Festival of Sensations attendees should feel free to wear whatever clothes allow us to express ourselves and are suitable for the varied activities arranged to engage all five senses.
The following are some specific points to consider: They are directed towards avoiding harm or misunderstandings and are based on experiences at previous sex- & body-positive and spiritual events.
Nudity at Festival of Sensations
As a Body Positive festival, we will feature nudity both during certain workshops/performances and sometimes informally.
When interacting with people wearing fewer clothes than you are used to, please remember this basic principle:
Someone being naked does not necessarily make them a threat, and it does not mean that they have provided you with consent.
(Consent applies most obviously to physical content, but also to comments and lingering looks.)
No Far-Right or nationalist Iconography
Festival of Sensations welcomes attendees of all religions and ethnicities, and for this reason we have a strict ban on symbols and iconography associated with the far-right. This includes (but is not limited to) the symbols covered by the Prohibition Act 1947 (DE: Verbotsgesetz 1947).
If in doubt, please err on the side of caution rather than ‘reclamation’ (especially if you’re not part of a group directly targeted by contemporary far-right groups.).
National flags should also be avoided wherever possible.
Avoid Appropriative Styles & Costumes
Cultural exchange is a beautiful thing, but it does not take place outside of the context of colonialism and imperialism. Please avoid cultural appropriation from cultures you do not personally belong to. If in doubt, defer to someone from the culture being drawn from (either directly or through reading).
While not everyone from marginalised communities agrees on what constitutes ‘appropriation’, it’s best if conversations around these topics are centered on their perspectives rather than defensiveness. With this in mind, we specifically discourage the following:
- Usage of Indigenous terms & artifacts by white-privileged people: feather headdresses, tipis, sweat lodges, “Aho”, dreamcatchers, “tribe,” references to spirit animals, etc.
- Locs worn by non-Black people should be avoided. Inspired by Smut Slam, we invite those who choose to wear appropriative hairstyles to learn more about racist microagressions, and to cover their hair while at the Festival.
As Smut Slam puts it, we aim to create an event which:
“strives to create a supportive and safer space, both onstage and off, and we recognize that style and behavior of individuals can contribute to an environment that feels unsafe for marginalized people. This is why we are asking non-black people who wear culturally appropriative hairstyles (for example, dreadlocks or box braids) to do research about these racist microagressions, and to cover up such hairstyles at Smut Slam while they are doing the work.”
If you are still confused about what is and is not appropriate / appropriative, check out these useful resources from Black, Indigenous and People Of Colour:
- On Vikings:
- Black Hair: History & Myths
- Socio-Historical Legal Analysis
- White Feminist
- Tangled Roots: More (US) History
- Current & Historic Laws
- Activism in UK
- Black UK Lawyer
- White Tears
- “The Talk”
- Reducing White Fragility
- Black Insight on White Tears
- Academic: White Women’s Tears
- Academic: White Victimhood
On Festival of Sensations there is no space for:
- people who think there’s only two sexes/genders
- people who “don’t see color”
- people who think that fat people should just exercise more and are unhealthy
- people who think kinky people are sick/shameful
- people who deny disabled people their sexuality
- people who think that poor people are lazy
- people who think that migrants are homophobic and assaultive
- people who think that cis men are the real victims of patriarchy
We are aware that sexual orientation and/or gender identity are only one of many marginalized affiliations – people are not only queer but also experience other forms of marginalization, among them black people and people of color, people with disabilities, old people, fat people, neurodiverse people, people with a migration history or people who are read as migrants, people with low income or low education, etc. When organizing the Festival of Sensations, we strive to take into account the specific needs that arise from different experiences of discrimination and to create the most accessible space possible.