This is a writing I put up on my FetLife profile recently and I wanted to share it here as well.
I am a shy person. Some people I warm up to and then they probably wish I would shut up, but for the most part I’m fairly quiet. In large group settings this is especially true. I tend to observe and listen more than I speak. Sometimes I overthink a comment so much that the moment in the conversation passes in which I could’ve said it. I may have met you ten times and you still don’t know who I am.
There seem to be a lot of folks in the scene who identify as shy or more introverted. So it really makes me scratch my head when I see or hear things assuming someone is a predator because they don’t want to come out to public events. Even as a very shy sometimes awkward person, I did take the first step to come to a munch. I wrote about that here as well. It led to me meeting a lot of great people and experiencing a lot of new things.
I love munches because they are laid back and I don’t feel pressured to talk all that much if I don’t want to. There is plenty going on around me to just observe. I think munches are a great way to meet people, but that doesn’t mean they are the only way. It is not a rule that if you don’t go to a munch then you are banned to a solitary life and cannot venture into kink.
I love going to play parties. I don’t personally play all that much because I do prefer privacy, but I love getting to see a lot of friends in one place. And bonus, it’s at someone else’s house so my neighbors aren’t the ones complaining about noise! I think parties can be a nice setting to meet people, observe, maybe scope out if someone interests you as a play partner. But they are not the only way to meet and/or play with someone.
There are a lot of reasons someone may not want to come out to the public scene. Social anxiety, worries about anonymity, a preference for more private play, hell maybe they don’t have the cash for constant parties. Wanting to meet one on one doesn’t make a person a predator. Having a crazy schedule that conflicts with being able to go to events doesn’t make a person a predator. Not feeling the need to socialize doesn’t make a person a predator.
I have a brain and good instincts. If I’m getting a creepy/asshole vibe from somebody then I’m going to listen to my gut and probably not deal with that person. But I can judge for myself if I want to meet up with someone. I’m not going to have them in my home on a first encounter, but I don’t think I’ll end up dead by meeting someone one on one at Beans and Brews.
Are there people out there who do try to meet privately so they can more easily take advantage of someone? Yeah I’m sure there are. But assuming anyone who doesn’t want to come out in public is a predator is just as inaccurate as assuming nobody in the scene possibly could be. An unsafe person could be hiding out anywhere including in plain sight. I’ll use my head and safeguard myself in all situations, public or private, but I won’t write someone off solely because the public scene isn’t for them.
March is already coming to a close but it’s been Q&A month in blogland. If you have any questions for me, please post them in a comment here or if you prefer it private you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond with answers in a future post.