We Are A Reflection Of Our Community
BDSM as a community-based subculture is gifted. Similar to tribal cultures, it's something that get's passed on from the "elders" to the newbies over and over again. This community is completely unregulated by a higher authority. Anyone can say they are anything; you can be new and decide to teach for instance.(Surprisingly I've seen this happen a few times) Usually the community steps in. Without a doctrine or authority we want to keep each other safe, and we want to give to, and support each other. We regulate ourselves; And we collectively venerate some members of the community through a collective admiration and respect for someone's craft or contribution. We fragment off into smaller groups based on kink alignments, social issues, or internal conflicts. This is not to say that people aren't paid. We support and patronize each other. We pay for the spaces we want to be in, the fetish regalia to transform ourselves with, the artisanally made tools of our craft, to be taught a technique, and sometimes - for a skilled hand.
Somehow from the post-war motorcycle-club leathermen of the 40's, and the rope wielding police of Japan's 17th century Edo period, do I find my leather-clad, rope-slinging, dominatrix self here. As I sit here writing this there are a number of things right in view that were gifts from this community that I am deeply thankful for.
A beautiful black and green whip that was gifted to me at the beginning of my career as a dominatrix. The art on the walls, and the posters from performances I have done in the past. My bed frame, with the guts of the old Kink Engineering drafting table inside of it. A spanking bench from one of my dominatrix wifey's. The techniques showed to me along the way. A paddle I received from Master Wolfgang's passing. My leather. Each of these items holds a sentimental weight. Equally, we can take objects from the past that have a negative weight and redefine them.
Like the authentic vintage tools of corporal punishment, the straps traditionally used in schools and prisons, and use them on consenting little pain sluts who love to be hurt. Redefining the narrative into something good.
I think about all this when I see how far I've come and I look to the future. A future which now looks dark, a future in which our favourite spaces may close or already have. "Let me not be so vain to think that I’m the sole author of my victories and a victim of my defeats." A win for someone in my community is a win for me. Their loss is my loss. I hope that we can all find ways to continue to empower and support each other. I think about the fact I don't want to have children (and also probably can't have them) and how much I would love to pass on all my knowledge and experience to someone else when I am much older and wiser. To pass down all these gifts that were given to me just as Master Wolfgang did. My leather is surely going to out live me anyway. I am a reflection of my community, and so are you. The more we better ourselves and empower others, do we polish this reflection, and the better we all are. Although I can't see how yet, I hope that we find a way to take this moment in history and redefine it like the authentic school straps of yore and make something beautiful out of it.