June 15th, 2006

More on the edge play contest

I'm glad to see that my last post has triggered wide-spread discussion. There are excellent points being made across the board... in the comments to my original post, and in other journals like passionandsoul, forgelives and fd_midori.

Of course, someone posted about this issue to a national SM Activists list, and it took precicely two e-mails for an "edge player" to scream out defensively "so edge play isn't SSC?" Unfortunate, but annoyingly expected.

This is precicely what I wanted to happen when I hosted the discussion at LLC. No matter what the opinions, this is a discussion worth happening. We are living in a period of time in which there are more people into SM than EVER before. The public scene has national attention... groups and weekend events are everywhere. Even the smallest of towns have SM organizations now. We also have more people who have been "in the scene" for 10 years or more than ever. It is natural that edgier topics are being discussed, because a lot of people are beyond the 101 levels of play, and groups are looking for ways to continue being a resource and a destination. Of course edgier topics are going to be taught, as well they should.

I remember when lolitasir and I sat in on Sharrin Spector's Caning 301 class at Dungeon 801. We both leaned to each other and cackled evily, because we had both just absorbed so much that we would integrate into our own play. This was because we were ready for it and hungry. Because it made sense in our styles of play, and in the play relationships we have with others. NOT because we wanted to become a cool edge player as well. But because we were attracted to it... because it made us wet/hard.

Another point of discussion that is occurring is the validity of SM contests. Now, I am not saying competition is neccessarily a bad thing. It is impossible to do anything and not have people inject a competitive angle to it. It's just the way humans are. For years, we have seen singletail accuracy contests, ball/tit-clamp weight competitions, creative bondage contests. These are all fun. They tend to be jovial, and non-threatening. I have never seen a person who managed to lift the heaviest amount of weight from his balls suddenly become the king of the hill. Instead, they tend to get a few more playdates from CBT enthusiasts, and the shakes of the hand from other people. It's fun, it's silly, fine.

But this contest - the most extreme scene competition - this is something different. This has many more risks to it. The push and drive to go beyond your or your bottom's limits just to win the title. The enouragement of others to play beyond their expertise. The positioning of an "extreme" scene as the pinnacle to what one can be in the scene - a goal that people should be heading towards. And the disenfranchising of others. For me, edge play is holding onto me while swimming into the deep end of a pool. I can swim, but barely, and I am scared of deep water. But obviously, that scene would not be extreme enough for the judges, I would imagine. I image they would be looking for something a bit more... viceral.
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    thoughtful thoughtful
Bikemeat

And now for something completely different...

Today was a landmark day for me. After buying Bikemeat, and having only rode it three times, I decided to take the challenge - commute to work via bike.

It was the longest I have ever ridden in my entire life. I believe 5 miles, if I did the math right.

And it was fun! Actually... kind of relaxing. It was quiet, hardly anyone out there. Me, a bunch of joggers, maybe a dozen other bikers. Other than that, nothing but the air and the quiet and the traffic riding along side me and the ducks in the water.

Legs definetely started burning once I hit the 30's. I imagine going home will be tougher - there is an uphill climb when I get closer to my neighborhood. Other than that, the ride is nice and flat.

But, I made it. And in only 10 minutes longer than it would have taken me to ride the subway.
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    busy busy
Bikemeat

Now, I'm tired.

OK, I have to say... going home? Much harder than pedaling to work.

My killer was the wind. Going down, there was hardly a breeze, so it never played a role. Going home, however, I was against the wind the entire way. Fuck! Slowed me down a lot.

I even had to get off and walk it on the one major up-hill. I just didn't have anything left.

But, I made it. And I'm proud of that. I'm overweight, out of shape, never known a gym to save my life... but I bicycled 10 miles today. That's got to count for something.
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    sore sore
angelfish

Guess that's why I didn't major in engineering.

I'm filling my brand spankin' new 20-gallon fish tank with water as we speak... er... as I type. Yeah, that's it.

And it dawned on me when it hit a quarter full... I wonder if my IKEA entertainment center will be able to hold up with all that water in it.

Huh. Guess we'll find out.

Edit - We're good!
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    busy busy
Bikemeat

Woo!

I just did a Mapquest on my commute today... 6.3 miles!

So I biked 12.6 miles today! Yes. Much more impressive.

*thud*
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    tired tired