Good morning, campers! While Between the Worlds is a sex-positive event, there are some guidelines for sexual etiquette to keep in mind during the Gathering. You will see this information on the main Between the Worlds website and also in the guidebook for the festival. It bears repeating.
Gatherings are places where the mores of outer society tend to become a bit looser than one may be used to, especially where intimacy and sexual activity is concerned. In order to ensure that BTW remains a safe environment for all, attendees must respect the sovereignty of each individual in the disposition of his own body, while also being mindful of the consequences of his own decisions in that regard. Therefore, it is very important to keep some things in mind:
- First and foremost – no means no. Do not assume that just because someone is attending this Gathering that they have the same outlook on sexual intimacy, personal space, or attraction/aesthetics that you do. Nor should one assume that anyone’s attendance at the Gathering or any particular workshop or ritual equates to consent, or that a person’s nudity is an invitation to be sexually intimate. Anyone who has a problem understanding these concepts should not attend BTW, as violations of this trust will result in expulsion and barring from all future events. If someone touches you or addresses you in a manner that makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to make that person aware of your feelings in a calm and mature manner and ask that the objectionable behavior stop. If the person does not stop after you have requested this, then please ask a Facilitator, Security member, or member of the Community Council to assist you with this situation.
- Please practice safe(r) sex. This means that one should assume that the person that you are with is sero-positive and act accordingly. Use condoms as your conscience and/or better judgment dictates, use the appropriate lube for the type of condom you are using, do not share sex toys with others, and make decisions on sexual intimacy with a sober mind. If you have a sexually transmitted disease, please be responsible and discuss this with your partner(s) before having sex. And please be discreet where you have sex.
- Some words on polyamory. The freedoms inherent in a Gathering of this nature can open one’s eyes to new relationship possibilities. However, it is rash to decide on the spur of the moment (say, on the way to the Gathering) that you and your partner should experiment with “poly.” This is a decision that should be discussed in depth with your current partner, with consideration of the potential impact on your existing relationship. Having said that, if you are interested in polyamory, there will be a number of people in attendance who will be happy to give you some advice on how to proceed. We’ll even have a roundtable discussion on it! Come and chat up the group. You won’t be sad about it.
- Finally – please treat one another with respect as loving, caring, spiritual beings. Take time to reflect on the implications of new relationships before you act. Leave the bar attitudes at the gatehouse for the weekend. Maybe you’ll make some new friends, perhaps you’ll find a new love, but whatever happens, it is hoped that you will grow spiritually in the process.
We’re at 170 days from Between the Worlds! Are you registered? Remember, our registration prices go up on July 1. We’ll see you there!