If you read my post Breaking into the scene? or Attending my first BDSM event you know I was anxious about attending play events or any kinky events for that matter. I freaked out on the Saturday before Sugar Kane, the fetish/play event I planned on going to. My thoughts spiralled, thinking I couldn’t do this and that it was even stupid of me to try. I thought I would make a fool of myself if I showed up or turned straight around after showing up and would be crippled under the weight of my anxiety. It was so bad that I didn’t think I was going to go anymore. Luckily, talking to my best friend helped, which meant I did go.
Sugar Kane had been mentioned to me before by other kinksters and I knew of its existence but I didn’t really know what it was. I had classed it as ‘too scary to attend’ and that’s what it remained. Now, it didn’t matter. All I needed to know was that I would go until someone mentioned people didn’t just show up in normal clothes. That’s when I was like, shit… so what do I wear?
Picking an outfit is half of my anxiety battle. I tried on some of my clothes but none felt right. During the middle of the night before SK, I thought up what I wanted to wear in my awake moments. It’s like I had the start of my outfit ready the first time I woke up, the second part the following time I awoke, and the full outfit by morning. I had even thought of a way to make it multifunctional so I wouldn’t actually have to change.
Except, when I arrived I kept my vanilla top on because it felt like most people weren’t dressed that kinky and I didn’t want to appear like I overdid it at my very first event.
I went to the pre-munch, lunch in a bar as I’d been advised it might help! When I got close to the right location, I walked down the wrong street, thinking the place might be down that way while knowing it probably wasn’t. I knew I should have arrived according to the map by now, but it felt easier to keep on walking for a little while. I had to turn around of course and then paused in front of the building. I played with the thought of leaving. Never mind I’d just taken 2 hours out of my day to get here. But no, I didn’t do that anymore, I was going to show up now that I got here.
The pub was mostly empty but instead of walking towards the people, I walked the other way and glanced at them from a distance around them with an arch to see if it was safe for me to approach, lol. Then when I did it was as awkward as I had hoped it wouldn’t be!
The people were really nice though and tried to keep making conversation despite it being awkward. In my experience, most people would have stopped after the first attempt but they didn’t and after 30 minutes I relaxed a little. They were clearly ok with me being there, as well as the awkwardness that I brought along. “Is everyone this awkward the first time?” I asked and I was met by agreed laughter.
I hadn’t realised the munch had made a difference to my comfort level until we walked over to SK. It helped to have a group around to enter, and inside I was first given a tour. I knew the venue from when I did suspension with Simon and strangely enough it didn’t look any different like I had imagined it to. I wasn’t sure what to do when the tour finished so I sat down next to someone I’d been with at the pre-munch. We were then joined by someone who was interested in the things I liked to try, which was when I realised that I didn’t really know. Since my desires shape around the person I’m serving I don’t have a super clear sense of specific things I want. Though, since many people mentioned electro play I was reminded of my own curiosity for this and when I mentioned it he asked me if I wanted to try it. Based on his interaction with me, he seemed like a sweet, trustworthy person and especially within SK where people knew him and the entire environment seemed safe, it felt like an ok moment to do this so sure, why not?
We went to the aftercare room to chat somewhere quiet. He told me what it was like and asked me if I had used a safeword before and which one, what aftercare I needed and what I was comfortable doing. Had I heard of the red, yellow, green one? And what did yellow mean to me? Well, erm… I didn’t know. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever stopped a scene or actively used a safeword before so what the hell would yellow be then? So we threw the traffic light system out the window. Another thing that was really important to me was mentioning that I am gay. I didn’t feel like it made a difference in terms of this specific kind of play but I don’t want to give the wrong idea, which somehow always happens. He responded well, though I hope I won’t have to do another coming out moment. I hate these.
We did the scene behind closed doors because this felt more comfortable. It felt a bit strange to undress just because it’s not typically something I do but I also have no problem being naked so it works. I believe we started with a violet wand, which was then followed by another, stronger one. The sensation of the wand was rather strange. Other people describe it as being ticklish but I think it’s closer to what it actually is, an electric type of shock. I was surprised by how it did hurt as everyone I’d spoken to that night said it didn’t really hurt.
However, it didn’t hurt that much. He was looking at me as we tried out these different intensities and I didn’t appear to respond that much. Welcome to my strange ability to stay still regardless of the pain. Oh, and I’m a masochist also. Maybe that should be my opening line in the future. He had expected it a little bit though and so we quickly switched to using a pad which made me the source of electricity. He explained this meant that if he touched me he would feel the shock too, which put some fun ideas in my head that I didn’t tell him about. But of course, the way around this was to use metal on me.
He might have started with a pizza cutter, followed by a Wartenberg wheel. The latter hurt more and he explained this was because of the smaller surface area of the pins on the wheel. I kind of just laughed in response to the sensations and he asked if this was a sign he was getting close to my limit. It wasn’t, of course, but it is good that he checked. I was just enjoying myself!
I very much disliked the sensation when a touch of the metal caused my hand and or arm to move involuntarily. It also strangely hurt when it went near my ear, while it wasn’t too bad on my nipples. We slowly kept on increasing the intensity of the pad and then switched out the wheel for a whip made out of chains? or something? It rattled on my body giving a more intense but more short-lived feeling for every time it touched my skin.
We stopped ten minutes before our playroom timer was up and talked about how it’d been for the both of us. The thing I enjoyed the most was seeing his response or observing eyes. I could tell he was trying to see how I responded and I thought the communication made this something more than just feeling some sensations (which I was happy to feel for the first time!)
I spoke to so many different people and forgot everyone’s name too quickly. A lot of people came to me for conversation which helped me a lot. It felt as if they welcomed me and wanted to include me. I was allowed to be there.
At some point, there was cake as a celebration of someone’s birthday and when I went downstairs later, I found her in a public scene where she appeared to be getting impact play as a present. It was so much fun to watch this scene as she seemed to really enjoy herself. She and the other person were making sarcastic remarks and jokes and had such good energy going on. I was surprised to find that watching didn’t feel awkward or like I was intruding. Instead, I felt like I had found my community as this was happening without any feelings of shame or need to hide.
Later scenes I saw were all impact ones. In each, the set up was slightly different and different tools were used but again, the interaction between the bottom and the top is what made it enjoyable for me to watch. I started thinking I might be able to play in public too. Would I be able to make a noise though? I wondered. I tend to be so quiet and still when I’m with other people, rather than being able to give in to the sensations.
It was here also, that I ran into the girl I knew from a previous event and when she talking to me, I suddenly felt more at ease. While we had never really spoken, there was something about seeing a familiar face and having a sense of that connection. I wish we could have spoken longer.
I left after this, feeling incredibly happy with myself. I didn’t have any expectations prior to arriving but the experience had been very positive. I didn’t think I’d do any play for one, speak to so many people and respond so positively to pubic play. However, most of all it felt like I’d been able to be with what I guess I feel is my community. I already felt more at home here than when I’m with my football team, though I love football.
The experience hadn’t been as scary as I thought it would be. It was as awkward as I thought it would be, but it was okay because I anticipated it. I felt super anxious before and during the start of this event, as well as during the first hours during the queer party I attended the following week. In the past, I would have never been able to do this.
The reason why I can now is because I have learned to be kinder to myself. For years I would go to a social situation, arrive, see the crowd of people, start feeling super anxious, turn around and leave, which then caused a massive spiral of self hate and I’d be crying on my way home. This didn’t just happen at parties. When I had just started football I would sometimes stop on my way there and have a panic attack because I was so afraid of entering that social situation.
Every time this happened I told myself that I hate me. Why are you so stupid? Why can’t you do better? Why can’t you be like everyone else? A psychologist diagnosed me with social anxiety but that didn’t help, lol. Then four years ago, a friend told me that if I try to go or try to do anything really, then the outcome doesn’t matter. I win if I try and that’s all that matters.
I adopted this mindset and repeated that sentence in my head whenever I felt like I failed for being anxious or leaving or not doing something good enough. It didn’t change my anxious feelings and for a long time, I couldn’t believe the words no matter how often I said them. But over a long period of time, it made me blame myself less and now, it seems I have reached a point in which I can go to a social event, be incredibly anxious without hating myself and stay regardless.
I’m writing a post about the queer party next, which was an even bigger success!
Xx Marie Louise
Sex Bloggers 4 Mental Health’s prompt Social Anxiety