A Brief Message About the Lifestyle and "Community"
I'm going to take a moment to speak about some of the realities that we must be aware of when we enter this lifestyle.
Before seriously becoming involved in this "community" or shortly after having arrived within it, a good many of us were so glad we had found "like-minded folks", that we were among such "open-minded people", that we may have put our guards down. We may have felt we'd finally found home, or at least, other people who would not view us as strange or even crazy because of your desires.
Unfortunately, through time, many of us find out that the people in this lifestyle are not really more open-minded or less judgmental than those outside of it. We find that in a community supposedly built upon trust, there are quite a few people who are not trustworthy.
I have avoided FetLife for a while because it has changed significantly from when it was first introduced when it was a means to connect and converse with other people who were kinky and to learn about events in your area. Because I run a group real time and that's where many of our members and participants interact, I decided to get back to it. Doing so, however, has reminded me why I had been away so long.
I have read about the vitriol directed at "POC only" munches, parties and events by people who segregate themselves into TNG, LGBTQ and other spaces. Many of these same people who question why POC should feel uncomfortable around some non-POC is spaces are the same ones who rail about vetting people before they attend a party or who complain about "vanillas invading our spaces" or "Hets in queer spaces".
I have seen members of this "community", because of a break up that didn't involve abuse, out their former partners. I have seen married folks who were partners in kink use kink against the other partner in divorce and child custody proceedings. I have seen groups out other groups and promoters out other promoters over play spaces or shared constituencies. People have taken other folks play pictures posted online and used them as threats. People have tarnished other people's reputations over a perceived slight.
I am saying all of this, not to discourage newer folks or even more established folks. I'm not saying this to frighten you. I am saying this as a reminder to us all that people are people and just because those people are kinky, it doesn't make them stop doing the things that people do. Be responsible. Take due diligence. Take your time. People have been doing this for centuries so there is no need to rush headlong into it because it will disappear. It won't. Be careful.