Trolls, Creeps and Other Volunteers by AliceIn Aerie

In every organization or party there’s always that small minority of individuals who, if you had your way, would not be on the invitation list. They are not appealing in appearance and/or personality. On top of everything else, not only are they always around but often they are on staff.

The kink scene of our fantasies is always filled with beautiful people, yourself included. Then there is reality. While there are some beautiful people, the majority of kinky folks are just… folks. They are people of average looks and abilities, many of whom would look more at home at a game of Dungeons and Dragons than a BDSM dungeon. When your mom told you that you were special, you were – to her. To the rest of us you are just one of the crowd. That crowd also includes the below average, and more importantly, those who really give their all because they care.

You see, it’s those who do the work who make the difference. You may pay your dues or your door fee but what really makes the kink scene keep on ticking are the people who give tirelessly of themselves. It’s not glamorous work and most of what needs to be done are tasks that organization members and party goers have no knowledge of.

Unfortunately when the average kinkster doesn’t have knowledge of what goes into the activities they enjoy, the result is cannibalism.

Not in the flesh eating sense, you perv. The reality is that those who would rather complain than contribute add to the burn out of the few who are doing the heavy lifting. It doesn’t take long for them to become overworked, feel under appreciated, and ultimately quit. When the membership of an organization has no insight into how their organization operates they often feel that their complaint about a particular issue is paramount to all other functions and concerns of the constituency. Instead of approaching concerns and conflicts directly through appropriate channels, poison pen e-mail or, worse yet, public internet postings are often made. When the kangaroo court of public opinion weighs in, inevitably the org or individuals within it are damned. This makes good people walk away. It makes volunteers hard to find. Who would sign up for that shit?

The current trend is for those who bitch the loudest to be the least likely to step up and accept personal responsibility. This needs to change.

The next time you are greeted at the door of your local kinky establishment by someone you wouldn’t add to your invite list, take a moment to recognize that this person added you to theirs. They are working several hours a week on their own dime for your benefit.

When you have a less than positive experience and whip up a nasty-gram, think before you send it. Ask yourself if you are approaching the appropriate people in the appropriate forum to have your concerns addressed. Make sure your correspondence addresses not only what you see wrong but your appreciation of what is right. The less you force people into a defensive posture the more likely they are to help you. If they didn’t want to genuinely help, they wouldn’t be busting their tokhes.

Most importantly, consider giving some of your own time. Learn how your organization works. Learn who and what you are voting for. Learn what your dues and door fees are supporting. If you don’t like what’s going on behind the scenes you have two choices. You can either walk away and revoke your support or you can pitch in to make it better for everyone.

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