Expected iHop party behaviour

Note: Draft, repurposed from elsewhere.

The iHop aims to be a safer space for people to express their gender, sexuality, sexual practice and relationship styles without fear of negative comment or behaviour from others.

Most people will be expressing some genders, sexualities, sexual practices or relationship styles that are not seen as the norm in mainstream society.

There is an implicit code of conduct and communication style that is expected at IHOP parties and this document aims to make that style explicit.

No Assumptions

It is expected that no-one make assumptions about a person's gender, sexuality, sexual practice or relationship style no matter how they look or what they are wearing. A person's clothes, hairstyle, pitch of voice or gestures do not necessarily denote their identity.

By default please always refer to people by using gender-neutral words such as “they”, “that person”, “someone”, “people”, “their partner”. If this behaviour is unfamiliar to you please take time to practice before you come to an event.

When talking to an individual, it is common and allowed for people to ask politely which pronoun a person prefers for example “he”, “she”, “they”, “zhe”. It is a public question.

A person may further identify as a man, woman, transman, transwoman or just trans, but this is a private matter which they will talk about if they wish to.

Trans means the person has a bodily configuration that is commonly defined by others as one gender, (eg male), but they self-identify as another gender (eg female or no-gender). This identity is likely to be hard-won and misunderstood so it is very important not to mis-gender a person as it can be very upsetting.

If in doubt, always use “they” to refer to someone.

It is extremely impolite to ask about a person's genitals, whether they have had surgery or to otherwise talk about a trans person's body or experience in an intrusive way, no matter how well-meaning or polite you think you are being.

It is common to ask what relationship style someone might be using right now. It is a public question that anyone can ask. Answers could include “monogamous”, “polyamorous”, “open relationship”, “relationship anarchy”. Feel free to ask the person what these words mean to them.

It is NOT common to ask a person's sexuality or details of their sexual practice. It is a private question to be asked only by friends. It is up to your discretion to judge if a person would be offended by this question or open to it, based on your current conversation.

However for the benefit of curiosity people at IHOP parties can be straight, lesbian or gay but also and more commonly define as something else: bisexual or bi, pansexual, queer, fluid, homo/heteroflexible, asexual and many other words. Many people identify as “just me”.

In terms of sexual practice, some people may define as vanilla, others as kinky.

A common practice is the use of sex toys between sexual partners. Some are dildos, some vibrate, some are electrical stimulators and some are other accessories such as rope for tying people up. You may see some or all of these in the playroom.

Every person has some variety of genitals at birth, however it is possible to add to the birth set with dildos, packers and other sex toys. Many people consider these items to be their own genitals just as much as the ones available from birth. For some people this is something fun, but for others it is an essential part of their identity. Please never insult someone's genitals and treat them all with equal respect.

Radical Honesty

People in queer and non-monogamous safer spaces practice Radical Honesty in some form or other. This basically means always saying what you really mean. This is essential for many reasons such as: getting and giving your consent to sexual practises, being clear with multiple partners about expectations and being inclusive of people who are not neurotypical and struggle with subtle social games.