The Next Generation

Why TNG? The simple answer is that TNGs reduce the barriers to getting into the scene by reducing the cultural adjustments. Taking that first step into the public BDSM is pretty intimidating, regardless of how welcoming the people in the scene are. It is, honestly, a pretty different set of social expectations and it can challenge even the free-est of thinkers.

Now add to that a 10 or 15 or 20-year age difference and you have two "phase-transitions", so to speak - most of our kink groups in Ohio have an average age in the 40s with many members having decades of experience in the scene. Sure, experienced people are good to learn from, but it can also create an environment where the younger, newer person just feels hopelessly behind and clueless. Plus, people who have been in the scene for decades can make for very poor mentors for the brand new - they just don't remember what it's like to be so shiny new and sometimes don't do well at helping people just starting out. We do have lots of experienced people in TNG, but most of us are only a few years away from our own tumultuous entry into the scene.

My experience has been that once TNG folks are more comfortable with BDSM, they become much more integrated into the larger community - TNG serves as an incubator, of sorts.

The other reason for having a TNG is that, despite many people's utopianist ideals, many people are attracted primarily to those closer to their own age...or younger. From conversations I've had with TNG folks, one of the primary services offered by TNG groups is freedom from unwanted attention from much older kinksters.

Yes, everyone has to learn to say "no"...but a portion of the older kink community sees younger, attractive, naive people as irresistible targets. This is especially true for young women and submissive men. TNG provides a space in which the largest possible gap is 16 years. It's not that inappropriate behavior is unknown, but the frequency and intensity seems to be less (according to many conversations I've had).

Also, and perhaps more significantly, TNG in Columbus is a relatively small group... Thus, we all know each other, and there are no alternatives if you fuck up badly enough to earn an unsavory reputation.

And finally, to partially answer one of Euphrates' questions: people of different generations really do speak different languages. It's an essential aspect of the media we use, the technology we're exposed to and the people we spend our non-kink time with. It's just simpler to speak to people who understand your idiom when you're already drowning in the new. As someone on the up-most end of the TNG range (35), I can tell that there are significant differences between myself and the youngest members (19-21). It's not that we can't communicate, but we do need to work on the translations at times.

The very last point I want to make is that the TNG group works. When I came into the scene almost 3 years ago, I was almost the youngest and one of the few people under 35 who came to parties or munches. I've always gotten along well with people older than me, but the age disparity was noticeable. Since we started AIS-TNG in Columbus, we have, literally, dozens of people under 35 who come out to parties and munches. I firmly believe that the success of this outreach is due in large part to the presence of a TNG group to welcome those younger people in to the scene.

And that is my 20 cents on the subject of "Why TNG?"

-The Dread Pirate Brian

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