I’ll preface this article to point out that yes, some groups, some entire scenes in a given geographical area, are toxic, filled with terrible people and run by worse. Those kind of scenes, yes, you should stay away from. Now, on to our article.
It’s called your local scene, but it’s different from what you’d do with a play partner. It’s the group of like-minded people you’ll encounter at munches, educational events, parties, etc. It’ll likely be filled with lots of great people, some of who’ll become lifelong friends. It’ll also be filled with jerks, assholes, creeps, abusers, narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, predators, stalkers, borderline personalities, and probably even a few out-and-out rapists.
So that latter part being the case, why should you bother with them? I’m glad you asked that…
First let me digress a bit.
In the early 2000’s there was a series on HBO called ‘Six Feet Under’. It was about the Fisher clan, who owned a funeral parlor. It dealt with questions about life, death, mortality, and those who deal with it on a daily basis. It was alternately funny, sad, inspiring, infuriating, and inscrutable. It also had one of the best series finales of all time.
Anyway, two of the main characters on the show were David and Keith, a gay couple. The show started with them together, then they split, got back together, had the sort of trials and tribulations couples on television series often have, before winding up happily ever after at the end.
Now it may surprise you to hear this, but as little as 20 years ago (hell, ten years ago) the world wasn’t as woke regarding people with different sexuality. Homophobia was still rampant and there was very little mainstream understanding of what it meant to be gay.
For me (a vaguely enlightened 36-year-old), someone with little-to-no personal experience with gay couples, seeing David and Keith’s relationship on the show was a revelation. Here were two deep, well-written-and-acted, complex characters who were just… well… people. They weren’t saints, they weren’t sinners, but they did good things, and sometimes screwed up, badly. The show was set in Los Angeles so it was rather more tolerant than the rest of the world of gay men, but they still had to navigate the roadblocks and potholes of everyday life in a society which simply tolerated them.
In the end it helped me understand what being a gay man meant in the early 21st century. It gave me an empathy I didn’t have previously and benefitted me as a person moving forward. Even my 60-something-year-old parents loved the show, and David and Keith. I have to think that it helped them when some of their friends came out a few years later. I think that a lot of people felt like we did.
And this is why you should get involved with your local scene.
When I went to my first munch I was very inexperienced and hadn’t really met any other kinky people except my then-girl. It was fascinating to see the length and depth of people’s kinks, and how mine was somewhat in the minority. It was even more fascinating to go to my first several play parties and observe the wide range of activities people engaged in.
I met a lot of people I liked, some I didn’t, and some I was indifferent to. But I kept going out to as many events as I could, and I started to gain a picture of what the scene was like, the protocols, and how people interacted. I saw how couples interacted and, even more importantly, how long-term couples interacted.
Again, there were some I liked, some I didn’t, and some I was indifferent to. For example, Daddy Dom/little girl relationships didn’t suit the dynamic I was looking for, nor petplay, latex, or strictly Sadist/machoist relationships. But the Dominant/submissive and, in particular, Master/slave relationships? Yeah, I found those very appealing.
Like with David and Keith on ‘Six Feet Under’, it was helping me understand what being a kinky guy was all about in the 21st century.
Because the problem is, there are no real, positive presentations of D/s relationships in popular culture.
Indeed, they’re generally portrayed as a joke, or dark, or even sordid. They’re almost never portrayed as healthy, about two like-minded adults who find each other in this crazy world. About two people who communicate clearly and vocally with each other about their wants, needs, hopes, and expectations. In short, the very definition of a healthy relationship.
And that’s what I love, and find so wonderful, about the scene. Seeing so many happy cis, gay, poly, trans, and everything in between people engaging in kinky fuckery warms the very cockles of my heart, to this day.
And that is what can be beneficial about your local scene. It can help you expand the length, depth, and breadth of your personal concept of what a relationship can be.
So get out into your local scene and check it out. You might see something you find appealing. And you might learn a thing or two along the way.
PirateStan has been involved in his local BDSM community for over 12 years, after having had a lifelong inclination towards it. He currently lives a contented life in Southeastern Virginia with his girl, zeirah, while working by day for a Major Metropolitan Publication.
Can’t wait for things to open up again!