(First off – oops…I haven’t blogged in over three weeks. Sigh. Mea Culpa.)
Last weekend I attended GKE:NE (Geeky Kink Event: New England). It was a simultaneously invigorating and exhausting weekend and I think I’m still recovering on a few fronts four days later. It was incredibly freeing to be among “my people!” as I kept blurting out (often internally because there’s only so many times you can say that out loud before folks think you have a very specialized form of Tourette’s Syndrome).
It also involved utterly craptastic hotel beds and the really late (for me) nights after the pool parties wore me out. I was torn about getting a hotel room – I live literally 22 minutes away by car from the hotel. BUT, I’ve learned from past cons that having a place to stash my stuff and a place to nap and crash is really really useful. This time, I found myself thinking – “I could totally drive home, nap in my own bed, and be back in a couple of hours.” Yeah, the beds were THAT bad. There were a myriad of other issues I encountered with the hotel, which is a shame, because GKENE rents out the entire hotel for the weekend and there’s plenty of space.
The CON however was pretty darned awesome. There was a HUGE ball pit in a repurposed coat check room. At one point there were 17 of us in there and I found that a bit overcrowded (I cannot imagine how crowded it was the year before when there were apparently 27 folks in there at one point). Whenever I was about to just fall over from exhaustion (but didn’t want to risk sleeping through something), or just wanted to mentally check out for a bit, I headed to the ball pit. In the spirit of continuing to push my own limits, I’m actually posting a face pic here, just because it was so much fun:
There was a dungeon that I popped my head into a few times, but for a few reasons, I wasn’t in the proper head space to push my public-play limit.
There were LOTS of really creative cos-players (the guy who played “the Dude” from The Big Lebowski was just genius), but I only got a pic of these two who happily posed for me in a vendor room:
There were some great classes, but I didn’t find myself drawn to many. After you’ve been to classes for a few years it’s sometimes hard to excited about the same topics, I find. Classes I did attend included Fear Play (which featured a few of my own toys I donated for the demo), Pet Play (where I met a couple of adorable puppies – one who was there with his owner and one who lives entirely too far away, dammit), and a class on pronouns which introduced me to a slew of pronouns folks have tried to introduce over the years as gender-neutral pronouns. Some I’d heard of, some were utterly new to me. I also attended the Science/Tech meetup which was amazingly cool (it was like a subset of “My People!” amongst a crowd of “my people”). I mean, who else serves drinks slushified by liquid Nitrogen and serves Cthulu Peeps?
The pool parties were just insane. The Friday night party was supposed to be the “Mellow Pool Party”. It was not. It was the exact opposite of mellow. But it was hella fun! I spent two hours smacking beach balls back and forth across the length of the pool with 20-30 other folks in a vague volleyball sort of way. While the pool parties are clothing optional, I stayed in my suit. I was in the minority. I went back on Saturday night (which was a glow party with laser show and fog) and this time I pushed my own limit/comfort level and stripped down after about 30 minutes in the pool. Nobody blinked and it was kind of cool. No really – the pool was REALLY COLD!
I also went to Dirty Shakespeare where my group was assigned to do a scene from Macbeth in the style of Game of Thrones. I played Macduff, aka Jon Snow. Mostly I just said, “I know nothing!” as a foil to my group-mate’s portrayal of the drunken Porter, aka Tyrion Lannister. You had to be there.
I randomly landed on the winning team at Geeky Trivia night. Which was great because most of the questions I knew were the ones others knew. My teammates out-geeked me in the areas of anime and comic books. Thankfully.
There was a game room full of board games but every time I went in everyone was already engrossed in games and there wasn’t much room at the tables. Unfortunate.
There was a day care room for the Littles. And a Serenity Space room with air mattresses and a strict no-play rule. I popped my head into each but didn’t spend time in either.
There was also an entire wing of hotel rooms-turned-vendor spaces with the usual variety of kinky things for sale augmented by geeky things for sale. There were also a few vendors in the big hallway/space outside the dungeon/game/room/etc…
I also patronized the Bootblack stand, not just because my favorite ankle boots needed some TLC but also because the tips were being donated to The Fenway House, which supports and provides GSRM/LGBTQ friendly health care. They raised $500 for them at GKENE which is totally awesome!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the name tag design, but they had someone selling little mini-buttons for $1 each that you could attach to your nametag or clothing to help others instantly know your orientation, availability, etc… Genius! This was the same guy who apparently runs Kinkardia – a kinky take of Concardia which is a con-wide collectible card game. My competitive nature kicked in which is why you may have seen me posting things on FL that were uncharacteristic of me (*cough* Chuck Norris jokes *cough*), but I had to give up after a day – there were just too many other things to invest my energy into.
I also met a TON of new really cool people from all over the East Coast which was pretty awesome. The ballpit truly does encourage bonding among new friends.
I’m still processing some things from GKENE, and I’m pretty sure there’s a post of actual substance brewing, so stay tuned!
[Side Note: Both of the submissive men listed as being “in service” to me on my FetLife profile are dealing with some things in their lives outside of me that require their emotional energy right now. One of these men was my roommate for GKENE (a rather late development but we went with it as the room had two beds and it meant we could both afford it). Part of his outside issues are impacting the two of us and due to this and some other things, we had some much needed, though not exactly comfortable, conversations and things were realized and accepted. I’m being deliberately vague here to protect everyone’s privacy but I also don’t want to censor my own experiences in this blog. It’s a delicate balance.]