Respect And Tolerance In The Scene

By Mistress Ren and LesVoiles

        One of the most important values that people in the scene hold is that of mutual respect and toleration. Just because someones kink of choice is something that turns you off, that does not mean that they should not be a member of the scene. The vanilla world often scorns BDSMers because were kinky and different. It is just as wrong to treat your fellow BDSMers that way because your kink or lifestyle differs from theirs.

        We (Mistress Ren and LesVoiles) wrote the following essay in response to recent events in the Boston scene, where there has been an outbreak of unforgivable behavior and intolerance. We have included this essay at the request of several CUFS members who have encountered similar instances of intolerance and disrespect.

"Real Players"

        Comments have arisen that almost every conceivable person in the scene is not a "Real Player." You know......this stuff really ticks us off. In our humble opinion, if you have the courage to recognize that your desires are different, have the curiosity to explore them, and respect for your fellow community members (whether it be R/T or online) then you are a player.

If you are doing BDSM strictly online or at home only, you are not a "Real Player."

        Online, we refer to those who show a genuine interest, show respect for others, are willing to learn from a variety of sources, and are able to show their acceptance through intelligence and maturity, as players. We are not referring to panting, drooling SNERTS who feel the only way to "get some" on Saturday night is to suddenly "discover" BDSM. For some folks, online playing is all they have available to them, and they take it VERY seriously.

If you go to the clubs and merely watch and do not play, you are not a "Real Player."

        Real Time players include those who have made the first important steps in to the social/support groups or the club scene. Maybe they are as yet inexperienced and sit in the back of the room and don't say a word at the meetings. Maybe they only come to the club only to observe, socialize, and learn. Hey. They are there..... that's more than most people who are curious do. Whether someone plays at a club or not is an intimate decision. Case in point: We do not often play in the public clubs as the majority of our play is highly intimate, involving oral sex and intercourse, which is not allowed in the majority of clubs. Because our play is not only our play but our sensual, romantic, involvement, we prefer to keep it private. Our time at the club is spent socializing, learning, and sharing thoughts and ideas. So ..... does that mean we're not real players? Intimacy defines what we will and will not do in public, as does comfort. Somebody may be a wild raging beast at home, but may not be able to bring that persona to a public club. To label somebody as "not a Real Player" because they keep their intimacies private is idiotic.

Unless you have been in the scene in New York, you are not a "Real Player."

        Puh-leeeeze!!!!!!! What, is sex different in other parts of the country? Do they spank differently in New York? Due to longitude and latitude, do floggers fly differently? Do you get our point?

If you have less than 10 years experience, you are not a "Real Player."

        We have seen people who have been around for 10 years who don't know the first thing about BDSM. We have also seen people who have been around for only a few months who have made a point of learning the important points of BDSM such as safety, respect, etiquette, techniques, and most of all, the Joy of it all. We are shocked that people are even spouting this crap.

If you have more than 10 years experience, you belong to the "Old Guard of BDSM" who think they know everything, and are stuck in a rut when it comes to playing.

        We were not aware that edge play or continual experimentation was a "requirement" for public acceptance. Nor were we aware that the play that we practice with or partners, which satisfies us, must pass inspection based on the latest D/s fads. As the old saying goes .... if it ain't broken, why "fix" it?

If you are a community leader (this one is OUR favorite!), you are all talk and no action, and are merely a self-promoter.

        We must be missing out on something .... the benefits ..... the adulation .... the easy notoriety ..... the endless supply of submissives throwing themselves at our mercy (don't we wish!!!). We, as well as many less well known active supporters put the majority of our free time, our money (what little we have, we are after all, nonprofit) and sacrifice much of our privacy to ensure that there IS a community. We don't own a mansion, hell, we don't even have a dungeon. We go to work every day, make car payments, and occasionally eat Hamburger Helper. 'Nuff said.

We have one last comment to give an opinion on: Spousal knowledge.

        People in the scene have been berated for not informing their spouses or families of every detail of their scene involvement. In an ideal world, a spouse should always know, but in today's reality and society, there are many reasons why a spouse may be kept in the dark. There are people in open marriages who's spouses know of the activity but don't want to know the details. There are others whose marriages would be ruined, whose children might be taken away from them, whose jobs and livelihoods would be threatened. The decision to inform or not inform one's spouse or family is, as we have discovered within the scene, one of the hardest decisions that a person must make. We cannot live in other people's bodies or minds. We do not know the intricacies of their lives. Everyone must decide, after searching their own soul and morality, which is the best course for them. We cannot dictate what a person does with the major decisions of their life. That person is the only one who can. While we may not agree with their decision, we must respect it.

        One of the major tenets of our world is that of mutual respect. We may not practice each other's kinks, we may not even like each other's kinks. We may not play the way that others around us do. We may or may not be "out" to our families. Yet we are all united by our mutual needs. We are the BDSM COMMUNITY.

        The community lives by the following creed: Safe, Sane and Consensual. We think it should be expanded to include Tolerance, Individualism, and Respect.

Ren and LesVoiles

All material Copyright Mistress Ren and LesVoiles.  Please do not reproduce without permission.

Page updated on 08/27/05



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