It was sad, but inevitable. The closing ceremony of Shibaricon 2011. As I sat amongst new-found friends, deep-throated Ava’s banana and waited for the ceremony to begin I had to think about the passed weekend not only as a event that had passed, but as an ongoing continum of that which we all learn, share and experience. It is one of those events that does not stop just because the doors close and the countdown starts for Shibaricon 2012. Shibaricon 2011 and all the other years continue on their own as well, through those present and their experiences that they took with them home.
A closing ceremony at Shibaricon is something rather memorable, mainly because while there can be somber moments, it is filled with an incredible happiness and a sense of humor. Suffice to say, I had no idea what to expect, but a table was put up on the stage, filled with all kinds of stuff, including gift cards, rope, toys, all donated (?) by vendors and the like. Suddenly, there are line judges sought after. And then I hear something about them seeking 5 first time attendees. Cheered on by friends, I throw myself onto the stage, not really knowing what it would mean to be on stage, but hey, this time, flock-mentality turns out to be a good thing. Me and 4 other first time attendees get to pick one thing from the table and there is a rope that catches my attention. It is a piece of blue hemp from Boss Bondage and suddenly that is what I hold in my hands, as walking down from the stage, smiling. What follows then is somewhat of a game, consisting of the excellent MC Psychokat calling for the next 5 something something to be on stage, and thus, getting to pick an item from the table. 5 first people wearing leather boots: Bus Driver jumps up on and almost through the stage. 5 first people in a hogtie; frenetic and fast tying follows, And so on and so forth.
When Psychocat then points out a bouncy bunny still left on the table Ava realises it should be hers, attacking it with the vigour of someone who really, really loves toys that bounce and that are in the shape of a bunny. There is also an incident when one of the security guys picks up the cute MC who is not wearing his sexy pants, but another awesome outfit, including perfect leather boots, and simply puts him on the table. Greedy as we all are, a group of people rush onto the stage to catch this special prize. I manage to get to him first and jumps at him; sadly the table he is sitting on does not agree with full on jump-at-cute-kitty and the table almost flips over. Instead, we decide to grab him and carry him off the stage (while he is still holding the mic) and just molest him a bit. Seeing Psychocat getting so flustered from all the attention,which included a face-sitting definetely made the evening. But not all fun and games, there was also some very serious dedication shown, such as the man who decided to buy a GRUEden ticket, which gives a lifetime entry to the GRUE. By pledging $500 to Save Wicked Grounds, that is what you can get. Now, if you have never heard of Wicked Grounds, you have missed something amazing. A couple of years ago, kinksters in London could go to Coffee, Cake and Kink (CCK) , which was a café, selling the most delicious cakes, brill coffee and books and toys and all the lovely things you can imagine. This was a space in which you could go as kinkster and just have a coffee, go on a date, read books, be social, and if you felt like it, also be completely open about who you are, or even play. Sadly, due to problems with the landlord, CCK had to close and they are still looking for the perfect venue. If you know anything in London that might suit for their business, please email them, as everyone really wants to eat cake in a kinky café again. But anyhow, CCK inspired some San Fransisco people to start something similar; Wicked Grounds. They sadly had some financial problems and announced early spring that they would be closing due to this. But the whole kink-community pooled together what ever they could and decided that they still wanted to be able to come and have coffee and kink. Thanks to this, a committee was formed and people who wished to pledge to save Wicked Grounds could do so. This is now actually saving the wonderful place and it is indeed amazing to see a community coming together to keep this place open and running!
The closing ceremony became a sign-post for how a creative community can function, both as a point of joy, but also a point of support, care and activism.