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.