...I can't really say that anything 'brought' me here, seeing as I built the place. Hehehe! But as far as the idea and the origin of The Shack Out Back...I think it had a lot to do with me releasing a lot of pent up feelings and desires, and just wanting other people to not feel the way I felt at that time.
I was still pretty new to the internet, personally, and I don't even remember what the heck I was looking for at the time, but a gay story came up in my searches. It was about two teen boys on a boat together, and they were sunbathing I think. And I had never read a story like it before. It was homoerotic and sexy and they were teen boys! I don't think there was any sex in the story, but I thought it was amazing just from the affection alone! So, there was a link to other stories by the same author, and that led me to the Nifty Archive. I started devouring every story from every category that I could! And the more I read, the more I wanted to participate!
I just remember being a kid and thinking that it wasn't too much to ask to want someone to kiss and snuggle with. I mean, sure, I was horny and boy crazy and I definitely wanted the sexy parts of a relationship too...but I was really searching for intimacy, trust, romance...the same thing that everybody else was looking for. But I had to keep it a secret. Nifty was the only place that spoke to me at that time. And it changed my life. Changed the way I looked at myself, and life in general. I don't know who I'd be right now if I hadn't discovered it when I did.
Anyway, I burned through what seemed like five hundred stories before I started to get a little bored with them. The formula got a bit stale. 'Boy meets cute boy, cute boy smiles and wants to go somewhere private, boys have sex, boy whispers I love you, and then...happily ever after'. I mean, they were great for some momentary relief, but I wanted more character development, more story, more conflict. And once I found a few more really well told stories on Nifty, I wrote to the authors to let them know that I enjoyed it...and they wrote BACK! Which I didn't expect at all! I think that was the catalyst for me. There were real people, with real lives, sharing a lot of the same wants and dreams and experiences that I had growing up and always wanted. I sat down, and I wrote the first "New Kid In School", just to say that I did it, you know? It was supposed to just be a one time thing. And when I started getting positive responses from people and they began asking me what happens next...I got hooked. I kept writing and writing and eventually had to build a site to hold them all. The rest, as they say, is history. :)
I doubt that I'd be able to recognize myself if I could go back and meet the person I was before The Shack came along. I've grown so much. I've learned a lot from the people I've met, both online and in person. I've fallen in love a few times, got my heart broken a few times, shed some tears, and lent a shoulder for others to shed some as well. Overall, The Shack was calling out to me before it even existed. And it healed parts of me that I didn't even know needed healing. It started out as an expression of sexual frustration and angst...but it became so much more than that. It's an amazing feeling to have talked at length and joked around with kids as young as 13 or 14 years old, have them grow up, graduate high school and college, buy a home, get boyfriends (or even husbands)...and yet, there's still this little corner in the back of their mind that causes them to stop by every now and then and say hello! Hehehe, like...that's crazy to me! But it lets me know that this place did some good, and that it holds some significance in somebody's life, and always will. That means more to me than anything in the world. It affected them the same way it affected me. I guess it made us all better in the end.
So thanks to you all for that. I mean that. ((Hugz))
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