Friday, August 8, 2014

What Age And Weight Have To Do With Popularity

Right now on Fetlife, there is a battle raging about whether or not age is a hindrance to play. Since the big Crimson Moon summer party just took place last weekend, it has been reported by several that they were either ignored or turned down for play because of their age and/or weight. Let me just say before I put my two penny's worth in that this is not a new debate. It has been going on for as long as the spanking scene has existed. 

I was 42 years old in early 2003 when my sister and I made the momentous decision to get active in the spanking scene. This was before Fetlife brought all the young, hip technically savvy folks into the scene. I remember emailing one of the board members of Crimson Moon to ask the serious question "Will I get played with if I decide to attend a party?" I thought it a fair question at the time. My only experience with spanking was with Shadow Lane, whose videos always featured sleek, young babes dressed to the nines in heels and garter belts. I didn't look like any of those ladies nor could I afford to dress like them. Now, the gentleman that I emailed that question to had never seen me before in his life. How was he supposed to answer that question? He was tactful in that he said as long as I was friendly, approachable and didn't smell bad I would get played with. When I arrived at the hotel, I did what I have always done in moments when my anxiety or fear has gotten the best of me--I threw up my guts. Carol, my twin sister, was already a veteran of the party scene (she had attended a party just two months earlier) and did her best to assure me that I would be fine. Well, to make a long story short, I was fine. I got spanked so much that my bottom was black and blue for two months afterward. I also made some connections and was able to acquire a play partner.

As you can see, I haven't changed all that much since then. I'm a bit heavier and I have some tattoos, other than that, same ol' Cheryl. Carol and I were two of the younger ladies in the group back then and, being twins, we were popular. What can I say? Being popular was important to me back then. In those early days in the scene, most of the men who spanked us (I was not into getting spanked by women yet...that would come later) were our age or older. At that first party, I did get spanked by a 24-year-old Chinese guy named Lee. It was a wonderful experience, even though we were both super nervous. Unfortunately, Lee didn't return for the second day of the party. At the time, I put it down to him probably being overwhelmed by being at his first spanking party. It never occurred to me that, being the older group it was then, someone may have made him feel unwelcome because he was so young. I refused to believe that the ageism I so feared at the time might actually go in the other direction, too. 

So, fast forward five years to 2008. John Baku and friends introduce a new kind of social networking site--Fetlife, made for kinksters and run by kinksters. It didn't happen overnight, but within a year I would say, Crimson Moon was beginning to be transformed into a much younger group. The problem was that the group was getting younger, but I was getting older. I never thought I would have a problem getting men to play with me. It was unheard of and had never happened in five years. I literally never heard the word "no" in response to asking someone to play. I remember that first "no" like it was yesterday. I had asked a guy who was new to the group to play because I wanted to make him feel welcome. He looked like he wasn't getting much attention (being a new top attending alone, that can be a problem) so I asked him if he wanted to play. His words stung and I still remember them to this day. "Look," he said, "I've been married for 27 years. I have an old lady at home. It's HER I wanna play with." With that, he pointed to a young (meaning under 30) woman sitting at a table with some friends. I tried to hide how rejected I felt. "Well, good luck with that," I told him and went off to lick my wounds. It was the first time I'd ever been rejected and it was because of my age. The girl he'd wanted to play with had been young enough to be his daughter. Nowadays, an older man like that approaching a young woman at a party would be considered "creepy" but back then, kinky social media was brand new so it's possible that Pops got the young girl to play with him. By 2009, I was 48-years-old and the "no's" were beginning to pile up as, party by party our members became younger and younger. Not only were they young, but they were aggressive, too. The would swarm into the party room in small groups chattering, flirting and bratting and turning all the tops' heads. Suddenly, I wasn't very interesting anymore.

Fast forward another five years, to 2013. I was a 52-year-old heart attack survivor attending parties without my twin (who had passed away three years earlier). I had been reduced to being the one doing the asking at parties now. When I was a newbie, one of our older members always said I "had a line out the door" of men wanting to play with me. Now, there was no line. I was the one who had to get in line. It's funny but, even though I still get told "yes" more than I get told "no", it's the "no's" that I remember. I can't be expected to remember every guy who has smiled and took my hand after I asked them to play. But the ones who rebuffed me? Yeah, they stick with me. I've had guys tell me "I'm not playing right now. I'm resting my arm." But then a miracle happens. A cute young girl walks into the room and suddenly, his arm doesn't hurt anymore. And if you think that's bad, wait til you hear this one. In 2012, I was at a party and I was sitting in one of the hospitality suites. It was me and five other guys, just sitting and chewing the fat together. This guy comes in with a paddle in his hand and asks "Who wants a spanking?" I raised my hand and said "I do" and do you know what he said? "Anyone else?" That guy spanked another man, right there in front of me. Of course, the guy who got spanked was an adorable male bottom. I would have spanked him. But still, getting rejected in favor of a guy when this man's dynamic was clearly M/f hurt a lot. I stayed around and watched the spanking though because I do love M/M spanking scenes. 

The people who know me well know that I'm clearly a masochist. But I'm not into humiliation. I've blogged before about competing with the younger, thinner girls. It's a loser's game for women like me. When I first started in the spanking scene all it took to assure a bottom's popularity was to be a hard player. Luckily, I'm a really hard player or I would have probably been put out to pasture a long time ago. Nowadays, that hard playing bottom needs to come with the ideal body as well. I blame the Internet, with its huge menu of spanking porn, which all feature beautiful women of young age and toned body. There are a few companies that will occasionally feature a larger size woman as the bottom, but she still has to be under 30 or look like she could pass for a young girl. My friend, Sherri has worked as a spanking model for a couple of producers and she says she was told that there's a niche in the video market for older women being spanked. Really? I'd like to see just one video producer have the guts to put a woman who looks like me in a spanking video. Not gonna happen, folks.

As a bigger woman who also happens to not exactly be in fighting trim, I think it's disingenuous to say that there isn't ageism or sizeism in the spanking scene. I've seen it and experienced it firsthand. A person could say "That's not why he told you no" but how would they know if they weren't there? All of the tops whose arms are no longer sore or tired when the latest cutie waltzes into the room in her plaid skirt kind of give it away. I don't mean to sound bitter. I have loved my time in the spanking scene for the most part. But I'm a person who deals in realities. The reality is that being older and heavier and "less cool" does hinder who I play with. I know there are people who are willing to play with me privately but not publicly because they're afraid that their "cool" friends would laugh at them for playing with  the fat girl. Or how about the girls who get played with privately and photos get taken? We all look forward to the post-party photo dumps that take place, where everyone (myself included) posts all their party pics. However, I have found more than once that photos of me don't always get posted on other peoples' profiles. This, I believe, is due to the peer pressure I described (about people not wanting their "cool" friends to know that they played with me). 

For people who think it's "not a big deal unless you make it a big deal"...let me tell you that being humiliated publicly is a very big deal. Watching a guy go off with a cute young girl immediately after he just told you he was resting or not playing or had a sore arm is humiliating in the extreme. I would never do that to a person because it's a crappy thing to do to someone. People who are older and/or fat also have feelings the same as anyone else. OK, we're not the "beautiful people", but you know, I don't exactly have a hunchback or live in a bell tower. I'm a human being and I have eyes to see with. Just because a person refuses to acknowledge that my age or weight or non-cool status isn't the reason they didn't want to play with me doesn't make it not true. And if you chose not to play with me because I'm friends with someone you don't like, that's about as middle school as you can get. 

So if you're one those ultra-cool, ultra-popular tops and you choose not to play with me because, no matter how many tattoos I get I'll never be cool enough to play with you, just tell me the truth. You would be doing me and a lot of other people a huge favor. As I said before, I deal in realities. If your reality is that fat girls don't "do it" for you so we're persona non grata in your universe, then say so. Don't give us some hogwash about how age is just a number or how you play with anyone, regardless of size or age if you have a profile full of nothing but you playing with spanking models. I'm fat and old, not blind and stupid. I've seen enough of you guys make a beeline for the door when I come into a room to know what's going on. I've seen people that started in the scene when I did no longer coming to parties because they don't feel like they fit in among the younger crowd. It used to be that spanking parties were leisurely affairs, where people sat and conversed and took their time. Now, because most young people have short attention spans and a low tolerance for things that move slowly, everything at a spanking party is now scheduled and regimented. And there's always something happening because, God forbid, we wouldn't want anyone to have to use their own devises to come up with something to do. That kind of fast paced party atmosphere is what drives a lot of the older members of the scene away. Many of the big national parties (like BBW) don't open up the suite parties until midnight. For most of us older folks, that's pretty late. Some of us take medication for different ailments and need to be in bed by a certain time. For some of us, midnight is the middle of the night. Waiting until that late to start a suite party is, in my mind, tantamount to telling older folks "If you can't keep up, stay out of our way!" It's a subtle form of exclusion. 

I apologize that so many of my recent posts have been rants. But I don't really like the direction the scene is going because, quite frankly, I don't see a place for myself in the scene in the next three or four years unless someone does something to convince me otherwise. This is a sad realization because I had planned to stay active in the scene until my bones were too brittle to risk it. I already feel like I've been put into that phase-out stage. It didn't happen overnight, but eventually I began to feel that I'm becoming irrelevant. And that's one of the worst feelings in the world, believe me.


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ET said...

Cheryl ,i understand you completely.Myself i dont judge someone by age ,I'm almost 58 ( next month) I've had the pleasure of spanking women of all ages from 18-75 ,same thing with weight makes no difference to me .I too noticed at parties that those ladies over 65 were left out ,i made sure they at least got spanked by me .These days i have several ladies locally to me who want to play ( within 50 miles) and some are in their mid 60's ,its a shame many wont play with a older lady they can be lots of fun to spank

DarkSteven said...

What?!?!?! You were supposed to ask me to play? I got things wrong again...