A Reader Question
At least, I think it’s a reader, if not, I don’t know how he’d have found me. Even if he’s not, it’s a sort of universal question.
He said that he’d been in contact lately with a slave, and now he was interested in being more involved in the community. I am paraphrasing, since I don’t have permission to quote him, but that’s the gist of it.
First, I think that it’s a good and genuinely important thing to have some contact with the community. I know that the life I live is not for everyone, or even for many, but you can have some involvement without being totally immersed.
I want to say, too, that I think that online communities do count, even if they’re different than face-to-face.
I think that communities do a couple of things for us.
I think it matters enormously to have people with whom you can be yourself. People around whom you can, as aisha mentioned in one of her posts, sit at her Sir’s feet and no one thought anything of it.
There is something intrinsically and incredibly valuable about people who see you for what you are, and take you to their heart knowing it.
Another thing that I think is hard to overvalue is the role that communities play in grounding us.
If you live as a slave, with that part of you hidden, when something feels wrong, there’s no one with whom you can gauge your situation.
If you go to your sister and try to explain that your husband beats you, and he controls your money, and your choices, he tells you what you can and can’t do, but none of THAT is the problem, you’re worried that his interest in a new slave means he’s not going to want YOU anymore…
Well, I would guess that once you get out that part about beating you, your sister is going to be calling in the troops to get you out of this awful situation. She’s not going to hear that no, no, no, THAT you like, it’s this other thing…
If, on the other hand, you were to tell me that, I would ask you why you felt that, if he’d given you reason to be concerned, and maybe make some suggestions on how to deal with that topic.
It’s also important in a community wherein members can pride themselves on being controlling assholes that you can tell the good kind of asshole from the bad kind, and that’s where community comes in.
So, that’s why I think community is important.
How do you find it?
Finding it online is often the easiest place to start.
There is much I despise about Fetlife. Much.
The search function is ridiculous, unworkable and useless, and I see much that makes me believe it will, in time, become the same useless sort of cesspool that bondage.com and alt.com and collarme.com have all become, but for the moment, it’s what we have.
If you don’t have an account, you should. It’s free, and easy, and has rendered much of what we used in the past, including those sites I just mentioned, outdated.
Create your account and give a little information about yourself, because people will look.
For the love of all that’s holy, please don’t whine about how you hate to write about yourself, tell us how unfathomably complicated you are, or how totally bad ass you are.
Do not claim to have been a Master or a slave for 15 years when your age is under 40.
Do not put up a picture of your cock or your pussy as your profile picture.
Trust me. We will just laugh at you if you do these things.
Then you should put your city name in the search box and that will give you a very good idea of what I mean by useless. However, it’s what we have.
Then look at groups. Look at groups in your area, and read about some of them. Join a few that seem active and of general interest.
Observe at first. It’s fine to introduce yourself, but it’s usually better to see what the lay of the land is before claiming your own little half acre of it.
Notice the events that are near you, too. See who is organizing them. See who’s going.
Then send a a note, a brief and polite one, asking if they mind if you send them a friend request.
Once you’ve acquired a few friends, you’ll get an idea for what’s going on around your area.
When you’ve done that, then the next step is to actually go out.
Munches are usually a good place to start. They might be called Meet and Greets, or Sloshes, too.
If you worry that you won’t know anyone, you might be surprised. You’ll likely recognize some of the people from your area. Make sure you introduce yourself to a couple of them.
Pay attention to how people behave, because every group is different. Watch how people behave. Emulate their behavior. Chat with people. Everyone was new once, and most of us remember that.
And then keep coming back. You’ll begin to recognize people, and more importantly, they’ll begin to recognize you.
It won’t happen over night, and you may discover it’s not really your thing.
Even if you do, it’s nice to keep a hand in, to at least be someone that is known, and known of.
If you decide then that it’s really not for you, it will be an informed choice.
And really, seriously, honestly, Fetlife, could you NOT make a search function that actually works?
When I want to find someone by name, don’t you think it might be most helpful if first you showed me results in my friends list, then results that are geographically close to me, then results with whom I share group memberships, and THEN start on the people in Queensland?
And would it REALLY be that hard to let me search through my friends by letters of the alphabet, not by page numbers, many of which I can’t bypass without putting a number in the url?
Couldn’t I just pick everyone whose user name starts with P?
It would be nice, too, to be able to personalize your feed in the way that Facebook allows because, you know, I may not mind you in my friend list, but if you’re going to “love” every single dirty picture, and post dozens of “great pic,” “LOL,” and “me too” posts, can’t I just opt out of their feed?
Oh, wait, I’m writing another post, aren’t I?