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Nov 24, 2010

General Guidelines for Discussion Groups

Welcome to SC sex positive discussion group, here are a few guidelines aimed at helping us create the best experience possible for all participants in the discussion groups. Please take a few minutes to read through.

This is a micro focused discussion group, intended on sharing real life experiences, not a forum for political debate. We agree to focus on self reflection and development through sharing our individual experiences. If discussions take a turn away from the current subject all participants are encouraged to remind the group of the actual topic and also keep the discussion on a personal plane.

Listen actively -- respect others when they are talking. Avoid interrupting. Speak from your own experience instead of generalizing ("I" instead of "they," "we," and "you"). Instead of answering somebody else's story with your own spin on her or his experience, share your own story and experience. Recognize that we all have prejudice (preconceived ideas about others) that can damage others (and ourselves) therefore try to not generalize about a person or a group of people.

We would like to remind participants that some topics may provoke emotional reactions. Respect that all participants have their own realities and their own subjective experiences, it is important to refrain from personal critiques in order to create a supportive enviroment where the participants can feel safe. The goal is not to agree -- it is to gain a deeper understanding and allow participants to share their experiences with others in a safe enviroment.

It is important to remember to respect participants individual experiences and avoid making judgments. Therefore, remember to:

• Not try to persuade others of a position; seek to understand others and their views
• Suspend judgment, become curious, and search for understanding
• Be conscious of body language and nonverbal responses -- they can be as disrespectful as words.
• Do not give advice when it is not asked for.
• Give everyone an opportunity to share.
• All participants have the right to speak and the right to remain silent (sometimes it is better to not address certain topics if you do not feel safe).
• If you experience an emotional reaction to an experience shared by another participant try to be aware of that your feelings come from your own personal experiences and remind yourself that when others are sharing "it is not about you". If you feel the need to leave the discussion because of an emotional reaction, please excuse yourself, take the time you need and return to the discussion when you feel emotionally safe again.

We each share the responsibility for making the support group a safe enviroment for sharing and working through experiences. Because confidentiality is essential, we expect that each person will respect and maintain the confidentiality of the group. What is said in the group is not to be repeated or discussed at any other time or place.

Therefore do not discuss group members who are not present and avoid repeating other participants past discussions. Also as the discussions will bring up very emotionally provocative subjects and it is necessary to create an enviroment where participants can feel safe to open up difficult subjects please respect other participants by not using this venue for romantic advances.

Thank you for reading through the guidelines and have an amazing discussion!

Love, Slut Conspiracy
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