Category: rant

TFG Thoughts:  No Face Pic attitudes on Recon

TFG Thoughts: No Face Pic attitudes on Recon

So as you can see based on my TFG’s sub meets, I’ve meet up with a number of guys.  Most of them were because of my Recon profile (under the same name).  And very often, in the course of chatting with a guy on Recon trying to set up a meet, they will often ask for a face pic.

I have it explicitly stated on my profile that I don’t share face pics online.  I have a life situation where if my kinky side were recognized publicly, it could have a very negative impact on me.  A single kinky session is just not worth the risk for me.  If I’m wanting to meet with someone for a scene and they want to see me first, I am willing to meet them in a public location beforehand, or give references of people who have met me.

Some will say that’s a deal breaker.  And I do understand that–I have no issue with people who feel this way.  An in-person session is a very physical thing, and if there’s not a certain physical attraction, they don’t want to waste their time.  Some also view it with a wary eye, as if I have something to hide.  Physically speaking I don’t, and in fact, I’ve been told by multiple people when we met that I’m rather handsome.  (Blush.)  But I choose to keep my kinky side and personal side separate, and that means I can’t show a face pic.  It’s also out out my respect to my husband, who chooses to remain very private as well.

The frustration I do have is this… more than once, I have chatted with someone on Recon.  Often rather extensively.  To the point where we are about to schedule an actual meet.  And that’s when they ask for a face pic.  And when I say I don’t share, they just disappear.  And I think, “Didn’t you read my profile? We could’ve avoided this entire waste of time conversation right away.”

Often I’ll admit, they’re just not reading my profile.  Maybe I just need to make it the number one item in my profile, so it’s more upfront.

But I also think maybe sometimes people may think that after talking a bit, I’ll change my mind.  I can say this… it all the online interactions I’ve had, over Recon, email, twitter, tumblr, text, etc., I have only sent out my face pic 4 times.  And all times, it was to people I had talked to consistently for years before I finally did so (or, in one exception, has an excellent track record and known reputation).  It’s not something I do lightly.

I have noticed it tends to be younger people who have the “Must have a face pic” attitude.  It would figure.  They’re grown up on social media, where everyone shares everything.  It sort of bugs me whey they say “it’s 2017, show your face”.  But most of them also don’t have decades of careers or life partners that would be at risk.  They’re only thinking of themselves in the now, and not the lives of the people around them.  I think most older guys get this.  One day, the young guys will figure it out.

TFG Thought:  FinDoms & CashMasters

TFG Thought: FinDoms & CashMasters

I’m a very open minded guy, and I do definitely dabble in a lot of cyber play.  But one area I don’t understand is the FinDom (Financial Domination) and CashMasters.

Well, actually, I can understand why they exist.  To a certain degree, who wouldn’t want to be sent money for doing virtually no work aside from taking some pics and some messages?  I do realize some may go further with videos or private cam shows, or maybe even send gifts for the cash (such as used underwear or socks).

What’s difficult for me to understand are the people who actually give them money.  Who would do this?  I suppose if you were really into a specific guy, and you can afford it, then maybe a small gift could be given (though I think a gift, like an Amazon wishlist item, would be better than direct cash), especially if you have been a longtime fan of that model.  But I hope no one is giving cash blindly to any guy who calls himself a Dom after barely conversing with them.

I really just can’t understand why a person would repeatedly send cash to any FinDom.  First even if you can afford it, it seems unsafe from a privacy point of view.  I wouldn’t want a virtual stranger to have access to my banking accounts.  And second, I have a feeling some guys do this even if they can’t afford it.  To you, I say there are probably a lot of other guys you can be talking to that don’t need to take you money.

I will confess I have given some people I know online gifts.  But they were gifts, not cash, and they were to people I had already spoken with for a great deal of time before I gave them a gift.  The gift was a token of my friendship, not a demand or something done at their command or threat.

Recently, there was a tweet about a guy who ran into a CashDom who was threatening to expose one of his victims is he didn’t pay up.  That the FinDom had tracked the IP address of his victim, and knew his real identity.  I don’t know if was true, but especially after seeing the movie Tickled, it seems that it certainly could happen.

If you are a person that gives your money to these guys, I just hope you are being careful and sensible.  I personally don’t recommend it, but to each their own.  If you are a person that does give money, and it honestly brings you happiness, I’d be sincerely interested in hearing your point of view.

Blog changes, DOMA/Prop 8, Disney Kink follow up

So this post probably should have been about the joyous news about DOMA/Prop 8.  And I’ll get to that.  But not long after that news, I got this email from Google:

Important Update to Adult Content Policy on Blogger

You are receiving this message because you are the admin of a blog hosted on Blogger which is identified to have Adult content.
Please be advised that on June 30th 2013, we will be updating our Content Policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger. After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.
If your adult blog currently has advertisements which are adult in nature, you should remove them as soon as possible as to avoid any potential Terms of Service violation and/or content removals.
The Blogger Team

So this sucks.  What it means is that I have to remove all advertising.  Now, to be frank, I didn’t make a lot of money from my affiliates (maybe $200 USD total in about 2-3 years time), as I didn’t push them too hard.  I just liked supporting them, as I do feel they sell good products.  So this isn’t about my personal monetary loss.

Really, it’s mostly about the foreshadowing.  This seems more like a first step from google, if you ask me.  I get a sense they’re going to put a gradual squeeze on all adult oriented blogs.  It’s not a good feeling.  I’m also irritated they gave less than a week’s notice.  If I had been traveling during this time, I don’t know if I would have had the opportunity to comply, risking in the blog being taken down against my consent.

In any case, this leaves me with a few thoughts for the long term.

  1. Do I move this blog?  I know blogspot is rapidly considered a bit of a dinosaur in the blog world, but I have to admit that I still like it.  Tumblr, while good for pic posts, isn’t as convenient for longer posts with themes and text.  And I’ve never really investigated other blog platforms to know much, or do self-hosting. Adding the “adult content” layer to things only complicates it more.
  2. Do I just quit blogging?  I still don’t plan on that at the moment, but as time goes on, and if google adds more and more restrictions, I may not find it worth my time.  And to be honest, I’m not feeling as personally interested in blogging anymore.  No special reason, just some changes in my personal life (good ones, I assure you) that I’m actually getting more into now and taking up more of my time.  So it’s a possibility in the future.
For now, I’ll just remove the advertising.  But be braced for anything in the future, including more downtime.  In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas for methods, programs, or self hosting a blog that is gay adult content, advice would be appreciated.

I kind of want to hear from you, the readers, about how you feel about this.  Plus, I’ve been very busy these last few weeks, so I’m going to take a week off from the blog and post again on Saturday.  This will also give time for people to read this post, and send me their thoughts/advice.

*     *     *
So very happy news about DOMA/Prop 8!  And here in California, it’s obviously great news.  Now my BF and I will have to decide if we want to marry.  It’s probably a given that we will, but it’s a matter of when.  To be honest, in the interest of privacy, I probably won’t state it here if we do or not, and when.  But it is something on our minds.
And while these are both great strides, let’s not forget that there are still 30 or so states that still ban gay marriage, so there is still much work to do.  Any many people don’t realize that there is still no federal anti-gay discrimination bill–meaning that a person can be fired in many states for just being gay.  It’s just assumed we have one–we have marriage, right?  Surely we must have this–but we don’t.  A few states do protect against it, but most do not.

Also, let’s not forget the transgender fights, especially in use of public bathrooms… that’s quite a hot button topic as well, and still one that needs to be overcome.

But the cracks are appearing in the dam, so to speak.  Let’s hope that being able to push the door open a crack will make it easier to open the door fully later on.

*     *     *
In a quick follow up to my post on kink at Disneyland, I first want to mention that the twink gagged soldier at the end of the Walt Disney World Pirates of the Caribbean is no longer there.  It got replaced a couple of years ago with a Captain Sparrow figure.  And the scene was never included in the Disneyland (California version) of the ride.  So don’t go expecting to see it anymore.
And I do have a friend who is very into smells, particularly farts.  Which, while not my thing, is something I can relate to since I like smelly feet, which most people find equally repugnant.  And for such people, inside the attraction It’s a Bug’s Life (both at Disney’s California Adventure and Animal Kingdom), a stinkbug comes in and does his business, and you, well, ah, smell it.  So even those perverts can be satisfied.  

Fuck you, tumblr posters (well, a certain few of you)

Okay, I’m negating my own post from yesterday because I’m pissed off about one thing.

I will admit one thing up front:  I do like visiting many tumblr blogs.  There are a number of good ones, there’s a huge number of kinky ones (almost too many to keep up with), and you don’t have to click through an adult content warning first (although part of me wonders how much longer that’s going to last).

But a few things really irk me about it.  The number one is the blatant reposting of pics.  Now, that by itself isn’t necessarily bad.  But that very, very frequently happens after people cut off credit tags out of them.

I spend a good amount of time chasing down original content pics of mine that I discover on other people’s tumblrs with my tag cut off.  Goddamit, that was either my own work, or work that was given to my by a reader in thanks for all of my hard work!  And then some other asshole just chops off the tag, taking away all credit for having the pic out there in the first place.  I’d say at least 1/3 of my own tumblr posts are reblogging my own work with my credit given.

This has been particularly bad with Pasha’s pics.  Sadly, despite writing him a few more times, I haven’t heard or been sent any more pics from him.  But given how viral his pics went, can you blame him?   I also feel bad for, whose pics are constantly reposted.  Fortunately, now the majority of them seem to be reposted with his tag still on it, which is much better… at least the author is getting some acknowledgement for his work.

Cutting off a tag is like painting over Picasso’s signature at the bottom of his art.  Even if you feel it gets in the way, you have to recognize the creator of a work if they sign it. 

So to all of you who deliberately cut off tags from pics:  

GO FUCK YOURSELVES.  And shoot your own Goddamned pics.

Zero Dark Thirty torture scenes, and Kink in the mainstream

So I guess the nice thing about living in Los Angeles is that we often get movies ahead of the rest of the country.  The BF and I already got to see Zero Dark Thirty.

Now, this movie, which is about what led up to the killing of Osama Bin Ladin, has been in the news quite a bit regarding it’s torture scenes.  Politically, the controversy is that the movie seems to imply that torturing prisoners provided information that led to Osama’s whereabouts, while many real life reports state the contrary–that torture did not provide any essential information, and that in fact many people in the CIA were against it all along (which is a viewpoint the movie doesn’t really provide).

While all that is indeed quite interesting, and there’s no shortage of articles discussing it if you’re interested (and it is quite interesting), seeing this is a kinky blog, I’d like to discuss that aspect, and what it may mean to our community.

Now, obviously, the key is context and consent.  Torture in these political scenes have no consent at all, which is a major difference.  The victim is an unwilling participant.  At the same time, I find it fascinating that in our world, once mutual consent is given, these same scenes are not all that different from what we see on countless kinky blogs and porn sites.  A guy is tied up.  Humiliated.  Put a collar on him, and is forced to crawl around.  Nudity as a tool of humiliation.  Placed in a very tight enclosed space, meant for maximum confinement.  Sounds like a hot time, doesn’t it?  All these are portrayed as unpleasant scenes in the movie.

The movie does show waterboarding, which is something that does draw the line even for us kinksters (as far as I know.  I’m not into breathplay, and I’d imagine even though who are, this is would be one of the more dangerous ways to go about it).  So that would cross a line, even with us.  And again, consent consent consent is a key difference.  I cannot stress that enough, even though it should be obvious.

Still.  It’s odd to watch a scene that causes revulsion and disgust in most of America and the world, and yet know the events of that same scene, in a different context with two willing participants, would be a turn on for others.  It’s a dichotomy that’s not so easy to resolve.

It’s also part of the reason that S&M is so hard to accept for non-kinky people.  They lump it in the same context as the torture seen in the movie, and can’t really understand how someone would want to be treated like that, and that a scene like that can in fact be played safely with mutually willing players.  Granted, it’s not easy to explain to someone not into it.

Another reason I personally feel it’s going to be tough for the kinky community to get mainstream support is that it’s considered too intimate.  Kinky sex implies, well… sex.  And in America, we’re quite uptight about sex.  I do think most are fine with whatever is done in the bedroom, as long as it stays in the bedroom.

Here’s a great example of what I’m getting to.  There was a movie called Edge of Seventeen, which is a semi-autobiographical film about coming out in the 1980’s.  I loved this movie (and they guy is very hot).  There’s a scene where he gets rimmed for the first time (it’s not explicit, and even played a bit for laughs… this is a coming of age story, not a porno).  The writter’s mother saw the film.  After viewing, he asked her what she thought of it.  She said she was a bit uncomfortable with the sex stuff.  He thought, “Aha!  You’re still not quite comfortable with me being gay!”  She replied, “I’m fine with you being gay.  But I didn’t need to know every detail of your sex life.  Would you want to hear me tell you how your father had me on all fours as licked whipped cream off my clit?” 

Okay, she didn’t say the last part.  But you get the point.  I imagine most of us wouldn’t want to hear every detail of our parent’s sexual lives.  So for similar reasons, they don’t want to hear about ours.  Thanks to @vagabondageBoy, I was made aware of an article about the gay kinky scene perhaps becoming future leaders in the gay movement.  It was removed due to protests.  I think part of the reason for that was for what I stated above… even our own gay community feels it’s too intimate to discuss.  And I also think most mainstream, non-kinky people, gay or straight, just don’t understand consensual BDSM.  They just jump immediately to what they know from movies such as Zero Dark Thirty.

I think the tide can turn.  But it’ll be very slow, and very gradual.  People like Tynan Fox, lecturing at the college circuits (which is a perfect age and audience for receiving new, open minded ideas) will be a great asset.  The growing number of kinky blogs and tumblrs will increase our reach.  Events like Folsom and Up Your Alley in San Francisco help.  But even those events are being tamed down for open public nudity, and I have a feeling a lot of people go for the curiosity and “look at these freaky people” attitude than we’d like to admit.  I know when there’s a kinky section to the LA Pride Festival, called Erotic City, it’s a mix of people into it, and people looking on with wide eyes–and not always the good kind.

While this all seems fairly despondent, it’s also the reason I think kinksters are the most open minded, close knit community people out there, embracing of many different aspects, and not being terribly judgmental whatever your kink is, even if it’s not our own personal one.  We know what it’s like to be discrimination for a myriad of reasons (being gay, kinky, leather, bondage, slave play, etc.), so we’re much less judgmental with others.  It’s a family, in a strange way, and a pretty cool one.

TFG Thoughts: FAGGOT!

“Fag” and “Faggot” are really loaded words.  Highly offensive to most gays, and rightly so.  I know I would never want to hear it uttered in most situations.  It’s one of the most hateful things a gay man can be called, and there’s usually no doubt that the person who uses it typically a homophobic asshole.  The psychological damage it can do to someone who hears themselves being called that can be very difficult to overcome.  And it’s probably the #1 associated word with vicious gay bashing attacks.

But something in the gay kink/fetish community says otherwise.  At least, one aspect of the kink community.  I started thinking about this more when I reblogged this pic from tumblr some time ago:

Now, I have to admit.  I found this initially quite hot, though I didn’t really pay attention to the words all that much.  It was the imagery and their connotations, mostly.  The sense of being a slave and being degraded are quite clear just through the pics alone.  But over time, I started noticing the “for fags” phrase more and more.  And I was realizing that within this context… it was pretty hot, too.

Why?  Why should I think that?

I think because of my chats with Restwalker and other people who like to be owned, slaved, humiliated and degraded, I found myself becoming attracted to that sort of play.  After all, it didn’t seem to be a big jump from enjoying being tied up and worshiping feet into feeling like a slave, and being treated like one.  Now, I always took that concept as doing humiliating things, such as the toilet water drinking above.  Being forced to lick feet.  Crawling on the floor on all fours.  Only speaking when spoken to.   Pup play (which, when you think about it, is also incredibly degrading, to reduce a person to something less than human). 

But then, when I was Doming online, I noticed a lot of slaves like to be told they’re worthless.  Useless.  Inferior.  Pathetic.  Essentially, verbal play.  Face it, a few of you are hard just reading this.  I won’t lie, I often got hard myself when calling them that.  They have to work that much harder to please their Master, and let’s face it… it’s usually never enough.  But even I never went to the “f” word.

Then, after working with one particular slave for a while, I realized how much he enjoyed being degraded and name-called.  I really started to think about other ways to get at him mentally.  And I surprised myself by crossing the line and calling a him a faggot.  I nearly regretted saying it immediately.  I remember being taunted with that word in high school, and all the negative feelings that came with it.  I don’t think I had ever said it so seriously in my life, let alone to another guy.  But I did.

And he liked it.

And (worse?), I liked calling him that.

Of course, we had already established that this was a mutually consensual scene, which makes all the difference.  Had it not been, it would have been completely inappropriate.  But ever since I did cross the line, I’ve noticed it popping up more and more in kink scenes.  Or maybe it’s always been there, and I’ve just become more aware of it.  Even many kinky tumblr blogs have fag or faggot in their title, have you noticed?

Does this, as well as the following images, offend you, or turn you on?

Undoubtedly, there are many of you who would think that even the kink scene shouldn’t be using it, or using it with caution.  I don’t disagree.  To be honest, my own BF is one of these people.  He would not be comfortable saying that, even within a scene, even if I wanted to be called that.  To him, it’s completely inappropriate and taboo, no matter what the circumstances.  And I do respect and understand that.  Most of you who feel that way are probably terribly offended by the images above.

But at the same time, I do think that if you have the right circumstances, and everyone is mutual about it, it can be somehow sexy.  You’re the ones who got a total hard on at the images above.  Even then, it’s not a word I use very often.  And only with guys I’ve known or spoken with for a while.  It’s not a word I use lightly.  Yet within the correct context, it does hold a certain power.  Perhaps the ultimate power.  And those who enjoy power exchange, it’s about as good as you can get, verbally speaking.

I also think it’s interesting that the kink community (because if anyone is using it, it’s us–I don’t think most vanilla gay relationships are saying it) is, in a way, empowering the word.  Owning it.  It’s like we’re saying, “Okay, haters.  You want to call us that?  Go ahead.  We can take it.”  Similar to how some people in the African American community can call each other the “N” word (although to be fair, there are many in the African American community who don’t approve of it’s use even then).

It just seems that, like it or not, it’s gaining in some popularity and acceptance in the kink culture.  Part of me says it’s a terrible thing, and it should be stopped.  Or at least used with great caution.  Part of me is so hopelessly turned on by it, I virtually seek it out.  Another part of me wonders if the guys who get turned on by this have other psychological problems that we’re only adding to?  Or is it really just part of a scene, and we can separate it as such–it’s just the verbal equivalent of putting on a collar and leash?

So what do you think, fellow kinksters?  Comment!  You must have some thoughts on this.

TFG Rant: Acceptance of Kink & Gays in the mainstream

There was a terrible story in the paper today about a murder here in Southern California.  And it seems to be perpetrated by people who practiced BDSM.  (Seemingly straight–well, two girls and a guy, not sure how they worked it all out–it appears the guy “owned” the two women, one of which was his ex and the other his current girlfriend.)  According to the article, the trio had possibly meet with the victim and

routinely engaged in sex play that included bondage, punishment, masks, whips, spanking, cutting, a “sex dungeon,” an unspecified “sex apparatus” and role-playing of slave, servant and master, according to one document.

I know, for most of us, sounds like a great night out, right?  Only this one ended in a murder.

The murder is awful and inexcusable.  But that’s not what I’m commenting on.  I’m commenting on the perception of the BDSM community in the eyes of the news and local law enforcement.  Read this quote from a local authority:

“Because of Perez and Maraglino’s unusual sex fetishes, I believe they may have accosted Killgore for these reasons,” one San Diego County Sheriff’s Department detective wrote in a sworn affidavit accompanying a search warrant.

Did I read that correctly?  Because of their unusual sex fetishes?  So is an actual, supposedly educated law enforcement official really saying that all people who practice kinky sex are just murderers waiting to happen?  Or that kinky sex leads to murder and violence?

That’s right people.  That’s what some people think of us.  People in the law.  God help us if something like this happened in our gay kink community… can you imagine how it’d be portrayed in the media?  It’s a good reminder to all of us that outside of our world, people often don’t know what to think of us.  Or just stereotype us.

Because as we’re seeing lately, even just being gay can still be a struggle with the recent news of the Boy Scouts upholding their ban on gays, and Chick-fil-A upholding their views on banning gay marriage (which is why I never eat at a Chick-fil-A).  For every major leap forward, there’s still plenty of steps back that slap us in the face (and not in a good way) and remind us that it can be a scary world out there beyond our circle.

Sadly, it’d because of reasons like this I can’t really be completely about who I am.  Because believe me, I have no personal shame about it.  But should my identity be commonly known in the mainstream, I’d very likely be out of the job and viewed the same way those murderers were. No kidding.

But dammit, I am going to say and do all that I can from here.  And I encourage all of you to do what you can.  Share this post, write your own if you have a blog, tweet, or update statuses, and get the message out there that we’re not freaks.  We are consenting adults engaging in mutual activities.  We are a very positive, open, and welcoming community.  And as with any community, there will sometimes be an unwelcome fringe that makes the rest look bad.  But that they are a minority.  The rest of us are perfectly normal, educated people from all walks of life. Who know what we enjoy, and are secure and proud of it.  And that we aren’t just murderers waiting to happen.

Fetish Pride.

Fetish Pride

Note from TFG:  I feel this topic is so important, I’m leaving it up all week.  I’ll go back to posting the kinky stuff again on Saturday.  Until then, I will do a few updates and previews to my tumblr and my Captured Heroes blog if you get antsy.  😉 

But check back in again on Friday, when I hope to reveal my new blog redesign.

You know, kinksters need to come out twice… once as gay, and once as a kinky.

One is not necessarily easier to publicly announce than the other.

It’s gay pride month, and I think we should talk about this from a kinkster point of view.

I personally realized, acknowledged, and came to terms with my passion for bondage way before I acknowledged I was gay.  Thanks to the 60’s TV show Batman (it played in reruns as I was growing up, I’m not quite that old yet, lol), I knew I loved being tied up.  I would constantly roll myself up in blankets as a kid in self-mummification, and my family owned a very long jump rope that I would tie myself to a chair with constantly.  (And I’ve noticed that jumpropes have been the gateway toy for many a budding kinkster.)  I knew somehow it was “wrong”… I would do it only when I was alone, when the rest of my family was out.  I still remember being self tied to the chair in the living room alone, and then hearing the garage door open, and my panic to quickly undo myself (I did).  I never really discussed it with anyone (remember, this is before the internet), but I knew I liked it probably by at least the age of 10 or 12.  Feet crept up on me later, but I did consciously realize I was looking at guy’s feet in high school, although I didn’t really understand why.

But I didn’t come out as gay, even to myself, until I was away at college.  I was a virgin until the age of 21, and even then, it was vanilla sex from a 43 year old guy I meet from a personals add I created in a local paper, seeking “Discrete Adventure”.   And let me just say it was so not like me to post something like that.  I guess I’m lucky the one guy who answered it was a very nice guy that I ended up being friends with for casual sex for the next few months, until I was done with school.  Not sure if that’s common or not, I’d love to hear from other guys about their experience.  Especially those who went through this in the pre-internet days.

Now that I’m older, I have absolutely no shame about being gay, or my kinks.  But, this blog aside, I do remain pretty quiet about my kinks outside of my BF.  I wish I could be more public and open. But sadly people with jobs in politics, education, entertainment, high profile executives… any sort of public figure has to be careful.  We all see stories in the media constantly about public figures who get caught up in a “scandal”.  And sometimes, it can ruin their lives and/or cost them their jobs.

We’re now reaching a state where younger and younger guys are coming out as kinky.  Because of the internet, guys are discovering their kinks early on, and also finding out they are not alone.  There just seems to be a never-ending supply of supple new twinks that are anxious to try out what they’ve seen online, whether it be YouTube foot or light bondage videos, browsing kinky social networks, or viewing kinky pay sites.

In conversation with a fellow kinkster, I realized another reason that many seem fairly quiet about it… sharing a fetish is an intimate thing, and maybe it’s not comfortable or appropriate to tell everyone. After all, we know straight people, but do we ask them how they’re having sex?  If they’re comfortable telling it, fine.  But it’s not typically something one volunteers, especially amongst straight friends and family.

However, for the gay community, it seems much more open.  Margaret Cho said, “If you’re going to be oppressed for who you fuck, then you’re going to kick up your heels and fuck.”  Because of this, it is inspiring to see the gay community, even many vanilla guys, embrace the ideas of kinky sex.  And I really have to thank Tynan Fox for really trying to get out there and educate people, both gay and straight.  It has been so inspirational to see him on the college lecture circuit.  A big part of me wishes I could be right next to him, spreading the message openly.  Sadly, because of personal situations and out of respect for my BF’s privacy, I have to remain behind this blog, face hidden.  But I can at least use it to speak up, and at least make sure we are proud within our own community.

Even though I didn’t go, I heard a lot about IML that happened recently via other blogs and twitters.  So many speak of a strong, connected sense of a kink community.  And for us truly kinky people, we do have to bond together.  Because even within the larger gay community, we are a bit of an outcast.  Have you ever tried to date someone that you didn’t discover on Recon or GearFetish?  Look at those Grindr profiles (which tend to be pretty vanilla), and then imagine telling one of them how kinky you really are.  Some are accepting, and are open to try it.  Some rave about how kinky they are because of that one time they used fuzzy handcuffs.  And some gays aren’t accepting about kink at all, and think we’re a bit freaky and deviant.  Isn’t interesting that some conservatives think the same about them.

So kinksters need to come out twice.  Once as gay, and once as kinky.  And one community doesn’t always accept the other.  Hence my personal theory of why the gay kinky community is such a close one.

The month of June is Gay Pride month.  Even Target is getting into having pride, as you may have seen in my post from a few weeks ago (Update:  the shirts appear to be sold out now).  The Los Angeles Gay Pride event is this weekend, in fact, which is why I time this post now (which always has an Erotic City kink section to it).  But in honor of fetish pride, I created some banners.  Feel free to use them and spread them around as much as you can–I’ve posted them to my tumblr as well, for easy reblogging–but I’d appreciate it if you kept my small credit tag in the corner.  I really did create these myself, and I’m not really usually much of a graphic designer, so a little acknowledgement would be nice.  😉

I hope I’ve done Tynan, and all of the kink community, proud.  I’m glad to be a part of it, in my own way.

For the rest of us…

You are not alone.

We’ve all been beginners once. If you don’t get to play often or have meets, or can only fantasize about what you see in blogs, you are not alone.

This blog started off that way, in fact.  It started as a very basic website where I posted pics about what I’d like done to me. (Click and scroll down to “The History of Baring My Sole”)

Now, it seems I’m a fairly noted blog, and I happen to have a great BF who indulges me in a great many things I had only dreamed about before.

Also because of this blog (and the internet in general), I’ve run across more newly discovered kinks that I didn’t even know I had (lycra, heroes, gunge, and chastity come to mind).

Still, even I remain very envious of many of the other blogs and profiles I run across.  They discuss going to the fetish events, play parties, meeting up with others, group sessions.  None of which I’ve done before.  I’ve mentioned this before, but despite running this blog and being pretty out there in the fetish internet world, I really don’t get out to the fetish community in person (aside from my own boyfriend, of course).  I rarely meet up with other people for play, or even chat with them in person.  I’ve never been to IML, Up Your Alley, CLAW, etc.  It’s mostly a personal choice, and largely to protect our own private lives, which my BF is fairly fanatical about.  But there are times I itch for more.

I imagine most people who visit this blog are either like me, or like how I was before:  envious of what you see online, of what you see pics of, of what you see other people doing, of the experience they have.

Well, you are not alone.

We were all newbies to the scene once.

And despite my successes here, and even given the great play I have with my BF, I still feel much like a newbie.  And scared and insecure to meet more experienced play guys, and intimidated to attend parties and events.

I guess that’s why I enjoy working and playing with newbies, whether it be in person or online.  Because deep down, I feel like I’m one of them.

The Ethics of Posting Pics

So a few months ago, there was a thread going on FootGuys about taking pics from profiles from social networking sites and posting to various blogs without permission.  As a fairly prominent blog author, I had to put my two cents in.  To quote:

I have to admit, I do this for my blog (although I am certainly not taking credit and saying they are my pics… just pics I like and find hot). But this is the nature of the internet. If you post anything in a free and public site, it is a risk you take… Unless you protect yourself, any pic can end up anywhere, and fast.

Now, if I am posting a lot of pics from a single source, I do ask permission. But if it’s just an isolated pic, I often don’t. At the same time, if a person contacts me later and requests it to be taken down, I do so. That said, though, I have to think: if you didn’t want it viewed, why did you post it publicly in the first place? Because if it wasn’t me, it would be someone–anyone else–with some other blog, tumblr, etc. The internet is not private unless you make it so yourself and are careful. Make your profile or pics private if you are concerned. Or watermark it with “Do Not Post”. I would respect that. That’s perfectly your right, and smart if you don’t want your pics out there. Fair enough.

…if having pics from your profile being seen outside of a particular social network is a problem for you (which is fair), then the poster must take some responsibility for their own privacy. Make your profile private… or find a site that doesn’t allow photo sharing. (MaleFootLover and Recon make it much more difficult to save pics. Personally, for that reason, I never grab pics from that site–although a more determined person can work around it and grab your pic anyway, I suppose.) Tag and/or watermark your pic. Or just don’t post them.

Even though this was all discussed a while ago, it has continued to stay in my mind.  So when earlier this month, No Safe Word blog posted about the topic as well, and, more recently, Leather. Bondage. Love., I felt I had to put a small statement together.

As many of you know, I am in a very committed relationship.  And I can say that my boyfriend has never had a problem with any of his pics being shared on the internet.  Do you know why?  Because he doesn’t post them in the first place.  Anywhere.  Period.  Problem solved.  As for me, I don’t mind it as much, which is the implied message by posting them at all, anywhere.  I have seen a few of my pics floating around (most recently from Dick Cash’s blog–thanks again!), but I’ve taken some care into how much of my identity is exposed, and I’m comfortable with that. (Although it did take some time to go back through all my postings and take down a few pics that I felt were a bit too exposing.)

One of the biggest points that was raised is that permission should be asked before reposting.  I concede in a perfect world, I would do so, but given the volume of pics I post, it isn’t very practical.  We also run into the following problem, which I brought up:

Even if I wanted to ask permission, lets recognize that sometimes it’s difficult to know where pics originally come from. For example: often, I’m not posting pics from [FootGuys], but say from Flickr. When it turns out that the Flickr pic I found was in fact from somewhere else… maybe even here [FootGuys]… and I didn’t know it. Same goes with pics I see on Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, and any other blog, message board, or photo sharing site. Who knows where some of those pics originally came from? How am I supposed to track down their owners to ask their permission? Goodness knows people don’t ask on Tumblr, where pics are shared rapidly and indiscriminately.

It was refreshing that most people in the thread seemed to think my blog is a pretty respectable one in this regard.  While no one said it outright, when I defended myself, the replies leaned towards the sentiment “Not as much your blog, but others.”  Which is something I take some pride in, I have to admit.  🙂

One thing I do feel very strongly about… if a pic is tagged, it’s so important to leave it on if you’re going to repost it.  It’s just common courtesy to credit the original source.  I know that I have never removed a tag off a pic (although I suppose that there may be times I’m reposting a pic that already had the tag cut off without my knowledge).  One other thing I feel strongly about is to not post an entire set from a pay site.  These sites, especially the ones that constantly come up with new material, rely on paying customers to continue their work.  Posting entire sets is akin to robbing them, in my opinion, and lessens their ability to continue with their work.  I do occasionally post an isolated pic, and from what I’ve seen from many webmasters, they don’t mind this at times, as it is free publicity for their site.  But of course, in moderation, and never entire sets.  I even recently took a blog off my blogroll, because I was starting to feel it was pushing the boundary of too much content from paid sources without crediting them.  Although I wasn’t posting much from it, it was starting to make me feel a bit of a hypocrite for even linking to it.  I’m trying my best to be responsible, but it isn’t always easy.

I almost feel sorry for such great sites as Captured Guys, TieGuyUK, and Bare Foot Bound… I believe the pics from their sites get posted around more than nearly any other.  (BoundGuys is pretty up there, too.)  Partially because they’re all so prolific.  Usually, the tags are still on, but often they’re not.  Even worse, many people post them to their profiles on FootGuys and Recon and the like.  Now, a few post them stating clearly that it’s not them, and just and example of what they enjoy.  I don’t have as much as a problem with that.  But many seem to be trying to pass them off as themselves–and sadly, they seem to fool a lot of people.  Even I was once a victim of this, and I found my own feet on another guy’s profile as his own.  I asked him to take it down, and fortunately he did.

At the end of the day, this is the internet, and the rule is there are no rules.  But whenever I can, I do try to demonstrate common courtesy.  I hope you agree.  I’d love to know if you have any thoughts on the matter, either in general, or specifically about how I handle it for the blog.