Pan Eros Foundation takes steps to support consent culture in Seattle and beyond
As the #MeToo movement, founded by Tanara Burke, has shown, many communities are still struggling with articulating standards for ethical behavior around sex and power. The Seattle-based Pan Eros Foundation, producer of the internationally renown Seattle Erotic Art Festival, has joined with other sex-positive leaders in Seattle and San Francisco to address this gap. The newly-developed Kink Education Code of Conduct (KECC) lays out ethical beliefs and values about sex-positive education, and sets clear standards for leaders and educators to support a strong consent culture. For the full text of the KECC, go to: https://thekecc.org.
Over the last three years, there have been multiple high-profile accusations made against kink educators here in Seattle and across the globe. Much of the problematic behavior occurring in the sex-positive community has been in the context of interacting with students or using status as educators to pressure or silence those around them. “It’s important to remember this has been going on a long time.” says Sar Surmick, Director of Seattle’s Consent Academy. “People in positions of power have always used power, consciously or unconsciously, to harm others. Misconduct by educators is especially harmful because they set an example and can make harmful or unethical behavior appear normal and appropriate.”
Despite the challenges of the past, Pan Eros Foundation and Consent Academy hope the KECC will become a model for leaders and educators in all communities to act ethically and professionally. According to Sar Surmick, “The difference now is that we’re talking about it and have something we can do about it. We have the opportunity to hold our leaders and educators accountable for using their positions in ways that benefit the whole community. And, we have a way to help them do that better.”
The Pan Eros Foundation is very proud to adopt the Kink Education Code of Conduct.