Sex Down South Guiding Principles
Welcome to Sex Down South! Over the course of the 3 days there will be workshops, education stations, healing spaces, and performances. We hope that you attend as many things that you feel drawn to as possible and that you have a good, sexy, and safe time. For everyone to get the most out of the conference, we’ve developed some Guiding Principles around how we expect people to treat each other. Please read these principles to make sure not only that you have an excellent time, but that others do as well. This is a community space as much as it is a conference, and we are all responsible for making sure that all members of our communities feel welcomed and affirmed—especially those of us who have been historically marginalized. If you have any questions, please email us at sexdownsouthATL@gmail.com.
As an attendee of Sex Down South, I agree that:
1. The voices, feelings, and experiences of people of color should be prioritized. People of color have historically been excluded from discussions and research within the field of sex education. At Sex Down South, I agree to make sure that people of color are allotted the space deserved.
2. I will not assume anyone’s gender identity based on their appearance. Attendees may identify as male, female, transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, two spirit, agender, and/or anywhere in between or outside of this altogether. Instead of assuming anyone’s gender identity, I will ask what pronouns they use and respect these pronouns. For example: “Hi, nice to meet you! I use she/her pronouns, what pronouns do you use?” I also recognize that using gender neutral language makes space for everyone to feel included, especially if I don’t know their pronouns. I will use words like “person” rather than “guy/girl”; “them” rather than “him/her,” “partner(s)” rather than “girlfriend/boyfriend”, etc. For example: “Excuse me, this person doesn’t know where the bathroom is, can you show them?”
3. Sexuality is beautiful and so very diverse—there is no shame in our sexualities, and I will not yuck anyone’s yum! I recognize that we come from a culture that encourages us to feel ashamed if we engage freely and authentically with our diverse sexualities. This conference aims to create a sex-positive, safer space where people can explore their desires without shame and judgement. If someone enjoys a sexual act that’s new to me or different from what I enjoy, I will appreciate rather than judge this difference. We all have different things that turn us on, and that’s ok! For example: “Oh wow, people tie people up? I don’t think that’s for me, but that looks like fun for them!” There is no shame in our kinks, and no shame in “vanilla” sex—there’s no such thing as too kinky or not kinky enough.
4. Consent and boundaries must be respected at all times. People have different boundaries when it comes to touch and interaction. I will make sure to ask for consent before initiating touch with anyone. For example: “Is it ok if I give you a hug?” If the person says yes, great. If they say no, I won’t take it personally! I also understand that I have the right to set my own boundaries and say no to any unwanted touch, interaction, or attention.
5. Centering the experiences of survivors is critical to this work. Many of us are survivors of sexual violence. I understand that anyone could be a survivor, and I will be sensitive around how we talk about sex and sexuality and respect everyone’s boundaries without question.
6. All relationships deserve the same respect, regardless of orientation or configuration. We may be straight, queer, gay, lesbian, polyamorous, monogamous….the possibilities are endless! I will be not assume or judge anyone’s relationship choices, and I will be open to hearing about the many beautiful ways in which people navigate relationships.
7. People with disabilities and mental illness have a right to sexuality and sexy spaces. I won’t assume that someone who has a disability or mental illness can’t make decisions around engaging in consensual sexuality. This space supports hotness for everyone.
8. All bodies, no matter their shape or size, have a right to pleasure. I recognize that body shaming—especially the shaming of fat bodies—is part of what keeps us disconnected from our sexualities. I will keep Sex Down South a body positive space by not commenting on or touching people’s bodies in any way without consent.
9. Everyone has the right to confidentiality. I can share concepts and ideas that I learn this weekend, but I agree not to share names or any other identifying information about people who attend this conference.
10. Violence – including physical, verbal, and emotional abuse – will not be tolerated. I agree that whatever emotions arise in me, it is my responsibility to handle them without harm to others and to seek support before escalating conflict. I will contact a Safety Responder and use the Healing Space as needed to ground myself in non-violent communication and relationship building with conference attendees, facilitators, organizers, and safety team members.
If at any point during the weekend you have concerns, questions, or need to check in with a staff member, please see report it to the registration desk and an SDS Team Member will be there precisely for your support.
In case of emergency or if you need assistance outside of these hours, please call the Sex Down South after-hours phone number at 401-365-4448.
We also have a Healing Space which will be staffed with local healers throughout the weekend, and is open to anyone at any time.
Thank you, and have a great weekend!
The Sex Down South Crew