From Merriam-Webster: Clique (noun): a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially: one held together by common interests, views, or purposes.
Synonyms: body, bunch, circle, clan, gang, community, coterie, coven, crowd, fold, galere, klatch, lot, network, pack, ring, set
Those synonyms are interesting. “Gang” tends to bring to mind a negative connotation whereas “community” is generally a positive one. The topic of cliques has been on my mind after having heard it used so negatively to describe many in the spanking scene. The criticisms some express refer to those in the spanking scene as being cliqueish, snobby, and petty. It kind of pisses me off to hear things like that because I know that the majority of people are NOT like that at all. The spanking scene has a wide variety of people in it, just like any subgroup you’d pull from the general population. So are there some out there who might be snobby or mean or petty? Of course. Just like there are in any other area of life. We’ve all had that family member or coworker or acquaintance who we couldn’t stand. But that shouldn’t be used to stereotype an entire group.
That’s like calling all Yankees fans elitist. Hmm… moving right along. In my mind, the word “clique” just means a close group of friends. Don’t we all have one of those? Why does that have to be a bad thing? In the above definition it states “held together by common interests, views, or purposes.” Technically that would make all us spankos one big clique. Isn’t that usually true of any friend? There’s something that makes you become friends in the first place. You generally have a few things in common. I have Friend A who will always go out for sushi with me. Then there’s Friend B who likes the same kinds of movies. If Friend A and I are going out for sushi we don’t purposely exclude Friend B from coming, but if she doesn’t like sushi then she just won’t participate in that.
A lot of close friends have inside jokes, those “you had to be there” kind of moments. Some people think that having those jokes between one another is a bad thing too and excludes others. I don’t believe that to be true either. Just the other day at work, I was telling a coworker a semi-funny embarrassing story about when I was in high school and we both were laughing so hard we were crying by the end of it. It honestly wasn’t that funny but the stressful mood of the week had caught up to us and came out in the form of insanity and hysterical laughter. Anyway, someone else in the office came up front and asked what we were laughing about. I said “Oh, you just had to be there.” Because sometimes you just do. I could certainly explain it all again but retelling things doesn’t always have the same effect.
Trust me, I’m no Miss Popular. I never have been. I’ve always been the type that stays pretty neutral between various groups but can get along fairly well with most everybody. I think so anyway. Maybe somebody out there thinks I’m a total bitch, I don’t know. What I do know is that when I came out into the spanking scene I encountered one of the kindest and most accepting groups of people that I’ve ever known in my life. There is no way that I ever could’ve gotten into all of this without the people. I’ve made so many good friends through this common link that we all share. I’ll always be thankful for that. And if they’ll accept a shy, silly, Peep obsessed girl like me, I think it’s pretty fair to say that they’re very welcoming to everyone.
The spanking scene is just a microcosm of the general vanilla world. You find all types. Some people you may click with more than others. I don’t think that someone should be made to feel bad that they aren’t super close friends with so-and-so if they just don’t have that vibe with that person. It’s the same as with choosing play partners. It’s there or it isn’t. If you have to force it, then it’s not working. Even if a particular person isn’t the top of your list of who you want to chat with, we should all still be able to be civil. It goes back to the Golden Rule- treat others the way that you want to be treated. And before you negatively judge someone for being clique-ish or snobby, stop and think if you are doing the very thing that you are accusing them of.
“The worst cliques are those which consist of one man.”- George Bernard Shaw