Community Comment: Is The Leather And Kink Scene Ageist Against Young People?

I had a rather troubling Facebook chat with a friend last night and it made me realize that I’ve had this same discussion many times before. My friend is a young, good looking, smart and savvy younger kinkster who feels that his predilection toward dominance is discounted due to his age. I think he’s right.

Community Comment is an occasional column written by community members on various topics of living a leather, bear and kink lifestyle.

Community Comment is an occasional column written by community members on various topics of living a leather, bear and kink lifestyle.

Not only do I think my friend’s belief that his dominant credentials are constantly in question is accurate, I think our entire scene feeds into this notion. We need to correct it.

One thing we do in the leather/kink scene is worship at the altar of longevity as though being around the scene a long time somehow magically bestows upon you wisdom and skill. It does not. In fact, it often does not. I know many twenty somethings who are far more wise and skilled than people with a decade or two or three more time in the scene than they have. I simply refuse to any longer use length of time in the scene as a measuring stick against which I measure someone’s competence or wisdom.

Yes, it’s true that a bit of mileage can be a good thing. If someone is consistently open to learning and growing, some extended time hanging out in the scene can be extremely beneficial. But I’ve seen just as many people hang out in the scene the same length of time who are no more wise or skilled than they were when they first entered it.

Perhaps the entire power dynamic factor in our kink world, Master-Mistress/slave, Dominant/submissive, Daddy/boy and so on, feeds into this notion because we often operate under the false assumption that older folks who have been around the kink world a long time know by default more about this style of play than their younger counterparts. I simply don’t see this playing out in reality much of the time. So many of my younger kinkster friends seem to have more interesting sexualities, more balanced perspectives, and operate from a far less judgmental mindset than many of their older brethren.

When we so often toss around terms like “elder” (and yes, I know I’m often called one), I wonder if we don’t simultaneously send out the message that older is somehow better, that wisdom and skill are something you can’t really truly acquire unless you simply wait it out until your timeclocked credentials kick in.

Add into all this the troubling notion that somehow dominance is something that requires wisdom and skill while submission does not. That’s a quagmire of discussion our scene needs to have as well and perhaps a topic for another future post.

Let’s try to assess people on their own merits, not some yardstick that is a dubious metric at best by which to judge people.

Race Bannon

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