book of blue's picture

Communal Sex in Paradise Camp

This continues a series of posts from events and explorations conducted at Burning Man 2009.

Aerial perspective, Black Rock City 2009, looking toward the west. Photo by Eric.

This was all extremely interesting and I knew I was extremely tired.  A bit delirious, in fact.  As dayworld took over, the electric charge of night waned and a pleasant, sleepy feeling warmed over my consciousness.  The desert heats up fast. I looked around at my new friends and, I knew, my new story subjects, and politely excused myself.

“This is the most interesting space on the planet. I feel like I could go anywhere from here.”

Do you know those times when you open your mouth to speak and say whatever – what you didn’t plan to say?  That’s what happened.  I almost laughed, it was so ridiculous.  Nobody seemed to notice, though Lucille smiled.  I glanced up at the woman called Zoya, with her bright yellow shorts and river of blond hair flowing over her back and breasts.  As I did, the word Thresholder came back to me.

I looked at Siobhan, with whom I had spent the night roaming the playa in my dreams and sleeping on a public couch. “Are you walking back?”

“I’ll come back later. It was a lovely journey with you,” she said in her soft Irish accent.  Which melted me, as did the delicately mischievous view from her eyes.  I smiled sweetly and glanced toward Lucille and walked up to her and hugged her compact human frame.  Then Siobhan, embracing her and her scent, grateful infinitely for the presence of these two women in my life.  I bowed to the breakfast camp gathering and slipped out onto a street called DNA, turned toward the playa at 4:30 and a few moments later, slipped into Paradise camp.

arvan's picture

Disability as a Positive Influence on Life

From Bad Cripple, an excellent example of how self-definition differs and succeeds where group definition fails.

Disability is bad. No one wants to be blind, deaf or paralyzed. Common sense dictates this normative belief. The limitations associated with a physical deficit are bad. Sure we can compensate, adapt, and we humans are very good at adapting, but no one wants to acquire a disability. Is this not why we humans dread old age? Disability, the lack of ability, is associated with old age. Old people are slow, feeble, and too many experience dementia. Wheelchairs? A fate worse than death. I would rather be dead than paralyzed. Blind? Oh no, I could never see a sunset and movies would be pointless. Deaf? I would be unable to connect and communicate with others. What does disability on the broadest of the term create in the minds of others? Negative connotations, limits, the need to "overcome", and for some dread. In extreme cases people even commit suicide rather than learn how to live life with a disability. Think Daniel James and his "loving" parents.

arvan's picture

"Modern Primitives": The Accelerating Collision of Past and Future in the Postmodern Era

The idea of "Modern Primitives" is an interesting one.  I will not attempt to define it with any authority whatsoever.  To my eyes and limited exposure, it seems to intersect the notion of technology and body in a way that encompasses ritual, experience, definition, display and spirit.  I looked it up this morning, to see where I can bring this conversation into sexgenderbody.com and found this piece over at a Dr. Steven Mizrach's page at FIU.

Modern primitive

Today, largely thanks to publishers such as Re/Search and Loompanics, Autonomedia, and Amok Press, many people are familiar today with the "modern primitive" movement. They know that it involves some sort of strange juxtaposition of high technology and "low" tribalism, animism, and body modification - a kind of 'Technoshamanism,' if you will, at once possession trance and kinetic dance. In books like William Gibson's Count Zero , ultracomplex Artificial Intelligences (AIs) take on the personality of Haitian Voudoun deities, seizing the minds of initiates through neural networks, creating an ersatz technoreligion.

The idea of the "primitive" is of course one from anthropology's abandoned socioevolutionary past. While invented to simply function as a descriptive for temporal phases, it inevitably also functioned as an evaluative term, suggesting that those societies to which it was applied were inferior in terms of literacy, knowledge, technology, social organization, or moral judgement - in a word, they lacked 'civilization.' The notion was of course inescapably ethnocentric, since it assumed that all societies on the planet were on an undeviating climb toward the standards of Western culture with regards to religion (monotheism), marriage practices (monogramy), economics (the free market), governance (representative democracy), etc. The 'primitive' was at once reviled and romanticized, especially by Romantic artists fascinated with the taboo and the exotic, and philosophers swayed by the image of the unfettered Noble Savage.

arvan's picture

Chantelle Austin - Bisexuality

I recently found someone through twitter, named Chantelle Austin.  She is active in the swing lifestyle, with her own website and social media like Facebook.  She will be a guest speaker at http://www.couplescarnivale.com.au later this year.

Today, she sent me this video on her experiences with bisexuality.  I enjoyed her personal experience as related by her own words.

The Ultimates's picture

Confession of a Situational Bisexual

In the swinger scene, bi is the new black.  Approximately 90 percent of women in the lifestyle refer to themselves as bisexual, bi-friendly or bi-curious. And I estimate that 10 percent of those bi-something women are actually lesbians who are married to men, but who swing with other couples in order to play with women. 

My bisexual standing is something of a mystery to me.  I don’t know how to label myself.  While I’ve had many bisexual experiences, I’ve only been turned on by a handful of woman (that very athletic basketball player in college, that beautiful, androgynous sex toy shop owner in Chicago and the amazing sexologist who reminds me of my favorite boss).  Since I’m a swinger, I need to define myself for other potential playmates so, as a willing -- but not bona fide -- bisexual, I label myself “bi-friendly” on my swinger profile. 

One of our early lifestyle experiences showed me just how limited labels can be. When we first joined the lifestyle, Kev and I discovered one of the “lesbian” swingers.  We were inexperienced and anxious to get our feet wet so, when John, the husband, contacted us, he very bluntly told us his wife was “more bi than straight.” In our eagerness, Kev and I heard “My wife is bi, so come on over and join us in the hot tub for sex.”

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