In my opinion, the crotch sites have been directly responsible for the collapse of at least 90% of leather bars worldwide, leaving nothing of value to replace them. Leather sexuality without brotherhood and mutual support is like trying to eat nothing but cotton candy - It's empty calories, and bad for everybody's long-term health.
The good news is, the pendulum is swinging the other way, at least in San Diego.
We're finding each other again. Small networks of friends are telling their other friends the good news, and the networks are starting to join together. I keep watching the online statistics, and the curve is ever upward. I've had several friends tell me that the local San Diego chatter on Recon.com is constantly increasing, which indicates that men are connecting on a social level at greater rates.
Outside the Internet, I'm seeing bigger and bigger turnouts at events. There isn't just quantity, there is quality. These are events that feed the soul. In college, they teach about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Here is the relevant quote from Wikipedia:
"Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs, or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, may ignore the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging."
In order for us to see better, bigger variety of events, fundraisers, social gatherings and parties, somebody has to come up with the original ideas, and build a team to see them through to completion. This is my favorite part of what has changed in San Diego:
We're getting more leaders, volunteers, teams, idea-fountains and mentors, stepping up and declaring their intentions, on a weekly basis. I'm having lunches and coffee with excited new idealists in the community, several times a week. I'm starting to see more Daddies start to take ownership of their skills and reaching out to others. It's no longer fashionable or socially acceptable to be stuck in Peter Pan Mode.
The pressure is coming from underneath - The general public is tired, tired, tired of how things have been, and wants to be a part of what happens next. This makes it much easier for community-minded people to do what THEY are best suited for, because their potential constituencies are actually going to show up for them. Everybody wins.
If you have a dream of what you want to see changing in our Tribe, start telling us about it. You have a very high probability of attaining your goals, but you have to be bold and extraordinary. Use this new, fertile environment as a springboard to shift your own life permanently upward to a new, powerful phase in your existence. The time for griping about how crappy things used to be is over… Now. we can all build better days together and feel good about what happens as a result.