There’s a play party this weekend at my local dungeon.
Am I going to go? Honestly? Probably not. I mean, why would I want to go somewhere there are like-minded people who might want to do things with me if I were to ask them?
Well, that’s the problem, right? I wouldn’t actually ask them.
You might not be able to tell, but I’m actually rather shy in person, especially when it comes to asking people to play. See, I don’t want to infringe on them — their time or their person — so I just never ask. This even happens with people who specifically have said they want to play with me, even when we’ve made private plans and are just hanging out, one of us waiting for the other to say “hey, let’s go play.”
I’m terrible at this. I’ve been in the BDSM community in one form or another since I was 18, and at this point I should be over this, right? I go to munches, I try to talk to people, but rarely does anything shake out. So if I do go to this play party, and I start asking people if they want to play, and enough people say no, then I become that guy who asks everyone to play and no one wants to play with me. But by the same token, because I’m not part of one of the cool cliques (trust me, they exist), no one asks me to play just for the sake of asking.
In terms of technique I’m pretty good at what I do. I’m a safe RACK player. I know how to use my body and my implements to cause various sensations — usually painful ones, but I can do others too. I can play lightly or I can play heavily. I can make people laugh, scream, cry, or swear — sometimes all four at the same time. But when I go to the dungeon, all I see is people basically lining up to play with this one dude, or people who’ve come already with a scene in mind and a partner to do it with, or people who only play within their little group.
Why would I want to be a part of that? Why would I want to upset myself just for the sake of possibly getting to play? Why shouldn’t I just stay home and watch TV and pet my dog?
For starters, because if I don’t get out there and be social, people aren’t going to want to play with me in the first place because they won’t know me.
It’s one hell of a catch-22, and I’m in the middle of it almost all the time. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.