Charmed! Consent Policy
Charmed! recognizes that there is no universal consensus on what proper consent practices are or should be. That said, this consent policy represents how the Charmed! organizers expect attendees to conduct themselves in their play and may be used to help determine whether an actionable consent incident has occurred.
Throughout this policy, the terms partner and scene partner refer to anyone involved in a hypnosis- or BDSM-related activity at Charmed!, regardless of that person’s role or experience level. A scene is any interaction between two or more people which includes hypnosis or BDSM activity.
Charmed! values informed, affirmative consent as the gold standard for consensual activity. Every participant in a scene should state their informed, affirmative consent to the activities planned for the scene after negotiation has concluded and before the scene begins.
Some scenes, by their nature or the nature of existing relationships between participants, adopt an alternate consent model such as implicit/blanket consent or consensual non-consent. This policy fully supports the use of alternate consent models as long as every participant in the scene has freely agreed to adopt that consent model. If you plan to use an alternate consent model that may appear to onlookers to be non-consensual or dubiously consensual, and are doing so in the Dungeon, please inform a Dungeon Monitor ahead of time so that they can respond appropriately to any reports from bystanders and avoid having to interrupt your scene.
Please remember that consent also applies to activity that takes place outside of a scene. For example, do not:
- Touch another person, even in non-sexual ways
- Touch or handle another person’s property, be it human property or toys/equipment/clothing
- Insert yourself into or interrupt a scene in progress
- Involve another person in your scene or non-scene activity
without their expressed affirmative consent.
Any participant in a scene may withdraw their consent, in whole or in part, at any time during the scene for any reason or for no reason at all. Scene partners are expected to accept that withdrawal and conduct themselves accordingly. It is the responsibility of every scene partner to say something if they feel there is an issue with the scene and to check in with people who might not be communicating to make sure they are OK.
Before a scene takes place, the participants are expected to negotiate the parameters of the scene. The exact form taken by the negotiation is entirely at the discretion of the participants, and will normally vary depending on factors such as environment, time, or existing relationships. Charmed! provides a Negotiation Worksheet that can be used to document negotiated parameters of a scene; use of this worksheet is optional unless one or more scene participants is under Consent Watch.
Negotiation should be conducted with all participants on an equal power footing unless relationship dynamics dictate otherwise. Participants should be in a state of mind in which they can make their own judgments and give informed, affirmative consent; do not enter negotiations with someone who appears to be unable to do that. Do not attempt to influence, persuade, or coerce people by deliberately employing techniques such as covert hypnosis, waking suggestion, or neurolinguistic programming during negotiations.
Once a scene has begun, any participant may still choose to withdraw agreement or consent for a previously agreed-on activity for any reason or for no stated reason. Do not attempt to re-negotiate during a scene to add previously rejected activities or overrule previously negotiated limits.
Established partners are individuals who play together regularly, or who are involved in a personal relationship which may include more than play. Established partners always have the right to waive, alter, or substitute their own guidelines for those in this policy when playing with each other as long as all participants have voluntarily agreed to it.
Consent Incident Handling
A consent incident is any situation in which one or more participants in a scene feels that something happened without their informed, affirmative consent. It is the policy of Charmed! to take all reasonable measures to support anyone involved in a consent incident and to resolve the incident as fairly, discreetly, and efficiently as possible.
Black Rose provides an appointed Consent Responder for Charmed! who is independent of the Charmed! organizers and con staff. The Consent Responder exercises their best judgment to ensure that anyone involved in an incident is heard, supported, and provided with what they need to feel safe. They will determine to the best of their ability what happened and ultimately make recommendations to the Charmed! organizers and/or Black Rose on what actions, if any, to take.
Occasionally an attendee will be allowed to participate in Charmed! under Consent Watch. Consent Watch is an alternative to removing or barring a person from the event, and is generally used in cases where someone who has been involved in a consent incident wishes to attend and is willing to accept conditions designed to ensure that they adhere to proper consent practices.
Attendance at Charmed! under Consent Watch is always by consent of the person involved, though Charmed! retains the right to refuse attendance to someone who declines to accept Consent Watch as a condition of attending. The amount of time someone is on Consent Watch is determined by the Charmed staff and may be reduced or extended at our discretion. Participation under Consent Watch indicates a willingness on the part of the individual to work within the community to change behaviors and promote safe, consent-based play.
A person on consent watch is subject to a number of conditions:
- Individuals who are on Consent Watch are required to negotiate in writing all of their play at the event and to provide Event Operations (Ops) with a copy of the negotiation documents before play begins. These documents must be signed by the players in the presence of an Ops volunteer. The documents are required in all cases, regardless of whether the person on Consent Watch is topping or bottoming.
- Negotiation documents musts include the commonly used names (the names by which individuals are best known in the erotic hypnosis community which may or may not be legal names) of the parties involved in the play. Negotiation documents should be as specific as possible, including the type of play (ie: hypnotic orgasm, dollification, etc.) and the limits of the players. This document will be used as a record of what was negotiated in case there is a question about whether someone breached consent. Every player should ensure that the written limits describe their limits clearly (“don’t touch my leg” does not mean the same thing as “do not touch me on my knee, calf, ankle or foot”). Black Rose will keep a copy of written scene/play negotiations on file for 18 months.
- Play must stay within the negotiated guidelines and may not be renegotiated during play.
- Individuals on Consent Watch must inform play partners of their consent status; Charmed! does not publish a public Watch list, though the staff is aware of anyone on consent watch at the event.
- Failure to comply with these conditions may, at the discretion of the Charmed! organizers, result in immediate disciplinary action up to and including removal of the individual from the event.
Private behaviors in private spaces with established partners who are traveling and rooming with individuals on Consent Watch are exempt from Consent Watch restrictions. All public play is subject to Consent Watch restrictions, even when it is with a spouse or other established partner. The Charmed! organizers will happily discuss this in person and explain our reasons for this restriction.