House of Scorpio > Code of Conduct
Both our PAL system and the Code of Conduct have been adapted with permission from the San Francisco institution, Kinky Salon (though a bit altered over the years to fit HoS). We believe this set of rules to be the gold standard for playing well with others -- read it often, and abide it always.
The Code of Conduct below states our intention and our standards. It should make it super-easy for newbies to understand how to behave at these events. Follow these simple do's and don'ts, and you'll fit right in:
The Long Version: Do!
Be creative about how you dress. It's not about having the most expensive, over-the-top costume -- more about contributing to the overall fantasy environment and looking like you meant to come to a sexy party (not work, bar, etc) when you left the house. If your outfit wouldn't be out of place at dinner...you're under-dressed. Express yourself in whatever form is right for you, but NEVER wear jeans, khakis, t-shirts, business or sports wear. Yes, you will be turned away if you're under-dressed, but yes, you can always change when you get here if you can't travel in your party outfit.
Please don't email us asking what to wear: getting past this challenge is part of the process, and draws a community of like-minded arty freaks together. Plenty of parties don't have such a strict dress code: if you're uncomfortable with ours, you have other options!
|Dress to be kissed: flirty, sexy and fun|
TimeOut said it best: "convention-busting clothing with a sexy, creative flair" -- the point being that you already are the kind of person who dresses this way, not someone trying to force themselves into a costume just to get in. Fetish attire, formalwear, lingerie, corsets, tutus and costumes always welcome...and we consider those unisex options (the more colorful and outrageous, the better). We also have a helpful menswear thread on our FB group (feel free to add recommendations).
Contribute when and where you can. Our community is created through the efforts of everyone involved. Look out for your fellow party goers, especially where safety and consent are involved; if you make or see a mess, clean it up; let staff know if there are any issues. If you're an approved regular in good standing who temporarily lacks a PAL, you can volunteer for setup or breakdown and have us vet you for the event. Volunteering is for one hour of setup before or one hour of breakdown after the event. If you want to volunteer at an event, perform or have another creative offering, just email and let us know.
Get explicit consent. ALWAYS ask before touching someone for the first time, and don't assume consent for one activity automatically means consent for all others. If you need a refresher on consent, look here or here. If you're unsure whether your advances will be met with anything but gleeful enthusiasm...tread lightly and be ready to back off at the slightest hesitation. Anything other than enthusiastic consent is no consent at all.
State your boundaries. Consent is even better if it's explicit: "I'd love to engage in this activity with you, but I'd rather not do this other thing;" "My partner and I have an agreement to play with others that includes/doesn't include this," etc. If you have particular limits, whether in general or for the night or with a particular person...be specific about them in advance and don't make someone guess what they might be.
If someone makes you uncomfortable, for ANY reason, you should let them know (and then let US know, if appropriate). That includes touching without asking, saying something that offends you, or even just looking at you in a way you don't like. Be nice, be polite, but be firm. (If you're on the receiving end of a "no," be gracious!) If you have to speak to someone more than once, or you think they are a potential threat to others at the event, please point them out to staff after speaking up to them. ALWAYS talk to us about any issues before leaving. Our options for follow-up decrease once the person has left our premises.
Have sensible safe sex practices. Agreement first, action second. BYO preferred safety methods, though we will always supply the basics.
Respect our space and each other. Our goal is a strong community and an atmosphere of trust, in a lovingly created and maintained intimate venue. Please treat our home as your own, and our guests as your guests. Please don't go "exploring" inside or on our roof; there's plenty of room for you in the main space without violating ours or our neighbors' privacy.
Part of building this community is a total acceptance of other guests' gender presentation and expressions of sexuality. HoS is specifically pan-sexual and prioritizes alternative modes of sexual expression. Many guests choose our events to experiment with their personal gender or sexuality boundaries, and we want to make sure everyone is fully supported and treated equally, whether it's in coversation, party games or playtime. If you're used to being the dominant standard of looks or behavior, be aware that here the the fringe is the norm, and YOU should expect to adapt to your surroundings. If you're uncomfortable with a prevalence of non-heteronormative sexuality...this is not the right event for you. If you can't handle giving everyone a warm reception, especially in a context of a party game...this is not the right event for you.
Clean up after yourself. Like, really, people. Used condoms don't belong on the floor (seriously, ew, what is wrong with you?). There are always plenty of trash cans throughout the space; please use them. Two specific items of note: 1) Please don't put ice or liquids in our trash. Use the buckets next to the big cans...but please make sure nothing *except* ice and liquids ends up there. 2) Gum is the devil. If you insist on bringing it here, please keep it off our floors and furniture. We recommend mints instead.
The Long Version: Don't!
Linger in play spaces when not playing. Please, please, please, don't hang out watching people anywhere in the play area, whether on your own or with your PAL! It makes them feel uncomfortable, and it makes you look like a Wanky McJerkoff! It's also a giant red flag for us to remove you from the premises. If you want to be social rather than sexy, there's plenty of room at the front, by the bar, or on the roof.
Cruise aggressively (even if they are really cute). This is not the place to pick up singles, unicorns or couples. YES, connect to other humans and see what possibilities there may be beyond our walls. NO, do not treat our space as a meat market. Unless you're being given clear verbal or non-verbal cues (i.e. enthusiastic consent) to continue interaction, DON'T. Thank the person for their time and move on. Don't wait for someone to be made uncomfortable by your presence...because at that point, you may end up with a warning on file.
Get too intoxicated or do hard drugs. Having a couple of drinks is fine; we are all grown-ups here. But if you get shit-faced, we will notice, and we will ask you to leave. If your judgment is impaired, you're not able to make consent decisions and are putting yourself and EVERYONE at the party in an unfair situation. We also have a zero-tolerance policy on hard drugs: those on them tend to insist they're absolutely FINE to make consent decisions, and that's just objectively not the case. Bringing hard drugs into our space will earn you a permanent black mark on file, so not only will you be asked to leave, but you won't be able to return.
Take photographs (audio, video, drawings...). We can't believe we have to point this one out. Absolutely no recording of any kind is allowed, and phones must be stashed for the duration of the event. If you must check your phone, the most polite way to do that is outside of play areas (bar, roof, coat check, bathrooms, etc). If you're trying to capture a particularly fabulous outfit, talk to the door person about whether and where the photo would be appropriate.
Gossip about what goes on here. NEVER mention names or specific activities on any public blogs or message boards. What happens behind our closed doors, stays right here. Press: please don't publish anything without checking with us. It's a good way to make sure you don't make erroneous assumptions or misrepresent what happens here.