A local brouhaha has suggested itself as the topic for today’s post. There are a few things I need to establish first to encourage the dialogue, so here we go:
- In this house, kink and “lifestyle” are not synonymous. We will continue to be O/p, to live the lifestyle as some put it, even if the kink isn’t present. Our relationship, our style of relating with each other, the themes of power and control transfer exist independently of the whips and chains. In short: “lifestyle” or O/p ≠ kink.
- I do not believe that people who have children they do not speak to, interact with or have not seen in years of their own choosing can wear the parent hat. Contributing chromosomes to offspring does not a parent make.
With that out of the way, let us move on to the topic for today:
Regional family events of kinky groups
I will start be saying that N and I have already decided that we will not attend anything like this. We don’t have to justify our decision, but I will explain why we got to it, so others can understand where we are coming from and consider their own reasoning.
- If we wanted our kids to have more kids to play with, we’d join a parenting group or get involved with local parents. If we wanted to build vanilla family friendships we’d switch to Facebook alone. I came to FetLife to explore, expand and discuss my kinks, and my relationship style, not my children. In fact, I don’t like discussing my children on FL, beyond the theoretical of raising children while being a part of an O/p dynamic and saying whether we can or cannot attend an event because of childcare. My children have very little to do with what I come to FetLife to experience.
- It is our choice to develop deeper friendships off list, and do so, we are close friends with a M/s couple nearby with five children. Changing the local group focus to fostering those relationships above any other goal of the group is kinda weird. Just because a group of people is kinky doesn’t mean they will want to be friends beyond the kink.
- Being a fellow kinkster doesn’t mean we want to hang out with another family just because they are kinky. The kids might not interact well with mine, or vice versa. They might not have anything in common. We might not have anything in common with the parents. Kink is not enough to sustain a friendship.
- Some people can’t be trusted to behave the way we would like around our kids, hence the selective exposure. I have seen inappropriate conduct in public family restaurants. I have seen inappropriate dressing in family restaurants. We try to raise our children to understand how they are to behave in public, in private, how to respect themselves and others. We won’t undermine our own efforts just to hang out with other kinky parents.
- Group events are where we get away from the kids and have time to relax with similar adults. Our children have nothing to do with our kink. Our kink and our lifestyle are not necessarily one and the same, y’know? O/p goes on with or without the paddling. We can be “of the lifestyle” and still choose not to mingle our children with other kinksters, because the kink is just a fun expression of us.
- Our local groups are not vetted. We do not know more than 15 people in it, at least well enough to feel comfortable with them being around our children. Would someone arrange for a group meeting of a bunch of parents off of Craigslist? Without a way to assess who would be attending prior to the meeting, there isn’t a way to increase the safety of the children and the participants. Icky Pedo-people exist at any level or group of people, which is why parents are selective.
- The last reason is a huge reason: We don’t want our children used as a possible way to attack us, to hurt us, if someone in the group gets all pissy and decides they want revenge.
Groups can’t force the kind of trust and connection that needs to exist for parents to feel at ease with letting their children meet other families. And to judge, to argue, to insist that there is something wrong with parent for not immediately feeling rah-rah about the situation just reinforces the reluctance of parents to engage with the group on that level.