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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.
What if We Shared?
Sunday afternoon we traveled just a bit north and east of where we live to the Fort Ancient historical site to spend some time at the Gathering of the Four Directions Celebration. It is an event that has been held for 23 years at the Fort Ancient site, and involves a weekend of Native American drumming and dance, accompanied by a sort of festival including vendors of all sorts and some educational demonstrations and performances. There is something that simply draws us in and relaxes us as we join the circle around the dance area, to watch and listen and enjoy. There are elements of religion and spectacle and veteran's parade and community party to the whole business. There are protocols and customs and a definitive hierarchy that is sensed more than seen by those of us who are outside the tribes.
I am always taken by the way dancers and singers are with one another; with the way that the youngest and the oldest all join in the rhythms and patterns of the dances. I know enough to know that, for the people of the various tribes, there are huge parts of the whole business that are strictly private. I know that there is a place where the drumming becomes hypnotic and transports those who dance into another frame of awareness. I know that they know, as they dance, that beyond the rope that delineates the circle, we are all there, watching, talking, drawing our own conclusions about what we are seeing. I know that they watch us, watching them, and I know that there is something remarkably generous in their choosing to invite us in and share what they have with us.
Spending time at a Pow Wow has some of the same electricity as does spending time in a public BDSM dungeon. It is another example of a non-dominant culture group taking hold of a space and making it "theirs" for a bit of time. It is a circumstance in which the "outsiders" become the normative culture, and that shift changes everything for a space. The air is different. The light is different. The sounds are different. The reactions and interactions are all changed, too. Something very powerful happens.
Sitting there in the green light of Sunday afternoon, floating along on the pounding of the drums, I wondered: "What if the BDSM community were to adopt this model? What if, instead of hiding away in hotels, behind carefully controlled access points, entirely separated from the 'normal' culture, we instead, set our public events up in public places, and invited those who were not us to come and be 'audience'?" Would doing that make big changes in the way that WE relate to the dominant culture within which we all have to live. Would doing that give the 'vanilla' people who are our neighbors a chance to know us as a culture that is apart and different, but not necessarily bad? Would we be able to show how we are with one another, in ways that would shift the perceptions that are created by the porn industry?
I don't know. I only know that I wondered.