Today — 6 January, 2020 — is the one year anniversary of an incensed mob trying to prevent the validation of legal voting results for the 2020 Presidential Election of the the United States of America, because one side refused to accept the results. This happened, in part, because they chose to believe what made them comfortable instead of investing in critical thinking and analytical skills.
My wish for this next year, especially while we’re caught in the midst of another spike of COVID infections and hospitalizations, is that people begin abandoning adherence to what they’re spoon-fed and instead embrace learning, compassion, diversity, awareness, truth, and love. Not just love for romantic partners, or love for their family, but the kind of love that eschews selfishness and embraces community strength through communication, acceptance, and camaraderie.
Be inclusive. Be supportive. Be intolerant of intolerance. Grow. Evolve. Love.
Stay (safely) SINful, friends.
Well, here we are, first day of August. August is a special month here in the Tampa Bay area; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team begins preseason games. The Tampa Bay Rays do their best to imitate a professional baseball team. School resumes classes for grade school and college students alike. Temperatures stay scorching, however, and the area’s top-rated beaches — some of the best in the country, even the world — remain a top draw for tourists and locals. August ushers in many changes, and hopefully several good ones for me, but before we get there, let’s take a look back at what July brought:
Community. The word generates a multitude of images, different for each person. For some it’s the large, bustling neighborhoods of the city. Elsewhere, it’s the sprawling lands of the loosely populated rural areas where everybody knows not only their own neighbor but everyone else’s as well. Still other images are those of closed religious communities, huddled inside their compounds isolated from the western world. There’s the Amish, or the Native American, or the Hispanic communities as well; anybody in Pennsylvania, the Great Plains, or Miami can attest to the feeling of unity and togetherness found within those groups. In all examples, the people can easily gather and rally to support and improve their community. But what about us on the fringe, who are connected not by physical proximity but by interest and lifestyle? How do we go about cultivating, growing, and maintaining our communities?
In Tampa, all three of the Lifestyle communities — Swinger, Fetish/BDSM, and Polyamory — have relatively large and active populations. In many instances there is overlap between two of three of these communities, although I believe that overlap exists more greatly between Fetish and Poly than between any other combination. In part, I think, this is attributable to the fact that both Fetish/BDSM and Poly are more intrinsically built around developing longer relationships and exploring the boundaries of those relationships, which takes time. This is not to say that Swinger and Fet or Swinger and Poly cannot or do not overlap; there is certainly a fair amount of partner swapping among BDSM play partners, and several Poly people visit Swinger events. I simply have not seen the evidence of as wide a crossover in those categories, at least not here. In other places it may be different. Which brings us back to the question, how do we explore and improve these communities?