Ageism, ageism!

Recently Miss Pearl wrote an excellent rant about douchebags who try whine and cry about not being allowed into age restricted munches, which you should absolutely read. To very briefly summarize her point, if you know perfectly goddamn well that the rules of an event exclude you and you try to force your way in anyway, you have just conclusively proven that you are an asshole who will ignore the rules to get what they want.

Following the rules at a kinky event is vitally important because doing so signals that you give a shit. When you show up to an event you aren’t welcome at, you are proving that you cannot be trusted to follow an extremely simple rule. This naturally leads people to wonder if you would give a shit if they used their safeword, or told you they didn’t want you to penetrate any of their orifices, or that their hand is going numb and they need the ropes loosened. If I have to wonder that about a person, I don’t want them anywhere remotely fucking near me.

It doesn’t even matter what the rules of the event are or how unfair you believe they are. There is simply no way to show up at an event you aren’t welcome at without looking like a tremendous asshole. And if you’re going to try to convince anyone you didn’t know you weren’t welcome, just fucking stop. All you’re proving at that point is that you’re too stupid to read the rules. Munches with any sort of attendance restriction, whether it’s under 35s only or female subs only, are reliably very clear about who is welcome. This is because you are not the first special fucking snowflake who tried to get in. You can disagree, you can tell all of your friends what a big Meaniepants McPoopyhead the organizer is, but you cannot claim the rules weren’t clearly stated. Protip: proving that you’re too stupid to actually read the rules is not much more confidence inspiring than proving that you just don’t care about the rules.

As for the idiots who cry about ageism, I have a question for you:

How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot? Imagine that the vast majority of people at the all ages munches were under 25. Would you maybe feel the least bit out of place going to an event like that if you were over 35? Might you start thinking that it would be nice to have an event where you could talk with people who understood when you said you had to get home and pay the babysitter, or that you couldn’t go to that awesome weekend conference because the roof needs to be repaired?

Oh, you don’t have anything to say? I’m shocked.

My local TNG group doesn’t have any hard and fast age limits, but it is intended for people 18 – 35. I’m only 31, and I’m already starting to wonder why on earth a 35+ year old would even want to go to a TNG munch. The people who go to that munch are perfectly lovely and the organizers are personal friends of mine, but it’s getting hard for me to relate to people in their early 20s. It’s been a long time since I had to worry about final exams or the price of textbooks (which are completely fucked up), and I feel like a complete asshole bitching about the job that pays me more than enough to live on to people who are staring down the barrel of years of debt.

Also, I would be shocked to hear of a TNG munch that didn’t give people who are just over the maximum age a little bit of wiggle room. I’m certainly too lazy to immediately throw people out on their 36th birthday. For that matter, if you’re there supporting an under 35 friend or partner who didn’t want to go by themselves, I would be very surprised if you weren’t welcome as long as you made an effort to behave yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re 39 (for example) and you want to hang out with people in their late teens/early 20s, I really do have to question your motives. Sure, it’s possible that you’re new to the scene, want to hang out with other people who are probably new (note that 18-35 munches don’t necessarily assume that you’re new, just that you want to hang out with people roughly your own age) and for some weird reason think that spending time with people in their early 20s won’t be awkward, but sad to say it’s more likely that people your own age won’t take your bullshit.

Before people flip their shit, please pay attention to the fact that I did not say that people over the age of 35 are inherently creepy and bad. I said that people over the age of 35 who want to go to a munch specifically for 18-35 year olds are sketchy as fuck. If you are over 35 and would never dream of crashing a munch where you aren’t welcome, you’re golden! If you are attracted to younger people but don’t want to creep them out by disregarding simple rules, you’re great! If you love the idea of “corrupting” someone young and innocent, I promise there are plenty of young, “innocent” people who jerk off to the idea of being “corrupted” by a bad, bad, <gender of their choice>. They might even play with you if you put that giant red flag down and start acting like a decent human being.

11 thoughts on “Ageism, ageism!

  1. I know exactly the kind of person you’re talking about here, but as a 35yo who will never have kids and is at least a decade from having to worry about roof repairs… I have to feel a little more empathy nowadays with some of the apparent creepers.

    • There are number of reasons I’m not thrilled about the all ages munches in my community, which probably means it’ll suck to be me when I age out of the under 35 munch. I’m hoping someone starts a 25-45 munch like Miss Pearl mentioned in a comment on her post. I didn’t know that was a thing, but now that I do know I like the idea.

  2. It isn’t as if there aren’t any “all ages welcome” munches right? I’m not active in the local scene but when I first got interested in kink & bdsm, I did go to one TNG and one GWNN munch each. The GWNN members had suggested TNG as a way to meet with people close to my own age (31) but GWNN was welcoming of any age. And actually, I felt more welcome, safe, and included at the GWNN group. Please don’t get me wrong, there were some lovely people at TNG but the dynamic and atmosphere was decidedly different. So, I totally understand the desire for a separate space sometimes. It’s similar to events that are strictly for subs or Dom(me)s. I’d have to agree that making a big deal about not being allowed in a restricted event is unreasonably disregarding other people’s boundaries and disrespect for the rules.

    For the record, the main reason I didn’t return to munches was that it seemed that everyone else was straight or bi/poly with at least one man. And despite having a conversation with one man in which I talked about being lesbian and my gf, he kissed me on the hand as he left, saying he hoped we’d meet again. –Yes, I know that’s supposed to be sweet and harmless but I feel the same way a straight guy would have felt: disgusted and upset. So, maybe stuff like this is why I think it’s important to —1. Have a “safe space” for certain groups of people 2. Have a space to be inclusive 3. Respect boundaries.

    • It isn’t as if there aren’t any “all ages welcome” munches right?

      Exactly! My understanding is that age restricted munches don’t appear until there’s enough going on in a given BDSM community that it can support more than one munch and people start noticing that younger people show up to a munch once or twice and then are never seen or heard from again.

      And despite having a conversation with one man in which I talked about being lesbian and my gf, he kissed me on the hand as he left, saying he hoped we’d meet again. –Yes, I know that’s supposed to be sweet and harmless but I feel the same way a straight guy would have felt: disgusted and upset.

      Ick, that’s just gross. I disagree that kissing someone’s hand is supposed to be sweet and harmless in that context – the absolute best spin I can put on that is that creepy dude thought you said you were a lesbian to avoid being hit on by creepy dudes, in which case he was ignoring a pretty clear signal.

  3. I hear and agree with you about munches. But occasionally a TNG group will sponsor a class led by some presenter that I’d like to attend. In that case, it is not “hanging out” with younger people, it is just attending a demo that they arranged. Still, it is their right to arrange whatever they want for their members and to make their own rules, but in situations like a noted presenter or interesting class, I’d wish they’d make exceptions for the duration of that portion. Also, the local TNG group allows people over the age limit to attend if they are partners with a member, how do you feel about that?

    • I belive she already answered that Downlow: “If you are over 35 and would never dream of crashing a munch where you aren’t welcome, you’re golden! If you are attracted to younger people but don’t want to creep them out by disregarding simple rules, you’re great!” If partners over 35 of TNG members are allowed, that’s not breaking any rules. (She never said there was anything inherently bad about being attracted to younger people or wanting to hang out with them.)

      (…Btw, I’m 33 now, but was 31 when I went to those munches I talked about earlier.)

    • but in situations like a noted presenter or interesting class, I’d wish they’d make exceptions for the duration of that portion.

      You are not presenting yourself in the best light here. An event organizer does not have an obligation not to do anything too interesting to retain the right to have a safe space for their attendees. There is nothing they could possibly be doing that would make your wants more important than the other attendees need for a safe space.

      If said noted presenter is getting paid (and often if they aren’t) they tend to be happy to do more than one class while they’re in town so as to maximize the education/profit to travel ratio. A little bit of coordination between groups is all it takes to add a class that’s open to everyone.

      Also, the local TNG group allows people over the age limit to attend if they are partners with a member, how do you feel about that?

      I’m not totally in love with that policy, but given that in just about every other situation inviting only one half of a couple is extremely rude and that shy people in particular often feel much better about attending an event with their partners, I can see why the organizers would make that decision. Assuming the organizers only allow over age partners to keep attending if they don’t make themselves walking advertisements for the age restriction, I don’t have any serious problems with that policy.

  4. Brilliant!

    I’m way over the 35 limit for the local young-munch, but when I went along with my younger partner I was made very welcome. Someone even explained why there was an age limit and I was like “ew” then “yerfckingwhat OMG” and some other things. And despite being made welcome to come back, the whole “this would make it hard to explain the age limit” thing made me want to not go. Like people say, there’s not exactly a shortage of other events and the specific people I wanted to hang out with again it was really easy to say “hey, here’s my number, wanna do coffee some time”. And that actually worked because apparently all it takes is not being a complete douchbag and perhaps a bit of not hitting on people you’ve just met.

    The “only lesbian at a male-centred group” is IME worse at poly events, at least the ones I’ve been to. I was put off by the cockfest part of the ones I went to and I’m a middle-aged man… pity the vaguely attractive lesbians who were there. It’s really hard as a man not to get caught up in the whole “compete for female attention” thing, but some things you just have to suck up, or accept that no even vaguely-attractive woman is going to come along twice. Apparently an idea beyond many of the guys there. Ooops. That said, I only went to events by that particular group twice, because of that.

    • And that actually worked because apparently all it takes is not being a complete douchbag and perhaps a bit of not hitting on people you’ve just met.

      Sad but true. It just makes me so frustrated when guys complain about how hard it is to get kinky women to give them the time of day because my god, the bar is incredibly low.

      And despite being made welcome to come back, the whole “this would make it hard to explain the age limit” thing made me want to not go.

      Exactly! I never ever want to be the out of place older person who is only there because she’s such good friends with the organizers. And because the organizers of the local TNG munch are my friends (also because I try to be a decent human being), I would never put them in the position where they would have to say “Sorry Stabbity, but things are getting weird. We need you to stop coming to the TNG munches now that you’re thirtywhatever.”

  5. TBH I never take much notice of age. Many young people are more mature than me, and many of the oldies are immature idiots. I hang with people of all ages when it comes to other areas of my life, so I rarely think about age when it comes to the scene really. The music I like and my interests rarely gel with my own peers anyway.

    That said, I wouldn’t waste my time on events that want to exclude me, and I entirely get the point you are making about respecting the rules people want to apply to any given event or part of their life, but I certainly wouldn’t question anyone’s motives just because they happen to mix with folk of differing age brackets. (I did see your later provisos re; that comment, but it still jarred a little)

    I tend to not much like discriminatory events of any kind that exclude people based on age, race, gender, sexuality, disability or any other factor the excluded can do nothing about, but I accept society is often divisive, so it doesn’t worry me overmuch. Given I don’t like the concept I’d be highly unlikely to ever want to attend that kind of event anyway, so potential douchebaggery avoided 🙂

  6. My local sex club has some nights that aren’t specifically for older people, but tend to attract them for whatever reason. I won’t go anymore to a night with an older crowd because it feels creepy in there – like I get guys literally following me around while masturbating.

    Events that tend to draw a younger crowd feel safer and less icky to me. I don’t know if younger dudes are less sexist and entitled or if, at 41, I’m less appealing to them than I am to the 60 year olds (to whom I suppose I look like fresh meat) but yeah.

    So I understand the interest in having age-filtered events. Young people (who are also often gonna be newbies to the scene) may be easier to take advantage of and it’s nice to give them a space where there are fewer predators so they can find their footing in relative safety.

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