As I’ve mentioned before, the kink community is like every other social matrix; it has good people in it, and it also has not-so-good people. The kink community is more vulnerable than most to those not-so-good people, because they can get at you in more intrusive, hurtful ways.
It was just before the local munch for new community folks that it came to light. Mark, one of the moderators of the group, came in early for a short one before the munch. His brows were knit.
“What’s up, Mark?”
He took a draw off of his Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout and considered his answer. “I got a call from Kurrie the other day. Seems we are getting a new guest coming to the munch today — one I’d sooner not have around. Seems this one has a history of threats and blackmail toward his partners. And he doesn’t much like hearing ‘no’.”
“Exactly. They’ve broken up, but it looks like he might have a long memory. She’s afraid that if anyone does anything, or says anything to him, he’ll come after her.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Not sure. Can’t say anything to him, and can’t ban him outright from events without him possibly coming after her. She begged us not to.”
I said softly, “Is there anything you can do?”
“I don’t know. I can’t think of anything.”
Boss appeared on the bartop and looked at Mark closely.
“I have an idea, if you want it,” I said.
Mark looked up at me. “I’m listening.”
“I’ve been to the NewCommMem munch before. The women in the mod team do a safety talk to the members, right?”
“Yeah. We let folks know they are in a safer space.”
“Seanie is one of your mods, right? Send them around. I have an idea.”
“Welcome to the NewCommMem munch, particularly those of you who are new here. We welcome you, and want you to know that the community protects its members. We are here for you. We want you to feel as safe as possible at munches and parties, and if you can please tell us when you do not feel safe . . .”
Seanie was giving the “safety talk” — something the female-identified members of the moderator team do every month.
“. . . we have good people in our community, and we have some not-so-good people. And we try to keep our eyes on those who might pray on people.” And with this Seanie turns to directly face one round-faced, middle-aged gentleman sitting in the crowd, and said, “We are watching them.”
I was down at the bar, but could hear those last words spoken clearly and plainly. A few minutes later a round-faced, middle-aged man walked quietly down the stairs and out the door. He walked straight ahead, without looking either left or right. He seemed in a hurry.