And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
(” Time” – Pink Floyd)
It’s somewhat official, I’m getting old. Not really that old of course, but too old for the TNG group that I’ve attended for the last eight years. In a few months I will have to leave the forum and chat, and yesterday, I had my last TNG party. As i’m turning 35 in december, I won’t be welcome anymore, not even as ” the older partner of pluu” . My feelings are a bit mixed.
I’ve never been fully dependend on the TNG parties. I was about 26 when I started going to BDSM parties, and I’ve always felt mature enough to attend other events as well. But for a long time, the TNG parties really have been ” home” to me , as they have a very special feel. For instance, many parties in The Netherlands somewhat insist on a dresscode. Even at the national BDSM association “at least black” is an informal rule. They won’t kick you out for wearing pink (not that I actually…ah, well, anyway), but they would find it strange. At the TNG parties, everyone dresses the way they want to. The forum too has a special feel. Unlike many other Dutch forums, the moderators work rule-based and are pretty objective. Discussions used to be rather serious, on-topic and sometimes pretty heavy. And yet, everybody totally ignores most of the existing bdsm “conventions”, ” rules”, and ” truths” . I like that. A lot.
But over the last two years or so, both forum and parties have become less home. The parties have changed locations two times, and I just don’t seem to get used to the newest location, which has in my opinion a rather strange set up for a BDSM party. There’s enough play space, but it’s spread all over the place, and the place is crowded big time. There’s about two times as many people as there used to be in the, *coughs* , good old days when I was young. Also, it’s gotten harder to meet new people, and I’ve been sticking much more around to those who are already my friends. The forum has changed too. It’s bigger and busier than ever, but the topics have drifted away from bdsm, acceptance, politics, activism, etc. towards a lot more personal stuff, off-topic banter and, to be honest, personal drama. It has become much more a social network site than a BDSM forum, and I miss the more serious discussions a bit. The average age seems to have dropped as well by a few years.
Or perhaps… I’m just imagining all that change and it’s just that…well, as I said, I’m getting older. It’s not that strange to relate a little bit less to 17, 18yo boy & girls when you hit 35, is it? And it’s not all bad. Maybe this generation talks less about acceptance of their feelings and acceptance in society because there’s less need to. Maybe the fact that when young people start looking around, nowadays there is a fully functional TNG group to go to, and BDSM gets into the press in a much more positive way than ever before, lately. Well maybe that does help. When I started that was completely new, and acceptance of younger people in the scene was lousy. Young men couldn’t be dominant. Young women were prey. Nowadays I see a lot of the younger people going to other events as well, including the bigger fetish parties. And often, I see people in their very early twenties playing with a lot of self-confidence. I hope that this is the case, for that would mean that the TNG group is at least achieving some of the goals we set eight years ago!
Fortunately for me, we now have parties (and a forum) for all ages with about the same feel as the TNG group. We set that up earlier this year with a bunch of other other people who, for the most part, are TNG veterans as well. As “my generation” is getting older, that had to happen one day I guess, but an earlier attempt two or three years ago miserably failed. So far, we’ve had a number of kick-ass parties, with workshops and demo’s and a slave auction, and in december we’re even having a masked ball with a swimming pool and a sauna! And the best is, there’s even a lot TNG people coming. Which is really great, because I hope that even the younger people will feel welcome and at ease at our parties.
So, back to my last TNG party. Of course, I wasn’t scared to death like I was eight years ago. Going to clubs has become routine, as has playing in public. I’ve been talking a lot to people, got a lot of good-bye-hugs – though admittedly 70% of those were from one and the same girl with a hug-fetish), played a little with our new pluu-made wooden paddle and some rope, and talked a bit more. It was also great to see Blasphem & magicalvenus again. Their ropework is getting better and better! But I felt it was especially heart-warming to see that nobody seemed eager to see me go. After all, as a TNG member you don’t want to become the sort of Old Man that necessitated the setting up of a TNG Group in the first place. You really don’t, and you should get out before that happens. Seems like I haven’t reached that point yet :-). I haven’t said farewell to many people in the end, as I’m sure I will meet them elsewhere. If not in the near future, then in a few more years.
Oh, and there was one new experience. For the first time in those 8 years, I had sex at a TNG party. It took quite a bit of fumbling, but in the end we did manage to have sex in the not-so-dark-darkroom (in the *coughs* good old days, there never was a darkroom). There’s a first time for everything, and new experiences keep you young!