Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Happiness Machine

Pictured above is Seattle's International Fountain, which, it turns out, on sunny days in June, is a Happiness Machine. You can tell, because it sits there in it's giant, handicap accessible inverted concrete dome, and it sprays out wanter and steam in strange and ever changing patterns, and everybody within a 100 foot radius or so complete forgets their dignity and just gets happy. There are, of course, a plethora of children of all colors and shapes and sizes playing with the spray, running up to touch the shiny dome in its sparkly coat of water, running back and giggling and running around some more. And with the children, of course, there are parents, pleased that their little darlings are, for once, being darling, and getting wet and giggly themselves. But the people in whom the effects of the Happiness Machine were most evident were the teenagers. Disaffected, saggy-shorted, wallet-chained boys and too-cool, slouchy-jeaned, tank-topped girls were pushing each other in and out of the jets, and playing the same touch-the-dome game and the kids and the parents and the grandparents. They had succumbed. They were not, for that brief period, disaffected, or cool. They were simply happy, reduced the same level of pure, sunlit joy as everybody else in the area. 

Boy and I, of course, were right there with them. This is a picture of little Switch staring transfixedly up at the water, utterly joyous, completely enraptured. What we thought would be a brief stop to look at a fountain became an hours play time which left us refreshed and not entirely willing to leave. 

Hooray, Seattle. Hooray, the Happiness Machine. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We clearly don't get it, is all

We have arrived safely in Seattle, and are being comfortably hosted for the next day or so by a lovely friend of mine from highschool and his lovely lady love. 
We are three hours earlier than them, time-wise, and they hadn't gotten to sleep in for weeks. So today we got up early and wandered out to get our own coffee (because apparently we're staying with the only couple in Seattle that isn't addicted to the beans of life). 
We went to Starbucks. We had cards for free stuff, and if not here, where? 
Sitting there by the big picture window, we watched a little bit of Seattle go by. There was a very tall man with very blond rather long hair and a large chain mail neck piece, who may well have been Thor in disguise. There was a bickering constellation of people whose relationship to each other we could not figure out. 
And then we saw a man in a track suit and a kid about six walking along. The man ended up walking ahead of the kid, and then another man, wearing a knit hat with longish curly hair, a sort of bum about town kinda feller, came up behind the kid and touched him on the shoulders, and then the kid ran to the guy in the track suit, who we figured was the dad, who scooped him up onto his back and crossed the street, and seemed to shout back at the other guy. We figured this was some sort of threat type thing, "You touch my kid again and I'll call the cops" or something. And then, later, the track suit guy and the kid were back! And chatting with another rough-and tumble sort of group, in hoodies with metal studs and other such items. And we thought, hum? were we wrong? The original guy wasn't with 'em, so we couldn't tell. Until he wandered up, and continued interacting with both dad and kid with no apparent trouble on either side, and we realized that we East Coast types are clearly just not in the loop here. 

And that is all. Today we will I think visit the Utilikilt factory, and eat some food and see some stuff and maybe start to get a better feel for what is going on when people interact with each other out here. 

It smells like the West Coast, but not as strongly as California does. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What is the Mecca of Kinksters?

I'd wager it depends on how old you are, and what it is you're interested in, specifically. If you were, say, a 60 something gay man into leather and serious hierarchical D/s, your kinky Mecca would probably be San Francisco. If you were, say, a 40 year old heterosexual submissive woman from Maine, New York might be more your speed. 

And if you were one half of a pair of twenty-something bisexual switches who are rather into rope and puppy play and pegging and corsets and some other stuff, too, well, you might just head to Seattle. 

Seattle is home to Twisted Monk, the biggest (and hottest) purveyor of bondage rope this side of anywhere. It is home to the Center for Sex Positive Culture, which pretty much sets Boy and I agape every time we check out its home page. It is home to polyamory and femdom and people who fuck around with their gender and people hold to no consistent dynamic or even sexual orientation. People kinda like us. 

Tomorrow Boy and I set out for Seattle, a place we might someday like to call home. We will stay with friends (one of whom has shown up on this blog before, and we hope will again), we will see this ex-WetSpot with our own eyes, we will eat fish and see mountains and even visit Portland. We are very excited. 

Again: If you've got advice, give it, please! If you're there and you happen to read this and you might like to show us around, let us know, please! Either here or at switch.and.boy@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Late Already

And utterly uninspired. I hope to become inspired later on this day. I really do.

For now, a spot of poetry, which is apparently more my mind's speed right now:

Here's to the grass in the cracks in the concrete
Here's to the moss in the spots between bricks
Here's to the world that is tougher than we are
And the life that that keeps on
And unbeatable ranks of weed upon weed
Here's to cattails sprouting in ditches by roadsides
And algae in fountains
And mushrooms in lawns
And here's to the grass in the cracks in the concrete
And the stuff that will be here when,
We are gone.

That's where my head is right now. Also on my aching back, and it's own fuzziness.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Quick and Dirty Blogging? (And Some Longer Sort of Musings)

Eileen has apparently decided to post a little every day for fifty days. Today is the... 9th. Of June. Fifty days from now is... not the 59th. July 28th. I think. Well, I'm not so sure I can do that not knowing entirely where I'll be or where the internet will be, so let us start with posting a bit every day for a month. Till July 9th.

Last week Boy and I were in Stratford, Ontario, watching plays with Boy's parents and eating delicious food and chilling out. We got back, and the next day I ran to Boston for a date with The Irishman, and he went off to play with a friend of ours, Vampirella. That story is entirely his to tell, but it sounds like he enjoyed it, and I'm glad.

With The Irishman I discussed life after college, how we came to kink and how much we both appreciate the level of communication it encourages (perhaps necessitates). We discussed our tendencies towards dominance and submission, and I discovered a few things that surprised and pleased me to no end. Also I was lead around a hotel room on a leash, had various orifices filled, and was hit a bunch. So, par for the course, really. It was endless fun, but I think next time I might opt for doing things my way.

I am musing on openness. It hit fast and hard in this relationship, and I'm left parsing out the reasons why. When I was a lot younger (the age where a lot of people were still considered too young to be going out with boys, but hooray for liberal parents) I was not much of a one for monogamy. I was flighty, and didn't want to be tied down, and so I didn't tie down those who got involved with me. Or that was the theory, anyway. Nonmonogamy at age 13 is not all that much more interesting than monogamy at age 13. But certainly, I was comfortable with the thought. And stayed so, although actual practice tended towards the monogamous, because that was the way things worked in highschool.

Then, in college, I met Boy. I fell hard and maybe he did or maybe he didn't. I know I kept my feelings locked away in layers, so I didn't have to deal with them or make him deal with them, for a long time. In any case, as great as the sex was, and important the friendship and eventual relationship, I didn't trust that he wanted to stay. Something in his word or lack of word or demeanor or action had me convinced for a very long time that he had one foot out the door, looking for that special, better somebody.

Now, we think there may not be one. I'm not afraid that Boy will leave me. And suddenly my independence, which for a long time I put away or subdued to my desire for a boy I thought did not desire me back, in whatever strange, consuming way I wanted him, has been found. For quite a while I haven't been afraid of Boy leaving, but I haven't been my headstrong, stubborn, independent self, either. And now I am.

I want to be strong and self sufficient, self-interested, even selfish. And I want Boy to get out there and do that, too. And he is. I've settled down a little bit from the manic week where first we tried this out. Right now, I've no clue where Boy is, but I wish I were spending time with him. I am a little sad that when I made it home from my visit he was nowhere to be found, but I'm glad that I feel that way... I was afraid that my wayward eye meant some change in how I feel about him, but not so. At least, nothing sudden. It is the eventual end to my coming to trust that he loves me, and I love him, and even if we share our beds with others, even if we don't spend every waking moment, or even every weekend evening, together, that will still be there.

So now I find myself with a partner who I love, and a lover who is endless fun, and the possibility to go after what I want, and do no harm.

I suppose the biggest thing that's been knocking around in my brain is the difference between being sexually open and being actively polyamorous. Part of being fiercely independent is that I am, in a certain sense, anti-relationship. Why by the horrible life sucking drama when you can get the sex and companionship for free? That said, neither do I much like, in most situations, the prospect of playing or hooking up with someone who I have only just met and will likely not meet again.

No, for right now, I don't think I'm interested in polyamory. I've got a relationship, and this whole thing got started by my desire for a bit of extra freedom. Adding another relationship, with all that that word entails, cannot but mean another thing helping to curtail said freedom. A lover (or, as The Irishman would have it, a fuckbuddy. Or an, ahem, cock-on-call) will fit the bill just fine. A friend. With whom I have sex.

And it's nice as well that I've also got friends with whom Boy has sex.

(P.S. We'll be visiting Seattle soon. Any readers in that area with suggestions on what to do, where to go and where to eat, should totally chirp up. Portland area, too.)