long way towards making you a safer person as well as having better experiences at classes and events.