I'm back from camp! But I didn't make any lanyards.
I headed up on Friday afternoon, arriving at the gay campground in Northeastern Pennsylvania (not that one, the other one) around 4:30. After I stopped by the office and got all membershipped and registered up, I found my way to Man of Discipline's site. M.O.D. favors the site right across the path from the cabin with the showers and the latrine. That might sound icky, but believe me, it's not. The septic system is apprently top notch so there's no smell, just a constant parade of men entering the "cabin" a roof without walls, stripping down, and showering. Friday night, we joined friends of M.O.D.'s for dinner down the way, steak and baked potatoes. M.O.D.'s friends are are "permanent temporaries" (or maybe that's "temporary permanents"), so they are able to make lots of improvements to their site. And they sure have. In fact, one of the great things about the campground, and probably every other gay campground in the world, is that the gays just excel at that: all kinds of plantings and dramatic lighting and water features and such. It's kind of like a rustic PeeWee's Playhouse, only on the scale of an entire subdivision.
And speaking of other gay campgrounds, what a growth industry that is, huh? They're cropping up all over the country. And what a cool thing! Requiring little in the way of investment (a temporary permanent or permanent temporary site goes for about $40,000, or you can just pitch a tent in a field), it makes for a great gay getaway. It reminds me a lot of Fire Island, in that it's an answer to the question of "What would it be like if homosexuals owned the entire world?". The answer, of course, is Big Fun! The crowd showing up are a broad range from slumming sophisticated urbanites to local homos from East Yabip. And so, a nice way to pass the time is deciding whether "that guy over there" is a director of marketing who's doing that gay thing of aping blue collar workers, or a gay blue collar worker. (The actual blue collar workers don't really look "authentic," and that's the dead giveaway.)
And how cool is it that the gay campground phenomenon has doubtlessly infused new life into camper manufacturers! It's not a very heterosexual baby boomer thing to do, and I imagine their industry had been hurting. I wonder if they know that the gays are their new market? And gosh! How 1958 is that? "Let's head up to the campground for the weekend! We can go fishing in the lake! And they're having a volleyball tournement this weekend! And I can't wait to hang the new sling out under the pine trees!"
But it's a really friendly vibe--no matter how wasted you were last night, you have to say "Good morning!" on your way to the showers--but without being intrusively so as you might expect at a covered dish dinner at a Lutheran Church in Indiana.
Oh! And of course, there's lots of pastoral sex!
It turns out that Man of Discipline was the perfect camping companion. What he enjoys most is sitting on his little fold up canvas chair, watching the passerby. Just being really chill. That definitely worked for me. At one point, after we had a conversation along the following lines...
M.O.D.: Would you like to go up to the compound for the bonfire?
Me: Yeah. That would be nice.
(Both of us remain seated.)
M.O.D.: Or not.
Me: Maybe in a bit.
...I recounted a bit of dialog from Waiting For Godot:
Gogo: We should do something! We should act?
Didi: What do you suggest?
Gogo: How about a short, blunt human pyramid?
"A short, blunt human pyramid" became our code words for, "let's continue sitting here doing nothing."
I had Faithful Companion with me since the boarding place failed. Luckily, Faithful Companion was a huge hit. As always, he makes friends wherever he goes.
(What's Faithful Companion's secret? It's easy! He's a handsome guy, but he's not very bright! Always a winning combination.)
On the way up, I bought this corkscrew thing that goes into the ground attached to a twenty foot long cable with a clicky thing that attaches to the collar at one end. This was perfect for Faithful Companion, who could do the things he does best: drink water, pee, watch bugs, and sleep.
We got to bed early on Friday night, turning in around 11:30. "Bed" was a mattress in a cantilevered compartment of Man Of Discipline's pop-up camper. And what a cool thing! The bed was way comfy, and M.O.D. and I slept soundly, curled around each other.
The next morning, of course, was The Big Day. Both of us were full of nervous energy and being anxious about everything Going Right. (This was made manifest by us sitting in our chairs without moving for a couple of hours when we got back from breakfast at M.O.D.'s friends site.)
Finally, M.O.D. turned to me and said, "Let's go for a walk in the woods."
And I got right up off my lawnchair.
I packed up the stuff I'd need, and we headed out into the forest. After we had walked about forty-five minutes, I lead us off the path and into the trees. There, I found a clearing in the middle of a stand of pines.
This would be the place.
I put the wrist restraints on Man Of Discipline and used rope to tie him arms akimbo between two oaks. (Don'ch'a love that phrase, "arms akimbo"? Back in the '80s, there was a gay artist collective called "boy with arms akimbo." So evocative.)
Man Of Discipline looked great strung up like that. He has a beeee-yooo-ti-ful back.
I started in with floggers, watching him redden up, but moved very quickly to whips. Y'see, M.O.D. isn't a big fan of getting flogged, but he loves getting whipped.
And man! Does he ever love getting whipped! I whipped him and whipped him and whipped him. Really letting him have it. At one point I commented, "Y'know, just for your information, at this point, the men I've whipped are usually screaming and crying."
"Really?" responded M.O.D., "Why would that be?"
He's pretty much whip proof. I whipped him for a good hour at least. Whipping him, mind you. That was after the preliminary flogging.
Whipping a man outside, strung up between two trees has long been a fantasy of mine. Like my chain bondage work, this was inspired by Hard Master, and australian man I'd like to meet someday. I heard that he attended Inferno once a few years before I did, and that he made a bad impression on several people I've talked to, but I have the utmost respect for the man's SM. Hard Master and I have "talked" several times on line. On his website, he has several pictures of men being whipped strung up, arms akimbo, facing some breathtakingly beautiful natural setting, like on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (See what I mean about Hard Master as an SM practictioner? I'm going to whip you, but I'm also going to let you drink in the awesome splendor of God's Creation while I do that. Very cool!
Now, I don't know how far our clearing in the pine forest goes as far as "the awesome splendor of God's Creation," but regardless, Man Of Discipline likes getting whipped with his eyes covered. But I appreciated it! Whipping Man Of Discipline there in the woods was a huge treat for me!
Alas, next time I talk to Hard Master, I'll have to ask him about bugs. Man Of Discipline and I ended our scene not when he had enough whipping (I don't think that point will ever come), but when the bugs got too much for him.
Which was weird! He commented at one point how there he was getting whipped, but his mind kept focusing on, "Oh no! That mosquito is going to bite me!"
But all good things must come to an end, and that's not the last time I'll be whipping Man Of Discipline.
(Another thing about the clearing: I didn't quite have room enough to swing my longer whips, which would have provided a more intense ride for M.O.D. Next time... Next time...)
I spritzed him off with my little bottle of witch hazel and hydrogene peroxide (that's the real painful part!), and he put on his white tshirt I asked him to bring, which is now marked indelibly with his blood, a memento of the experience.
(Oh. A note on whipsmanship. When I saw that first red ruby appear--Man Of Discipline was giving me the gift of his blood!--I consciously tried to spread my hits around to other parts of his back. But I found this hard to do. My eyes were always drawn to the blood. I did end up getting a nice spread, but only with a lot of effort. Oh! And absolutely no wrapping, no hits over the kidneys, none on the neck. Every throw I made was true!)
Back at the campsite, Man Of Discipline was exuberant and flying on endorphins. So, of course, we marked this by sitting in our lawnchairs watching people walk by. For a few hours. M.O.D. decided that he wanted a nap ("remember to sleep on your stomach!" I said) and I opted for a trip to the compound to sit in the hot tub.
Yes, the gay campground has a hot tub!
I sat there for about an hour ("Do not exceed 2-3 minutes in the hot tub!" Who thought that up?) I also had a couple of hot dogs, then headed back to the campsite to check on Faithful Companion and Man Of Discipline.
On the way back, I ran into hot tub guy. Who totally gave me a pointed brush off. Danged if I know why. Although I can surmise. Suffice it to say it's nothing I did to him, but I think he might be feeling bad about something he did to himself with me there. Or something. Whatever. Regardless, I certainly bear him no ill will. However he wants to play it is cool with me. But I'll continue to treat him with kindness and generosity.
Man Of Discipline and I spent a peaceful afternoon together. Many a short, blunt human pyramid was considered and discarded. We again had dinner with his friends, this time joined by a pair of women from Georgia. As in, the country, not the state. I mentioned that when I was in Moscow, one of the best meals I had was at a Georgian restaurant, and conversation was off to the races. And dinner, of courese, was wonderful.
See? That's how the gays do it, whether on Fire Island or that gay campground in Northeastern Pennsylvania. (Not that gay campground, the other one.) Spend your day as you will, and have great conversation over dinner that goes on and on. So perfect.)
With Man Of Discipline and I, conversation continued after dinner. It was pretty sweet. Sitting in our lawnchairs, Faithful Companion napping or fussing about some issue known only to himself, the flames of the fire dancing, men wandering the paths of the campground, smiling "hello" as they passed us.
Again, we were in bed around 11 p.m.
After another good night's sleep, we got up, showered, and then while I went and bought us some cranberry juice at the company store, Man Of Discipline fixed us a nice breakfast of bacon, eggs, and french toast. I did the dishes, took Faithful Companion for a last walk, and then hit the road.
Here, back home, it's a beautiful warm Spring day. From now until dinner, I'll be out on the porch, reading through the Sunday Times and drinking iced tea.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!