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This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


So, I wrote a chapter in my FLR, FemDom and Women In Charge book (out this month, benefiting FAD), answering the question:

What Do We Do In Public To Exhibit Our WIC Relationship?

And, as usual, most of it applies not only to women-led relationships, but to any BDSM, Kinky, or alternative relationship.

Of course, this is an intensely personal thing. There are many ways to show off your dynamic, some are quite subtle, others more overt.

I think the best thing here is to simply share ideas of my own and from others.

Before I do that, though, I’d like to make a point.

Other People Didn’t Consent

Others are not a part of your relationship.

Not vanilla (non-kink) others. Not kinky others, either.

So, don’t involve them.

And, really think about what you might be doing around them, as well. Because while you are free to do whatever you wish (walk your submissive down the street on a leash on all fours, for example), it’s worth considering whether that is the RIGHT thing to do.

  • Will there be children?
  • Are you sure there will not be someone who might have been abused that way, who could be damaged seeing it unexpectedly?
  • Is it worth upsetting older conservative folk?

Again, only you can answer these questions for yourself.

For example, a gay couple might be hit with these same questions and say that “YES! It absolutely IS worth upsetting older conservative folk to express love.”

So, I’m not going to pretend I know better than you what your limits should be.

Another thing I see a lot is kinky people making other kinky people adhere to the rules of their dynamic. Which I believe is problematic in a number of ways.

Let me give you an example and explain:

I’m at a casual slosh (a gathering of kinky people at a vanilla bar or brewery), socializing, and end up talking for a few minutes with a nice young submissive. The next day, I receive a message accusing me of talking to someone who was not allowed to speak to other dominants without permission from their dominant.

In this case, this dominant was trying to make me a part of their relationship dynamic without my consent—or even my awareness.

When it comes down to it, if the submissive has that rule, the submissive is responsible for getting permission.

Let me say that again, worded slightly differently:

If the submissive has a rule, the submissive is responsible for obeying.

I don’t even ever need to know about their rules.

And, even knowing about their rule, I would reject it and talk to that submissive again.

Why?

  • Because their relationship dynamic is not my issue.
  • Because that dominant may be lying.
  • Because that may not be their dominant.
  • Because the submissive may be in an abusive situation, and may be trying to make friends to prepare to break free.
  • Because that submissive may be willing to take punishment for information and growth they think they need.
  • And mostly: because I believe that dynamic or no, every human has the right to make their own decisions.

Now, if we had been talking, and the submissive took a moment to check with their dominant, then politely withdrew because permission was not granted, I would not pursue.

The submissive chose to honor their rule, and I would honor them for it.

Events With Space Rules

This is obviously an exception.

When at an event where there are rules that cover everyone, of course, it’s important to be respectful of them.

For example, many groups, including my local Female Artists of Domination (FAD), have rules about how to properly treat the dominant women with respect.

It would be poor form to flout event rules after agreeing to them and entering the space.

Other Kinky Events

If you do want to restrict your submissive from contact with others at kinky events, there are plenty of ways to do it:

  • Make them wear a sign
  • Tell people as they approach that the submissive is on restriction
  • Require the submissive to wear a gag
  • Order them to maintain silence unless you speak directly to them

And so on.

These are absolutely valid.

And that last one is also perfectly valid in other public, even in vanilla spaces.

For example, out shopping, any time someone addresses your submissive, they remain quiet, and turn to you for response.

Simple.

People might find it a bit odd, but it’s not IN YOUR FACE kinky-crazy weird, and it allows some more extreme play in an everyday setting.

Another Concern

Reputation.

Being overtly dominant or submissive in public can cause issues with your personal and professional reputation.

Especially if you are in a sensitive field (school teacher, military, government), or if you are flouting the traditional roles of your gender (a masculine submissive, for example).

One of my hard limits is ANYTHING in public that might affect my Pet’s professional image, or his standing with his non-kinky friends.

It’s a good idea to discuss these types of concerns before engaging in riskier public dynamic play.

Examples

Some of these will be stories. Some will just be tips. I hope that they give you some wild and wonderful ideas for outdoor play.

Pet Names. Someone once asked in my Women In Charge Facebook group what pet names we use in public to honor our dynamic.

I mentioned that I would never risk Pet’s reputation, so I would not require him to title me and I use a normal, vanilla pet name for him.

However, that normal, vanilla pet name might be whispered in his ear during very naughty play over and over again, so that it’s immediate effect on him is always a flashback to my personal and sexual power over him, regardless of the situation.

Of course, others might use titles to the same effect.

Check-Ins. Have them keep you updated on their day. What are they doing? Who are they doing it with? Make sure they send them in the format you choose.

Orgasm Control. No matter where they are or what they are doing, they may not orgasm (or pleasure themselves) without permission.

Photos. Assign them a photo to take at some point during the day. Perhaps a picture of them wearing their cage, of their collar on, of a look of love and worship…

Photos, Part Deux. Send a photo of yourself with a love note written on your body, or a small symbol that might be meaningful to the two of you. Or a body part and have them respond with how they will worship it at the next opportunity.

Chastity. Take it a step further and lock them up. This is a physical reminder.

Cock ring or non-piecing jewelry. Even a ribbon or an insertable. Another physical reminder of presence and power in their life.

Collar. A lifestyle collar for events. A “vanilla” collar for everyday. This could be a bracelet, a special earring, a necklace, or anything.

Tattoo. An extreme form of marking, but it can be subtle. It’s an everyday thing.

Piercing. Same. A permanent reminder.

Branding.

Assignments. Make them take 5 minutes on their lunch break at work to journal on a specific topic, or answer a question of the day.

Choose clothing. Choose their clothing for an event, for a function, or for every day.

Speech restrictions. Make them check with you before speaking to or responding to anyone else.

Porter. Make them carry your purse or bags or coat.

Chivalry. Expect and enforce chivalry—opening/holding doors, pulling out chairs, taking coats, etc.

Order for them. You could make the choices, or have their input, but then do all of the ordering.

They may start to eat ONLY after you. Same with drinking.

Bathroom controls. They must ask to use the bathroom. Even when not with you.

Personal grooming. Make them wear a scent that you like, or their makeup or facial hair the way you prefer.

Mark them. Draw a small doodle on them in a publicly visible spot. Make them give you oral before going out, and forbid them to wash their face. (If you do this, PLEASE consider whether they will be kissing others in greeting—we don’t want to non-consensually expose others.)

Touch them. Reach out and touch them in public. This may be as simple as putting your hand on the back of their neck, or fondling their butt. Make it clear it’s your right to touch what you own.

Make them say “Please.” If they want something—anything, wait for them to say please, and let them know ahead of time that every please from them is begging for you.

Take control of the money. Even if you have control in private, while in public, do all of the paying, buying, etc. Have them report back to you with each expenditure when they are not with you.

Positioning. Have them walk on a specific side, just a bit behind or in front of you. Tell them where to sit in a restaurant.

What have you done to show or honor YOUR dynamic in public?

As a dominant or submissive, top or bottom?

What would you like to do or try?

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


So, in the first week of January, I holed up and wrote.

68 chapters, about 38,000 words. All about FLR, FemDom, and Women In Charge relationships, also known as “the book for March” to my team.

It’s part of my 12 books in 12 months in 2020 goal, which I’ve been crushing.

I’m a tad bonkers, I know.

LOL!

Anyway, one of the ways I do this is I create a book based on questions. Many are questions I’ve been asked a lot over the years. Some are newer questions solicited for the project (you may have seen some of these on my feed).

One of the newer questions for this book was:

What Are the Pitfalls of FemDom in Marriage?

And, as I was writing the chapter, I realized that the very same pitfalls apply to all power exchange relationships, and I wanted to share them with you.

My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “NONE!” and be done with that chapter. Believe me, every once in a while I CAN answer a question quickly, like in a couple of paragraphs, and I celebrate, because that reduces my writing time that day (I often give myself a goal of X number of chapters).

Thing is that’s not entirely true. There are potential pitfalls to ANY relationship choice, and if I’m going to write this book and answer questions, I needed to really think things through.

And when I did, well, here it is (generalized to all power exchange relationships)…

Just like any other relationship style, power exchange dynamics have their “gotchas” in marriage or any other long-term arrangement.

Let’s take a look at those.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Power can go to your head. Of course it can.

And the challenge is to avoid using that power to reinforce the idea that you are a better or more deserving person because you have that power.

This could potentially lead to thoughts or behaviors of dehumanization from the dominant toward the submissive.

It’s an easy habit to fall into, and it becomes a situation where power is used to railroad the submissive partner, instead of compassion used to make sure that BOTH partners are served by a mutual relationship dynamic.

Manipulation

And with power comes the ability to manipulate.

Manipulation is not inherently evil. It can be used for good or bad things.
As a behavior modification enthusiast myself, I love using manipulation techniques to improve my own life and that of my Pet.

It’s easy to see the appeal, though, to use power to convince someone that they want something that you want, or that their desires are just a passing fancy, and not as important as yours.

And that crosses the line, because that’s not consensual.

Bandaid

Of course, any new relationship style—power exchange, ethical non-monogamy, parenthood—can be used as a quick fix or patch to hide huge problems in the relationship’s foundation.

The newness, the excitement, the tbondingogetherness of figuring it out…

It FEELS like it’s fixing things.

When it’s not.

Any power exchange dynamic is best when the original relationship foundation is whole and stable.

Co-Dependency

For those with deeply submissive natures, it’s incredibly easy to lose themselves in their roles, and to take on the wants, needs, and preferences of their dominant.

To the point where they lose who they are as an individual, and become a mere hanger-on to another’s life.

While some people aim for just this thing (and I’m not going to say that’s wrong—just worth treading very carefully), for the majority of people it is not a conscious and consented-to process.

And because it happens gradually over time, it’s hard to find and root out, if it’s not watched for from the beginning.

Abuse

Of course.

Just because you’re kinky doesn’t mean you’re not in an abusive relationship.

I discussed the differences in a recent writing, BDSM Vs. Abuse.

I’d suggest that whenever there might be a question in your mind about your own or another’s relationship, that you read through that (and any other similar references) and really examine what’s going on.

All That Said…

Pretty much any/all of these things happen in every type of relationship.

The power exchange does encourage some of them in ways that other more equal dynamics might not, but I think we can all agree that even without power exchange, we’ve seen these things happen to friends and loved ones, perhaps even ourselves.

What are YOUR thoughts?

What did I miss? Have you seen any of these potential pitfalls in your own relationships or others?

You can leave a voicemail with your thoughts! We may use your comments in a podcast, if you do. *smiles*

Image by 【微博/微信】愚木混株 【Instagram】cdd20 from Pixabay

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


Last night, I presented my first FREE monthly Newbies Night webinar to the community, with the brilliant host @QPDoll. (See the schedule live here.)

It’s incredibly gratifying to be able to share access to information and to answer questions live with people with all levels of experience, from all over the world (like C in from Brazil!), in a way that allows them to choose their comfort level of interaction.

SOOOOO amazing.

Today, when I checked my writing prompt I’ve set myself for the day, it made me smile, because it seemed like the perfect follow-up.

Here’s what I saved for myself from a conversation on July 13, 2019:

My Friend:

Knowledge is power but sometimes knowledge makes everything confusing when things could be easy and natural

Me:

Knowledge is not power.
Knowledge is knowledge until you apply it or leverage it.
It can, as you just pointed out, be a detriment, even.

My Friend:

Are you telling me all of my gradeschool teachers and the G.I. Joe cartoon show was lying to me

Me:

Yes.
Or, not lying.
They didn’t mean to tell a falsehood.

My Friend:

Heresy!!!!

Me:

They were just wrong.

My Friend:

😂

Me:

Truth.

It is true that having knowledge when others do not can be powerful.

It can also be a burden. Like for Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren, the two Australian researchers who discovered the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and deciphered its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

At that time when Warren and Marshall announced their findings, it was a long-standing belief in medical teaching and practice that stress and lifestyle factors were the major causes of peptic ulcer disease.

When they tried to show the medical community their findings, they were ridiculed.

Until Marshall underwent gastric biopsy to put evidence that he didn’t carry the bacterium, then deliberately infected himself to show that it in fact caused acute gastric illness.

Was that power? Sure, of a sort.

But only because Marshall and Warren had the tenacity to stick with it and show their work in many multiple ways to the world.

They did end up winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2005. Twenty years after Marshall’s self-infection.

A little bit can go a long way…

In either direction.

Last night, we cautioned the Newbies who joined us (thank you!) to spend time watching and learning as they entered into the scene.

Because there is so much that we do that can be dangerous and different, and even how we socially interact and the words we use are new to people just coming into the lifestyle.

And sometimes, a little bit of knowledge is scarier (Hello, Dunning-Kruger?) than none at all, because with no knowledge at all, people don’t feel over-confident, and may take more care.

I say about many things in my life, “I know just enough about _____ to be a danger to myself and others.” It’s not only to let them know my skill level (or lack thereof), but also to remind myself.

And I find no shame in saying, “I have no idea,” or “I know these three things I read online, but I don’t really KNOW about it, could you tell me more?”

Like many other tools in our toolbox, knowledge used properly is powerful and beneficial. Used incorrectly, it is neither and may actually harm.

I like to think that knowledge is 50%, and doing is 50%, broken into two quarters:

  • Doing and getting it wrong (learning).
  • Doing and getting it right (practice).

G.I. Joe said…

“Knowing is half the battle.”

It’s true. G.I. Joe didn’t lie.

Knowing is half the battle. Often the easy half.

Because knowing is not the same as doing. And doing (ie. learning, practice, real-life experience) is essential in any battle, journey, collaboration, or kinky play.

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


In the book I released this month, So, What Is Kinky, Anyway, one of the questions I answered was about shame.

So, Tuesday night, when we had our webinar panel discussing “What does kink mean to me?” I asked about shame, and the answers were fascinating.

Shame in kink sometimes drives deeper intensity for scenes and events.

And it’s wonderful when what is otherwise a negative and oppressing emotion can be turned to the good.

When it can’t, though?

You see, normally, I’m a fan of emotions, even those we might usually think of as negative, like anger, or jealousy. They are always there to tell us something.

And, to be fair, shame is the same.

But it’s…well, it feels gross. Dirty. No redeeming qualities.

At least to me.

I’m not a fan.

I’ve read that, “Shame means ‘I am bad.’ Guilt means ‘I did something bad.’”

I think it’s a HUGE leap to decide that you as a person are bad for a single kink or thought. Or even a cluster of them.

Regardless, shame is an emotion. And emotions exist to call our attention to things we might need to think about, pay attention to, or fix.

So, if you’re feeling shame about your kink, dive into it, and ask yourself some questions:

  • What is shame to you?
  • How do you know you are feeling shame, specifically, instead of another emotion? Pay attention not just to the mental effects, but also the physical sensations.
  • How does shame affect how you see yourself?
  • How is shame tied to your past? Maybe how you were raised?
  • Is the shame YOUR shame, or are you feeling it because you have been told that something is shameful or wrong?
  • Can you find anything or anyone who will tell you or make a good argument that you need feel no shame for your kink?
  • How are you speaking to yourself when you feel shame?
  • Are you feeling fear along with your shame? What is that fear telling you?
  • What triggers your shame?
  • Does your kink harm others?
  • Sometimes shame is an excuse that we cling to, to avoid doing something we fear. Is your shame a crutch?
  • Are you willing to share your shame? Perhaps anonymously? Sometimes, just getting it out there and getting feedback can make all the difference.
  • What is GOOD about your kinks? What is GOOD about you?

And, after all this, maybe find someone you can talk to and talk through your feelings of shame, and maybe discuss how to move past them, to feel good about who you are and what your desires are.

Because, really, when it comes down to it, if your feelings are not acting in service to you, it’s worth the effort of moving past them.

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


Let me ask you a question: Do you know a lightweight? Someone who gets drunk easily? Starts to feel the effects a few sips in, and is dancing on the tables after two frou-frou drinks?

Maybe you are the lightweight?

Either way, I’d like you to keep this in mind.

We’re coming back to it later.

On Monday, I wrote about the differences between BDSM and abuse. Thanks to Joyfulwish and Green-eyzz, the topic of subspace came up, and I made a note to write about it.

On Monday evening AppleP wrote Negotiations matter more than “what we’re doing” (FetLife link—which I read this morning), and in it, he said:

During play, any consent is far from sober, or at the very least properly informed. A YES IN PLAY IS EXTREMELY RISKY, AND IN MANY CASES BLATANT CONSENT VIOLATION.

Ok, universe, I get the point.

I’m slow, not stupid. LOL!

So, the play we do is awesome, amazing, wonderful, and it is a drug. Well, actually, it’s A LOT of drugs.

Play creates a chemical dump in our brains making all sorts of neurons fire and others not fire, and drugs do this, too, by activating these same natural processes in our bodies to release chemicals.

In kinky play, we’re doing these things on purpose.

We’re playing with our bodies physically and our minds emotionally to create specific effects.

And some people are more susceptible to these effects than others. They are lightweights when it comes to the feel-goods.

Read More

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


A guest post by TheBalloonGuy.

Had a talk with myself today. Told myself “Self, we suck.”

Self replied “Yes? We are aware.”

“Maybe we should try to write something positive today.”

Had a conversation with someone recently. Not someone on Fet, nor in the lifestyle, a Vanilla. Their only real understanding of Kink, and BDSM, comes from popular culture. 50 Shades, portrayals in movies, long-standing stereotypes.

The usual.

“I just don’t understand how someone can be that mean and hit someone, it’s so violent.”

“Isn’t it just a wild sex party?”

“What do you people even do?”

This helped me to become a bit re-aware of the fact that the Vanilla world is still not given a fair perspective on what it’s like to participate in this lifestyle. When people hear “Kink” they typically think of the dank, smoky dungeons full of sweaty people having sex. They think all women who are dominant are always clad in black leather, all Doms are men who are sadistic control freaks, male submissives aren’t real, and the only kinks that exist are rope, blindfolds, bondage, and spanking.

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This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


This is a question that comes up a lot. In my general Kinky Q&A classes, online by newbies, or people who love someone kinky and are seeking to understand them, and in other classes (like cuckolding) that look to outsiders like horrific relationships going very very wrong.

I think most of us know abuse when we see it, although I’m guessing we’ve all been wrong before as well.

It’s discussing abuse with others, or catching it in our own relationships where it can get tricky.

Having the right words to draw the line in the sand, and looking beyond infatuation and ego…

Well, it’s difficult.

In my February book, So, What is Kinky, Anyway?, I put a bit of effort into giving some clear examples of consensual BDSM/kink versus abuse.

I’d love your feedback.

*smiles*

Let’s compare and contrast consensual kink and abuse:

Kink: Using body/mental sensations such as pain, pleasure, humiliation and love to elicit pleasure and release.
Abuse: Causing physical and/or mental/emotional harm to another person.

Kink: Consensual power exchange where both partners negotiate and agree, empowering themselves within an agreed-upon framework.
Abuse: Takes away power from one partner.

Kink: Actions and relationships are communicated, negotiated, and agreed to.
Abuse: There is no agreement to when/how it will happen, and there is no consent to it happening.

Kink: Creates excitement in each partner for the other.
Abuse: Creates fear of one partner for another.

Kink: Fosters and builds trust.
Abuse: Destroys trust.

Kink: Intended to fulfill the desires and needs of all involved within a safe environment.
Abuse: Focuses on the needs and desire of just one, creating a cruel and possibly violent environment for the other.

Kink: Communication and support create an environment where it’s safe to talk about wants, needs, thoughts, and emotions.
Abuse: No support. Communication is usually one-sided (if it happens at all), and wants, needs, thoughts, and emotions are not safe.

Maybe you think you’re kinky (or know you are), and those contrasts are resonating with you.

Maybe, though, you’re reading this because you want to understand a friend or loved one’s kink more, and really, it just still seems pretty abusive to you.

It ought to be OK to take their word that they want this, but are there ways you can be sure?

Honestly, not really. Well, not unless it’s over time.

However, there are some clues that might help, especially with the physical play and marks that can seem so scary:

There are no defense wounds. People in abusive situations will often raise their hands/arms to protect their face, and will have secondary wounds from the impact. People in kink welcome their play. There are exceptions where, for example, primal or rough body play engages the whole body. Listen for words like that when you ask after their well-being.

Concentration of “damage.” Kink can often leave some pretty scary marks, especially from paddles, “evil sticks,” whips, canes, etc. However, they are usually fairly concentrated in specific areas: buttocks, thighs, back, breasts, and genitals. Rarely will you see random areas or very public spots like the face touched in kink, except (again) in primal/rough body play.

Kinky toys. While kink can be performed with pretty much anything (there are entire groups devoted to “pervertibles,” or everyday objects you can use to make people feel something in kink—like wooden spoons, wood clamps, even tinsel), most kinky people will have at least a small collection of toys, like handcuffs, floggers, paddles, gags, etc.

Language. Kinky people have very specific language around what we do. We use the term “marks” instead of “wounds” or “scars.” “Power exchange” or “D/s” to refer to relationship dynamics. They might mention SSC, RACK or PRICK. And so on. Consent will be mentioned. A LOT.

Pride/defiance, instead of fear. Not only will kinky people mention consent, but if you question us, we will often get downright offended that you don’t think we’re telling the truth, or that we don’t have a right to choose how to use our bodies with partners for our own pleasure and fulfillment.

HARD TRUTH: You cannot be sure.

People CAN be both kinky and abusive.

To say otherwise would be lying.

And people can THINK they are in a consensual kinky relationship, then suddenly one day realize they were lied to and emotionally abused into consenting.

That’s a part of life.

Nothing is ever ONLY good, including kink.

But if the kinky person is your friend or loved one, you may just have to take their word for it, and support and love them as hard as you can, even if you don’t understand.

Because that is how you will keep the relationship, and if, ever, anything turns out to go wrong (even if it’s not abuse, but just a relationship meltdown), that’s how you will be there to help them pick up and move on.

Bottom line is…

Kink is many things to many people: exciting, scary, overwhelming, exhausting, breathtaking, and more.

It should always be consensual, with everyone involved feeling like they are supported in communication and realization of their needs and desires and that they may opt-out (with no negative repercussions) at any time.

Without that feeling, it’s abuse.

It may ALSO be kinky. But being kinky does not in any way make abuse OK.

What are your thoughts?

Of course, there might be times when one or a couple of these apply to even non-abusive relationships.

And times when abusive relationships seem to have some of these markers as well.

There is no hard-and-fast rule to judge a relationship, except to take it as a whole, and weigh everything out. Even therapists I talk to (who are kink-aware and kink-friendly) say this.

But these are the guidelines I’ve found online and put together through talking to others.

What are your thoughts? Anything I’ve missed?

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!

Let me say first that there is no one right way to do this.

For some, the dynamic is interwoven through their lives, and every fiber of their being. There is no headspace, really. It just is.

For others, the mere act of putting on tight leather pants or being stripped down can help reinforce their role in the dynamic, and ready them for play or more extreme interaction.

My personal headspace just is. I am as happy dominating in my fuzzy pajamas as in 6-inch stilettos and tight clothing.

That said, I don’t have children.

I have my own business with a flexible schedule.

I also write and think about kink nearly all day every day.

LOL!

Not everyone has these advantages.

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This writing is now available as a podcast episode!

When I type it out like that, it sounds stupid.

And it kind of is. Except that LOTS of things are kinda “duh” when you’ve been at something for a long time, but very much less so when you are new and exploring.

I liken it to red, yellow and blue. The three colors many of us began with.

Now, they seem totally constrained. Where is green? Purple? White and black? What about persimmon or chartreuse?

Thing is, we have to start somewhere.

And in this case, I’m boiling “kink factor in our lives” down to a few levels, to help people new to kink understand their own needs and desires more effectively, and give them a starting point that is easily understood.

So, in that aim, I did some research, and I found a “levels of kink” by a BDSM writing group that is either now defunct or lost their domain, and I modified them for today’s audience, fleshing them out and adding my own experiences and thoughts.

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This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


I follow a lot of different kink groups on various sites (since the alt BB days, even Compuserve had BDSM bulletin boards) because I find it fascinating the different perspectives on WIITWD (What It Is The We Do) that are out there.

I follow a lot more than I participate, and when I have participated, I’ve often found that the very people who proclaim to all how accepting WE KINKSTERZ are of others are themselves incredibly intolerant of views that don’t exactly match their own.

And they bellyache and whine constantly about all the young kids playing on THEIR lawn, shaking their virtual fists about them not doing it right, with no respect for their elders, and generally making a mess out of all the traditions they hold so dear.

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