First Timers

Whether it’s putting your feet in the scene waters or going to your first big event there has to be a first time for everything?

Aside from my first steps into the scene in late ’04-early ’05, my most vivid memory of the scene was my first Shadow Lane party in the fall of 2005 at the Riviera in Palm Springs, CA.

I was very nervous about going but had missed the one earlier that year in Vegas and really wanted to travel and enjoy these events with my then girlfriend, Sandy. I remember the trip (my first one on Jet Blue after years of not flying) to Ontario, CA and then the drive to Palm Springs. We checked into the hotel and immediately met a few people in the lobby – one of them was a person who I’d only talked to online, katy-lynn (her scene name). After that, we drove out to a grocery store to pick up water and soda and snacks – I remember being very nervous about the upcoming events (like that night’s Vendors Fair) and not knowing whether I’d be able to handle myself without being too nervous.

One of the great things about that weekend and my exploring the wider spanking scene (especially in a public way like a big party) was that Sandy was with me. I don’t know if I would have been able to go by myself had she not been there to introduce me to people and help me feel comfortable. Our trip to Joshua Tree National Park was really nice as well because it gave us time to be alone with each other for a few hours without all the craziness. The vast majority of people I met that weekend were extremely nice to me and I fondly remember the dinner at the fancy expensive steak house with Tony and Eve, Keith Jones and Ralph Marvel – that was cool especially because I got to sit next to Eve.

Whenever I see new people coming into the scene, whether at a party or the club, especially when they are just starting to explore things, I try to do what I can to make them feel a little bit more comfortable with what’s going on around them. I guess it’s my way of giving something back to the scene that welcomed me. I also think it helps to let them see that most people in the scene are pretty much regular people (assuming I’m a regular person) that share a kink. That’s what made me feel at ease – having those conversations about mundane things even though we were all gathered for our non-vanilla purposes.

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7 Responses to “First Timers”

  1. Bingo.
    This SL was my first spanking party – of any kind. Little things like dee’s Pre-Party Mixer were a godsend: a chance to have coffee with others (newbie or otherwise) and confirm that they had jobs and pets and were “just folks” like me – which I already knew on an intellectual level, but the Panic Rat (Stephen King’s term, not mine) has an amazing ability to ignore the intellect and keep nibbling.
    I’m also glad I took Eve’s official advice for 1st time party people – to show up in chat, put my picture up, etc. so that when you walk in the door you already have a few connections with others. I think it would have been much more nervewracking to just buy a ticket and walk in “cold.”

  2. That´s very kind of you Rad.
    All newbies are grateful for this nice beeing welcomed in our scene.
    I hope that my husband and myself will meet you once at SL. It´s a dream that will come true-fingerschrossed 🙂

    Kisses Apple

  3. Shiny: Walking in cold is probably a good way to just stand on the sidelines unnoticed (unless you really have the kind of personality that can work a room). I’ve found that those people who chat and get to know people before hand do the best.

    Apple: I look forward to seeing you folks at a future event.

  4. carolinegrey Says:

    My first big event came after several years of fumbling around with craigslist and personals sites, with several very cruddy experiences. It took me a while to figure out that the few good “play-dates” I’d had were with people I’d met and gotten to know on a public forum, over a period of months. My decision to go to that first big even was sudden, but I hustled myself onto the group boards and into the group chat ASAP and spent a few weeks getting to know a screen-name or two. I can’t tell you the relief I felt when I stepped out of my taxi, a terrific bundle of nerves, and was met by two huggy giggling girls that I’d been emailing and chatting with. The fear melted right away and I went on to have the weekend of my life…and a life-changing weekend it was!

    To bottoms especially, psyching themselves up to meet new people, I definitely recommend getting to know them in a “public” forum. When other people are going to be reading the postings and chat, there’s a lot less room for fakeness and concealment, as opposed to the privacy and leeway provided by strings and strings of private emails. (though those certainly have their place, too.)

    And as great as the play was that first weekend, my favourite memories are nearly all of seemingly mundane vanilla type things…staying up late talking, meals, dancing. Aside from being enjoyable in themselves, they were great opportunities to realize that yeah, we were “normal” people who happened to share a kink, and that we didn’t have to slink around under rocks about it.

    One last bit: It occurred to me that one doesn’t have to wait to achieve some venerable veteran’s status before beginning to welcome new people at events. In one group, I had only one party under my belt, but I attached myself to the welcome wagon anyway, still wearing my metaphorical newbie hat. I figured, hey, they *are* newer than me, and what’s more, as a fellow newbie, who could know better or more freshly how they were feeling than me? It worked out pretty well, and had the added bonus of making me feel more a part of the group myself.

  5. carolinegrey Says:

    holy crap that was long. Windy windy Caroline.

  6. Wow, Shiny, Shadow Lane as a first party– a lesser mortal might have been a bit daunted! You didn’t look as if you were, though. 🙂

    I’ve found the people at spanking parties to be extremely welcoming. For those who are nervous, attending a smaller party first could work well, especially if you’re shy. You’ll be recognized as a newcomer and somebody will usually take you under his or her wing and introduce you around. The description of larger parties as cliquish stems mostly from the fact that a lot of people only see their spanking friends from the internet or other parties once or twice a year, so it’s natural that they’ll want to spend time with them. But, as Rad points out, that doesn’t preclude meeting and playing with others.

  7. caroline: Very good comment.

    Indy: Agree with your explanation of cliques.

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