SWIPE-Waukesha – Summary of “Support in the Lifestyle”

WAUKESHA – Thank you to everyone who came out to the Waukesha discussion on “Support in the Lifestyle” on Sunday, November 22nd!

Thanks to everyone who shared their personal stories! Those stories are really what make the meetings worth coming to along with the laughter and camaraderie! We will not recount the personal stories here. Thanks to @girlofmyst for taking notes! If some key points of the discussion were missed or you want to add some additional thoughts, please feel free to do.

When you are new, what should you do first? Get a Support Network!

Who Makes Up Your Support Network?

  • Some people have support networks that include family, coworkers, and non-kinky folks.
  • Good chunk of the support network will come from people who are active in the community.
  • We as a community are more apt to reach out to each other because we try so hard to be authentic.
  • It’s all about having a chosen family – not all need to be kinky.
  • Support network people do not necessarily have to be close to you.

How Do You Build a Support Network?

  • Go to munches, classes, discussion group, etc.
  • Meet people.
  • Second Life – good if there is no kink community in your immediate area.

What Do You Look For In a Support Network?

  • Experience.
  • May/may not be kinky.
  • Interpersonal communications.
  • Sincerity.
  • Acceptance.
  • Accountability.
  • Safety.
  • Availability – they are there when you need them.
  • Diversity in people to learn from (tops/bottoms, male/female, etc.)
  • Diversity in location (Madison, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Chicago, etc.)
  • Advice.

How Does Support Networks Help You?

  • Your support network “drags” you to things/gets you out of the house.
  • Support network help you find your identity.
  • Sometimes it’s easier to go into an event for the first time with another newbie as your support.
  • Support network can be your safe call people.
  • It’s one thing to have a support network and another thing to use it.
  • You have to communicate to your support network about what kind of support you need.
  • When asking people for advice/reference about others, ask at least 3 people that are not all from the same munch/group of friends.
  • Society has a “normal”, the kink community has a “normal”, and normal is a relative term. Your support network helps you learn norms.
  • Support network helps you feel not alone.
  • Sometimes we are forget or purposely don’t use our support network.

Online vs. In-Person Support Networks:

  • Be wary of any online advice because they don’t know you or your situation and can only speak based from their past experiences and the bits of information that you provide. Their responses are strictly based on their own experiences as they haven’t met you.
  • Advice is more meaningful in person because they can understand where you are coming from and catch your non-verbal cues.
  • There’s mutual “blowing smoke up asses” when talking online.
  • People can be abusive in their comments online.

Fetlife is both a Good and Bad Support Space:

  • Good because there are lots of people.
  • Good because it advertises events
  • Good for educating on different topics.
  • Some people will judge you by the groups/kinks listed on your profile.
  • Bad because of the negative people and their comments shut others down.

Groups as Support Networks:

  • Listening to/reading SWIPE discussions helps to provide support.
  • Visiting different groups allows you to explore different group dynamics – find the group that is right for you.
  • Groups like MAsT hold discussions/classes as well.
  • Keeping comments positive and productive is good for discussion.
  • Education groups (like Satyricon) are a great network because they can point you in the right direction for info and references.

Transitioning from Mostly Vanilla to Mostly Non-Vanilla Support Networks:

  • When you change yourself, those who truly support you will still be there. This leads to a growing sense of trust and acceptance.
  • Would you tell your kids/coworkers/parents/etc.? The answer is different for everyone.
  • Vanilla friends started to fall away because of non-shared interests. This can happen with family too.
  • Is the problem that we walk away from vanilla and consume ourselves with kink or is it a lack of commonality with vanillas that drives this separation?
  • Sometimes you just don’t want to be around people from whom you have to hide a piece of yourself.
  • Not willing to invest in friends that won’t accept me.

Our next Madison discussion – Friday, Jan 8th @ 7pm – Consent – What does consent mean to you? How long does consent last? What do you when consent is violated?

Our next Waukesha discussion – Sunday, Jan 24th @ 6:30pm – Play in Your Relationship – What does play mean to you? How does playing or not playing affect your relationship? Do different styles of play have different affects?