It’s my last morning of a truly epic trip here in NYC. The community of sex bloggers, event organizers, kinksters, artists, sexologists, and more have been open and welcoming like you would not believe. Right now I’m spending my last morning at DGSolar & Violet‘s apartment in Brooklyn, after a pleasant evening talking about their Rope Bombs.
There’s really too much to talk about in one blog post…at least in the time I have now. But I’ll share some pictures of highlights, and promise to talk more lucidly about it on an upcoming podcast. (I still have to talk about Paradise & the St. Louis GRUE, for that matter).
First, in light of my last post, I should give an update: Nancy Peach decided against doing the Pussy Eatin’ Pic for Posterity – at least, for the 8×8 version of the show. Instead, she chose to use this one for a full 8×8 canvas, to be unveiled at her event in December – where, by the way, I’ll be performing with MinxGrrl.
I had a really fun arrival in the city after a day of travel, visiting Arden and her roommate Helena and going out to a little dive bar in the village. Arden is the person who, years ago, suggested I work on becoming a little more “evil”, and you can see from the pic that she knows whereof she speaks:
The next morning was up early to do a photo shoot with Mollena Williams shot by Michele Serchuk. All you get to see is my prep shot at the piano – the vibe we were going for was kind of “Tom Waits Molests Ella Fitzgerald” (at least, in my mind) – but there will be exquisite shots of the amazing scene we had together coming later.
This was my first chance to really use Maui Kink‘s rope and toys for the purpose they were intended – especially the Tire thumper. This has one slight variation from the equipment you can just buy at a truck stop – namely, a flattened edge that works as a paddle. The wood, of course, is beautiful, and the gold jute really shone against Mo’s skin for the shoot. I also got to smoke a Romeo Y Julieta Churchill-sized cigar for the shoot, which popped Mo’s cigar play cherry.
That night I attended “An Evening With Carol Queen” which was a fantastic discussion with other sex bloggers and activists. Carol is one of the most engaging and entertaining speakers I’ve ever known, and her new project is to explore how the blogosphere has changed the way people talk about sex. A lot of the conversation related to issues of privacy, but there was a lot of solidarity and a feeling of being a part of the change that desperately needs to happen in our culture. Some old friends like B_Playful, and Mia were there, as well as online friends met for the first time such as Twanna Hines, Raven Lightholme and Wilhelmina Wang. I also made new friends like Nikki Morgan and Snimm. Oh, and lest I forget, this was also the place where I first met Princess Kali of the Kink Academy, and as I hope that is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, it deserves noting.
The whole shindig, of course, was produced by Debauched Diva & Urban Gypsy, who were sort of the guiding hand behind so much that I did this weekend. I’ve known the two of them for years (you can hear interviews about the NYC Sex Blogger Calendar on the Ropecast) but I’ve never worked with them quite this closely. They are a whirlwind of energy. In fact, they should really write a parallel to David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” called “Making Shit Happen.” The people they pulled together to help out were fantastic as well. It was amazing to finally be behind the scenes of the calendar party, stuffing the goodie bags, prepping the space, and then getting to sell raffle tickets and later announce the winners.
I don’t have a “bucket list” per se, but there is a list I keep of things I’ve done, moments I’ve had, that I keep in order to pull out and relive when I’m too old to do such things any more. This trip was full of them, but being the MC for the raffle is definitely in there. On the one hand: I’m just reading numbers on tickets, right? On the other hand: I’m in a Manhattan nightclub, which is packed with hot, sexual people like Dylan Ryan, Nina Hartley, Carol Queen, Troy Orleans and more, and I’m making them laugh, cheer, and enjoy the process of giving away great prizes.
I dunno about you, but that’s a Defining Moment in my book. After the party I had a moment of which you will not believe – it is truly the stuff of which porn movie plots are made of:
At the end of the raffle, Graydancer is sitting, drinking a Stella Artois courtesy of Lisa Vandever. He is feeling good about the drawing, especially since his friend Ten had gotten one of the bags. So had the remarkable Nikki Morgan, a certified sexologist and event planner. She approaches Gray as he sits.
NIKKI: That was fun! This was quite an evening.
GRAY: Yeah, I think that that went well. And you won! Looked like you were having fun.
NIKKI: I did! I was hoping to go in back there (she gestures towards the back of the bar) where Professor Oni was tying people up and try that out. (her mouth pouts) But I guess they’re all packed up and done now…
GRAY (sets down beer): Well, you know…I’ve done a bit of rope bondage myself…
(cue bawhm-chicka-bawhm-mauw music, ftb)
OK, maybe the bawhm-chicka music is going a bit far – after that harness was untied, I simply went back to the home of the New Jersey Rope Experiment in Metuchen. However, Nikki and I had more conversation about a wide variety of topics the next day as I wandered around the Village, and it’s interesting how many of her classes she teaches parallel my own (especially the upcoming ShadowPlay that I’m teaching here in NYC on the 20th). It’s simply a testament to the universality of sexuality – same problems, different solutions.
The next morning I had a great breakfast with the JRE folx, which you will hear in an upcoming podcast. Then Ten and I had to catch a train back to the city for the Kink Academy Open House, which did not suck:
In fact, I got emails from people the next day who had taken home the TEU&FE harness, tried it out, and had stellar results. More pleasant feedback a person could not ask for.
By the end of the open house (and after some impromptu show-and-tell with the effervescent Engel Schrei and some Maui Kink paddles) Ten and I were exhausted, but still wanted to hang with Mollena, Dov, and others. We managed to last all the way thru Cinekink before surrendering to the night and going back to JRE HQ. Of course, being the Hard Workin’ Sex Goddess that she is, she not only did more shoots with me and Kink Academy the next morning but went on to do more spankin’ shoots in the afternoon. Guess it takes a lot of work being that awesome.
Now I’ve had an afternoon, evening, and morning to catch my breath before I catch my plane, and even writing about this seems like a whirlwind fever-dream. I did everything I hoped to on this trip and more, and big thanks to Tied Up Events, Maui Kink, and my generous crash-space hosts for making it possible.
See you all at the Conn-GRUE in a couple of weeks!