Tag Archives: festival

Mourning

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Photo by Michael Sundin

I don’t want to be writing this entry.

I had a whole post-Folsom entry planned out.. I was going to power through the last of the “30 Days” questions and then write about consent, and about why it’s such an important part of the D/s dynamic.. How it effects events like Folsom… It was all planned out.

Instead I am writing an incredibly painful entry.

The San Francisco community has lost one of our own own, unexpectedly, during a time in which the Leather and kink communities are usually celebrating the most. We mourn an incredible spirit, one that touched me directly and helped me a great deal when I was going through a very difficult time.

I met SwitchTendencies right after Kane and I truly ended, at the first play party that I was brave enough to go to alone and uncollared. He was the first person I did a scene with, the first person I trusted with causing real physical pain after going through such emotional pain.

I redded out. It was the first scene I’ve ever called “red” on… and even after that, he made me smile. During aftercare we talked and laughed, and I found his smiles and good humor to be truly infectious. His laugh is incredibly distinctive, a deep belly laugh that puts a smile on on my face even during my worst days.

As a Sadist, ST pushed me in the dungeon. Even as he made me cry, he would make me laugh with sarcastic comments as I screamed and squirmed on the cross. He was one of few people that I trusted to play with me but not cross any lines. He listened when I called yellow. He calmed me when I started crying and started each play session with a hug and positive energy. He ended each scene the same way. He loved to play. Loved to spank. Loved to make me and other little girls cry, in the best way possible. I am honored to have been allowed to play with him.

As a friend, he guided me back into a world that I had almost left behind. I will always be submissive. That is a part of my nature, as natural to me as breathing… But loving someone? Diving back into a poly relationship when the incident with Smith still had me burned? Trusting someone again? These were all things I didn’t know that I could do. ST was new to poly and trying to figure it out as well, with a very experienced poly partner that he loves to the moon and back. The mere mention of her and his whole face lights up. She taught him how to navigate poly, and he taught me. He was the first person to hug and congratulate me when he found out I was James’s. The first one to go “I told ya so!” when I said he had agreed to go on the date with me. He listened to me ramble about my crush on my now-Sir and slowly gave me the courage, through thoughtful conversations, hugs, and snuggles, to act when I was terrified of heartbreak again.

ST was part of so much in the Bay Area community. He volunteered whenever he could, went to more parties than I could keep track of, and always did it with a smile on his face. He was a constant figure in almost every area of kink in the Bay Area scene, from Wicked Grounds to the Citadel to groups like Society of Janus. He worked hard to improve himself, and pursued kink with a passion and openness that I envied.

On Saturday, there was a pre-Folsom party at the Citadel. As always, James was taking photos in the back and I was perched beside him to get whacked in between photos. ST came in and took photos, smiling with a partner and being goofy and giggly. Toward the end of the night he came and found me again, still on my perch, and we talked as we often did. He told me about the partner that he was with that evening. I told him about a new job I was starting and plans for Folsom weekend. We snuggled and hugged, both of us tactile and affectionate people. He was excited for Folsom, for being able to work at one of the spanking booths.

Before he left for the evening he hugged me tightly, longer than he usually does, and as he did I told him that I was always there for him, and that I loved him. He said the same back, with a smile on his face that showed his excitement for the coming day. It was to be a weekend of kink, and fun, and community. We were all together for Folsom, to celebrate what we were and what we loved.

My mind cannot process that this smiling soul is gone, so suddenly. When last I saw him he was doing what he loved, spanking pretty girls at one of the booths at Folsom. He was smiling, and laughing, and surrounded by a community he was such a part of.. My heart hurts. It is hard to remember how incredible the weekend was when such a tremendous loss was part of it…

My darling SwitchTendencies, you have left us far too soon. I don’t know what this community will be like without you, but I know that you will be remembered by many, for many reasons. When I think of you, it will always be with a smile… My writing cannot do justice to describing just how much of an impact you had on me, and on the community around you. There are no words to describe it, nor are there any to fully convey the hole that your absence from this earth leaves. Returning to the play spaces I love, knowing that I will no longer see you there… It’s a painful thought. I’m sure it’s a painful thought for many of us right now… You are dear, you are loved, and you are missed.

I don’t have the right words for this.. It is hard for me to write when I am upset, when I am mourning… But ST did so much. He cared so much. He is a good, giving soul… And this world is a little less bright without him in it.

Yours with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes

-Rene

When One Dore Closes…

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Purposeful misspelling, I promise.

Yesterday was Dore Alley, or Up Your Alley, or Leather Alley..whatever you want to label it as. I tend to go with “baby Folsom” because it’s the easiest way to explain it. It’s Folsom before Folsom. A taste of what is to come at the end of September. And going to it the last two years has made me very, very happy.

It was a harder day for me than it was a year ago. My sister, my best friend, is now 5800 miles away in Denmark. She left that morning, around the time that the event started…

I don’t really want to go into the details of my emotional state.. Rather the events resulting from it.

I found myself at Dore Alley, drying some tears after an intense last-stateside conversation with my sister. It seemed like just the therapy I needed.. I knew James would be there. My friends would be there. I wanted to be around my friends, out dressed in clothing that had me feeling more comfortable than any street clothing could.

It was right about then that I got nostalgic. I walked through the sea of half-naked bodies, assless chaps, and human puppies thinking about the previous Dore Alley, where Kane had met me after his wife left for the airport..

Kane and I have talked from time to time since we’ve split and had a habit of passively liking posts on Instagram, but other than that I had long ago stopped going out of my way to reach out to him. The year before Kane had been all that was on my mind. I took teasing photos for him at the event, begging him to come out and play, missing my boyfriend while I tried not to think about his wife.

Being the little show off that I am sometimes, I signed up for the naked dance contest. This, at the time, was extremely out of the ordinary for me. I still changed in the bathroom at the Citadel. I was never naked in public, never. I didn’t think anyone wanted to see chubby little me naked. I wanted to do something bawlsy and get lost in kink while I could. I had a vanilla job, Kane had no interest in the public scene, and the voyeuristic part of me that I refused to acknowledge most of the time wanted the attention of gyrating on stage in front of hundreds of people.

And so I stripped with Kane watching me, looking at me with the ‘I will fuck you later’ look. He held my bag and my clothes while I ran on stage, terrified and thrilled all at once. I stood in back, found him in the crowd, and danced like an idiot.. But it was fun. I kept locking eyes with him. I shimmied my hips and my ass and stuck my tongue out and just…enjoyed myself.

Somehow I ended up shoved in the front. I don’t know how. I still don’t like being in the front.. I like being the support, the background, but the spotlight and I still aren’t on speaking terms. I couldn’t find Kane in the crowd and wasn’t sure I wanted to still be on stage at all.

I looked down and locked eyes with my worse nightmare, a camera.

I vaguely recognized the person behind it. He took photos at some of the play parties I had gone to, and usually had a naked Asian woman in his lap. He was loud, with a big booming voice and over-the-top personality that scared the shit out of me. He had an easy power to take center stage, to make others notice him.

And he was watching me.

I kept dancing. I still couldn’t find Kane..and so I kept my eyes on the red headed camera guy. Saw the smirk on his face, the look of amusement as he took photos of everyone. I was attracted to him.. to strong hands, to the look of intensity he got when he worked, to the blue eyes I somehow hadn’t noticed before and the scruff… I have such a weakness for scruff.

Eventually we all stopped dancing and my viking collected me. We waited around to see who won the big prize, and I remember the red headed photo guy won even though he hadn’t danced. He knew everyone, was talking to everyone when I went home with Kane.

It’s amazing the difference a year can make. I ended up running into Kane amongst the latex and leather of Dore Alley. We talked..caught up, touched on why we ended and what we had become. He told me he was still pretty single. I finally told him I wasn’t. I confronted him about me being a secret..about him never fully letting me in his life. I wanted to meet his friends and his family, and he always kept me at arms length. I was never fully one of his people.

He looked started when I told him that, and then he smiled really sadly.

“Rena… I didn’t keep you from meeting my people. I don’t…have people.” He shrugged. In the middle of this clusters came over and chatted. They hugged, we talked. There were people from the Citadel, from BaGG, people I see week after week that I would call friends. When there was finally a break in the people and conversation he smiled. “Clearly, Rena, you have people now. You needed it.. It’s nice to see you finally happy.”

He’s right. I am happy.

We parted on good terms with plans to do a studio night together and hang out, just as friends. He went off to explore the rest of the festival, and I ended up kneeling next to my favorite red head with a camera. Yes, the same one that I finally noticed a year ago.

The same one that, during my conversation with Kane, was never too far away.

James still scares me.. but for entirely different reasons than that day I first noticed him. The chuckle doesn’t scare me..or the smirk.. The nails digging into my chest don’t scare me, and while I flinch when his hand comes down to hit me that doesn’t scare me either.

It’s when his voice gets soft and tender and his touch becomes feather-light that I become afraid. When he pulls me into his chest and kisses the top of my head so softly, so sweetly that I feel so entirely cherished and safe.. That is when he scares me.. Because this man has slowly captured more and more of my heart.

My life is changing.. for the better I think. I’m slowly getting myself un-stuck. Creatively I’m working again, financially I’ve collected another job that is slowly taking the place of unstable funds. Social wise I have friends… I go out, I see people. I smile a lot.

Romantically..

Romantically, he’s got me. I trust him, completely. I am his.

…It really is that simple

I am his. And I am happy.

Sometimes, doors closing can be an incredibly healthy thing. It can make you even more confident about your choices to open others.

Yours, smiling

-Rena