My Consent Policies
As an educator, coach, and leader in sexuality spaces, it is important for me to have a clear policy regarding any new personal and/or sexual relationships that I might enter into. Since there are different needs for different situations, this policy is separated into two sections: interactions with students and workshop demo models, and interactions with coaching clients.
Interactions with students and workshop demo models:
Given the power differential that can result from a teacher/student dynamic, I will not initiate or engage in any sexual interaction (including flirting) with anyone who attends or acts as a demo model for any of my workshops or presentations, for at least three months. At the end of that time, if we both agree that we want to pursue a personal relationship, we will have a conversation about how we will navigate the transition from the teacher/student relationship to a personal one. This policy applies to workshops, conference presentations, professional trainings, webinars, and all other online and in-person teaching environments. However, it does not apply if someone with whom I have a pre-existing relationship attends one of my workshops or serves as a demo model.
Interactions with clients:
In order to maintain the container that supports the personal growth and healing work that my clients engage in, I will not have any personal relationships with any of my clients while we are working together, and for at least two years after the termination of our working relationship. In this context, “personal relationship” includes friendship and social interactions.
Since I sometimes share social community with clients, it is possible that we might both attend the same event or have mutual acquaintances. If we see each other in public or social spaces, my current and former clients are welcome to initiate a conversation with me, but I will not approach them or initiate contact.
After two years, if a former client wants to engage in a personal relationship of any kind, they are welcome to contact me to talk about it; however, I will not initiate that conversation. I will inform my supervisor and my accountability point person, Rachel Drake (see below), and we will discuss the situation and all relevant circumstances. If we agree that a personal relationship is appropriate and something that I am available for, my former client and I will have a series of conversations about what kind of relationship we want to create, and how we will transition our connection.
Navigating Pre-Existing Relationships
If someone who I share professional circles with approaches me for coaching work, we will have an open and frank discussion about what we would each need to both support our work together and maintain an appropriate professional relationship.
If someone who I have a pre-existing personal or professional relationship approaches me for coaching work, we will have an open and frank discussion to explore if we can maintain our connection, if we need to shift entirely to a practitioner-client relationship, or if they would be better served by a different coach. That will depend on the nature of the concern or topic that they are seeking support for, the history that we share, and their motivations for approaching me. Their safety and needs will be prioritized through this process.
If you have had an experience with me that you believe violates this policy, or that you felt harmed by, I would be happy to talk with you about your concerns or your experiences. I also recognize that it can be difficult to initiate that discussion. If you have any hesitation in approaching me, you are welcome to contact my accountability point person, Rachel Drake. Rachel is a member of my accountability pod, and you can read about her below. Rachel will only share information with me about your concerns or your identity with your express, affirmative consent. You can reach her at RachelLydiaDrake@gmail.com.
Rachel Drake (she/her), has a passion for helping people make breakthroughs and uncover their power. She is a Success Coach, Accountability & Consent Consultant, speaker, educator, and author. Rachel also serves as the Deputy Director of the Consent Academy, a Seattle-based 501c3 non-profit, which she helped found in 2016. She has held numerous leadership positions over the years, in addition to educating and coaching adults since 1998. In the mid 2000’s she honed in on her passion for healthy consent, sex and non-traditional relationship dynamics. Since then she has helped thousands of people transform their lives, find success and personal freedom. She is currently working on her degree in Community Health Outreach and Education and expanding her Consent for Leadership workshop series to include Transformative Accountability for Leadership. She is excited for the highly anticipated 2019 release of The Consent Primer, Foundations for Everyday Life, the first “how-to” guide about consent which she co-authored.
Codes of Ethics
As a certified somatic sex educator, I abide by the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics of the Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers in all of my somatic sex education sessions. As a certified Somatica® practitioner, I strive to abide by the Somatica Institute Code of Ethics in all of my coaching sessions. You can contact the Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers with any concerns about my somatic sex education sessions, and you can contact the Somatica Institute with any concerns about my coaching sessions.
Note: This policy will go into effect on June 21, 2019. On or after December 21, 2019, I will assess these policies with the support of Rachel and my supervisor. These policies may be amended or updated at that time, or at any time in the future.