There Are Few Lost Causes

The other day I put up this post about the behavior of some folks in our scene. It got some good responses which tells me that it’s something that resonates, especially with those who have experienced it directly. I just want to add one thing as an addedum to that post.

I don’t know if I was harsher than I needed to be but not being a person that likes pulling punches, that’s the way it almost always comes out. I don’t believe in bullshit and feel that it’s dishonest and insulting not to tell people the truth when the truth is warranted or asked for. It could be a person’s behavior or the fact that one person would rather not play with another even if they have played in the past. For example, if someone would rather not play with me because they don’t feel our play styles are compatible then I’d rather they tell me that than hem and haw about it. A momentary twinge of regret is better than the dismissive feelings of rejection that come from being ignored.

That said, I truly believe that only a small percentage of the people I mentioned earlier are totally lost. It’s often the people at the more dangerous end of the spectrum, the hardcore stalkers, that not only cannot be reclaimed but probably have no desire to change, thinking that there’s nothing wrong. Those folks are obvious and deserve no help — they will eventually create a situation that gets them shunned by the community at large which in and of itself becomes the remedy for their behavior. In my experience in the scene, I have only met a small handful that fall into this category and are people I want to have nothing to do with at all.

I do believe, though, that the vast majority of folks that rub people the wrong way are those that just need to step back for a second and see the bigger picture of what they are doing. It might be the shy person who skulks around because he just can’t seem to get the nerve to approach someone. When he does, it’s usually in such an inept way that it comes across as awkward. It could be the person that goes into a chat room like gangbusters and immediately turns people off by being too forward, too fast. It could be the person that is simply clueless to the cues and language of the scene and steps on a few toes without knowing it. In most of these cases, the person who is like this can learn to redirect their behavior in a more positive manner. All they need to do is stop for a second and listen to what’s being said to them — in most cases, it’s meant to help.

But a people have to be both willing to listen and to be clear when they communicate. I think we are all so wrapped up in trying to not hurt people’s feelings (because we know how it feels to be on the other side) that we talk around things rather than address them. In a lot of ways, it’s more important for the person listening to back off a bit from broadcasting their hurt feelings because there’s no other way they are going to ever hear that thing that just might help them.

I should know — it’s a constant struggle to not let myself get my feelings hurt. All I can say is that it’s an ongoing process that requires me to exercise a certain muscle of self-control and self-esteem. I continue to work on it.

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10 Responses to “There Are Few Lost Causes”

  1. I suspect anyone who has gone to a public spanking party or two knows at least one of these potentially reclaimable, inept partygoers. I’ve been involved in more than one conversation with other women in which a man’s behavior comes up, but no one has told him just what he does that is so annoying. Especially if there’s a failure in hygiene. My first response to those conversations is, oh, good, at least I’m not imagining things, but then I feel kind of bad that nobody says anything to these guys. On the other hand, you have to feel fairly invested in a friendship to say, “hey, if you want to continue to bottom at these parties, you need to bathe a bit more often or clean yourself between scenes.” It would be a hell of a public service to perform, but it’s not anybody’s job.

  2. How do you think so clearly so ( relatively) early in the morning? I don’t remember where I keep the spoons!

    I think it’s entirely possible to be honest..even brutally so at times..without being “hurtful”.
    I used to think the idea of ‘constructive criticism’ was bullshit. It’s not. I think that..by and large in the spanking community, we all have a ” can’t we all just get along?” hope. We are all in this kinky world together, should generally root for each others successes, and offer a modicum of sympathy/empathy when someone is hurting.

    People should have the right to HOPE..rather than to expect or worse, ‘demand’ .. to connect and have fun. But…it’s all in the approach..and the ability to take a ( gracious but firm) “no” for an answer. WE just are NOT all everyone’s ‘type’.male or female, top or bottom. It seems that you just can’t have a thin skin in this scene. That begs for a pun but..I won’t take it there.

  3. radagast Says:

    I think the point I was trying to make was that there are some who are who can be reclaimed and others who are completely lost. The completely lost ones are a small group and usually consist of the people who come across as either dangerous, crazy or both. People who commit faux pas can learn, the other kind will never learn.

  4. plus we are all largely frail, as humans….
    empathy is a great trait to own…..tempered with knowing one’s own boundaries and comfort levels.

  5. A couple of years ago, I was in the awkward position of having to tell one of our frequent party guests that our events are meant to be, among other things, a place where women in the scene can feel safe to play and that he was not compatible with that. I wasn’t surprised that his response was total bewilderment. Either he truly doesn’t understand, or that’s just his act when he’s called on his behavior. Whichever of the two is the truth, neither makes his behavior acceptable and I don’t see him changing.

  6. Tony: First of all, hope you guys had a great party — Sandy and I wish we could have been there.

    Your commitment to making Shadow Lane a safe environment for women is to be applauded and I certainly agree that certain people cannot change because they do not desire to change (or see nothing wrong with their behavior).

  7. I reiterate , Rad, that if you and Sandy WERE at the SL party, it would have made for a more boring east coast Paddles party! Umm..yeah..ok. I hear crickets. All is not lost, and all of that..? Your inability to attend will make your next SL venture all the sweeter, I am sure. At least you have the consolation of knowing how missed you were.

    @Tony….I hear ya. It must be hard to have to be the ‘bearer of bad news’..especially when the recipient in less than receptive…

  8. It’s too bad that some people can’t go back to Shadow Lane … because we have to see them on the East Coast…

  9. Funny, Sandy.

    Hey, speaking of the East Coast, ..I know! I have a HUGE yard. I can host a spanking BBQ this summer! I have four rooms for said activity .( not including the kitchen)…and soon I won’t have neighbors upstairs! Sweet idea, no?
    A Grill, big trampoline , volleyball net, “mister turtle” pool…picnic bench that can seat twelve ( anyone else can eat while jumping up and down on the trampoline..it’s been done, though I don’t endorse it) and even private woods behind my house if anyone wants to wander off and cut a switch, make out…have sweaty animal sex..or what have you . I live in central CT…less than two hours from NYC!

  10. I agree with you: the vast majority of folks just need some correction in their ways. They are not incorrigable, usually. What most people need is some counseling, and a sense of humility to admit when they have missed the mark.

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