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Code of Ethics and Standards: Introduction and Relevance

This Code of Ethics and Standards serves as a set of guidelines for addressing circumstances that may arise during the operation of any events promoted on this website. Its primary objective is to educate professionals, participants, and the general public about the ethical standards upheld by event professionals, ensuring the care and protection of all event participants.

Andrew Barnes Tantra Retreat for Women

As we navigate the intricacies of organising and facilitating events, this Code will serve as a beacon, guiding us toward ethical choices and practices. It reflects not just the expectations but the very ethos of our community.


Anyone working or acting at any of the events, whether paid or unpaid, is subject to this Code. They are obligated to abide by it, especially in circumstances where it is enforceable rather than merely aspirational.


The term "Event Professionals" (EPs) as used in this Code refers to:

  • Facilitators

  • Assistants

  • Organisers

  • Participants in practitioner training programs

  • Translators

  • Chefs and food assistants at events

  • Venue owners


The Code is comprised of two sections: (1) Principles and (2) Ethical Standards.

The principles within this Code are aspirational objectives that serve to guide EPs in their conduct. They also represent how EPs should guide participants and the community. Although the principles are not enforceable, EPs should use them as guidelines when deciding on an ethical course of action.


The ethical standards within this Code are prescriptive, outlining enforceable rules of behaviour for EPs when working at any events promoted on this website. Most were developed broadly to apply to EPs in various roles and professions.


Besides other relevant ethical guidelines for EPs, the concepts and standards within this Code aim to promote and reinforce the ethical principles and practices of the disciplines represented in the EP community.


The terms 'reasonable,' 'appropriate,' and 'potentially' are included for the following reasons:


  • To allow professional judgment by an EP

  • To address any injustices or inequalities

  • To ensure broad applicability across varied activities conducted by EPs

  • To avoid overly rigid rules that might become quickly outdated.


The term ‘reasonable’ as used in this Ethics Code refers to the prevailing professional judgment of professionals engaging in similar activities in similar circumstances.


The principles within this Code are aspirational in nature and not binding or enforceable. Thus, they shouldn't serve as a basis for imposing sanctions. They're provided as a statement of the objective’s EPs aim to achieve, promoting a high level of ethical and professional behaviour at any events promoted on this website.


1.    EPs recognise the importance of upholding professional standards of conduct, respecting established communication channels within the EP team, and accepting responsibility for their actions in line with their professional duties.


2.    EPs acknowledge that the environment at events can lead to heightened stress levels during dances, plays, and exercises. This stress may affect participants’ ability to maintain role boundaries and clear communication. Consequently, EPs endeavour to modify their behaviours and interactions to foster a safe setting for instruction and practice.


3.    EPs recognise the significance of acknowledging individual and cultural diversity. Regarding age, gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and socio-economic status, EPs aim to act without prejudice.


4.    Given that EPs conduct training in various countries and regions, they strive to familiarise themselves with local cultures, historical contexts, and ethical norms. In their interactions with participants, other professionals, and organisations, they endeavour to exemplify culturally competent behaviour, remain aware of potential requirements to adapt teaching methods due to cultural differences, and employ an array of culturally sensitive models, making modifications as needed.


5.    EPs are conscious of both actual and perceived power imbalances between themselves and others, avoiding any exploitation or deceit of individuals, whether before, during, or after professional relationships have concluded.


6.    EPs advocate for clear communication and assist in keeping the group's attention on the event's primary goals, even when faced with time or other limitations.


7.    EPs value ongoing education and personal development. They strive to stay updated with and draw from resources in the realms of tantra, sexuality, spirituality, trauma-informed care, science, arts, and administration to inform their role.



When acting as an EP or in another capacity at activities and events promoted on this website, EPs must adhere to the enforceable obligations detailed in this code's ethical standards.


1.    EPs must ensure all events and training programs under their purview provide accurate descriptions of program content, training goals, objectives, and entrance and completion requirements. All relevant parties should easily access this information.


2.    EPs may issue certificates demonstrating that their facilitation aligns with their area of specialisation.


3.    EPs must provide essential information accurately and impartially. Every course should align with its stated objectives. While facilitators can adjust event requirements or material if deemed pedagogically necessary or beneficial, they should inform participants of any changes in a manner allowing them to meet the event requirements.


4.    EPs will treat any personal information shared by participants during events confidentially, meaning:


o    EPs shouldn't request participants disclose private information during events.

o    Disclosure of private material from events requires the participant's consent unless it advances the event's personal or educational goals.

o    Personal participant communications during events remain confidential, barring participant permission or disclosure requirements per this Code.

o    The confidentiality standards will be clearly communicated to participants and assistants during their orientations.


5.    Before any demonstrations, EPs will secure agreement from assistants or participants before revealing personal information. EPs will respect any decision to abstain from a demonstration, ensuring no discrimination or retaliation occurs. EPs will also inform all involved parties of their right to stop the demonstration whenever they wish.


6.    EPs mustn't advertise events on this website as 'trauma healing'. Though trained in trauma-informed care and consent, they aren't qualified to 'heal trauma'.


7.    EPs should clarify to participants that these events aren't therapeutic and might be unsuitable for those with specific mental health conditions. Those uncertain of their suitability should consult with a medical doctor or qualified mental health professional.


8.    In case of emergent situations like significant trauma during an event, EPs should direct individuals to consult with appropriate professionals.


9.    EPs won't offer medical advice. If participants face concerning medical conditions, professional consultation is recommended.


10.    Participants retain full autonomy in choosing whether to participate. Coercion, peer pressure, or ultimatums are strictly prohibited.


11.    Participants always have the right to opt-out or modify their participation, or even leave an event. While facilitators should be informed before a participant's departure, no justification is required.


12.    No one should be pressured to share, interact, or collaborate with someone they're uncomfortable with.


13.    Within the boundaries of trauma-informed care and consent, participants can engage in experiences relevant to event topics if beneficial.


14.    EPs must avoid alcohol or non-prescribed drugs while on duty.


15.    EPs should act respectfully, never tarnishing the reputation of their EP team or the industry.


16.    EPs should appropriately credit their mentors and any pivotal concepts or methods they employ.


17.    Harassment or aggression by EPs is unacceptable. Behaviour is considered abusive or harassing if it creates a hostile environment from a 'reasonable person' viewpoint.


18.    Examples of abusive or harassing behaviour include threats, humiliation, preferential treatment, verbal abuse, social exclusion, physical force, gossiping, public humiliation, personal insults, stealing credit for someone's ideas, and more.


(Sections 19-25 discuss multiple-role non-sexual relationships; 26-28 cover multiple-role sexual relationships.)


19.    The term 'multiple role relationships' in this Code section refers to situations where an EP holds a professional role with a participant and concurrently engages in another role with that person, their acquaintances, or plans a future professional or business relationship with someone close to the participant.


20.    EPs should avoid any multiple-role non-sexual relationships that pose risks of exploitation or harm.


21.    EPs should steer clear of relationships that could compromise their objectivity, service delivery, or expose participants or other EPs to exploitation or harm.


22.    EPs must wait at least 3 months post-event before forming personal or business relationships with former participants, including on social media platforms. After this period, EPs should still be cautious of potential exploitation or harm.


23.    If an EP has a pre-existing relationship with a participant, the EP team should be informed. The EP must uphold event confidentiality standards, and if they cannot, they should recuse themselves.


24.    In cases of multiple role relationships, EPs must establish clear boundaries to safeguard the event environment and participant wellbeing.


25.    If unforeseen circumstances lead to a potentially harmful multiple-role relationship, the EP should act responsibly to address it, prioritising the affected participant's best interests and adhering to this Code.


Multiple Role Sexual Relationships

Personal sexual relationships between EPs and former participants can be more complex than simple friendships. The potential harm and intensity of these relationships might decrease over time, but an ethical dilemma arises when determining the appropriateness of such involvements post-event. This requires balancing the values of tantric communities with our knowledge and experience about the dynamics and effects of such involvements. The conflict arises between the principles of beneficence (promoting well-being and doing good) and nonmaleficence (avoiding harm), and the respect for participants' autonomy, rights, and dignity. EPs must respect participants' rights to self-determination while also providing support and avoiding harm.


This code prohibits EPs from engaging in personal sexual relationships with current participants, recognising the greater risk of compromised autonomy and potential harm during events. However, the dynamics change for post-event relationships. Over time, the risk of harm might reduce, and the potential for compromised participant autonomy becomes less clear.


Assessing whether a former participant can make an autonomous choice regarding a sexual relationship with a former EP depends on various factors, such as the time since the event, the event's nature, and the participant's history and current mental state. For instance, a brief non-experiential presentation would pose different ethical questions than a 7-day intensive event focusing on deep personal and relational issues.


This code mandates a boundary of no personal sexual relationships during or for 6 months following an event's completion. By placing the burden on the EP to demonstrate non-exploitative intent, it prioritises nonmaleficence (avoiding harm) while allowing the participant room for autonomy.


The code aims to minimise the likelihood of harmful personal sexual relationships while integrating community values and emphasising harm avoidance.


1.    EPs do not engage in personal sexual relationships with participants during and for at least 6 months following an event's completion.


2.    Exceptions may exist. EPs considering a relationship after 6 months must prove no exploitation has occurred, taking into account:


o    Time elapsed since the event ended.

o    The event's nature, duration, and intensity.

o    The participant’s personal history.

o    The participant’s current mental status.

o    Potential adverse impacts on the participant.

o    No actions or statements made by the EP during the event suggesting or inviting a post-event sexual or romantic relationship.


3.    Reporting Questionable Conduct: An EP who identifies potentially problematic behaviour by another EP or has an ethical or professional disagreement with another EP should address the matter. Ideally, they should initiate an open and constructive discussion with the concerned EP. If unresolved, the discovering EP should report the issue according to grievance procedures. However, EPs must not breach this Code or Procedures. Maliciously filing false complaints to harm another EP, rather than protect the public, violates this Code.


This Code of Ethics and Standards serves as a foundational guideline for EPs, emphasising the importance of professionalism, respect, and integrity in all interactions. We recognise that the environment and context in which EPs operate is dynamic and ever-evolving. As such, this code is not a static document but a reflection of our ongoing commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards. 


We urge all EPs to internalise these principles, apply them consistently, and always prioritise the well-being and autonomy of participants. We remain dedicated to revisiting and refining this code as needed to ensure it remains relevant and effective in guiding our community.

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