"For those of you who were kinky before the internet what did it look like? When and how did you get the language to talk about it and with whom did you talk about it? How did being kinky feel before you had the words or the context to describe it?"
I was very kinky before the Internet. I had my first pro session in about 1977 and was haunting bdsm magazine stores well before that. Screw Magazine ads were my source of contact with dommes. Letters to P.O. boxes were the email or Googletalk of the day. It all seemed very underground, clandestine and dangerous. I remember not really believing that dommes existed. Forget language to discuss kink, I really did very little talking about it. Up until this past year the only people who ever knew I was kinky were my former wife, long-term girlfriend, wife, shrink and all the prodommes I saw over the years. Being kinky felt isolated, lonely, volatile, uncontrollable, unstable, hot blooded and delicious. But I ended up feeling ashamed. I was a freak and a pervert because I was all alone.
In another post entitled "On Being and Doing" Alisa reminisced about kink, community and her exile as a relief worker in a remote area of Southeast Asia.
"I had the benefit of coming out in a college town, and of having patient mentors and a supportive community. And of course I have been lucky enough to play with some amazing people who never cease to challenge and inspire me.
So what happens when you divorce kink from community? From context and availability? One of the questions that I kept asking myself when I moved from my supportive college town to a rural rice farming community is 'am I still kinky?'"
Over the past year I've become intensely proud to be a member of a misunderstood minority - a card carrying constituent of an "outlaw" community. For me, kink divorced from community meant lost and isolated. I think Alisa is right that with the internet came a better chance at connection and social contact. In their best incarnations places like The Hang, Fetlife and the blog rounds I've made feel like the good high school experience I never had. It has been so liberating to be part of something, to develop language to talk about it, and to make friends. Lots more understanding and support.
Then again ...
If we lived in a world without tears
How would bruises find
The face to lie upon?
How would scars find skin
To etch themselves into?
How would broken find the bone?