Favourite battle cry (in my opinion) in the BDSM world is -- "BUT we are a community"
And I can't help but think -- Are We?? really??!!
Back when the dinosaurs walked on earth -- before the internet even -- I entered the BDSM world. It was a very different time then. There were no clubs -- no fetlife -- no congregating in parks or in gay pride parades. You just couldn't find people of like mindedness like you can today.
What I remember were private house parties. No fetish wear was expected -- the women were expected to wear lil black dresses, nylons and heels. Occasionally one might see a corset or two. The men always wore black shirts and black pants and black shoes. Occasionally you might see a gentleman wearing black leather pants. The standards were high. Submissives didn't prance around making spectacles of themselves. They behaved like 'proper ladies'. Oh there were some identifying features -- like they seldom sat on chairs -- but would kneel demurely at the feet of their owner. Yeah I said "owner" cause back in those days -- it was mostly M/s with a spattering of D/s.
I remember the coming of age of public parties in public clubs. There was a cover charge AND one HAD to wear fetish clothing -- be it leather or latex or rubber -- but it had to be FETISH wear. There were formal 'play' stations -- and people would be seen wielding whips and floggers........ It was all very interesting.
BUT I still didn't hear anyone use the word "community" to describe this group of like minded people.
With the advent of the internet -- and sites like Collar Me, Alt.com and then Fetlife the word 'community' slowly starting appearing. OHHHHHHHH how we all wanted to belong -- to feel included -- involved. We were all one big happy family right ?? so why not call this phenomenon "community"
For me -- watching this growth -- was amusing... but then I could always slip away quietly into the shadows where I came from -- back to the M/s D/s groups. They watched with interest this influx of brightly clad -- slightly hyper -- proud to be folks.
Over the years this BDSM world has grown in leaps and bounds and is more inclusive (for the most part) than exclusive. Now they call it "Community" with a capital "C"
BUT from time to time someone sits up and notices something and yells "where is the community??" ohhhh and then everyone gets all flustered and there's a lot of hand flapping and even harsh words.......... Community has to be honoured!
This Community consists of so many different groups:
from swingers and slap tickle - to polyamorous and poly groups/families - to bondage - Sadists and masochists to Dominant and submissive to 24/7 hard core Master slave ...... and everything in between.
Each group has different levels too -- from simple to complex.
We can all try to get along -- just like we try to get along in the big bad world right??
BUT truthfully -- in my opinion -- smaller groups of like interests would work so much better. Ohhhhhh you could wander over and visit some of the other groups and probably get along quite well for awhile -- but the philosophy of each small group - which guides our desires - will eventually clash.
We can call ourselves Community but if we want peace in this Community we have to learn to accept our basic differences and accept it as being what it is.
We need to learn to co-exist inside this Community in smaller supportive groups.
But then that is just my opinion.