Those of us in Southern California are very very lucky to have many choices in the kink scene when it comes to dungeons, parties, and various other events. There are many cities and towns that have only one party to look forward to each month, some only one per year, and others who must rely on the internet alone along with privately held residential parties. Here in Southern California we can just about find something every day of the week – if not multiple things! Between parties, munches, classes, conferences, support and discussion groups…we are not lacking in kink! The purpose of this article is not to brag as a SoCal resident. While many other cities around the globe struggle with too little to do, having so much creates different issues.
The first issue is people complain about overlapping events. I get it. There are times when two or more events are happening at the same time – all of which I want to attend. I tell friends all the time – I would give anything to clone myself! However, when I hear people actually complain that “this event was planned the same day as that event” and act as though the event coordinators planned it that way just to spite them – I have to say something. I try to remind them that we are really fortunate here that “too many events to choose from” is the problem. I understand it can be a little frustrating, but trust me, the hosts are not forming a conspiracy!
This leads me to the second issue. While I understand these things from the perspective of the player (or guest), I also understand from the standpoint of the host. As you can read in my bio or see on my Fetlife profile, I teach weekly classes, host a weekly munch, co-lead two support groups, and host a monthly play party. I understand how much work goes into planning and running these various events and respect all those that undertake it. The issue with so many events happening, it can start to feel like a competition to some. I want to plead to those that treat events like competitions to remember why they really exist. They are there for the whole community. They are there to teach people new things, offer a safe space to talk, help people meet like-minded folks and offer fun places to get your kink on!
Do I promote the events I run in the best way I know how? Of course. Most of the things I run are geared toward newbies so it’s imperative that I get the word out. However, I also tell my classes and people I meet to take as many classes as they can, to check out all the clubs and to check them out more than once. One reason SoCal has so much to offer is because we have such a large kink community here. There are enough people to go around. I would never put down another club or host just to get more people to my events. I tell people regularly that every club has it’s pros and cons and they just have to go and find what they enjoy – or go to them all depending on what’s going on!
This is a community. Communities should offer support and knowledge, not only to its members, but also from hosts to fellow hosts. You will hear a million opinions about this club or that person. Decide for yourself and embrace what every club and event has to offer!
(And please let me know when they perfect human cloning!)
Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.
Ernest Greene says
I’ve been active in the SoCal community for decades and I agree that enjoy, at least at the moment, an embarrassment of riches. That is not a bad thing. Our BDSM group here started with about 50 members and we experienced a steady influx of newcomers in the years leading up to the sudden discovery of our existence by huge numbers of newbies. I’m glad there are now lots of places for them to go, but I agree that the more experienced members of our community have an ongoing duty to teach both basic principles and specific skills will be acting in their own interest as well as that of the newbies by generously sharing what they’ve learned over time.
with big communities comes big drama. keep fighting the good fight!