Another Crack At Community Building

The spanking scene has been coalescing (or congealing for you cynical types) into a tapestry of interconnected communities. Over the past five years or so, an identity separate from the larger BDSM world has been rising up to the point where spanking enthusiasts do not need to wade through a scene that isn’t their own hoping to find some corner of it that does resonate. Parties have sprung up into a near circuit of events throughout the year — this doesn’t even include the smaller local parties that are going on at a regular clip. The Internet has been a huge boon to not just the spanking community but to other marginalized lovers of various sub-genres of anything. I’m often found outside of the spanking realm (in my other personas) in the Progressive Rock world or shouldering my way through lefty politics. These places where like minded people can gather has been instrumental in not only getting the word out about these various specialties but provided a way for the participants to feel part of a larger group — to not feel so alone in the world. I think the spanking community has done well in moving in that direction (certainly with many growing pains).

There are three places that I have felt have helped immensely over my time evolving in the scene: the Usenet, Shadow Lane and Fetlife. The Usenet came first. I was a lurker on the original alt.sex.spanking newsgroup and later on the soc.sexuality.spanking were where I first got my beak wet in the spanking world. I read stories and even contributed something there (although I’ll be damned if I remember what my screenname was or what I contributed). I immediately saw that it was more than a place where people talked at each other but a place where people felt a sort of kinship. There were discussions, arguments and even massive flamewars but it always felt more like a town than a virtual place. Shadow Lane’s message board and chatroom were the next step for me and I felt even more of a sense of community there. That place was what quickly led me to participating in real life and even helped me meet my future bride — not bad for a website. Fetlife has been a more recent edition and one that I’ve contributed to on and off over the past couple of years. Even though I have fallen away from there for a few months (burnout?), I have enjoyed my time there even though most if not all the discussions I’ve participated in have had nothing to do with spanking or anything else kinky for that matter. The thing with Fetlife, though, has been that as a spanko, I feel rather small there. The site encompasses more fetishes than I even knew existed but has more of a BDSM feel than something that is geared to my main kink. There have been some others but I’ve just not felt that they’ve totally gotten things rolling – yet.

This all leads up to a point which is this. Sometime in 2011, folks that brought you Strictly Spanking New York and the Boardwalk Badness Weekend (as well as other parties throughout the year) are going to launch what they are now calling the Strictly Spanking Network. Although still in the building stages, this is going to attempt to bring an up-to-date approach to the idea of community building for the spanking scene. I have been told it will be free of charge to join but provide much free content on a regular basis including articles, fiction, podcasts and video for users to enjoy. There will be a message board (probably more than one for various things) and a chatroom with regularly scheduled moderated chats. One of the features that I’ve heard about which I think will be useful for many is a calendar of events in the spanking scene. From what I understand, groups who are hosting events will be able to display their announcements in a way that makes it easy for people to see what parties, munches, etcetera are coming up weeks or months into the future. I like this idea because in my opinion, building a community that is inclusive means supporting your fellow groups even if you are running one that promotes its own events.

Let me make one admission: I will be involved with this site in some creative capacity. It may be writing or helping to produce some of the audio content — I’m not sure yet. I just wanted to make this disclaimer so people know where I’m coming from.

That said, all I can do is what the rest of you will do: Wait and see. I would like this new site to be open minded and a place where people can not only enjoy themselves but have frank discussions as well. Fun for all and a place to learn things as well that’s geared towards the spanking scene. We’ll see.

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5 Responses to “Another Crack At Community Building”

  1. love,love,love, this idea of the spanking network, it will be great to see all the events that are coming up and share ideas and meet new people. Kudos to the folks at strictly spanking.
    I look forward to hearing your input.
    Bottoms Up
    loretta

  2. Karl Friedrich Gauss Says:

    A very significant project you’re discussing here, Rad. I encourage you to go ahead with making it a reality.

    You don’t mention spanko life. My impression with that vis a vis Fetlife is that there seems to me much more going on on Fetlife. And I wonder are there really SO many more people into BDSM than are into spanking, or is just a matter of having been there first so to speak and gotten the momentum of being the place to hang out.

    • Spankolife is cool. I just wish it was a little more active. It is a very slow loading website so it does take some patience. Here on Fetlife, there is a vast sea of fetishes. As a spanko primarily, I kind of feel like I’m bobbing in the water and a bunch of sharks are circling me. Strange diaper-covered sharks trying to pee on me.

  3. You have such a gift for writing! It is so cool to come here and read what you’ve written and think about it. I also love that you reply to those who post on your posts…very nice.

    I hope we get to connect before BB – I feel like SL was forever ago!

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