Monday, October 18, 2010

I forget sometimes that there's a whole little section of columns I've written for The Stranger that do not appear under my byline in their archives proper. They are over on the the personals site, Lustlab. Here's one from some years ago that I selected to place here today, but you can enjoy all of them here.

Anatomy of a BDSM Party

10:40 p.m.—Max and I arrive at our host’s home and stash our stuff with the 20-odd other bags of BDSM toys sitting near the front door. The assortment of luggage reflects the tastes of the owners: black plastic tackle boxes full of needles and sharp toys, architects’ document tubes containing long canes and crops, and black leather duffle bags loaded with floggers and paddles.

10:42 p.m.—I take a look around the room, waving to a few people. I’m guessing there are about 40 other BDSM people present, and if past experience is anything to go by, about half of them will be people I know well, a quarter of them people who I know slightly, and the rest of them people I don’t know at all.

10:44 p.m.—I put the beers we brought into the ice chest and we then fall into conversation with some friends standing by the host’s dining-room table, which is loaded with yummy food. I eat strawberries and remark to Rose that her breasts, which are attractively displayed in a transparent T-shirt, are so beautiful that it’s difficult to restrain myself from touching them. She smiles and invites me to go ahead. Max and I aren’t in full-on cruising mode tonight, but we’re open to doing some casual play if the right situation presents itself, so gently squeezing Rose’s tits is an auspicious beginning for the evening.

10:50 p.m.—Rose introduces me to a tall boy who has blue hair, blue eye shadow, and a blue-trimmed corset, all perfectly matched. The three of us chat about the pains and pleasures of wearing high-heeled shoes.

10:58 p.m.—Mingling in the living room, I sit down next to another female friend and ask her about the pretty brocade bustier she’s wearing. We then get into a discussion about the relative merits of dating people already in the BDSM community versus meeting someone presumably vanilla and then “turning” them. I profess myself to be firmly in the first camp, but she offers some spirited debate on the matter, based mainly on what she sees as the slim pickings available in terms of already-kinky single men.

11:07 p.m.—Brocade Bustier and I are joined by a third woman, wearing a long black gown, and the three of us get into a hilariously bitchy conversation about how one can identify undesirable dating possibilities.

11:10 p.m.—Three women laughing together attract male attention, and we are joined by a guy in a black leather vest. We warn him that he should not attempt to participate in this female-dominated conversation.

11:14 p.m.—The guy in the black leather vest leaves. Apparently our discussion of bad combovers, and the relationship between men’s cars and their penis size, displeased him in some way. We are not greatly troubled by his departure.

11:28 p.m.—I find Max and we walk downstairs to the basement, where the BDSM play is happening. There’s a light flogging going on in one corner, and across the room a local bondage artist is putting a rope body harness on a topless woman, who is giggling. The main attraction for the voyeurs among us, however, is tattoo/body modification artist Gypsy Jill*, who is suturing glittering crystal and rhinestone beads onto another woman’s back, breasts, and shoulders. There are matching beads already woven into her hair. It’s clearly going to be an elaborate piece of body art when it’s finished. The woman being sewn on quivers occasionally, but it’s impossible to tell if it’s from pain or pleasure. Otherwise she sits quietly, watching herself and Jill in a mirror that’s been placed in front of her chair. A handful of rapt observers stand at a polite distance, murmuring amongst themselves in low voices.

11:49 p.m.—Max and I are enjoying just seeing our friends, but we’re also still considering who, if anyone, we might pounce upon. So we go back upstairs and wander out onto the deck, where several nude people are sitting in a hot tub. A black-haired woman in a black leather corset, puffy tulle skirts, and high laced boots is sitting next to the tub in a plastic chair, holding a laughing conversation with a naked woman as she splashes in the water. Sounds float out to us from the living room, and everyone’s head turns for a moment as we all hear the familiar thwack sound of a flogger landing on someone’s flesh. A few people stub out their cigarettes and stroll inside to see who’s getting flogged, but most of us just smile and go back to our conversations.

12:11 a.m.—After an amusing group discussion about how to get one’s BDSM toys through an airline baggage check, I go back inside to get a drink, carefully avoiding the backswing of the corseted Mistress who’s flogging a shirtless man as he leans up against the wall. I bend over to get a can of pop out of the ice chest, and as I straighten up, a male friend standing a few feet behind me grins and asks if I’ll get him one too. I obligingly start to bend over again before I remember: I’m wearing my extremely short leopard skin skirt. I stick out my tongue at him, and then pull up the hem of my skirt for a second and flash him my ass cheeks.

12:26 a.m.—One of the guests has recently appeared in a spanking and corporal punishment DVD and has brought a copy to the host, who promptly pops it into the player. It’s actually a pretty good DVD, as such things go, but there is no tougher audience than a roomful of hardcore perverts like us, and our response is something that, if filmed, might be entitled Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Fetish Movies.

1:00 a.m.—Despite some kinky possibilities here, Max and I decide we’d prefer to go home and fuck each other like crazed weasels, so kiss a lot of people goodbye—some more enthusiastically than others—and leave.

*Who is much missed by people who knew and loved her. Requiescat in pace, Jill.

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