Receive Emailed Updates

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Pictures to go with this article are here.

On March 10th at the BELT party, I will be celebrating 35 years in San Diego's kink community. I have never, ever seen us doing so well as we are doing, right now. We may not have as many leather bars as we used to have, and heaven knows we could sure use the company of so many of our good leathermen that died before their time, but I have never seen so much unity, brotherhood, kindness, idealism and Tribe as we have right now, in 2012.

This is a big deal.  I'm stunned.  I'm boggled.  I can barely wrap my brain around it. And, it keeps getting better, month by month.

Back in the good old days of the 1970's, we were all on the same rocket-ship together, heading for the stars, but we had no idea what to do with it, other than smiting common enemies like Anita Bryant and the Briggs Initiative. We were in new territory, and we squandered a lot of opportunities because we defined ourselves PURELY by our sexuality. We were making up for lost time, compensating for the restrictions of our youth. Bathhouses and blue-ribbon play-parties for everybody!  I've had my share, and plenty more.  I've lived at least five full lifetimes, compared to the average person on the street.

Then, AIDS hit, and it was a terrible blow. We suffered, and grieved, and we clawed at each other in our despair and Survivor's Guilt. There were a lot of bad years, and we took a long, long time to get back on our feet. 

Suddenly, it is all falling together like magic. New generations have arrived, thankfully free of the baggage that my generation still drags around. Times are different, perspectives are fresher, ideas are newer, and everybody is ready for the Next Big Thing, which is clearly authentic brotherhood.  More and more cities are starting to shift gears, just as we did in San Diego.

The key is to get OUT, get personal and interrelate like a Tribe again. Pheromones, hugs, body-contact, hugs, body-language, hugs and intuitive reading of subtle clues are what we need, and what we are getting now. We went from no Internet at all, to too much Internet. The pendulum is swinging back toward balance, and we are using the Internet as a tool, not as a substitute for actual life.

I see friendships forming around me, that will still be around forty years from now. I see between seven and ten guys per week on average, practically marching up to me and DEMANDING to be added to FetishMenSanDiego's list, because they can see something wonderful around them changing rapidly, and they want to be in on it. Instead of tiny clusters of cliques surrounded by lonely individuals, the majority of men at all events are relaxed, happy, affectionate and playful.  The roar of continuous, joyful noise can't be faked, and it affects the new guys very strongly on a subconscious level. They want IN, dammit!

I see five contestants for the Mr. San Diego Eagle 2012 contest whose body-language onstage showed that they may have been nervous about performing in front of a crowd, but they had NO fear of the crowd itself. They knew that they were loved. Nobody had any tomatoes to throw, and nobody treated them like pieces of meat parading around in a jockstrap. The respectful, kind and courteous dead silence during the speeches was a big clue. The roars of applause and cheering were generous and affectionate.  The judges were wise, serious and focused on finding leaders who were ready to work. All five men impressed the judges with their dedication, nobility and powerful dreams.

Behind the scenes, the young volunteers who worked with every ounce of their energy to make the contest flow smoothly, showed how good we can be, when we are at our best. I looked around me often during the contest, and I saw that the whole crew was 100% dedicated to making the evening a success, and it was.

In all of my years in our community, I've never seen true Tribe this clearly, and it is at twice the high level that it was a year ago. I can't fathom how it can get any better, but it will, whether old guys like me can keep up or not!  With young, powerful, idealistic and wonderful men like these, our future is in better hands than mine!

1 comment: