OPEN Northwest is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create an inclusive and vibrant community that supports the growth of the local Polyamorous and Ethically Non-Monogamous culture. We welcome those in open ethical relationships of all types, as well as allies and people interested in these forms of relationships.
We intend for this to be a fun, community-building environment. We ask that all attendees respect the privacy and boundaries of all other members of our community.
Reporting An Issue
If you experience or observe an issue regarding the conduct of community members or attendees at one of our events or within our community, you can notify us using our incident form or by speaking with an event host or Valkyrie.
Discussion and interaction in our community might entail topics that are sensitive and personal. In order for discussions to thrive, remember to criticize ideas, not people.
Communicate with courtesy. Avoid language that is aggressive, hateful, inflammatory, or harassing.
Be tolerant towards others’ viewpoints; respectfully disagree when opinions do not align, but do not attack. Heated discussions are okay, but avoid:
- ad hominem attacks
- responding to a person’s tone instead of their words
- knee-jerk reaction
Use the “Platinum Rule”
“Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
Respect the privacy and personal information of others.
Bring ideas and questions. Avoid naming others who are not present or who have not consented to being named regarding the content being communicated. Try to obfuscate identifying details.
Take away lessons, not details. We hope you want to share what you have learned; please leave personal details out when sharing what you’ve learned with others.
Actively seek consent and respect the boundaries of others.
Members will be asked to leave if they fail to respect the boundaries of others, this includes behavior that is creepy or pushy. Please bring it to the attention of a host or volunteer if you feel uncomfortable or if you think someone else around you is not having their boundaries respected.
1. Physical Boundaries and Physical Touch
If you’re in doubt about whether or not your touch is welcome, ask and do not assume. Some people enjoy hugging or light touch freely and others are more selective. You must ask permission and receive a verbal YES before you touch anyone. Be as specific in your request as you can.
When responding to a request for verbal touch,
- If you’re a yes, say YES.
- If you’re a no, say NO.
- If you’re a maybe, say NO.
- If you change your mind, say so. You can change your mind.
Clothing stays on the whole time.
Sexual touch is not allowed. If you wouldn’t do it in front of your grandma, it is inappropriate at most of our events.
2. Digital Contact and Direct/Private Messaging
Before direct messaging (DMing) community members, gain their consent using a public channel/thread.
You may DM Admins and Moderators to speak with them in their capacity as an Admin or Moderator without first inquiring for permission.
3. Ask Once
If someone sets a boundary or states they do not want to give you their contact information, then that holds for at least the rest of the event. Do not ask again.
If you get a NO, respect that NO for at least the rest of the event. Consent can be revoked at any time.
4. Respect Soft Boundaries
If someone seems evasive about engaging with you or giving you their contact information this is likely a NO. Respect personal space and be aware of body language. Please act accordingly.
5. Remember FRIES
- Freely Given
We encourage participants to dress casually. All venues hosting our events are considered public locations, including private residences. Because of this, please dress appropriately for a public event, with a “PG-13” guideline for what is or is not appropriate attire.
Mask wearing is always welcome, regardless of the reason for doing so. Criticism or ostracization of members for mask usage is not acceptable behavior.
Photo, Video, and Streaming
When taking photo or video, or when streaming, you must have the full, enthusiastic consent of ALL people who are recorded, whether they are featured in the foreground or background. This includes name tags, and identifiable features or body parts or clothing even when faces are not in frame.
The guidelines from the consent section apply here as well.
First and foremost, please respect the needs and concerns of the venue. Venue guidelines can be found on the Meetup page for the event in question. Some events will have special restrictions regarding substance use. If you wish to engage in any legal substance use, it is best to check with an event coordinator or volunteer prior to the event.
Tobacco and vape use should be limited to areas away from other attendees and in compliance with the venue’s standards.
We expect our members to enjoy any substances responsibly. In our community, that means following any applicable laws, any venue rules, and respecting the personal space of others. We expect that members will not become inebriated to the point of becoming unable to regulate themselves safely and responsibly. In addition, respecting others’ space includes any smoke or vapors that you may be introducing into the air. Please be mindful not to subject others to unwanted second-hand substances.
Do not attend in-person events or interact physically with the community when you feel sick or may be contagious. This includes what you might deem “just a cold” and other minor maladies.
If you begin to feel unwell during an event, or begin to suspect you may be unwell, please leave the event.
There will be hosts and Valkyries on hand to answer questions or address concerns you might have. Hosts will be identifiable by a button or name tag that designates them as an event host. Valkyries may not wear anything to designate them as such at an event, but you can visit our Valkyries page to learn who our Valkyries are and know they are always approachable. Hosts and Valkyries have dedicated their evening to helping you have a good time, and are diligent members of the community. They may or may not be partners with one or more of the evening’s guests, but please do not ask hosts out at an event as it puts them in an awkward position as they facilitate.
If you have any questions not covered here, please either ask one of the hosts directly, or feel free to send us your inquiries.