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.
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.
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?
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.
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.