While at Winter Fire 2020 I commited a consent violation, I am not writing this as an excuse, a defense, but as a recounting of the event and what I have learned. I do this in hope that my lesson might help others.
I was doing violet wand demonstrations in the Dungeon on Saturday night, it was a fairly busy evening with a quick succession of people sampling my toys. I started working with a couple and a few minutes into the demonstration at one point I reached down and ran my finger across the clavicle of the person on the table, at this point they stated we didn’t agree to that. I froze in place trying to recall if we had or had not explicitly talked about physical touch. While doing this I also started apologizing, the person on the table became more agitated sitting up and dropping the body contact cable. I continued to apologize as they moved away from the table. I sat there for a moment in shock. I looked around for anyone who was in charge of the evening’s event. Initially I asked someone I knew who passed by to grab one of the people from IE who was in charge of the dungeon for the evening. Eventually I tracked someone down explained to them how I had committed a consent violation and what had happened. At this point I went out front of the hotel to smoke and try and gather my wits. I was now a bit frantic and it took me a little while to calm back down, my mind racing on how I had made someone run away from me. How I had done the unspeakable and committed a consent violation. I didn’t do it out of any sort of maliciousness, I didn’t do it to take advantage of anyone but none the less I had done it. I was to blame and my head was focused on how I could possibly make this up to the person who’s consent I violated.
When I explained what had happened, my friends helped me to feel better but the problem was that I didn’t want absolution for my behavior; I was more concerned about the person I had unintentionally wronged. Although my intention was to provide an enjoyable demonstration I unintentionally caused someone to have a negative experience. People are telling me that I handled this correctly but I still have a strong sense of regret and guilt over causing someone such discomfort.
I need to revisit how I do my negotiations when I am doing demonstrations; I have gotten lax over time and that is exactly how this happened. I need to improve and follow my negotiation script for demonstrations and ensure that I use it consistently even if it slows down how I do my demonstrations and even full scenes.
Addendum: Based upon comments from Fetlife I have decided to take a 90 day break from doing demonstrations at together. At the end of this time I will talk with people I trust to re-evaluate if I will be doing demonstrations in the future.
Addendum II For future events, I will ensure that I take regular breaks if I am doing demonstrations, this means a short break after every third demonstration, we will add in a body model reusable sheet to indicate acceptable play zones (i.e. physio model for markup) to be used with everyone who gets on the table, additionally most demo’s will be pushed to stand up demos with an as available sign-up for a mini-scene with a more in-depth full negotiation. Also for future events I will not schedule more than 6 things ahead of time be it 6 classes (teaching) or 6 activities as a participant, or a combination of these but limiting myself to only 6 total things that I am an active participant in. If I am going to classes as an attendee these will not count against this total.