Friday was a very full day.  I woke up on a very comfortable couch after my day at the Institute and the truly delightful dinner at Chinn’s.  Once my good friend, OWS woke we had a quick and very Hot breakfast (he likes ’em spicy) and headed out to a favorite spot of ours, the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  This is a phenomenal place of art and nature ranging from relaxed paths of casual planting to structured beds of remarkable planning and art.

Walking around the grounds, it seemed to be recovering from the overwhelming two week heat spell that had Chicago huddled indoors.  While not to the low 100’s as it was, the Chicago humidity was still a presence as we walked into the Bonsai gardens.  In the midst of contemplation, an intense crack of thunder woke us to the first drops of a summer shower.

We do not have many thunderstorms in Southern California.  You know, sun, cloudless sky’s, fires and earthquakes is all we get, and standing in this wonderful place of beauty, thrilling to the thunder, watching the rain drops paint the bronze rooftops of the Regenstein Center, experiencing the change of smell, almost seeing the thirsty plants drink, made me want to lie on my back and just soak in it.  I stood in the middle and just let it come.

But the day had other demands, Exxxotica was to begin, and I had a drive to an unfamiliar place.  My GPS got me to the area, and a stressed traffic officer pointed to the garage.  I parked, brought out my bag of toys, and wandered around looking for any indication of where to go.

This is a huge complex comprising several hotels and a major convention center all connected by a second story sky bridge with a rather feeble attempt at air conditioning.  For this adventure, it started at the parking garage on separate block from the complex.  OK, so I begin walking, pulling my wheeled case behind me.  But I was pumped, excited, and raring to go.

First juncture, signs for hotels, restaurants, no “Exxxotica” but I traveled on.  I passed several doors, obviously into a hotel area, kept moving.  More sky bridge, another juncture and finally a sign seemingly pointing towards the Convention Center.  Back a dog leg to the right, and finally the entrance and confirmation I was there.  On to check-in where, thankfully, they had my name and pointed me in the direction of the “Dungeon”.

Walking past booth after booth advertising major distributes, particular artist, strange and interesting items for sale, even a booth stating loudly, “Jesus Loves Porn” (not exactly sure how they knew that, but…) finally getting back to the Dungeon and checking in with my friend, Mistress C.

It was quite an expansive area.  We had three spanking benches, two suspension frames, a Cross, a Chain Spider Web, and a few leather topped tables, and a small area selling toys.  The Chicago club that supplied the play furniture was the Sins Center.  It was excellent equipment.  All supplied with after play cleaning equipment.

Besides myself and Mistress C, there were three other gentlemen who primarily kept to impact play, two excellent riggers for rope work and one gentleman quite experienced in needles and hook suspensions.  Some came with their experienced partners, some, such as myself, were single.  Each of us had our own style.  Some were very flashy and enjoyed giving a performance.  Some very centered on the person with whom they were playing and did not want any disturbance.  I enjoyed interacting with the audience and tried to explain what I was doing and what I looked for in a reaction.  As you might tell from this blog, I enjoy being a teacher.

The most surprising thing to me was the number of volunteers.  While the crowds tended to move between the dungeon and the main stage, there was almost never a time when all the volunteers were not kept busy.  Some of them had well established partners who engaged in the heavier play  (there were two, possibly three hook suspensions that took place and I would presume that these were not strangers who just happened by) but from my own experience, we always had someone who had questions or wanted to experience for themselves.  For the entire three days I had no time to do much beyond demos and occasionally wandering the venue, passing out my card, catching the eye candy, seeing friends and (ahem) whipping up business.

This blog is rather long and wandering, but I wanted to mention one particular pleasure.  There were, at the venue, many young women, dancers, not in the porn industry, but there to entertain at different stations, have their photos taken for tips, and I got to spend time with many of them, loaning them my handcuffs or gently caressing them with my whip to add to the attraction of the photographers.  It was particularly interesting to me to see the different kinds of interaction between them and their audience, and a great pleasure to me that most of them could just talk with me as a fellow human.  More on this when I get to talking about Saturday.

So, finally, at 10:00 PM, when the security had to come into the dungeon and politely ask everyone to leave, as there were still many people who wanted further play, I packed up my gear and wandered out to find that sky bridge to my car.  Tired, foot sore as I had little time to sit over the last six hours, I wandered on, only to discover, to my horror, that there were two sky bridges to two garages and in my somnambulistic wanderings, I had found the wrong one.  So back again to the Convention Center with a somewhat more awake mind to travel off through the windowed tunnels to find my rent-a-car and drive back to my friend’s house.

Bless his heart, he greeted me with a glass of wine and a lovely plate of food, interested conversation about my day, and that oh-so-comfortable couch.  Saturday was to be a very exciting day with some incredibly magic women.

The Eroticist