In a recent conversation with someone in discussing our smalltown mentality of the greater Knoxville, TN area the local scene was compared to churches. I’ll admit, not only was I immediately intrigued when the comparison was made, I was also pissed that I never had the thought myself because it brought so much clarity to the truth of small-town kink “communities” where the people think they are in a big city or think there is a need to play “king of the hill”.
It doesn’t take growing up in the church to know why there is a church on nearly every corner. People get upset about something, whether it be biblically based beliefs or the need for indoor plumbing, and head off to start their own version the perfect house of worship. Right or wrong this is the way it goes and it is an accepted practice. Sure things are said by a few when this takes place but it soon passes until the next church goes through the same thing and people have something else to talk about.
Is this a healthy practice? People often do things that are normal but this doesn’t make them healthy. However, in this case, it is very healthy. If you are holding resentment it’s often hard to let it go while stuck in the situation that makes you resentful. Whether it is resentment toward another person, a situation, or an inanimate object, the object of irritation often must be separated from one’s life in order for healing to take place. After any necessary apologies have been made, time has passed, and irritations and wounds have healed mature people can come back together for the common good of the “community”…but what exactly does this mean? The good of the community?
Working together to help those in need, to educate the new and the experienced, to provide a safe haven for those in need, to be a family for those that have lost their own, … However, this doesn’t mean that these churches that have split jump back in together. They still do their thing and occasionally “meet in the middle” for all of the previously stated reasons…and this should be ok but for some reason, some people try to force everyone to “worship” under one roof. Some people are hell-bent on building their “super church” and be in control of the entire community. They promise to stay transparent to all yet mask themselves by forming committees of people that will do what they want because they are the ones throwing the money into the cause. Then when asked by the “common” members about plans, intentions, and finances they deflect and have their minions attack the people asking the questions and in essence, try to excommunicate them from the “community”.
Within kink, we can’t just go open another dungeon, not in a small town. We can’t just find a new playspace because most people don’t have the time, money, or ability to have their own. With this in mind, it makes it almost necessary for a small town to have a single, large, “public” dungeon but not everyone should be expected to attend together. Not every group gets along and this should be ok. People have different personalities, likes, dislikes, kinks, etc. So, why should everyone be expected to play together when not everyone’s likes and dislikes are the same? Why can’t these different groups have different nights and/or times they have their group gatherings and it be ok? For once, why can’t we take a page from a “community” that has 2000 years of experience and around 250 years of experience on this continent and quit with the bullshit expectation of a happily “united community”? It is setting ourselves up for failure by implementing self-imposing and unrealistic expectations. Not to mention that it also causes us to forget a few well-proven universal truths: 1: absolute power corrupts absolutely. 2: Those who have a little power want a lot of power and people that have a lot of power want all the power. 3: It’s ok to not like, be liked by, or get along with everyone.
With this in mind, there is a strong NEED for multiple small groups where those who like each other and have the same common interests to exist. This doesn’t mean that a member of group “A” can’t also be a member of groups “C, H, M, S, and Y”. In fact, it should be fully encouraged, supported, and frankly, expected. Done correctly, this is how we as a “community” will survive the onslaught of religious persecution, societal prejudice, and self-imposed, incestuous backstabbing that I have personally witnessed happen over and over for the past 23 years and one of the things that always starts it is when someone gets the idea that everyone needs to “worship” together as a “unified community”. When the one thing that really makes a “community” unified is when people just let everyone be who they are and celebrates the differences by not trying to force different personalities to play together. To bring this closer to home and away from the church comparison…I can’t tell you how many times I have personally witnessed literal fights break out because someone decided to try to have a play friendly mixer that hosted both BDSM players and swingers. Anyone with any experience knows this is not just a bad idea but flat out stupid because the two groups play by different rules that just don’t mesh. So, the thing to do is keep them to separate nights at the playspace as a general rule and let the individuals from these two vastly different groups intermingle as they choose and learn the rules of each respected group as they move forward with their personal journey.
To me, a “community united” should be defined as a regionally localized cluster of smaller groups that, while all respecting each other, all act independently from each other with intermingling members that, if needed, would come together for the purpose of standing united when attacked from the outside or the inside.
That’s why I’m in favor of non-kinksters opening dungeons. They don’t try to control the “community” they are just there to make money and there is no mistaking, questioning their intent, or muddying the waters. It’s strictly business. Unfortunately, in the U.S. this doesn’t happen like it does in Europe. So, when “The Krypt” becomes a reality, make no mistake, I’ll not mix words, it will be a business. There will be set prices for individuals and groups to rent it out on specific days of the week, set prices for all that attend, vanilla community outreach, education stations included with membership dues, employees not volunteers, and it will be open to all that play by the rules. My job will be to do what I have successfully and repeatedly done in the past which is to operate a business not rule the “community” or take part in the various group decisions (except my own small groups). And no, this isn’t an announcement that I am opening soon. Anyone that knows me also knows that this is something I have been working toward for several years and it is something that may not happen until I retire but it is a goal.
In wrapping up this strange and somewhat tangential thought process, it’s also important to point out that these are MY thoughts that come from my own personal experiences over the past 23 years of living as an openly kinky person. This is NOT meant to attack anyone specifically or generally, attack anyone with a different belief system, or to persuade anyone to agree or disagree with anything I have rambled on about. …it’s really just the nonorganized thoughts of someone that has had an hour and 45 minutes of sleep in the past 40 hours.
(Final, final thought: It’s also sad that I have to include a disclaimer because we live in such a narcissistic world of butthurt that even with the honest disclaimer, I’m sure someone will think that I am talking about them or someone they know and I’m really not. Oh well…fuck it…I’m going to bed.)