Perhaps the main reason that we started AKA was to promote Fetish Play in the Leather Bars, for many reasons all of which I have blogged about in the past. This weekend however, I started thinking that this raises some issues - not all of which I have a clear answer to, perhaps writing this down will help to answer them!
First of all, some background. It was a special weekend for my family for two reasons, firstly, it was the birthday of my BFF Sir Charles, and we had arranged a birthday dinner on Saturday evening. Secondly we were hosting a guest pup, Sniffer (who we had met at Folsom last year).
On Friday evening, Sir Charles and my boy came to Amsterdam so that we could go out to the bars on the Warmoesstraat to play with the pups. It had been a while since Squeek and Sniffer had played, and they were excited. Armed with a few pup toys and a large sack of puppy treats we went out. After a couple of beers at The Eagle, we proceeded to DIrty Dicks and the pups started to transform ;-) At that time, there were a few people in the bar, but it was not crowded. We started to play with the pups and very quickly a crowd appeared around us, people gathering to watch. Again, I have no problem with this, in fact, its one of the main reasons that we do it. Most of the spectators didnt cause any problem but there were one or two exceptions. One guy decided that he would tug at Squeek's tail - not acceptable (and I think Squeek made that clear!)
The pups were getting thirsty so I went to the bar for some water to put in their bowl, as I walked through I was stopped by a guy who said "What the hell do you think you are doing taking up so much space?" At this time, I must say - the back of the darkroom was completely empty, we were taking a fair amount of space, but we were 3 people (and 2 pups), the space was taken up by the folks watching us, but again, the back room was empty; I suppose you could say that our play caused a small, localized crowd that may have obstructed the entrance to the back room slightly, but by no means prevented anyone from reaching it. After a couple of minutes I realized that this was the same guy who complained a few weeks earlier when I was flogging my boy on the cross in the same bar, again, for the same reason - taking up space. His attitude annoyed me, but I just ignored him however the day after I started to think; did he have a point? It should also be stated that as soon as our play ended, the bar emptied!
I accept that not everyone that goes to a Leather Bar is into Fetish/Kink Play, some (infact most) are there for a quickie, and again, no issue with that, but did we stop people from doing that? Well, I must admit that we did have one of Squeek's toys, that, was squeeky! I can understand that if you are in a cabin, fucking or getting fucked and you hear a squeeky toy in the background, that could be somewhat distracting! So, maybe we shouldn't do that again. That said, was there anything else we were doing preventing folks from traditional cruising? Other than causing a crowd to gather, I don't think so. In addition to this one gentleman, there were a couple of others that gave us a look of disgust at what was going on, was this due to that person not understanding or accepting our kinks? I remember once at Folsom, I made a negative remark when I saw an older guy dressed in clothes that a female teenager would wear, and at that time my boy reminded me that I should be more tolerant of other people's kink's. We were at a "wide-spectrum" kink event, and he was right! I should have. Were these people making the same mistake I did? Possibly. These people maybe did not accept that puppy play was a "valid" kink to practice in a Leather Bar? Or did they think its just stupid because they don't understand it?
Thinking back to the complaint when I was flogging my boy, could this reasoning apply to that situation? I remember a discussion with one guy in a bar whose opinion was that if someone is into SM, particularly pain or humiliation then that person must be "damaged" in some way, and should seek psychiatric help! (Of course I disagree, but that is a whole other subject and may be discussed in a future blog!) Could there be others that think this way and that is why they complain? Of course I realize that there are many people that think this; what surprises me is that the sort of people that go to Leather Bars would have this opinion.
Lots of questions, and not a lot of answers. So lets look at the location. I call it a Leather Bar, and in my "world" a Leather Bar is a kink/fetish venue, but I think others just see it as a gay bar where you can have sex. I think this is could be the crux of the matter. We have two broad categories of customer, firstly the Leather man, who may or may not be into Kink/Fetish play, but I truly believe that most leather men are at least, tolerant of it. Secondly we have the guys who just want to have sex, and sadly, its usually only Leather Bars that allow this. I have no problems with the second category as long as they respect some form of dress code ( I don't mean leather only, jeans and a tshirt is fine, but please dont come in a hawaiian shirt with a bottle of perfume sprayed over your entire body!) So is it simply a matter of "I accept those that just want to have sex, so they should accept my more kink/fetish orientated activities?"
I would love to understand your opinion here so please leave your comments below or relating to the facebook or twitter links that brought you here!