I stay away from online drama. I have been doing the “online thing” for a while now. Not as long as some, but longer than others.
I still become honestly puzzled by people who assume that a common sexual bent will somehow filter out jerks, losers, douchebags, whiners, predators, evil beings, and just plain old fashioned annoying folks.
The BDSM “Scene”, the Leather Community, all of these things are, at best, a skewed microcosm.
Don’t be so foolish as to think that bonding over bondage makes the person next to you on that St. Andrew’s Cross any more intelligent, sensitive, or open-minded than the guy depositing your check at the bank.
In the same way that a safeword provides only a modicum of insurance (some would argue a false sense of security as well) the “feeling of community” does NOT assure you that all is warm and fuzzy.
In fact, I feel it is an insult to the individuality and humanity of the people who make up any sub-group to ascribe an ethical code that is supposedly to be held as law by all.
This is LIFE. There are gonna be bad actors as well as dreamboats.
Be responsible. Protect yourself. This (gestures vaguely) around you is not your own persona playpen. No bubble-wrap is handed to you at the door when you come out of the cold and declare your pervitude.
I take community where I can find it. Some aspects of it work for me, other aspects of it do not. But I look askance at the flamewar junkies, the perpetual victims, the white knights, the provocateurs, the soapboxers,etc. We ALL feel that way sometimes! But to make it the baseline in the song of your life makes you about as danceable as a fucking Philip Glass “symphony”
I would never spend my time writing something or speaking on a subject that did not really truly compel me in my heart.
This is not true of everyone.
The heart of the “troll” is FUELED by the mere swirling of controversy. We’ve all seen this. The excessively provocative post on a blog, the snide comment in an e-mail. And Most of us fall prey at some time.
Because we are human.
I love the Leather Community.
I love it because It is made up of PEOPLE. People who are everything from never-been-kissed twenty-somethings dreaming of their Very First Bondage scene to a very real predator who may well be Out To Get You.
Because that is LIFE, and I love life.
I cannot say that I have not been sucked into controversy in the past.
I remember one of the first flamewars I which I was involved gave me headaches and woke me up crying in the middle of the night. And the funny thing is, involved were people I ACTUALLY KNEW and would see at the next dungeon party, Munch, what have you. This kind of kept us honest. Being a prick anonymously from behind your keyboard and spewing your venom is a facile exercise when you can be reasonably assured that you won’t be glaring over a patty melt across from the person whose intelligence, punctuation, honor and grammar you have trounced.
As I become more and more involved on all sides of the Leather Community…the business end, the entertainment side, the Educational facet, all I see in sharper focus is this:
IT IS JUST FOLKS.
And I love that.