COVID-19 Protocols

This protocol is meant to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 (hereafter: covid) maximally, for both participants and facilitating team, as well as people we contact after the event.

This protocol is written by Wilrieke Sophia for the company Exploring Deeper, registered since 01-01-2011 under number 51594382 in The Netherlands, classified as SBI 86.91.9 ‘overige paramedische praktijken’ and SBI 85.59.9 ‘Studiebegeleiding, vorming en onderwijs (rest)’ offering workshops, education & teacher trainings in personal growth involving touch, massage, and dance.

This protocol is written to provide clarity for workshops under the (partial) names of Cuddle Workshop, Exploring Kink, Play Party, Tantra, and Navigating Intimacy, which are all based on yoga, talking, dance (all individual practices at a distance), and massage, and will be adapted according to current RIVM guidelines. Although contact within 1,5m is formally allowed for necessary elements, we choose to be mindful and careful with contact.

From June 26, 2021 onwards, The Netherlands is in Step 4 of their opening plan. This means that there is no maximum group size. With ‘coronatoegangsbewijzen‘ (Covid access passes) venues are allowed to have a maximum number of visitors. Face masks and 1,5m distance are not required in this case. Please read through this full document to understand our protocols.

Practical information

Location:

Location may change per event. The location is described in the emails participants get before the event. We make sure that the venue has a size that allows the number of participants to keep 1,5m distance at all times.

Maximum number of people present in the room:

People in the space may include:

  • participants
  • team members
  • cook
  • a representative of the venue

The total never exceeding the maximum number of people allowed by the RIVM.

Conditions for giving workshops

1. It is allowed to gather in groups (with no maximum number of people) in non-domestic spaces as long as people can keep 1,5 meters distance unless closer contact is needed for the sake of the practice, e.g. dance, touch-based consent practices and massage. We choose to require a negative test result of all our participants (vaccinated or not vaccinated). Although we still recommend you to be careful, this means we can be more flexible with the 1,5m measure.

2. Entrance to our workshops is only possible with one of the following shown upon entering the building to one of our team members*:

  • A negative test result (PCR or antigen test) of < 40hr old.
  • We also allow a home test. Do the test at home on the day of the event. Send us a selfie of yourself with the test result visible on the test, as well as a proof of date (hold a newspaper, another phone with time/date, or a computer screen showing the time behind you), or come early and do your test in front of the entrance.
  • If you did not do one of the above, or when the result is not clear, you can still enter the event when you do a test on the spot. We have a few tests available that you can buy for 5€ (bring cash) on the spot. We will ask you to stay outside of the building until the test result comes in. Come as soon as the doors open when you choose this option! (When you come at starting time, the workshop has started when your result comes in and we cannot let you in anymore.
  • Bring your ID (passport, ID card, or driver’s licence)

* Without any of the above, we will not let you into the building. We will not refund your ticket.

3. We still recommend people to come with someone who they form a household with, or to come alone. 

4. We still recommend people minimize switching partners, or to form a closed ‘bubble’ of two or three people in total. We will not check whether you do this. If you prefer to switch partners multiple times, that is possible.

5. Facilitating team members will keep 1,5 meters from participants unless otherwise agreed, and will wear a face mask upon request.

6. If you, or someone you form a household with, is indicated as ‘at risk’, we recommend you not to come to our events.

7. You can only come to our events when you do not have covid, do not have members in your household diagnosed with covid, or when you have covid-related symptoms like a cold, a cough, sore or swollen throat, or fever. If anyone you were in contact with (even briefly) is tested positive for covid in the ten days before the event, you cannot come.

8. You need to sign a confirmation of having read this protocol in its entirety and agreeing to your own responsibility upon entering the venue.

9. You need to have given us your real name and email address before entering the venue, and agree with us contacting you after the workshop in case a participants has a positive test for covid in the 5 days after the event.

Responsibility of the organizer, Exploring Deeper

1. Location

Exploring Deeper consciously chooses venues for their events. Venues need to be large enough to guarantee each participant can keep 1,5 meters distance when they choose so. There needs to be capacity for ventilation (enough windows/doors/mechanical ventilation system).

2. Team requirements

For team members and other people present during the workshop, the same measures apply as for participants. Venue owners present during the events are responsible for their own tests.

3. Hygiene

  • We wash our hands regularly, and at least each time after visiting the bathroom.
  • There is hand-sanitiser available in the bathrooms and throughout the workshop spaces, which we urge you to use.
  • Coughing and sneezing are done on the inside of the elbow (please wash your elbow and face right after), or, preferably in a paper towel which we dispose of right away. 
  • Bathroom facilities are cleaned multiple times during the event.
  • During evening workshops we will serve coffee/tea/water in jars. Sanitize your hands before using them. Please bring your own cup or bottle, labelled with your name.
  • When meals are included in the program, we ask everybody to bring their own plates and cutlery. Food is taken with your own cutlery (before it is used!) to prevent sharing cutlery.

4. Distance

  • At all times during the event, it is possible to keep 1,5 meters distance.
  • Because we require a negative test result from all of our participants, it is allowed and possible to come closer than 1,5 meters when the exercise requires that. You are not obliged to take part.
  • We ask you not to sing or scream during the events.
  • We will hand out bracelets with a colour code at the start of the event. You choose, and are allowed to change your choice at any moment:
    • Green: I’m open to connecting <1,5m with others after checking in with you.
    • Orange: I only want limited people to come closer than 1,5m.
    • Red: I do not want you to come closer than 1,5m (I might be in a closed bubble, e.e.g with my partner).
  • Note that there is no option for <1,5m distance without checking in with the other person first!

5. Ventilation

  • To ensure good quality of air and prevent potential spread of covid through aerosols, we will ventilate the room, even when it is cold outside.
  • When intense body movements are involved (e.g. distanced dancing) we will open extra windows and doors.
  • If ventilation is very important for you, we recommend you choose spots in the room near an open window.

6. Overview close contacts

  • Although we recommend you to only touch people you form a household with, and/or to limit the number of people that you touch during the events, we can and will not check this.
  • Each participant needs to document which people you have been in ‘close contact’ with during the event, e.g. with whom you shared a hug, massage, or dance. As well as people you have spent longer than 15 minutes with less than 1,5 meters indoors with.
  • You may need this information when someone has been tested positive for the virus and GGD needs to do contact research.

Responsibility of the participants and facilitating team members

Every participant and facilitating team member takes responsibility for their own behaviour, and commit to the following agreements:

1. You refrain from high-risk activities for ten days before and after the event. This means you stay away from people with corona or corona-like symptoms, indoor parties, full pubs, or events where a lot of touch is happening/likely to happen. You limit physical contact with other people to a safe minimum. You are conscious about your use of drugs and alcohol, as this can alter your behaviour. You haven’t travelled to countries with code orange (or red) in the last ten days (if you travel from abroad for the workshop, contact Wilrieke to see whether this is possible).

2. You don’t come to the event when you, one of the people in your household, or someone you have been in contact with (even briefly) has been tested positively for covid in the ten days before the event. When you have symptoms, you get a test. When the test results are negative but you do have symptoms, get in touch with Wilrieke to see whether it is possible for you to participate.

3. When you start to show symptoms during the event, get in touch with a facilitating team member right away. There is a chance you have to leave the event to get tested.

4. You are aware that gathering in a group inevitably entails a risk, despite all measurements. You are willing to take that risk. You are also aware that you take part in shared responsibility for not spreading covid outside of the event. Participating in this event influences your whereabouts ten days before and after the event.

5. You will not make Exploring Deeper liable in case of contracting covid during one of our events. 

6. When you get symptoms ten days after the event, you will get tested. When there is a positive result, you will share that immediately with Wilrieke. The GGD will also contact you.

7. When someone else has been tested positive within 5 days after the event, the GGD may contact you. You are willing to participate in their contact research, and you will follow their recommendations. This may mean ten days of quarantine. 

8. All our events are sober. That means that the use of alcohol, drugs, or other mind-altering substances is prohibited at all times. We will remove you from the space when you seem under influence.

9. Note: some events take place in a venue on the 3rd floor. There is no functioning elevator. We are available to help people who have trouble with stairs up by lifting them. Upon your request, we can wear face masks, gloves or use other safety measures upon your request.

10. You will provide us with correct information about your health and test results.

Workshop preparations for participants

1. You bring everything you may need with you, like:

  • negative test result, a test to take at the entrance, or 5€ exact to buy a test at the door
  • personal sheet (!!) to cover a mattress (for any workshop except the dance event, also cuddle workshops)
  • water bottle, tea, plate, cutlery, food, snacks. We serve water and tea in thermos bottles/jars
  • towel, paper towels
  • extra clothes
  • we encourage you to bring and use all the equipment that makes you feel safe. Face masks, gloves, full bodysuits.

2. Take a moment to reflect on your risk assessment. Being in a space with other people is a higher risk environment. Even though we are taking all the measurements we can, it is possible you get infected with corona. You understand that when someone who is present at the workshop will be tested positively with covid within two weeks after the workshop, everyone who was in close contact with this person (being within 1,5 meters for more than 15 minutes, touch) may be requested to take prescribed measurements, like 10 days quarantine.

Operation procedure before/during/after the event

1. You will receive an email with current covid protocols about 5-10 days before the event.

2. You will receive another email with the current state about 1-2 days before the event.

3. On the day before the event you send Wilrieke Sophia a reply to one of the above emails stating you have no symptoms of covid. Without doing this, we cannot let you come to the event (no ticket refund possible). You also make sure to do a self-test (whether or you are vaccinated or not) and save photographic, dated evidence of the outcome of this test to show at the door.

4. There will be a team member at the door, asking you about possible symptoms, your proof of vaccination/negative test result, and asking you to sign a paper stating that you have read these protocols and your emails, that you have no symptoms, and you release Exploring Deeper from liability for your personal choices as well as the risk of contracting covid. Team members will greet you without physical contact.

5. Upon entering the venue, you disinfect your hands.

6. You will receive an emotional aftercare email some days after the event (not for cuddle workshops)

7. Two weeks after the event you will receive a final email asking you to let us know when you were positively tested for covid since the workshop.

8. We need you to let us know when you are positively tested for covid within five days after the event!

Cancellation procedure

For all our events, our usual terms and conditions for cancelling apply.

Disclaimer

Despite all measurements taken it is possible that you will get covid during our events. Upon entering the workshop venue you state that you understand and accept this risk, and you state that you will not make Exploring Deeper liable for spreading covid.

Last update: September 13, 2021

Wilrieke Sophia/Exploring Deeper, KvK nr 51594382

Covid and Sexuality

This text is here solely to inform you and offered as a service. The information is based upon the best available knowledge. Knowledge is still growing every day, so this information may change. May this information support you in these times, to make well-informed decisions in your private life.

How does the coronavirus transmit?

  • The virus can spread from an infected person within a distance of 1,50m by coughing or sneezing.
  • It can be transmitted through shared plastic or metal surfaces, but there is uncertainty how long the virus can live. Probably between 2 hours and 4 days. 
  • By direct contact with saliva/mucus from someone who has it.
  • It has been found in faeces of people who are infected with the virus.
  • It hasn’t been found yet in semen or vaginal fluid.
  • Other coronaviruses do not efficiently transmit through intercourse.

In the spirit of harm reduction, we also want to give some extra safety measures if you still decide to meet people beyond our events. This benefits not only your safety but also those of others and society in general.

Transmission risks while getting intimate

  • Kissing can easily pass covid. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.
  • Sucking fingers might spread covid. We touch a lot of surfaces, and this is a highway for the virus.
  • Rimming (mouth on the anus) might spread covid. Virus in faeces may enter your mouth. 
  • Condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva or faeces, especially during oral or anal sex.
  • Avoid sharing sheets and towels, and wash them afterward.
  • Choose someone you live with for intimacy: Having close contact – including sex – with only a small circle of people ‘pods’ helps prevent further spreading of covid. Communicate with each other about other interactions outside of this circle.
  • If you have multiple partners: Make good and acceptable agreements, and try to temporarily limit close contact to one.

Safer sex tools 

In the spirit of harm reduction, we also want to give some extra safety measures if you still decide to meet people beyond your household/partner and beyond our events.

  • Have good, clear and honest communication. Have a Covid-Care with your prospect date: how do they deal with social distancing and dating? Who do they live with? Who have they been around? Anyone within 3 degrees of separation who is at risk? Do they take it seriously? Make a Risk Assessment. Make good agreements that are fully understood by everyone and possible to follow. If possible, limit your outside close contact to only each other.
  • Keep the dates as short as possible. And postpone as long as possible.
  • Consider wearing a facemask, and don’t touch your face or the mask. Try to not remove the facemask during the whole length of the encounter. Don’t kiss. Masks are scarce! So consider donating to care facilities & use a reusable cotton mask if possible. Wash them at 90°C
  • Take a bottle of hand sanitizer and use it. Do not use sanitizer on your genitals! Use sanitizer to disinfect surfaces you’re using before and after your interaction. Wash your bodyparts (genitals, hands) very well before and after the sexual act.
  • Use mouthwash before and after, instead of brushing teeth. Brushing teeth can cause micro-fissures where infections can enter. Mouthwash helps with minimizing bacteria but does not specifically help prevent spreading covid.
  • Use a pair of latex gloves. Dispose of them correctly after use. Wash your hands before and after.
  • Use a(n internal) condom or dental dam. Use and dispose of it correctly.
  • Wash clothes when back home. Preferably on 60°C/140°F & use soap.
  • Get all kinky and play with onesies (which you wash afterward at 60°C/140°F), plastic wrap mummification, improvised gloryholes, latex suits and other ‘sexy distancing’ games. 
  • Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Longer is better.
  • Consider again to take a responsible decision and help defeating covid.

Also: get tested regularly for STDs, STIs, and where appropriate, for covid.

Sources for this document: