Master Dale's Lifestyle Community Bulletin Board: Between then and now.... - Master Dale's Lifestyle Community Bulletin Board

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Between then and now....

#1 User is offline   Michael's jewel Icon

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:49 AM

Hello, everybodies!

I wanted to sort of sit down and let y'all now where I went off to and what has been happening in my life since I was an avid poster here.

The last that I was posting here for any amount of time, I was trying to let everyone know that I was in flux because my beloved local group was in flux. That made me all kinds of tortured and extremely vulnerable. I had not only FINALLY found my local group and friends and support, on and on....I had also found my niche in serving that community.

Slowly, close mentors and friends moved away. Two of the leaders of our local group moved away, the remaining four were simply and very understandably worn out, burnt out and not able to continue. Several others also moved away during that time period. Our leather women's group closed. Our bdsm group closed.

Another group did get started right away. I was asked to be on that board. Michael and I dont exactly have the same philosophy as the two men who started this new group. He declined that offer.

Immediately, there was some problems with privacy. I talked about it, I am very vocal when I perceive things are not just and right, and this was simply one more breach of behavior from these sources. Although none of this was a surprise, I was removed from that group's list.

Within a very short time, we decided to step back from everything bdsm community. All of the lists that we were on, all of the groups that we, the events that we usually attended....everything except for a small, intimate circle of trusted friends. We went right back into the closet that Michael's career had kept us in for the beginning of our path.

Everything was cool.....for a while.

After months of being "underground", I slowly started to reenter the local community. No huge surprise, but the newer group was not the place for several others in this area either. The more I got back into the communities, the more that I realized that we at least needed to try to keep the community connected. We also kept running into new and curious and novice people that were floundering in trying to find support and guidance. This combined with another thing that I have realized happens in most communities and I started a very grass roots local group. Yup, the one that I invited many of my mentors here too. And that other thing that I realized is how long the average newbie tends to spend lurking on online lists---I think that the average here is about a year. No matter anyones thoughts on online bdsm, these people are still a part of a community. To not help and support them from day one seems to me that we are missing helping them set a healthly and safe foundation for their own bdsm path.

I could go on and on.....I wanted to touch base and let y'all what happened, why I slipped away. I am not so sure that the open, raw and vulnerable me is all better.....not healed all the way yet.....sheesh....talk about making life difficult....I have been accused of topping from the bottom for running my list. I have been completely trashed and fodder for rumor after rumor because I seem to be felt as a threat to some...and I am really not good at standing my ground and drawing lines in the sand with some dominant types that feel they need to direct me while I struggle to serve this sliver of a community.

Gosh, I am going on and on....lol....thank you. Even if no one reads this, just to have the forum and get it all out is wonderful.
"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."

-Judy Garland

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#2 User is offline   tiamet Icon

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 07:05 PM

I'm glad to see you back out and about!

I've been involved with leading our local group for about three years now, and its been totally mine since September 2008. The first year was really hard. You can't please everybody, so there is always someone complaining no matter what you do. There are certain people who will always be threatened by a rising power, and those screwballs can be very nasty. I felt like I was walking on eggshells, always braced for the next attack.

Things tend to mellow out with time. The people who are truly dissatisfied with your philosophy will move on, and the screwballs eventually run out of energy. The biggest thing, the thing that will probably be hardest for you, is to not take this stuff personally. The nasty people will go away sooner if they see that they can't get a rise out of you. Its harder for them to turn others against you if your public face is always fair and calm.

I think the thing that is still hard for me is when there is a lack of participation. It tends to hurt my feelings. I get into a "Nobody came to my party" funk, and then I have to push myself to continue working on the group. But I do see that the group gets stronger with each passing month, even if the steps are tiny. I am bad about over reaching, expecting too much too soon.

Congrats on doing this, Asheville needed it.
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#3 User is offline   Michael's jewel Icon

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:36 AM

Thank so very much, Tia.

I have learned so much about so many things in this past 18 months or so.

Oddly enough, all of what you say here is true. And ironically, all of that chest thumping and posturing IS what tends to intimidate newer people and keep them from participating. And here, for the most part, the "vibes" and energy are so deeply positive at real time events, but that is hardly the aura and atmosphere that come across online. And online is where so many of these novices spend alot of time. One huge big catch 22.

I heard this saying once that SIIOR. Service Is It's Own Reward. I chuckle to myself....somedays, I feel like SIIOP. Service is it's own punishment. :blindfolded: Sheesh, dont we usually negotiate punishments first? LOL...


Thank you. It means the world to me. Know that please.
"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."

-Judy Garland

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#4 User is offline   tiamet Icon

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:01 PM

I wanted to add something to this thread, since others starting groups might read it...

Something that jewel does really well is stimulate discussion in her online group. She keeps up with a large variety of lists and she brings the interesting topics she finds home to her group. She writes people personally and thanks them when they contribute to online discussions. She shares herself deeply when starting topics.

I am not nearly so good at that part of group leadership, and have unfortunately not found a jewel clone to do it for me. The difference in our lists is quite profound, MBK's online group is a ghost town. If you want to start a group and don't have the time and/or skills to be an online group leader, try to find somebody to partner with that can take care of that side of things. It really does make a difference.
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#5 User is offline   MasterDale Icon

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:30 PM

On a related note, I just checked. This Board has been open to the public for a bit more than 4 1/2 years now. I can not begin to count the number of hours I have put into it. I can tell you that there is a burnout factor. Without the continued support of Community Members, and a constant recharge of new Members to substitute for those that drift off and burn out, too, this place can get mighty quiet. Kudos and thanks to people like Tia and jewel for all they have done here over those years.

M. Dale
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