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Big Little Podcast Episode 77: Age Play Leadership
Released: April 23, 2013 Location: CAPCon 2013 Hosts: Spacey, Mako Guests: Benny, Luke, Mo, Paul Rulof, Golden Loki, Zorro Daddy, and a room full of others Special Recording Assistance: LilSquash Recorded: April 21st, 2013 @ 11:00 AM EST Transcribed by: Zorro Daddy
SPACEY: You’re listening to the Big Little Podcast – a show by, about and for age players of all kinds.
MAKO: We expect our audience to be mature, consenting adults because sometimes the topics on our show about pretty adult too – just like you! If you’re under 18 and looking for upfront advice about sex, please visit scarleteen.com
(Intro Music~! ♪♫♪)
SPACEY: Welcome to the Big Little Podcast – a show by, about and for age players of all kinds. I’m Spacey. And I’m here with my brother, Mako.
MAKO: That’s me! Woo-hoo! And we’re here with our fabulous panel of guests … AND! … A live studio audience at CAPCon. Make noise!
SPACEY: Which is awesome and …
MAKO: … Terrifying a little bit.
SPACEY: It’s not that loud when I do it at home.
MAKO: Only in my head. Yeah.
MAKO: So, uh … Today’s show is all about leadership in the age play community. And we have with us a distinguished panel of awesome leaders that we would like to introduce.
SPACEY: I definitely want to go through and introduce the leaders, but I wanna first sort of say why I think it’s really an appropriate topic for what we’re doing right now.
SPACEY: So let’s talk about where we are real quick.
MAKO: Yeah. We’re at the Chicago Age Players Conventions, also known as CAPCon (FetLife Group Link) to the hip, cool babies. And it’s sort of amazing. It’s a unique event, unto itself. It’s not a BDSM/leather convention, per say.
SPACEY: I hope it’s not.
MAKO: Right. If it is, I’ve been doing it wrong all weekend. (Audience Laughs) It’s it’s own thing. It’s kind of like this podcast. It’s by, about and for age players of all kinds. Which is really kind of amazing.
SPACEY: That’s right. So, of course we had to do a show here. So we contacted some of the folks here and asked: “Can we do a recording? Do you mind if we do some recording?” Did you guys feel okay with that?
BABY LUKE: Yes
SPACEY: Well, what’s really awesome is that an event like this brings out people that care a lot about the community of age players.
SPACEY: And so it seemed like a really great time to get ahold of those people that seemed to really care and talk to them about why they care.
MAKO: Yeah. And people have a lot of different reasons. Maybe that’s the way we should start. Why don’t we sort of just, run down the line. This is easier than picking Skype windows.
SPACEY: That’s right. I don’t have to close my eyes and pick.
MAKO: Eenie, Meenie, Miney. We’ll get to Mo. Sooner or later.
MAKO: So I’ll pick the awesome age play leader to my left, your right. Well, if you’re on the internet, you don’t really have a right or left. And that would be Benny.
BENNY: Hi! I’m here.
SPACEY: Good morning!
MAKO: So why don’t you tell all the many folks a bit about yourself.
BENNY: Oh, like really actually supposed to talk about me. Okay. I run the show Never Grown Up on Etsy and I teach classes on age play at things like CAPCon and at places in the BDSM community.
MAKO: You taught an awesome class today that I got the fortune to hear and interrupt a whole bunch of times.
BENNY: I’m glad you liked it.
SPACEY: I think we should also point out that it’s 10 am. Which isn’t normally that big of a deal.
MAKO: But we’ve been up late partying.
SPACEY: And most people only got sleep like what … 3 hours? So, if somebody sounds a little low-key …
MAKO: That’s funny, brother.
BENNY: Yeah. Loki is here, too.
MAKO: So, how about we go down the line? Next!
LUKE: Alright, I’m Luke. Or babyluke86 on Fetlife. I’ve been a leader of the Chicago Age Players and, of course, the convention for many years. And I’ve been involved in the local kink community for about a handful. So I’m glad everyone’s enjoying CAPCon.
SPACEY: I guess I get to pick the next one. We did the eenie, meenie, miney. Hey Mo!
MO: Hey! I’m Mo, EnieMenieMineyMo on FetLife. I’ve been helping with the Chicago community for the last couple of years. And I help run this convention. And … if you wrote on any of the boards, it was probably me answering on every board. If you look down the list, it’s EnieMeniMineyMo all the way down.
MAKO: It’s sort of like that metaphor about the universe. It’s turtles all the way down, except it’s Mo all the way down.
SPACEY: So we were speaking of low-key. Let’s talk to GoldenLoki.
LOKI: Hi, I’m Loki. I’m from Madison, Wisconsin. Up until recently, I had been on the leadership board for the Madison Satyricon Group (Website) (FetLife Group), which is the primary BDSM/kink education group in Madison, Wisconsin.
MAKO: And next is esteemed author and cool hoopy, frood … Paul.
PAUL: I’m Paul or RuleOfThree (on Fetlife). I’ve staffed CAPCon and Chicago Age Players munch and play parties and USLittles and I write and teach.
SPACEY: Very good. And I guess that gives me last but not least on our panel so far this morning anyway … and that is, one of the esteemed authors that I happen to know. I’m of course talking about …
(Zorro looks behind himself to see who Spacey is talking about.)
MAKO: Oh no, it’s you.
FROM THE AUDIENCES: That looks great on audio.
ZORRO: And that would be the saving grace, right there.
MAKO: It’s ZorroDaddy. Hey Zorro.
ZORRO: Hello. My name is Zorro and all these people on the panel worked really hard to put CAPCon together and it was my job to come here and try to destroy it all. (Audience Laughs) I did my best.
MAKO: It’s like the village villain or something.
ZORRO: There we go.
MAKO: So … let’s get rolling, really.
SPACEY: Well, I’d actually kinda like to take a few minutes … because we mentioned where we were but I’d like to take a few minutes to give folks to talk about the experience. This is the last day of what’s going on here. And so we’ve had a lot going on and I’d like to give folks a chance to talk about what it’s meant to them and kinda what the experience has been . Where is our floating mike?
TOAST: Right here.
SPACEY: Somebody needs the mike?
MAKO: Yeah, ToastCommandr. Make it happen.
SKITTLES: Hello, everyone. I’m Baby_Skittles on Fetlife.
SPACEY: And on the channel, right?
SKITTLES: And on the channel, as well. So, this is my third year coming to this and again, it’s been amazing. I did post a thread on the CAPCon group on FetLife, titled: “End of Con Thoughts”. So you can read everything on there, basically saying that we are here and we’re a family. And as sad as it is to leave here, we’ll take these memories with us. And be back next year.
SPACEY: Cool. Anybody have any other thoughts about the con?
THEO: Hi, my name is Theo.
SPACEY: Hi, Theo.
THEO: Hi there. And my name on Fetlife is TheoBaby. And … I’ve never been to anything like this before. I actually have never really come out of my AB shell. So this was kinda just like jumping in, feet first. And I was really nervous, getting here. And you don’t know, meeting people the first time. You may be like, coming here the first year, maybe this is just a bunch of weirdos.
MAKO: But we’re really nice weirdos.
THEO: And then you get into it and you realize that you were right, but they really are really nice weirdos! It was all a lot of fun. I met a lot of fun people. We had, I really enjoyed, we had this amazing ball pit where tons of great things happened, including awesome back massages. And we had a really fun pageant yesterday which I guess has been going on every year. And I was excited to win the boys’ side of things there.
THEO: Thank you. And me and my female counterpart are already devising ways to abuse the power of that office.
MAKO: Wait – abuse of political power. That’s like a Chicago tradition, right?
THEO: Hey, when in Rome … or Chicago …
SPACEY: Only for tax evasion.
MAKO: So I’m curious – How many of the folks in the audience was CAPCOn the first thing you’ve been to?
MAKO: Wow. Several. Lots.
SPACEY: That’s brave. That’s awesome.
MAKO: It is. It’s kind of like a roller coaster feeling, right? Like before you get here it (makes noises like a climbing roller coaster) and then it goes over and you get here. And it’s really exciting and not as bad as you thought, right?
SPACEY: Not to put any thoughts in your heads.
MAKO: Right, I don’t speak for you. (Laughing)
SPACEY: Actually, you did speak for me a lot this week.
SPACEY: It’s actually really fortunate that I can record at all today.
MAKO: Yeah, Brother had an awful, awful case of Laryngitis. And yesterday he sounded like a raspy frog. It was pretty bad … when you could hear him at all. So I’m happy about it.
SPACEY: (Clearing throat because he can) Me too.
SPACEY: Well, let’s dive into our topic, for sure. So I always kinda start off, and it’s not in the pin list. But I always kind of start off with a really basic question. So I want to go around the panel and have folks say what does the idea, the concept of leadership mean to you.
(The Panel, all really tired, look at each other to see who will respond). (Audience Laughs)
MAKO: Leadership must mean passing the buck.
PAUL: I guess that leadership to me means stepping up and, at least for me, giving people what I think that they want or need. Maybe a little bit of structure. Maybe an opportunity to express themselves. And just a comfortable place.
MAKO: Yeah. That reminds me of BritishLuckyPaul, who is the originator of FetFest (Website) (FetLife Group) and a lot of other craziness around the DC area. He says, for him, it’s all about making a space where people can do and be what they want … which is hard for people.
BENNY: You know, I think that one of the things that defines leaders for me is the willingness and ability to get shit done. Because I think that the classes I teach and the products I make are a lot of things that people could do. I just did. And that’s the only difference between me and many of the other people I meet in the community.
SPACEY: Yeah. A lot of times I hear people say things like when they see a piece of art, they say: “I could draw that.”
SPACEY: But ya didn’t I drew it, you know?
MAKO: Alright, let me ask a negative question: So who gave you guys permission to do this? What makes you able to do it? Who validated that you have the authority?
SPACEY: Yeah! Who gave you the right?
LUKE: Truthfully, it was a hostile takeover.
MAKO: (Laughing) That’s awesome. Could you talk more about that hostile takeover?
LUKE: When I first started out, of course, there wasn’t rally a Chicago community and as far as age play goes or ABs or anything like that. There was very little things.
MO: Ha ha. Little.
LUKE: Yeah, I know. Very good. And so I was looking for a community and I found the local Next Generation Chicago Group which was an 18-35 BDSM/Kink Group. And I asked: “Well, this is kinda what I’m into. Do you know where I can find people?” And they said: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” So that was very awesome. And I just sat and talked and talked and talked about it and talked about it and eventually was approached about starting the camp group and I think it was literally just – we found enough people that we thought there was a need to get it started. So, it was more just filling that need than anything else. I was willing to take that job, I guess.
PAUL: And Luke really started the first group of FetLife for Chicago Age Players. And then I think the rest of us came along and helped out and lended our talents and it just kind of grew from there.
MAKO: Say, Paul. That first group on FetLife that would be a …………………
PAUL: (Holding up show note sign) A Show Note!
MAKO: It’s all good. Hey, you were answering the question. It’s hard multi-tasking at this time of the morning.
PAUL: But I mean, I really feel like, going back to your question, know really gave us permission. We had to, I don’t know, it sounds kinda bad, but we had to go out and take what we wanted. Like Benny said, I feel like people can teach classes and people have things to say. In my case, anyone can write a book, and it doesn’t make me an expert. It’s just our passion for the things that we do that really makes us go forward.
MAKO: Go ahead, Zorro. Yeah.
ZORRO: I think a lot of times, it’s not to say that what people lack is direction. It’s just a matter of taking a look and seeing what really exists already. What gives somebody the right to be a leader? When the first person decides to follow. And if they have a reason to, and if they take a look at the direction that that leader is, at least, headed in. If it’s something that they want to join and they take a foot and step forward with it … in a sense, I suppose that’s sort of giving permission. What gives you the right to call yourself a leader? Well … gosh, I guess that’s another question, I suppose. I don’t know as anybody would be like: “Well, yes. I’m a leader.” Most would be like: “No, not really.” Because that’s a very broad statement to make of one’s self and most people probably aren’t so bold as that. Yet, for many, it is the truth. Very much so. What gives us the right? When somebody says: “Yeah, we see you as that.”
SPACEY: I’m gonna go a little further out on a limb. I’m gonna say that, I won’t say everybody, but most of the people in this room are leaders of one sort or another.
SPACEY: There all living their truth and being an example that other people can follow.
MAKO: And it’s funny you say that because we got a twitter comment from a listener, Baby Jimmy, who says: “Hey, Big Little Podcast. Leadership to me also means being true to yourself, willing to be authentic and honest with others.” - That’s a big part of this for me. Why I wanted to do this stuff in the first place – I was in my early twenties and I had known that I was into age play for a really long time and I used to go down into the basement to talk about it out loud in a hushed whisper because I didn’t want to say loudly, you know: “I like diapers and spanking.” And I got to the point where I just couldn’t do that anymore. So I started to go to events to see people and you know, it changed my life. And, right away, one of the big things for me and why I started to get involved with media stuff and getting out there was – some friends of mine from an IRC chat room went on another beloved Chicago tradition, Jerry Springer. And Jerry Springer recorded it one way and edited it a different way and made them look broken. And that just pissed me off. And I said I’m not gonna let that happen anymore, if I can. And I just decided to put myself out there. For me, it’s not about me. Whether people like me or not, I don’t give a darn. It’s about the work. I gotta do the work because it’s needed.
FROM THE AUDIENCE: (Mimicking the Jerry Springer Chant) MAKO! MAKO! MAKO!
MAKO: No, EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY! It’s not about me.
(Audience Laughs) (Mako Laughs)
MAKO: Let’s go back to the list again. This is a little harder when it’s live like this.
PAUL: You see and I almost feel that sometimes what we do is not really leadership as much as facilitating. I mean like, I think that CAPCon is really a place where you can be yourself. We have a huge play area and you can do what you want. There’s structured activities in classes or you can lounge in the ball pit all day and fall asleep on giant teddy bears. And if that’s what you want to do that’s awesome and cool.
LUKE: I think definitely another aspect that might touch on just what leadership is and where you’re going with it is the consent to take responsibility and kind of taking care of things and making sure that it actually works out. And luckily we’ve a great group of people that consistently do that all over the place.
MAKO: It’s hard, though. Right?
LUKE: There’s a little bit of stress involved. That’s for sure.
PAUL: But I think it comes down to balance. And by having a large group of staff and a whole bunch of people that educate, the work doesn’t fall on just one person’s shoulders. It’s spread out and there’s support and you support and carry each other and spread the work load around and reignite each other’s passions.
MAKO: Yeah. Which is a trust issue, I think. Like … Okay, so one of the things that I’ve done previously is – a long time ago, although not as long of a time ago as Brother, I started the DC Age Play Munch (FetLife Group Link). And it’s been going for a good damn long time now. And when I first did it, it was myself and my ex. And we only did it like four times a year. And then she and I divorced and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep it going. And I decided: “Well, maybe instead of doing it four times a year, I’ll just do it every God-damn month.” Because that’s reasonable. And it’s been great, but I will tell you there have been times when it’s been exhausting. You know, I’m up really late and I’ve got work stuff going on or I’ve got like seven dollars in the bank, but I still gotta friggin’ go. And I would do it and now I’m very fortunate because my little boy, BabyRichard, who is amazing and friendly and diffusive and an amazing greeter of people, I love him so much. He started out as the munch greeter and really has sort of taken the munch over for me. It’s not really mine anymore and as much as I love him and trust him, it was a little bit like having my skin ripped off. I had to say: “Yeah, Richard. It’s yours now.” You know?
BENNY: You know, something I’ve noticed about this community that is, I would say the BDSM community at large and the age play community as well that’s different from some communities I’ve participated in is that you did let go. And that’s really hard for leadership to do in a lot of communities is to say: “Okay, it’s time for somebody else to do this for a while so that I can move on to others things.” And that’s really hard for someone to let to a position that feels powerful. I think the people in this community are a little better at that than some in other groups.
SPACEY: I think I can see where that comes from and I’m not sure if it’s the sense of power. I think it’s that there are some things that you are and some things that you do and leadership is a thing that you do. And the things you do repeatedly tend to define you. And so when you give up on something you tend to feel that your give up something that has defined you over time. So, I totally get that.
PAUL: Almost like you’re responsible for giving people a place or a structure to be themselves in. I guess there’s fear that if you walk away that it won’t be the same or it won’t exist, but other people step up.
SPACEY: And it won’t be the same. And that’s okay.
MAKO: Oh, I’m totally going to make Squee who hanging out in the streaming chat room make fun of me now because I’m gonna bring up the thing I always seem to talk about every freaking show now. It’s a Buddhist concept called Samsara.
SPACEY: We need to make a sign for that.
MAKO: Yeah, really. With sanskrit on it because that would’ve been great for the audience.
MAKO: Samsara is the chase after a lasting place of stable joy or a lasting reduction of continuing pain. And it’s a lie. It’s an illusion. There is no place of stability. There’s nothing but change. You just ride it.
SPACEY: Alright, so that book, again, is a show note.
PAUL: (Holding up paper sign) Show note.
(Audience joins in on show note reference)
MAKO: Oh my God, I want you all to move into my house. That’s so great.
MO: One of our attendees sitting in front of me has a shirt that says it best. It’s a Dr. Seuss quote. It says: “Be who you are say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
MAKO: Rock on.
PAUL: But I mean also this is, I think it is a balance issue because it’s hard because this none of our jobs. We all have so many things going on in our lives. Benny is going to school and has relationships and presents and everything else. I mean, this is just one aspect of who we are and it’s not like we get paid. But we do it because of our passion.
SPACEY: Oh, you guys don’t get paid.
MAKO: We don’t get paid either.
SPACEY: We have a question from the audience.
BKIMMY: My name is BKimmy and I have a comment about the letting go of leadership part. I think the thing that brings us into leadership is the fact that we are and we have a great deal of passion. And the things that makes hard to let go is the same thing, that passion. We just don’t feel sometimes that other people can do it as well. And so for me, that’s one of my bigger challenges is trusting others to take over.
MAKO: As a leader, I certainly felt this way. I wanna cook this certain dish and serve it to people. And it’s gotta be just right. It has just this certain thing. I’m really particular about the munch. Anyone who has ever heard talk about the munch, it’s that “It’s gotta be consistent. Don’t move the Goddamn munch. It’s at this time and it’s at this place and you don’t move it.” Right? Listen, if you wanna move it, it’s not my way. Go ahead . It won’t work, but it’s like that too many cooks thing. “Well, I can’t let the other guy cook the thing. Because if I do, it’s not going to be made my way and then it won’t be the best.” It’s a trust thing. It’s also a food metaphor.
MAKO: When my little girl, Kate and I cook together, we’re able to make far better food then when I cook by myself because I just don’t have that many hands. And I think that’s true for leadership too, right? For CAPCon, when you guys were putting it together, did you find that there were things that, it was just too much for one person and you had to spread it around?
MO: Well, this year we had three working on it and it was overload. But like when we came together and brought it together and our main concern in the end was once we broke it up, it wasn’t so bad. And it’s not impossible to do for anybody else to take over in their own areas and create an event. You know, you just have to have the bravery to start it and that’s the hardest part.
LUKE: And you definitely can’t forget all the wonderful and dedicated volunteers we’ve had this weekend. They really helped us make it great.
MAKO: I think that the age play community is particularly great about that sort of thing because so many people within it have a nurturing vibe to begin with. And you don’t have to look far. I was looking in the play area here at people napping. And everyone was like tucking everyone else in and “Here, have a cookie.” You know, at one point I had made the combination of red vines licorice and animal crackers, which is really fucking good, … well, in my opinion anyway.
SPACEY: Wait till you’re in a little better, different headspace.
MAKO: Yeah, I’ll try it later when I’m big and probably be grossed out. But right away, one of my things was: “I just tried this. It was good. Here, all of you, you try it! Have some!” And everyone keeps doing that. I think that lend a hand, feed the class hamster thing is really big in this community. (PAUSING) I just made Zorro, like … speechless. I don’t know why.
PAUL: But I mean, just, other attendees stepping up and moving chairs or helping out where they do, I mean that it really is a big asset and everyone pitches in.
MO: And we had a lot of help. And we just appreciate it very much.
SKITTLES: Well, you know that goes right back to what I said about family. When we’re here, we become one community. One family, you know. We all care about one another. And I love that. I’m really glad that there’s this space that we can have that, where we don’t get it in our lives enough.
MAKO: Brother and I, a long time ago when we were really getting connected and close, we would talk about the various things that age play means to us. And one thing that he said to me repeatedly is wanting to be a part of something bigger than yourself. I know I feel that. How about you guys?
ZORRO: That makes good sense. It’s not that it would be overwhelming to think “this is something I can handle, altogether.” For three people putting CAPCon together, that’s like, beyond overwhelming, I’m sure. For three people keeping a munch going I presume is a tall order. But it’s kind of fun that, if you view what it is that is going on, the community or whatever word you’d like to use, if you view it as something that’s really big, then you do have a very small piece of it. And maybe that’s what makes a lot of things really natural. In one room you have whatever particular class is going on. And then over here you have this open space with my good friend LittlePhilly’s ball pit in it.
SPACEY: Which is awesome.
MAKO: Oh my God, so amazing.
ZORRO: And then over here you have Riley doing a meditation class. So, from one space to the next, in a sense, you have a different leader. Because we all have one little piece of that big pie, I suppose. There’s a Dr. Seuss lyric, I’m sure, that’ll go right along with that somewhere. “Not Alone In the Universe” or some song of that nature.
MO: Zorro had a really good point earlier where he said that there are different conventions for all these different things but for us, there’s not very much that just focuses on the aspect of age play.
ZORRO: There are many terms, but for those who take ABDL and say: “This was my base. This is where I came from.” or “This was the first little estranged heartbeat that I felt that I don’t necessarily broadcast to the world.” If you come from that direction and you’re like: “Hey, I enjoy being bent over a chair or I don’t need two layers of skin on my rear end or whatever the case may be.”
ZORRO: And all of the sudden, you convert into that and you go into melting pots – some that are phenomenal like FetFest as you mentioned earlier. If you’re somebody that really enjoys a lot of those things, you have 8,426 opportunities and conventions every year. I counted. Okay, well maybe not really.
MAKO: Exaggeration Fetish into watching other …
ZORRO: I didn’t want to have to come out like this. I’m terribly sorry.
SPACEY: Where’s that convention?
ZORRO: Well, we’ll see. If you’re someone that enjoys pure and innocent, if you’re someone that enjoys that kind of nurturing, you have one opportunity … and that would be CAPCon. And that’s what makes it that important, and maybe … I forget who it was that said: a leader is someone who steps up. Maybe you feel the need. Maybe you are Clark Kent and Superman and “I see the purpose”. Maybe a leader is someone who sees something that is wrong or something that is inadequate or something that is perceived as being incomplete and they take it upon themselves to make it right or to make it complete. Maybe they’re not necessarily the leader but you see the thing and you go for it because you know it not only has to be done but it needs to be done.
MAKO: Yeah, I think it’s a paradigm thing, too. For me, I consider leadership to be an act of service. I don’t think the leader is the person at the top of the pyramid in the penthouse, eating the steak. I feel the leader is more the janitor who’s cleaning up after everybody. “Do you have what yu need? I’m sorry you spilled that. Let me clean that up for you.”
SPACEY: Thanks, Mo.
MAKO: A lot. (Audience Laughs) One of the negatives for me … it’s a small negative that you just take on the chin. Like at a munch, let’s say. Or at BouncyTown at FetFest. It was more about being the administrator of the thing as opposed to being a participant of the thing. Okay, I’m just gonna pick randomly … Loki, in the stuff that you’ve done, have you had that random thing where you were like: “Well, this is great. I wish I was actually at it.”
LOKI: Yes, when I was doing Satyricon, there are events that we would do – in particular, our Exploratorium every year. My job as president was to make sure everything was running smoothly. And seeing all these people participating in all these activities and such made me want to be able to do that, but I also wanted to make sure everybody had the opportunity to do what they were doing. And so it meant that I had to set some of that stuff aside in order to make sure that people were able to do what they were doing. However, the reactions that people were having at the end made it worth the effort.
SPACEY: I know that during the parties that I throw, especially during the littles munch, like … I like to be little and it’s not something I have a lot of opportunity to do, especially now that I’m a parent. It keeps me extra busy. But when I throw a party, I don’t get to be little there either because I’m really busy trying to make sure everybody has a space to be little. And I think that’s okay because what I get from that is I get to be around people who getting to be themselves and enjoying themselves. And that really feeds me in a way. Being little is great and it really feeds me, but the other really feeds me, too.
MAKO: Would you guys say that the work is the reward?
(PANEL says yes)
MAKO: ‘Cause you’re not getting any other reward, right?
SPACEY: Is anybody actually getting other rewards?
PAUL: The reaction and the satisfaction from the people that attend is really good. I love going on Fetlife afterwards and seeing people friending other people or talking about what a great time they had. And that’s really a reward. When they say: “Thanks for a great convention. I met tons of people. That makes me happy.
SPACEY: I can totally feel that. We get the same kind of thing with the podcast.
MAKO: Oh yeah, so much.
SPACEY: We start the podcast kind of on a lark. And thanks for listening.
MAKO: So long. (laughing)
SPACEY: But shortly after we started it, we started hearing from people who were actually listening to it. Brother, I know you were moved by a message we got, one message in particular early on.
MAKO: Yeah, we were about four episodes in and we had had Peanut on the show to do the regression episode, which any minute now from the chat room, Vee is gonna tell me I’m wrong and it was episode three. I think. Am I right, Vee?
SPACEY: The Search for Spock.
MAKO: No, that’s different. And a much maligned movie that is really enjoyable, but that’s a different show. So we had done this episode on regression and we had gotten this email from a listener in South Africa … Little Maya. Little Maya wrote us and told us she had had some unfortunate circumstances and was couch-surfing with friends for months. She didn’t have a place to live and for the 90 minutes that she was listening to the show, it was okay and she felt like she was home. And when I read that email, it was like somebody had punched me in my brain. The idea that, with brother and the help of the internet, reach half way around the world and reach someone in South Africa feel not alone and feel better about themselves emotionally, showed me that this is a really important thing we’re doing. If anything, it both amazed me and frightened me a little bit because it helped me to realize that this is not unimportant. I have to treat this with respect. I can tell you there are times when I ignore my job a little bit and proper sleep a little bit in order to get the show done and done right.
SPACEY: I just want to take this moment and say to everyone who every said thank you … thank you. I really appreciate that.
MAKO: We love you. We really do.
SPACEY: Yeah. You guys are awesome.
MAKO: I …
MO: For uh …
MAKO: Oh. Go ahead.
MO: Oh, now I lost my train of thought.
MAKO: Jump in, Zorro. Get it.
ZORRO: My work here is done.
MO: Even for us jumping in, running the convention and meeting people we’ve invited who have been staples in the community for so long was really cool. I’ve listened to the podcast before and with that first phone call from Mako or Spacey. Which one of you was it that called me? I can’t remember who called me but I was like “Wow! I know this voice.” And that was really weird, you know? And then here they are talking to me. So it’s neat for us to get that satisfaction and to meet the faces that we’ve heard for so long. Or seen online.
LUKE: It’s truly really seeing, like everyone is saying. Seeing everyone get to just be and truly let themselves out in a place where they feel safe and get along and there’s no issue – That is the real reward to all of it and I can’t express that enough.
ZORRO: That and licorice. Oh man, the licorice was good. (Audience Laughs)
MAKO: And there’s a lot of it here and I really appreciate it because I love that stuff.
MO: I don’t think our supply is gonna end any time soon. We’ve got BAGS of it.
SPACEY: Awesome. I think we had someone who wrote in a question.
MO: Yeah, Squee wanted to know … and first of all, we love you Squee. We’re sorry you’re not here today, but it was great seeing you yesterday. (Reading message) “How do other events that integrate to age play events compare. Not like in an I’m better than you kind of way, but what’s the essential differences.”
BENNY: I participate in a lot of different kinds of events. Some of the events that I go to and teach at and participate in are interest-specific events. Not just age play but also rope, I’ll be facilitating at Shibaricon next month and other sorts of events like that that are sort of focused. And I go to facilitate and am on staff for events that are much, much wider to the point of being so radically-inclusive that any kink you have is not just welcomed but embraced. And I love both kinds of events, but I get really, really different things out of them. Often the very-focused events can leave me wanting something that isn’t really there so much or isn’t kind of intended to be a focus of the type of event. Sometimes, I’ll head home from something like this and really want something super different. Like, I’ll head home from a rope event, desperately wanting age play or head home from an age play event, really wanting some rough body play and to kick the shit out of somebody. But, on the other hand, going to something like Twisted Tryst, which is an event I’m a staff member for.
MAKO: And it’s also a …. ?
AUDIENCE: Show Note.
BENNY: That is a fully-inclusive event. And I sometimes get distracted from being able to do the things I really want to do because there are so many options. There’s unlimited amounts of stuff to do there and so, I’ll go and have brought all of my age play stuff with me and literally not touch it the entire weekend because I was busy with a thousand other things. So, they both have advantages for me, but they also both sometimes leave me wanting something else.
PAUL: And I’d like to say that I’m really proud of other conventions in the alternative-sexuality community for stepping up and providing age play programming. We were just at Beyond Leather two weeks ago and they had a littles’ room and a pet play romp and that was really stellar. I’m really glad that they introduce new people to age play or further their understanding but I agree with Benny. In a lot of the events, maybe there’s gonna be a littles’ play hour or something like that or a little birthday party or something like that. And that really kind of focuses the headspace for a lot of people. Whereas I feel CAPCon is pretty much a whole weekend of just that.
MAKO: There’s something I really want to add in here, too. Starting with this awesome quote that a listener tweeted into us: (Reading from his cell phone) “Hey Big Little Podcast, quote: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” And the person said that was quoted by J.Q. Adams. I’m not sure who that is. Oh, wait. Duh, John Quincy Adams.
SPACEY: Is he in the room?
MAKO: No, I think we would smell him, if he were.
ZORRO: He’d definitely need a diaper for sure.
MAKO: Yeah, or some wipes. Uhhhh, death wipes. That’s gross. (Audience Laughs) Do not make that as a fetish, Vee! (Audience Laughs) The thing I wanna add to this is that leadership is a funny thing, right? Because you can put an event together and organize something at an event and yeah, that makes you a leader, for sure. You can also just own your own authenticity about who you are as a person and bring that into a space that wouldn’t otherwise have it and you’re a leader, too. At Camp Crucible, it’s always been friendly to littles. But it’s more and more so, every year. And I remember (looking at Spacey) the conversation with Mom at the end of the first time.
MAKO: HRH Susan, Camp Mom, one of the people who used to run Camp Crucible. A wonderful human being and a local in the DC area who’s a friend of mine. So, I show up at camp the first year and Brother’s there with me and we’re doing our thing, bopping around, wearing our diapers and running around in the sunshine. Everything’s just great. So, at the end of camp, we went to go see her and she wanted to know how it had been for us. And we got into this conversation about what it means to be little. And she didn’t know that it was okay for some, especially me, to be sexual around littles. We had a big conversation about it. And I was like, “Yeah, Mom, if you wanted to like stroke my butt or whatever, that’d be just fine with me.” And she was like “I didn’t know that! That’s great. Thank you for telling me!” And in future years, it wasn’t so like: “Littles over here. Penises and vaginas over there.” And it made things better. By being who we are, openly and bravely, we help other people to know us and to be themselves and to make a better environment for everybody.
BENNY: I also think that it can work. Being in those combined spaces can work really well for people who want to combine interests. I taught a class here yesterday on dark age play and many of the scarier and darker aspects of age play are harder to do in an environment that isn’t used to that much dark play or violence or emotional play – those sorts of things. So when I want to combine age play and say … fear play, it’s easier for me to do that in a space that already familiar with age play and is already familiar with fear play. Because it’s less shocking to people and feels more comfortable to me to push those boundaries in those spaces.
ZORRO: If you have tools, use them. Literally and figuratively, if you pausing and think about that.
MAKO: So I have a question about the nature of the work. We’ve said the work is rewarding. We’ve said that we enjoy doing the work. But is the work ever upsetting to you guys? Is there ever a problem?
(All pause to think but no one answers.)
ZORRO: Jeopardy theme music playing.
MAKO: Loki, I can see you thinking something.
LUKE: In a sense, nothing ever works 100% smoothly. But it’s never enough to be off-putting. Everyone understands, in some respect, that there’s going to be a lot of work that is undesirable, of things we can’t necessarily control. But you have to find a way to deal with it. And if you have a really awesome staff like we did, it works out and runs smoothly.
MAKO: Oo. Actually, I’ve got stories about this.
SPACEY: I’m shocked.
MAKO: Back in the day, my ex and I used to do age play parties at the playhouse in Baltimore. And the way we would do these parties was very particular. We would book our parties with staff there a couple of months out – which was really important because we had to rent the space ourselves and pay for it later. So we would have people register through us and pay pal us money. And that’s how we’d come up with the money to give to them. And they were also very particular about the security of the guest list. And so, in order to come to our parties, you had to register. You couldn’t just show up at the door. It was both a financial thing and a security thing for the safety and privacy of our guests. Well, we had someone come to a party we had had there a year or two prior and then we set up to do this party and had gotten this really weird email from someone that said: “I wanna come to your party but don’t send any emails to this address. If it’s okay that I come, send a fax with the word banana on it or something like that to this number.” And I looked at my ex and she looked at me and we were like: “We’re not doing that! That’s insane!” A few weeks go by and we get this other email and this email says: “I really wanna come to the party but haven’t heard from you. If it’s okay that I come to the party, leave a voicemail at this number but just say the word grapefruit or whatever.” I don’t remember what the word was exactly, but fruit works. And my ex was having none of this. She calls the phone number and says: “Look, I don’t know who you are but you cannot come to our diaper age play party and get a spanking and do whatever you’re gonna do because this is not a proper way of communicating with us and you are not welcome at our party. Thank you. Goodbye.” And that, we thought, would be the end of it. We thought he’d curl up in a ball or run away somewhere. But it wasn’t. So, we have the party and we’re about an hour and a half into the party. And this car that we don’t know pulls up into the garage of the playhouse and this guy gets out and comes up to the door and knocks on the door and he’s been to one of our parties before. So, he knows my name and he knows my ex’s name. And he says: “I’m here for the party!” And we didn’t let him in. And here’s what I had to do: I had to grab him by the collar of his shirt and frog-march him back out to his car, which is stylish and effective, and I put him in his car and I told him to leave. And he said: “No, you don’t understand. I lied to my wife about where I was going and I made all these arrangements so that I could be here and all this stuff.” And I said: “Well, you can talk to me about it or you can talk to me and the police about it.” And he said: “I’ll see ya later.” And then we never saw him again. And that really wasn’t a happy, fun time for me. But I did it. I’ve had other things like that happen, too. I’ve had people come to the munch who are really invasive about touching people when they shouldn’t or wanting to get people’s personal information. “So what’s your real name?” “Give me your phone number and address, in case I’d like to come over.” I’ve had to deal with people like that.
SPACEY: Fortunately not as frequently anymore as when we started things out.
MAKO: Yeah. I mean out of every hundred people or so that I've known or met through this stuff, one quarter of a person has been scaring. Statistically, it's really mostly been okay. How about you guys? Any scary, yucky, bad stuff?
BENNY: Actually, in the theme of leadership about being getting shit done?
BENNY: I gotta go.
SPACEY: Benny, real quick. Do you wanna tell folks how they can get in touch with you and about what it is that you provide?
BENNY: Yeah, this is Benny. You can get in touch with me on FetLife. I’m DeviantTouch. And my etsy store is NeverGrownUp.etsy.com.
SOMEONE FROM AUDIENCE: Show Note!
BENNY: You should come by my store and buy my things or contact me if there’s something you want that I don’t have listed.
MAKO: Hey, who was that rogue show-noter? Who did that?
(The Rogue Show-Noter raises a hand.)
MAKO: Here, have a pin. (Mako tosses the rogue show-noter an ABDL Pride Pin.)
BENNY: Thank you guys very much.
(Audience claps as Benny leaves.)
PAUL: I totally agree. More than 99 % of the people have been awesome and wonderful. And I think that’s what I spend a lot of time worrying about, is people acting. And it’s really not, with like one or two exceptions, it’s not an issue. And that kinda makes me proud that everyone comes and respects the space and respects each other. And that it’s really possible.
(Mako puts his enormous purple Pim Podcating hat on)
SPACEY: You know, Mako, your podcasting hat does not work for live podcasts.
MAKO: It really doesn’t. I need a smaller hat as opposed to a bigger boat.
SPACEY: For those listening, brother has a gentle purple pimp podcasting hat, which is great – except that I can’t see any of the other guests on the panel.
MAKO: When I’m wearing it in the home studio, I’m not bugging anybody else. You know, it wooshes in the air, which is kind cool. But that’s about it.
SPACEY: Let’s do Flair’s message.
MAKO: Yeah. So Flair writes in and says: Hello, I’m someone who has been involved with my local kink scene for a number of years and I spent the last year in a leadership capacity. While helping people come together is a rewarding experience, I’m increasingly frustrated how there aren’t very many age players. I know that mainstream BDSM people vastly outnumber us, pretty much everywhere. But I wanna help run littles events far more than I wanna host yet another discussion group on spanking or rope tying. See, when I was younger, I came up with a mantra that has stayed with me to this day: When I wanna be part of something and it doesn’t exist, I remind myself that if I ‘don’t want to wait, I’ll have to create.’ I like that. So, a month ago, I created a new group in my region for age players, but unfortunately, only a couple of people joined. I’m frustrated because I personally know of at least double the amount of self-identified age players as the ones who have signed up for the group. I’m writing this message to ask today’s panel of guests a question that’s forefront in my mind. This is where it gets bold-faced: When the potential for an age play community exists and an attempt is made to create one, how does a leader encourage people to come forward and join the new community? I have to ask this because there aren’t enough people currently interested in such a community to sustain any kind of munch or other event. The advice given in early shows suggested that people starts events like munches, but there needs to be a minimum number of people before I feel comfortable making a reservation or diverting time and energy away from existing projects of my own to foster a new community. I understand how such advice is useful to, someone living in a major metropolitan area, like where both Spacey and Mako live, but that isn’t the case where I live. So I’m looking for more relevant advice for someone who very much wants to engage in and help run littles events, but doesn’t have a community in which to run them. Thank you to all the wonderful people behind the Big Little Podcast and I hope my question is useful for other people as well.
SPACEY: I have a number of thoughts on this one, but let’s start with the panel.
MAKO: I’m gonna go last on this one.
SPACEY: Zorro was like Me, Me, Me, Me Me!
ZORRO: A dear friend of mine. One of the first individuals I heard from …Okay, I’m gonna start over. A friend of mine in New Jersey named Glenn contacted me, (What is this? 2013.) … contacted me two years ago and said “Hey, I’m doing this get-together.” Essentially, the event would’ve been the east coast equivalent of CAPCon. And we would do this in the spring of 2011 and Glenn came up with a slogan that popped into my head as you were reading that message: We Do Exist. How do you get people to come out? Let them know that you do exist. Just … keep … doing it. If you’re somebody that tried it differently, for instance, Mako. One of the things you’ve learned (about the DC Littles Munch) is to stop moving the location around.
MAKO: Right! Say that again. Don’t move the location!
ZORRO: Don’t move the location around! I’ve been to some of Mako’s munches. The one Christmas munch – Lord, there was probably 30 people there. And this was on a random Saturday in December. You are going to bring in more people with time. The idea of hitting the ground running. That’s what your heart wants to do and that’s what your intentions will enable you to put into something with all the passion that you can. The numbers will come. - The first year of CAPCon, how many attendees were there as versus last year as versus this year? It grows. It really does. But you have to allow something to happen naturally because the only things in life that last are natural.
SPACEY: (To the CAPCon creators) He asked the question. Do you guys have any idea of the numbers for CAPCon?
LUKE: Oh yeah. Well, the first year, we were around the mid-50s. And then we doubled and we’ve kept consistently over just 100. But to touch on the topic, you definitely could and should, make sure to post things. Of course, FetLife is a great tool and people can find events near them. Keep posting it. And if you do attend other events, mention your event. That’s what I did. I kept talking about it and talking about it. And eventually things worked out. So, you gotta just keep pushing, like Zorro was saying.
PAUL: But I think it’s important to note that Fetlife is not the only place to find people. We posted all over for CAPCon. In classes, people were saying that they had no FetLife account. FetLife is wonderful but it is not the one and only thing. SPACEY: That’s something I try to drive home for all the munch hosts. When folks ask to post to LittlesMunch.com, they sometimes say they just want their post to link to FetLife and I tell them that they’re gonna lose a lot of folks that wanna learn about your munch because they’re not interested in joining FetLife. MAKO: Absolutely.
PAUL: We in Chicago didn’t really follow the whole munch progression.
MAKO: (Jokingly) Oh wait, so you did it wrong?
MO: (Jokingly) Well, we’ve been waiting for a couple of years for somebody to put us on a certain list.
SPACEY: Come on, Mako!
MAKO: I’m gonna put my hat back on.
MO: And we were not put on that list in the last three years.
SPACEY: You just gotta keep asking me.
PAUL: This would also be a show note.
SPACEY: Hold on. I gotta throw in an edit, here. (Blows air horn.)
MO: It’s okay. You’ve been busy. But we have spread on other lines and we’ve grown.
LUKE: Definitely look if there’s a local BDSM calendar and you can definitely throw stuff up on there.
PAUL: We did not start with a munch. We started with a play party. And we must’ve had 20 people turn out for the first event that we did.
LUKE: At least.
PAUL: And that generated excellent word of mouth. And from that, the munch, kind of, grew. Word of mouth is an excellent thing.
MAKO: There’s a saying that word of mouth, or WOM for short – which is kinda fun to say … WOMMMM – is one of the strongest forces on this planet. And I do find it to be true. When Richard took over the DC munch from me, I was posting about it in 5 or 6 places. Now, he posts about it in 25 places. Seriously, he’s that dedicated. He just talks it up a lot. He goes to other things and says “Hey, do you know about the munch?” “Let me tell ya about the munch.” He kinda gets all frenetic and crazy about it. And when ya do that type of shit enough … before you get thrown out, people tend to notice you. (Audience laughs) The numbers for the munch, since Richard took over, have been doubling and tripling … repeatedly. It is not uncommon for us to have 35, 40, sometimes even 50 people at the munch. Not every munch. Sometimes, we have just like … 8, okay. But sometimes, it’s really massive. And one thing that I wanna say about this is that I think that having expectations can be a problem. How do you define success? I’ve had munches where just two people show up. Or just one person shows up and we wind up having an amazing and in-depth conversation, really getting to know one another and making close ties. And then they go off and tell people they trust about what we just did. And then next time, they bring people with them. So I think making it outcome-based is a mistake.
PAUL: When our munch started, some months – especially during the summer, we just didn’t have a very big turnout. So it was me, Babyluke and Benny’s Mommy that sat down and had a meal. And if that’s the worse that you do for a couple of hours, sitting with friends is great.
MO: It’s great just getting one more person every time or meeting one new person. Don’t give up just because it’s only a few people. From those few people, they’ll start talking, like was said, and it’ll grow. So be happy that that one person came out and enjoyed things.
SPACEY: One of the things I’ve learned through doing this is that it’s not about having a lot of people. It’s about having the right people and even better, the people who are there, they are the right people.
MAKO: Okay, so this is a “show note”.
AUDIENCE: SHOW NOTE!
MAKO: There’s a story by Leo Tolstoy, that’s actually a really wonderful children’s book, called The Three Questions. (“Walk In The Light” by Leo Tolstoy contains the story The Three Questions) And now that I’ve said it, I can actually remember all three of the questions. I’m gonna have to go look. But one of the questions is, I think it’s What’s the most important thing to do? And the answer is The right thing. The second question is When’s the most important time? And the answer is Now. And the third question is Who’s the most important person? And the answer is The person that you’re with. As long as you are doing good, in the moment, for the person you’re with, you’re doing the right thing. And I believe that. I believe that whole heartedly. At the first FetFest, someone who was a somewhat close friend of mine had a terrible thing happen to her. And it’s private. So I’m not going to talk about it – other than the fact that I just talked about it. So I’m not going to get into any detail, okay? But other people that were there, and Zorro, you know what I’m talking about, came together and they were like “Hey, Cookie Throwing Contest? Fuck that. We’re gonna sit here. We’re gonna do this thing and we’re gonna talk to this person and we’re gonna make her feel better.” And it was really valuable. And, by the way, a whole bunch of people sort came over and piled on in this big nurturing hug and it became this big misfortune-turned-around-to-a-positive-thing event. And everyone felt better about themselves. And it started this discussion about relationships and how to be able to talk about your needs as an age player.
PAUL: But going back to building a group, we put out flyers in clubs. BabyLuke is very active in the leadership of TNG C (Chicago TNG – FetLife Group link). And when people come to that munch, he’s very open and tells them about the Chicago Age Players, as well. And, if I run across someone on FetLife or wherever who has similar interests, I’m not afraid to just shoot them an email and be like: “Hey, just to let you know, there’s a Chicago Age Players group. Maybe you’re interested. Maybe you’re not. Just giving you an option.” And no one has ever gotten upset. Most people are actually really grateful.
MAKO: The Jewish philosopher, Moses Maimonides says “If I am not for me, then who is?” Which is not, like a show note or anything. It’s just true.
SPACEY: True Note!
MAKO: Right. And I think that’s kinda the deal. You have to, sort of, be willing to, uh … how can I say this and make it sound positive? … sort of prostitute yourself a little bit for the mission that you care about. Even if it feels like “Boy, I’m talking about the stuff that I do a little bit too much.” If your heart’s in the right place, do it anyway!
PAUL: And for it’s really hard to talk about myself or what I’m doing because people might think it’s bragging or egotistical.
MAKO: (Laughing) Zorro’s nodding his head.
PAUL: But there’s really no other way to generate awareness and put yourself out there.
SPACEY: What a second, Paul. Did you pay Zorro to talk about yourself?
MAKO: Ego is really tough, right? When people compliment you for the things that you do. Any of you guys, is that difficult to hear and respond to? (Pausing) They’re all nodding and looking shell-shocked.
PAUL: I feel that it is because I feel that the stuff that I do is just, you know, the stuff that I do. But other people see it as really special and wonderful and that’s the perspective that I need to take and it means a lot to them. So it must be good.
ZORRO: Oh and it is. It absolutely is. Leadership is a fun topic. You literally take everything. You guys are good at this. We take everything and we’re putting it together. What he just said right there leads back to something that was said prior. When you’re doing something, you’re doing it for the betterment of all. Okay, now not everybody is Robin Hood. Damn, wouldn’t it be awesome if we cloud be – because I want to wing from those trees and listen to Morgan Freeman with that accent he used.
SPACEY: That’s Tarzan you’re thinking of.
ZORRO: Oh, is it Tarzan? Okay.
SPACEY: No, wait. George of the Jungle.
MAKO: Watch out for that podcast.
ZORRO: The need is there. And anybody could do anything, however they want to do it. There are folks that, as we decided earlier, were going to put one step forward. Gosh I could sit here and list a lot of the different (ABDL) authors, but that’s not what the show is about. But they’re all really fantastic. And I recall the show with the different ABDL video folks (Big Little Podcast – Episode 38 “Making Age Play Porn”). A comment that was made on that show when somebody said “We’re not really competition for one another.” Not at all. In fact, it’s not like we’re just gonna cross-promote or whatever. But so long as you’re promoting something and you’re all promoting it in unison, you’re doing a good thing. Maybe here we can call it something else because some people don’t wear diapers and age play is what they like to call it. Many people enjoy many different terms. But if you are promoting ABDL, if you’re just talking about ABDL, you’re doing a good thing. And when you have folks, like Paul right here, and some many others and CAPCon, what you find are tiny little hot spots. And all of the sudden, I don’t know. It’s like a growth, I suppose. A good growth!
ZORRO: Not a cancerous one, okay?
MAKO: (In Schwarzenegger’s voice) It’s not a tumor!
ZORRO: But what happens? All of the sudden, they throw together a convention and you get people coming here all the way from Germany.
FROM AUDIENCE: That’s true.
ZORRO: And it’s real. It’s very real. And it’s a good thing. So when it begins, if you just simply say “Here it is. We do exist.” Thank you , Glenn. If you build it, they will come. I hate to rip off Kevin Costner, but .. there we go.
MAKO: You know there’s a Lau Tzu quote I really like about it: “When you let go of what you are, you become what you may yet be.” We have great potential to do great things. To go back to the ego thing for a minute, I have struggles with that. So, in my relationship with Valentalae, when we first got to know her and she came on the show, we like really admired her – which was a little uncomfortable for her because we think she’s awesome. And she was like: “Stop admiring me!” And then she started admiring us which honestly made me a little bit uncomfortable. And here’s the truth, when I go out and I eat Mexican food, I fart like anybody else. Okay? That’s the truth.
ZORRO: Show note, show note!
FROM AUDIENCE: Food metaphor!
MAKO: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I apologize. But a big part of it is, like I said before – I don’t want it to be about me. I just wanna help people. But I’m not gonna lie. When people stroke you, it feels good.
FROM AUDIENCE: Show note!
MAKO: What would that be a show note to, exactly?
(Audience laughs and applauds)
SPACEY: Sex metaphor.
MAKO: yeah, we’re gonna have a different noise for that. One of the things I have struggled with was when the podcast first came out, there was this other guy who started another podcast. It felt a little competitive, though it wasn’t really.
SPACEY: It’s not competitive.
MAKO: Right, because a rising tide lifts all ships – which is wonderful. But I’ll admit that, deep within the dark recesses of my heart, I would look when his episodes came out and was like “What’s he doin’?” I feel the same way about the podcast or events or activism or classes, about pride symbols – as I do about anything else. If you wanna do your own, do it. Any effort you make improves the efforts of everybody else.
SPACEY: And don’t wait for permission.
QUESTION/COMMENT FROM THE AUDIENCE: I was just gonna say, expanding a little on the original question and a lot of what the panelists have said, I think to be setting a goal of a specific number of people for a munch, at the very beginning, is kind of difficult because, like the person said, they got discouraged because they weren’t meeting that self-imposed goal. It’s a matter of accepting, like the panelists said, you just go from there. The word of mouth, other things, again, most of the thoughts I had after the first comments, were covered by the panel, so …
MAKO: Word of mouth + patience is a recipe for great results.
SPACEY: But let me step back. It doesn’t have to grow to be important and good. It is what it is. And it can be appreciated for what it is.
MAKO: Speaking of appreciating, I know that Loki has to go. And we appreciate him being on the panel. And can you let folks know how they can get in touch with you?
LOKI: Sure. You can find me on FetLife as GoldenLoki. All one word. And if you’re interested in the Madison Satyricon, just do a search on Google for “Satyricon Madison” you’ll find our website. We also have a group on FetLife as well. That’’s Satyricon, S-A-T-Y-R-I-C-O-N.
FROM AUDIENCE: Show Note!
(Audience applauds as Loki leaves)
MAKO: Thank you, Loki. Now, I know we had some other questions out in the audience.
FROM AUDIENCE: We were just talking about going about things. And it goes back to something you guys have said a lot of different times and so holds true: There’s no one way.
MAKO: Amen to that.
PAUL: I totally agree with Robbie. I really feel like there is no failure. Just because if you end up going out to eat with your friends and people come or people don’t come to your munch, you still raised awareness that there are other people out there. We had no idea that CAPCon would work. The first one, naughty freckles suggested it and I thought it was a really good idea.
SPACEY: But a big risk, at the same time.
PAUL: It was a big risk. I put everything on my credit card and I was like “If we get 25 people that’s great. If we get 10, that’s great because we’re still doing something and, lo and behold, people believed in us. They came and we broke even – which was excellent.
SPACEY: That’s actually something I’d like to dive into a little more with our panel because that does seem to be another component of leadership that we really haven’t talked about, which is risk. There’s risk involved in taking action and doing things. Can you talk a little bit about how you decided to take that risk about how you decided to come to that point?
PAUL: Naughty Freckles and I were actually coming back from “Con in the Corn” which is in the middle of Illinois and it’s a wonderful event that’s been around for a while.
MAKO: It’s a great name, by the way.
PAUL: Well, that is Central Illinois for ya … corn.
SPACEY: I would’ve thought Indiana, but okay.
PAUL: And we really thought there needed to be more of an educational component and as well as a time to socialize and play with other people. There just wasn’t really anything for that. I thought it was valuable enough that I was willing to put up that risk. I guess, for myself, because I would’ve felt a measure of rejection if people didn’t come, as well as financially as well. But people stepped up and said: “This is important to me, too.” We got a lot of volunteers and lovely staff and it turned out to be a wonderful event that really changed a lot of people or helped them to accept themselves.
FROM AUDIENCE: I just wanted to say that, built on something that was said, there’s been a lot of talk about leadership and how to be a leader. I just wanted to really raise up and thank the people who are doing leadership for this. Because of the specific nature of this community, it’s not something that everyone can do. Because of that element of risk. We all are coming from different backgrounds in our vanilla lives and there’s different levels of risk. So, for those people who are able to go out there and do that, where as I feel like I’m someone who can’t because of other responsibilities. I’m just really grateful for the people for creating this environment that I can do.
MAKO: I really want to respond to that First, thank you. (Audience applauds) It takes a village. Everyone can do the things that they can do. And you don’t have to look any further than the podcast to see that. Brother is the technical wizard behind the show. He figured out all the pieces and buttons and bells. And …
SPACEY: I gotta stop you, though. We have another technical wizard today.
MAKO: Very true. Very true.
SPACEY: Lilsquash, has been very quietly and very un-miked-ly, making sure that you can hear us on the show. He’s probably muting me right now. (Audience laughs and applauds) He’s really hooked us up.
MAKO: A big part of this too is that Brother and I could sit in a closet and talk to the sweaters. But that wouldn’t be a podcast. It would be a mental health problem. (Audience laughs) Part of this is that we need you as much as you need us. So we make a thing together. And part of it is knowing where you are. So, people who are TNG-ers and who reach out to people who are older than their generation. They are doing what they can do. People that decide to come to CAPCon. They’re helping, too. It’s just as hard to participate as it is to lead.
MO: We’ll always need leaders as much as we need followers. Both are just as necessary.
LUKE: It’s one of those yin and yang concepts.
MAKO: Thank you. It always makes me happy when someone brings up the Taoism.
PAUL: I really feel like there are so many leaders. Whether you spend a couple of minutes every week moderating a group online or a couple hours a month running a munch. Or the hundreds of hours that these hard working people put into putting together CAPCon. Or the hours you spend working on the podcast. You’re right. Everyone participates how they do and it’s easy to be a leader in a certain way.
MAKO: Oh, I’m gonna cop to a dirty little secret of mine, too. So, there’s this thing we do for the podcast that involves these poles.
SPACEY: I thought we weren’t talking about that.
MAKO: Well, now we’re talking about it. We do these things called Monday Mako Polls where I ask some question and I try to gather statistically how people feel about some certain issue and then we have entries for them in our group on FetLife. And the whole reason that we do the polls isn’t because the numbers matter. The numbers don’t matter, fuck all. What matters is the people getting involved and doing the discussion. And I’m always really grateful. There are certain key people. You know who you are. They see the poll go up and they give their answer and then say “And now it’s time to talk about it a whole lot.” And I love that, every time I see that. You know, people get into big, substantive, meaningful discussions about things. We just had one recently about shame and that thread is enormous.
SPACEY: And that question was a yes/no question.
FROM AUDIENCE: Hi, My name is SarahPlainNsmall on FetLife. Someone brought up about many different kinds of leadership. And the one thing that CAPCon has shown me is that, just me being here coming out of my shell, I’m leading people to come out of their shells. Everybody in this room is a leader. So, be yourself and you can make a difference in somebody’s life.
SPACEY: Being yourself is taking a risk and being yourself is leadership.
PAUL: Sarah spoke in the relationship class about your relationship and you guys are very inspirational to me. I really feel like, by sharing your story, you have really helped so many people over the years.
FROM AUDIENCE: This is BabySkittles again. So, going back to the feeling of competition. In the community, I don’t feel that we should be competing against one another.
SPACEY: Except maybe in the pageant.
FROM AUDIENCE: (BabySkittles) But we’re all trying to achieve the same goal. We’re trying to bring ourselves into a better light, in the vanilla scene or in the kink scene itself. So, we should encourage as many different podcasts or whatever forms of media. Also, I wanted to thank PlainNsmall and his wife for coming out because, looking ahead at the older generation, you think: “How is it that I’m going to do this when I’m older?” This isn’t meant to be rude or anything to them, but it’s really nice to see them out here.
SPACEY: I wanna take a really quick break ‘cause I wanna pee. (SPACEY HOLDS HIS FINGER UP AND CLOSES HIS EYES FOR A FEW SECONDS.) Okay.
MAKO: You looked like you were just downloading “Helicopter Pilot” form the Matrix.
SPACEY: I wanna make sure the folks in the chat room know that they can call in, if they have questions or comments.
MAKO: That was an unfortunate confluence, right there.
SPACEY: Yeah, it’s my yellow journalism.
PAUL: Skittles is right. Cooperation, I really feel, has pulled us together. Chicago is so big that they’re could’ve been a divide between the suburbs and the city itself. Mo and the rest of us have come together and made something much bigger than what we could’ve done, each on our own.
MO: I couldn’t have done anything on my own. There are so many parts to who-started-what, but we’re working.
MAKO: Right. “Look, Mommies. We didn’t do it by ourselves.” I wanted to read a comment from Valentalae to all of you folks in the audience. In the live audience. I mean, in the live here audience. Not that people on the internet aren’t alive, too. I’m sorry. She said: “The clapping make this sound like the absolute best talk show, having to do with age play, on Earth … ever. You just knocked Jerry God Damn Spring out of the park.
MAKO: Take that, Jerry! For people that wanna call in, I just wanna remind you of the number. It’s 678-421-4256. And no, Charlie. Since you’re in the audience, you don’t get to call in. You’re here. You don’t have to do that.
SPACEY: Operators are standing by.
MO: I feel like I should be the person to say the end of that number again. You know, like how they do on commercials.
MAKO: Go for it.
MO: Okay … 678-421-4256 (LEANING IN TOWARDS THE MICROPHONE AND DEEPENING HER VOICE) 4256. Call now.
FROM AUDIENCE: Hi. This is LilJennie and on FetLife, I’m … LilJennie.
SPACEY: Another former guest on the Podcast. (Episode #32)
FROM AUDIENCE: (LilJennie) That’s true. I’ve been here before and I just wanted to talk about munches and getting people to come and not getting discouraged. When we lived in New York City, we went to the Eulenspiegel Society’s munches. They are the oldest BDSM organization that still exists.
MAKO: And it’s also a … ?
AUDIENCE: Show note!
LILJENNIE: They have monthly munches … well, they probably still have monthly munches. They did then. But they didn’t really have much about age play, infantilism, ABDL, anything like that. This was in the mid-90’s. It may have changed by now. The social environment is changing everywhere. But I decided to start a monthly munch at the same diner where the Eulenspiegel Society had their munch – only on a different weekend, for ABDL, infantilism, age play. But the thing is that, though I let people know in the society, the first time, there were only four people there. The second month, there were three people there. The third month, there were two people there and the fourth month, I went there and I was alone. And after that, I quit. I quit having it. Then, we moved to Bloomington, Indiana. I guess it’s okay to say that. It says on my website where I live, so …
SPACEY: And your website is a … ?
AUDIENCE: Show note! (LilJennie’s Website)
LILJENNIE: The point is: we moved there and, although there was a BDSM munch going on, there wasn’t anything ABDL, age play, whatever - related. So, again, I decided I was going to start another one because I was kind of feeling bad about myself having given up when we were in New York. So I started having munches and people came and most month people kept coming. (Lil Jennie’s FetLife Group for his monthly munches: HoosierHighChair) There were a few times when nobody came and I went to the restaurant and I was the only one there, but this time, I promised myself that I would not get discouraged and I would keep going. However, I also started posting: “Please R.S.V.P. so that I know that somebody’s coming.” Because if nobody R.S.V.P.s, I’m just not going to go. But, it’s actually been a few years since nobody came. It’s been probably more than 4 or 5 years since I had nobody come to my munch at all.
MAKO: I’ll tell you a funny thing about that, too, Jenny.
LIL JENNIE: The other odd thing was that we were just getting ready to move out of New York and some other people started up a munch, just as we were leaving. As we were moving out and I went to the first organizational meeting of that, except that we were moving and I couldn’t keep going. But my experiences in New York were just because I was too early. It was just too early. There just wasn’t enough awareness of littles in the BDSM community yet.
MAKO: It’s kind of like looking for your keys, right? You keep looking for them until you find them. Eventually, you will find them. I wanted to say, and I’m pretty sure this was you. You sued to print out the pride symbol and stick in the corner of the window of your car and people would gather in the parking lot, right?
LILJENNIE: I don’t think that was me.
MAKO: Well, I thought it was you. I remember seeing something about using the pride symbol for a gathering of a munch. And then there was this rights watch, conservative jerk-face website, like: The Traditional Values Coalition or something, that spoke about it. And said: “There are these people and they wear diapers and they’re getting together to have sandwiches and we must all be vigilant!”
MAKO: To me, that was a mark of success. That the pride symbol was catching on and that age play was on fire and it was good. If other people were nervous, then I thought we were doing the right thing.
LILJENNIE: That part is true. That did happen to me. I did get mentioned on some conservative organization. They were saying: “Oh, they’re going to demand rights now and there the next homosexual agenda” or something like that.
MAKO: Right. Beware of the diapered menace.
LUKE: By why would people be upset about sandwiches?
MAKO: Sandwiches are delicious!
PAUL: I really feel lucky that, when we had the munch, I encouraged people to bring a friend along. I got a chance to catch up with Luke and we certainly don’t talk enough and I think that that really makes it so you’re not sitting alone. And people have also emailed me, saying they were too shy to actually sit down and talk to anyone. But they came by and took a look and hopefully they can come out sometime. So, even if you aren’t aware, you’re helping people and making them feel like it’s more okay.
MAKO: There’s a topic on the pin list that I really want to make sure we hit. And it’s “burnout”. What do you do when you start to burn out? How do you handle it? …………………. Anybody?
SPACEY: Clearly, all of our panel is totally burned out.
MO: We’re fried.
LUKE: For myself, I’d gotten so used to doing everything and trying to run things and be this quote-unquote leader within this community that I see so much reward in people doing things. I don’t really get all that much burned out. I kind of compartmentalize certain things and I know when I can let myself go and when I cannot and I kind of just balance in my own way. I make it personal to myself when I have to go work out being little myself. I can’t really be running everything all the time but it all works out in the end and I luckily don’t have to deal with the whole burnout concept all that often.
SPACEY: Yeah, it’s wonderful when you can share the load. I’m pretty sure that Brother and I would be doing this podcast alone.
MAKO: No. Certainly not.
MO: I fell tired, but it’s a good tired that lets me know that it went well and you know, it’s not complete exhaustion – though my brain is tired. But I’m still functioning and we’re still going and it still feels really good in the long run. It’s a good tired.
PAUL: I think that having other people really helps out, but burnout can still even occur. Leaders need to realize that they’re making a choice of how to spend their time. Sometimes, you can give and sometimes, you can’t. And you do need to take time for yourself and time for your own activities and time for your other parts of life like school and work because I like to eat. And it’s okay to step back because, honestly, if you can’t care for yourself, you can’t care for other people.
MAKO: Oh, the oxygen mask on the airplane metaphor.
PAUL: It is hard to step back, though. And it’s not bad or wrong. It’s just what you need to do at the time. Kinda like you said with the munch. It’s hard to take that step back but it can get better and you know you can always go forth later on when you’re ready or able.
SPACEY: We had a question or a comment in the audience. I wanna make sure we get to it.
FROM AUDIENCE: Hi. This RockCotton from Madison, Wisconsin. So I have a comment and I also have a question. My comment is in regards to getting more people to the munches and also to the con. I think that all of us here, personally at the con, and those listening online. I just want you to know that it really is an amazing, safe environment here and at the munches. And it’s been made that way by the leadership but also the individuals who go. If you even consider or think about it, dip your toe in the water and give it a shot. This experience has been amazing for me and it’s going to be awesome for you if you go. I try to advocate for this event and for all the munches regularly. And I think that’s important for me to do. I’ve met so many amazing people. So that was my comment. My question is for the staff. How many new people do you think came this year compared to last year?
LUKE: Well, we don’t have a statistical number yet. But we definitely did have new people. I personally saw a lot of new faces. And I can tell, in that way, that it’s growing. We didn’t see as many people come back from last year that we were hoping to see.
MO: But we still maintained our numbers. So even though we didn’t see a lot of the faces from last year, we still had around the same number.
LUKE: They obviously felt comfortable enough because a lot of them stepped in and helped out and did things and even became volunteers and what have you. So that was really exciting.
PAUL: And I feel like it’s a really positive mix of people that have been here before and new folks as well. Quite sadly, I only see some of the people that are here once a year. So it’s great to see them and I’d love to see them more and it’s an excellent opportunity. But having new people in the mix is excellent as well.
MAKO: I’ve been really gratified, too. There are people here at CAPCon that I’ve known for a long, long time and that I haven’t gotten to see in, almost, the better part of a decade. ‘Cause I’m an old guy.
SPACEY: LilJennie and I. We started talking in 1994. This is the first time I finally get to meet her. And she’s awesome.
PAUL: It’s just hard to get everyone in one place at one time. That’s what some of the people who weren’t able to make it back this year have told me is that it was just a scheduling conflict or maybe they had monetary issues this year.
MAKO: And that speaks to another point about burnout that I wanna make. One of the amazing things about the need for community or these things that we’re doing is that it’s a perennial need. It’s evergreen. It’s always there – which means that if you gotta step away to do what you gotta do, don’t worry. Age play’s gonna be here. It’s not like you’re gonna go off and have your sandwich and come back and the age play will be gone. “Where did it go? No one does it anymore. I had a sandwich and now they’re gone.” That’s not how it works. And you don’t have to talk in a high voice like that. It’s ridiculous.
AUDIENCE: Food metaphor!
MAKO: Right, another food metaphor. I can’t help it. It’s like a tick …… which is not a food. Well, maybe in certain countries, but that’s disgusting. (Audience laughs) But seriously, if you need to nurture yourself, go do it. And if your needs change over time, that’s okay, too. I had a humbling experience that happened around FetFest of this year (2012) and about something I was doing. I was insanely, ginormously, ridiculously, gigantically overcommitted. I had far too many spoons out there and I was out of God damn spoons. I was training for a full marathon at the same time that I was planning for FetFest. And I got to my longest training run and it was like a 16-mile run and I couldn’t do it. I got 7 or 8 miles out and my body said: “Guess what, Mako? You’re an idiot!” And I said: “Okay, body, what are we gonna do?” “Walk home.” And we did. It was like a 13-something mile walk of shame.
SPACEY: You called me. I remember.
MAKO: And I cried my face off and I realized that I could not do all these things. So I changed my expectations. I changed my registration to a half-marathon and did it in 3 hours and 5 minutes. I’m very proud of that. (Audience applauds) And ran BouncyTown, too. And that was great, too. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve learned the lesson and that you’ve absorbed the lesson and you’ll never need to learn it again. At FetFest that year, one of the big events that I had planned was a fancy S’more party. I went to a store. Zorro knows. Here was there. And I bought all these different kinds of chocolate and graham crackers and far too many marshmallows that I’m never gonna get rid of these marshmallows. They are all over my house. And I went to go set this thing up inside our geo-disic dome, which was amazing. And nobody showed up. And I quietly … well, okay, not that quietly. And slowly … okay, not that slowly fell apart. I just kinda curled up in a little ball and was like: “Nobody came to this thing and I spent all this money and time and I’m tired.” And then I went and took a nap. The other people that were there helping me run the Village – they talked up the thing and eventually people did come out to it and had a great time and I didn’t see it because I was asleep. And I was glad that I was. And that’s okay. We’re not perfect.
LUKE: Oh, I can totally relate to this one. When we were early in having parties for the Chicago Age Play Group, there had been a fluctuation in people and amount of attendees and there had been at least a couple of times when it had been very minimal. In fact, I had been sitting there for about an hour since the party was to get going and I was there by myself. Then, two people show up. But, you know, these things kind of flux and eventually it balances out. More people showed up and it’s still going. So, those things do happen.
MAKO: Yeah. Pain is a teacher. It’s important to listen to it.
PAUL: I sometimes think that even being an attendee is hard because a lot of people emailed me about being shy about coming out to an event and hand-held them. And some came and some didn’t. And that was the right choice for them at the time. And sometimes, I think you need to push yourself a little, maybe out of your comfort zone. And maybe if you have a bad experience, don’t let that be the end. I know that, very early on, I went to some munches and it just was not the right thing for me at the right time. And I think it was really important that I went back and tried something else a bit later.
MAKO: Absolutely. And we do change over time. Things that we don’t think we can do, maybe later on, we can do them. Things we once were about to do, maybe later on, we can’t. That’s been the case for me. My carrying capacity for spoons is smaller than it used to be – which is frustrating to me. There were classes here that I wanted to go to that I just couldn’t make it to. And I felt kinda bad about that. But ultimately, I know I can only do as much as I can do.
SPACEY: And if we didn’t make it to your class, I am sorry.
MAKO: Yes, we’re both very sorry.
FROM AUDIENCE: Hi, this is BKimmy again. And I want to go back to the person that texted in about starting a munch. The proper number for a munch is two. Get yourself a partner so you’ll never be alone. You’ll always have somebody there and then you’ll be able to hold. They’ll come. I’ve been up-n-down with my munch and I wanna also address the issue of burnout. I’m kinda there with my munch now and I have been for a couple of years now. But what you wanna do, for your own satisfaction and for the sake of the community, is: keep yourself engaged to the degree that you communicate. We all have these wonderful means of communication. So be there to share the things that you’ve learned with the people who are going to continue this on. We don’t have a regular munch in Minnesota right now. But we do have events that crop up now and then. And I’m there to support that and I’m always there to support anything anybody does. And that’s the best I can do. I don’t have to be there and I don’t have to have a munch every month. But I’m there for the people who choose to do something.
SPACEY: We have a couple good questions here. One that’s very direct. Vee wanted to know how someone could started up a munch they can’t see if they’re introverted a fuck.
MAKO: You’re not talking about anyone in particular. Are you Vee? That’s a good question.
PAUL: I find that when I did the munch or when I present, I’m a little bit shy. And being a munch leader or being a presenter makes me come out of my shell because that’s my job. And I’m there to talk to people and educate and make connections and do introductions. I think if you wear that hat that you’re doing your job, it was easier for me to do it. (MAKO PUTS ON HIS HUGE PURPLE PODCASTING HAT) It does not, however, have to be a giant purple pimp hat, but that is an added bonus.
MAKO: Okay, I’ll take it off because Brother can’t see.
SPACEY: I’ll say something about introversion. Introversion is if you spend time around people, do you feel energized about that time you’re spending around those people or do you feel drained and need charged? I know this will sound weird to the people who go to my events or my munches, but … I’m totally an introvert. After doing events, I just wanna go into my room and play video games and not think about the rest of the world for a little while. But what people experience is you being able to have a conversation with them and that kinda thing. And that’s a learned skill.
SPACEY: And that’s something that I’ve done over time. So don’t let the fact that you feel drained, plan on the fact that you feel drained by people stop you from doing something. But, also realize that your ability to talk to people about more than the weather and that kinda thing is a skill you’ll learn. And you can only learn it, really, by doing it.
MAKO: That’s certainly true.
PAUL: I think that people sometimes feel awkward about conversation and whenever I’m not really sure what to say, I just ask people questions. How did you find this? What made you come out today as opposed to some other day? How do you occupy your time? I love learning about people because people are really the motivation for it.
SPACEY: I totally agree.
MAKO: I think there’s almost a certain professional patience that you learn to develop, too. One of the things that I do … well, okay. First off, it’s about empathy. If you put yourself in the other person’s shoes and are compassionate to how frightening this can be for them, then you can sort of speak to them where they are. So it’s not about you anymore. It’s about being comforting for someone that’s new.
SPACEY: I’m gonna interrupt you real quick. We actually have a caller calling in.
MAKO: Oh! Excellent.
SPACEY: (To caller) Hi. Who’s calling in?
CALLER: Hi, this is Nitrous. How are you guys doing over at CAPCon?
MAKO: Hey, Nitrous.
(Audience says hello and applauds)
SPACEY: Hello, from the Midwest to the West Coast.
MAKO: So what’s your question for us, Nitrous?
NITROUS: Well I hear you guys talking about trying to promote groups on different networks besides FetLife and I kind of, for the last few years now, have just solely been on FetLife. And I’ve kind of lost touch with the popular ABDL or littles social networkings on other sites. And I was wondering if you guys could recommend some good sites of where I could join.
MAKO: Zorro can.
ZORRO: Alright, are you ready, Nitrous? I’m sure a lot of these might well be defunct. So I’m trying to scratch them off in my mind, those that no longer exist.
SPACEY: Could somebody write down these show notes for me?
ZORRO: One is DailyDiapers.com. That is just strictly ABDL or age play or whatever you like to call it. Whereas FetLife is a melting pot. It’s amazing all these other things. You’re gonna find a lot more specific, what would you call that … a targeted audience on DailyDiapers. Strange as it may seem, ABKingdom.com, which isn’t even in this country, actually is a wonderful way to find a lot of folks within this country. (PAUSING) Some are overseas. I’m trying to think of ones that would pertain to here.
SPACEY: Reddit. Reddit has a strong ABDL community. ( Reddit ABDL subreddit, Reddit Age Play subreddit. ) As well as an age play community.
ZORRO: RUPadded.com, which is R … U … Padded.
MAKO: Well, not right now.
NITROUS: I am though.
SPACEY: You couldn’t hear him because he’s peeing.
ZORRO: So those are some of the really big ones. DailyDiapers has been around for God knows how long. Get onto those sites. Take a look at the links. You’re gonna find a bunch of links that are now dead. However, you’re still gonna find the other ones which are still alive. Particularly the chat room. Oh! There’s wettingwonderland.com.
MAKO: I can’t believe that that’s the name of an actual site. That’s hysterical.
ZORRO: You betcha.
MO: With DailyDiapers, don’t mention it in the chatrooms, though, because they’re not very big on that. I’ve found that one out. But they do have boards on their page that you can write about. They just don’t want you advertising on their chats – which makes sense.
ZORRO: Plus, Mako. There is an actual munches link. Is that not correct? Littlesmunch.com?
SPACEY: I have heard of that.
ZORRO: And that would be a …
AUDIENCE: Show Note!
MAKO: It’s really good. Although it’s missing the Chicago munch.
FROM AUDIENCE: Hello, it’s BabySkittles again. I’m a moderator on ABDLCams.com. That’s a really good chat site. We have video chatting. It’s totally free. You can pay some to get rid of the ads but we have to pay for the site. But it is a good site. So, I encourage people to check it out.
NITROUS: (ON PHONE) Actually, I did have another question for the panel. I have been on DailyDiapers before for a few years now. And I was wondering if any of you have contacted the owner about him putting up like a board or anything else for munches and get-togethers. My first ever attempt at doing a munch was on that site and trying to do one in Spokane was okay but then I had to move away. Spacey or Mako, have you guys tried to get him to post a link to the podcast or littlesmunch or anywhere else?
MAKO: Over on DailyDiapers I can’t say I have.
ZORRO: Yeah, there is. On DailyDiapers, you go down through the forum links. I think it’s “Gatherings” or “Meeting Others” or whatever it may be called.
SPACEY: I’m sure I’ve used it for the Atlanta Littles munch in the past.
ZORRO: Yeah, the list is based on a location. It’s not necessarily based on a book or a show.
MAKO: See, that’s one of those ways that Richard is so much better than me because he ferrets out all this stuff. I don’t do that. You know, I hit like 5 links and I’m like “Alright, I’m tired. I wanna banana.” Or whatever. But I’ll make myself a To-Do to ask Richard all the places he posts our stuff and put up a post in the FetLife group for the Podcast.
SPACEY: There was one more that the streamies brought up and it’s probably the oldest internet resource for adult babies that I know of. And that would be the Big Babies Infantilist and Friends Mailing List (Big Babies Infantilists and Friends). Do a lot of people know about that anymore?
MAKO: It’s amazing.
SPACEY: It’s been around forever. It’s an email list-serve. That’s how old it is. It pre-dates the web.
MAKO: It’s crunchy low-tech. It’s awesome.
SPACEY: I believe it BBIF.ORG. I’ll have to look that up.
MAKO: But be careful. There’s another BBIF that’s like the Black Business Infrastructure Forum or something. And people always confuse those two. It makes for a lot of humor. We’ve actually had similar problems with our podcast. There’s this game called Little Big Planet and for it, there’s like the Little Big Podcast and we’ve gotten mail from them every once in a while. Or mail for them and that’s really uncomfortable. Well, thank you for your call, Nitrous.
NITROUS: No problem. Have fun at CAPCon. And please, please, if you can try to do this again at next year’s CAPCon because this was a really fun podcast.
SPACEY: So, do we have any more questions or comments from the audience here?
MAKO: I’ve got a twitter one. Actually, I have two. One from twitter and one from IRC. Ollie wants to know How do you all handle negative criticism? As leaders, we are subject to criticism. How do you, on the panel, respond to that? I know I have an answer to that.
SPACEY: Okay. Everybody, what is Mako’s answer?
(Audience sticks their tongues out and raspberries in the air)
MAKO: Yeah, I love you guys. You’re awesome.
LUKE: When you take on the leadership role, you have to realize that there’s going to be somebody always that isn’t necessarily all the way pleased with whatever it is that you may be doing or trying to. So, you’ve gotta take it. It’s gonna happen. And sometimes, you have to adapt to it. And sometimes you have to realize that not everybody’s gonna be pleased. You gotta do your best with it. You can’t really take it as a personal attack against yourself. In this case, it’s like a business where you have to say: “Alright we’re doing our best. This is what we have to provide. I’m sorry I can’t accommodate everybody. But I’m gonna do my best to try.” And so, you’ve gotta kinda take it with that mentality. At least that’s the way I feel about it.
PAUL: I feel if you can’t cut even the tiniest shred of positive from it, if that’s possible – then that’s good. But at the worst, you can just be like: “Thank you for your input.” I really feel that respectfully is the big thing.
MAKO: I totally want to add to that, too. I think often times when people speak negative things … There’s this term called metatext. It’s not context, but it’s related. Context is Yeah, we’re having a podcast here in an age play convention. Metatext is the stuff that’s said inside the stuff that’s said. Like, if someone in the audience is mouth at me: The shows needs to end. There’s a problem. Maybe the metatext might be My diaper is really wet and I need to get out of here, but I don’t wanna bug the show. But you wouldn’t know that unless you ask. Or go looking for it, try to intuit the implicit stuff behind it. So when someone has a negative thing to say to me about something I do, I listen for what they are really saying about themselves and the circumstance. Are they frustrated with themselves? Do they need a comforting word? Everyone’s a human being and sometimes people strike out in anger and fear because they don’t have the language for what it is that they’re really trying to say.
SPACEY: I’d like to talk about a specific example that happened with the show. It’s not that long ago that we had a listener write in. And I learned something about the way that I was speaking. This person wrote in to say that our show was terribly homophobic.
MAKO: Cue looks of shocked amazement from the audience.
SPACEY: I use the word homosexual a lot. It’s a common word in the culture I came from and I just brought it with me, not thinking about using gay, lesbian, bi-, trans-. I learned something from that over the course of the show, beginning to say gay instead. I’m not trying to adopt the language of the Republican We-Are-The-Elephants Society.
MAKO: And send your hate mail to … (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). Never mind.
SPACEY: They were also reflecting something about themselves.
MAKO: Yeah … that they wanna be heard. And not marginalized. And they were really frustrated. One of the things they said in the email was: I really loved your show, until you said X. You know, And it really made me feel bad because I’m gay and an age player and I want a place for me. So what they were really saying was I felt shot down. By misinterpreting because of the imply-infer gap. That’s why that happened. And then someone has had said something in a different show and I had responded to it by saying: That’s okay. But because sometimes I have a little bit of a mumble mouth. It sounded like I said That’s so gay. But it wasn’t. It was That’s okay. That’s what I said.
MO: Everything in life is a learning experience no matter what it is. Negative, positive. It’s all learning.
MAKO: As my friend, Kevin, likes to say: Pobody’s Nerfect.
BABYSKITTLES: Communication is one thing that we’re always gonna be having to work on. As long as we keep in mind that everybody communicates differently and everybody has different needs as well, then we’ll continue to grow and flourish with that.
MAKO: I do have this one last question that was asked by the streamies: Often as a host of the party, yeah, you don’t get to play or have the little space that you brought the community together for yourself. Outside of delegating other stuff to other people, are there other ways that the host can be active, be the leader, be on top of things and yet still get to do the little things that you wanna do? Anything?
LUKE: As being somewhat of a regressive little myself, I get all dressed up. I participate in some of the games. That’s as far as the parties go. At the Con, it’s a little more hands-on with having to do a lot of the work. But I definitely do, as much as I can. Even though I can’t let myself go entirely, I at least let myself go a little bit. Because everybody else is enjoying it and I would like to be with them. It’s a part of being hands-on and doing everything with everybody else.
PAUL: One of my favorite … (To Mo) Do you wanna tell it?
Mo: (LAUGHING) No, you tell it.
PAUL: One of, apparently, Mo’s and My favorite stories happened during a play party near Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Luke took time off from supervising while someone else did it and we dressed him up as a turkey. And it was really lovely. We had the little fronds on his legs. We put Legos on him for croutons.
MAKO: With fronds like that, who needs anemones?
PAUL: So, I think by spreading out the responsibility, Luke was able to take time off and be our Chicago Age Play turkey.
MO: Every year, we still make him this turkey now. So now, he is the official turkey of Thanksgiving for CAP.
PAUL: Seem that’s how traditions really start.
MAKO: That’s amazing.
MO: Or last year at the Con, where Kat just came out of nowhere (DiaperedKitten) and attached herself to his legs, knocked him over and sat on him.
LUKE: You see, what started out as her hiding from somebody turned into a takedown and tickle scene … which then repeated again this year. And added. It’s going to become a thing. I feel it. There’s lots of participants.
PAUL: We do not encourage every staff member to do take downs on BabyLuke.
MAKO: For myself, one of the ways that I found my inner-Big was by herding all the little cattle that come to the things that I do and feeling sort of parental about them. And I was like: Hey, I think this kinda feels good. I think I wanna do a whole lot more of this. So that was kinda good for me.
SPACEY: I’ll also add that, one of the things that, I may not get to experience my full little side at parties but I’ll make sure to go out of my way to do littles things - because it gives other people the opportunity to do that. It kinda breaks the ice and says: Hey, he’s doing it. So it’s okay that I do that, too.
PAUL: That helps to avoid burnout as well. You do get to experience it, at least for a little bit.
MAKO: So Vee has this, sort of, fastball for the last question from our streamies. It’s a big one: Does anyone have advice for dealing with drama in a munch group? I know someone who became friends with an attendee. Let’s just say that did not go well. And right now, it’s causing a lot of problems for both of them. How would you deal with that?
PAUL: I would like to say that there will probably always be drama to a certain extent at any sort of gathering. If possible, I would try to advocate that they work it out amongst themselves. And try to guide a little bit saying: Maybe you should take the first munch and then alternate. Something like that and I guess, stress the good of the group.
MO: And not bring it into the group. Like, if you can keep it between yourselves, it’s so much better because the minute you start splitting the group in different directions, they’re just gonna fall apart. So don’t bring it into the group and work it out. You may be acting like littles, but you are adults. You can work it out.
MAKO: There’s a skill that comes from the book “The Ethical Slut” which is a great book with a silly name about polyamory. And one of the things that’s in this book is when people who are in non-monogamous relationships have disagreements, one of the things they will do is make a date to have a discussion. Like to go: I’m upset about this right now but I know that we have to go do this other thing. So, later today, can we make a date to talk about this? And I think that’s perfectly valid. And I’ve actually had to do that with folks at the munch. Like, in the middle of the munch, a thing comes up that’s really not a great thing. And I’ll quietly say to the person: Listen I need you to not do that and if you want, we can talk about it later. Let’s do that.
PAUL: And I feel like your role as the moderator gives you the power to be like: Hey, if we can just delay this or if you two can go off and discuss, I really want everyone here to have a good time.
MAKO: Yeah, it’s a mindfulness thing. The event that you are doing. It’s definitely happening around you. There’s not one thing you can do about that. You gotta swim with the water you’re in. You can swim against it and get a face-full or you can swim with it and get where you’re going.
SPACEY: Well, alright. I think it’s that time. We need to go around and have the folks who are remaining on our panel say who they are and how folks can get in touch with them.
LUKE: I’m Luke or BabyLuke86 on Fetlife. You can feel free to send me any comments or questions. You can also check out ChicagoAgePlayers.com , if you’re in the area and interested in any of the munches or, of course, CAPCon itself. And of course, as soon as we get a chance, we’re gonna have some pictures about what we did this weekend. And you can check ‘em out.
MO: Uh, what Luke said and I’m EnieMenieMineyMO on Fetlife. It’s kind of a hard one to spell, so if you go to the ChicagoAGEPlayers.com, you can find me on there/
LUKE: And she’s on the leadership bar in the (CAPCon) Fet group. You can find her there.
MAKO: Mo, I’m curious. Have you actually caught a tiger by the toe?
MO: I have. And he wasn’t very happy.
MAKO: He hollered?
MO: He hollered.
MAKO: I bet you let him go
MO: I did let him go.
PAUL: You can find me on Fetlife as RuleofThree, all one word. Or else you can go to PaulRulof.com. I’m gonna be up in Minnesota at the lab, at Thunder in the Mountain and at Ohio Smart in the next couple of months.
ZORRO: I’m ZorroDaddy. On Fetlife, I’m ZorroDaddy. Or you can stop by zorrodaddy.com.
MAKO: It’s a theme.
ZORRO: Beyond this day, I plan to go back home and drink lots of Turkey Hill Iced Tea. That’s my plan for the month of April … and May … and June … and July.
SPACEY: You might want to drink a little water, too.
ZORRO: I’ll keep that in mind.
SPACEY: So we actually have a tradition for the way that we end the show. And it involves putting one hand up and then other hand up. And you do … Kermit Arms!
SPACEY: Thank you, everyone.
MAKO: So good.
(Outro Music~! ♪♫♪)
Show Notes: • Chicago Age Players group on FetLife • “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron • Twisted Tryst kinky camp in the Midwest • Benny’s Never Grown Up Store • “Walk In The Light” by Leo Tolstoy contains the story The Three Questions • Satyricon Madison group on FetLife • The Eulenspiegel Society • LilJennie’s web site • LittlesMunch.com • Big Babies Infantilists and Friends email list • ABDLChats.com • DailyDiapers.com • ABKingdom.com • Reddit ABDL subreddit • Reddit Age Play subreddit • RUPadded.com • ABDLCams.com • “The Ethical Slut” book