People Who Need People

I’m a sucker for Streisand singing that song especially when she really belts it out near the end. If there are people in the scene that are looking, why can’t they seem to find each other?

There are so many ways for people to hook up these days. I’m of a generation that remembers life before the Internets. I really wish that it had existed when I was younger because I might have gotten involved in the spanking community a lot sooner than I did. From personal ads to social networks to chat rooms and IM, the multitude of ways for people to meet are growing all the time. I personally belong to several scene social groups (Shadow Lane, TES, Fetlife) and have a foot in the door of more and that doesn’t even include this blog.

No matter the size of our community (and some may argue that it is quite small), there are plenty of people who desire to meet someone for play or something more. If that’s the case, why do I hear more and more people all the time complain that it’s hard to meet someone or to even generate contact? Are they not trying hard enough? Are they looking for something too specific? I hear the complaint from men and women so why can’t these two groups find each other?

When I joined Shadow Lane (my first foray into the scene), I put up a personal ad. Rather than make it the usual alphabet soup of abbreviations, I wrote about me – what I liked, what I saw myself as and especially what I wanted out of the scene. I made it as full of my real personality as I could cram into a couple of paragraphs. The one thing I was not afraid of was to go longer than other ads. I found that the ads I liked to read were usually the ones that were wordier because I got to know the person a little better. I decided that was the way I would go. My ad must not have been up more than a few days when I got responses. Each of the women responding noted the fact that the ad I wrote was unusual and was what interested them.

But the main thing, aside from the writing and all that, was that I genuinely wanted to meet people. Sure I had some criteria but not such strict ones that I would count someone out because they did not fit a narrow definition of what I wanted. Yes, it’s nice to have your fantasy partner come walking through the door but more likely than not the fantasy will remain just that. A person has to be willing to sell themselves a bit by putting their best foot forward. But any ad or attempt to reach out is only has good as the desire on both sides to take the plunge.

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9 Responses to “People Who Need People”

  1. MrCommenter Says:

    Until Shadow Lane takes money orders, I’m not giving them or anybody else my name & address, so that all the credit agencies and who-knows-who-else can have me classified in ways I don’t want.

    So scratch online bulletin boards.

    I have trouble imagining too many women first “coming out” (as you might say) who would get past the Paddles home page, let alone go into a DUNGEON.

    So where’s the list of safe meeting places?

  2. To MrCommenter — the list of safe meeting places? Starbucks, diners, a nice restaurant, a mall food court, sushi, Italian, French …

    You do it like any other kind of dating. You get to know someone. You decide you like and trust the person. If you must, you set up a safe call system (I never KNEW about this when I was playing prior to the Internet, so I never did it — didn’t want any of my friends to know what I was into, anyway). Then the two of you decide you want to go play — and you go play. There has to be a little leap of faith, both in eventually revealing SOME personal information and just taking a chance that the man/woman across the table from you is not a psycho. Oh, they could very well be a psycho — but what makes that different than vanilla dating?

  3. Generally speaking, any desire for complete anonymity (which is what seems to be desired above) has to be weighted against the need for a business or community to protect itself. Certainly, a person need not join any organization whose rules he or she disagrees with but has to understand why those rules exist (especially in the online world).

    As for meeting people – I echo Sandy’s comments above. A person can inch forward as cautiously as they desire but if they expect to meet people, they have to expose themselves to some level eventually.

  4. This was my concern when I came out earlier this year. I met my first spanker on a website…and like Sandy said…we met at Starbucks…just to meet and see if we had the same goals/desires. When we found out we did…we met the next time at his house. It was quite easy to meet…and then once you do that you set the other parameters.

  5. I get the chance to talk a good number of spankos that lament about their plight. When you get down to the brass tacts though… there is *a lot* of very-very specific “I wants.” Both vanilla and kink, the wish list is loooong.

    The funny this is, often times the wisher has very little actual experience with spanking. So you wonder how the kink list got so long? Shouldn’t one enter the scene with a bit more flexibility? And like you say… shouldn’t they be ‘selling’ themselves?

    Handy tip… list the things ‘you must’ have and then compare it to what you’re genuinely offering. If the ‘must have’ list is longer, well there you go.

    Beyond that, I’m with you Rad… just be open to meeting people. I think a good standard to have is to ask ‘could this person potentially be a friend’… and if the answer is yes… be open to building a friendship. Even if it’s never going to be *the* relationship, it can still be very enjoyable and rewarding. Also can open doors to that *the* relationship that you didn’t know existed.

    ~Todd

  6. Todd: I agree totally especially regarding friendship/relationships. People who have been waiting their whole lives to partake of their kink are understandably raring to go. However, it is very difficult to go from zero to lightspeed in one second. Some folks get luckier than others but I think most find that there is a steady progression from getting yourself out there to potentially having THE relationship.

  7. Some people want to start swimming tomorrow and be Michael Phelps next week. There enthusiasm is applaudable but a bit unrealistic.

    Finding one’s spanking/kink soulmate is considered by some to be a holy grail kind of search. Climb every mountain, ford every stream. Egads, I’m started off going Python and wound up with Sound of Music. Help me!!

    I’ve seen guys with such determination, but sometimes that handicaps them, as their list is exhaustive and impractical. I think I’ve said before either on this blog or and other board, that they expect her to show up on their doorstep, hairbrush in hand saying “oh please spank me sir”. These guys don’t seem to want to engage in socialization apart from that. Never ones to go to a party, heaven forbid and just see what happens.

    It took me awhile to get into the spanking scene. Yeah, it took me awhile to get past the safety paranoia. And I found a great first spanker. And I made huge mistakes along the way. Someone recommended I join Shadowlane. I knew of the site, but at that point was reluctant to “pay” for such a thing. God only knows what sort of list I could find myself on.

    I got over that too. Then I started making friends in chat. One guy in particular. Never ever thought anything would come of it for quite a few reasons (distance, age difference being the big factors). Actually at first I never thought we would meet anytime soon. Turned out that was not to be so.

    So that was just 5 yrs or so ago that Joel and I started chatting. Things moved fast. We’ve been living together for 4 yrs. Married over 2.

    I am not a risk taker by nature. Sometimes people need to put one or a couple of their conditions aside.

    And yeah, now that we are a couple I guess we could just hole up and live our lives, but along the way we found these friends that we have much more in common with than a kink. It’s a swell thing. It really is.

  8. Intriguing, complex topic.

    I’m certainly no expert! But it’s the same thing with dating in general–there is now Match.com and eHarmony and on and on [as with our kink: fetlife, shadowlane, chatrooms]…. but people, according to a study I read ther other day, are feeling more and more disconnected from human contact, and more lonely than ever before in recent history — maybe the virtual world overwhelms people?

    I don’t know.

    All I know is I now chat on the phone with someone via FetLife and it’s nice to simply even talk about spanking 🙂 My lap runneth empty alas, for the moment.

    Dave.

  9. Laura: Obviously, being open minded makes for meeting and enjoying more people. Some folks are so specific that it’s scary.

    Dave: I think any sort of human interaction is what you make of it. People felt isolated before the Internet because they either didn’t go out or did not communicate with others when they did.

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