It’s getting back to time to get your GRUE on in the Bay! For the second time in a year, I’ll be running my kinky unconference format Open Space in San Francisco November 1-3. The biggest message I want to get out is this:
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ROPE.
Apparently the top reason people don’t come to GRUEs is NOT my personal hygiene, as previously suspected, but rather that people seem to think it’s only for rope people. This is entirely my fault; I’m the guy who put “Ropetastic” in the title. But note it is NOT “ropecentric”; as GRUEs have happened over the years, it turns out that at between 60-75% of the classes are NOT rope.
What are they? They’re about poly, flogging, knife play, wasabi lubesicles, face-slapping, social media, fun things to do with foreskins, and…well, hell, just take a look at the (incomplete) class list. Y’know why it’s incomplete? Because I haven’t had time to add the new classes to it – but I promise you, there is PLENTY at the GRUE for everyone, whether you’re into rope or not.
So that being said, here’s the lowdown on the upcoming GRUE in San Francisco. Please feel free to post/repost everywhere!
Date & Time:
Friday, November 01, 2013 · 6:00 PM –
Sunday, November 03, 2013 · 1:00 PM
Near Market & Guerrero @ map
Dress code: Casual
Keep up to date with details in our fetlife group: https://fetlife.com/groups/63108
How it all works:
Friday night we have a meet greet, just hanging out, getting to know each other. This is to prevent the necessity the next day of things like ice breakers or introductions all around. People get to know each other during the day – time is too valuable to spend doing roll call like you’re in elementary school. This is usually at whatever venue the local munch is, and usually isn’t a play party of any kind.
Saturday the GRUE happens, starting (again) usually at 9. This may seem early, but there is a window of time we are creating and daylight waits for no one.
As people arrive, its my (Gray’s) job to explain to them how the GRUE works (the principles and law above) as well as use the Open Space techniques to help the group come up with an agenda for the day. There is a specific set of steps to do this which I wont go into here, but suffice it to say it works. Here’s a quick illustration of everything taught at the GRUEs so far:
As you can see, there’s a lot of stuff, ranging from the 101 level to weird shit no one would expect (Group Therapy for Humiliation Scenes is one that was surprising and very good). I also always offer my Fishbowl, which has been an amazing experience every time and which you can hear actually happen in Toronto on a Ropecast.
There is no lunch break. Time is too valuable to waste on breaking for lunch. Instead, food appears at the venue, buffet-style, and people are made aware that it is available when they want it. Usually they grab a sandwich or something and just keep on going with whatever was going on before they got hungry.
My job during the day is to keep things going smoothly – announcing classes as they occur, making sure people have the materials and space they need. Occasionally I present, but usually I’m more a demo top – letting others present and just helping where I can. In a worst case scenario where no one had any ideas for presentations (which has never happened – usually its the opposite) I could certainly present on many different subjects, but usually I’m more of the man behind the curtain.
At the end I gather people for a closing circle and we each tell something we gained/learned/felt during the GRUE. Again, in case you missed it before: THIS IS REALLY CRUCIAL FOR EVERYONE. I have had people skip it, and they always regret it, and I feel bad for putting them through an intense day and having them then basically suffer drop due to lack of group aftercare.
Then there is usually a dinner break – sometimes communal, sometimes everyone splitting – and we gather again about 9 or 10pm for a play party.
The next day, we try to find a home big enough to let me make pancakes for everyone, and have a brunch cool down where people relax, sometimes continue discussions/learning from the day before, but generally have an extended leave taking.