This past weekend I decided to attend my first swingers party, solely out of curiosity. I’ve never been drawn to swinging, but I’m in this initial exploration phase where I keep finding stuff I love, that I never would have tried. So I gave it a shot!
A play partner of mine attends this particular party monthly, and offered to accompany me to the event. We met up at a dinner party at one of his friend’s houses first. I enjoyed myself quite a bit at dinner, although I was pretty quiet getting to know everyone. It has been my policy to stay out of cliques and politics in the scene, I’m an all inclusive kinda gal…been that way since middle school. But I got to hear a little bit of gossip while I was at dinner, I’m keeping it to myself. Forever. We all drove separately since we lived in different areas.
Upon arrival, the venue was hosting a group ice breaker. I hadn’t been present for the explanation, but my date started me off and helped me participate. My personal preference at this time is not geared towards swinging or exhibitionism, as sex is very personal and private to me…but I am a voyeur. I’m slowly coming out of my shell. Maybe one day I will feel differently, we’ll see. My date is super social, I’ve never seen him so giddy and talkative. In his element. This is a good thing for me to witness. He’s standing behind me as I sit in a chair…massaging my shoulders, playing with my hair, whispering funny/flirty things into my ear (“there’s a service dog here”, and there was, it’s our inside joke).
It hadn’t been made clear to me that we would be acting out our interests with a stranger, in the center of a circle of roughly 30 people. I started getting nervous. There was a man present that I’d run into at other events and he really scared me. His energy was just off imo, he was always lurking and trying to get near me without communicating, and that really bothered me. It would seriously fuck me up if he was the person I’d end up acting my interest out with. I’d have to deny and make a scene in front of the whole party.
I’m quiet, smiling, observing, overwhelmed, terrified, I want to flee. All eyes are on us because I’m a shiny new attendee and everyone already knows my date. People are curious. He giggles as he shouts dirty jokes across the room to another friend, roughly his age, also a regular attendee. They both participate in the ice breaker with ladies, several times over. I can’t snap out of my anxiety, I’m out of body at this point. Poised. Coping.
Thankfully, the person I was matched with was someone I was acquainted with, but it was still a bit humiliating…I have a poker face, you see. I straddled his leg while massaging his neck and shoulders, he fondled me and spanked my ass firmly. The entire room watched. I smiled and spoke with him making sure the pressure was right and that he gently spanked me…just as I was taught in bdsm circles, communication is key darling.
After the ice breaker finished, I wrapped myself in my famous fur blankie and watched an electro play demo, the only bdsm I witnessed while there. My date went to do a scene with a group of guys. He told me there was a woman that wanted to be groped by several men in the private room. I didn’t buy the whole ‘just groping’ thing, he could have told me the truth. Did I care? Yes. I provide honesty, I deserve honesty in return.
A friend that had been showing interest in pursuing me sat down and began chatting with me. We walked to grab water and check out the dungeon. The lights were on, there were people dancing to terrible music (I think “Endless Love” was one of the songs even…ugh so gross). No cuddle pile for the voyeurs to hang out and chill in. The DJ’s lights and the shitty rap pop music they were playing had me flashing back, why did I feel like I was at a frat party?? I couldn’t focus in conversation with this sweet man who’d been waiting all week to talk to me. His wife grabbed him for a quick convo, I snuck away, grabbed my bag and headed out the door. Sat in my car for a few minutes feeling numb and catching my breath; texted my date that I had left and to thank his friend for dinner. Then I took off.
Saturday night I went home and cried. All of Sunday I was depressed and I thought it was because I was jealous of my date being such a flirt. But we weren’t a couple. What else is bothering me?? I mustered up some energy to get out of the house and attended my first ever cigar smoker’s social. I love the occasional cigar, the fragrance is fantastic. It was fantastic to meet new poly kinksters and hear their experiences with jealousy, and play, and relationships…and it gave me food for thought. I felt better. It was meant for me to go.
Monday after work, I sat on the love seat in my kitchen (si, mi cocina)…and thought about my date and how I’d hoped he wasn’t upset that I ditched out…no way, he was like a kid in a candy store. Then I started feeling bad about the cutie that had been waiting to talk to me all week (I’d met him on Monday at a slosh and he’d shown lots of interest throughout the week, but his wife had been in control of his communication due to bad behavior). Probably a red flag, proceeding with caution.
Anyways…I sat there on the love seat and realized…Holy fuck!!!…A few things that I experienced that night triggered my memory of escaping two college rape incidents.
When I was a freshman in college I’d run into two guys I was AP classmates with from high school. They wanted to know if I’d go to a house party that weekend. “Of course!” I replied. I met up with them, totally trusting…got completely inebriated at a house party. We went back to one of their dorms to hang out, they wanted to smoke and watch clips on the interwebs. ok cool! I plopped down on the futon, preparing to pass out. They were very sober, standing next to me. They both looked at each other, laughed quietly, sat down next to me and one played with my hair, laughing into my ear. The other grabbed my breast and said “holy shit”. They were cracking jokes to each other, over my head, smiling, barely able to contain their excitement of raping the head cheerleader from their high school…I smiled and asked them what they were doing kindly, to prevent them from getting forceful…I tried everything I could to stay conscious…I told them I had to got to the bathroom really bad. I got up, holding onto desks, bookshelves, doorways, everything I could to get out of the room and find my way through the hallway. They waited in the room. I couldn’t find the elevator, this dorm was not familiar to me. I found the stairwell…it was a high rise. I grabbed hold of the bumpy metal rail and felt my way along the painted cinderblock wall…crawling down each flight bit by bit, hoping they wouldn’t come after me. I finally reached the main floor and stumbled my way outside. My heart was pounding and the freedom of the night air made my tears well. I could barely catch my breath to cry. There was no one around to hear me cry or scream. I needed to figure out how to get on the bus home. Walking a few blocks, I found a familiar stop, hopped on the bus. It was completely packed with people…they didn’t call this nightly shuttle the ‘drunk bus’ for nothing. I held on to the bar at the front of the bus and tried to stand with each curve and turn. Sitting at the edge of my bed, I looked at the ground and then out the window, silently crying with every exhale and inhale. What did I just do to myself? I felt dirty, and I hadn’t even been raped. It felt as though I was a piece of trash. They were supposed to be familiar faces. I trusted these men as friends.
Then I remembered another flashback. Junior year my roomate called me from a frat house crying, she couldn’t move (she was barely able to speak) and she was in the basement, there was loud music playing. She needed me to come and get her. I got in my car with my pajamas on, drove like 70 across campus trying to figure out what the fucking greek symbols were so I knew which house…practically kicked the fucking door in so I could find the raunchy sweaty sticky basement and carry her skinny ass back up. The lights from their dj and the bad music were overwhelming. Not one guy helped me, they just stared at me like i was an alien…as we both struggled to get her out. Fucking pigs. I was beyond angry and scared, got her in the car, and on the way home she passed out. I cried in the car as I drove home…I couldn’t bare the thought of what almost happened to me, happening to her.
I texted my date Monday evening to tell him why I skipped out, so he wasn’t confused. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the kink community that I’m grateful for…it is practicing communication with any and every partner you encounter. Communication is key…et repetitionem est mater studiorium. It felt weird for me to admit my vulnerability to him, so I sent it using shitty undergrad 101 Italian. He responded with much affection and adoration, and a lovey heart bitmoji.
Today I learned that I have triggers. It’s something I ALWAYS ask my partners about, but never thought I had. I’m grateful for processing this experience, grateful to have learned something so new and valuable. It’s still painful to think about, but I’m glad that I escaped my rape encounter and I’m glad that I was able to help my roomate as well. Most women do not have a good opportunity for escape, nor do they have guardian angels.
I’m being honest with myself from here on out. My experiences are valid, they are MINE. No one can judge me for what I’ve been through and how I process it. So if that is how my brain and my emotions reacted during the party, I’m owning it. I look at it as a challenge to work through those sensory issues that activate those triggers going forward.