BDSM, fetish, the financial crisis and housing

Velvet Tripp and I are in the enviable position of owning our own house. It’s not a big or grand house, but it is ours and consequently we do pretty much what we like in private. Most of our friends are, or at least were, in the same position – independent, in their own houses whether owned or rented.

However, one thing that’s just struck us is the extent to which the financial crisis has affected a lot of people’s lifestyles. One person we know has a daughter who’d left home, lived with a partner, etc., and when it broke down the daughter simply wasn’t in a position to either rent or buy independently again despite being in a reasonably-paid job – rents have rocketed and mortgages aren’t around any more. The presence of the daughter has curtailed their ability to play at home. Another friend has ended up with a lodger, not because they needed help to pay bills, but because a friend of theirs lost their house and needed somewhere to stay. Again, this means they own their home but can’t play in it any more. We have some other examples as well. It’s unlikely these are random events and more likely they’re just close-up illustrations of a trend.

And if that’s the case, it suggests that some of us into fetish/bdsm are finding that despite owning our own houses, we actually don’t have anywhere private to play because there are others around who’d be disturbed by it (in any sense of ‘disturb’ you’d like to imagine).

OK – we’ve all been there at one time or another. When we were impoverished students living in shared houses, fetish clubs were often the best option. When we were bringing up kids (or inquisitive teenagers!) the sensible thing to do was equally to play somewhere other than home, unless you could persuade someone to have the kids for a sleep-over or whatever. But those of us who are players do usually aspire to private space where we can do our own thing, perhaps quite noisily with the cracking of whips and no need to stifle screams. And for many of us who’ve achieved this desirable state – the financial crisis comes along and takes it away again.

OK again, we’ve known people who were married, into fetish but their partner wasn’t. Such situations are, to say the least, complicated and often mean elaborate arrangements to play outside the home. Maybe the rest of us will have to start relying on the same kinds of resources those people build in order to live their lifestyle?

There are several options. One is to corrupt the lodger (or conversely, corrupt the person you’re lodging with or the people you’re sharing with). We do know people who discovered their sons and daughters, when they got to their early twenties, were also into fetish and are open about it with them – but that’s probably not the norm and if the ‘lodger’ is also an adult some or daughter – or parent? – it may not be a comfortable possibility. Another is to have assignations in hotels. A third is to know others who are players, or maybe even pro dommes, and be able to borrow their playspace when it’s not in use. A fourth is go back to playing in clubs. Might the financial crisis mean a resurgence in fetish clubs, because more people need them as playspace? Or offer a new line of business in dungeon rental for some dommes?

What’s your view? What are your experiences? Enquiring minds want to know!

-F

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