Two weeks ago Toronto held its third GrUE, and I attended my second GrUE. My experience this year was totally unlike the year before. I didn’t just get eaten by a Grue. I was chewed up, spit out, and when I went back for more, snuggled. Yet overall I’d say it was a negative experience with positive outcomes. Does that make sense? I’ll try to explain.
I got chewed up:
Ever since the happy sex show education buzz wore off I’ve been feeling disconnected, and overall dispassionate about my kinks. There stuff I want to do – fantasies I’d like to explore, but they no longer fall into the category of things I can do in casual play, so they aren’t an option right now.
I remember how connected and passionate about Kink I felt after last year’s ToroGrUE. I’d met cool people, I’d exchanged cool ideas, I’d lead and participated in some cool sessions. I was hoping that ToroGrU3 would bring me that same spark again.
As Gray spoke about how the point of the GrUE being to engage your passions, I could feel my stomach tighten. What was I passionate about these days?
Honestly, I couldn’t think of a damn thing.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t find myself connecting with the session selections, though I did set up a Dacryphilia session at the prompting of a friend (after making him promise to lead it) and after that ran its course it was back to square zero.
I got spit out:
I spent the majority of the rest of my day away from people. I holed up in the private booths of GoodHandy’s and journalled. I took myself out to a long lunch and journalled, I took multiple butt smoke breaks…. And when closing circle came, I said I was glad people had fun, made myself as small and quiet and I know how and tried to keep the tears discrete. I may or may not have succeeded. It’s hard to slip quietly unnoticed around people who know you well.
I didn’t want my disconnect from the event to rub off onto other people. I do hope I succeeded in that.
What I did get on my Saturday not attending the GrUE was time. Lot of time to think about where this disconnect was coming from, where my passion was gone, and if there was anything left that I was passionate about.
Turns out there is still lots of passion. HEAPS! Some of it’s just simmering on the back burner, and some of it means I gotta put in more work before I can experience it.
I am grateful that the GrUE provides an environment that I can do all that sorting stuff out in; that I can come and go as I please. Sometimes the best thing I can do for me is think.
I got kinda sorta snuggled:
Then along came Sunday.
Sundays at the GrUE are chillest of all the days. They feel like less pressure than Saturday, and less hyper than Friday. Maybe it’s the pancakes, or maybe it’s no longer feeling like you’re in a room of strangers? Maybe it was the gentle nudging into topless dancing or follow up from good friends making sure I was more or less okay. Maybe it was the smell of bacon in the air. I dunno. But I know without the Sunday-after my ToroGrU3 experience would probably not have ended up in the win column.
But I’m happy it did.
That was my GrUE experience – I promise* you it will not be yours, because the beauty of the Unconference model is you get out of it exactly what you put into it. My disconnect had nothing to do with the event and everything to do with where I’m at right now in my life. If you’ve ever considered attending a GrUE I completely recomend you do – but once small parcel of advice? Try to get in a positive place before you rock up Saturday morning.
Ps! The next GrUE is coming up this weekend in Pittsburgh!
*Unless you’re feeling your singleness, coming off of 3 years worth of relationships that didn’t work out, struggling with not being able to do the kinda play you want to do, and both completely jazzed and burnt out by your work within the community over the past 2 months/4 years. If you are – message me; I’d love to talk with you!