Building a Consent-Positive Community

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Building a Consent-Positive Community

The goal of this group, Polyamory of Suburban Houston (POSH), is to foster a sense of participatory social community for polyamorous people in the communities comprising the Greater Houston area, who also understand that Polyamory is not just for one type of person, and that our identities intersect with our privilege, gender, sexuality, and many other aspects of our selves.

This group is for discussion, sharing ideas, and finding support from like-minded people. This group is open to anyone who agrees to the rules and is willing to acknowledge and abide by the existing dynamic of the group and attend social events on the south side of town. If you are new to polyamory or new to the community, you should know that our community has an expectation of social etiquette that may not match what you’re used to. This guide is meant to help you understand the group’s dynamic and avoid inadvertently alienating the people you’d like to develop friendships and relationships with.

I’d like you to imagine a house party. The house is large, with many rooms, and there are many diverse people attending.

Group participation: You can compare the main feed of the group to the living room. Everyone congregates there, and even if people don’t know you, they expect to be politely approached with an introduction from a stranger from time to time, and it’s acceptable to comment and speak to people you don’t personally know yet in this setting. You can talk to people there, at any time, and it’s not considered rude (generally speaking). When offering compliments on someone’s appearance, please be sensitive – not everyone appreciates such things from strangers. Commenting on an aspect of someone’s appearance that they’ve chosen for themselves is a great place to start. “I love your hairstyle!” “That shirt is awesome. Where did you get it?” and “your makeup is on point!” are great starting places, but if you’re unsure, ask, “are you comfortable with compliments?” and then you’ll know for sure!

Private messaging: We are trying to change the culture of the world, and make people more consent-aware. Private messages can be compared to the master bedroom. It’s a private area that you would need permission from the host to enter if you were at a house party. You wouldn’t barge into the bedroom to ask permission, you’d ask out in the living room first, or knock politely at the door and ask if you may enter. As admin, I do not wish to police folks’ inboxes, and sending unsolicited PMs is not going to get you kicked from the group unless I get repeated complaints, I very strongly recommend that in order to foster your own good reputation, don’t message people without asking for their consent first. Talk to people on the group’s main feed. Go to events, get to know people in person. Interact on threads and, if you want to pm them, just ask them.

Friend requests: Going down the list of members and sending friend requests to all the people you find attractive is one way to show everyone that you’re thirsty and not at all selective about who you thirst after. It won’t make people feel special and is likely to irritate your new friends. Sending a friend request is something you should only do after you’ve met someone in person, or have interacted with them significantly in the group and asked them if they’d like to be friends. Ask first before sending friend requests, too.

Events: The main point of this group is to help foster a sense of community through face-to-face events in addition to facebook bonding. This is the best way to get to know people and make friends! If you’re nervous about going to an event because you don’t know anyone, I don’t mind introducing you around if I’m there. However, it’s worth noting that events are not “date mixers” unless labeled as such, so you should know that most people attend them with the intent to get to know other people, not pick up someone new. If I’m there, chances are good I’m just there to hang out. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume others are thinking the same. If I hear of creepy unwanted behavior at events, you’ll receive one warning before being permanently removed from the group.

It is also worth noting that POSH is not designed to be a dating group, but I’m not trying to stand in the way of folks dating. However, this is a community group for socializing and support. If dates and hook-ups are the only things you’re looking for, there are other groups for that.

Also – If I find out that you’ve sent an unsolicited nude to another member, you’ll be banned for life with no appeal. Just don’t do it. If you’re tempted, find a cute animal pic to send instead. Duck pics are vastly superior to Dick pics. Hopefully, this gives folks a good start on how to proceed here. Have fun, make friends, do the thing! Happy community-building.

Important Threads in the Facebook Group

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