Community FAQ — updated October 2022

A Table of Contents for all posts by Charlie’s pod, including the dates each article was published and a brief description of the contents of each post, can be found here

Below is a list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding our accountability work that we’d like to address. If you have any questions that have not been addressed here or elsewhere on our Medium page, you can contact us at These emails are not shared with Charlie or any other individuals without the express permission of the sender.

Question 1: Why is this taking [this amount of time], and when can we expect it to wrap up?

When this group of people began the more formalized accountability process in late 2018, we didn’t have a specific timeline in mind for when it would be complete because we needed more information outside of Charlie first. However, the process of both working with Charlie and outwardly sharing this work has taken longer than we and many community members expected. As we worked directly with Charlie and collected the narratives of Harmed Individuals, we realized there were more instances of harm and patterns that had to be addressed than we initially knew about or were clearly told. Sometimes, when we chipped away at one layer of problematic behavior, another layer would reveal itself underneath it. This isn’t unusual in a process such as this, but it does require adjusting things on the fly and a lot of pivoting even when there’s a “formal goal” in mind.

Because some of Charlie’s patterns directly impacted the people working on this process, we had to create space for us to address these harms with him as well. This has been instructive for Charlie, as he has had to confront in real time (and with lessened ability to avoid it) how and why his patterns have caused harm and pain. This was also critical for us because we couldn’t in good faith plow ahead working together when trust was broken or our internal dynamics were suffering. (Plowing ahead with a broken foundation is a common issue in these processes, too, and one we wanted to avoid as best we could!) We had to prioritize our ability to care for ourselves and address each piece of the puzzle — uncovering and naming patterns, allowing for reflection, giving Charlie the chance to own his actions, and creating plans going forward — over mere speed. We have been intentional about avoiding Band-Aid solutions and setting the groundwork for more lasting change.

Carceral justice usually follows a model that prioritizes speed and removing someone from the community: There’s a trial, then someone goes to jail (or more often doesn’t!), then “nobody has to think about it anymore.” This doesn’t actually solve a problem or heal a person or community. Justice isn’t vengeance, and we believe the spirit of transformative justice (one of the influences for our work) requires time for healing, repair work, and prevention of further harm.

Doing the core of this work is already time-consuming, but ensuring we had outwardly shareable writing everyone involved could sign off on or even see was an added challenge. In order to allow for more efficient sharing of our work and writing, the pod hired a ghost writer in late 2021 to work with us in drafting certain documents. This would help us better keep the Medium page updated (as explained in the post How We Fulfilled Requests of People Who Have Reported Harm), and we’re aiming to wrap up the process within the next few months.

Question 2: Is there a pod for the survivors (harmed individuals), or another space centering their needs?

Accountability work can encompass many components, including direct or indirect work with the person who caused harm, the people who were harmed, and the community (or communities) at large. Ideally, all three happen overall, but not everyone or every process can equally address all of these. We have focused on working mostly directly with Charlie because that’s what we’ve been asked to do, but we hope that this work will help Harmed Individuals and the community by — among other things — reducing behavior that could lead to further harm and by offering public records of what harms Charlie caused in the first place so the community can continue to be on the lookout for them and interventions in the future.

Not everyone who has been harmed by Charlie considers themselves — or wants to be referred to as — a “survivor.” We have taken great care to create a naming system that honors and addresses the various perspectives and needs of the people who experienced harm. (We describe this naming system in greater detail in this post here). The pod has communicated individually with Respondents and some Contributors to prioritize their needs and requests throughout the accountability process, but there is not currently a pod for survivors directly connected to this process. On behalf of one survivor [Harmed Individual], the Franklin Veaux Survivor Pod (which is a different group focused on Franklin Veaux, an educator who caused harm in his community) posted this open letter [now deleted, but we’re preserving the link since when we originally drafted this section when it was live/online], which includes an email address people can use to be put in touch with this person. We shared this letter directly with the Respondents and Contributors we’ve been in communication with, corresponded with over email, and posted the letter on our Medium site to invite others harmed by Charlie to respond to the letter if they so desire.

In direct communications with our Respondents, pod members Rachel Drake and Bee Buehring have kept in mind Harmed Individuals’ desires and requests and looked at how the pod can maximize agency, choice, and access to information. (We have written elsewhere about where we fit in the ecosystem of changing harm, so if you want more information on that, check out this page.)

For our own part, we have strived to support those harmed by Charlie by collecting their reports of harm, their individual requests for Charlie’s accountability, and any specific requests of the pod. You can learn about our collection process and the reports made here. You can also read about how we’ve worked to fulfill the requests of Harmed Individuals in this Medium post.

Question 3: What happens after the accountability process is over?

Once this group of people (the current pod and its consultant) stops assembling and posting updates, this won’t mean that Charlie’s work is over. Rather, this will mark the point when the work left to be done is more firmly in Charlie’s hands and the hands of the broader communities he’s a part of. The goal of this accountability process was not to give Charlie people to punt his responsibility onto (though those dynamics did arise!) but to help him be better accountable for his actions, both past and future, by helping him:

  • learn skills (e.g. better self-awareness, self-regulation, non-avoidant apologies, experiencing confrontation, listening to critique, etc.);
  • get a sense of what supports he needs to avoid abusive or controlling behavior;
  • understand and publicly own his harms and the patterns of them;
  • and last but not least, when possible, offer direct and concrete repairs for what he did to individuals he harmed (whether that was through refunds for sessions, financial consequences, cataloging of harms, apologies, taking a hiatus from certain kinds of work and leadership, etc.).

Charlie is currently working to create structures with his community members that offer him honest accountability and support. He is determining who he can go to in an ongoing way for help making ethical decisions or for support and honest reflection if he has harmed someone or been harmed. He is also working on forming accountability relationships that are honest and forthright, while remaining balanced and compassionate. This is also where community members outside of those who Charlie is in deeper relationship with come in, and why we are sharing so much of our process, its outcomes, and specifics about the patterns we saw in all this. Keeping each other safe is a shared community responsibility, and we want to help equip people with the information they need to better notice these patterns and intervene.

Question 4: Will Charlie be resuming his teaching and public engagements at the end of this process? Is the accountability team signing off on him resuming work?

Charlie made a commitment to stop his teaching and public engagements during this accountability process, though the reasoning and adherence to that commitment were not without issue, as we discuss in this post. He will not be ready to resume teaching and speaking engagements immediately after the accountability process, but he is working toward that point. He has been developing policies to address consent, power imbalances, and differences in privilege with clients, students, and colleagues when and if he chooses to resume this work. He is currently still doing supervised private coaching and will continue to do so.

We — as members of this first accountability process team — are not gatekeepers to his future actions or work, nor are we in a position to give official “stamps of approval.” But we will be noting what we have collectively seen, including gaps we still notice in his work and behavior, and offering some ideas for the community at large to keep in mind regarding this. It can be tempting to see the pod members and consultants as people to “sign off on” Charlie or “give him permission” to do things, but that’s not our role. It can be appealing to want to see this as a “one and done, now he is Not Harmful” situation. In fact, that is actively detrimental to Charlie’s own responsibilities and absolves the rest of his communities from having to critically engage with his behaviors now and in the future. Furthermore, it also taps into a pattern Charlie has exhibited — at times even in this process — of shirking responsibility for his choices.

So, rather than looking to us as “the determining bodies” for Charlie’s readiness, we hope people read our commentary — including the places we hold hope as well as concern — and act accordingly. We hope people see accountability as the ongoing, lifelong process it is! This also honors the reality that members of this accountability process have areas of consensus around this as well as areas of divergence around the question of Charlie returning to teaching.

Question 5: Are pod members and consultants being compensated?

What the pod members and consultant(s) are doing is an act of both love and labor. We’re taking time from our lives and other work to meet, have difficult discussions, and show up in moments when Charlie needs extra support. This work has often entailed hearing stories that triggered trauma of our own and exposing ourselves to unforeseen emotional labor, harm, and deep struggle. The group includes women, femmes, and folks of color, who are often expected to do free emotional labor for the “good of the community.” This neglects the fact that the work itself often incurs costs because of the need for members to stay on top of their self-care. So, it has been important to all of us including Charlie to compensate everyone to some degree for their participation. That compensation was determined individually and through multiple discussions. For more information about this, you can check out this link.

That said, it’s important to note that ultimately, the cost to all of us far outweighed and outpaced any compensation we received. This isn’t a “money-making gig,” and any compensation was given in the spirit of helping people show up sustainably to do this work together, not add a random income stream to our lives.

Question 6: Does that mean pod members and the consultant are being paid to say what Charlie wants them to?

Before the pod was assembled, Charlie met with the accountability process consultants to discuss the question of who should be involved in a pod. In those meetings, they discussed questions about bias, readiness, experience, communication styles, relationship to Charlie, and what the ingredients are for successful pods. Figuring out who could be part of this process and then confirming those relationships took many weeks. Ultimately, Charlie intentionally chose pod members to ensure the group didn’t skew toward favoring him and his perspectives while still being able to hear them. You can read more about who each person is and the basics of their relationship to Charlie here.

Pod members have a duty not to mindlessly support Charlie, but to build community and ensure that people, particularly white men, are held accountable for their actions and show up better, without being labeled “trash” or choosing to disappear entirely (which often just means taking their behavior to a different, unsuspecting community). We have kept showing up and extending this process to make sure what’s happening after the accountability process will be better for as many as possible.

All of us believe that the dynamics in the sex-positive and sex educator communities are in deep need of change. Part of facilitating this change is helping confront Charlie and being blunt with him. The only way to change the culture is to be honest, and that doesn’t happen when you’re telling somebody just what they want to hear. To that end, our group is made up of people with different communication styles and approaches to this, too. This was helpful to offer some balance and internal checks for ourselves if some people were being so blunt the message got lost or so passive that it ended up more like collusion. Rather than a “bug,” that was an intentional part of how the consultants suggested the pod be built so people’s talents and styles complemented each other.

Question 7: What about Charlie’s inner circle and the professional organizations he’s part of? Are they being complicit or enabling his behavior?

The pod and Charlie have reached out to some organizations he’s been involved with to inform them of the accountability process and recommend they take some action around it. This has included the Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers (ACSB), the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), Somatica Institute, and others. More details on this are outlined in the Fulfilled Requests. Not all of them expressed a desire to look into the issue further or make sustainable changes, even when it was clear Charlie violated their ethical guidelines or stated values. It’s important for the community at large to call any people or organizations who are propping Charlie up into accountability and to report any future harms of Charlie’s.

Charlie has made a commitment to discuss his consent policy with his clients and any organizations he teaches through, and review their policies and procedures so he knows that the organization or event host is in line with his ethics and commitments and can hold him accountable. One thing that the pod and consultant did with Charlie was to collectively make a fairly comprehensive list of people and organizations that enabled him directly and indirectly. We then noted how and when it happened, as well as how he did or didn’t elicit that collusion, and planted seeds for what could be done about it. During the time that our group has been working together, we have unfortunately not been able to move this along more fluidly; other parts of our work have taken precedence, both in terms of time and energy. However, Charlie and his ongoing accountability team will be tasked with continuing to examine the ways that these acts of collusion and enablement created further harm, and create processes that center the accountability for his actions squarely on his own shoulders.

Question 8: What has really changed through Charlie’s accountability process?

The concerns of community members and people who have been harmed by Charlie have been addressed through acknowledgment to the public and to organizations Charlie’s been involved with, a pause and reevaluation of certain professional activities, work to unlearn abusive behaviors and beliefs, and, in some cases, monetary reparations to harmed parties. This work is detailed in the post “How We Have Fulfilled the Requests of People Who Have Reported Harm.” While there is still much work to be done, Charlie has improved in his ability to respect others’ boundaries, regulate his emotions, take responsibility for his actions, and respond to others’ feedback over the course of the accountability process. Does that mean he is done with all of these issues or skills? Nope! And, again, when any of these skills start improving from a place of ongoing controlling, reactive, and abusive behavior further enabled by social privileges, changing them takes years and sustained effort, not months. A summary of the patterns that have been addressed and where he is now with each can be found in the post “Charlie’s Patterns.”

Question 9: What measures will be in place to prevent Charlie from harming more people in the future?

Charlie has designated a group of people who can take any reports of individuals harmed by him in the future, with the goal of ensuring that privilege does not exempt anyone, including him, from responsibility for one’s actions. He will continue to engage in work with peers, his supervisor, and his emotional healthcare team. However, larger change also needs to happen in the community. Specifically, we envision a future where sexuality-related organizations and events have policies and trauma-aware procedures in place for reporting harm, treat reports with seriousness and care, and take compassionate action that educates and transforms. This is where our pattern-naming documents also come in: We hope these can be useful for identifying and naming harmful behaviors. Often, a lack of language or examples of harm is an obstacle to intervention or leaves people feeling stuck around it. We hope that concrete language and the knowledge that “hey, this has happened before with this person” makes a difference!

People harmed by Charlie or those who notice it in the future should do their best to name and address the behavior as soon as they see it. (We write this knowing the power and capacity to do so can wildly vary by person and circumstance!) Relatedly, people around those he has harmed should be ready and willing to offer support when harm occurs. It’s outside the scope of our capacity as a team (and the realities of community) to create all these systems and support ourselves, but we hope our contributions make it more possible.