I was listening to a great new podcast on Dart's Domain yeasterday. The leatherman he interviewed spoke at length about what the new, younger group of kinksters is having to face in their adventures with all the swirl of technology and new and different views of what is acceptable and what is not. (On a side note, Dart is one of my most FAVORITE bondage masters/leathermen/kinksters of all time...he's definately worth checking out to drool over.)
Something that I love about being in the gay kink community is that we're all, in one way or another, brothers. Bondage, although it can be very social, is a very personal activity, one which requires a lot of trust, work, and respect. For a younger generation of growing kinksters, this immediately forms a bond of kinship among us, likely because there are so few. The guys that I have played with are my friends, my equals, and we'd always go the extra mile for one another if one of us was in need.
I will admit that I don't know much about "old guard" leather traditions, but from what I DO understand, there is emphasis on pain/sadomasochism, leather, and heiarchical structures. You could not command a boy without first being commanded yourself. "Switching" during a "scene" is not allowed; you have to earn your way and work your way up the ranks. Looking, acting, and behaving this way is viewed to be one of the most intimate displays of masculinity. However, in a lot of ways from my understanding, there always was/is a sense of respect, friendship, and on some level, love through this play.
I don't for a single SECOND want to make anyone think that I am a "hater" or that I frown upon this scene. I am now and always will be a firm believer in that people should really do what they love. For those people in this scene, if you're happy, then you've probably found more happiness than most people do in their lives. The point I do wish to make is that the younger generation of kink, at least insofar as I have encountered, does not really have this heirarchical structure. However, the kinship and brotherhood bonds are still there.
Just last night in fact, one of my kinky friends was on a long, LONG road trip, and had been sleeping in his car for days. I found out last minute that he was on his way through Rochester, I made him welcome. I had to work overnight last night 7pm-7am, but even so, I gave him a key to the house so he could put his feet up for a night and take a load off from a long drive. Welcomed him to my fridge. Isn't this something anyone would do for their brother?
Although the activities and scenes have changed quite a bit over the years, I don't think we've lost the roots from which we came. Not entirely, at least.
Comments and thoughts are always appreciated on this blog. Especially from those with some more insight.