Some Thoughts On Shadow Lane Next Week

In less than a week, we’ll be in Las Vegas for another Shadow Lane party. This time my strategy is a little more relaxed.

Unlike last time, there will be no charts or graphs or spread sheets this time around. Not that it didn’t make sense last year but I am in a much more laid back and relaxed mood this year — going to the party to enjoy myself, play with some and just unwind away from my job and obligations. Popping into Shadow Lane chat the other night, I realized how long it had been since I’d been there because of all the new people I was meeting. If a good number of them attend, it will be fun getting to know new people as well as reconnect with the people I already know.

I thought that the chat topic (behavior) was always timely and most if not all of the new folks seemed to respond to it. The really good thing about Shadow Lane as well as any spanking gathering is that the problem folks are merely a sliver of the larger group. Although talking about the negative is often more interesting, it does sometimes seem that the people who cause trouble in larger number than in reality. What the chat told me is that most of the people chiming in “get it” — they understand that there are ways one does or does not act when around people, especially at a place where intimate things like spanking are taking place.

One point that I think was made quite well was that the veterans of these events are overwhelmingly welcoming of new people and often are happy to widen their circle of acquaintances. It’s what makes going to these things fun, the chance to meet, become friends with and possibly play with someone new. Although it was obvious that the new folks are nervous, I think there was a general understanding that although there may be a circles of friends, these are not cliques or restricted clubs. In all the time I’ve been a member of and attended Shadow Lane parties, I have yet to observe anything that told me there were cliques. It’s a myth.

My only advice ever to people attending a party that’s this large is to just immerse themselves in the atmosphere. It’s quite liberating to be around so many people who are just like you. It’s a cliché to say “be yourself” but that really is the best advice possible. By not being afraid to be the unique person that you are (unless the behavior is so off the beaten path that it freaks people out) and by being friendly in the way you would be at any social gathering, you will stand out in a positive light. It’s as simple as that.

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3 Responses to “Some Thoughts On Shadow Lane Next Week”

  1. Rad, sometimes you scare me with the way you can take a topic and put it into words so well, at the same time that it’s been percolating around in my brain. It was so nice to be back in chat the other night sharing experiences, offering advice….laughing at your one liners!

    I loved the following point that you wrote because that has always been my experience with SL and I guess it’s a big part of what has always made it so special to me:

    “One point that I think was made quite well was that the veterans of these events are overwhelmingly welcoming of new people and often are happy to widen their circle of acquaintances.”

    Actually, I loved the whole paragraph, but didn’t want to quote too much.

    Anyway, thanks for once again getting inside my head (without realizing it)and putting things into words so nicely.

  2. Firstly, I am pissed/sad that I am not going.

    THAT sentiment out of the way…:

    People definitely respond to smiles and friendliness…at SL parties..or really anywhere in life. Sounds Pollyanna….but, its true.

    I liked your phrase; ” immerse yourself in the atmosphere”.

    For a new person, “heady” doesn’t begin to cover it.

    Honestly, I only have a handful of truly red letter moments in my life, thus far. One of them is the first ever SL party I attended. I was VERY new in the scene, and there was NO minute of the whole trip/time out in CA that was less than surreal. It was beyond amazing to be ( well, so far away from home, for one thing!) surrounded by people who, by and large, ” got me”. A few times I was utterly overwhelmed…and would go back to my room, but mainly I was busy having my five senses completely suffused by the fun, warm, friendly atmosphere of my first ever spanking party. It had its rather odd moments too, but…so would any “convention” or large gathering. I went to another SL party either the following year, or perhaps it was two years after. That was also incredible.. but like they say…. you never forget your first time.

    I wanna go!!!!!!! 😦 Maybe next year…? Economy permitting…?

  3. Shadowlane. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be maddeningly frustrating. I’ve been on both ends of the Shadowlane experience. One thing, which I learned the hard way, is that if you go in expecting to play with anyone in particular, and/or you expect to play with a particulat person at a particular time, you are setting yourself up to be dissapointed. Shadowlane is chaotic and shit happens, so the best way to approach it is to just go with the flow. Contrary to advice I had been given, I think people are better off *not* making play dates in advance. Also, it’s good to know that while you undoubtedly will find many welcoming people, not everyone will be welcoming. It’s more like a big city than like a small town. Take that for what it is worth.

    I might be there, and if I am, I will hope to see you and Sandy 🙂

    SD

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