- Really, I don't think it's nostalgia that has me remembering a time when "the scene," that is, the public face of BDSM ("our community," however you want to put it) was much, *much*, MUCH more diverse. D/S was always the predominant flavor, of course, and that's always chapped my ass a little bit. But there were all sorts of ways to do it, and all sorts of folks to do it with, including a hefty dose of queers, and a lot of dominant women, and quite a few just kinky weird folks doing whatever the heck they felt like at the time.
Now, there's a definite predominating dynamic.
It's male dominant, female submissive.
In fact, it's a little more specific, but I am having a hard time right now explaining exactly how. But, you know, women are there to be displayed, men are there to display them. Women are there to give blowjobs and accept spankings. Men are there to dole them out. Women are on their knees, or on leashes. Men hold the lead. Women smile and flirt and tilt their heads, or they stare at their feet. Men bare their teeth and joke about "if you know any beautiful young Scorpio women, send them my way."
It's also aspirational, with people aspiring to be more and more submissive, give up more and more control, and not just in scene. And you're supposed to have one role with one person. You can switch, but that means you top person X and you bottom to person Y, not "yesterday I tied you to the bed and cut pretty designs into your chest, and tomorrow I think I want you to spank me."
Which of course reminded me of maymay's There is so little space for me:
- The overwhelming feel of the event was decidedly…patriarchal. "This is a flirt-heavy zone," the greeter told us as we entered, and proceeded to inquire about Eileen's weekend. Maybe "flirt-heavy" is just the PC word for meat market now. Maybe that's too harsh, but there's no denying the implication that men would do the purusing and women would be the pursued. There's nothing wrong with that (putting my head in Eileen's lap at a party was how we got together—quite the forward thing for submissive male to do, many people would probably think), but the expectation is nauseating.
Even the men, the poor ignorant sods, are succumbing to the peer pressure. (Maybe that's because most of them are spineless bastards to begin with who are just aching to be told what to do. Oops, maybe that was too harsh again.) You see it in their ridiculous bait-and-switch routines where the submissive men pretend to be dominant only long enough to get the woman to bed with them. Then they turn around and get on their hands and knees and start talking about how pathetic they are. This is probably one of the very few times I'll actually agree with those men: they are pathetic, and I'm not only ashamed but enraged to be thought of as similar to them, not to mention just how many things are wrong with the very idea that this tactic might actually work out well for anyone.
I'm jealous of the submissive women for whom this kind of space must be an incredible cornucopia of sexual celebration. I bet they actually had a blast at the art show. At the same time, I'm sorry, for their sake, that this potentially wonderful environment is all but destroyed by utterly disrespectful men.
Now, I'm light-years from being experienced with the way things are in the "scene", as I'm pretty much a private player and always have been, but I've seen bits and pieces of this in a lot of the online conversations I've seen and the references people who actually do nonprivate play or interactions make. And I can't say I know how it used to be, any more than I can say I know how it is now.
If I make it out to the Flea this weekend, though, I'm going to look and see what I can spot.
How hard do folks here find it to find diversity in their kinked communities, or niche communities that are friendly to their particular things? For people who have been around the scene for a while, how has the diversity changed where you are? Has the community fractured into splinter subcommunities, have people gone more private in disproportionate fractions, is it the big town luxury of having kinksters one can afford to dislike? (Thinking of Trinity's comment on Little Light's small town queer folks post on Feministe, here.) And how can it be fixed?