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January 10, 2014

Are Clubs And Organizations Right For You?

A few days ago when a friend posted on Facebook some of the drama that had developed in one of the clubs he belonged to and why he was resigning, I posted a response that ended up drawing quite a few follow up replies – some supportive and empathetic, some more or less neutral, and a few downright hostile.

As you read my comment that I’m replicating here, please don’t interpret it as a condemnation of clubs and organizations because it’s not. If they work for you, wonderful. Different strokes for different folks. Once upon a time they worked for me more too. But this is where I’m at lately regarding clubs and organizations and I’ve sensed that many kinksters, especially gay men, are feeling much the same way lately. However, with that said, I also know many people, including gay men, who are still quite enthusiastic about them.

Here’s what I wrote. I would love to find out how others are feeling these days by adding a comment to this post.

Years ago I belonged to many clubs and organizations and as the years have progressed I have moved away from such memberships. For me, I don’t see the upside, yet I see many downsides. Drama ensues, almost without fail, the moment a club forms. I now consider myself essentially what gay men used to call a GDI (God Damned Independent) and I don’t foresee me changing that status. I also think many of us (I consider myself one of the culprits) made a huge mistake by promoting hyper-inclusion of the wide cross section of kinksters under single umbrellas. There are a few instances where such inclusion makes sense, but we have gone overboard. Each faction of the various kink subcultures (and we are many subcultures, not one) have their own norms, structures, languages, priorities, cultures, play styles, and so on. To assume these can all be assembled under single umbrella labels or groupings such as “leather” is a naive assumption of which I cop to falling prey to myself once upon a time. What we really are is a very loosely associated collection of networks that often share very little in common even though we often tout the party line that we do. I think it’s time to get real. You can’t continue to add to the mix of varieties of erotic propensities and identities and expect that mix to fully feed and nurture the needs of its constituents. Some separation simply makes sense if we are to get our individual and collective needs met. The pendulum swung far in one direction of hyper-inclusion and must now swing back toward the center with an understanding that sometimes it makes sense to mix, and sometimes it makes sense to do our own thing. I think we all need to do our own thing more often than we have been lately.

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