Code of Ethics and Standards: Introduction and Relevance
This Code of Ethics and Standards serve as a set of guidelines for dealing with circumstances that may arise; also, for the operation of any events promoted on this website. Its main objective is to educate professionals, participants and the general public on the ethical standards upheld by event professionals at events, while promoting the care and protection of everyone who participates in the events.
Anyone working or acting at any of the events (paid or unpaid), are subject to this Code (and obligated to abide by it in the circumstances described below where it is enforceable as opposed to aspirational).
Event Professionals (EPs) is a term used in this Code to refer to the following:
• Participants in practitioner training programs
• Chefs and food assistants at events
• Venue owners
The Code is comprised of two sections: (1) Principles and (2) Ethical Standards.
This Code’s principles are aspirational objectives that serve to guide EPs in their conduct. They’re also a statement of how EPs should lead the participants and community. Although the principles are not enforceable, EPs should use them as guidelines when deciding on an ethical course of action.
This Code’s ethical standards are prescriptive and lay out enforceable rules of behaviour for EPs while working at any events promoted on this website. Most were developed broadly to apply to EPs in various roles and professions.
In addition to other ethical guidelines relevant to EPs, the concepts and ethical standards are intended to promote and reinforce the ethical principles and practices of the disciplines represented within the EP community.
The terms ‘reasonably’, ‘appropriate’ and ‘potentially’, are included when they would: (1) permit professional judgment on the part of an EP, (2) eliminate injustice or inequality, (3) ensure applicability across the broad range of activities conducted by EPs, or (4) guard against a set of rigid rules that might be quickly outmoded.
The term ‘reasonable’ as used in this Ethics Code refers to the prevailing professional judgment of professionals engaging in similar activities in similar circumstances.
Since the principles in this Code are aspirational rather than binding or enforceable, they shouldn’t be used as the foundation for imposing penalties. They are presented as a declaration of EP goals to support a high degree of ethical and professional behaviour at any events promoted on this website.
1. EPs are aware of the need to uphold professional standards of conduct, work to respect established channels of communication within the EP team, and accept responsibility for their actions per their professional responsibilities.
2. EPs are aware that the environment at events may result in high-stress levels during the dance, play and exercises, which may impact the participants’ resourcefulness to maintain role boundaries and communication channels. EPs strive to adjust their behaviours and interactions to promote the creation of a secure setting for instruction and practice.
3. EPs understand the importance of being conscious of individual and cultural diversity. In terms of age, gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic issues, EPs strive to be non-discriminatory.
4. EPs strive to be knowledgeable about regional cultures, historical backgrounds, and ethical norms because EPs offer training in different countries and regions.
- In their interactions with participants, other professionals and organisations, and one another, they should strive to set an example of culturally competent behaviour.
- Be mindful of the potential need to adapt teaching methods to account for cultural variations.
- Use a variety of culturally competent models that may need to be modified as necessary.
5. EPs avoid taking advantage of or deceiving individuals before, during, or after professional relationships have been completed by being aware of the actual and perceived power differences between themselves and others.
6. EPs support transparent communication and aid in maintaining group focus on the main objectives of the event while working under time or other constraints.
7. EPs understand the value of continuing education and personal growth and make every effort to stay current with and use resources from the fields of Tantra, sexuality, spirituality, trauma-informed care, science, arts, and administration to inform their role.
When acting as an EP or in another capacity at activities and events promoted on this website, EPs are subject to enforceable obligations outlined in the ethical standards contained in this code.
1. EPs shall ensure that all events and training programs for which they are accountable include accurate descriptions of the program content, training goals, objectives, and requirements that must be satisfied for proper entrance to and completion of the program. All relevant parties must have easy access to this information.
2. EPs can provide certificates that show their facilitation falls within their area of specialisation.
3. EPs should accurately and impartially give essential information. Each course should be delivered per its event objectives. This norm does not prevent facilitators from changing event requirements or material when they believe it to be pedagogically essential or desirable, provided they inform participants of any changes in a way that allows them to complete the event requirements.
4. Any personal information shared by participants throughout the events will be kept confidential by EPs. This implies:
- EPs may not demand that participants divulge private information during events, whether verbally or in writing, about their histories of abuse or neglect, sexual history, psychological treatment, and relationships with their peers, spouses, parents or other significant others.
- Only with the participant’s approval and where doing so advances the personal or educational goals of the event may EPs disclose private material supplied by participants during events.
- Personal participant communications held during events are kept private unless the participant permits them to be discussed or unless disclosure is otherwise mandated by this Code. The EP team may discuss participants during the events if they believe it to be pedagogically essential or desirable.
- Despite the aforementioned provisions regarding confidentiality, it is not against this Code to report abuse or other concerns of harm to the extent that an EP is required and/or legally permitted to do so by any applicable law, regulation, or licensure to report abuse and the reporting is compliant with those laws, regulations, and/or licensing bodies.
The aforementioned confidentiality standards will be explained to participants in writing as part of their event orientation materials. The confidentiality policies will also be explained to assistants as part of the orientation process.
5. Before conducting any demonstrations, EPs will obtain assistants’ or participants’ prior agreement before revealing any personal information. When an assistant or participant chooses not to participate in a demonstration, EPs will respect their autonomy and will not act in a discriminatory or retaliatory manner toward them. They will inform the assistants or participants of their right to stop the demonstration at any time and will respect their decision.
6. EPs should not promote events on this website as ‘trauma healing’. We are not qualified with the specialised training and accreditation required to ‘heal trauma’. We are trained in trauma-informed care and trauma-informed consent.
7. EPs must inform participants that these events do not constitute therapy and are inappropriate for those with specific mental health conditions. If a participant is unsure of their eligibility, they are recommended to seek advice from a medical doctor and/or qualified mental health professional.
8. EPs refer to qualified people to manage specific situations that can develop, such as advising someone to consult a medical doctor and/or mental health professional if a significant trauma occurs during an event.
9. EPs don’t provide medical guidance. They recommend that participants visit a professional if they have any troubling medical conditions.
10. Participants always have the option of participating or not. Ultimatums, peer pressure, or coercion are unacceptable.
11. The option to opt-out, change a practice, or quit the event is always available to participants (requesting they talk to facilitators before leaving, however, they do not need to justify their choice).
12. Nobody may be pressured or compelled to share, interact or work with someone they don’t want to.
13. Within the context of trauma-informed care and consent, we can provide participants with experiences related to the event topics, provided it’s for their benefit.
14. EPs will refrain from the use of alcohol or drugs (unless prescribed by a medical doctor) whilst performing their duties.
15. EPs will not defame their EP team or their reputations in the industry in any way.
16. When appropriate, EPs will acknowledge their mentors and the creators of essential concepts and methods applied to event theory and practices.
17. EPs will not act in an aggressive or harassing manner. These actions are characterised as an abuse of one or more individuals by one (1) or more perpetrators. The harasser’s behaviour should be assessed objectively from the perspective of a ‘reasonable person’ to determine whether harassment is severe enough or pervasive enough to establish a hostile environment.
18. The following are a few examples of the behaviour that can qualify as abusive or harassing behaviour:
- using threats, humiliation, or other forms of intimidation
- giving preferential treatment
- nonverbal bullying or threatening gestures
- verbal abuse, such as libelling, mocking, or disparaging someone or their family; using cruel, insulting, or humiliating slurs; insulting and offensive language
- excluding someone from activities and exercises, either physically or socially
- using physical force, such as pushing, shoving, kicking, or threat of force
The following are a few examples of abuse, harassment, and bullying:
- gossiping and spreading untrue or malicious information about someone
- unwanted physical interaction, physical assault, or threats of physical assault against a person or their property (defacing or marking up property)
- any type of public humiliation
- personal insults or the use of derogatory monikers
- unjustified raising of voice against a person in a public or private setting
- repeatedly singling out one individual or group
- making vulgar or threatening motions
- taking credit for someone else’s ideas
(Sections 19-25 refer to multiple-role non-sexual relationships, whilst 26-28 refer to multiple-role sexual relationships).
19. In this section of the Code, the term ‘multiple role relationships’ refers to a situation in which an EP is in a professional role with a participant in one capacity while
- concurrently in another role with that participant.
- having a relationship with someone closely associated with that participant (e.g., they’re friends with a relative of someone who is attending an event with that EP.)
- during the professional relationship with a participant, commits to starting a new professional or business connection in the future with someone intimately connected to the person during the professional relationship (e.g., an EP may agree to take dancing lessons with a participant’s sister currently registered in an event.)
20. EPs should not be involved in any multiple-role non-sexual relationships if there is a chance of exploitation or potential harm to the participant.
21. EPs must refrain from having multiple role non-sexual relationships that could be reasonably anticipated to:
- lessen or impair their objectivity, competence or judgment
- obstruct the efficient delivery of the event or training
- expose participants or other EPs to risk of exploitation or harm
22. EPs must refrain from developing new personal non-sexual friendships or business connections with former participants for at least 3 months after an event, this also includes on social media. Even after 3 months, EPs should not be involved in any multiple-role non-sexual relationships if there is a chance of exploitation or potential harm to the former participant.
23. Sometimes at an event, an EP has a pre-existing personal relationship with a participant (friend, relative, business partner, etc.). The EP must inform the team of any such relationships before the event begins. Since it may occasionally be necessary to discuss participants with the EP team, the EP must abide by the event confidentiality standards and not divulge any information obtained through their professional roles to anyone outside the EP team. The EP should stop offering their services at the event if they cannot maintain this level of confidentiality.
24. When there are multiple role non-sexual relationships present, it is the EP’s responsibility to establish clear, sensitive and appropriate role boundaries to support the event environment and ensure that the participant is safe, aware, has options, and the necessary resources.
25. If the EP determines that a potentially harmful multiple-role non-sexual relationship has developed as a result of unanticipated circumstances, they should take reasonable action to resolve it while keeping due consideration for the best interests of the affected participant and per this Code.
Multiple Role Sexual Relationships
Personal sexual relationships between EPs and former participants may be more complicated than friendships. However, the intensity and likelihood that involvement may cause harm may decrease over time. The former participant’s ability to exercise autonomy in determining whether to engage in sexual relationships may be compromised if involvement is permanently prohibited. To ascertain whether such involvements may be ethically permissible, the question of sexual involvement with former participants requires analysis.
Analysing post-event personal sexual involvements requires examining at least two viewpoints— Those of the Tantric communities’ values and those of our knowledge and experience regarding the dynamics and effects of such involvements. From an ethical perspective, a conflict arises between beneficence and nonmaleficence, and respect for participants’ autonomy, rights and dignity. The conflict emerges because while EPs must respect participants’ right to self-determination, they are also needed for support and to not harm.
The code resolves this conflict regarding EPs having personal sexual relationships with current participants. By acknowledging there is a greater risk of autonomy being compromised and of harm occurring between EPs and participants during events, therefore, the code prohibits personal sexual relationships.
However, in post-event personal sexual relationships, as time goes on, the risk of harm potentially becomes less certain and the likelihood that a participant’s autonomy may be compromised. The important connection between the ethical and the empirical can be seen here.
Can former participants truly make an autonomous sexual choice with a former EP? The answer relies on several variables, such as the length of time since the event ended, the type, extent, and duration of the event, the participant’s history, psychological makeup, and current mental state.
The degree to which a former participant’s autonomy may be compromised in a personal sexual relationship with a former EP, for example, would differ if the event had been a 4-hour non-experiential presentation or a 3-day dance event compared to a 7-day tantric body de-armouring event that addressed a significantly deeper range of personal, relational and sexual problems along with supporting participants to develop skills to better cope with emotional and physical stress.
Another example is to compare a 7-day tantric body de-armouring event and a 7-day tantric full-body energy orgasm event. Although both are held for the same time, a tantric full-body energy orgasm event is less focused on personal, relational and sexual problems, but is rather about how to generate higher vibrational levels of pleasure and orgasm throughout the body.
By maintaining a boundary of no sexual relationships during or for 6 months after an event’s completion, along with placing the burden on the EP to demonstrate that the involvement is not exploitative, the code gives priority to nonmaleficence while leaving room for the participant to exercise their autonomy.
Having criteria relevant to determining whether harm is possible ensures the integration of tantric community values, whilst emphasising the importance of avoiding harm in these relationships. It maintains a focus on how to assess any exploitation likelihood.
The boundary of no sexual relationships during or for 6 months after an event’s completion ensures a participant can exercise a fully autonomous choice concerning a former EP. The code has been developed to avoid a high percentage of potentially harmful personal sexual relationships.
26. EPs do not engage in sexual relationships with participants during and for at least 6 months after an event’s completion.
27. There may be exceptions to the above. EPs who engage in such activity 6 months after an event’s completion must demonstrate that there has been no exploitation, considering all the circumstances, including (1) the amount of time elapsed since the event ended; (2) the type, duration, and intensity of the event; (3) the participant’s personal history; (4) the participant’s current mental status; (5) the possibility of adverse impact on the participant; and (6) no statements or actions made by the EP during the event suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-event sexual or romantic relationship with the participant.
28. An EP who notices or learns of questionable conduct by another EP regarding these standards of conduct, or who has a disagreement with or complaint about another EP on ethical or professional grounds, must bring the matter to their attention.
When appropriate, it is advised that they first openly and constructively discuss the problem with the other EP. If the issue is not resolved, the EP who discovers the inappropriate action shall report it following the grievance procedures.
EPs cannot, however, violate the Code or Procedures in any way. Any spurious complaints that are filed to damage another EP rather than safeguard the public violate this Code.