Finding the Community

Posted on 3 December 2010

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

So I actually knew that I was into bondage before I had made the realization that I was gay. I knew I liked to get tied. That escape artist at my brother's sibling weekend when I was 12? Had my mind reeling for days. Or those bondage games I'd play with a middle school friend. It certainly wasn't sexual at that point, mainly because I had no idea what sexual was for me, but I knew I was drawn to it.

The internet was a boon here as well. Being a young geek of course I researched the hell out of these weird interests. Jim Stewart's So I like to get tied up... so what?! was a big help. It was great to be able to verbalize, at least to myself, what this stuff was that was so exciting to me. To read someone else articulating their own similar interests was empowering, to say the least.

Not that I could ever say anything about any of this to anyone. I turned bright red when my friend left me tied up and her big brother found me. Or when I had myself tied up and it took me 10 minutes to answer my door from a “nap” when my mom had knocked. And there's really no good explanation for why you had a pile of belts under your pillow...

Then of course sophomore year of high school I came out. Found out who my real friends were. Went through two boyfriends in the span of 4 months. I'd show them pictures that excited me, but of course they wouldn't do those things to me. Tried once or twice in college, to the same effect. That was about the time that I swore off vanilla boyfriends. Four vanilla almost-boyfriends later I still couldn't get what I was looking for.

Finally I turned to some online personals on recon. Met up with a guy or two before one got me to go to an event with a group called the Chicago Rubbermen. He's since moved away, but we're still close friends, and he was the first person I got to play seriously with. Our interests overlapped fantastically. And not only that, he was my ambassador, he introduced me to all his friends and to the awesome rubber community here in Chicago. People I could be open about my perversions with.

This seems to be a recurring pattern: someone in the scene finds a new guy online, and brings him into the fold. Once your feet get wet, it's easy to find your own circle in the community. Once you know a few people at the events, it's easy to entrench yourself.

And maybe that's why events like Rubber Invasions are so fun. Dressing up, going out to the vanilla bars. Maybe you'll recruit someone? Maybe that cute across the bar will come over and ask about your outfit. And then you get another recruit to envelop into the fold, and then another angel gets its wings. Or flogger, or something.

Related tags: coming-out, community

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