Saturday, August 01, 2009

Manhattan LoveFest IV

Tonight I went to Manhattan LoveFest IV - Summer of Love, a charity fundraiser benefiting the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, dedicated to causes for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions, and Fractured Atlas, a non-profit organization that provides services and support to artists and arts organizations.

On the way to the event, I stopped by to visit Polina at work - she works at Ciao Bow Wow in the Financial District as a dog sitter. One of the dogs, a boxer named Odysseus, took a liking to my fishnet hose and put a few rips in it, which I guess made my outfit a little more punk-y. He must have found the pattern irresistible.

I made my way to the Happy Endings Lounge and met my friend Lyndell at the door where she was a volunteer greeter. I talked with her for a while and then got a free chair massage from a tall, handsome black masseuse named Chaka. I haven't had a massage in such a long while - it felt wonderful. The next booth over had a Sybian machine (which costs around $1,400) that people were taking turns trying out. I also saw Rob there, whom I met a couple weeks ago at Poly Cocktail Hour and again last week at the Adventure Quest play.

The first program I attended was given by Steven Speliotis, who did a demonstration of Shibari, a form of erotic Japanese bondage. He demonstrated on a young woman named Alexandra, who is a aerial performance artist and teaches pole dancing classes. Using braided nylon ropes, they showed how to make intricate knots that stimulate erogenous zones on the body by applying and releasing tension, and controlling blood flow to different parts of the body, making them more sensitive to touch.

Then they demonstrated how to use a vibrator on the ropes, which transmit the vibrations to multiple parts of the body simultaneously. The audience was encouraged to participate by holding wrist knots extending Alexandra's arms, and applying the vibrator. After the program I chatted with him and Alexandra and her partner Michael before moving on to the next program upstairs.

The next presentation was by my friend Morpheus, who did an introductory course on BDSM. Using a volunteer from the audience, he demonstrated his expertise with various toys, such as a leather whip (which made an impressive "crack"), flogging with a martinet, and a violet wand, a device that generates static electricity which can be applied through the wand or through the fingers, tongue or lips. But he also talked about BDSM etiquette and the need for proper communication to make the experience a pleasureable and consensual transfer of energy from one person to another.

For the third hour, I listened in on Diana Adams' talk about Polyamory 101, a subject I obviously have plenty of expertise in already. Alexandra, who is poly, chimed in on the topic, but I didn't see Rob there. I saw my friend Kerry (she's Diana's girlfriend) and we listened together for a while, then went off to chat privately for a bit. Kerry is coming to our Great Adventure Shindig next week, so we discussed plans for that. After Diana's talk was done, I talked a bit more with Lyndell, then left to go home.