Monday, August 31, 2009

Three Days to Go!

D and I will be leaving for the Shadow Lane party in three days, arriving Thursday evening so we're all settled in and relaxed by the time the party begins on Friday night.

We hope to meet early arrivals around the hotel's pool on Friday afternoon. We're planning to host a couples-only "suite party" on Saturday, and may have some running around to get the snacks and such.

I got the last item for my SL wardrobe last night. D says she's almost through -- I think she wants some shoes or something. It's time to start packing.

We've both been through a lot of regular stress recently, and we both need the break. It should be fun!

It will also be fascinating to see how things go at our second party, as distinguished from our first. Now we sort of know how things really work, I think. We'll see!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Importance of References or Referrals

One of the best and sometimes overlooked features of an organized spanking gathering such as the one we're about to attend hosted by Shadow Lane in Las Vegas has to do with personal references.

It's easy to go to your first party and become overwhelmed. 200-300 people, of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds, gathering in a hotel ballroom who share your interest. First timers, old timers, professional spanking models, singles, couples, you name it. For me, it was the first time I was surrounded in this way, and it was a very freeing experience. It was fun to look around the room and realize that every single person was into spanking. That had never happened before.

But – it's also a little intimidating! I have to imagine everyone there comes to play (although in many different ways, from public spankings to private suite parties, from playing with others to staying with their own partner, etc.). How does a newbie find a suitable partner to play with?

The answers come from those with experience, of course. What I read about last year on the bulletin board was the importance of "networking" before the party, by posting things on the bulletin board and by participating in the chatroom.

All well and good, and I did some of that. But it's a hard to way to really get to know anyone. Speaking for myself, it takes a face-to-face meeting and a little time to get to know someone in that context.

At the party, I stumbled into the next important tip: get references from the seasoned veterans! Now, this doesn't mean ask for resumes and a list of contacts. It means once you've met someone you like, who has experience, who seems to be on the same wavelength as you -- ask them who THEY like. They've probably played with many of the people there and had the time to evaluate who's "cool" and who isn't. (And, by the way, I mean "cool" to mean someone who is likely to be on the same page as you.)

Armed with a few referrals, you can find these people and introduce yourself, and let them know that Sandy or Rad or Jules or whoever suggested that you meet. There! The ice is broken, you've met someone who's highly likely to be someone you want to spend some time with, and if you choose to play, you've probably found someone who will be a great experience.

I learned pretty quickly that word gets around, and 200-300 people is actually quite a small group. Spankers and spankees who are rude, inconsiderate, strange, or otherwise not-ready-for-prime-time find that their reputations precede them very quickly. So, references and referrals will fall into two categories: you've got to meet So and So, and whatever you do, avoid So and So.

So, if you're going to Shadow Lane or some other party, ask around with the people who've got experience, and get referrals. It's the name of the game!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thoughts before Shadow Lane

It's been dreadfully long since I've posted to my blog. My humble apologies. Much has been happening, but the truth is that I haven't made this as much a priority as it was in the past. That said, I'm back and posting again!

D and I are heading back to Shadow Lane for what will be our second party in a couple of weeks. We're both excited and confident that this year will be better than last, because now we know what to expect, what not to expect, and at least a bit more on how to make it a wonderful experience.

For those of you who've never attended a Shadow Lane spanking party, I'll just say this: It's an amazing experience. From the feeling you get being in a group of a couple of hundred people who share your (usually hidden) kink, to seeing all the vendors with their wares on display, to witnessing a few public spankings (which always surprise me, for some reason!), to going to some marvelous "suite parties," and especially, to making new friends and playing with others, it's all good.

So here we are, getting ready for Party #2. They've chosen the perfect theme for the dinner: Prom Night. D is busy figuring out what she'll wear, and I've already purchased a new shirt and tie that will be perfect for the evening.

One of the things that I'm most looking forward to is reconnecting with some folks we met last year (has it really been a year already?). We do keep in touch with email and Twitter, but getting back together face to face (or other positions, of course!) will be wonderful.

This year, I intend to play more than last year. I was a bit reserved, trying to get a feel for the proper etiquette and protocol. This year, now that I think I understand most of that, I'll let my confidence kick in. D and I will be hosting our first suite party, AND we've reached out to find couples who want to play as couples. That should be fun. I've even invented a dice game for that event.

Anyway, I'm back to blogging, and will be posting things related to Shadow Lane in the next few posts. If you're going to the party, let me know (comment below!) and let's connect.

Hugs and smacks!