Author: Justin Medlin © Oct 2001


Its been interesting sitting here tonight reading the comments from Lock's 2002 survey. What has been enjoyed, what people would change, what they want for the future. Its actually nice, only one board member gets the actual surveys, the rest of us get the surveys without names and then in a summary form. I like that. It makes it much easier to read and concentrate on what is being said, as opposed to who is saying it. It has made me think back to where the group that I love so much and have invested so much time, sweat, blood and tears has come from. It also makes me question whether I am one of the people who should be leading it into the future. Don't get me wrong, I can say with a large amount of pride that I have helped bring it to the point that it may have out grown me. LOCK has always been very clear in it's focus and mission. It has never tried to be everything to everyone. We are an education group. That's what we do. The social aspects have been a happy by product and we have done some things that have helped to foster that aspect. We have been able to provide a list of presenters and demonstrations that are the best in the state, bar none.

We have been able to provide forums and gateways to people, places and things that many may have never found and been able to benefit from and enjoy. We have strived to become involved in other groups and events that occur throughout our region, passing on information from other groups, even when they met on the same days that we have, even when we "held" those dates first. We do not view other groups as competition, but options for the people who regularly attend LOCK. We have and continue to view the things that we do from an economic stand point, that ain't none of us well to do. We don't charge a yearly dues and then charge a door fee, even if its a less expensive one for those that do regularly attend. We charge one flat fee and when we do larger events, we have tried to pack in as much bang for the buck as we possibly could, our goal being to break even.

Then we get to the things that LOCK has never provided, nor had a desire to provide. We don't provide play parties. Yes, we could probably explode in growth if we did so, but our reasoning has always been that we are an education group and that the people who come out to join us do so for the education. Many friendships and social things among those friends has been the result. I have always been glad to know that when I look around the room that the people are there for what is being offered, not to get to the play party that normally follows in a lot of other groups. We have never provided a meeting service or personal ads. We are not in the business of making introductions. There are places and services out there that do that now. We have never been a social group, though we do provide some social only services and functions. We have been an education group. And we have grown.

Are we the biggest? No. Do we have the desire to be the biggest? No. Are we the most financially well off group? No. But we pay our bills and reinvest the rest back into the group and our community, both the bdsm/fetish/kink/leather community as well as our local 'nilla community. And we have grown. Now, as we get ready to start preparing for 2002, the follow up year to the most successful year LOCK has ever had, it becomes clear that we may yet have to change again. Do we hold our course, expanding some of what we do that remains within our narrow focus of education? Or do we change that focus entirely? Many would say that we can provide more than one focus. I am a purist I suppose. I think that when you begin to try to be everything to everyone that at best you dilute the reason that you began in the first place and at worst lose what you may have at one time been proud of. It has been suggested that we host play parties, provide introductions for dominants and submissives that are unattached to someone, charge dues, hold elections and restructure ourselves to be more like the "big boys", the larger groups in our region and the country who do quite successfully provide all those things.

I think that those suggestions are the result of LOCK being successful in what it is that we have done. I don't see them as being made in any manner that would knowingly be detrimental to what LOCK is and has done and become. We have had suggestions that we provide some things that are already in place, though most are brand new and things that I think we will say "yeah! that's a great idea".

It has been suggested that we open ourselves to elections. I actually shudder at the thought. Maybe I should not feel that way, but I do. I have watched what happens to groups that hold elections, the political infighting, the political camps that form and I am glad that we have not ever set ourselves up for any of that. At the point that elections become part of LOCK, I imagine that I will step aside and pray that what I have helped to build does not become mutated into something that the people who have invested their time, sweat and hearts into, never intended for it to become. I am not adverse to change, yet I suppose that I really am a dinosaur. I have advocated for supporting the other groups that do provide what LOCK does not. Not because we can not provide those same things, but because we have chosen to remain true to what our stated purpose and mission statement have claimed us to be.

I guess as I was reading the summary tonight, that I had to begin to question whether I have come to the end of my usefulness, whether I should step aside. I think that when that time comes I will recognize it, until then I will hold my ground and try to help continue to lead. When that time has passed, I will follow and when that time has passed, hopefully I will know it's time to get out of the way and head for the cave. Until then, I do hope that all the people that I consider my family, my friends and those that I might have impacted in a positive way do know that I love them and that I do want to continue to know not only what they want, but what they need. I am looking forward to sharing a wonderful end of 2001 and a great beginning to 2002 with everyone who is part of LOCK, the community is South Carolina, the Southeast Region and the nation who I know.

Thank you all.

Justin Medlin

Now that I have your attention feel free to email me. I may or may not respond to the emails, but I promise to read all of them.

Copyright Justin Medlin © Oct. 2001
Reproduced by permission.
All rights reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author. Originally hosted by







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