Tag Archives: Wicked Grounds

The City

It is windy. Very windy. At my left I can see the harbor and the lights from the The City. At my right, the open waters. Right in front of me, I see the Golden Gate Bridge. It is the last evening of a whirlwhind 48 hour short visit to San Francisco, where I travelled after Shibaricon. It feels like I could stand at this spot for the rest of my life. The air, the wind, the sea, the breathing that is possible to do, how every breath fills the lungs with such intense life. It is strangely grounding, a moment in time where everything else stops, except for time itself, as it keeps on getting darker and darker and colder and colder. My trip in the US is coming to an end, and it is here that I’m reminded of the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have, they move through my mind like flashing images, or a brief reminder of a sensory experience; skin twitching or a muscle aching slightly, remembering the sound of a creaking rope or leather gloves, slowly closing over my mouth.  Not even 2 weeks in the US and it feels like I know who I am again. Like the skin is fits around the body and the mind can distribute itself over the thoughts in an even fashion.

The 48 hours in The City were made possible by two people whom I am honored to have met and eternally grateful for their hospitality; Bus Driver and Pink.  They happened to be two of the first people I met at Shibaricon on the first day, and Bus Driver also helped at one point to spot during a demanding suspension. They, together with other awesome and wonderful people, made the con even better.
In the end of  Shibaricon I was looking for somewhere to go as I would have a couple of extra days before the flight back to Europe, and had thus put up a note on a notice board saying something like Busty Swedish Blonde seeking Bedspace. With a limited budget, crashing at someones’ couch seemed like the best option. Not before long, I was suddenly invited to stay at Bus and Pink, an offer which was impossible to refuse. Said and done, ticket bought and bag packed, leaving O’Hare landing in San Francisco. Slightly dazed and rather confused due to tiredness from Shibaricon but  in the same time on a strange adrenaline high  I made my way through the airport and was met (after getting lost…) by my hosts, and their adorable Peanut.

When visiting people who generously open up their home to a Busty Swedish Blonde they have only met a couple of days earlier, I was hoping intensely for not being one of those annoying guests and pointed out I could be fairly self-sufficient so they would not have to interrupt their day to day life due to the Busty Swedish Blonde. Lets just say that I had no idea they would have none of it, as the following two days I was so well taken care, showed all the sites, taken to the kink-shops, parties, et cetera et cetera. After meeting the housemates, having a good night sleep and taking it slow in the morning, Pink showed all the kink-shops, including  MR S and a visit to Good Vibrations, which was fairly awesome to say at least. During lunch time, we spoke about the kink scene and leather and her and her partners involvement in the community. It is organised on such a different level that would make London look pretty much like a bunch of party obsessed perverts. Which we kind of are, but that is beside the point :). Pink  also showed me the SF Citadel, a great permanent BDSM space which was really huge and well equipped.
I the end I visited Wicked Grounds  more than 3(?) times in less two days, had one great lunch, a huge milkshake and just hanging out. After a quick change of clothes, I was dropped off at Wicked Grounds one more time, waiting for Bus who took me to Bondage a Go-Go (BaGG). Now, if there is something that is awesome, it is to experience different kinds of scenes different parties. I become like a horny sociologist, trying to take in as much as possible. BaGG had a great feeling to it, although I must admit that we spent most of the time in the play area so did not see much of the rest of the club. What I did gather though, was that BaGG managed to fuse a couple of things together which another club in London has tried but not succeeded  in doing: fusing the industrial/goth scene with kink. This was mainly done through the awesome music (as an industrial chick, it was heaven to get to play to so many great tracks). In either case, it was a really great place, with a small albeit very well managed play area.

As I had expressed an interest in Bus’ flogging skills (with Pink  politely pointed out that he is a sadist..) I felt slightly nervous, but also strangely centered as we entered the play area. Was strapped to the cross, and not before long the falls of the floggers started to rain over my back. This was one of those floggings which takes you so far away you are in lala-land. A warm up which was exactly that, not just a short interlude before the ‘real’ thing, but  carefully tempered and ministered. And it was the tempo and the sensations that got me;  florentine flogging at its best, moving with the music, but also creating music on its own; syncopations, emphasised beats, the sounds coming out from my mouth all of a sudden. It is like letting bodies do the talking, instead of the vocal chords it is the warm skin, the muscles, the un-planned guttural sounds, goose-bumps, the breathing, the pulse, skin involuntarily twitching, the back arching, moving away from but still drawn towards the pain. You simply don’t want it to end, but it always does. Something which was very special during many of the experiences in the US was that it felt ok taking time. Taking time sitting down and talk properly for a starter, but also, when in that state of bliss after play, it could take the time it took. Not always, but sometimes, it feels like I has to get myself together in a orderly fashion not too long after the play has finished, especially at parties (not on the private parties, but regular ones). But here I was, in lala land but also sitting at the floor, with Bus assuring me there was all the time in the world. Everything was like it was wrapped up in cotton, even the music was muted. And sitting there, at the floor, was like the most natural place to be in. It became a reminder to the self; to stay present in the moment. Around us, there were others playing, and the passion and skill people showed made my warm body feel even warmer.

A while later, when having landed, there was this little itch; I needed to tie someone. Was introduced to a lovely lass and we spoke a bit. She felt like playing, and I was borrowed a suspension ring. We set up, first rope is out of the bag, heart pounding already. People are busy chatting, standing next to the playspace with drinks, dancing. The suddenly, there is a stronger light and a voice announcing that a guest from abroad is here to demonstrate some of her rigging skills; and obviously people turn immediately around. For a brief moment I think something like: “SHITFUCKITYOHDEARGODSAVEME”, while pretending like I’m tying something really important behind the lovely girls’ back in order to hide what is probably written all over my face. Then one of those VNV Nation tracks comes on; a steady beat and a baseline,  a deep breath and then go. The adrenaline hits, the light makes it harder to see who is watching, and her body become the only thing that matters. With the adrenaline and the pace of the tying, it is almost like trying to scratch into her, dig deeply, removing layer after layer. It is not really pretty the rope, off centre and unbalanced, but god damn, it is so fun. Encasing her in a cocoon of rope and then just physical rope and bodies in motion; toying with her mind, moving in like an attack, forcing her off balance; a fistful of hair, her neck exposed. As the wham bam adrenaline wears off, I want to continue with the rope but with a less barrage of the senses, so the untying takes place on the floor, while sitting down, the rope is warm and so is her body, resting my cheek against her shoulder, controlling every movement, pushing her with my chest, adding tension rather than removing it even if the ropes are coming off. The last wrap around her wrists comes off; we have both forgot everything about the crowd. The evening continues, with more awesomeness, and when we walk back to the car, it feels like being wrapped up in cotton.

On the second day, I get showed around a very special and interesting place; my jaw dropping for each and every door that was opened. Suffice to say, I did not think about anything else than what horrible acts could be committed or was being committed. Those really abject, filthy, degrading, sadistic…..see, it is even hard to type anything about it!
Pink then fetched me and showed the touristy things, including Lombard street. We also found some sushi, and dear me, that sushi was basically perfect. Also walked on the Castro, which felt strangely touching. All this queer history and activism, the significance really struck, especially when visiting a LGBT-history museum. I am so grateful for those who paved the way, who fought back and stood their ground.

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That evening then finished with a visit to view the scenery described in the beginning of this post but also biting someone very cute in a dark parking lot.

I would like to thank Pink and Bus Driver who made the visit so unforgettable with your generosity and kindness. There is probably not words enough to express this gratitude, so I’ll just stop waffling.



Closing ceremony:communities and creativity- Shibaricon 2011

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.