Advocacy and Advertising

I sometimes wonder where all the new people in our scene are coming from?

Back in the bad old days before the Internet, the only place I would read about “the scene” was in local alternative newpapers. I was young and socially inept so it all seemed very scary to me. If I had taken the plunge, I’m sure that I would have gotten involved in the BDSM scene a lot sooner than I did. But that did not happen. I was too timid and none of it was presented as something that your average every day person would want to do nor did it seem like a very accepting community for a geeky outsider like me.

Later on, when I was buying videos and reading zines like Stand Corrected or some of the digest sized short story publications, it seemed a lot friendlier but still made me feel like an outsider – someone who wasn’t “in the know” about things. The alternative papers were still around with their personals sections but whenever I perused them, I would often see scores of ads from men seeking women but few the other way around. Even if I’d wanted to put out an ad, I would have felt that it was just one more among the many and would be a lost cause.

It wasn’t until I first entered cyberspace, especially the WWW and the Usenet (back in mid-93), that I quickly discovered there were more people like me than I imagined. Although I started to contribute and socialize (under that long forgotten nickname), I never really got that involved, certainly not to the point of wanting to meet people in real life because my real life, sort of, got in the way. I met someone who became my significant other for many years. She was a vanilla partner and someone who I had deep feelings for so I never ventured outside of our relationship.

Flash forward to 2004 and the beginnings of my current and much more satisfying scene life.

I reiterate the history I’ve previously recounted to illustrate the point of how many twists and turns my road to this point took. I imagine with the ubiquity of cyberspace in nearly every walk of life, it’s a lot easier to meet people and to find that they are pretty much just like you.

Is that the way it is these days? A quick Google search and then you’re quickly getting involved. Is the desire to find it enough to preclude any need for advocacy on the part of the community? Is the whole concept of advertising passe in a world where what you want is at your fingertips? Maybe there really is no problem for the scene to attract new people as long as they are willing.



4 Responses to “Advocacy and Advertising”

  1. One has to be a researcher these days. There is so much nasty stuff on the Internet that I sometimes think it’s a miracle that people find anything!

    But once you’ve found a decent blog it becomes easier.

  2. Lots of blogs give good link. Bonnie over at My Bottom Smarts has a pretty extensive selection of links. You can get to it from my front page.

  3. I answered several ads from alternative newspapers when I was younger and still single. It cost something like $1 or $2 a minute to listen to the ads, so I spent a lot of money because there were a lot of ads to weed through… When I finally narrowed down my choices to one or two, it STILL took me a while to get my nerve up and call. But it was worth it; I met a couple of good tops that way, had fun, and got spanked a lot.

    When I finally got onto the internet at home (I started late, sometime around 2000) i didn’t waste a lot of time. I heard there were “safe” spanking parties in NYC and, at the urging of internet friends, I decided to take the plunge and go to one.

    I had a blast, met lots of good people, was introduced to the New York scene. As I went to more events, I eventually met my first boyfriend in the scene, then my second, and finally, a few years later, my husband.

    I can’t say if it’s easier to meet people today or not. On the internet, there are pluses and minuses. Yes, you can begin to find people who are into what you’re into. But there are a lot of frogs to go through before you find something remotely resembling a prince.

  4. I think there still is a need for outreach, if I can use such a dogoody word for it, esp. where sensitive, new, and especially female members are concerned. You can read sites for ages, but it often takes a friendly person reaching out, taking the discussion to a more personal level, for someone to get the courage to take the interest offline into the real world. I try to do some lateral bottom-to-bottom encouragement in this line. I know I have a particular opportunity to talk to these people without worrying about seeming predatory or as if I’ve got something to gain. I’m not looking for play partners….if anything I’m increasing my competition! 🙂

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