Still, I think I was justified.
lolitasir and I took a trip downtown to never-heard-of-before Weehauken Street in the Village to attend the street fair portion of the New York Leather Weekend. This event has gotten a lot of press attention - alleghations in the press that the approval for the street fair was sneaked past the local community board inspired articles in a whole of sources, including the NY Post and FOX. Thus, this event had a lot of attention - when we got there, Inside Edition was inside, and so was the Stephen Colbert Show. I hear several other major press operations were in attendance as well. (Confirmed by the page 3 article I found in the NY Metro paper this morning on the way to work.)
The point? There were a whole lot of external eyes being pointed onto us. We were being observed, written about, photographed, and the line between receiving a good painting by the press vs. seeing sensationalist and negative press had never been so thin.
Due to it being an outdoor leather street fair, there were the expected number of scenes happening around us. Demonstrations on the stage in the middle of the block, rope bondage towards the end, and the random personal scene happening here and there. One woman took it upon herself to try out floggers up for sale by flogging her companion. She took a matched set of floggers, and went to town on his back, full of a bravado giving off the aura that this was a Woman Who Knew What She Was Doing. That she had expertise, and we should all watch as she gets off on the exhibitionistic flair of her scene.
Except she couldn't aim for shit. Kidney shots, wrapping around his waist, his back. It was awful to watch, and all the press cameras flung around to capture it.
I was pissed. I mean, I was already bitter towards the world and had nothing but vitriol for the slightest annoyances, but this one boiled my blood.
She later came up to me to say hello, clearly a friendly gesture. I whipped my face around to meet hers, and lost it. Without even saying hello...
"If you ever flog again in public, learn to fucking aim. Kidneys are not appropriate places to hit. I was tempted to march right up there and rip the floggers out of your hands. Learn to fucking aim, understood?"
She took my anger graciously, nodding that she understood what she did wrong, and agreed with my assessment.
Was I too harsh? Was it wrong for me to lash out at improperly aimed play? Am I becoming a "safety nazi," or just becoming a bitter old man?
You know what? I don't think so. I think players have a responsibility to learn their trade. I think that a top should learn how to accurately aim their toys. Now, I am not going to say that you must have perfect aim before you throw a flogger at someone. Everyone has to learn. Everyone has to practice. Everyone makes mistakes. I see a lot of this in dungeon spaces - hell, I've done a lot of it in dungeon spaces. That is the correct environment for such things.
But when you are in a space that is open to Joe Public, that is getting national press attention with cameras and photographers and reports abound, when any person off the street can pay $5 to get in, and you see vanilla people walking all around, clearly getting their first exposure to leather/kink/SM... know what the fuck you are doing before you do it. If you don't have the skills, this isn't the environment to ply your trade.
I'm sure this rant won't be an overly agreed upon one. I'm sure it will piss a few people off, or paint me as an domineering asshole who should just shut up.
Maybe I'm just still bitter.