Sex: Decorum in a Leather Thong
I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me, as sex is a whole lot of fun; but I still had a preconceived notion that the rooms would be darker, the people grimmer, and the music would be Death Metal. Wrong on all three counts, as it ends up: the two parties I have been to have been in the nicely lit conference rooms of the downtown Traveller's Inn; the people have been enthusiastic and happy, and the music was... Hmm, I don't seem to remember the music, but it certainly didn't include Rammstein.
The first party was Hallowe'en, and the second wasn't, but frankly it was a little hard to tell which was which. More people dressed as angels at the first, I suppose. The Hallowe'en party was my first with these folks, so much of my time was spent talking to another newcomer who had such a fascinating story that I've asked her permission to reproduce here (she hasn't gotten back to me yet, and I'm not going to let people know she was at the party until she gives her permission).
The second was a series of workshops as well as an anniversary bash, so it was quite educational. One workshop I attended was a mostly improvised affair hosted by a gentleman named Elwood (or El Wood, as his name tag read). He opened with a comment that "there is no such thing as pain, only 'strong sensation' which can be translated in various ways." It's an oft-repeated maxim, which I imagine can be quite useful to keep in mind when you're face down in front of him and hear him fire up a blowtorch, as his test subject did, but I personally think statement is bogus. "Pain" is too useful a term to be tossed away: your opinion of pain can be varied, from "No pain, no gain" through "It's a good hurt" to inarticulate grunts and moans or even "YEEEOUCH! FUCK! RIGHT! OFF!" In any case, being able to tell someone you're actually in pain, or that it feels like damage is being done, is a good ability to have, and I'm not about to give that up.
I still don't know anyone well enough to actively play with, so the wife went to her pre-arranged assignation while I was kicked out of the room to wander about the party. Fair enough: the lovely young woman in question was gay, and not comfortable being sexual with men about. Plus, hey it was their first time and I thought they could use a bit of privacy.
So I visited bunch of folks who didn't have any need for privacy at all.
The way the parties work, is that Sagacity rents the space and brings some of the larger toys for all to use (for a limited time), and all can use them. No penetration of any kind allowed (law dodging 101), clean up after yourselves, don't damage the devices and there's a 45 minute limit. Oh, and no blood, please. There were a couple of classic clothing racks (they look like wide, useless ladders), a double-T rack (hands up, feet on the ground), a suspension rack (like a gymnastic bar, only much stronger), a bench with stocks (this, but kneeling), a standard table and a medical exam table. All told, quite a variety, though I was a little surprised a St. Andrew's Cross wasn't among the impliments. Not complaining, you understand: they were being very generous with their toys, after all.
I did see a full suspension get performed, and one fascinating device called a "Violet wand" which I've never seen in use before: quite effective, judging by the madcap giggling issuing from the sub during the scene. It was invented quite some while back as part of the massive "It's new and you don't understand it so it will cure you!" quackery that went on in the first two or three decades of last century (quite unlike today, then). This proves the theory that anything invented will be of some use to someone, somewhere if they're perverse enough.
Perhaps next time I'll find a playmate or two. Or not: it's still a fun bunch to hang about with.
I seem to be continuing my record of lesbians who like me, too: I've known a number of gay women (but only a few men, oddly), and far from being the stereotypical "hairy man-haters" of cartoon fame, they seem to get the urge to take me home and feed me.
No complaints there, then.
Totally Unrelated Side Note
I've studied, seen, or done a fair number of things involving sexuality; I'd say that I haven't been surprised by anything I've heard for more than ten years. Then, thanks to Dan Savage, I encountered this.
Not, not, not work safe.
Now I know, intellectually, that transgendered people exist in either state, male-to-female or female-to-male, and I know that the breasts are the first change made during the surgery. I also know there's a whole lot of porn involving Chicks With Dicks (MTF transsexuals), and someone who has just such a lover. So I also know, intellectually, that the opposite is true as well: women who are half way through their sex change to becoming male. It's just that I've never seen one, or even read about them; and now I find a self-styled Porn Star who is just that. Go fig.