Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Notes on The Scene

You might want to settle in with your refreshing beverage of choice for this one, as it’s really freaking long.

Recently, someone I’m very fond of, and who is quite prominent in the spanking scene, wrote a piece about the scene and where he feels he stands in it, in particular the large national parties. Lest people accuse me of name-dropping (“oooh, she’s friends with him“), I won’t say who it is. But his post was honest and brave, and it gave me the courage and impetus to do some reflecting of my own.

I have stated, time and again, that throughout life, I have felt like this photo:

brickdoesnotfit

The piece that doesn’t fit. The square peg in a round world. Or, as I once heard in a 12-step meeting: “I feel like I’m trespassing on the planet.” Different. Weird. Etc. Throw kinkiness into the mix and you really get the stench of otherness.

I’ve also often said that navigating the scene is like dancing on a double-edged sword. On one side, you have infinite potential for belonging, for acceptance, for connecting with others. For personal fulfillment. For expressing your truest self. But misstep, and that sword can hurt you. Sometimes it’s little cuts that bleed, and leave tiny scars that no one sees but you. And other times, it can outright disembowel you.

The scene is loving. The scene is fickle. It is kind. It is brutal. The scene gives. The scene takes away.

I’ve seen so much in my scene years. Some of it has happened to me, and some things have happened to others. I’ve been loved, hated, accepted, misunderstood, put up on a pedestal, knocked back off it, immortalized on film and in cartoons, stalked, cat-fished, supported, betrayed, judged, defended. I’ve hit the highest highs and the lowest lows, and everything in between.

Just a few random things I’ve borne witness to over the years, that touched me deeply:

When a long-time party-goer had a massive heart attack and nearly died, he ended up in an extended hospital stay, unable to pay his mortgage and his bills. A GoFundMe was set up for him — contributions came pouring in. I believe they ended up with $15-20,000. He survived.

When a young woman mentioned on FetLife that she had a birthday party and no one showed up, a surprise party was arranged for her at one of the national gatherings. When she walked into the room and everyone cheered, she actually turned around, looking for who was being greeted. Then realization dawned, and she burst into tears.

When a woman had devastating losses from a fire, a GoFundMe was set up for her as well. Many came through for her.

A long-time host of room parties, who had been absent for years due to illness, came to his first party in years with his wife. They were given a tribute, complete with speakers (I was one of them) and an award. It was a beautiful recognition of a great scene contributor. Not too long after that, he passed away from cancer.

When a young woman came to her first party, not knowing anyone and having only connected online with a few people on FetLife, the enormity of it all, the noise, the crush of bodies overwhelmed her. The first night, she left the party room in tears. The party might have ended for her there, had it not been for a dear friend of mine intercepting her in the hallway. He pulled her into his room, let her cry, gave her a pep talk. She calmed down and regained her composure, took a break, then went back to the party. Later that weekend, I saw the same woman happily, joyously playing, right in the midst of the main party room.

When a beloved scene member nearly died giving birth to twins and then one of them tragically didn’t make it, a beautiful soul took up a collection to buy the shell-shocked couple a ton of essentials — everything from diapers to formula to clothes — plus a cleaning service and a subscription to Netflix for distraction.

Countless displays of welcome, of support, of love. The more I think about this, the more incidents I come up with. But of course, there is the other side.

I’ve seen relationships form, then crash and burn. I’ve seen countless emotional meltdowns at parties, including several of my own. I’ve seen friendships dissolve, jealousies flare, hurts inflicted. People who put out their time, money and efforts to open their hotel suites to everyone at parties get criticized and picked apart by those who consider themselves entitled to everything they want at someone else’s expense. I read an account of someone who welcomed everyone in their suite for several days/nights at a national party — and then was thoroughly reamed for having the audacity to restrict their suite to friends only on the final night. That’s just one story of many. I have witnessed people being systemically and cruelly shunned from groups. This one hates that one; so-and-so violated so-and-so; stay away from that guy; don’t talk to this woman. Battle lines are drawn; gossip runs rampant. Granted, if someone is a genuine hot mess, a violator, a predator, etc., with accounts from many to back up the concerns, that’s one thing; friends should be warned and safety should be paramount. But sometimes, good people who cross the wrong individuals can find they become pariahs in short order.

The scene can foster closeness and special relationships, but it also provides a sort of pseudo-intimacy. We are in close proximity, we bare our body parts before we even learn each other’s real names, we engage in intimate activity. We are emotionally invested and vulnerable. We open fully and trust quickly. But sometimes, it simply isn’t real. And when reality does hit, it hurts worse. Because we’ve invested so much of ourselves. Not just our bodies, but our hearts and souls.

I have watched people rally and rise above bad times to eventually prevail. And I have seen people disappear, burned out or driven away. The trouble with being too close to the scene is it’s like a personal house of cards. The loss of a key card can cause the whole thing to come down for you. And although you know logically that there are other components of life, at the moment of that crash, it can feel like your entire world is crashing. Your source of support. Your place of belonging.

There have been many ups and downs for me over the years, navigating this scene. Luckily, I was spared the tumult of multiple relationships, of breakups, of having to see exes at gatherings, because I have been with John the entire time. A couple of times, I came very close to dropping out. When I thought I was done shooting because one company didn’t want me, I felt like a has-been and like my time was done. It was the first time I became aware of the fickleness of the scene, how much is about the newest hot young thing. However, I was able to work through that, with the help of a much beloved friend (thank you again, Danny)… and went on to shoot with several other companies for another ten years. I beat the odds, over and over.

Well-placed gossip can destroy someone in this scene. Roughly fifteen years ago, a woman accused me of trying to sabotage her relationship and steal her boyfriend. Ridiculous, since I had John. The man in question had been my play partner, she had been my friend, but when she began dating him, suddenly I became the enemy. Not only was he not to play with me anymore, he wasn’t to communicate with me at all. I don’t know where this jealousy and paranoia came from. I consider myself the least threatening woman on earth, hardly a femme fatale. I was older than her, and not nearly as striking.

Seems like this sort of thing is no big deal, right? Unfortunately, she happened to be a well loved icon of videos — definitely a case of “boys want to meet her, girls want to be her.” And she was telling anyone who would listen to her that I was a relationship wrecker. I lost friends. I was put in the awful state of wondering who was saying what about me and to whom. Or, even worse, having damning words come directly back to me, like the time a friend told me she’d been admonished in no uncertain terms by another that she should “sever all ties with Erica.”

I was devastated and thought I was done. But somehow, with support, I made it through that too. She sabotaged her own relationship, it ended without any of my involvement, and she eventually disappeared. Friends who had believed her ended up apologizing to me (including the “sever all ties” person). It was an ugly and painful time, and I think that came the closest to driving me out. (Please, no guesses. And no, it was not Samantha Woodley.)

But I was younger then. I had time on my side. I could ride it out, even though it seemed impossible at the time. Because there was a greater good. There was something to fight for, to persevere for.

Humans are resilient beings. We have to be. There is so much in life that is devastating and inevitable. Death. Illness. Crushing losses. And then there is the suffering that shouldn’t be inevitable, but it is: the pain from the careless cruelty and indifference of fellow humans.

We are able to move past and survive a whole lot of grief and loss, recover from disappointments, rise above life’s meanness. But I think everyone has a breaking point. Everyone has that one last straw, the one where they realize something has to change. Something has to give… or something has to go.

I am reminded of a woman I knew in the scene many years ago. She, along with her play partner and friend, hosted many room parties at Shadow Lane and was one of the organizers of a spanking group in her hometown. She was someone who had been through her share of pain in life; prolonged illness and death of her first husband with no support from his family, raising two children alone, addiction. But now her kids were older, she’d fallen in love and married again, and it seemed that life was finally going to turn around.

Until she was hit with not one, but two unspeakable betrayals from people she trusted. I will not elaborate on what happened or who was involved, only that the incidents were scene-related. They were her final straw. She withdrew from the groups, disappeared from the online boards. I stopped hearing from her; she lived in another state, so it wasn’t like I could go for coffee or lunch and hang out with her.

She died from acute liver failure at age 50, drinking herself to death.

No, I’m not going to drink myself to death. Or anything myself to death. But I think I’ve experienced my last straw as well. And I don’t think I’m going to get past this one. Unlike with the others, time is not on my side. I know I harp about my age a lot, but this statement has never been more true: I really am too old for this shit. I’m already dealing with a lot of insecurity about the changes in my body, my face. And now that I feel like my confidence, sense of kinship, and trust have disappeared, that’s simply too much to cope with. I can’t put the face on anymore. I don’t want to be seen. When I look in the mirror, the face that gazes back at me looks pale and lifeless.

50 Freaks was this past weekend. This is the first time since this party was conceived that we’ve missed one. The decision was painful and I’ve shed copious tears over it. I hope Joe will understand and forgive me; it had absolutely nothing to do with him. But I simply couldn’t do it. And interwoven with all the sadness and regret was a feeling of relief. All the prep of getting there felt overwhelming and exhausting. I’ve never liked that part; I’ve always found it stressful. But I also always knew there was great joy and welcoming and fun and play and escape on the other side. Now… that has been tainted.

It snowed in Vegas, a rare occurrence. Several flights were canceled. I told myself, meh, it would have been a hassle driving in it (I read about road closures and other traffic nightmares), it would have been freezing, I’d have to bring a ton of heavy clothes, and who feels sexy and spanky when they’re bundled up like an Eskimo? But of course, I knew that was ridiculous. We’d be in a hotel, not in a freaking tent. In our room, we could turn on the heat. In the party room, all the bodies would keep things plenty warm. So that was just a rationale.

God damn, I miss play. So much. Part of me is yearning, fully, bodily, emotionally, to lose myself in the pain, to be spanked to tears, to feel those incomparable endorphins cleanse me. But I don’t know where that is to be found right now. I don’t know who I can trust with it. In case you’re wondering whatever happened to Mr. Woodland — he is not gone. He is great and I would unquestionably scene with him. However, he is very busy dealing with Life at this time and not available.

And more than play, I miss the connection. I miss the bubble of parties, the complete immersion into an altered state for a while. A few days of respite from reality. The hugs. The laughs. I miss the me I was at these events. I don’t know if she’ll ever come back.

I am and will always be a spanko. I just don’t know what my outlets will be now. And like I said, it doesn’t seem like time is on my side. I feel a profound emptiness, a sense of loss. I suppose, like everything else, I just have to let it be there and wait to see what’s ahead.

By the way, the absurdity of this post doesn’t escape me. I can hear people out there thinking, “Oh, boo-hoo, you little snowflake victim. First World Problems. Get over yourself.” One friend I know is dealing with her mother’s terminal cancer. Another lost both her parents within seven weeks at the end of last year. Others are dealing with physical ailments, money worries, dying pets, relationship issues, and life’s other assorted crises and grievous situations.

Right now, John’s health is stable. I am working. I love my quiet, safe apartment. I am lucky enough to live in a strong, progressive and enlightened state during these terrifying times. I don’t wish to minimize any of the good things I’m grateful for. However, this is one of the worst and most long-lasting depressions I’ve had in years. And it is about more than just parties and playing. It’s about feeling like I’m losing a piece of myself. John says I am going through an existential crisis. He’s not one given to exaggeration, although I think this phrase sounds melodramatic. But perhaps I am. I’m questioning everything and everyone, including myself.

They say depression is anger turned inward. I am angry. More than anything, I am angry at myself. I allowed my power to be taken from me, let harsh words break me. I should be stronger than that. But I guess it’s that last straw thing again. Sometimes our well of strength runs dry. I don’t have it in me to go through another episode of wondering who’s saying what to whom. It’s soul-sucking.

I was told, among other things, that I use my depression like a shield, so people will feel sorry for me and not hold me accountable for my actions. That is the lowest of the low blows, cruel, and untrue. I hold myself accountable for my actions. When I fuck up, I say so. No one is harder on me than I am. But if one person believes this of me, then surely others do too. There are flawed humans, as we all are, and then there are those who cross the line and are fatally flawed. I’m not sure which side of the line I’m on… or am considered to be.

I stayed off social media this past weekend. John did his best to keep me distracted, taking me to see a movie, joking and being silly. It was a strange, surreal feeling all weekend, knowing what was going on and not being there. Wondering how everyone was doing. Who made it, and who got held up by the inclement weather. Who played with whom. Two of my favorite people there recently married; I hope they got lots of attention. What dramas occurred, because they always do. Would they have been mine, or someone else’s?

Since our going missing from the party, John has received one text, and I’ve received two messages, asking if we’re okay… and that’s it. Ouch. Humbling indeed. 😦 “It’s not personal,” John said. “People just have short attention spans.” I like his kinder, gentler take on it, rather than mine — that my reputation has been damaged, and people are staying away. Or, even worse, that no one cared all that much to begin with. Out of sight, out of mind. We’re all just faces in the crowd. (Or asses, in this case.)

So no party report, I’m afraid. May not be much of anything from me, at least for a while. I will always love the spanking scene, sharp edges and all, and love some very special people in it. I’ll always be grateful for what it gave to me. I just don’t know if I can be part of it anymore. Or if it even wants me to be.

John has done all he can to assure me that I am indeed lovable, that I matter. He told me that I make his life worth living, every single day. The same goes for you, my beloved fellow misfit. I love you with all my heart.

Carry on, kids.

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37 thoughts on “Notes on The Scene

  1. Oh, sis, I relate so much to so much of this. I wish there were something I could do or say to help you feel better. At the same time, I felt a little less alone reading it. I had been meaning to check in soon, had a feeling. Love you always.

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  2. I’m sorry you missed 50 Freaks. I love your recaps. I live vicariously thru you as I’m way too shy to join the scene. I’m too afraid of cliques/established groups and not being welcomed. I hope it gets better for you and you get to play soon.

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  3. I remember someone telling me, a few years ago, that we are never “too old” and I believed her. May I be so bold as to suggest you get your ass back out there?

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  4. Your writing is so beautiful— I can feel the pain and hurt through your words. Thank you for sharing your story. About this being a “first world issue”— other people’s problems don’t invalidate the way you feel. Even if it’s harder to understand, dealing with depression changes your reality. If you’re suffering, you’re suffering— and no one is allowed to refute it. I’m so sorry that you’re hurting so much.

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  5. On one level I can’t relate to your scene experiences because I’ve never been important enough (or active enough) to be worth attacking.

    But I do have some points of contact.

    The first spanking party I went to, a Shadow Lane in Palm Springs, I was there because the Chastenwood (Seattle) group persuaded me to go, so they sort of adopted me for the weekend. I was hanging around like a fly on the wall. Thus I heard two of the women criticizing a spanker in scathing terms. (Chastenwood, I would later realize, was very spankee-centric; had high standards for spanker behavior.) I said later that I’d be scared to death now to spank anyone, for fear people would talk like that about me behind my back. Their reassurance — that as long as I wasn’t a jerk, I had nothing to worry about — was not reassuring. I wasn’t at all sure I knew what spankees would consider being a jerk.

    So I was worried about being talked about even though no one was talking about me.

    (I later overcame my reluctance, but it was years later.)

    There is nothing in the world like a spanking party when it’s working right. The collective energy — that Brigadoon-like feeling of a world come to life for a short period only to soon disappear (I realize that’s not quite how Brigadoon worked, but it’s the closest analogy I have) — the feeling of belonging that comes from knowing all these people share the same desire (or its complement) that I do, and that here we no longer have to keep it carefully secret, but can be open — it’s amazing.

    But … we’re still people, and it’s still a party. It took me over a decade to realize that if I’m lousy at ordinary parties, there’s no real reason I wouldn’t be lousy at spanking parties too. And I was.

    But for me the last straw was something I witnessed at a suite party — something bad that happened to someone else, and which I could have prevented if I’d been quicker and more spiritually generous. A situation where technically nobody did anything wrong, but the result was still emotionally terrible. (I’d like to describe it in detail, if only to see what others think — my only report of it at the time was on the Happy Tails forum, whose readership was already small — but I’d be hijacking your blog for my own purposes, so I won’t.)

    I went to one party after that, but all I could think about was what I’d seen the year before. So I gave up.

    I realize this is nothing like your experience — nowhere near as bad or traumatic. I also realize that, since I don’t suffer from depression, I can’t understand how it interacts with the rotten way humans treat each other to make life almost impossible to bear.

    But it’s my story of how something almost indescribably uplifting can turn into something so sad I never wanted to experience it again.

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  6. You have such an amazing gift of expressing situations, experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions through your writing, and capturing the very essence of yourself in a most honest and vulnerable way. It hurt reading this post, and I am at a loss for words. It’s simplistic and naive to wish people would treat one another, especially longtime friends, with kindness and compassion, but nonetheless that remains my hope. I consider you a dear friend of immeasurable value.

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  7. Lily — I love you too, sis. Just knowing you’re out there is a comfort.

    Kelly — I’m sorry. I hope I haven’t discouraged you. Yes, there is a dark side to the scene, but there is a dark side in anything where humans are involved. The rewards can be great. I was able to reap many of them.

    Rox — of course you may. But I think this ass is done.

    Asteria — you are clearly an empath. Thank you so much.

    Michael — oh my goodness, Chastenwood. I haven’t heard that name in years. I remember them; I had several great scenes with one of their tops. If you feel like it, you can describe what happened that disturbed you so much in a PM.

    Pam — thank you, sweet friend. I appreciate YOU immeasurably.

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  8. It makes me happy, time and again, to read about how you and John enjoy others. Soulmates, friends, lovers and so much more.
    I actually think the spanking scene actually is sort of a looking glass, amplifying, brighlty expressing life and society.

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    • MrJ — the spanking scene is basically a slice of society; despite the one commonality, everyone is different. The highs and lows are more intense, I think, because of the intimacy involved.

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  9. You write so well, and as with all our spankos-in-distress, I wish I could reach out and fix you, or at least hold up for your benefit the mirror everyone else seems to see you through. Yours seems faulty somehow. You’ve made your own legend out of the best material we have – honesty!

    On a cheap excuse to spank you note, my nit-picky sub-editor’s shoulder angel objects to your use of “enormity”, but these days it seems like usage has redefined it as enormousness, so maybe I’m just not keeping up. But in the dictionaries it still says: “the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.”

    Best wishes from London. (And you think you guys have an existential crisis!)

    I hope you come see the place sometime. Once we’ve figured out what it is, perhaps.

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  10. Jesse on said:

    There was a lot in this post and I’m glad you shared it all. For what it’s worth, I think you’re loved and loveable, Erica. Lots of us are big fans of you.

    Following your mini-vacation from social media, did you find you felt better or worse. Most people seem to feel better when they’re not on Facebook/Twitter/FetLife and, instead, are doing things in the physical world. Feeling isolated or depressed and having access to social media seems like a potent mixture.

    Personally, I suspect your friends and party-goers care about you more than you think they do. In our always connected world people tend to notice what is in front of them, and their attention is constantly pulled by texts, updates, the people in front of them. It’s hard to pull away from those constant grabs for our attention to notice who or what is not present.

    I also suspect that it would be worth it to go back out there, attend another party, find a new play partner. There is the potential to be hurt, but if you don’t there will be the nagging question of “what if” and a guaranteed lack of play. Mingling in the scene at least gives you the potential to play and connect with people.

    Whichever path you choose, I wish you all the best. You’re wonderful.

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  11. MS — I’ll have to check into that “enormity” thing. I’m the last one who should be misusing words, I guess.

    Jesse — you’re very kind. Do I feel better or worse after pulling back a bit from social media? Mixed. It’s a relief to be deactivated from FetLife, as that removes me from the temptation of torturing myself reading about the party, looking at the pictures, etc. I don’t see myself going back there anytime soon. I’m back on Twitter. What has made me feel worse was the general lack of reaction to John’s and my not showing up, and to this blog post, with a few exceptions. I wasn’t expecting any sort of grand fanfare — I’m not that narcissistic. But I haven’t felt this invisible and dispensable in a very long time. You think people do care, and I appreciate your saying that. But the indifference tells me otherwise.

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    • Jesse on said:

      I’m kind of glad to hear you deactivated your FetLife account. Not because I don’t want you there (quite the opposite), but I went to message you the other day and got the “Erica has left or blocked you.” So it’s nice to know you just took a break, rather than blocked me. 🙂

      You’re wonderful and I’m sorry you’re feeling invisible. I’m happy you’re still here sharing your life with us.

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  12. I never put my self out there like you have I was just happy to find out that for once I was not that weird kid down the road but had some company for a change some one who understands. Thanks so much for that it means a lot

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  13. Erica,

    Your considerable wisdom, broad experience, and clear expression remain a blessing to the people you encounter, be it IRL or here in cyberspace. Your insight about the scene and its tides of emotion conveys useful knowledge to those who follow your path. This aspect alone grants you continuing value and relevance.

    Come what may, I hope you will continue to write. Your perspective is unique, yet frequently applicable. Our community is stronger for having your voice among us.

    Thank you again, dear friend, for being irrepressibly you.

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  14. Hippie — I think a whole lot of us are the weird kid down the road. I know I am.

    Bonnie — I find myself wishing yet again that you were local. I could definitely see hanging out over a coffee with you. Thank you for always being so kind.

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  15. I was glad to read your assurance that you are safe.

    Thank you for writing about all of this. It has helped me.

    Thinking about what you wrote helped me to realize how far I had slid. I am not so self aware as you are in your writing. A series of recent deaths close to me had taken me far deeper down than I realized I had gone. Thinking about what you wrote helped me to see what I was not thinking about, but was feeling anyway.

    I hope sharing this helped you to work it out somewhat. It certainly helped me to see things I did not want to see. Thanks.

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    • Mark — I am so sorry for your losses.
      Sharing via blogging has its merits, but ultimately, it’s a one-sided conversation. I’m still left having to deal with what I see and accept it.

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  16. Brad D. on said:

    Erica, I can assure you that many people asked about you, but maybe did not write because they did not want to make you feel worse. We missed you.

    Your blognote is painful to read because it does manifest in almost encyclopedic fashion the ambivalence that many of us feel about the scene. However, I contrast it with the hugs that we give and get at the start of any party and I think that it is worth putting up with the crap in order to get to the really good stuff

    One thing is for sure, and is referenced in your blognote, life is short. We have seen good people pass from the scene and life. In the past year, I have been to more hospitals that I like to comfort people about whom I care.

    We all have bad moments and many of us need to retrench and refresh at times.

    All I can tell you is that you are a very impressive person both in print and in person. You have no idea how much you have helped and inspired some women in the scene and aroused many men who would like to hold you firmly over their laps.

    Do what is right for you and your health, but, be clear, you are important to many people in our group and are missed when you are absent.

    Hugs,

    Brad

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  17. Bexxie13 on said:

    Hi Erica, we were friends on fetlife, and I wanted to message you there, but I didn’t see your profile (no judgement fl can be more catty than high school.) I just wanted to say I’ve always loved reading your posts and felt like a kindred spirit with the whole depression thing. Lately, I too feel like I’m getting bad again, my medication isn’t working, I’m sleeping a lot and I just don’t feel up to much. I hate those feelings and I stick around because I hope things get better as they did before. I hope things get better for you. Whether or not you’re up for play I hope you find things that make you happy. I know we’ve never met, but I love you. As much as strangers can say that, I guess

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  18. Bexxie — thank you for finding me here. I’m still technically on FetLife, although I have deactivated, so everything is frozen for the moment. I don’t know when I want to come back, if ever. Until I’m certain, I won’t quit completely. All I have to do now is reactivate if I wish to.

    Depression is a bitch. In my case, along with being clinical, it’s also situational, so it feels compounded and endless. I hope you find your own answers, a meds tweak, whatever it takes for you so you’ll feel better. Please take good care of yourself, and thanks again for being empathetic.

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  19. Anonymous on said:

    Crystal clear prose fit for a primer on communication in general or the scene itself.

    Never doubt your value,

    Anon E. Mouse

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  20. Anonymous on said:

    How are you doing Erica … lots of changes in my life .. but time marches on. Just a suggestion .. but take an hour off and go to see “Stan and Ollie” or it may be on Netflix by now. At my age I attend quite a few films but this on touched me.

    Cheers ..

    The Grinch

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  21. Kelly on said:

    You haven’t discouraged me, I’m just too shy to try.

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  22. Grinch — my father would disown me for this were he still here, but I never liked Laurel and Hardy. I hate the slapstick, and I don’t find them funny. Now, if they ever do a movie about the Marx Brothers, I’m there.

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  23. Anonymous on said:

    Well I like my cigar too but ……. but I pull it out once in a while …. G Marx from
    “You Bet Your Life” with George Fenamen circa 1956

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  24. Questergirl on said:

    Part of your depression could be what’s affecting all of us. Even G., the most stable, non-reactive person has started making an exasperated noise about anything Trump Et Al. related. It seems to be weighing all of us down, and it’s exhausting. Add the scene problems and it’s a recipe for “OMG, I’m out”. You may find a way through so that you can participate in parties again, or you might find a way to just have what you need on a personal level when it comes to the scene. Either way, I hope you figure it out so that you can feel more like yourself in the kink again. I haven’t been able to have what I need either, because G. lives over 600 miles away and neither of us has the money to travel. That should be changing soon, and I’m going to ship him in. We haven’t seen each other in over four years, and I feel the lack of play. Being on the phone for hours twice a week helps, but with no physical contact, there’s still something missing. I haven’t been to a party in years, probably a decade, because I’m not sure the local group is still around. I dealt with my share of people judging how I played, because I play hard, so I understand that feeling of “Who’s taking mental notes about what I’m doing?”. It sucks.

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    • Q — for sure, current events are weighing heavily on me. It’s toxic, having that monster in power. But this is more up close and personal. Something that once felt like the safest of safe havens now feels like, on a good day, indifferent, and on a bad day, a minefield. I want to find what works and feels safe for me again… but don’t know how.

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  25. Aria Lennox on said:

    I struggle with all of this already. I’m a very caring and emotionally driven person. I care easily and invest a lot in my friendships. The transient nature of the scene is so unsettling to me. People constantly are coming and going but not constants in life. Me participating in the scene and opening up about all of this; my desires, my feelings; is alien to me. I have laid my soul out bared for the world to see so when people are your friends and involved and attentive one second then move on to the next thing and I no longer hear from these people except when they want to play at parties that’s hard for me. I don’t mean everyone of course. I am just referring to the people who you become close to and bare your soul to and who become your confidant. Then they just disappear and your left feeling empty and abandoned. It’s surreal. Like you said there are so many good things about the scene and the people but it is hard to experience if you don’t just go for the parties and if the connection is real for you.

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    • Aria Lennox on said:

      My tenses are fucked up but it’s late and I’m exhausted and you get the idea. Sending you hugs and encouragement. I’m on the fence lately about the scene myself.

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      • Aria — I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this as well. I wonder sometimes just how many of us are. I question all the time: is it true what John says, that people have nonexistent attention spans and it’s not personal, or am I doing something wrong? No easy answers, that is for sure.

        Hugs to you too, sweetheart. Empaths and other sensitive types can have a rough time of things, both in scene and in general life.

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  26. Paul H on said:

    Erica, I have never been so moved by an expression of heart-felt emotion and absolute authenticity as you have expressed here. Moved, beyond words, I am!
    You cannot imagine how much I would LOVE to spend a day with you, anywhere, discussing our mutually shared life and scene experiences! We share so much commonality here, it is amazing. I have been deeply attracted to you for decades, and would be greatly blessed to have the opportunity to share some 1 on 1 time with you, anytime. There is so much of a sense of “kindred experience” here that it amazes me:-)!!! More than almost anything else, Erica, I long to meet you !!!!!!!!!!:)

    Paul H.

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