Origin Story

This is a copy of the original post I put up on my FetLife profile asking for thoughts and feedback. It’s just here as history for anyone who’s just new to Rough Crowd, wondering how it started.

[May 15, 2011]

I’ve had this idea germinating for a while, running circles in my mind, and with each lap it’s grown a little clearer. Lately, some of the remaining pieces have begun falling into place, and I think it may finally be time to try this out.

When I teach classes, I’m frequently struck by the limitations. You see, the way the format works, you have to present x amount of stuff for y average attendee level, and you have z amount of time to do it. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just how a larger event works; they’ve got to maximize their coverage for a general topic on a given schedule. I get that. But sometimes it’s frustrating; sometimes I’d like to really focus on something specific.

This frustration started me thinking: how can I teach and give a specific topic the time it deserves? How can I give enough time so that all levels of attendees can really advance from whatever level they are to the next? How can we help develop skills instead of just teaching that they exist?

I decided I needed to build my own… well, thing. I’m not even sure what to call it – is it a workshop? a class? a community groupshare? a … symposium? Maybe we’ll just call it a banana.

So I’m going to try this as an experiment over the summer.

The idea is this: I’ll hold an event once a month, on a weekend afternoon, for a nominal fee just to cover costs, and there will be a unique topic for each event. The format will be part presentation, part discussion, part workshop; talking, exchanging ideas, and doing. I want to set a stage, then open it up to dialogue: look, some of the best things in some of my classes have come from attendees exchanging ideas, not from me. And then we’ll actually practice, and work on our skills.

The topics will range far and wide, but will all center loosely around rough body play. I might lead these days myself; I might invite topic matter experts now and then. We’ll see where it takes us.

Some session ideas I’m kicking around are:

  • Spanking like Golfing: working on your swing
  • Backhand: safety and power
  • Face slapping for fun and… well, fun
  • Open-handed stingy methods for pain
  • Punching: finding the sweet spot between too much and not enough
  • Kicking: pleasure and punishment without a trip to the ER
  • Bruising: creating vs avoiding
  • Bastinado

I’m totally open to suggestions. (Feel free to post them here or PM me.)

If it’s successful and people really like it, we might keep it going after the summer. There’s even a growth path if it gets really popular. But I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves: first, we’re going to try a little summer experiment.

So – what do folks think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you be interested in it?