Over the past few years, I’ve been seeing a change in the local BDSM community that makes me smile. It used to be that women would hug each other, and men and women would hug each other. But men would only shake hands with other men. That double standard felt very chest-poundy and was a clear reminder of the uber-masculine locker room culture that always rubbed me the wrong way. After all, you can’t hug another man- You might catch the gay!
Gradually, more men have started hugging each other. If you dig around online, you’ll see more recent studies regarding the importance of touch. Touch is something that, thanks to the wonderful culture we live in, has mostly been off-limits to men. Yet it’s increasingly becoming more evident that touch is helpful in regards to mental health.
There’s also been a more open embrace of male bisexuality. Female bisexuality has always been very out in the open in our community, and often widely encouraged since for many men that is also prime wank-bank material. But male bisexuality was generally looked down on. It only happened behind closed doors. Not anymore. We’re seeing more men being open about it, and this gives me big chunks of happy.
This is progress. Change like this is not so much rapid demolition of the old ways; rather, it’s more like gradual erosion. Not only are we changing our BDSM community, but these changes also slowly leak out into the world through our efforts.
(I’ve deliberately left trans people out of this post since we only have a handful of trans people in our community, and I think that’s far too small of a sample size from which to draw any kind of real conclusion.)