Mission of a Guardian
The duty of a guardian is to ensure the safety of all individuals in a space and to make sure that acts taking place within the space are consensual. You are there to de-escalate dangerous situations, stop dangerous activities, and remove persons that put anyone else in physical or emotional danger.
- To listen to, and take at face value, any safety, boundary, or consent concerns.
- To understand the rules of the event so you can contextualize what is going on.
- If red and yellow are commonly understood signals regarding play, take notice when you hear them.
- If there are specific rules for alcohol or substance use you need to enforce them.
- If there are specific rules about what sex or other acts are acceptable or unacceptable, you need to enforce those rules.
- To orient yourself with the space and surrounding area.
- Familiarize yourself with where you can find the first aid kit and fire extinguisher(s).
- Understand where to find the entrances, exits, and restrooms.
- To share all concerns with the party host(s) and/or designated contact(s).
- To seek outside medical or other assistance if needed (as discussed in advance with event hosts.)
Grounds for Intervention
- Intoxication or other impairment. Once determined, this is enough to question a guest’s safety and capacity to consent.
- Bullying or harassment. Inappropriate verbal comments or verbal abuse, intimidation, stalking, following, sustained disruption of events, unwelcome photography or recording, unwelcome physical contact, and/or unwelcome sexual attention. Harassment is not always done intentionally.
- Violation of a party rule.
- Immediate safety threats.
- Any obvious or inferred consent break. An inferred consent break could be, without previously discussing with the staff, continuing a scene without a tarp in which a partner is beginning to bleed unexpectedly.
- Health Impairment. If you can identify or are concerned there is a medical emergency.
How to Intervene
- It is important to go into all situations without bias and without judgement. Or, at least, to identify your subjectivity and privilege beforehand.
- The goals are:
- That all individuals are physically safe
- Any altercation is stopped and individuals are separated before investigation begins
- Any violence, arguments, etc are de-escalated a quickly as possible
- The methods are:
- Approach clearly.
- State briefly and succinctly why you are intervening.
- Do not physically intervene unless absolutely necessary.
- Do not voice opinions or judgements, only give directions that will de-escalate the situation.
- Example: I need you to step away from the scene
- Example: I need you to come speak with me in the other room
- Example: I need you to take this person out of restraints
- Do not touch anyone without asking unless there is no other choice.
Assist with Safety and Hygiene Practices (check in if these items are required for a scene)
- Fire extinguishers are required to be accessible when there is fireplay
- Tarps or chucks for messy play that would require cleanup
- Sharps containers, for needles or disposable cutting implements
- Prophylactics and other safer sex items are easily accessible
- Let hosts know about any altercations or interactions.
- Be available to discuss your intervention of any altercations.
While it is important not to interrupt a scene unless you feel it is necessary, it is imperative to keep safety and consent as the top priorities. Discretion, etiquette, and politeness are never reasons not to intervene if you believe someone’s safety or consent are being imposed upon.