Well, Thunder in the Mountains was interesting, with a mixture of good moments and that old familiar feeling of not quite fitting in. It started out on a very painful note though. Like I mentioned earlier there were a few people from California that I was really looking forward to seeing again. I’d known John Cougar, the owner of Taboo Leather, for about four years and he was always so nice to me when I would see him at parties and events. So my first stop was to go by his booth, and I had the terrible shock of learning that he had just died about a week before from liver failure. He was a great guy, very kind and gentle and I always felt good when I saw him. I struggled through the rest of the day but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore after learning the news. Later that night I was even thinking of just calling it quits and checking out and going back home, but figured he probably would have wanted me to stick it out and at least try to have fun, so I stayed another day.
Saturday I was feeling a little better and I decided to go back to the Taboo Leather booth again and hang out with my friends there and just catch up on news from California. Then later in the day my friend Gena from the Yahoo Group stopped by. It was really great to see her, as these events are always so much more enjoyable if you can share them with a friend. We saw a couple terrific demos, including one on predicament bondage by Midori, and a hilarious talk on bondage for the amateur escape artist by a guy from the UK named John Pendal. Later the next day we also saw porn legend Nina Hartley give a demo on cocksucking, and oh boy, did she ever! And she was hilarious at the same time – possibly the most sex-positive individual I’ve ever heard, with absolutely zero hang-ups about anything. The last talk we saw was by Master Skip Chasey, who talked about the unlikely subject of grief and loss, which was strangely fitting considering John’s death. Master Skip is always terrific and I’d go listen to him talk about anything. He’s a very spiritual and intelligent man with a huge heart and he’s touched thousands of lives. I confessed to Gena that if I were gay I’d have a huge crush on him (I kind of do anyway.)
What really stands out about Thunder, though, is that they put on the biggest freakin’ play party that I’ve ever seen. It’s like having a party inside an abandoned supermarket filled with BDSM furniture. Just walking around the perimeter of the place is a real time commitment, especially wearing high heels. I’d heard that the turnout for the event was about 700 people and the parties probably had at least 500 people in attendance, maybe more. This was also Gena’s first time out dressed in public, and going to such a crazy party must have felt like jumping into the deep end of the pool. But Gena did just fine and looked very cute in her skirt that barely covered her ass ;-) We saw all kinds of play going on, including one rather disturbing scene where an older lady’s ass was being caned till it was a bloody mess. She was just laughing and having a good time but half the people watching had looks of horror on their faces. Way too hardcore for me.
The thing that makes me ambivalent about Thunder is that like I mentioned earlier it’s a “leather” or BDSM event, and not really a bondage event. So to be honest I never felt like I really fit in or was “with my people.” I really only saw maybe ten crossdressers at the whole thing, which was a little discouraging and contributed to my sense of feeling like an outsider. All I could do was try to look good and keep making an effort. All in all the event was fine, and having Gena there for much of it made it very pleasant, but I don’t know if I’d make it a regular thing in the future.
There were, however, quite a few very attractive women, including a girl who had some fabulous rubber outfits and this really cute haircut whom I kept noticing. I was definitely kind of smitten with her and I finally worked up the courage to talk to her briefly at the after-party at the Denver Sanctuary. She was so young, though, in her twenties, so I tried not to stare too much or be the lusting creepy middle-aged crossdresser. Later at the after-party there was also an attractive lesbian who came up to me, stood about six inches in front of me and asked, “May I?” I of course said yes and she ground her body into mine and stuck her face into my breast forms. That was, shall we say, pleasant.
So, emotionally it was a very mixed weekend, with some highs and some really deep lows. As events go the parties really are worth seeing, even if only once. I’m really looking forward much more, however, to FetishCon in about three weeks. We’ll keep you posted.