I’ve had a hard time keeping up with my blogging recently. This is largely because I’ve been working very hard trying to get another spanking related internet project (which I will hopefully be finishing and launching before the end of this week) off the ground. I’ve had a lot of technical difficulty but I’m a very proud person and I’ve been insistant on doing all the work by myself instead of seeking help. I’ve done a lot of other great things recently that I can’t wait to share, but I have to slog through them one at a time.
Today, I will be telling you about my third time shooting with Lily Starr Spanking. I’m very fond of Lily and her boyfriend, Robert Wolf. They drove out to Los Angeles from their location in the desert in order to shoot with me and with Erica Scott the next day. Unfortunately, NOTHING went right about getting to the shoot. It’s a ridiculous list of things that became problematic. It would have been a night of wacky hijinxes if I hadn’t been tired and desperately wanting to arrive at my shoot so instead it was a night of sad problems that annoyed me and were almost funny, but not quite.
I eventually got to Lily and Robert’s hotel room in the middle of the night. They were quite happy to see me and we talked and joked for a little while. We then filmed our first scene. It was an F/F scene where Lily discovered some slutty underwear (given to me by Maddycake) in my drawer and got all irate about it. It was a lot of fun to film and I got to say some good, witty lines.
After this, Robert and I decided to do the most serious scene that I’ve done with them. It’s actually the most serious and personal scene that I’ve done to date. It’s a real scene between us, in which Robert gives me a super hardcore spanking for showing up late and for messing up my plans that day and other irresponsibilities. This scene is pretty severe and has a lot of real crying in it, but it also highlights the excellent rapport that the two of us have, and it shows a lot of affection on his part afterwards. I should hope viewers will be able to tell that it was extremely relieving for me to be spanked in the way that I was during that video, and it was an experience I was really glad to share with Robert, because he’s awesome.
After shooting, Robert told me that there were a few times when he felt a little bad because he was hitting me so hard and almost laid off the intensity a little bit, but then he thought “Wait! This girl lives with Malignus!” and kept going. 😛 True. Story.
When we were finished, my pillow was wet with tears and makeup:
And so was my face!
|I REALLY like this photo of my face. I think it captures a lot of the way I was feeling.|
I can’t wait for Lily to post the clips and to share those with you! Stay tuned for more updates!
A couple more stories from the party, then tomorrow, we move on to other topics in Spankingland. Besides the sjambok, another one of the “scary” implements that was brought to the cabin was TNSpanker’s cricket bat. I was offered a go at being hit with it on the first night, but, as previously mentioned, I was liquored up and I’m not permitted to play with people I don’t know when I’ve been drinking . This rule is especially important when the fact that I’m a lightweight (in terms of alcohol) is considered. Because of this, I only drank on the first night, and on the second night, I was ready to experience the cricket bat. It had to be located first, because apparently my request to be hit with horrible things interfered with some of the other girls’ plan to hide horrible things. I wasn’t given that memo and ended up getting them (mainly Megan) in a boatload of trouble later on. Anyway, TNS hit me with the cricket bat a few times and it was kind of awesome. It was just thud, and the thrill of being hit with a large, blunt object hadn’t gone away just because I’d been beaten with a tree earlier in the day. I actually really enjoyed it. Then Malignus hit me with it three times and I screamed a lot. Then he hit my thigh with it and I think I stopped having bones for a minute and collapsed into a pile of mush on the back of the couch until he hugged me back to life. Don’t worry: the whole thing happened under a doctor’s supervision. The risk of SBD was managed!
Yep: I uploaded the same photo twice. You guys can deal. Anyway, the cricket bat was like a paddle that had been taking the same drugs that the cane that grew into the sjambok took. When I told Serious_Face that I’d been spanked with one, he was a combination of excited and pissed. Apparently it was something he’d always fantasized about doing to a girl but had never actually done because he thought it was “too extreme.” It’s not, by the way. It’s extremely scary and extremely awesome, but not “too” anything.
Later that night, I went downstairs with Drlectr to have a quiet conversation (because there was a lot of spanking going on in the main room and spanking distracts me quite a bit when I’m trying to talk) and it ended with me asking him to spank me. It was an incredibly nice scene. I think about it and my eyes get kind of glossy for a second before I say “it was niiiiiiiice.” It was fairly long (I think: I lose track of time pretty quickly under these circumstances) and it was all hand-spanking on my bare bottom, which is my favorite of all possible things. He was really good at what he did: he varied speed and tempo and intensity in a way that made me simultaneously relaxed, happy and chock full of endorphins.
Most spanko girls who hang out with me have probably heard me bitch about the fact that I don’t usually experience the endorphin side of things unless I’m getting positively murdered, and even then, I don’t have a traditional subspace experience. I did once after Malignus gave me an extended hand-spanking after I’d had a very thorough spanking indeed a few hours earlier, and another time, I got kind of “high” from a fairly gentle spanking and walked around with a pillow in my mouth after like that was normal. But my normal experience involves me crying and wailing a lot during a spanking and only feeling typical “good” feelings while basking in it afterwards. This time, things lined up right so that I got a lot of endorphines. A lot. I made a lot of noise during the spanking, but it was pretty much just moaning. I’d imagine that it sounded pretty sexual to anyone listening. It wasn’t sexual for me, but I don’t really have a word for what it was. It was really, really enjoyable. It hurt in a way that didn’t feel like pain, even though I was aware that I was in pain. I drifted and had a very loose connection with my body and with reality. It was very lovely indeed.
At the end of the day, I was very sore and very warm and happy.
Malignus gave me a bedtime spanking shortly thereafter which only heightened my snuggly spaciness. There was only one thing not right with the world as I fell asleep with my head against his chest: the next day, ellee and YS were leaving. We were all technically supposed to be leaving, but Drlectr and Megan had arranged for us to have the cabin for an extra night and quite a number of us were staying.
The next morning, I slept in pretty late. It was glorious: I’d been a little sick this entire time and I’d had trouble sleeping. I even slept through Malignus giving ellee a fairly hardcore caning not that far outside my door. I’ve clearly made some progress with being freaked out by hearing other people being spanked. 😛 Soon, the reality that ellee and YS were going home soon was being drilled into me by YS scolding ellee to get her stuff ready and into the car. SAD! There was something that I wanted to do before ellee was tragically pulled from me by circumstance.
ellee is really good at comforting. One of the nights I had a temporary episode of “teh sad” and I ended up crying to her about something (once in a while, I can be a woman. Sue me.) and I was kind of amazed by how awesome she was at making me feel better. When she was hugging my head and being a warm and affectionate presence, I was able to quickly cope with the stuff that was making me have said sad and get back to being all happy-faced. So, once I was awake, I asked Malignus to quickly do a science experiment and see if I was well enough to be spanked (between the soreness and the sickness). This science was conducted with that big-ass spoon in the above photo, which is named Fluffy!® I was really, really sore: about halfway through, Malignus asked me if I wanted him to spank my thighs and I gave a very genuine “YES” that wasn’t driven by submission in the least. It was because they had gotten much less abuse than my bottom had during that particular weekend. The thigh swats actually hurt A LOT less than the ones on my bottom had, and that’s impressive, because my thighs are very pain sensitive (all that constant hitting hasn’t made them any less) and I still have more self preservation about them than most other parts of my body. The science proved that I was still spankable.
Once that was established, I asked Malignus to give me a spanking like he would at home. As a general rule, he doesn’t give out “real” or “full” beatings at parties: it’s not the right environment for it. Besides, a girl is going to want to play more and doesn’t want to be so sore she can’t move (except maybe me. Because I’m insane like that.) The thing I wanted, however, was for ellee to give me moral support during the spanking. It sounded like it would be awesome. Both Malignus and ellee agreed to this.
|This was hanging in our room in the cabin! So appropriate!|
So, Malignus spanked me crazy hard with a feared and detested wooden spoon named Jenny and ellee snuggled my face and told me what a good girl I was, and how submissively I was taking my beating and how much everyone loved me. It might sound kind of dumb, but it was totally awesome. Her praise and comfort lifted me up and made me want to take more and take it well. I’m not going to lie: earlier today, when I was getting a spanking for saying that we could use magic to turn HeatherFeather’s dog into a cat, I started thinking about that earlier scene and the way ellee made me feel and it helped me to not focus on processing the spanking as it was happening and therefore allowed me to take it with less resistance. Basically: I love ellee and everything to do with her.
Eventually, though, she and YS had to leave. I started suffering from ellee drop right away. Fortunately, there were other awesome people still at the party. It was during this time that I got spanked by Latte. That was very enjoyable and had several particularly cool things about it. For one, she’s left handed. I’ve always wanted to be spanked by a left handed top. Besides the fun and excitement in something being different and in facing the other way while over her lap, there’s the fact that she favored the opposite side than everyone else had, which helped to even out the symmetry of things. She was also a very good spanker: she spanked me with “good girl” implements at a nice pace for quite a long time and it was really relaxing and enjoyable. I sometimes mock lighter implements because I’ve always kind of assumed that if someone was going to give a “kind” spanking, they would use their hand. I kind of neglected the fact that most Tops hands eventually become tired and sore. I also sometimes forget that Tops can feel pain. 😛
A little while after Latte had finished spanking me, Megan decided that she wanted to do so as well, and let me know by pulling me over her lap.
|I didn’t know if Megan wanted her face shown or not, and it was late at night so I erred on the side of caution.|
Megan’s spanking alternated between being nice and relaxing and hard and very stingy. You can see in the photo that I’m all kinds of marked up- you can even make out the sjambok bruising on my thighs. She actually made me tear up a little at one point, while making me coo and relax at other points in the same scene. It was all kinds of fun.
That night, we watched the Oscars and The Tree of Life didn’t win anything, so I became sort of irate and yelled quite a bit about how Terrance Malick is a god among men and the politics of the Academy are corrupt and dumb. Also, somehow, this happened:
The next morning, we got up, cleaned out the cabin and then went to take a walk through the surrounding town and get some breakfast. The meal was enjoyable, and the town was adorable! Megan bought me some candy in a chocolate store, we had a really tasty meal, I got to hug this stuffed dog:
|I look kinda awful here. I was pretty sleep deprived and sad that the weekend was ending.|
and I thought this sign was funny:
After sad farewells in the parking lot, Malignus and I hit the road for what turned out to be an 18 hour trip home. Just in case anyone was wondering, an 18 hour car ride isn’t exactly what one wants to do when one has a really freaking sore bottom. Ugggggh. It felt like it lasted forever.
So, I’ve finally finished telling the tale of my adventures. It only took me a really long time! I’m sorry a few days passed between posts because my life got a bit busy, and I’m sorry that this post is so hella long: I wanted to get the rest of the story told in one post like I said I could!
Regular programming begins again tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Shortly after my sjamboking, ellee and YoggSothoth (who I shall now refer to as YS to save time on typing) got up and I started hanging out with them more. ellee and I were going to start coloring, something which we’d been looking forward to for a long time, when we heard that people were going outdoors to do outside spankings. This sounded like something that we wanted to participate in, so we found our shoes and jackets. Unfortunately, I had previously been wearing jeans. I packed them because I figured that jeans are a good thing to wear out in the woods. I forgot one key detail: this was a SPANKING party. (See also: my feelings on pants.) Because of this, I had decided that I was only going to wear panties on the lower half of my body for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, it’s winter and it was cold outside, so I had to put something on, so I settled for my Bambi fuzzypants. I also had the difficulty of having a long coat: Malignus says it makes me look like a crazy lady, but I argue that it’s warm and when you don’t wear pants, you need all the extra warmth you can get! When I reached the log which all the other bottoms were bent over (and some were already getting spanked!) I realized that I would have to leave my coat off.
Getting spanked while over a log in the woods was my first real interaction with a couple of the tops who were there. The swats hurt a little bit, even over my pants, especially because it was cold and the tops were using paddles and straps and such things, but mostly, my reaction was to laugh, because it was super fun to be getting spanked in a row with a bunch of other girls in the middle of the woods. I was also right next to ellee, and we were holding hands some of the time. Fun!
At some point while this was happening, Malignus started messing around with a little sapling that was growing in the ground near the fallen tree we were all bent over. He uprooted it (it still had a pretty complete root system) and directed me back into position. I was seriously cracking up about the idea of getting spanked with an entire tree. I was surprised when he hit me: I figured it was going to be a light and playful swat. I guess “light and playful” and “entire tree” don’t really go together. (Arguably, “light and playful” and “Malignus hitting Alex” don’t really go together most of the time, either.) Anyway, it hurt a lot. It was the thuddiest thing I’ve ever been hit with, which is really not surprising. He gave me four or five hard strokes while the other girls looked on in a combination of horror and amusement. I still have a bruise from that tree.
After beating me with an entire tree, he pulled a fairly thick and intimidating looking switch and gave me about ten strokes with that. The fact that I had my only switching experience on a cold bottom and thighs in the middle of the woods after being hit with a tree doesn’t really allow me to give a fair and balanced opinion of it, but I did get over some of my terror regarding getting longer switchings in the future. I did scream my head off into the woods, though. He then gave another girl three strokes with it (which she later described as the most painful thing she had experienced in her life that far!) and then gave Megan a few. Megan might have even less of a sense of self preservation than I do: she opted to pull her jeans down to get the switch. 0_0
We then went back up to the house and ellee and I got to work on our coloring. This was interrupted by YS giving ellee a strapping, and later, by him doing the same to me for the first time. Getting spanked by him was pretty exciting. It’s rare that I meet someone whose Dominance I immediately want to respect, but I felt that way about YS. I felt like calling him “Sir” almost immediately, making him only the fourth person I’ve habitually used an honorific with, ever. When I got in position for him to spank me, he told me to ask for it (I’d just seen the way that ellee had done this). In most circumstances, when someone other than Malignus gives me an order (outside of things we’d discussed for a scene) I get all scrunchy faced. I might even respond with “don’t you fucking tell me what to goddamn do!” But when YS told me to ask for my spanking, I didn’t even hesitate before saying “Please spank me, Sir.” It’s rare but lovely to find someone whose Dominance inspires me, and it made playing with him very enjoyable. He spanked me quite hard with a London Tanners’ strap. It was lovely.
Later, Malignus took a nap, YS went off to smoke a cigar with another Top and ellee and I were left unsupervised with our coloring. As I previously mentioned, ellee is a doctor. One of the things that she brought with her was her prescription pad. Ever since I moved from Los Angeles, I’ve wanted a pet. Specifically, I want a bunny. I wanted a cat, but I knew that would never happen, so a bunny seemed like the next best thing. I was totally in love with Ami’s bunny, Tomato, until it died.
|RIP Tomato 🙁|
I happened to know that ellee had amazingly adorable bunnies that were full of love and cuddles, and that one of them licked her face and cuddled her and stuff. We’d been endeavoring to get me a bunny for a long time, and we’d come up with what seemed like a perfect plan. ellee would write me a prescription for one. She got out her prescription paper and filled it out so that it was super official. She prescribed me one mini-rex bunny rabbit (live) for cuddling, with one refill (so I could have two! Bunnies are best in pairs). She signed and dated it and everything.
Earlier in the day, ellee had her doctor stuff out and was looking at Malignus’ eye (which was adorable, because she kept jumping up and down with excitement about it) and had also tested some of my reflexes and found that some were hypersensitive. When Malignus got up from his nap and ellee and I presented him with the prescription, she started with this information. She said a few serious doctor things, and then said something about scientific accuracy and peer review. Then Malignus looked at what the prescription was for and got immediately grumpy. ellee and I were pretty much rolling around on the ground laughing. We couldn’t let it go and kept saying things about how I was going to get a bunny and it was going to cuddle and love me, and finally, Malignus grabbed ellee by the arm and lead her towards the bedroom. While he was arranging things on the bed so that he could give her a spanking, she hid in the closet. It was a mini, half sized closet, so Malignus didn’t even think to look there when he turned around and discovered that she wasn’t there. He advanced toward me with “the look” on his face and demanded that I tell him where she was, but all I could squeak out was “she’s not here!” He turned to go look for her upstairs, but ellee was laughing too hard in the closet and gave herself away (which is good, because I would have eventually had to tell on her, and that would have been sad!)
|Artistic rendering of ellee hiding from Malignus in the closet|
Anyway, he found her, pulled her over his lap and spanked her very thoroughly, until she was saying she was sorry and and apologizing for misusing her medical privileges and I’m not sure what else. For a second, it might have seemed that I had gotten off free, but Malignus informed me that he wanted to wait until I had healed from my earlier spankings (including the sjamboking, the tree-ing and switching) before he gave me mine. I was very 0_0 at that news.
I’m not even halfway through telling the stories of the first full day at the cabin! I haven’t even gotten to 4:00 PM yet! This is going to be a long series of posts. Stay tuned! More tomorrow!
I’ve been on the road and off the internet for about a little over a week now. I came back to discover that today is Love Our Lurkers Day. If you’ve been lurking and reading this fabulous blog and feeling uncomfortable commenting, now is your chance! A very low percentage of people who view the page leave comments, so those who haven’t or don’t regularly are invited to today. I love you!
The time that has passed since my last update has been strange indeed. I spent a few nights finishing all the things that needed doing for my move (with amazing help from Mask of Normality) and on last Friday, I picked up HF and Malignus from the airport. We spent Friday and Saturday nights in a hotel in LA and enjoyed an awesome goodbye party on Friday night. On Sunday, we went to Threshold’s Bizzarre Bazar on our way out of the city. It was chock full of people I’ve really enjoyed in the LA community and I was more than pleased to introduce them to HF and Malignus. From there, we went on to Vegas, where we spent the night and then a very fun-filled 24 hours. On Tuesday, we drove to Salt Lake City, which is where we’ve been since. We’re staying with a friend who has several young children, so there have been few opportunities to steal away long enough to blog: the past three times I’ve tried to make this post, I’ve had to shut my computer because a small face appeared on the other side asking “What are you doing?!”
I don’t know how the parents out there make it work. I suppose when you’re the parent, the kids are less interested in following you around all the time. Maybe.
There will be longer posts coming up with more stories and some photos from the adventures we’ve been having (although don’t get your hopes up for spanking photos: there aren’t any of those yet.) For now, I wanted to make sure that you didn’t think I’d forgotten you. There are just lots of distractions, things preventing me from getting online, things to do and feelings to deal with. I’m getting there, though. I’ll be in my new home on Sunday and I’ll get to work creating a new “normal” for things to get back to. 🙂
As I mentioned in my last post, I headed up to Folsom Street Fair last weekend with three of my friends from the Los Angeles scene. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, but I’m very glad that I ended up going. For those who are not familiar, Folsom Street Fair is the world’s largest BDSM gathering and is held every year in San Francisco. It has a very heavy Leather focus and is largely (but by no means exclusively) attended by gay men. I was warned in advance that San Francisco’s kink scene in general, and especially the fair, had a much stronger presence of Old Guard practices and high protocol.
In order to explain why attending this event was a rather big step for me, there are a few things that need to be established first. I identify as a spanko, and I didn’t really see Spankingland as being a subset of the BDSM community. I’ve always viewed it as a similar but parallel community that often gets lumped together with BDSM due to said similarities. At my worst, I can get downright snobby about the differences between spankos and “regular” kinksters. I’ve often felt slightly out of place in the general kink community. My move to Los Angeles and my involvement in the scene here, however, changed some of these feelings. I discovered that not only did I have a place within the scene, but I was able to become a group leader and event organizer. I even went so far as to get myself involved in local Leather politics on the side of female submissives with male Dominants. Despite these things, I still felt very ill at ease around anything stemming directly from the Old Guard tradition. It’s a tradition that was founded around something very specific which has nothing to do with me. Protocol has always felt to me like it was trying to force the wide world of kink into a tiny, black leather box. I want my relationships, my experience and what I participate in my community to be my own, with everything tailored to my needs, desires and comforts.
Still, no matter what other feelings exist, I love the people I’ve become close to through the scene in Los Angeles. Whenever I’ve felt like an outsider, or like I don’t truly belong, the people have kept me coming back. I headed up to Folsom mostly because of the people: I wanted to have an adventure with my friends. In a way, though, it was a quest for better understanding of the larger kink community and whether or not I belong within it.
We had a good time driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We had fast food, we chatted, we had a passionate sing-along rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and we honked the horn all the way through every tunnel. We rolled into San Francisco after dark and checked into our hotel, then showered and got ready to go to The Citadel, one of their local Play-Spaces. We met up with a friend’s (scene) Daddy and Mommy and headed over with them.
I’ve only played in BDSM Play-Spaces a handful of times, and I’ve never played anywhere that allowed sexual contact, so seeing the amount of straight out sex that was happening at The Citadel made me slightly uncomfortable. It isn’t that I’m any stranger to sex, it’s simply that sex and kink simply do not mix for me. My brain kept coming up with error messages as I observed a latex clad Mistress pegging a man in a sex swing right next to a man whipping a nude girl in high heels. Eventually, though, I got more comfortable, although I don’t think I would ever be comfortable being spanked in a setting like that. The dim lighting, the fancy, intimidating looking bondage furniture and the industrial soundtrack were cool, but they certainly didn’t “do it” for me.
None of us really ended up playing at The Citadel, but it was interesting to get to observe another city’s scene. Aside from the sex, it really didn’t seem that different than what I’ve observed at Play-Spaces in Los Angeles. There seemed to be a pretty even mix of men and women, and I didn’t feel any different attitude towards protocol or tradition. Maybe, it occurred to me, I was worrying about nothing. We got back to the hotel fairly late and I was too sleepy to go with my friends to Denny’s, so I went up to the room and fairly immediately fell asleep. I woke up later to eat the french toast they brought back for me with my hands, then fell immediately back to sleep. I love sleeping.
|It was a gray day at first.|
The next morning, we got up, spent a while getting dressed and then headed down to the fair. On our way over, we stopped at the store Mr. S Leather. Let me tell you: “unacceptable” does not even begin to cover my feelings towards the implements they sell there. They had metal canes, paddles covered in corse sandpaper, paddles made entirely of some kind of awful, dense rubber that made my rubber “running track” paddle (which is up there on the list of things that make me cry) look positively snuggly and things that they called “slappers” but I’d call “excessive force for riot control.” I also got to handle something that I’ve long considered “unacceptable”: a wooden paddle with a piece of tire tread set inside of it. I left there with a strange set of warm and affectionate feelings towards all of my implements ;).
Upon entering the fair itself, I felt rather uncomfortable by the variety of people representing their various niches that surrounded me. There were a ton of gay leathermen, naked people, people in medieval garb, furries, ponyboys and girls, those in corsets, those in latex… the list went on and on. While at first I found myself looking around to see if there might be even one other spanko in the crowd, after I got more comfortable with my surroundings I came to an interesting conclusion: there were no two people in this crowd who had exactly the same kink experience or desires. The community was a fragmented group of people who were all okay with each other. There were people from Old Guard Leather groups next to young women with pigtails and their boobs out. There was a shibari booth just down the way from a group into puppy play. There was a free HIV testing clinic next to a booth about barebacking it.
|There was even a girl dressed like this 😛|
There was an incredible variety of vendors there. There were corsets and jock straps and fur tails and butt plugs. There were solid metal paddles and rubber canes that could take (if I remember properly) 32,000 pounds of force. There were wooden paddles that I wouldn’t bother buying because one scene would leave them in pieces. There was even a t-shirt that was appropriate for me:
|I think it’s on the back so it can be read while I’m over a lap, where I belong 😀|
I also suspended my sense of self preservation for a moment and bought this unacceptable thing:
I mean, seriously, that’s like, what a panda eats. It just feels dull when tested but after the lag is full of ache and bite. Have you seen how thick that is? Is that even legal? Why do I DO these things to myself? Also, my face is amazing in that photo. I just need to point that out.
What’s more important, when I wandered off on my own part-way through the day, I was able to have one on one conversations about the history of the SoMa (or “South of the Slot”) scene with a number of older men who had been around for a long time. I found it a great honor that they would choose to share their oral history (please, no puns!) with a young girl from a very different niche than them. I found my feelings of prejudice practically melting away and my respect for what all of us do growing. Folsom Street Fair taught me that there is no right and wrong in the community as long as it doesn’t harm anyone and everyone gives consent. I always knew this in my mind, I always believed this for myself, but I feel like the community validated this for me. The Spanking Community is my home, but I feel very OK with my home being a subgroup of a big, crazy scene full of all types of people and activities.
I’ve long felt spite about the fact that women were not included in the scene for a very long time and that prejudices against them still exists in some Old Guard circles. I expressed this to an aging man that I met at one of the quieter booths when he asked me about how my experience was as a young woman in a place where there are still a few “Men Only” signs. What he said almost brought tears to my eyes. He said:
“I regret the way we treated the women, especially the dykes, early on, but it’s true: we didn’t make the scene for everyone. We did it for ourselves. We did it because it was in our blood. We did it to create the first place where we could be free and safe. We did it to protect ourselves. We did it for love and passion. We did it because we had to. Now that everything is said and done, I want nothing more than for everyone to do the same thing for themselves. Do what you have to do to be happy, but for God’s sake, don’t get AIDS.” (This is paraphrasing. I did not tape record any of the conversations I had during this hour or so that I spent exploring and asking questions, since I didn’t really plan on taking oral history, but I really wish I had and I intend to next year.)
I showed the man my bandage from where I had just been given a rapid HIV/Hep screening and told him that I tested negative. I saw in his eyes the pain of being a survivor when your friends are dead or dying from a horrible illness. I wondered about the people he was thinking of as his eyes glazed over for a second. I, too, thought of the people I’ve lost to AIDS already and those that I’ve been slowly losing over the years.
I know it is off-topic, but it is extremely important to me. Know your HIV status. Practice Universal Precaution. Teach your friends how to stay negative. Test even if you don’t think you have any risk factors, especially if you play in public spaces. Those men in our community that died of AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s (including the philosopher Foucault, who I am in love with on an intellectual level) simply did not have any way of knowing what they were up against. There was no research. There was no education. With the information, prevention strategies and prenatal treatment options that we have now, there is no reason for anyone new to be infected. We have the power to let education spread more quickly than the virus.
When I finished these conversations, I felt taken aback and very introspective. I didn’t talk to anyone about them until today: I came back to my friends and kept what I’d been doing to myself until I had time to process it. I then had some fun messing around with awesome people at the SoCal Shibari booth, then my friend’s daddy took us to get Indian food and introduced me to Mulligatawny soup, thus changing my life forever. Seriously, it was the best thing I ever ate. I ate most of it, even though it was supposed to be for sharing >_<. Then we helped pack up the our friends’ booth and headed home. The drive home always feels a lot longer than the trip there, but we got into a lot of important and frank conversations about our lives and histories. I got home feeling too tired to move, but the experience was one of the most educational ones I’ve ever had. It’s a beautiful thing to observe your own mind opening.