Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boys' Club Census

While working on the history page for the dc boys of leather I've discovered it's very difficult to locate information about which boys clubs have existed, what year they formed, and which ones are still active. I've decided to address this problem by asking for your help. There are boy clubs all over the continent. Some are thriving while others have disbanded or changed their name. Please help me compile a history of when these clubs formed and which ones still exist. Feel free to participate as many times as you want, my goal is to find out information about as many clubs as possible. Participate in the census.

I'd also like some high resolution images of club colors. I can pilfer around on the web, but a lot of you probably have some good images saved on your computers. If you have one please provide your email address and let me know in the survey.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Does Your Mother Know?

I often draw a destination between the sexual elements of the community and the social ones. The leather community is a one composed of sexually liberated individuals, not necessarily a community for sexually liberated individuals. Because of this I have little problem being open about my involvement in the community. I may not want to share my sexual adventures with the world, but I have no issue being proud of my social involvement

Many of those entering the community, or indeed those involved in it, do not draw this distinction. I find that considering community and sexuality mutually exclusive to be alienating to those on the outside.

The "Does Your Mother Know?" survey explores how individuals distinguish these issues. Most do on some level, others do not.

To give some perspective here, 211 people participated in this survey. People are surprisingly open about kink and community involvement with their vanilla friends. Family and co-workers are equally informed in social involvement, and not surprisingly kept in the dark about sex.

27% (27 participants) work in kink friendly carriers, just over half of those who are open about kink with co-workers. Between 7% and 9% only have kinky friends and friends in the community. All three of these groups are a small, but vocal, minority.

Most of us have to balance both worlds, deal with conflicting values from our family and friends, and choose our battles. My husband tend to be more open than is probably good, but it does weed out those that find our personal life objectionable. Sure it can be painful when friends and family result to irrational judgement, but values are subjective. As marriage and other "social norms" permeate our community this conflict will only become more relevant as we maintain our preferred relationship models.

Once or twice a year I have the privilege of doing a S&M demo at my alma mater. Pouring hot wax onto 18 to 22 year old co-eds is fun, but it also presents an opportunity. My co-presenters and myself are always asked "do you have 'real' jobs, or do you do this full time?" The awe of their reaction when we reveal our mundane careers is always amusing. Their belief that we exist permanently on the fringes of society is understandable. It also fuels so many fears about coming leather bars and other social centers. Coming out and living openly can help so many closeted individuals know they can be open and happy about their orientation. Similarly, being open about our community involvement helps those who are afraid to know it's a safe space. We can invite others to join us by making it clear that we are far more dynamic than erotic fiction would indicate.