In 4 sleeps, approximately 20 folks will converge upon a private residence to engage in sex magick, blood magick, classes, discussion, drumming, dancing, and hopefully fucking and playing, for the weekend. It will be the first time I’ve been lead on an event of this scope, and the momentousness triggered some sentimentality this afternoon. This event is the realization of a vision. I impulsively thought I’d write to one of my Role Models to ask her to wish me luck, but I thought that to be kind of needy. Instead though, I found myself reflecting on a whole list of folks that have contributed in one way or another, to my being at this precipice. So this writing is a reflection upon those to whom I’d like to give homage, in which I talk a bit about my kink ‘lineage’, and to directly name some individuals that have been sources of inspiration along the way.
No writing resulting from sentimentality at the eve of producing my first event would be complete without mentioning ILRB, for it’s entirely his fault I’m here at all. He and I had corresponded briefly on collarme, and he vouched for me to attend my first private TNG party a lifetime ago. He’s since turned out to be a dear and beloved friend. He’s shown me how to maintain the beginners mind, how to remain human always, and how to keep one’s integrity about them.
Back in that time, I interacted mostly with the Ann Arbor TNG group. While being decidedly among the older set in that group, I have history and affection for the Ann Arbor area, so events centralized near there worked well for me. In short order, I was voluntold for the Board of the group, occupying a position undefined, but replacing something resembling a Membership/Enrollment Officer type person. I served on the board for a mere 8 months, as I became pregnant while in the position and had to step down. Two years later, I’d marry BearWithMe, and the TNG group still fairly well comprised our wedding guests. Say what you will about TNG groups (and they can certainly stir up stuff!), I had a positive experience with the group, and it impressed upon me the importance of creating & maintaining safe space for newbs. PeshMG & his_leilia modeled how a private party should flow & feel. The group in general allowed me to get comfortable being seen as sexual in a “public” setting.
Before going any further, I must expound on the exceptional, steadfast, and enduring support that I’ve received from BearWithMe since we met in that time. The quality and consistency of unconditional support, love, and acceptance that he’s offered me has been unparalleled in my entire life. Without him as a grounding force, any and all of my flights of fancy, be them erotic, spiritual, sexual, intellectual, political, or holistic, would have been impossible. In many ways, it was the birth of our daughter which catalyzed a transformational paradigm shift in my world, and that event is impossible without BearWithMe. Even as we’ve navigated the turbulent upheaval wrought by the transition, he’s remained steadfast in his love and acceptance of me.
BearWithMe and I were able to explore our poly side much more often than our kink side early on, as the presence of an infant at home limited the kind of parties we could host. We became involved with the Ann Arbor PolyNet group. It was during this time that Cazadora and I dated, and explored what it meant to be in intentional relationship, outside the binary, rocking our most radical and fierce ideals of “good” poly. A2Polynet, Cazadora, TheMostVanilla, Jess, and the support provided by the discussion group, have been instrumental in naming a style of poly that is authentic for me.
BearWithMe and I attended our first stay’n’play event when kiddo was 2.5 months old. It was COPE 2008. To say that BaraknSheba put on a great event is to make the understatement of a region. I’ve not heard of or found an event in the Great Lakes area with a more enduring enthusiastic body of attendees. (Okay, Shibaricon.) The presenters, staff, educators, and attendees were so OPEN! They allowed/empowered two tentative kinksters to try out our stuff IN A PUBLIC DUNGEON, away from home, where nobody recognized us, ha! The atmosphere of the event was erotic, friendly, open, inviting, free. We were hooked, and have endeavored to not-miss every event since. These two are a powerhouse, and they do more than produce two hotel events a year. They travel and educate nationally, as well as facilitate several smaller get-togethers throughout the year. Barak & Sheba have shown me how unapologetic & liberated sexuality is healthy and good for everyone, how to live the message, and how to put on an impeccable and unforgettable event.
That first COPE featured a Scarlet Sanctuary, and classes led by chg2winter & dansarani. I remember BearWithMe and I enjoying the class we attended by them. Chg2winter & dansarani, along with Spclkaye, are the creators and Elders among the graduates of POTQ mentioned below. They saw a need for safe touch in a container that was sacred and intimate. In creating Scarlet Sanctuary, and teaching Sacred Touch, they created a modality for bringing about this much-needed healing, which Lyn & Phoenix carry on.
In the spring before kiddo turned 3, I found a group called Great Lakes Energy Exchange (GLEE). I was at the first meeting, and have missed few since. GLEE is run by LadyLynDePomona and PhoenixSpirit. This duo also facilitates the Path of the Qadishti class, which I took in the summer of 2011. After the first GLEE, Cazadora said that LadyLyn seemed like “me in 10 years”. Lyn holds a role in my life that is nothing short of Mentor & Role Model. As I attempt to write what Lyn & Phoenix have facilitated or done for me in the last 3 years, I am overcome. It is innumerable. So many experiences have happened in their back yard or at their hands or because of opportunities I discovered while with them; I will be forever grateful. GLEE was made to be a place where people “come to wake up” to energy – it’s existence, how to utilize it, what it can do. They’ve been like Mother & Father to me on this journey, and their influence cannot be understated.
Oryter & TempleWhore are High Priest & Priestess of Temple Terra Incognita, and they provide insight and direction, a voice to the Mystery and erudite contemplation among the chaos. They serve as a beacon for what can be accomplished when you make this a life’s undertaking. Their inspiration remains a light for me.
Mollena is just fierce. If you don’t know who she is, please look her up. Cogent and emphatic speaker, insightful and empowered, fearless and radical, this woman is just badass. I was originally drawn to her writings about recovery, but I was drawn in to the process of wrangling her demons, aloud, for the audience. There’s a gravity behind that voice, a storm in those words, and mad heart.
Lee Harrington and SherynB were at the first Shibaricon I attended. Lee’s class was about uncovering the deeper desires behind our fetishes, and Sheryn’s was about managing one’s energetic needs at an event. I developed a full-out obsession with Lee, and a slower mysterious pull towards SherynB. Listening to Lee on Erotic Awakening, attending his classes, soaking up his words, I have come to understand that Lee and I are among a similar thought-group. His voice emerged above the crowd when I needed to hear his message. I can’t describe the pull I have for either of these folks; it’s woo and mysterious. The resonance with SherynB has been slower to emerge and be recognized. She was in a ritual at my first Tryst, another workshop at DO, a few conversations in bits and grabs. I respect how Sheryn uses her voice and often what she has to say. Props and respect to you both. Thank you for being you.
This list is by no means complete. There are significant souls that have touched me along this journey that have not been named. As a final note of inclusion: every single person that has bared their skin or their soul, metaphorically or actually, to themselves, to their partner(s), to all of us. It is brave, it is radical, it is the act of a sexual outlaw. Woof.