Hi, you’re listening to putting the D in Dissertation, a podcast about the misadventures of a kinkster in grad school. This podcast contains explicit materials. So if you’re under the age of 18, please ask a parent or guardian for permission to listen.
Hi, I’m your host Magic and this is episode two of Putting the D in Dissertation. So for this episode, I am actually sitting at my desk and I got out of my evening class about an hour ago in these first two weeks or so have certainly been interesting. Though before I get too much into it, I want to do a refresher of some of the questions and concerns that I had in my first episode. So one of my first concerns was creating a vanilla space and kind of, of a vanilla persona that I could have, um, for being involved in academia again, because I became so involved with kink and an offshoot of that was concerns of whether or not I told my roommate and how accepting she would be. My next concern was based around how comfortable and how welcoming I would find the community, because while there’s a general overall kink community, that seems to be relatively queer friendly. Um, if you’re not a gay man, there really isn’t a leather community. And then just some kind of general questions about what kind of community I would find and what kind of community I would foster around myself as well as how involved I would get.
So the first thing I definitely want to approach and talk about is the fact that my roommate seems pretty open. I’m not going to share any details because it is her privacy, but she’s open. She’s been made aware she has a small interest, and I’m just going to leave it at that. However, in terms of creating a vanilla space for myself in academia, I’ve kind of already messed that up. I did kind of try and tiptoe my way being like, yes, I have an interest in like the queer and leather community and kind of the kink community as an offshoot. Um, and I have interest in gender and sexuality, but my being so overzealous about my interests, uh, may have led several folks to believe and understand the fact that I’m involved with the community. Um, it just wasn’t necessarily stated out right? However, um, my advisor is very opening and welcoming to my interests. Um, she thinks it’s amazing that I have such a strong and defined interest in what I want to learn about. And she even helped me put together classes for my extracurricular credits that may aid in my studies.
While, of course there is no course in leather history. There are several courses that could help me build on that. There are courses in gender studies and understanding, um, queer studies as well. She also gave me some courses in disability studies because I expressed interest in that I also may or may not have been wearing pieces of leather in my classes, not like a vest or anything, but at one point I did make the executive decision to wear like a leather cuff in my collar as like accessories. So my classmates probably have figured it out today in particular, I was wearing my leather suspenders with my fancy white, black and white striped button up, which got me a compliment from one of the other queers in my class, which I was very flattered and, um, perhaps a little shy.
However, in terms of the actual community involvement, I have some like good news and some kind of mediocre news in all actuality in these first two weeks, I have gone to two events, well, an event and a half the first sort of event I went to was a newcomers tour to one of the local Dungeons GD2 or the Galleria Domain. And it was interesting. It’s a very beautiful space and everyone’s so very welcoming and so very nice, but I have not been in a space that was so devoid of influence from the leather community. When I went in and when I interacted with the folks in the staff there, it didn’t feel leather and it was honestly kind of painful for me, but don’t get me wrong.
It is a beautiful space. It is phenomenal. I know I’m going to have a lot of fun there, but I don’t think I will ever love this space. Prior to me going on the tour, um, I met up with one of the folks that I had been speaking to before I came up to Chicago about the community, um, and super nice. It was great. She’s wonderful. But she reiterated that yes, there is not much of a leather community for folks that are not gay men. And even with that reiteration in person, it didn’t prepare me for the amount of disappointment that I experienced, um, enough so that when I got home, I felt kind of dejected. Even though I had spoken to them afterwards, very excited being like, do you take volunteers? What are your rules? How do you vet educators? And all of these things there was asking them. I still felt dejected and like, I didn’t have a place and it really frustrates me. I’m trying to be optimistic because I know there will be at least one or two people there that I connect with really solidly, but it’s just not enough.
The next event I went to was the TNG munch, um, which is actually what I went to last night and one of the reasons why I decided to do this podcast every other week instead of every week, because I wanted to make sure I could fit in events for each episode, but I digress. It was actually really fun. I went in very nervous, mostly because I had no idea where I was going by the time I got there, it was dark and I’m still very nervous and paranoid about being in the city at night, especially when I’m alone. Um, because I still don’t really know how to get around and I still don’t really know what areas are safe at night. I would imagine that for the munch they would choose like someplace that was relatively safe at night, but it was a lot of fun. I met some wonderful people. I wasn’t very talkative at first and I didn’t really talk as much as like they did with each other. Cause they of course know each other better. I did however, participate in a discussion about why scifi channel ended up being absolute shit and then I talked about D&D a lot. It was great. It was really awesome meeting those folks. And I think I will definitely go again. There was, however, that kind of factor of all of these folks are just general kink folks. They’re not leather. Like I kind of just felt that in my soul of like, they’re not leather and I’m trying so hard not to have that be something that disconnects me from folks in my community, but it’s still something that scares me because I’m afraid they won’t relate on a level that I need them to.
Part of this also comes from the fact that I’m autistic and my special interest is kink and the leather community. So I feel very passionate and I often run into instances of, I feel like people aren’t taking it as seriously as they should be, just because it is my priority. It is my main interest. It is my lifeblood, which was definitely an issue that I ran into quite frequently with the community I moved away from. But in terms of answering the questions of what communities I will be fostering and involved with, um, I will be involved with the general kink community because I really have no choice, but I have a feeling I will become very close to the individual I met up with this last week, but also part of me has a feeling I don’t have to worry about the queer part because just based off of who I saw at that tour and who I met at the TNG munch, there’s a lot of queer folks.
And I guess kind of the last question is how involved will I be and how will I balance being a member of the kink community and my studies. And I think this comes down to less of time. Like I first thought and more of money while all of my courses do require quite a bit of reading. And there’s quite a few projects that I will have to do overall. It is less work than anything I’ve done for my undergraduate. In my classes there is no busy work, everything we’re doing has substance to it. Um, so I won’t be spending my time trying to get through quizzes that I have to sift through readings to find the answers to. And while the dual degree program in the averaging 19 credit hours a semester, certainly burnt me out and was the reason I had to take two years off from school, it has more than prepared me for the kind of work I need to do here.
But with the money the money I have right now is my refund money from my student loans. I’m still applying to jobs in my area and constantly looking for assistantships that might pop up, even though the semester has already begun. I do freelance work and produce adult content, but that income isn’t necessarily consistent enough to support myself. Hence the student loans, which the issue for me that comes with that is that I got all of that money all in one go. So I have to budget that out until January or February when I would get my next loan disbursement. And while it is more than enough to support myself, because I have supported myself on significantly less than what I have gotten, being involved in the kink community gets expensive.
Munches are frequently held in restaurant and bars because it’s a munch. And when you’re there, you don’t have to, but there’s an expectation to get food, um, to get something to drink and going to kink spaces, you have to pay entry fees or membership fees. And that builds up. I know when I was originally looking at and trying to budget for membership fees for two of the Dungeons I was looking at, it would cost $70 a month. And while I’m almost certain that would be the only cost I would be paying. There are no additional entry fees. That’s still a lot for a graduate student that doesn’t have a sturdy income. And as I’m sitting here talking about this, I’m just now realizing that if I go to dungeon parties, I will either have to find someone that is willing to take me to them, or I’ll have to go to places near the dungeon and wait for like a Lyft or a cab.
Especially if I attend dungeon parties, the way I used to, I won’t be leaving until two or three in the morning. And while I’m almost certain, there is public transit that would be running at those hours of the night. I don’t necessarily want to be on public transit with a play bag. Mostly because some of my toys don’t necessarily fit in a play bag. The thing I’m chiefly thinking about is the length of rebar I have that I like people to hit me with. There isn’t really anything readily available to me that I could put that in. That would hide it. I know there are tubes that are probably long enough for it to fit into but rebar’s heavy and to get something that’s durable enough to carry that without breaking. I don’t think I have that kind of money, but we shall see how it goes. I may be able to find someone very easily to pick me up and take me to events, or I may get over myself and bring my toys onto public transit. And I’ll try and be a little optimistic about how things will end up with me in the community. Maybe my presence can help foster a leather community and get some folks interested. And maybe my connections will be stronger than I think maybe
Thank you for listening to this episode of Putting the D in dissertation. You can find us on Twitter @Dindissertation on Instagram, @puttingthedindissertation, on tumblr PuttingtheDinDissertation.tumblr.com, And on Facebook. You can also keep up with Magic by checking out their website, TheMagicofService.com, finding them on fetlife magic_of_service and on TikTok as a magicofservice. Transcripts of the episode will be posted within the week after each episode is posted on FetLife, Magic’s website, and on the tumblr
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