I’m not trying to be hateful, just honest. I’ve had the pleasure (mostly) of being able to be a part of local BDSM communities around the world. Some have run like well oiled machines, friendly faces and helping hands all around. Others have been run like the classroom of a preschool teacher’s worst nightmare. Who is responsible? No one individual is responsible for their local community, as a whole however, collectively you make an impact in the grand scheme.
Locally my community is broken and that’s putting it lightly. It’s hemorrhaging and all anyone can do is put a band-aid on the situation. The Washington, DC metro BDSM scene is a complete trainwreck and the participants are bloody survivors just looking and hoping for the rescue team.
No, I’m not describing the latest season of House of Cards, though they need only to attend a local dungeon to get their fodder. I’m describing what I’ve witnessed.
I want to say I’m surprised but I’m really not. I came into this area in 2004 and the scene was broken then. Eager to join and do my part I volunteered to no end, promoted events, organized groups but progress never stuck. It’s just slowly decayed and festered over time. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a nice club or house party here or there but for the most part I feel as if we lack an ‘oneness’ I’ve experienced with other local communities. Leaders go un-checked, presenters unverified, accusations run amok without any real justice or conclusion and the influx of constant newbies being shuffled in and out like cattle doesn’t help for accountability or forbearance. It seems as if no one, venues included, really care about anyone else but themselves.
Who can they dupe?
How much money will they make tonight?
Are participants being safe-guarded?
Who guides the newbies?
What happens if there is a consent violation?
…and most of all…Who watches the watchmen?
The answers to some of these questions are abysmal for a collective group of folks leading a common lifestyle, supposedly watching one another, one that loves getting on its soapbox about consent, rules, protocols, and unity.
To that I call bullshit.
Some of the most judgemental, self-centered, asshattery I’ve ever known to exist in my life has been viewed from right inside the eye of the storm that is my local community. There’s only so much *headdesk* I can do before I need to take a step back and focus my energy elsewhere. Though if I’m being honest, I’ve been putting this off for far too long.