Crashing and Recovering

Okay, so I’ve had a few days now to actually sit back and start processing everything that happened on Saturday, and it isn’t all of it good. I’ve now heard from several people about some bad stuff that went down at the party (mostly involving inappropriate behavior / nonconsensual touching) and am actually sort of surprised that nothing worse happened. Folks in the Anarkink group have started talking (okay, emailing) about what was good and what we need to do better, and most of it has to do with being clearer on boundaries and such beforehand, keeping our invite list restricted, making sure people are monitoring scenes, checking people who are out of line, and providing safer sex supplies. All of which is good, and all of which is stuff I’m sure we would have done had we been planning a play party. Which we weren’t; we had planned a fundraiser party, a dance party that featured some performances and a spanking booth. We just hadn’t planned for the event turning into a play space, and weren’t prepared for what to do when it did happen. That said, I still think people did a really good job under the circumstances.

As soon as I let myself relax, after the party was over, I completely crashed both physically and mentally; I’m now fighting an awful cold and have spent the last three days since the party largely in bed or curled up on the couch under a blanket. I keep lapsing into crying fits that appear out of nowhere. The thought of any sort of responsibility, any task to accomplish, any project, fills me with renewed anxiety.

Honestly, it wasn’t so much the work involved with these events—though that did factor into it—as the emotional stress of, well, being out. For nine hours I sat with some stacks of zines and buttons and answered questions like “Anarkink? What’s that?” or “So what’s with the blue and black star?” I didn’t encounter any real drama, nor did I end up having real conversations with anyone about BDSM or why it’s important to talk about it. And when I noticed the two friends that I’m most scared of being out to walking around near where I was tabling, I stood up and pretended like I wasn’t tabling, but looking at zines at the table next to me. So in terms of really confronting my fears around being public about this sort of thing, I only made it about halfway. And I still felt completely fucking destroyed by it.

I know that it was all worth it. I now have a handful of friends that know about Anarkink and my involvement with it, so by extension that know (and are ostensibly okay with the fact) that I’m kinky. I helped make more people aware that Anarkink existed, which will hopefully bring more folks into the group, get a wider variety of faces and voices and perspectives, and get more ideas about what this group should and could become; ideally, this will also mean that we’ll have more people who can take over the organizational aspects of keeping the group going. And we also raised a couple hundred bucks to donate to the Long Haul Infoshop, our new meeting space, which should cover us for the next year.

But right now, it’s really hard for me to want to do any of this at all. We’re meeting again next Thursday, and I honestly don’t even know if I want to go. I was excited about the idea of starting up a small distro for kinky zines, and now I have little interest in it. I was even starting to consider contacting other people to help organize a KinkForAll in San Francisco, but after this event, I’m not sure I could handle it. I sort of want to just get back to having sex, in private, and just being happy with that.

I know in a week (or maybe even less) I’ll feel completely differently. But it’s going to take some recovery time.

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