Dominic Davies – Living and Working in the Kink Communities: Professional Boundaries and Ethics

so this this presentation is about how I use social and sexual networking acts and work to remain an ethical and bounds of therapists in in my experience very few therapists actually admit to even using these apps or indeed cruising let alone share how they manage their personal and professional lives including side and I think it’s time we started to have a conversation about this this is this is a actually a very high-risk presentation because I’m going to be speaking more openly and more publicly about in my life than I’ve ever done before identify as king e polyamorous or non-monogamous in one of those many variations that they’ve jobs been talking about as gay or queer or pansexual and I have three long term relationships one of 19 years another of seven years and the last has been running for about a year so this says gay people can’t do committed relationship in addition to more casual relationships so my presentation is situated amongst those personal experience and I appreciate that some of you may be monogamous or seriously monogamous serially monogamous or even or asexually romantics and so I guess that much of what I have to say may not be very relevant to some of you however for those of you that are single or non-monogamous I hope it might be useful I’m aware that I unfortunately i occupy a very privileged position running in therapy I’m working exclusively with a really wide range of GST identified clients and so I figure that I have an obligation to speak out on behalf of others who are not able to do so or may not feel confident in doing so in particular I mindful of those sexually active King stirs and poly people who are in training as well as well as other GSB people in more sensitive contexts like with young people where heteronormative judgments prevail and our new mentoring scheme that we’ve been talking by is designed to support people in these processes just because I found my own way through this ethical and moral java jungle I’m not saying it’s the only way and there are many ways and I hope we’ll be able to start a more open dialogue about how we do this by sharing our experiences and supporting each other to become better therapists I’ve over 30 years of working with our communities writing co-editing the three textbooks with Charles needle I trained thousands of therapists oh I had tens of thousands of hours of clinical practice and have found in pink therapy so I I do have a kind of a comfortable position in a sense that’s being able to approach this and thought about this a lot is issues a lot four years ago I started facilitating a space for King identify terrorists called a CD key for advanced clinical discussions in here and this is a topic that is a frequent subject for discussion probably no not a meeting goes by where we don’t have a bit of a conversation about living and working in our communities one of the reasons one will be one of the principal reasons that people come to see me and to choose me as their therapist is my knowledge of the alternative sex communities and I’m members open and I work with members of those communities of all genders and sexualities and I’m listed in the kink and we’re professionals directory which is a thing online as keep knowledgeable and they have three levels keep friendly people wear and he acknowledged it will be the one that got the most most experienced my starting point is to say that it’s helping to recognize that we have sexual and relational needs and I think it’s perfectly acceptable to use our communities resources and facilities to meet those needs but being a therapist places an extra layer of responsibility on us as boundary riders to act ethically and professionally and to anticipate potential difficulties and challenges to the therapeutic frame much like cowhands riding the range and mending fences to keep the cattle safe boundary riders or therapists immense tend to maintain a safe therapeutic

frame in pink therapy volume 2 professor min Gabriel and I co-authored a chapter which presents a model that she developed for managing janu relationships she went on to publish her doctoral research in a very accessible book called speaking the unspeakable and then went on to become chair and british association for counseling a cycler and i put a link to our chapter on the oven slide that you can download it if I think it’s very useful we know how to read it there is a tension between being an integrated human being and being appropriately open about yourself therapeutic disclosure of sexual orientation is a hot topic for LGBT therapists whether at the moment to papers out our introduction including the wonderful it is journal seat of CPR with counseling and psychotherapy research journal be a CD that came out this week and there is another by Adam Harris who’s a clinical psychologist in Lincoln the item supervisor of his of his dissertation and co-author to of a paper that’s forthcoming in the Journal of Psychology and sexuality and I don’t have time in this tool to go into 3rd tds Oh therapist disclosure of sexual orientation but I may discuss this in the third presentation on YouTube in many ways we serve as role models to our clients and we are human beings engaging in the same struggles as our clients we’re often challenging our own internalized sexual shame and guilt and we have a responsibility at the same time to protect our clients or patients from knowing too much artists as we are responsible for managing and holding to professional boundaries which keep the therapeutic space available for our clients to working what do professional audience is saying about how to manage the professional and personal relationships very little the new ethical framework which is still being worked on my into the ACPD and our pink acd kink group often from significant feedback and practical suggestions brought an email a recent email from a peasant involved in schools nation a projector BAC and he said that um our out points have been disgusted by the ethics and standards committee and by the expert at nickel referee which comprises largely of lawyers and philosophers they’re really kind of thinking about these issues by deeply and he says we try to find a balance between the rights and clients and those close to them to be protected from unethical sexual activity with therapists and the rights of therapists to have an adult section life outside their professional role the current draft breeze we want to have sexual relationships with or behave sexually towards our clients very none we will avoid having sexual relationships with or behaving set sexually towards people and we know to be close to our clients in order to avoid undermining our clients trust in us end quote even the small and overlapping communities that they kinky poly and gay people living it can be hard to know who’s close to our clients and whilst we might not knowingly have sex with someone’s partner or best friend it can as an onion team does happen inadvertently this guideline seems also to be premise on a heteronormative assumption that therapists should really be settled in committed monogamous relationships remember maybe several I mean though I’m aware and now current UK guidance or for the use of social media and we will be again insulting the dhcp on this if they’ve ever do separate violence socially do it from you now when you think about social media those are the three main ones linkedin twitter and facebook linkedin is where everybody wants to become your professional colleague and network with you and they never speak to you ever again yeah i get for only half a dozen of these a week or more I don’t know who these people are why they internet look at you know Morty my advice is on facebook is actually to consider having a separate professional profile to your personal one and to lock the privacy settings down on mostly very

sprightly remindful of what you post our way posted if you only have one profile and you’re using that for a personal rat be aware that clients and colleagues can see this and that can affect your nose me ref your professional reputation facebook is the primary concern for most their openings mainstream therapists but what do you do when you encounter your clients on sex ads or when your clients encounter you I’d recommend being very careful about using your facebook online alongside detailed information about water into a mother looking for I would say that this is probably TMI too much information for many clients and could cause difficulties personally I think it’s better to avoid a face on public profile and then just send a face pic once you’ve seen in your self-interest I’ll give you a couple of examples for my practice which illustrates some of the challenges of these new geolocation arms recon is a site for gave my men into peticion teen and a gay man was referred to me by a sexual health worker it was concerned about what he thought and he described as extreme BDSM when under the influence of pen sex drugs and I ask the client why my ex the loca of had concerns about you he said I should I should check out his recon profile I took a moment to reflect and made a calculated gamble and said that if I did so he famously my foot long and what I was interested and how might that affect our relationship and I work together he said he said that he felt my being hinky with one of the reasons why how I eat a trust and work with me though he had different interests in terms of grindr I was messaged by client who had his face big on his profile searching for old man and he sent me in the course of the day several messages which I didn’t respond to it and my face because eating my phone but he was just choosing the age Valentin beans into my sentence in those messages when he attended his next session I may choose the messages and discussed how this encroached on both of us enjoying my new life outside of therapy we’ve been working in the session on his desire to be monogamous in this relationship these messages contradicted not beauty and I felt that he was revealing stuff to me but wasn’t necessarily it open for me because haven’t chosen to tone in the session and so we agreed to mutually blog each other at the end of the session to afford each other necessary privacy to allow apparently in solution ok cupid is a very popular app with a large amounts of poly and intraweb implicating on them there’s a requirement for properly to use the outfits as a condition of Lehman amending you have your face pic on it’s been my experience of working with these populations that they are generally much more liberal nope and yet also recognized personal boundaries and some of the other populations that I work with so I felt is it’s probably only act where I was comfortable putting my face I’m also talking about the gay cruising spaces and i’m showing here cruising home star before he naps came along should i guess you could call house to eat the geolocation after Ali so I’m showing here I can’t receive Ontario sworn in water where I think it’s much harder to negotiate boundaries since the cruising code is generally but silence prevailed when you’re engaged in the process it’s important therefore to discuss with clients how you will handle eating each other outside of the consulting room at the beginning and now many clients say they’d be happy to say hello and not even more me but they may not have considered that this could outcome as a client if I want to learn because the people i believe will say well don’t you know so soon but the conversation with the client needs to go beyond acknowledging and an acknowledged ignored across the bar a crowded bar that and what about when one or other of you might be wasted in a club or in a context where you don’t want to be acknowledged like a sauna or a sex party or they come across your profile online having agreed a way of handling this along the lines outlines in the chapter that I didn’t before and having a professional boundaries statement which are enormously is crucial to managing it to the changing perception that are out

of session contact my brain now some of you will have heard of that life it’s like a kinky facebook it’s it’s very big and popular and it’s a place where people can list event other social events like lunches which are where kinky people wear regular clothes and go to regular pulse and chat with each other and players working might be arranging play classes or dungeon parties all the time people create a profile and have a photo gallery facility dinner and then their own forms where discussions among all kinds of fetish and psychological issues third place I’d recommend considering having them separate personal and professional profiles with no publicly visible face big on the private pro12 where you miss the gorilla suit I’m when we discuss this in the in the acct King proof I learned that many of the therapists in memory unsurprisingly had effect like a profession for a model and they were keeping these two things separate but I think I was the only person who had my face on my professional profile which surprised me but I think it shows a hat how weary and worried we are about being judged or recognized by others who could be looking at those protocols and casually I’ve really had any clients from fetlife so it’s not great marketing to another city regard and I learn a lot about the communities and it’s an hour on the forums and I’m used the forums to inform other various about the NACD King group and as a result of God had no members join so it’s been useful in a sense I’m going to touch on the implications for those of us that attend in for pansexual play classes where clients from X minds of all the clients might be present and how we manage our professional boundaries in most situations in the acd discussions equal found it easier to be in the government role or the giver role of public hypothesis and said that being a submissive if they were seeing my clients or colleagues could feel very challenging is not shaming to be receiving an open on these prison or an over-the-knee spanking or kneeling before between the boots or hotdog it slightly easier perhaps if we’re involved in undertake more educational demonstrations and model including safe sensory practice by doing a bondage demonstration or a piercing demonstration or something because these were felt to be less problematic but any genital or sexual contact and obviously that’s not required to be doing yes Emily and we happen in a private room or in a private space away from I plan and or separately to the events it’s a particular challenge for kinky folk to get off on exhibitionism and public play if that’s if that’s part of the thing that on their arousal tempo and some keisters will often restrict play too when they’re when they’re going abroad or when they’re out of time in a different city I think that tends to be a code of discretion at those kinds of events though akin to Chatham House Rules what happens in the play room stays in the playroom but you come with us necessarily rely upon so I think it is important to be careful since our professional associations have been slow to offer culturally sensitive ethical boundaries and guidance I think it’s incumbent upon each of us to create our own and here’s a link to mine on my website which I especially asked my kink identify clients to read I only discuss feel free to download it I domained it to suit yourself from your life I had myself adapted it from an American parents to depend on the bed why we don’t have only to long to engage in the conversations that I’d love us to be having here but please feel free to email me and maybe come along to the acd keep group your that is appropriate for you ok but I do have some time I was interested in me and think about what activity one might choose to take part in if a client was present at a party and what I might say to us that died on that between us and drive the I their relationship when pebble of duty

to serve a demure & 0 actually that’s a very interesting point I don’t think we have had time to talk about that yet but I think that would be a good good good conversation to be having I mean we talked about how subs how it would feel different if you’re going to be in this up it never seemed like quite loud but we didn’t talk about what kind of activities might feel more okay than others beyond talking about maybe doing a bondage demonstration if you take someone out that’s not really very problematic if a client sees you doing that but if you were kneeling between them somebody’s boots then that would be at more more challenging yes I was thinking that if you’re doing a demonstration you are still in a kind of teaching type role in whether there’s some hierarchy in pain sure sure well that’s interesting plenty of hierarchy implications in video search is too much of these things actually some time and profiles some time so I was wondering what the evidences of ratio there are plenty problems in houses like their defensive therapist is every things which are multipliers which have nothing to do get seven understand learning how much of a problem hasn’t been up to now without that kind of regulation about you do broke off sure well how much of it is a problem how much harmer we might we be doing is what is a track record I ism is there a trainer Ecuador is there research about potential for harm that might result from how you solve these apps I think there is I mean I’m not aware of anybody any kind of research into that and I’m not aware of any case has been taught before the ethics committee of the ACP so there may not be direct harm in that in that way however i think the therapists who aren’t comfortable with being very open with with their with all their clients there is the potential clients will google you online and find information about you and then feel very uncomfortable where they discovered that you are one of these people and then that might affect the therapy relationship where is it’s kind of easier if they google me and they find this out about me they choose not to come to see me but if you have a mixed practice and your Google’s and then the client sees and says oh I see that you are on this kinky side or you I i see that you spoke up a conference about BDSM I don’t really think I could work with somebody who’s into that now in its grist to the mill that you can be working with that material I think as therapist we need to be a full through how are we going to manage it which is part of the model linds talking about in our chapter so that we’re robust and we deal with our shame and discomfort up being confronted about keeping our private life and can still meet the client with their fear because it’s about looking up what does it mean for you that your therapist is to English and how does that affect you what they’re doing in their private time I mean it might be that they will the effective I mean by political activities or any other aspects in life but I think that’s part of the stuff that we need to be able to work with rather than shut hide our life our way to learn now I’d it does make a difference on your theoretical model and of course I think because it mean it would be much harder to be more own cup if you’re a psychoanalytic tutoring therapist where you’re talk to be or blank screen even though of course there’s plenty of evidence that no when screen and I accidentally ridiculous notion is your self disclosure that’s fine but I’m i think those that that model is one that is grappling with this more intensively and i need to as person so de todas horas atrĂ¡s variables thank you very much for your attention