THURSDAY and OVERVIEW
Feeling a little nervous, I arrived at the site, Camp Ramblewood in northern Maryland around 3:30 pm. At the gate is registration and badging, and a photo waiver – a black badge lanyard means it’s okay for the camp photographer to take your picture, a red lanyard/wristband means they cannot. Apart from the official photographer, there is a strict no-cameras policy at Camp.
After registration I unpacked my gear into the Littles Cabin, cabin ABCD – four cabins surrounding a central bathroom and entryway in one wooden building. The beds are boxsprings and plastic-lined double-size mattresses on frames, six or seven to a room. We pushed our beds together and put a queen size air mattress on top. The cabins are fairly rustic, mesh windows, flappy wooden doors, wooden floors, ceiling fans, no heat or AC but they have electricity and the bathrooms were fine, although two showers for twenty people was a little busy some mornings. The cabin assignments are arranged beforehand on the Camp website, and you can invite people to your cabin or have an open invite cabin like we did. Everyone in there was at least comfortable with seeing people in diapers, that was about the only rule.
The cabins are in a rough U shape around a HQ building, where there’s a mess hall, pool, spa, dealers room and con-com. There’s also three public dungeons, Heaven, Hell, and Limbo, for various levels of BDSM play, with suspension equipment, racks, harnesses, all the gear. There’s also some gathering areas with seats and cushions with pavilion type shelters for hanging out in.
Roaming the grounds on the paved paths are golf cart taxis to take you anywhere you want on the grounds. There is little or no reason to leave the campgrounds once camp has started. Your entry fee pays for your bed and all meals and drinks. Meals are served at fixed times, cafeteria style, with PBJs if you hate whatever’s on offer. The food was decent, and in some cases quite good, your basic chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, etc. Drinks are free, walk up to HQ and request a soda or water anytime you want. Also, you’re expected to put in a couple hours on chores, like driving a taxi or manning a post at HQ or dishing up food or massaging people in the spa. The chores are fun, not odious in any way and you get a good chance to meet people. The base fee is a bit cheaper if you bring a tent and camp on the lawn wherever you like. Extra fees could get you a private room with AC, or get you out of chores (I did that to keep my schedule flexible, but in retrospect it wasn’t necessary).
That’s the structure – within that you’re whatever you wanna do or be for the rest of the time and environment. There’s an open parklike area, woods around the edges, three big clean playspaces, Oasis areas for small groups with cushions, the pool and the main HQ area. The rules are: genitals and nipples (and diapers) must be covered inside the dining area (this could be as simple as a thong or a onesie), and if you walk around naked, bring a towel to sit on. But any kind of scene you might wanna do is fair game, just use common sense – don’t block traffic or make a total nuisance of yourself. It’s very like a real life version of Taps, in effect.
Walking around naked is fine. Vanilla sexy time out in the open is totally fine. Walking around diapered or in full sissy/cub/baby gear is totally great. Re-enacting my “Saturday in the Park” comic is absolutely doable. The general rule is if you see something going on you don’t care for, not to look at it! Imagine!
Stuff I saw other people doing while at camp: A man and a woman set up a portable shelter/pavilion with folding chairs inside, and the woman proceeded to give the guy a BJ after some snuggling. I saw someone getting whipped with a riding crop. I also saw someone getting wrapped up in a cocoon of saran wrap against the leg of a playground slide. That was just on one random day, and stuff that I noticed. Usually if it’s not your scene and you’re not involved, you’re just part of the background scenery.
There’s also a dealers room and panels and seminars and the basic convention-like stuff, and whatever scenes people come up with inside or outside of the various playspaces and dungeons.
In our section of the Littles Cabin was: me and Foxchild, Baby Ella, Chrissy, and Thumper. Chrissy, an older male AB, had brought a SLEW of dresses and three big high chairs, one of which got used at mealtimes in the dining area. Not by me though – they were cool but would have been a trifle too small for me. Baby Ella is a supercute AB girl in her mid twenties, and Thumper is a furry-ish guy with an interest in petplay among other things.
Other denizens of the littles cabin included Mako and Missy, Baby Rachel, Spacey and Marie, Will, Raquel and Tracy, Maya and Justin, a couple others I didn’t see that much, and Baby Richard, who is a total character. Baby Richard seemed almost like the mascot of camp, or the representative little, any time there was a comedy sketch that required a baby character he was there, he was the ring bearer at a (real) at-camp wedding, you name it. He is quick with a joke and is always in a sunny cub mode.
I didn’t really know my cabinmates (apart from Foxchild and Mako) before camp but we quickly became well acquainted and fast friends.
Thursday was mostly unpacking and Foxchild’s arrival – with a quick sneak off to the edge of the woods for a mutual paw off in the forest at dusk – something I like to do now and then when circumstances allow. :3 After dinner that night was a casual mixer and drinks with the Leatherhearts and some swimming in the nice warm pool, catching frogs that hung out in the pool filters. The Leatherhearts is an informal family type organization run by Uncle Ed, who was kind enough to induct Patrick and Mako and me as the first littles in his large leather family – i was quite honored to be invited to join. I was in shortalls, Abenas and a onesie at this point, I was in some form of cub rig or naked pretty much for the rest of camp. Thursday was also Casino Night so there was some fun games of blackjack and poker and roulette for camp money, a form of scrip that could be used for the slave auction on Saturday.
Bedtime was a little after midnight, and the next morning (after a little more fooling around), it was time for the box fort.
Prior to camp, Mako had suggested we build something with Mr. McGroovy’s Rivets (mcgroovys.com) and some refrigerator boxes. We scavenged some fridge boxes from various places, got some rivets, some housepaint in primary colors, and I ordered 75 cardboard sheets from ULine for delivery at camp. The fort was promptly christened Fort Awesome – a 20 foot square enclosure with an entrance tunnel and a secret door and brightly colored walls with painted handprints. It was architected and engineered by Mako and I originally, but Foxchild especially and almost every one of the littles helped out at some point – from helping with painting to slapping on handprints to cutting out shapes in the walls to help wind resistance. It was truly a team effort and looked fantastic when it was done.
Unfortunately just as we were putting the finishing touches on it is when it started to rain. I had terrible visions of it collapsing or getting soaked and unusable, but it held up and saw quite a bit of use over the course of camp, also acting as a great landmark, even if it needed help when the wind caught it. I even got my diaper changed in the fort by Foxchild that afternoon – a nice experience looking up at trees and sky while being diapered.
The fort took most of the day, and I regrettably missed some of the organized littles activities and the erotic-hypnosis panel, but Fort Awesome had to go up! That evening after dinner was the Kidnappers meeting, and the Naked Men’s and Naked Women’s cocktail parties.
First the kidnappings. Before camp on the website you can fill out your kidnapping forms – basically your preferences and hard limits and scene wishes. Think a wixxx/cinfo for real life. You can be a kidnapper or a kidnappee or both – I was both. The kidnapping team, led by PyrateGrrl, evaluates everyone’s forms and matches up victims to kidnappers, and at some unspecified time during camp you get abducted. You can request a hard or soft takedown, and whatever you put on your form is likely to happen. You can specify specific people who you do or do not want to participate in your kidnapping. Each kidnappee gets a kidnap lead who orchestrates the people and equipment needed to carry out the scene. Out of 218 attendees at camp, some 26 signed up for kidnapping.
The first kidnap meeting involved matching up a few forms to people and some general conspiracy. I was only on one kidnapping crew, but as a novice I sort of kept to the back. I’ll know more next time through.
The Naked Men’s/Women’s cocktail parties took place after dinner. Wearing my footed weasel PJs (which were a little warm in the 80-degree humid evening) I had volunteered for footrub duty for the naked women’s. It was great, I gave out like four or five footrubs to various ladies. One thing about camp compared to a furry con is that there’s LOTS more females there – the gender balance is about 50-50, maybe even slight female majority. Another thing is that the age range is pretty wide. I saw everything from people in their early 20s to folks in their mid seventies. The average age seemed to be in the late thirties or low forties. But the geekiness is pretty comparable to furry – it was on par with LARPs and SCA and other geek-culture pursuits. Lots of monty python quoting, you know the deal. Maybe a little less of a gamer culture though, I didn’t see a single DS or game console or boardgame the entire camp. I think the straight-gay-bi ratio was about 50% straight, the rest some mixture of bi and gay.
I was only on footrub detail for a little while and then I bopped over to the Naked Men’s party. The mood of both parties could not have been more different. Naked Women’s party was not all that naked, even, it was clothing optional and lots of women had kept on their lingerie or light clothing. It had snacks and decor and light music and was very laid back and chatty.
The naked MEN’S party was held in Limbo, the “edge play” dungeon where normally, things like blood play and fisting and seriously hardcore scenes (live crucifixions, etc) take place. At the entrance, I got off the cab wearing my footed weasel PJs with the tail and ears and some drunk dudes out front were like “What’s this, a TEDDY BEAR? Jim, you ever fucked a TEDDY BEAR before!?” I was all like “Eep!”. Nakedness was MANDATORY at the naked men’s party and the pecker checker at the door validated that I was, in fact, in possession of a penis and allowed to go in. The room decor was a boombox, racks and bondage gear stacked up on the walls, a shelf of liquor (free drinks was the order of the day the whole camp) and a couple dozen naked men in various states of intoxication. It was simultaneously one of the most manly and the most gay things I’ve ever been at – I expected everyone either to start wrestling or to go kill a mastodon at any moment. Think “This is SPARTAA!”
Eventually someone at the men’s party got the idea to go raid the women’s party, so we trooped down in search of ‘wenches’ and invaded en masse, eating all the women’s party snacks and much ribaldry ensued. By this point it was a little after midnight and after some nice chats with folks it was bedtime.
“Such a dirty boy! Look, he’s in DIAPERS, everyone! What a dirty little boy!” came the taunting calls from four curvy, topless females and the diapered sissyish boys and girls arranged around me. I couldn’t possibly blush any hotter as my clothing was removed, leaving me only in diapers and toe socks, and I was marched through the main gathering area with my diaper down to my knees and my dick in my hand. People snickered and pointed, and all I could muster was whimpering little “shuuush!” and “no fairs!”. It was about to get a lot worse. Kimby, a lovely, curvy blond girl a year or so older than me and her cohorts were kidnapping me. It was Saturday morning, just after breakfast.
I was marched through HQ and plunked down onto the lawn where the taxis were running past, in full view of what seemed like half the camp, a hot (almost too hot) splorp of oatmeal down the back of my diaper. “Such a dirty boy with a LOAD in his diaper, and he’s WET!” “I’m not wet!” as Kimby yanked her own skirt up and crouched over my opened diaper.. and peed over my belly and crotch, soaking me! Mmmf.
I was laid down on my back, legs spread and my hardon being stroked by Kimby’s boyfriend RS, and being teased with the stockinged feet of Kimby, Aimee, LadyCyanide and some other girls I didn’t even know, AND suckling Kimby’s boobs, and along came a random passersby, a heavyset male who I later learned was named Gazer. “Excuse me, is this a public restroom?” he asked casually and then HE peed on me too, further soaking my diaper, then departed, as I squirmed all the more..
I reflected on my life and how it had led to this moment, publically humiliated by about a dozen people at my own request in the midst of bondage camp. This was something I had thought impossible. Only at someplace like Camp Crucible could this ever actually happen in real life without people getting arrested. I had been given almost verbatim what was on my kidnap forms. Public humiliation, diaper play, light watersports, messy feedings … I wrote a long list of things I was into on the assumption that they would pick a few elements from it and go with those, but instead they went with almost EVERYTHING.
And it was so overwhelming and chaotic and I was frankly so terrified and amazed that they DID all this, in full public, that I couldn’t actually orgasm. So, there you go, if this was a Cargoweasel story I’d have exploded all over everything. I loved it, I did, but the climax was not to be. Oops. It wasn’t their fault that things ended up fizzling a bit.
“Is he cooked? He’s cooked.” I was in a strange headspace, everything felt vaguely unreal. I was beyond embarrassed, beyond humiliated, but when the scene was over everyone was super nice. Things felt disconnected as I staggered back up to my feet and thanked everyone and wobbled back up to the cabin.. got showered and changed and spent the rest of the morning swimming in the pool and recuperating. By lunchtime it was all good.
I got exactly what I asked for. HUGE thanks to Kimby and the entire crew.
I learned a lot from this scene. I learned that requesting a couple things to focus on is more useful than requesting a ton of things. I also learned that fantasizing about humiliation and public scenes is different from actually getting it. And I also learned that boobies are nice. :3
After lunch was the Scavenger Hunt, one of the official Littles Camp activities run by two staffers. Two teams of littles were given a list of items to collect and we ran off to get them. Items included a hair from a specific person’s head, dead bugs, condoms, and things like singletail whip marks and medical staples. I gotta say this so I’ll say it here – I wasn’t crazy about it. The items were kind of gross (a bottle of pee? Bite marks? A specific person’s jock strap?) and then they didn’t even have any way to evaluate the winners, not having kept a copy for themselves to know what we were supposed to come back with. It felt, well, kinda half assed.
Apart from one activity per day, we never really SAW the official littles camp counselors, they never ate any meals with us or interacted with us in any way outside the official activity times once per day. I guess it’s like any other con – the fun stuff at camp is what WE brought to it ourselves, like the movie nights, the box fort, various toys and games, even the story time on Sunday. I wanted to do stuff like hide and seek, tag, red light green light. Or fingerpainting. Or stories. Or jumping rope. Or dodgeball. Something kidlike and fun, not tracking down specific people to wound teammates.
But I digress. This is a minor quibble – hunting down the stuff with pals was pretty fun and we made short work of the list. And some littles don’t mind getting whip marks. :3
Dressed in shortalls or overalls as I usually was, people would often ask if I was old enough to drink, or if I had finished my vegetables, and more than a few tops wanted to deflower me. It was pretty cute and gratifying. Acceptance of littles is pretty total as far as I could see.
That afternoon was a lovely wedding, complete with Baby Richard as ringbearer and Baby Bethie as a flower girl, and then I attended the Flogging 101 Panel.
I was curious about flogging.. but mostly I wanted to know the deal with BDSM. I had always assumed that pain, needles, spanking, etc. held zero appeal for me. I was at camp for the atmosphere of freedom, for the ability to wear diapers and shortalls wherever I wanted, and for a kidnapping or two. But I was also there to leave my comfort zones and to experience new things and flogging was one of them.
The instructor was named Whitney, a serenely cheerful bearish guy in his mid forties with a loong gray beard, like a cross between a biker and a guru. We ran through what flogging is, how floggers are constructed, the difference between stingy and thuddy styles, how to hold them and swing them and importantly where to hit, spots to avoid like the neck and lower back, and how to evaluate your partner’s reactions. There was a hands on demonstration and I got thwacked a few times by a girl named Gigi, and we switched around. It was educational, all well and good, but I felt myself wanting to know WHY someone would do this or have this done to them. Something Whitney said towards the end of the class intrigued me – that a good flogging is a mystical experience, that it is a spiritual practice for him as a pagan. I wanted to see what the real deal with flogging was and I resolved to have it done to me before camp concluded. Hopefully by Whitney, who seemed like a nice guy who knew what he was doing.
By this point it was dinner time and after that was Foxchild’s kidnapping, for which I was on the team. He suspected something was up and bolted from the dining hall, with the team hunting him down and giving chase. Tracking him with the aid of our radio handsets he was brought to ground on the lawn outside HQ, tackled by burly men on the Brute Squad. He was frogmarched to a cabin and stripped naked, then brought up the hill towards one of the dungeons, where a ground sheet had been set up outside the dungeon in the dimming evening air, a very light rain drizzle occasionally coming down on the naked form of .. a GIRL.
Foxchild’s kidnapping form had mentioned that he is a bi-curious gay boy and so his kidnapping (also arranged by RS and Kimby) involved being taught how to please a woman. The instructor, recruited by the kidnap team lead, was a GORGEOUS brown-haired, tanned, glasses-wearing girl, I’m talking super hot, who proceeded to show him how to play with nipples and lick pussy and bring a girl to orgasm, while we watched on folding chairs. It was pretty educational for me too I have to say. Foxchild was a quick study and was able to bring her to orgasm between five and ten times, either she is a world class actor or she got a lot out of it. It was charming and pleasant and certainly not what everyone suspected was going to happen to him as he was marched up that hill by burly men.
While this was going on I heard the raucous calls of the slave auction going on down the hill. I missed it, thanks to staying with the kidnapping, but so it goes. I might actually put myself up for auction next time. The way the auction works is almost like the kidnappings – you sign up with your limits and desires and people bid on you. Doms go up for auction as well as subs. The money is in the form of camp scrip, not real money, and camp money can be obtained at the Casino Night on thursday by playing poker, blackjack etc, or by doing silly things around camp in the view of staffers. Uncle Frazier would call out “Anyone who shows their butt right now gets $500!” that kind of thing. The LITTLES, in a somewhat controversial tactic, tend to pool all their money together and bid as a bloc, which has the effect of shutting out less well financed people. But it also means that a few slaves are roped into duty providing milk and cookies or reading stories to the littles – it’s cute, but not what everyone wants to do. Apparently three people were purchased by the littles.
That night was a movie night and cuddle party in the littles cabin but I wanted to bounce around the rest of camp and see what I could see. I went to the Hell dungeon and enjoyed brandy and cigars to the strains of someone else’s kidnapping and torment. I went to the Heaven dungeon and found my old friends RS and Kimby, Kimby being laid out for some fireplay – and I learned how to tap and brush lightly burning wands over Kimby’s body – not hot enough to wound, but hot enough to be hot. Kimby likes fire. A lot. She even liked my firetruck undies and pajamas. :3
Another fire-related thing that I enjoyed that night was poi spinning. By a campfire, I found Whitney and some other folks, all naked, all with fire poi spinning on chains and creating awesome patterns and dance moves. It was tribal and powerful. Spinning actual roaring and dangerous FIRE is way different and far cooler than spinning glowsticks. I am totally going to learn how to do it, but starting with practice poi. :3
So it was pretty late when I toddled off to bed from the poi spinning, and the day had been so activity-packed and full of new things that my morning’s kidnapping felt like it had happened last WEEK.
“In just seven days, I can make you a (PONY. Pony, pony, pony, pony, pony.)”
After breakfast the first thing up was the pony show. I didn’t know much about ponyplayers except that their cabin was next to ours and you’d occasionally see someone pulling a cart while in a bridle and tack. They rehearsed their shows long into the evening and kind of kept to themselves as a group. Camp Crucible is known for having a large pony contingent.
It always struck me as odd that there isn’t more crossover between ponyplay and furry – especially the equine furs, you’d think they’d be right into it. But then as I thought more about it, ponyplayers and furries approach the human-animal mix from opposite directions. Furries are generally about human intelligence and personality and culture with animal bodies and physical features, while a ponyplayer is a human who is, for the purposes of the scene, MENTALLY a nonmorphic horse. It’s very different from furry, even if the end result is some fantasy hybrid of animal and human. Furry characters also have more autonomy than ponyplayers, who usually need someone to be the trainer or rider although switching does occur. That said I’m sure there’s more than a few ponyplayers who would get on with the equines in furry and lots of furs who’d enjoy ponyplay (or the related petplay).
The ponyplay show was very like a fursuit cabaret. People did a mix of serious performances and comedy sketches, musical numbers and traditional dressage. There were quite a few memorable and funny skits including a Rocky Horror themed skit by ‘DeadPony’ and a cast of 8 or 9 people. But the most arresting performance I saw was a ponygirl named Nightmare doing a traditional dressage routine. She was TOTALLY focused. Her walk, trot, canter, all perfect. You could really see her headspace as she was led through the motions and when she bowed at the end to the judging stand it was, for lack of a better word, moving. I totally bought her as a horse. She was as convincingly an animal as any furry I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to quantify why she was so good but it was obvious while watching her perform that this was a hugely intense thing for her. Hats off to Nightmare for showing me what ponyplay was all about.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stick around for the awards as the wind was picking up and the weather alert radios were going off – a tornado watch! Yipes. I quickly jogged over to Fort Awesome, which had already partly come down in the winds, so I hurriedly dismantled it with the help of a couple passersby and we stacked up the cardboard under a tarp for recycling later. Luckily the weather dodged us for the most part though, I had terrible visions of a tornado swirling through the camp and flinging ponyplayers left and right.
The rest of Sunday had pudding wrestling and some other stuff I wanted to check out but I was WIPED. I basically napped away most of Sunday afternoon, but the weather cleared up and by late afternoon I wandered down the hill to.. story time! Painboy and Chaotic_Kat had been purchased by the littles. Painboy is legendary even in these circles for his masochism, things like crucifixions and scourgings are his meat and drink. He was the chair, and Chaotic_kat sat atop him and read “Where the Wild Things Are” to the assembled littles. It was a great story! I thought about Wild Things, book and movie, several times over the course of this weekend, it’s very resonant to my experiences here. Now since Painboy likes pain, on his back was some barbed mesh that Chaotic_kat was sitting on and when the story was over the more squeamish littles averted their eyes and the mesh was ripped off Painboy’s back. Yeowch!
That night was a group photo and then I put on my pirate shirt and hat for the Formal Dinner. Uncle Ed had graciously invited Foxchild and me to sit at the Leatherhearts table so instead of dining with the littles we were at the big person’s table! The food was prime rib, mashed potatoes and a really good cabernet – quite tasty! Toasts and conversation ensued and I chatted with my new aunts and uncles and cousins such as Catelynn from TES and a 74 year old leather slave named Hargy. RS, Kimby, Whitney and Ally were also at our table. I really felt like part of the camp at this point, everyone was so friendly and welcoming that words like ‘family’ don’t seem like hyperbole.
Just before dinner I had asked Whitney if he would flog me that night, if he had a spare moment, so I could get an idea as to what the whole thing was really about. He happily agreed to do so and we set a date for later. That night I joined him and the poi people for some fire spinning and shortly after midnight he led me into the Heaven dungeon and brought his toolbag with him. Foxchild came along and watched, and it was good to have him there.
I was naked except for my sneakers, in a standing position (lying down was possible too but I chose to stand). Whitney took some soft rope from his bag and tied my wrists and arms loosely to an overhead crossbar.. I could move around a little, swing back and forth, hang onto the ropes or let go of them as I wished. He knotted and tied the rope with more facility than anyone I’ve ever seen, flip flip tug and it was neatly knotted and arranged into cuffs and slings. I stood in a Y shape with my arms out.
He started with bare hands, gentle strokes, then light slapping up and down my back and shoulderblades, covering mostly the lats and upper back. Then he scritched lightly up and down my back, making me shiver slightly with his light touch and the newly sensitized back. “That’s what I’m going to do..” he said. “Deeper and deeper versions of that cycle.”
For the next hour or so Whitney proceeded to flog me. The tools ranged from bare hands to vibrating gloves to various floggers from light to heavy to tools I couldn’t identify.. Throughout it all he was gentle and patient, instructing me how to breathe, pranayama yoga breathing with pauses on inhale or exhale, breathing deeply and keeping the muscles relaxed. His strokes on my back ranged from light brushing to full on hard stinging THWACKS, and yeah there was pain when he did that. It fuckin’ hurt, I won’t lie. He did not hold back.
Even with the pain the whole situation resembled a religious rite more than any kind of punishment or dominance roleplay. I leaned back or forth depending on my wishes to be hit harder or lighter. There was very little talking. He alternated a few minutes of hard flogging with some light touch and scritching, then back to the heavy, thuddy flogging. Each time he went through the cycle, the light touches were more and more intense and shivery. It was like my back was having orgasms. I didn’t scream or cry when he hit me, but I did gasp and whimper quite a bit.
By the time I was through few of these slap/tickle cycles, I was feeling floaty, euphoric. The walls of the room seemed to move slightly. You know that Youtube video with the disoriented kid in the car, “Daniel Goes To The Dentist”? That was me. “Is this forever?” I was in a haze of endorphins unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It felt like really, really good drugs, except it was a person and not a chemical that was making me feel this way. Amazing.
“If I keep going from this point,” explained Whitney, “that is when this room disappears and you go somewhere else. That is where you talk to spirit animals, where you will see things.” I believe it. He brought me to the gates of a place known by shamans for thousands of years. We both agreed that it was a good start and that we should call it a night. He untied me carefully, with a very real chance that my knees would buckle as soon as I was untied, but I sat down in a chair, leaned forward, hugged Whitney tightly around the waist, and started sobbing uncontrollably into his belly.. it wasn’t from the pain, my back was not scarred or bleeding or anything, just felt tingly. But I had been through such an emotionally intense experience that it was like something boiled over. Like when you microwave a mug of water and it seems still and then you give it a jostle and FOOM. Steam and boiling.
I got it, in that moment. I understood. I knew why all these people were in these dungeons, getting whipped and beaten and loving it. I knew why Painboy did what he did and I knew why I did what I did and I knew why littles and ponyplayers and doms and subs and slaves and furries and babyfurs and triathletes and bodybuilders and yogis and chefs and artists and everyone does what they do in kink and in life because they want to feel this way, they want to be loved and held. I haven’t been loving and holding enough. Camp showed me this. Whitney, as I looked up at him through tear streaked eyes, looked more like a guru than I’d ever seen him, in that moment I would have followed him into Hades itself. Look, I’m a rational guy, I believe in science. What happened to me that night was beyond my experience and blew open doors in my head I hadn’t known existed. I cannot talk about what happened to me except in the language of drugs or religion. They should have sent a poet, to use Ellie’s words from “Contact”.
There was nothing sexual about what Whitney and I did, exactly, although it was profoundly sensual and he did mention that gay people tend to have a different level of intensity than straight people do. I think it’s because when you grow up straight you’re inside a nice tidy societal box and looking outside that box is pointless – most straight people are only vaguely aware there IS a box at all. Everything is laid out for you to simply pick up. When you’re gay or kinky you’re well aware of being outside the norm from an early age and from the start you are accustomed to exploring outside the societal boxes provided for you – you don’t fit in them. So you’re more willing to go further in search of knowledge. I don’t know. All I know is since then the world has looked different.
After a little more talk about the experience and some help coming down and a glass of water, I thanked Whitney profusely and wandered out of the dungeon, looking up at the stars overhead for a long moment with Foxchild before heading in to bed. The stars were different from when I had walked in that door.
Monday was a blur of packing, sweeping out the cabin, one last breakfast, hugs, and hitting the road around 12:30 pm. Regulars talk of “Camp Drop”, or what furries would call PCD, post-con depression. I know how to deal with that kind of thing so it hasn’t hit me that hard, but in the car coming back came a song, “Forever Young”, that got me misty eyed.
I had gone to camp to be forever young, to be a kid and ageplay, and I learned that I still have growing up to do. I’ll always be a little, but I’ll always be a big as well and both sides need to work together for a whole person.
I always thought BDSM was about punishment, about repressed guilt, about restaging childhood trauma, about a need to do penance or some kind of bullshit alpha-male roleplaying. Or about some kind of dickwaving about how much pain one can withstand. But it has nothing to do with any of that. Under these surfaces of metal and leather and fire and rope, and pain and humiliation and play and joy lies an OCEAN of love and trust. I trusted Whitney and he trusted me to engage in this kind of scene together, we had to. I trusted Kimby to kidnap me. Kimby and RS trusted me to brush fire on her. The Leatherhearts trust one another. Everyone at camp has to TRUST those they play with and if they do it works wonders and if they don’t, it cannot exist. This trust web is the true spirit of Camp and the true nature of this kink community. If I can trust you even to physically hurt me our relationship is stronger for it. Living up to that trust is a good life’s work.
I trust these people. That is what I learned from Camp.
I can’t wait for next year.