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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Community Cookbook, Part One: Introduction

This article is part of my Mentoring for Tops/Sirs/Doms/Masters curriculum.

Welcome to my first article in a series that will give step-by-step instructions on building true community. What kind of "community" am I talking about?

Being sweet. Everybody together, being accepting, supportive, affectionate, relaxed, joyful, effective, unified and satisfied. If you have been following my writing elsewhere, you will know that I will be providing actual, PROVEN and successful tips on how to accomplish this in your own area of the world... No matter how dysfunctional, toxic or horrifying your local community has been, up until now. I'm quite aware of the pitfalls.

Things WILL get better, if you're ready to get to work. You have my word on that.

In order to move along with each article, I will have to identify the problems that prevent the good things from happening, first. This may appear to be standard-model bellyaching, but it's not. I promise. Each article will be in parable form, leading to an idealistic and true conclusion.

What qualifies me to write about community? I've been doing this sort of work since 1981, when I became president of a car club, and I realized that the old paradigms didn't work any more. I've been intensively experimenting and observing for three decades. I have hosted over 600 events in my lifetime, and have created twelve affinity-groups that are still around.

I'm also a gay leatherman who has created a new organization called FetishMenSanDiego thirteen months ago, using the techniques and philosophy that I will be describing. It's not a club, it's a "Smart Mob". We don't have by-laws, boards of directors, elections, paperwork or membership dues. In fact, we don't spend any money at all, other than on a website. We're using free resources to get our message out.

We're currently at 1,100 members on multiple social networks, but mostly through an email list, and things are going beautifully well. QUANTITY is nice, but QUALITY is nicer. I'm proud to say that San Diego's local fetish community is sweet. Really sweet, and all of the other adjectives listed above. Why do I keep stressing that? Because it's what we humans need, more than anything else. We don't need any more "HAWT PARTEES" - There are plenty of those around. We don't need more protocol, or divisions, and we sure as hell don't need any more reasons to stay online.

The Internet has made us Socially Retarded.

Having 3,000 "friends" on something like Facebook is like eating styrofoam. It's very filling, but not very nourishing. Human beings are basically Troop Monkeys. We're Pack Apes who need to feel a sense of welcome, belonging, respect and acceptance. The Internet does not, and never will provide that, so we will be going in a different direction. Humans crave body-language, touch, pheromones and proximity, not plain text and images. We need HUGS, dammit!

The internet makes it easy for each one of us to bring people closer (for sex, usually), but it doesn't make it any easier to KEEP THEM CLOSE. That's the biggest lack in our current society.

We crave the esteem and welcome of people who like us for who we are, as we are, right this very moment... Not after we finally get younger, or get a shapelier body. The person inside the externals is starved for recognition and affection. Every one of us is TIRED of being judged on irrelevant details that say nothing about the person inside. Think of the self-help workshop exercise where you fall back and people catch you. Imagine a lot of that happening, and soon. We've all been waiting for a better day to show up.

It's our job, as community leaders and volunteers, to make that day come, and RIGHT AWAY.

In my next posting, I'll start with the basic, step-by-step process and the motivations behind it.

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