Almost a week and I haven’t posted nary a word in either posts nor comments. What is going on? Despite the praise—which is lovely and makes me feel good, and useful, and accomplished—I have no altruistic goals for my writing, no illusions of where my motivation to keep this blog going stems from.
In case it hasn’t become common knowledge yet, in exactly four weeks I will be leaving the United States on a jet plane headed towards Sydney, Australia, where I will be living for at least the following year. This marks the very first time in my life when I will not have lived in New York City. In fact, it marks the only time in my life when I’ll have to call some location outside of the island of Manhattan my home.
I’m so excited, I can’t wait. But I’m also going to miss so many people and things about New York City and the East coast in general so, so much. In this last month in the States, I don’t expect to be writing every day anymore, and would like to echo the things Eileen said about the stress of moving.
But it’s Wednesday, and I want to keep the commitments I make to myself, so I wanted to post a Wednesday Wanderings link-fest for everyone reading. This Wednesday Wanderings post is going to be a little different because instead of wandering all over cyberspace this past week, I wandered around meatspace. Specifically, I went to the Rhode Island Fetish Fair Flea-market.
Part of the goal for this blog—making myself feel more visible, more heard, more seen, and more listened to—has been a major success. People are finding their own kinds of value in what I have to say, and they do so by finding their own motivations for listening in the first place.
Going to NELA‘s Rhode Island Fetish Fair Flea-market this past weekend felt very much like that. I decided to go at the last minute, for my own reasons, to turn the event into an opportunity for personal exploration and experimentation of a sort I choose to keep my own, for now. I had some successes, some pain, some very frustrating dashed expectations, and some disappointments, so it was not the sort of spectacular experience some people might expect it to be. That said, I’m glad I went, and I don’t think I did too badly on my own.
The Flea’s primary purpose for me, an opportunity to practice (among other things) taking the bad with the good without Eileen present was something I accomplished in the end. As I mentioned, for now I choose not to show you (all) the bad parts. I don’t want to talk about them right now, especially since I’ve covered lots of them before.
It should come as no surprise to long-time readers how frustrated I am with the persistence that women’s bodies are the sole subject for fetish photography and how combative I feel around asshat mandoms. The Flea had its fair share of these things.
I’ve been to this Winter event two times before and each time it felt like, well, like going to a kink event. This time, however, it felt far more like I was just going to Providence to see some friends, who all happened to be congregating at a kink event. That was much, much more fun.
I didn’t make it to a single class or workshop. I never made it through the entryway of the Fetish Art Show, even though I passed by the entrance at least a dozen times. I didn’t make a single significant purchase, though I did pick up a small, spontaneous gift for Eileen that I’m hoping gets used on me soon. And I’m not at all disappointed about any of those things.
I do wish I had gotten to spend more one-on-one time with my friends, especially Switch, whose insightful self-reflection was the source of my original motivation to attend the event in the first place.
Switch and I travelled to Providence with Dov on Saturday morning who, like both of us, had made similar last-minute plans to attend two days before. Conversations with Dov are always at least entertaining and at their best are very interesting. At the Flea, we couldn’t walk more than five feet in any direction without one of us stopping to say hello to someone we knew. Midori was vending near the entrance to the infamously gigantic vendor’s area, so she was one of the first people Dov stopped to talk with, and he introduced her to Switch. (I just said a brief hello.)
It wasn’t long after that when Switch and I met up with my good friends Maja and Týr, the marvelous Mischief and the enchanting Estra, as well as a few of our other friends without blog names. Together, we swept through the vending area at least three times over. I also said hello to David King, maker of the excellent Coyote Whips single tails, was introduced to Leah and Scott of Big Head Studios, and waved to Hilton manning the Purple Passion booth.
Later, our group swelled to ever larger proportions, including the addition of yet-more-non-blog-people. Also included in the mix was a specific attractive and dominant woman who I was very happy to get to see again—and whom I hope to be able to see more of in the very near future—but unfortunately didn’t get quite as much time to speak with as I would have liked. (You know who you are; I’d rather not call you out by name without prior notice, though if that’s something you wouldn’t mind then I’d be happy to do so from now on.) Eventually we all made it to dinner in spite of a wait well over an hour.
At the hotel room, emotional issues struck at night alongside insomnia of sorts. None of us got much sleep, but the conversation with Switch was heartening and was the highlight of my day, however mixed it was with exhaustion and other sadness.
The next day back at the Flea-market, I was happy to get the chance to meet the brilliant blogger from over on Kink in Exile, who has finally returned from physical “exile” and is back on the East coast just in time for us to cross paths. The two of us wandered around a bit, and I got introduced to some of her friends, like Mr. Pet (who makes incredible custom couture pieces), Steve of Circlet Press, and a few others who also don’t have public blogosphere identities.
I also had the pleasure of seeing Margaret, the absolutely unabashedly, astonishingly adorable founder of Wolf Princess Designs, a company that sells vegan sex accessories for the extremely enjoyable niche of human animal roleplay (aka. pet play). The fact that I’m not going to get the opportunity to get to know Margaret better is one of the reasons I’m sad to be leaving New York City. Not that opportunities were abundant seeing as how I’m from New York City and she’s based in Providence, but still.
After Kink in Exile and I finished making the rounds, I reconnected with Switch over at Monk‘s booth to find her literally tied to Maja. Dov snapped a few pictures as Týr’s massive frame provided a background that would hide other people from the camera, an important thing to be careful of at kink events.
I took the opportunity created by the impromptu bondage photo shoot to speak with Monk’s self-described Twisted Mentat, Alex. I had a thoroughly enjoyable conversation about Seattle, the scene there, and stuff to do there, with her, as well as shared a few words on each other’s personal history, and (of course) bondage, hemp rope, and all the fun things you can do with it.
For me, getting to meet Monk—but especially getting to speak with Alex—was probably the best thing about the whole vendor’s area. As it turns out, I might get the opportunity to actually visit Seattle for few days in early February, so making a good local connection ahead of time was simply wonderful. That, and Alex is clearly full of awesome: outgoing and outspoken, energetic and fun.
Unlike me, Monk and Alex were at the Flea on business and so I tried not to get in the way of the constant flow of customer’s questions. Instead, I spoke with Viviane, and then to Rita Seagrave. I was very happy, and flattered, that Rita made it a point to say hello to me (and to compliment me on this blog! Thank you, Rita!) because her own writing is filled with intelligent observations just as mine is, but it’s also polished into some of the most evocative poetry and prose-poetry I’ve ever come across, and I really admire her communicative ability in that style. If you haven’t yet peeked at some of Rita’s blog, you should.
And that, as they say, was that. The overall uneventful affair was ended with some fond farewells and retracing most of my steps back to the city, with a stop to see Boy for just a couple hours along the way.
The takeaway from it all is this: kink is not some kind of magical mystery tour, some alien or foreign experience devoid of the mundane and—gasp!—normal human interaction. For many people, especially the vendors, kink is a part of the daily grind, and is remarkable largely for its unremarkable quality. And I guess that’s really what I wanted to add to my blog when I started writing this entry.
My writing is typically full of the extraordinary, of the moments of epiphany and none of the drudgery of the thought process, of the sex without the foreplay. Of course, this has been by design. I want readers to come here with the expectation that they’ll get their proverbial rocks off, a reliable orgasm (metaphorically or otherwise) with minimal personal effort.
However, this blog is just the selfish highlight reel.