Introducing: CARE Culture

Our mission is to normalize consensual non-monogamy and sexual exploration by creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive community for the young and young-at-heart to explore sex and alternative relationship structures, and by sharing our values with the world.

Our consent culture outlines the minimum requirements for participation in our community: Don’t touch people without asking. Only act on enthusiastic consent. Disengage when someone revokes their consent. These are the rules of engagement at Organ House. We share these rules with new members, before every play party we host, and we’ve written about them here.

This worked well when we began as a small group of polyamorous friends throwing sex parties. But as we grew and evolved, Organ House became so much more than a group of friends. We developed a mission: to normalize non-monogamous relationships and sexual exploration. And our ever-growing community became both a way to further that mission and an end in and of itself. In order for us to create a truly safe and supportive environment to explore relationships and sex, we needed to build a community where people were cared for as they embarked on this adventure. What makes our community safe, supportive, and inclusive are the values that guide our endeavors. The development of CARE Culture is an effort to clearly articulate those values so that we can hold ourselves, and each other, to them.

CARE Culture.

Whereas Consent Culture provides the minimum rules of engagement, CARE Culture goes a step beyond by fostering an environment of compassion, humility, courage, and growth. As we walk down this untouched path together, we don’t have a roadmap; however, our values provide the guideposts for our journey. Our culture of CARE is based on the following core values: Community, Autonomy, Responsibility, and Exploration.

Community

We strive to create an inclusive, supportive community that actively demonstrates genuine concern for each other’s safety, happiness, and growth.

We’re more than just a great party! More than a place to wear costumes, eat cheese, and be sexy, Organ House is a community. We seek diversity and welcome anyone who shares our values and adheres to our standards. We care about each other. We’re proactive about addressing problems and keeping our spaces and relationships safe. We help each other to learn and grow. And we support each other as we navigate relationships and sex.

Autonomy

We affirm every individual’s right to give, withhold, and revoke their free and knowing consent in their personal interactions. We strive to create a community where people are empowered to do so.

Beyond consent, we value autonomy in sex and relationships. We value choice. Not only do we want to hear “yes” but we also require an enthusiastic “yes!”. We require that “yes!” to be given freely, without coercion, and with awareness of what is being agreed upon. Moreover, we want folks to own their “no”s and have the ability to prevent, stop, or redress unwanted forms of intimacy. We strive to normalize conversations about wants, needs, and boundaries when it comes to sex and relationships.

Responsibility

We take responsibility for our own safety and wellbeing, and for our impact on the safety and wellbeing of our community.

We strive to keep ourselves and others safe in sex and relationships. This begins with knowing and communicating one’s own needs and boundaries and encompasses eliciting and respecting the needs and boundaries of others. It extends to safe sex practices and healthy relationships. We all make mistakes and sometimes, most often inadvertently, we cause harm. This is especially easy to do when we are in new relational or sexual territory. When this happens, we ask folks to listen for understanding of others’ experiences and to take responsibility for their role in that experience. As individuals, and as a community, we’re responsible for preventing, recognizing, and redressing harm.

Exploration

We strive to create an environment where people are empowered to explore any type of relationship structure and sexual practice they choose (as long as those practices are ethical and consensual).

We want this to be a safe place to explore sex and relationships. By supporting one another as a Community, acting from our own and honoring others’ Autonomy, and taking Responsibility for ourselves and those we impact, we create a safe place for Exploration. It is from this safe space that we can live out our vision of a future where people are free and empowered to explore any type of ethical, consensual relationship structure and sexual practice they choose.