A lot of the newer people I’ve run into in the bdsm community have been a little surprised at the lack of directly bdsm-related discussions at munches and other kink events. It does seem a bit odd when you think about it. It’s the one thing we have in common, yet we don’t talk about it much. While I haven’t been in the local community for decades, I have seen a shift over time.
The conversation at most munches around here is almost completely vanilla. When I first got involved locally 7-8 years ago, at least a quarter of the conversations at munches involved bdsm. Now, it’s much more rare. Discussion about our common thread seems relegated to demos and other educational events as well as the initial feeling-each-other-out conversations people have with potential play partners.
One potential cause of this is the change in our community. It’s gotten much bigger over the years. It’s nearly impossible for everyone at a munch to take part in one big conversation; instead, it’s broken up into myriad smaller conversations. This isn’t necessarily better or worse. It’s just a different flavor.
But I theorize that the internet plays an even bigger part in this evolution away from kink conversation. If you want to find out what someone is into or if you have potential as play partners (or more) you just punch up their profile. You can check out their fetishes and interests, philosophical and political leanings, browse pictures of scenes they were involved in, find out their limits, and much more. There’s no need to have these discussions in person since they’ve already laid it out online. So you read the post and click “like/love”, maybe throw a comment up. How much further would that conversation have gone if you’d had it in person? How much more could have been said and inferred with the addition of inflection, expression, body language, and tone of voice?
Don’t get me wrong, I think bdsm sites have played a part in helping a lot of people find their communities, their interests, and themselves. Relationships have sprung up that otherwise wouldn’t have happened without these sites. I just think that if you save some things for the real world and don’t regurgitate everything that’s in your head out onto your profile, it makes for much more interesting conversations. If you say it all online, you won’t have much to say in person.