You know when you’re a little kid and you look at your future and you see all these things that you think are going to happen?
Like, you’re gonna marry your high school football-star boyfriend and have a yellow house or drive your red convertible to California or fly a spaceship to the moon?
Well, I never imagined last night happening.
It all began a few weeks ago when I saw on Facebook that my crazy and wonderful Brazilian friend Autumn was attending an event in Boulder called Erotica Exotica Ball: A Kink Carnival.
I was immediately intrigued and decided that this was 100% something that I would also be attending.
I’ve always been fascinated by sexual psychology and the world of dominant/submissive life, and so I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to explore this world and possibly experience first hand what it was like. I mean, you can handcuff me, it’s cool.
I got my costume from a lingerie/sex shop down the street. I have been into a sex shop before, once on my 18th birthday and once on my sister’s 18th birthday.
I have seen giant dildos and vibrators, etc. etc., but nothing quite prepared me for the world that I entered into on that sunny, fall afternoon.
Finding a costume that was appropriate enough to wear in public was difficult in itself. Most of the underwear were split open in the crotch(for easy access I assume). Those were immediately out of the question. What if I wanted to sit down? I don’t need my vagina juices all over the bar stool and I don’t need the bar stool all over my vagina.
I tried on an assortment of costumes, some that were all black leather, some that were literally the size of a children’s’ stocking that stretched across your body like a starfish.
I chose a red, lacy one-piece. It was sexy, but comfortable, and I figured I could wear it again. Also, I’m not really into collars and shit. Keep it sexy and classy, I’d like to think.
I’ve come to terms with my body, enough to let my as-good-as-it’s-going-to-get ass hang out, but not enough to walk around with my lady bits showing. It’s not that I think this is unacceptable, but, I think this is unacceptable. Keep it classy my ladies, and save this stuff for the bedroom. Protect yourself from disease and the chafing that is bound to happen from just about every surface you could possibly rub up against.
Autumn, dressed as a sexy dominatrix, came over to my house beforehand, drunk on Tequila, and decided that I would be the test victim for her new whip. Just kidding, I totally asked for it. That shit hurts so good.
My friends dropped us off at the party. When we got to the door, we were asked to sign a waiver. I should have asked what this was for, but I figured asking questions would just ruin the surprise of the evening.
The party was in a restaurant/bar. It felt less like a “ball” and more like a gathering of fetish-loving folks who had been friends for a long time-or maybe like a meetup.com group for all the freaks of the town.
There was a lot to process. Imagine the gay pride parade on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. This was weirder than that.
I don’t really even know how to explain it to you without sounding like I’m just listing off things that could be at a sex circus.
My memories of the night are all blurred together.
I remember a girl with bright green hair pouring hot wax all over a blind-folded man. I remember a shirtless man wearing tight jeans who looked like a 1970s rapist on coke head-banging for hours by the stage.
There was a man wearing leather underwear and big, black wings that were covered in lights being spanked in the corner. There was a woman dressed in some sort of cat costume being tied up like a pretzel, her hands and feet bound together by thick rope. I do not know the technical term for this.
The costumes I saw were mostly confusing; animal heads blended with corsets, a man with a giant-red leather dress thing and long black gloves lurking in the corner. Shit was just really weird.
There were lots of androgynous-looking people. I’m definitely a little bit gay, but not knowing who was who or what was what freaked me the fuck out.
It was quite the treat when we were given a few dance performances by professional burlesque ladies. There was minimal clothing involved. One of the acts was a duo-woman team who swung on this little ribbon seat and finished the show by spreading their legs apart starfish-style toward the audience. Thank god for leather underwear.
Once Autumn and I decided that we’d had enough, we went next door to a popular bar dressed in full costume. The bouncers let us in for free, which I think had a lot to do with the fact that I was wearing handcuffs.
We hung out for a little while, but everyone just seemed so normal, so boring.
It was like I was confused about reality. What is boring, what is not? Why is there nobody at this bar wearing lingerie and 3-inch stripper boots?
After a while, and several stumbles later, I decided that it was time to take Autumn home and force a gallon of water and some chicken-tender tacos down her throat.
On the way out though, I had one of those “This is such a small world!” moments when I ran into some guy that studied at my acting studio back in Los Angeles. I remember him giving me his number once, but I never called. He was very hot, but very weird in a “he may have spent some time in a facility,” sort of way.
So, I grab him by the shoulders to tell him “I KNOW YOU! You’re that musician who studied at my acting studio in Santa Monica right? You came to my bar one night and gave me your number, but I uh, think I lost it.”
He’s not even really responding, just sort of saying “Yeah,” and nodding his head, because, I told you, he’s weird. Meanwhile, Autumn is literally unbuttoning his shirt and biting his earlobes.
He grabs at my red lace and asks me why I’m wearing underwear.
“Woah, dude, hands off,” I say.
He is not hearing a word I am telling him as Autumn whispers into his ear that she wants him to “take it off” and something along the lines of “oh, what I want to do to you.”
“And what is that?” he says back.
“Everything”, she says.
I’m just soberly watching this animalistic interaction between a potentially-mentally handicapped psychopath and my very drunk friend, wondering how to politely stop it before we get handcuffed and taken to the police station for indecent exposure or public misconduct, or whatever the fuck it is called.
“I’m sorry Bryan,” I say, but we need to go back next door and find Autumn’s whip, which has already left several scars on my body.
I call us an Uber and our driver politely holds Autumn’s other hand, which still doesn’t stop her from falling down in the middle of the street.
When we get home, I try to clear my brain. I wash my face, drink some water and do some yoga while Autumn lies in my bed looking like the Joker from the Batman movie, her red lipstick smeared across her face.
This morning, I woke up and realized that while I am a freak in some ways, I am not that freaky.
My curiosity has taken me to a lot of places.
But, every time I do something I have never done before, I remember who I am, and I realize that while I am an open-minded person, there are still plenty of things that make me feel uncomfortable.
Yes, sometimes I am an adventurous, curious woman who is willing to step outside of her comfort zone simply for the thrill of it.
At my roots, though, I’m just a yoga-pants-wearing white girl who would pick Calvins over lace any day and is about to spend the rest of my weekend watching old Disney classics in hopes of regaining some of my innocence back.