April 14th, 2009

Frolicon vs. SM events - compare and contrast.

One of the hallmarks of a SM 101 class is teaching all the different terms and phrasing the SM community has. Every community has its own language, and in order to better navigate it knowledge of some terms helps.

Words like top, bottom, switch, scene, toys, etc.

When you attend an event like Frolicon, the need to understand the words becomes doubly important. Here is an event that is chock full of SM, but isn't a SM event, and takes inspiration much more from Sci-Fi events than SM. While most the following words seem intuitive, it is an interesting thing to contrast and compare.

SM Event
Vending AreaDealer Room

There are other major differences.

At a SM event, there is no photography. At Frolicon, cameras are everywhere, and almost everyone wants to see themselves in photos. One thing that does remain the same in both events is that photography is not allowed in the dungeon. Players still get their privacy.

At a SM event, there is no drinking encouraged. Occasionally the hotel bar will be open, but all official events are dry. At Frolicon, there are drinks everywhere. There are official events like the Party Battles (where party hosts compete for being the best party of Saturday night), the Concoction contest (best drink), etc. Now again, there are some similarities. No drinking is allowed in the dungeon (hell, no outside drinks period), and if you seem to be drunk, you're out.

What I like about the above is that the conference assumes that you are an adult, and that you are responsible for your own actions. From their own rulebook posted on the website:

"Rule #1 - Do not be an idiot – If you insist on acting like an idiot, Frolicon can and will boot out without giving you a refund. If in doubt about any of the following rules, always consider this one first."

I've seen so many SM groups and events feel it necessary to hand hold their members and attendees every step of the way. And yes, I understand that there are social idiots out there, and that the SM community sometimes seems to draw them out even more. Yet events like Frolicon manage to exist fairly barrier free (the only real one being having a minimum age of 21 because of all the drinking), and still manages to provide one hell of a good time without being taken over by the idiots. How? Why?

Things to ponder over, certainly.

Work is sadly not Frolicon.

Being back at work after a whirlwind weekend through an adult playground frankly sucks.

I have not beaten or hit or made out or touched anyone in a sexual manner today.

I am wearing a button down shirt and an argyle sweater vest to fit in at work, as opposed to wearing leather jeans and a t-shirt to get ready for play.

I am in work meetings, as opposed to teaching classes on SM.

I am getting yelled at by my boss, as opposed to pretty girls yelling ouch at me.

I had to encourage myself to get a full night of sleep last night in preparation of waking up at 7:00 AM this morning, as opposed to saying fuck it and staying up horrendously late and not caring that I would only have 4-5 hours of sleep before I'm set to teach.

I have eaten fast food for lunch... wait... that's not so different.

Kathryn isn't here. Blah.

Lolita isn't here. Blah.

My family isn't here. Blah.

Scantily clad girls and boys aren't making my tongue waggle every time I turn my head. BLAH!
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