Where You Live Matters

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I live in Guam right now.

It is a tiny island in the middle of nowhere, and you have to zoom in a long way to see it on Google maps.

The island of Guam only has around 170,000 people on it, and many of them are military (so often only available for short amounts of time.)

This makes kink difficult for two reasons:

1. Kinky people are always a percentage of the population, so the lower the population, the lower the number of kinky people.

2. Tiny communities mean that everyone knows everyone, so events are difficult and terrifying for locals because no one wants to run into their aunt or brother at a munch.

This means that living on Guam has been kind of a bummer for us.

My husband and I are the sort of people who feed off the energy of other people. In the absence of our community (for munches and fetish proms and dungeon time), it is hard to feel kinky. Sometimes we start to feel like two normal married people, and it’s like huge parts of ourselves have gone numb.

I don’t want to disparage Guam. It’s beautiful. I have been able to make friends with sea turtles and enjoy empty beaches and quiet time (since we’re not overrun by tourists like most tropical islands are.)

I have no right to complain about living in such a beautiful place. I am able to enjoy coral, fish, and reefs filled with beauty and warm water that stretch on for miles. If you want to go on a vacation, Guam isĀ  great place to do it.

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However, as a kinky person, I do feel very much like I lost myself.

I have loved being in dungeons and at kink events since I was 14. I have loved the clothes, the people, and the play. It was all such a big part of my life for so long and it always felt good.

I remember thinking that it didn’t matter where we got sent after I was in Oregon, because one thing I learned teaching in South Korea is that there are kinky people everywhere. I never thought I would have to be without my community.

And then we came to Guam, and I realized that it’s too small for events and the few munches were spoiled by this one creepy guy, and this girl who was insufferable.

Note: Please don’t think I am being unfair. I don’t judge people lightly. I am a tolerant person and I mostly love everyone, but there are things that go too far. I will go into detail so that you can see what kind of behavior turns people off:

Creepy Guy: Refused to listen when others asked him to stop describing the complications he experienced during anal training right down to the color of his runny poop. Also hit on every single male and female that he encountered regardless of their orientation, relationship status, or interest. And, constantly talked about how desperate he was to be dominated by anyone.

Insufferable Girl: Cut everyone off no matter who was talking or what they were saying so she could talk about herself. Had nothing interesting to say about herself. Insisted constantly that she was beautiful and the best sub ever and needed to be bought cars and minks and shoes because of how wonderful she was. Literally interrupted everyone at the munch to go on and on about how wonderful she was and how we should all buy her things.

There are almost always a few bad apples at a public munch, so that in and of itself shouldn’t mean much, but the problem is that outside of those two, there were only six of us (three couples.) And we three do get together, of course. But it’s not the same as a community with events.

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We found out recently that we are moving to Oahu, and I admit, it’s not ideal. It’s another island and so there will be no road trips to the next state over for some fabulous event.

On the other hand:

1. There are nearly a million people there, so there are bound to be more kinky folks on Oahu than there are on Guam.

2. It’s less remote so it’s much easier to get flights from there to other places.

So, I feel like this is a step closer to having a community again. I can’t tell you how much that matters to me! The last three and a half years on Guam have definitely proven to me that I need my community.

I know that some people (who have access to a community of kinky people) will say “You’re better off without the drama.” And yes, I know there is always going to be nonsense when there is a group of people.

In Korea, I actually had a nemesis that I had no idea about until after I left. I guess I had planned an event in Seoul on the same weekend that she had planned one in Daegu (a city to the south.) Now, I did check the Seoul pages to see if there were any other events before picking a date, since I didn’t want to step on any toes. But it never occurred to me to check every obscure city in the country for events before planning my own.

This girl felt personally slighted because no one came to her event and she blamed me.

The rest of the time I was in Korea, though I had no idea, she was furious every single time I threw a play party, munch, or fetish prom.

In fact, she even came to one of my events once and (instead of confronting me about her feelings) was an enormous bitch to everyone. I think her name was Cat or something. I have no idea. But what I do know is, she hated me for years. And when I left, she threw a party to celebrate it.

So TRUST ME, I get that there is drama. I get that more people = more problems.

The universe has not given me the gift of being ignorant of how difficult a community can sometimes be. (Although in the case of Daegu girl I actually was ignorant since no one told me about it until after I left Korea.)

The point is, I know communities can be a hassle.

And yet, it means the world to me to have access to one.

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The thing is, community is so important. You look out there at society and all you see are normal relationships mirrored in every aspect of culture. They are all monogamous vanilla people just going about their lives being dull and boring.

For people like us, there is no model. I am bisexual. My husband is hetero-flexible. Neither of us are the slightest bit into gender at all. We’re kinky. And, we’re polyamorous.

People like us are not represented in the media, in culture, or in others that we meet. There are no goofy sitcom episodes about how a couple goes through a kink slump after living together for a while because comfort and BDSM do not always mix easily. There is no relationship guru radio show to call in to and talk about making space for kink in your life. There are not movies about poly couples happily chatting about their dates when they get home at night.

We are not reflected in what you see in advertising, media, entertainment, or your office Christmas party.

Without community, we are totally alone.

When we feel lost or need advice, there is no one to go grab tea with. I would give anything to have a fellow Dom to just get beers with from time to time and talk about shit. But this is Guam, and we are one of the most remote islands on Earth.

I have struggled with my isolation every day that I have lived on Guam, and I am so excited for it to be over.

So wish me luck on Oahu. I hope I meet amazing people there. But more than that, I hope you all appreciate your communities wherever you are, because it’s awful to be without one. Friends who are like you matters so much more than I can express.

Then and Now

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I started out in the scene in the way-back-when days. The Internet wasn’t really a think yet, and so it was really hard to put out information about events.

Sure, those freaks that were into judging the prettiest goat could just put an add in the paper for their booth at the country fair, because that sort of behavior is okay with society. But not us. The Kink Community was hidden away down scary dark alleys and in disreputable clubs.

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I remember when I first heard someone mention kink at The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was fourteen. I was shocked that it was a thing that existed outside my head! Back then, all the periodicals were hidden behind counters and there was just know way to find these things out easily.

So I overheard the place they mentioned. It was called The Graffiti Shop. When I got there, I realized it wasn’t a kink club at all. It was a music and clothing store. But, it had a board where people could post fliers. Then I understood. The Kink Community in my city had no real way to communicate, so they would leave a stack of fliers for an event at The Graffiti Shop, and you would have to go get one and bring it with you to get in to the event.

The events would always be at really skivvy dive bars down really dark alleys, which was traumatizing. It took a lot of guts and a fair amount of stupid for a young girl to go through with making it into an event.

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I think the people were creepier back then. It might just be because I was a young girl then, but I feel like being pushed into the shadows can make people feel creepy. If society says there is something wrong with them, then they internalize that and act accordingly.

Of course, I could be reading too much into it. I guess I have been to some event even recently where there were a lot of “creepers,” (you know- those guys you do not want to get stuck talking to.)

Anyway I feel like there were legitimately creepier people back then, and not in a good way. It was all so clandestine and secretive, and I think that made it more dangerous. You would never report a rape at a club that was super-secret like that, right?

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So now we live in the future. I love the future! The Internet (for me) completely changed the Kink Community in the best ways possible! Now, you can go to events easily, and there are vanilla events like munches where you can just talk to kinky people without having to go through all the costuming and pageantry.

We have all kinds of resources. There are communities like the BDSM subreddit where you can ask questions and read about kink issues. There are websites for meeting people like Collar Space. There’s fetlife.com, which I think of as Facebook for kinksters. And there’s all sorts of kink porn that you don’t have to sneak behind a beaded curtain and have a very awkward interaction with a checkout guy for.

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The Internet let us come out of the shadows and into the light. It let us create a community, and have enough members in that community to support dungeons and play spaces and meetups.

I often muse at how great everything has gotten and how bad it really was before. And when I think about it, I can’t believe how glad I am that we live in the time that we do and have the resources that we have.

I will never be nostalgic for the past, and I will always look forward to the future.

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