It’s been almost a month since I’ve last written here. Even Though I don’t feel beholden to this blog, I do feel committed to it. That’s why I sometimes feel bad when I grow silent or distant from this outlet and spend my energies elsewhere. Nevertheless, such breaks are necessary for me to maintain this blog in the first place, so it’s all a sort of give and take.

My first month in Australia was spent in an absolute whirlpool of chores and errands. Not only was I horribly ill my first week here, I also needed to find an apartment, a job, and all the other bits of a life I wanted. I left New York City so I could go be a different fish in a different pool. Sydney has this strange culture, which I hardly feel qualified to discuss with any authority. It’s exceedingly different from the culture in New York City and it interests me. What I didn’t expect about coming to Sydney was just how small of a pool I was going to end up in.

According to Wikipedia, Sydney is populated by roughly 4.2 million people and is spread over a geographical area of about 4,700 square miles. New York City, by contrast, is populated by roughly 9 million residents (a number that swells to even higher numbers during business hours) and is approximately 470 square miles in size. What this means is that the words “I am from New York City” have an almost magical effect on people here, and even after two month’s time that’s still taking me by surprise.

This is true in both the workplace and the social scenes, though obviously it’s the social scenes where this sort of introduction can lead to any real discussion of culture and history. I’m happy to say that as far as work goes, with little trouble I think I’ve found a really nice employer, with awesome people closer to my age (even if I am still the youngest one in the office by at least half a decade) who I can actually enjoy getting a drink with. That’s never happened before, and it’s nice to see my efforts to mix social and office spaces together actually succeeding.

Also, thanks in no small part to the kindness of our friends, over the past month Eileen and I have been introduced to many of the proprietors of BDSM and fetish venues and parties that are scattered across the Sydney area. We’ve already attended two invitation-only parties of this nature, and we had the opportunity to go to a few more public parties, but decided against it. Firstly, we simply don’t have forty dollars each to spend on a party every weekend (and every party is at least 25 dollars plus transportation costs ’round here, which is just fucking bloody expensive), and secondly I’ve been so busy that the only reason I’m even writing this post is due to the fact that I’m home sick (or rather, working from home).

Of the literally dozens upon dozens of people I’ve met at these parties, munches, and so forth, almost none of them are anywhere near my age. I don’t mind hanging out with older people—I have been doing exactly that since I was a young boy—but the distinct lack of a young person’s kinky space is isolating. There are quite a few organizations for young queer kids, but frankly, most of the time queer kids are just as vanilla as straight kids. It feels a lot like time traveling back to New York City before Conversio Virium became as successful as it is. I think I might just miss my kinky friends.

Along the same note, the BDSM culture here feels old fashioned, as though I’m getting a taste of what it might have been like in the mid 1990’s in New York City. What we in NYC would call “classic leather” or maybe “old guard” isn’t just prominent here, it’s fashionable. Everyone’s always decked to the nines in heavy leather or shiny vinyl outfits. Corsets are pretty much a prerequisite if your body has breasts in much the same way as ass-less pants are if you were born with a penis, and (as I keep bringing up) even the private parties have dress codes (augh!). The local people with any stature whatsoever are the ones that have been around the longest, because they have been around the longest.

The scene superstars here are the same people as the ones I know from the States. Lolita, Lee, Midori, Dov, and others are household names here just as they were in The City. Whereas in the States superstars like these run workshops and spend their time teaching or producing pornography and erotica, all the local superstars here are venue owners, or people who run “donation”-based parties. In Sydney, so far, the word “community” simply seems to mean “I go to some of the same parties as you.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are some younger people, even if they tend to lurk in online forums instead of being willing to come out to events. Even better, there’s a much more populous group of female dominants who aren’t pros (though there are a lot of those, too). Ultimately, I think it’s the monopoly of the party culture that is preventing a lot of younger people from feeling willing to come out of the woodwork. Firstly, it’s too expensive, and secondly—despite the stereotypes—it’s not attractive to the majority of young adults.

The Sydney BDSM scene suffers from a lack of educational events. The people here seem just as capable of doing excellent BDSM as they are in the states, but they’re not talking about it to anyone, not even each other. Most of them seem afraid to, as if doing so will give them a bad reputation. It seems okay for me for to do it, since I’m from New York City and all, but for some reason, they think they couldn’t possibly have anything to teach me.

I’m hoping to help change this and over time I’d really love to see more educational events run by local people, advertising local speakers, promoted hand-in-hand with parties and munches.

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