Now I should probably go ahead and just state up front that in no way do I believe that something I deem safe for me will be the same for another person. These are my thoughts and opinions which I’m having out, regardless of how they make you feel. OWN YOUR OWN SHIT.
Most of the people I am lucky enough to call my friends are in fact that. They are people I have in my home, organise to do things with and many of my friends and I have been for a long time.
I’m not a high maintenance person, I don’t need to constantly rotate people in my life and I don’t often widen my bubble to let new people in. (That’s not to say I don’t, I just don’t actively try to.) It means I accept quality over quantity and rarely regret that. The people I hold in my close inner circle are there by choice and it’s based on mutual respect, trust and codes of ethics. (doesn’t mean we’re all cut out the same though either, but share a sense of right and wrong between us.)
For the most part, my experience with the BDSM community in Perth has been positive and I have met some amazing people who have become good, solid close friends. Some of the people I have met have had to grow on me a little. It took more blooming for me to be able to see them properly, to feel that I could trust them and comfortably call them a friend. Others took no time at all, and instant bonds are formed.
Now, it might be somewhat narcissistic of me, but I believe that my long-standing connections to the people in my life, and my friends circle is a good indicator to me of my good judgement that suits my values. (Doesn’t have to suit you or anybody else)
I feel protective over my friendships, and I don’t love it much when people shit on the people I hold dear. Though, I don’t stroke the ego of my friendships openly, on a daily basis. I don’t pander to protecting people or take responsibility for their drama as I prefer to stay neutral, separating myself from issues that do not directly involve me.
I trust my gut implicitly.
I take people at face value and am careful to observe actions, words and measure that against a persons personal gain and motivations.
There seems to be a common concept that gets thrown around a lot about “creepy” people within the BDSM community. My interpretation of creepy is formed from my own personal map, and is different from other peoples. (Everybody gets their own map, check your back pocket, you have one too!)
However, I do find it impugnable to have a good friend of mine deemed “creepy” by someone who I, in fact, find “creepy”.
I am even more repulsed at the actions that were taken against my friend, in the manner in which these issues were raised.
When someone flicks my switch for creepy, it tends to set off alarm bells in many areas of concern. Ultimately, only I am responsible for my perceptions. I do not raise an army, gather pitchforks and start hunting people down because of my perceptions. No, I leave them alone. I steer clear and focus my involvement in community events, gathering etc. elsewhere. I certainly do not seek out my Husband/owner and demand that he rally to troupes to take down the person who makes my skin crawl with every sexual innuendo, and smutty comment. ( Hello, I work in the sex industry and deal with this on a daily basis, I know how to cope, deflect, and sometimes even make a sale based on these comments.)
As a woman, I am hyper aware of what it feels like to be scrutinised, sexualised and disempowered, however I am equally capable of not allowing myself to sit in a victim headspace every single damn time a man looks at me, makes a suggestive comment, or simply: I misinterpret their words or actions.
Which is why, when a creepy guy accuses my friend of being “unsafe”, “creepy” etc etc, it pisses me the fuck off. Especially when it’s on the hearsay of another person.
My involvement in the community over this year has peaked and left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I find it best to seek out experiences that enrich rather than dampen, and that do so in a way that creates a safe and open opportunity to engage other people. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.