Periodically I’ll ask someone within the nontraditional (alternative) sexuality or relationship communities 5 specific questions. Here are one person’s answers.
1. If you could offer people in your community just one bit of advice based on your experience, what would it be? Use your imagination and think creatively. Invention will keep play sexy, edgy and fun. (Of course be sure to think of the appropriate safety measures)
2. Is there anything you see as particularly positive going on in your community right now? I see the different aspects of our community that may not have interacted in the past coming together in coalition building. People are talking about gender issues, education and preserving our history, creating space for kinky youth, etc. Some groups that may have been exclusive in the past are thinking about how to be inclusive so that we may persist with the strong values that were forged from the beginning.
3. Is there anything you see as particularly negative going on in your community right now? The easy access to information is great to have via informational books and the internet but it may create a false sense of expertise. I would encourage hand-on skills training and mentorships in addition to knowledge gained by books and online readings.
4. How could your community best be improved? Get involved, no matter how small it may seem. Even meeting someone new and starting a conversation about leather could change a person’s life.
5. Think ahead 10 years. Where do you see your community heading? In 10 years, I see a new generation working with experienced players to welcome people in exploring sexuality. The community would be more visible and accessible for those seeking kink.
Lamalani Siverts is a Seattle resident and held the title of Washington State Ms. Leather 2008 before winning the title of International Ms Leather 2009 (http://www.internationalmsleather.com/). The International Ms Leather contest is held in San Francisco April 15th -18th, 2010 (http://www.imsl.org/). Professionally, she makes bondage rope with Twisted Monk.