Hello Beloved Kink Leaders!
It’s been so quiet on here lately! I’ve missed your voices, feedback, and reflections! I really hope to see more of you engaging the posts, and I challenge you to start sharing your own resources and ideas as we move forward. We have so much to offer each other!
In that spirit, I’ve recently been moved to take a pretty big step in my local Kink community, and filled with excitement and fear, am beginning to meditate, pray to the goddess, as well as think and write about my goals and intentions.
I’ve attended local munches and noticed that while there are small patches of youngsters and newbies at the munches, there is no real safe space for the next generation of kinksters to share, explore, and educate ourselves about how to safely, ethically, and responsibly engage in the Kink community. As many of you have noted and observed, there is a palpable tension between the older and younger generations so I am WELL aware that I am about to step into a pretty icky energetically-charged territory.
I want to start a TNG (the next generation) group here in Palm Beach county. There are some things I’d like to do before I start, such as 1) talk to my husband, and figure out what I can give in terms of time and commitment, and how this will work for my family. I am going to reach out and set up meetings with leaders in the local community–from both munches, past TNG leaders, owners of the local kink-friendly fetish store etc., to get a sense of the community, its resources, and any suggestions. It is EXTREMELY important to me that this new group be a part of the current community–not segregated from it, and one of the themes I want to directly address with the community is the way in which the older and younger generations MUST work and learn from one another. I plan to invite “elder” members from the community to present and teach at our meetings, and I also want to work to empower younger members to step up in the community and create groups and events that reflect their interests, needs, and passions.
I plan on taking at least a month to do all this pre-work, reflection, and praying, and then, post a call for interest on FL. I want to have an initial meeting to see who is interested and actively plan and brainstorm as a group what we want the group to be, and find out the needs and interests of the attendees. I’m really not sure quite where to go from there–is it customary to have people in formal leadership roles in these groups, or is it more informal? As the group founder, I by no means want to be a dictator, but have had negative experiences where everyone is trying to run the show, or (in less formal situations) where no one takes ownership/pride/responsibility and the whole thing dissolves/falls to pieces.
So I am putting all this out here in request for your love, support, words of wisdom, and any experience you may have with this sort of thing! I am feeling a lot of excitement and terror right now!
Thank you for reading and sharing your responses!
Yay for TNG! I am working hard on building up our local TNG group right now and have loved the experience. Please contact me if you can use any advice.
I actually helped start the young crowd group here in Edmonton when I was still pretty new, which we called the Young Edmonton Players (YEP). It is run with 4 people, so not everything is put onto one person. There are 2 munches a month, 2 people take care of one munch, and 2 take care of the other. They schedule various events and social outings, sometimes together and sometimes separately. They also encourage members of the group to schedule their own outings, which takes some more off the shoulders off those running it. I hope this helps some!
Formal leadership roles – or possibly formal “organizer” roles might be a better way of putting it – can help make sure things don’t fall apart (in theory) due to everyone just figuring that “someone else will do it”. That said, keeping the People In Charge to a low number (2-3 – ChefKink’s four people sounds like it works well, too) helps to keep things from getting bogged down in the efforts to just try and find a planning-meeting time that works for Everyone.
That said, if the interest is there, you can encourage your membership to sign up to lead a workshop or a discussion group so that the majority of the “content” of a given meeting (I’m using a lot of quotation marks here, aren’t I?) isn’t left to the same two (or three or one or four…) people every time.
Depending on what your potential members are interested in, you might try rotating types of events – munches with skill-shares with kink-themed outings (for a given value of “kink themed”, granted) with parties. Or not. Whatever works. :-)
Yes! Kudos for setting intentions and having a plan. Extra gold stars for reaching out for support!