December 2017
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brainstorming house agreements


We're moving into a new place in about a week and I'm brainstorming on house agreements (which will then be discussed with others to modify/add/subtract).  Here's what I have so far:

House Agreements
(We accept that this is a set of intentions: we expect failure, but we also expect genuine effort.)

1) Clothing is optional.  If you want people to be clothed, ask ahead of time.

2) Most things are for sharing; if something is a one-time-use item (like food or paper) then get permission before using.  If you use something, put it back in the same condition when you're done.

3) We work on eliminating stereotypes here, which means:
  • We expect everyone to make mistakes and take them as an opportunity to learn rather than a slight on their character.
  • Guests and residents are expected to be prepared and willing to be made aware of their privilege/prejudice.  EVERYONE has privilege/ignorance/prejudice they need to work on.
  • If you hear something that is exclusionary, prejudiced, or ignorant, please speak up if you can and point it out.  If you can't, please talk to a resident about it and we'll try to address the issue.

4) We work on maintaining safe space here, which means:
  • Intentionally prejudiced or violent language/behavior is not allowed, whether serious or as a "joke."  This means threats of violence are not okay ("joking" or not), saying things to make people feel excluded or inferior (on purpose) is not okay, hitting or threatening to hit is not okay, yelling at people is not okay, calling names is not okay, making "jokes" that rely on the 'inferiority' of a group/person are not okay, rape "jokes" (including rape as slang for mild suffering) are not okay. 
  • You're not expected to remember this list but you are expected to stop immediately and apologize if someone calls you on breaking safe space (if you need to go be alone for a bit to calm down before apologizing, that is okay).  If you are not willing to do that, you are not welcome here.

5) We work on resolving upsetness: if something upsets you, assume good intentions and share your feelings without judging or blaming. If someone is upset by you, empathize and explain before problem-solving.

6) Openness and honesty are encouraged; we are not here to avoid conflict but to make conflict creative.

7) If you have a need, please express it to a resident if you can.  We want to be accommodating if possible (for instance, if you are feeling socially anxious but not wanting to leave, we can provide quiet alone space).

8) We practice radical consent in cuddles and sex: all people involved are both desiring and consciously choosing to share touch.  Ask first! get a definite yes (either verbally or non-verbally) before continuing.

9) DO NOT THROW AWAY PLASTIC CONTAINERS. Recycle what can be recycled, and if you don't want to wash out the item, leave it and James will wash it.

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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.