Advice - Running Events

Event Doxxing and Preserving Privacy

The latest talk circulating on kink social media (in the US at least) is how a very influential ultra conservative content creator doxxed a kink event, which lead to the pulling of public funding for the LGBTQ Centre it was operating in. I’m not American, but I don’t think we have to be to feel concerned about this new form of harassment we might face. So, I thought I’d put my thoughts together….

Inevitable Risks

Events are always going to carry risks of attendees and organisers being outed. I remember a kink event some years ago in Somerset being visited by an undercover reporter who outed people running and attending the event in a local newspaper. It closed immediately. So, privacy issues have always been a problem in the kink community. Anyone unscrupulous could cause us problems…. Though, antedotally, I’ve heard of more people being outed by people in the community than our of it – scornful exs fighting for child custody, that sort of thing.

We live in a climate of social media, “culture wars,” and polarising politics that will inevitably affect our spaces. There are enough angry conservatives out there believing the propaganda, that we will always need to spare a thought for what they might do.


Locations of events need to be thoughtful. Not somewhere where the neighbours might complain, around children or conservative communities. Government funded venues carry their own compliance regulations or requirements, which need to be considered (as in the example above) and are normally not suitable. Equally, private venues might have expectations from their shareholders. We have to be open and honest with the venue about what we want to do in their space, and whether licensing and insurance are covered for the activity.

I’m in a liberal city, running my events in the most open-minded, anti-establishment, alternative part of the city you could possibly find. I’m extremely lucky with the venue for the purposes of my event. It is a private hire, and the event listing on the venue website is explicit about the nature of my events, with a link to my blog. But the venue has had a lot of run-ins with local government. Self financed and self-sufficient (it’s that cool!) it’s weathering all the conservative pressures in my city, but the pressure is always there.

Event Privacy

The privacy policy of my workshops has the attendees’ needs at the heart of it, without violating local laws. Yes, that’s a tricky balancing act, too. We need to know who is coming, if they are predators, and carry out some sort of vetting, especially if it’s a play based event. We also need to know that all attendees will respect the privacy of other attendees. I recently had a request from a researcher wanting to attend my workshops to use in her academic studies. I naturally declined because we don’t go to events to be studied!

Personal Safety

We all like to encourage people to attend events and allow the freedom of expression that comes with our community. But with that, we need to be honest and realistic about what we are asking others to risk. Newbies tend to fear being seen by someone they know, but that very rarely happens. Instead, we should encourage the use of aliases. Some people can be more open because of their job and family situation, but there is still a whole tonne of stigma with being kinky.

So, it has to be an individual, but informed choice of what personal information you are willing to share and with whom. Read the privacy policy of any events you attend and see if they adhere to it. And always check in with yourself how you might handle a privacy breach.

It’s not all doom and gloom

It isn’t. Events are usually wonderful places run by committed people who care about the privacy and welfare of their attendees because we face the same ethical and legal dilemmas ourselves.

Crucially, I think we need to keep having these open conversations about concerns we have in the social contexts we live in. We need our community to feel our sense of belonging in an otherwise hostile world to our sexuality and relationship preferences. So, let’s keep an eye out and connect so we know any problems on the horizon.

Dea Nexa

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