More About DO ’06

What I wrote the other day doesn’t even touch all the other stuff that happened to us, or the people we got to see again, & those we met for the first time, & other experiences we had.

It’s so hard to explain how Dark Odyssey just pulls your skin off and lets you experience things in such a raw, honest way. At one point, during the Cirkus Erotikus, Betty saw that one of the genderqueer types who’d been at the mixer was doing the flogging, and being Betty, stepped right up to be flogged. And she did, and B. and I watched and laughed at the expressions on her face (at least until B. got in line to be next). Internally I felt something in me was about to blow. Not long before I’d run into one of the swingers we’d gotten to know some the previous year, and he told me that he always sees me, in his head, sitting on a golf cart last year watching some kind of sex, and that the expression on my face was “I could use some of that.” It made me sad, and scared, at first. I’m the first one to admit I’m kind of repressed, so when Betty just “stepped right up” to be flogged – I didn’t know she’d met the person at our little genderqueer mixer – something in me just broke.

Betty was of course a salve as always, though I could hear the concern in her voice, the fear that I might decide right there & then that I was done with monogamy or her or something equally awful. But she held my hand, and I realized what I was crying about had little to do with sex – and everything to do with being an introvert. I keep myself tightly – not on purpose, but because it’s who I am. The other side of that coin of revelation was once again realizing how comfortable I am around butches (or former butches, FTMs, etc) and around certain tops – or rather, those who share my control freak’s way of living in the universe. At the genderqueer mixer – a nice mix of bois, MTFs, crossdressers, transmen, partners, queers of various stripes – I ended up talking to none other than Raven Kaldera, and another former butch, now-transitioining FTM about female transvestites. (Just so you know, we’ve all put that myth to rest: there are female transvestites, and it IS sexual, thank you very much.) It’s probably the only place in the world I could stand there and talk to two masculine spectrum people about masculinity – me with these D cups and curves. We threw in a little talk about women & the Church, too, for the fun of it.

But I had another revelation, too, about being an introvert. There is one woman who goes to DO who is at the extreme end of BDSM stuff; she likes to be objectified and generally pushes the envelope on her own psychic sexuality. Seeing her tied to the roof of a truck – like a hood ornament, or a dead animal – I realized that I “get” her. She’s involved in a deep exploration of the deep, dark, inexplicable part of sexuality, and she explores it with an intensity I admire. No holding back, no bullshitting herself around the ugliness of it. What baffles me more is the ability others have to just, say, strip in front of people, or step up to be flogged when they hadn’t planned to. An intense, persistent, intentional exploration I grok. Spontaneous public silliness scares the shit out of me, even though to most people, that might seem “lighter” or “easier.” Not for an introvert, no way.

Mostly I came around again & realized it’s just who I am. There are times that being a monogamous partner with a huge libido can be a little challenging at DO; there are interesting things to try, sexy people who want to try them with you – basically it’s a smorgasbord of sexuality, there for the tasting. It always seems important for me, especially, but Betty, too, to realize our monogamy is a choice, but that doesn’t always make it easy, either. Still, knowing that I’m an introvert helps, because if I were single, to be honest, I’d be scared to even be somewhere like DO.

And those are the kinds of things you realize about yourself at DO. In a great workshop about Tantric Erogenous Zones (by the fantastic Mark & Patricia), Betty got called away on DO business because she was staff this year. So instead of getting to isolate myself as I would have – & as I did when Betty showed up later – I ended up touching women and men in ways I never would otherwise. Again, I had to bolt my feet to the floor some to manage it, but I did it. It didn’t hurt that my first partner in the touching was a cute, feminine guy (ahem) who was also a newbie. Still, it was nice to learn, & I enjoyed the experience of touching strangers, but mostly I found myself wanting to touch Betty, anyway, and to learn with her. And that, ultimately, is the coolest thing ever; when she did show up late, she leapt right in, like she does, & it was as if I instantly transferred what I’d learned to her empathically.

& That, my friends, was incredible, & exactly what is so hot about monogamy for me.

5 Replies to “More About DO ’06”

  1. And that my friends just goes to show (me anyways…) when two people are really still in love, there really is no better place than to experience new, than in the safe intimacy of monogamous marriage.

    Man that’s cool……………..


  2. Introvert……………..

    The above DO commentary made me even look up the word in the dictionary.

    Huh… stopped me in my tracks again by applying this word to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not challenging you here, but what this really does is make me question myself…..hey, am I an introvert??

    Here’s why I ask, I can go pretty much anywhere with almost anyone in conversation. And I can instigate those conversations. Jump into the fire….no sweat… long as it’s about a subject or people other than myself. I can talk about you and your interests all day long, just don’t make it about me. A serious byproduct of my transness for sure. But does that make me an introvert?? I could go to DO too………….as long as I could engage to the point of no contact myself. I’d be too scared to go past that point myself. But after reading of your experience, I think, wow…… Mabye, just mabye I could go there too…………

    And Helen, at least from all I’ve read by you these years, the last thing I would ever consider you to be is an introvert. Outgoing….investigative….deep….challenging….empathic…..strong willed..

    I could see you running into a room of republican politicians on fire… words a blazin’… if the issue touched you so.

    That’s the Helen I know…….Does it work?



  3. here’s the kicker, steve:

    “Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?”


    that’s me. i’d be happy to lead the charge, but god forbid i have to talk to someone about the dip – it gives me hives, small talk.

  4. Now THAT was an education!

    Got it Helen……NOW I understand you……..

    And as for me……. Talk about a therapy moment,

    “Hi, my name is Steve and I’m an Introvert……”


  5. You’re right, it pulls your skin off and there’s nowhere to hide from it(unlike winterfire). It took me 3 days to figure out what I was feeling, I was trying to acclimate. I was trying to acclimate to something that is so wonderful, so foreign, so crazy, so strange and such a revalation…… all at the same time and in only 3 days! I wonder how different I will be next year at DO?

    As usual Helen, I had no idea you were an introvert during the whole weekend.

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