Last weekend was A.S.S.’s annual Spring in the South event. Shdwkitten and I were invited to teach a couple of classes, and our pack was also doing the puppy play class, so I’ve really been looking forward to this weekend. Unfortunately, for varying reasons (which I won’t entirely detail here), most of my family members were frustrated or disappointed or just grumpy. I kind of felt like my role was to keep everybody as buoyant as possible and help my family have a good time – even if that meant some of them simply had to take-off early to go get some “space.”
As for the event itself, there were some cool things worth praise: One that I spotted as soon as we arrived was the memorabilia collection. This was the 25th annual SITS, and they collected booklets, pins, and posters going back to the beginning. That was pretty cool to browse through.
Another good thing: cocktail hour (which stretched into 2 hours I think). Drinks were provided by the TN Griffons. Thank you, guys!
The food was also great. One thing I like about SITS is that they feed you well. Continental breakfast, subs for lunch, and the banquette which featured grilled chicken or roast beef… followed by Champaign and anniversary cake. The formal leather dinner turned into one of the high points of the event for me. My pack, in case you’d never guessed, isn’t exactly “formal” – and for that matter, I think we’re “leather” but only by some of the looser definitions. Besides which, the theme of this year’s SITS was “Tradition” – which lead to our ongoing joke: “That’s not an Old Guard Tradition!” Yes, as you might expect, the puppies were cutting-up a lot during dinner. I, for one, had a shit-load of fun. And we were mostly non-disruptive. (Only once did Sir have to temporarily evict two pups from the dinning room.) But, yeah, we were cutting-up a lot, and being silly and… well, being puppies.
The truth is, while we all respect the history of our culture and respect what the gay leathermen of the past had to go through, we don’t feel ourselves hidebound by tradition, nor do we feel the need to romanticize the “golden age.” (Newsflash: there was never an f-ing golden age!)
Another highlight of the dinner was Tebow in a dress. The kid has mentioned a few times that he wants to do some humiliation play based on wearing skimpy women’s clothing. This is a major turn-OFF for Sir… but Loki indulged the beagle at least this once. Personally, I hope it’s not just this once b/c I though he looked great. I mean, I’d go down on him. LOL. (I’d post a picture, but I don’t have one. Sorry.)
Another good point: Ma’am and I really enjoyed teaching our classes. We had a great discussion in “Surviving Real Life in a 24/7.” The class is about the gap between D/s M/s fantasy and trying to make a relationship work in the real world. That’s always a great venue for folks to share their relationship stories (sometimes horror stories) and advice on what works and what failed to work. I heard one of the best one’s we’ve heard yet: a submissive who was her master’s supervisor at work… and had to fire him. Seriously. That never happens in internet erotica. One thing we discussed a lot was how much of that high protocol stuff can be fun play for a weekend or a vacation, but you can’t live like that all the time and have a healthy relationship. I wish Hunter could have been in on our class – he later made the fantastically awesome observation: “I just came out of an ‘Old Guard’ household, and fuck that shit!” LOL.
(I mentioned we can be occasionally a bit irreverent didn’t I?)
Hunter is back! *wags* After a brief exile to the Virginia Beach gulag, our Dalmatian has returned to Atlanta an re-joined the pack. I really want everyone to follow this link and READ HIS POST about how it ended. There are, unfortunately, some genuine predators in our community. Abusive assholes who hide behind the pretense of being “Master” or “Dominant” or “Old Leather” when in fact they are just predators sorely in need of an ass-kicking. Subs, boys, pups, slaves – protect yourselves! Be alert. Be careful who you get involved with. There are warning signs to watch out for: know them, and always check-out reputations. I’ve heard some rather dodgy stuff about that guy in Virginia before, but had no idea they’d go that far…
Anyway – we were really happy to have Hunter back w/ us, and I greatly enjoyed romping w/ him during’ Sir’s puppy play class. That was another weekend positive for me – any chance to pup-out and romp!
I also got to play briefly but intensely during our “Primal Play” class. This class started when one of the owners of Frolicon asked me to work-up a class on werewolf-play, but it evolved into primal play. We touch-on shamanism, animal totems, channeling animal spirits, the psychology of mental shape-shifting… and then we get down on all fours and Shdwkitten and I try to rip one-another apart.
Finally, one more good moment came early Sunday morning when I got to sit and talk w/ my “little brother” for a while. Sir had to go do something and Ma’am hadn’t arrived yet, so Tebow and I had like 45 minutes alone to just chill and chat. It was really nice. In some ways my little brother is in much the same place as my Owner: both are trying to find their place in the community and often feel like they don’t quite fit in.
I wish I could have done more for my family to make everyone happy and feel less frustrated, depressed, disappointed, left-out, taken-advantage-of, burnt-out, and jaded… I don’t know – I guess we all just have to focus on the fact that, even when “the community” doesn’t feel quite right, even when we work our asses off for ingrates, even when we fall under the spell of abusive predators, even when we feel like we don’t fit in or can’t find what we want… the fact is: if it weren’t for the community I wouldn’t have Shdwkitten or my pack-mates in my life… and I wouldn’t give-up my family for the world!
(Well, I don’t know… maybe for the whole world. But not for half the world! Well… maybe depending on which half. Like, I certainly wouldn’t give-up my family in exchange for the Southern Hemisphere – no offense Australia – but, like you know… if somebody offered me the whole Northern Hemisphere in exchange for my family, maybe I’d think about it… I don’t know. I might trade the beagle if I can get Europe for him.)
And to end on a final note of good news, you should read Hunter’s next blog post.
Take care, all.