So What Did You Do at the GRUE?

Oh, the GRUE, the GRUE, what things you can do!

I would try to go more Seussical on you, but frankly I’m too frikkin’ tired. We arrived at GoodHandy’s at 9am on Saturday, and by 10:15 we’d started things going. I’m not sure if we remembered everything covered – the list of classes inadvertently got thrown away during cleanup – but here’s what JP, Phaedra, and I remember:

  •  Rope 101: Intro to Bondage
  • Gender and sexuality in the kink scene
  • Tying the male form
  • Scene names & difficulty coming out as kinky
  • DIY Projects: making your own kinky gear
  • Bellydance
  • Graydancer’s Fishbowl (recorded, to be played on a near-future podcast)
  • Substance use and BDSM
  • Developing a Humiliation Play Scene
  • Group therapy & aftercare for humiliation play scene
  • Integrating poly relationships with BDSM
  • Decorative long-term rope bondage
  • Negotiating scenes across social barriers & taboos (cultural, class, race)
  • Maintaining Scene Dynamics: the dance of BDSM

opposite side: There were a couple of classes that we’d hoped to do – a rope skills share that I’d proposed, for examples, and another participant who’d wanted to talk about theatre & bdsm, but you can only do so much in 8 hours, y’know? Just as in the other GRUE’s, by the end there was a palpaple sense of connection and family in the air (in fact, as I sat there for the closing circle, a part of me felt really upset with myself for putting myself through this kind of goodbye to all these great friends yet again.

Later in the evening we went out into Nuit Blanche,  to do some decorative rigging & suspension with Lord Morpheous at a hip furniture store called “Koma.” I rigged the lovely Sascha in a traditional takate-kote style side suspension, cutting off her dress and handing out the pieces to the people going by like they were choice cuts of meat. Then I inverted her in the front window, a beautiful Calderesque turning, and in spite of one very rude group the crowds for the most part were incredibly nice and appreciative. It was additionally fun as we were rigging right next to JP and Phaedra, with Dart & his Boy also fresh from the GRUE.

We’d hoped to make it out to GoodHandy’s and the NorthBound Leather party after that, but got attacked by fantastic wine, unbelievable desserts – called Cthulthu, no less – and 80% dark chocolate at the aptly-named “Café Taste“. Funny moment in that night: as we sat down, the owner came over, and inquired as to how we liked Nuit Blanche. “Did you see the naked people in the window over at Koma?” he asked, and we smiled. “I was one of those naked people,” revealed Sascha, the glitter of her pasties peaking out from her dress’ neckline.

This was the fifth GRUE,  and it was again a unique confluence of experiences and skills brought together and meshed into a hothouse of creativity, connection, and exploring ourselves, each other, and our kink. Sascha came up with a great way to express the mood at the end: “What happened at the GRUE – goes everywhere.” We’ll be sharing everything from the words “firmth” & “rounth” (thanks, Andrea and Dart) to the truth about the taste of licorice (trust me, it’s apt) as we go our separate ways.

And it has come time, I believe, to connect even further – so I’ve taken advantage of the social networking available at Fetlife to create the GRUEp. So if you’ve been to one, are planning on one, or just want to find out what these GRUE people are about, please feel free to join, and keep the GRUEvy feelings flowing.

A special, heartfelt thanks to JP and the folks here in Toronto – and those who travelled from far away to attend – for making me welcome and bringing me back into the jaws of the GRUE.

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