I feel old. And I’m not even 30 yet.
At a munch last month, I was talking with someone, and we realized that we are the old-timers in our group. Not necessarily by age, but by the amount of time we’ve been involved in the community. We’ve been a part of these groups and events longer than 90-95% of the people there.
A large part of that is due to the huge influx of people we’ve had this past year. One of the munches is now being run by someone else, and it’s breathed new life into the scene. She’s using sites like fetlife to promote the group and holding well-attended events at the dungeon once a month. Along with her, I co-host a casual newcomers’ meeting for people new to the public scene, new to bdsm, or new to the city. Because of all these things, our community has grown rapidly. One of the munch groups ran out of room and had to move somewhere more spacious. And I think it’s awesome that there are so many people getting involved now; we’re consistently getting at least a couple new people each month.
A year ago, a certain munch averaged about 20 people. Now it averages 50.
With this flood of new faces comes a fresh spirit. Most of them haven’t been brainwashed by all the whiny, unrealistic propaganda you see so often online. They generally seem to understand that bdsm is a very individual experience and that there is no universal way to do things.
Another positive aspect to this growth is that we’re finally starting to gain a slight modicum of balance in the scene. As long as I’ve been in the local scene, the community has been lopsided in regard to maledom vs. femdom people. That’s slowly changing.
We’re not real sure how far this growth will go or what kinds of problems will accompany it. Will we need to split some of the munches into smaller groups? Keep looking for larger venues? With so many more people coming in, will lots of drama and politics creep in as well? Will an army of penguins invade and make us all learn to yodel? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.