I spoke to many of the men in this picture, and I am certain that DFA will succeed, with fine, honorable men like these at the forefront. In order to explain why, I will have to start with a bad example:
I attended the Mr. Toolshed 2012 contest a few months ago, and it was a horrid experience… Not because of the contest, or the bar, or anything like that. I just hated how little brotherhood was exhibited. It was a chaotic and stressful night, with the emcee screaming "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" at the drunken, rowdy and disrespectful crowd multiple times. I wanted to yell it too, and I even got into a fight with a bitter old queen who insisted on yelling out crap just to be a prick during the contestants' 90-second speeches. I left directly afterward, grieving for a community so broken-apart.I have seen the same thing everywhere for years, outside of San Diego. FMSD has had such brotherhood, kindness and respect for a while now that it makes other cities look like the Law of the Jungle has prevailed. That's what happens when nobody takes conscious responsibility for the safety, well-being and success of every event.
Every city's fetishmen community has been starving for a safe series of spaces where we can just R-E-L-A-X and be happy. Nobody wants to be stressed-out and off-balance, but we never know when it's okay to be sweet, brotherly and comfortable. So, we put on our self-defensive behaviors, and nobody has a nice time.
And now, DFA has arrived, and their first event was peaceful, effective, joyful and 100% solid. Why? Because THAT WAS WHAT WAS PROMISED. They stayed in integrity. The guys of all generations who participated fully, mingling, laughing and hugging, are the future of our community.
The old "A-List" paradigm used to be restricted to whoever had the "best" genes, or the most money, or the biggest muscles. The new paradigm rewards those who are most authentic, most fully self-expressed, and with kindness above all. DFA is clearly all that.
I heard that some guys left the DFA kickoff event early because they were bored. They must not have read the original publicity, which clearly spelled out what to expect. Every promise made was kept, but these guys arrived expecting a HAWT PARTEE. I think we have plenty of those, and that need has been met. We all know what a dick looks like, and where to get more. Maybe those guys weren't yet ready for the next phase in our community's history, but they may get to that point some day.
As word gets around (and it will, very quickly), more and more well-socialized grownups will start turning up and staying around. More young guys will gather around DFA, because of the need for admirable role-models. More older, wise and experienced men will get involved, because they will be celebrated for the wisdom they can share.
How do I know? Because that is what happened when we did the same thing in San Diego. FMSD's kickoff event only attracted 53 men, but it has avalanched into almost 1,700 followers in the last year and a half. Palm Springs clearly has the numbers to match or exceed us.
I look forward to years of relaxed, unified and brotherly events in Palm Springs!