I think a lot of people enjoy the notions of a BDSM community because it feels good to belong and to know that there are other people who share your feelings. That’s certainly true for me, but lately I’ve been reminded rather harshly about just how much of my own community does not actually include me in any significant way. And it hurts. A lot.

At the risk of posting a rather dreary self-pitying entry (on a Monday, no less), I have to say that I often feel like there is no space here for me. While I know intellectually that I’m not alone, it sure feels like I am.

Because friends were involved and it was free and sounded the least bit interesting, I went to a low-key erotic art show that OneTaste NY was producing. The artwork wasn’t bad; it was just so typical. I can’t tell if it helped the show or made it worse that the theme wasn’t specifically BDSM-oriented. Why is it that even in people’s supposedly non-kinky erotic art ideas women are submissive?

The overwhelming feel of the event was decidedly…patriarchal. “This is a flirt-heavy zone,” the greeter told us as we entered, and proceeded to inquire about Eileen’s weekend. Maybe “flirt-heavy” is just the PC word for meat market now. Maybe that’s too harsh, but there’s no denying the implication that men would do the purusing and women would be the pursued. There’s nothing wrong with that (putting my head in Eileen’s lap at a party was how we got together—quite the forward thing for submissive male to do, many people would probably think), but the expectation is nauseating.

Even the men, the poor ignorant sods, are succumbing to the peer pressure. (Maybe that’s because most of them are spineless bastards to begin with who are just aching to be told what to do. Oops, maybe that was too harsh again.) You see it in their ridiculous bait-and-switch routines where the submissive men pretend to be dominant only long enough to get the woman to bed with them. Then they turn around and get on their hands and knees and start talking about how pathetic they are. This is probably one of the very few times I’ll actually agree with those men: they are pathetic, and I’m not only ashamed but enraged to be thought of as similar to them, not to mention just how many things are wrong with the very idea that this tactic might actually work out well for anyone.

I’m jealous of the submissive women for whom this kind of space must be an incredible cornucopia of sexual celebration. I bet they actually had a blast at the art show. At the same time, I’m sorry, for their sake, that this potentially wonderful environment is all but destroyed by utterly disrespectful men.

In the end, no one’s really all that happy, are they? Is there anyone out there who actually thinks the scene as it is right now is just peachy keen? That it couldn’t be better?

A really long time ago, friends of mine who were elected to the TES board of directors encouraged me to run alongside them. They told me that I could do so much good for that community. And that was why I chose not to run: it’s not my community, really. It’s the closest thing I have to a community, so I adore it, but it’s not mine because so much of what they do does not welcome or include me in any significant way. Oh sure, they encourage male submissives sometimes but the way they do so is so amazingly repulsive in so many ways that I just can’t see myself having much to do with it. I don’t begrudge that community their right to exist. I just want one of my own.

So I’m working hard to build it.