Thursday, October 31, 2013

Inclusively… and not being an Asshole

Not long ago, I wrote about the balance we need between inclusively and exclusivity.
I concluded: “It’s stupid to say that every club/event/party needs to be pansexual and inclusive… and it’s stupid to say that none should be.  Not every group or space needs to be open to everybody at all times and that is okay.  Balance is good.  All of that being said, there is a form of exclusivity that, I believe, has no place in our community.  The we-are-better-than-you bullshit.  I’ve not encountered a lot of this first-hand, but I’m hearing (second hand) about this going on a lot more.  This attitude of our way is the TRUE way.  If you don’t do M/s like this then you’re not a TRUE Master/slave.”

This point has also come up in different ways in many of the recent episodes of No Safe Word.  One of the great things about that podcast is that (in addition to being fun and entertaining) it’s very inclusive and (small-d) democratic.  They bring on guests from all kinds of backgrounds and fetishes and sub-groups: letherati, puppies, furries, switches, ABDL, erotic hypnosis, piss players…  Frequently, I’ll look at the topic of the show and go, “Eh, not interested… but I’ll give it a chance…” and then halfway through the show, I’m totally hooked – not b/c the topic is ABDL or whatever, but b/c the conversation is just lively and interesting and fun.  But back to what I was saying: Several times in recent shows this theme of inclusively has come up.  I’ll point toward two:  The interview w/ Dart (Episode 45) was very good.  For instance: He’s a switch and has been slave to a Master while simultaneously Master to his own slave… and he’d go to leather events wearing both his Master’s cap and his collar at the same time, and this would give the TRUE Leather Path jerks conniption fits.  LOL.  Another great episode was talking furries w/ Nightcat (Ep. 48).  There’s a lot of overlap between the puppy community and the furry community… and if Old-school Leather is at the top of the kink hierarchy – the popular kids and the captain of the football team and shit – and rubber in the mid-zone; puppies, diaper fetishists, and furries are the nerds, geeks, and weirdoes at the bottom of the heap, so there’s some inherent solidarity between pups, furs and littles.  But one of the things Nightcat talked about was that most furries are kinky, and almost all of those kinky furries are into stuff other than just fur suits: bondage, piss play, humiliation, etc.  So if you disregard and discount someone just b/c they are furry, that’s stupid of you b/c (1) they might be a cool person, and (2) you may have other kinky interests in common you could hook-up over.

Just like No Safe Word has brought in a wide range of guests, that’s also very much what we’ve traditionally done w/ the education line-up at CAPEX.  I’ve frequently said that, for my money, CAPEX, my home club, is the top education group in the Southeast.  Part of that is b/c we cater to a wide spectrum and we deliberately bring in presenters from all aspects of the greater fetish/BDSM community.  CAPEX isn’t a leather club (like the Tradesmen).  It’s not an M/s group (like Charlotte’s MAST).  It’s not a bondage group (like Cable), or a fem dom group (like Charlotte Fem Dom Society).  CAPEX is there for everybody, and I love that.  (1) That’s a great way to learn.  Just about every CAPEXian who has been around for a couple of years will have at least one story about a “That’s not my thing” class they reluctantly went to – and were surprised to get something out of it.  (2)  You might meet someone who is into something you’re not but still make a good connection, maybe become friends, maybe find that they are into something you are into as well.

That’s what I love about CAPEX.  That’s what I love about the No Safe Word podcast.  And that’s also (I’ll insert another plug here… no, that wasn’t a euphemism) what I love about Frolicon.  Frolicon is by far my favorite con in part b/c it is by far the most inclusive con I’ve been to.  I love that there are leather folks and boot-blacks mingling w/ puppies and furriers and rubber fetishists and diaper fetishists and swingers and drunken hedonists.  It’s fucking fantastic!  And (virtually) everybody at Frolicon is so open and cool and non-judgmental.  And the breadth of classes offered at Frolicon (from self-publishing erotica to furry fan art to boot-blacking to a whiskey and cigar tasting) is far greater than any other kink convention I’ve been to.  (And it typically falls w/in a week or two of me and Shdwkitten’s birthdays.)

Earlier I compared CAPEX to the Tradesmen, Cable, Charlotte Fem Dom, etc.  Is CAPEX right and those groups wrong?  Hell, no.  As I said: It’s stupid to say that every club/event/party needs to be pansexual and inclusive… and it’s stupid to say that none should be.  The bottom line is: Don’t be a snob.  Don’t be a jerk.  Don’t be that idiot that Race Bannon rather un-wisely re-posted on his blog.  Don’t be an asshole.  We are all in a sub-group in a sub-group of a minority.  The least we can do is be cool to our fellow sub-sub-sub-groupies.

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