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posted by [personal profile] boymeat at 10:37am on 14/04/2009
One of the hallmarks of a SM 101 class is teaching all the different terms and phrasing the SM community has. Every community has its own language, and in order to better navigate it knowledge of some terms helps.

Words like top, bottom, switch, scene, toys, etc.

When you attend an event like Frolicon, the need to understand the words becomes doubly important. Here is an event that is chock full of SM, but isn't a SM event, and takes inspiration much more from Sci-Fi events than SM. While most the following words seem intuitive, it is an interesting thing to contrast and compare.

SM Event
Frolicon
EventCon
PresentersGuests
Vending AreaDealer Room
ClassesPanels

There are other major differences.

At a SM event, there is no photography. At Frolicon, cameras are everywhere, and almost everyone wants to see themselves in photos. One thing that does remain the same in both events is that photography is not allowed in the dungeon. Players still get their privacy.

At a SM event, there is no drinking encouraged. Occasionally the hotel bar will be open, but all official events are dry. At Frolicon, there are drinks everywhere. There are official events like the Party Battles (where party hosts compete for being the best party of Saturday night), the Concoction contest (best drink), etc. Now again, there are some similarities. No drinking is allowed in the dungeon (hell, no outside drinks period), and if you seem to be drunk, you're out.

What I like about the above is that the conference assumes that you are an adult, and that you are responsible for your own actions. From their own rulebook posted on the website:

"Rule #1 - Do not be an idiot – If you insist on acting like an idiot, Frolicon can and will boot out without giving you a refund. If in doubt about any of the following rules, always consider this one first."

I've seen so many SM groups and events feel it necessary to hand hold their members and attendees every step of the way. And yes, I understand that there are social idiots out there, and that the SM community sometimes seems to draw them out even more. Yet events like Frolicon manage to exist fairly barrier free (the only real one being having a minimum age of 21 because of all the drinking), and still manages to provide one hell of a good time without being taken over by the idiots. How? Why?

Things to ponder over, certainly.

There are 30 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
 
posted by [identity profile] nex0s.livejournal.com at 03:10pm on 14/04/2009
See? Now that sounds quite nice.

I mean, I get a bit socially anxious, and you know what? The ability to have a damn beer would really help me get over my anxiety of asking someone to play with me. I get legally why so many kink events are dry, but OMG there is a difference between being irresponsible, and social lubricant, knowhatimean? :/

Anyway, it sounds like you had a fabulous time :)

N.
 
posted by [identity profile] dawne-vs-luna.livejournal.com at 03:18pm on 14/04/2009
Isn't Frolicon a Sci-fi/gaming Convention of sorts as well?
It would explain where their mentality is coming from.

Cons tend to be more laid back.
The lingo comes from how almost all cons I have been to are based on.

As far as the idiot aspect.
I think it comes from that alot of people in Leather tend to take themselves to seriously. Alot of pomp and circumstance. e

Where at cons? How can you take yourself seriously when you are dressed up like a sexy version of rainbow brite?

People don't go to cons to try and push envelopes or make people gasp or anything like that.
See what I mean?
 
posted by [identity profile] bearcub42.livejournal.com at 03:20pm on 14/04/2009
Great post.
 
posted by [identity profile] sjo.livejournal.com at 03:24pm on 14/04/2009
Is there a difference in size between Frolicon and BDSM events?
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 07:49pm on 14/04/2009
I'm actually not sure how many total people were there. It's tough to say, because no one is one place at the same time.
 
posted by [identity profile] prismfire.livejournal.com at 08:46pm on 14/04/2009
I think the count was around 1000
 
posted by [identity profile] sjo.livejournal.com at 09:08pm on 14/04/2009
Well, that's way larger than the cons I help to run. I don't know. I think it's great that one CAN run a con that has BDSM and sex and doesn't get uptight about the occasional drink. I do think it must be an insurance issue.
 
posted by [identity profile] sjo.livejournal.com at 09:05pm on 14/04/2009
I ask mostly because I run a small LARP con with a group down in the DC-Baltimore area, and we get away with a casual attitude about liquor because we are a small enough group to self-police. Sure, there's the occasional imbecile, but the potential for damage is small. I wonder if most BDSM events aren't so large that the ability to self-police is blunted.

Or it could simply be an insurance issue.
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 09:06pm on 14/04/2009
See above you. 1,000 people sounds right.

That's a lot of people.
 
posted by [identity profile] ciani.livejournal.com at 03:30pm on 14/04/2009
I think I should check out Frolicon one of these years. I agree that there's a huge difference having done Arisia for years. Do you think it's due in part to the kind of outcry that happens towards an SM event that probably doesn't happen to a sci-fi related con? Or do they get their share of protesters too, and I've just never noticed?
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 07:50pm on 14/04/2009
No protesters whatsoever. I think it might have do to with it's primary crowd being sci-fi folks - they fly under the radar.
 
posted by [identity profile] rhiannonstone.livejournal.com at 03:44pm on 14/04/2009
I've always kind of given SM event organizers the benefit of the doubt and assumed that it isn't that they don't trust us to take care of ourselves like adults, but that they feel the need to put on a show of being extra-careful and living up to a "higher standard" to somehow convince the outside world that what we do is okay. Not that I don't also have a problem with that--we should be able to demonstrate responsible adults without all the additional precautions, and sometimes all the overcautiousness can lead to a false sense of safety, and dammit, we shouldn't have to feel like we've got to go overboard to make our consensual activities okay with the rest of the world--but it at least makes me feel slightly less condescended-to by the leaders of my community.
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 07:51pm on 14/04/2009
I've known of both groups and events making policy decisions with the assumption that they have to corral the crowd and shield people who are less than capable of protecting themselves. It's sad to see.
 
posted by [identity profile] valkyrieschains.livejournal.com at 10:21pm on 14/04/2009
Re: Rules-

I know mine is two pages long. It's two pages long, for three reasons.

1) Some of the wording was requested/required by the hotel and/or the local constabulary.
2) The insurance carrier required something in it.
3) Someone has done something stupid and tried to hold the event responsible instead of their own dumb ass and we had to make a rule.

I'm considering adding Lolita's request from last year under the promise to have fun to include a promise to shower as well.
 
posted by [identity profile] naylandblake.livejournal.com at 03:45pm on 14/04/2009
All I want to know is: did you get within sniffing distance of [livejournal.com profile] photognome?

And if so did you get in a quick grope for me?
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 07:52pm on 14/04/2009
I didn't grope him, as I'm not his type. But I did say a hearty hello to him!
 
posted by [identity profile] naylandblake.livejournal.com at 08:59pm on 14/04/2009
Now I envy you even more than I did before...
 
posted by [identity profile] tripartite.livejournal.com at 11:07pm on 14/04/2009
He groped me. I can't believe he didn't grope you. Would him groping me count? I thought it was a bit odd myself.
 
posted by [identity profile] kaylaraine.livejournal.com at 04:23pm on 14/04/2009
At a SM event, there is no drinking encouraged. Occasionally the hotel bar will be open, but all official events are dry.

Not true with Dark Odyssey.
 
posted by [identity profile] impgrrl.livejournal.com at 05:18pm on 14/04/2009
I am not sure what it all means, myself. I do know that the atmosphere is hella different - I've always ID'd as Leather, yet felt best at FCon or other SM events where the feel is looser. I think it's lack of self-importance.

Not that there aren't asshats at FCon - it's just that the socially inept geek factor balances all that out, and brings the average to where I'm more comfy ;)

I LOVE the most of the Leather events I've attended. I just seem to have a better time where we're just expected to act like adults, rather than watched over by the SSC police.
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 07:54pm on 14/04/2009
I think the average Frolicon attendee has a different approach to SM than others. It's not about the life per se... it's about fun and sex. It's how they approach the topic which makes it exciting.
 
posted by [identity profile] feyrieprincess.livejournal.com at 08:36pm on 14/04/2009
I think you're onto something here
 
posted by [identity profile] nightmareredux.livejournal.com at 06:25pm on 14/04/2009
I've seen so many SM groups and events feel it necessary to hand hold their members and attendees every step of the way. And yes, I understand that there are social idiots out there, and that the SM community sometimes seems to draw them out even more. Yet events like Frolicon manage to exist fairly barrier free (the only real one being having a minimum age of 21 because of all the drinking), and still manages to provide one hell of a good time without being taken over by the idiots. How? Why?

There are no contradictions. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. Think more about those who would exercise control rather than those who it would be exercised over. You'll have your answer.

:)
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 07:54pm on 14/04/2009
Alright, you lost me there my friend. Too Matrix for my exhausted brain.
 
posted by [identity profile] feyrieprincess.livejournal.com at 08:37pm on 14/04/2009
Yea it's not nice to woo at Phil ;)
 
posted by [identity profile] tinuvial.livejournal.com at 11:44pm on 14/04/2009
Your flogging class ROCKED... and was made even more entertaining from the sounds from the strap-on party next door.
 
posted by [identity profile] ntrance.livejournal.com at 04:06am on 15/04/2009
It sounds like you are aware of other events with a similar laid back feel. Pass the info!!! We've not gone to any Leather events solely because we are not sure how we will like the stuffier atmosphere, so perhaps something closer to a leather event but still having a laid back feel would be perfect.
 
posted by [identity profile] boymeat.livejournal.com at 04:08am on 15/04/2009
You two would probably like the camps - Leather Retreat and Dark Odyssey. Leather Retreat is one of my favorite events every year - it's vacation for me.

http://www.leatherretreat.com/
 
posted by [identity profile] kytherea1.livejournal.com at 01:38am on 16/04/2009
I was really interested in what you said about the photographs. I really miss being able to get pictures at an event. I think con's and BDSM events should set up photo dungeons in a closed atmosphere. Both My sluts love the pictures I take of them and it would really be nice to be able to have pictures of them in the midst of play.

It would be really easy to set up if they would just open their minds to it.

My sluts like to go home and read what I wrote here and see themselves in the throws of submission and pain. I like to give them that.
 
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