The Curious Creatures forum exists to allow you to make connections with other people and resources that relate to CC’s core functions: Self development, relationships, sexuality, community.
Not Like the Rest of the Internet
A lot of the internet is pretty wild, and it doesn’t always bring out the best in people. Social media platforms, in particular, encourage a culture of conflict and don’t tend to actively encourage resolution, compassion, or understanding.
The Curious Creatures forum is Different.
Here, you don’t have a right to let loose on someone you disagree with. In fact, if you can’t do it respectfully, you don’t even have the right to comment (but there are alternative things you can do, below). Here is what we require from all participants on this forum:
If you don’t like something that someone has written
- Ignore the post. There are going to be plenty of people here that you don’t see eye to eye with. That’s okay. Diversity is good thing. It’s not your right or responsibility to change someone’s perspective, or to save them (or the community).
- Engage, respectfully, if you think you can. We have no tolerance for personal attacks, bullying, sarcasm, or like behaviors. This is something that people sometimes find hard to understand: Even if someone has posted something that is objectively wrong, you don’t have a right to attack them. If you think you have the skills, you are welcome to respectfully engage with their ideas. If you’re already in a conversation, it’s okay to say “I disagree, but that’s okay, and I’m leaving this thread now. Thanks”.
- Flag it. You can ‘flag’ personal messages and public posts. This will do one of two things:
a. Draw the attention of a moderator. If we agree, we will probably send a formal notice to the author. If the situation warrants it, we’ll silence or remove a user. If you flag something and we disagree, there is no harm done.
b. If a certain number of users ‘flag’ a user, the system will automatically start removing ‘trust’ (and privileges) from that user. Discourse (the software we’re using) uses a community moderation approach, sharing the responsibility for a functioning community with everyone. Over time and as you engage in things, your ‘trust’ level increases, and with it the things you can do and the moderation roles you can play. We will be adjusting how quickly the system responds over time (especially to flagging).
- Silence the user. If you go to your profile | preferences (gear cog icon) | preferences | users, you can ‘ignore’ or ‘mute’ people, and then won’t see their posts (or personal messages, if you choose).
Don’t generalise about groups of people (especially regarding gender).
Culturally, we’re in the middle of a gender war. You’re welcome to talk about gender, gender identity, gender politics, gender experiences, etc., so long as you understand that it’s all highly contentious territory, and it won’t be solved in the lifetime of this forum.
The less you can generalise when you’re talking about gender, the better:
- A statement that is definitive (like “all women…” or “all queers…” or “all straight folks” or “all men…”) is almost certain to draw attack, and is against the spirit of this forum. We recognise that there is a lot of diversity and difference of experience, even within apparently homogeneous groups.
- Qualified, balanced statements are better. (“Some men might have had the experience that…” or “I think there might be a trend among my trans friends that…” or “Many women, and perhaps some men, have had the experience of being…”).
- If possible, just don’t mention gender. We know this seems counter-intuitive and perhaps impossible, but if you want to talk about something that you regard as gendered without mentioning gender, you can often have a much better conversation about it. Ironic, huh?
The same applies to sexual orientation, race, religion, age, and everything else; don’t generalize.
Generalizations and finite statements (using words like “never” or “always”) will tend to frustrate people who have different experiences, and an unpleasant disagreement will likely follow.
Think twice before posting in anger
…Because when we’re angry is when we’re most likely to make generalisations about groups of people, and say pointy things.
We’re not against anger, or any other strong emotion. In fact, the world depends on people having strong reactions and emotions. We just see that how these things play out on social media (such as this forum) is at best mixed and at worst a nightmare for all involved people. They will often divide communities and cause more problems than they solve. We’re sorry - we wish it was different.
If you’re charged up about something, perhaps you should sleep on it. And tomorrow, think about how to express your concerns in a way that will be best for you, best for whoever you’re addressing, best for the issue you’re discussing, and best for the community.
Curious Creatures attracts a huge range of people, from the very straight, to the very queer (and we acknowledge that describing it this way is an oversimplification). However you identify, you are all absolutely welcome, if you are willing to follow these guidelines.
If you’re new to the world of exploring gender, then you need to be mindful that what’s normal in the outside world is not necessarily normal here. By that we mean that there’s no assumption that all people will fit into the categories of “woman” or “man”, and also there’s no assumption that those people will have genitals or bodies that align with what you’re used to. We have plenty of trans-gender and non-binary people, and people that don’t like to be identified as “men” or “women”, despite how they might look to you. We will soon provide some resources to help with this, but in the mean-time, check a person’s gender identity in their profile before assuming you know, and do your best to use open and respectful language. We will not punish you for making the odd mistake, because the truth is that we all make mistakes around this stuff - we’re all learning. The crucial thing is to try.
If you’ve been exploring gender for a long time, and particularly if you identify as trans, queer, non-binary, or any minority gender… Welcome. We’ve got your back. If you feel that someone is being disrespectful to you, let them know, and / or let us know. Almost all people here are trying to do the right thing, and will respond positively to you if you can be positive to them. You’re also welcome to ‘silence’ them in your settings.
We often use the language of “penis owners” or “vulva owners” to describe people, if we’re talking about bodies and genitals. It can be more accurate than “men” or “women”. In making this suggestion, we acknowledge that there is no language that is agreed on by all parties, or that is even interpreted in the same ways by all parties. The only things that are likely to consistently work, is to try and not make assumptions, and to let your respect show (even if you’re not sure about the language).
Inclusive, with a caveat…
This forum is inclusive of a very wide range of people and opinions - yay, diversity! However, when it comes to behaviors, we are far from inclusive. The forum software has ways to respond to unwelcome behaviors, such as removing a user’s privileges if others have ‘flagged’ their posts. Moderators oversee these automated mechanisms, and also intervene more directly at times.
As a general guide, behaviors that make you a good person for others to be around, and a good contributor to the communities you move in, are likely to work well for you here. Participating in dialog, giving ‘likes’ to others, and receiving ‘likes’ for your posts will all increase your level of ‘trust’ on the forum, and in the eyes of others.
Assume that you have been invited into someone’s lounge-room, and act accordingly.
One person per account
…Because it’s hard to know who you’re talking to otherwise, and consent can get confusing. Also, as moderators, sometimes we need to speak specifically with just one person.
The rest of this document is mostly legalese that we inherited when we set up the forum.
These terms govern use of the Internet forum at https://forum.curiouscreatures.biz. To use the forum, you must agree to these terms with Curious Creatures Pty Ltd, the company that runs the forum.
The company may offer other products and services, under different terms. These terms apply only to use of the forum.
- Important Terms
- Your Permission to Use the Forum
- Conditions for Use of the Forum
- Acceptable Use
- Content Standards
- Your Account
- Your Content
- Your Responsibility
- Limits on Liability
- General Terms
These terms include a number of important provisions that affect your rights and responsibilities, such as the disclaimers in Disclaimers, limits on the company’s liability to you in Limits on Liability, your agreement to cover the company for damages caused by your misuse of the forum in Responsibility for Your Use, and an agreement to arbitrate disputes in Disputes.
Subject to these terms, the company gives you permission to use the forum. Everyone needs to agree to these terms to use the forum.
Your permission to use the forum is subject to the following conditions:
You must be at least eighteen years old.
You may no longer use the forum if the company contacts you directly to say that you may not.
You may not break the law using the forum.
You may not use or try to use another’s account on the forum without their specific permission.
You may not buy, sell, or otherwise trade in user names or other unique identifiers on the forum.
You may not send advertisements, chain letters, or other solicitations through the forum, or use the forum to gather addresses or other personal data for commercial mailing lists or databases.
You may not automate access to the forum, or monitor the forum, such as with a web crawler, browser plug-in or add-on, or other computer program that is not a web browser. You may crawl the forum to index it for a publicly available search engine, if you run one.
You may not use the forum to send e-mail to distribution lists, newsgroups, or group mail aliases.
You may not falsely imply that you’re affiliated with or endorsed by the company.
You may not hyperlink to images or other non-hypertext content on the forum on other webpages.
You may not remove any marks showing proprietary ownership from materials you download from the forum.
You may not show any part of the forum on other websites with
You may not disable, avoid, or circumvent any security or access restrictions of the forum.
You may not strain infrastructure of the forum with an unreasonable volume of requests, or requests designed to impose an unreasonable load on information systems underlying the forum.
You may not impersonate others through the forum.
You may not encourage or help anyone in violation of these terms.
You may not submit content to the forum that is illegal, or otherwise harmful to others. This includes content that is harassing, inappropriate, or abusive.
You may not submit content to the forum that violates the law, infringes anyone’s intellectual property rights, violates anyone’s privacy, or breaches agreements you have with others.
You may not submit content to the forum containing malicious computer code, such as computer viruses or spyware.
You may not submit content to the forum as a mere placeholder, to hold a particular address, user name, or other unique identifier.
You may not use the forum to disclose information that you don’t have the right to disclose, like others’ confidential or personal information.
The company may investigate and prosecute violations of these terms to the fullest legal extent. The company may notify and cooperate with law enforcement authorities in prosecuting violations of the law and these terms.
The company reserves the right to change, redact, and delete content on the forum for any reason. If you believe someone has submitted content to the forum in violation of these terms, contact us immediately.
You must create and log into an account to use the forum.
To create an account, you must provide some information about yourself. If you create an account, you agree to provide, at a minimum, a valid e-mail address, and to keep that address up-to-date. You may close your account at any time yourself, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You agree to be responsible for all action taken using your account, whether authorized by you or not, until you either close your account or notify the company that your account has been compromised. You agree to notify the company immediately if you suspect your account has been compromised. You agree to select a secure password for your account, and keep it secret.
The company may restrict, suspend, or close your account on the forum according to its policy for handling copyright-related takedown requests, or if the company reasonably believes that you’ve broken any rule in these terms.
Nothing in these terms gives the company any ownership rights in intellectual property that you share with the forum, such as your account information, posts, or other content you submit to the forum. Nothing in these terms gives you any ownership rights in the company’s intellectual property, either.
Between you and the company, you remain solely responsible for content you submit to the forum. You agree not to wrongly imply that content you submit to the forum is sponsored or approved by the company. These terms do not obligate the company to store, maintain, or provide copies of content you submit, and to change it, according to these terms.
Content you submit to the forum belongs to you, and you decide what permission to give others for it. But at a minimum, you license the company to provide content that you submit to the forum to other users of the forum. That special license allows the company to copy, publish, and analyze content you submit to the forum.
When content you submit is removed from the forum, whether by you or by the company, the company’s special license ends when the last copy disappears from the company’s backups, caches, and other systems. Other licenses you apply to content you submit, such as Creative Commons licenses, may continue after your content is removed. Those licenses may give others, or the company itself, the right to share your content through the forum again.
Others who receive content you submit to the forum may violate the terms on which you license your content. You agree that the company will not be liable to you for those violations or their consequences.
You agree to indemnify the company from legal claims by others related to your breach of these terms, or breach of these terms by others using your account on the forum. Both you and the company agree to notify the other side of any legal claims for which you might have to indemnify the company as soon as possible. If the company fails to notify you of a legal claim promptly, you won’t have to indemnify the company for damages that you could have defended against or mitigated with prompt notice. You agree to allow the company to control investigation, defense, and settlement of legal claims for which you would have to indemnify the company, and to cooperate with those efforts. The company agrees not to agree to any settlement that admits fault for you or imposes obligations on you without your prior agreement.
You accept all risk of using the forum and content on the forum. As far as the law allows, the company and its suppliers provide the forum as is, without any warranty whatsoever.
The forum may hyperlink to and integrate forums and services run by others. The company does not make any warranty about services run by others, or content they may provide. Use of services run by others may be governed by other terms between you and the one running service.
Neither the company nor its suppliers will be liable to you for breach-of-contract damages their personnel could not have reasonably foreseen when you agreed to these terms.
As far as the law allows, the total liability to you for claims of any kind that are related to the forum or content on the forum will be limited to $50.
The company welcomes your feedback and suggestions for the forum. See the Contact section below for ways to get in touch with us.
You agree that the company will be free to act on feedback and suggestions you provide, and that the company won’t have to notify you that your feedback was used, get your permission to use it, or pay you. You agree not to submit feedback or suggestions that you believe might be confidential or proprietary, to you or others.
Either you or the company may end the agreement written out in these terms at any time. When our agreement ends, your permission to use the forum also ends.
Australian Law will govern any dispute related to these terms or your use of the forum.
You and the company agree to seek injunctions related to these terms only in state or federal court in Mebourne, Australia. Neither you nor the company will object to jurisdiction, forum, or venue in those courts.
Other than to seek an injunction or for claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you and the company will resolve any dispute by binding mediation. Mediation will happen in Melbourne, Australia. You will settle any dispute as an individual, and not as part of a class action or other representative proceeding, whether as the plaintiff or a class member. No mediator will consolidate any dispute with any other mediation without the company’s permission.
Any mediation award will include costs of the mediation, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and reasonable costs for witnesses. You and the company may enter mediation awards in any court with jurisdiction.
If a provision of these terms is unenforceable as written, but could be changed to make it enforceable, that provision should be modified to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable. Otherwise, that provision should be removed.
You may not assign your agreement with the company. The company may assign your agreement to any affiliate of the company, any other company that obtains control of the company, or any other company that buys assets of the company related to the forum. Any attempted assignment against these terms has no legal effect.
Neither the exercise of any right under this Agreement, nor waiver of any breach of this Agreement, waives any other breach of this Agreement.
These terms embody all the terms of agreement between you and the company about use of the forum. These terms entirely replace any other agreements about your use of the forum, written or not.
You may notify the company under these terms, and send questions to the company, at email@example.com.
The company may notify you under these terms using the e-mail address you provide for your account on the forum, or by posting a message to the homepage of the forum or your account page.
The company last updated these terms on November 13, 2020, and may update these terms again. The company will post all updates to the forum. For updates that contain substantial changes, the company agrees to e-mail you, if you’ve created an account and provided a valid e-mail address. The company may also announce updates with special messages or alerts on the forum.
Once you get notice of an update to these terms, you must agree to the new terms in order to keep using the forum.