Oh Lordy, do those Sisters know how to party. Here it is Tuesday and I'm still trying to pull it together from a weekend at C and S with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their various friends and associates. I definitely took advantage of the full indulgence package, starting at roughly 4PM on Saturday and rolling on and on until dawn broke on Sunday morning to a scene that was probably James Dobson's worst nightmare, a half dozen naked fags in a hot tub, bottles of Maker's Mark and various Chardonneys littering the ground around us. In that period of time I made out with an Abbotess and a hot hot Burnerrific boy, had some interesting moments when the world appeared as a very flat stage set, and pondered, as I often do, the meaning of these events where everyone comes to lose themselves, or at least their mundane manifestations, for a while. As the boyfriend puts it, it was a "spiritual, playful, erotic journey into the magic heart of the hot tub," and as the sunlight came over the crest of the mountain he proclaimed it "the best time at C and S ever." I would have to agree.
I was supposed to DJ this event on Friday night, but due to a miscommunication about when the sound had to end I got turned off at midnight. That was somewhat disappointing, but I've come to learn that DJing at C and S is a bit of a crap shoot, since everything from the weather to the time dinner is actually served plays a major role in how well things go over, and there were plenty of satisfying beats from Lord Kook, Neco D, Mermaid, Jovino, and our friend Henry Halperin of LA to keep everyone in the right frame of mind. And when you have things like Sisters in full formal drag re-enacting a Dynasty bitch fight in a pond, what more entertainment do you need?
I've hung out with Sisters before, but only on an individual basis. Among those I already knew, or at least am acquainted with, were Zsa Zsa and Flora, and I got to meet Viva and Sharin' and a half-dozen other associated postulants, sisters, and general worshippers. You can tell how much these girls all love each other because of how often they call each other "whore" and "bitch." My big treat, though, was the lovely boy who came over and crouched next to me at the pond soon after our arrival in full Burner Abo drag, from faux hawk to furry loincloth to black harem boy eye make-up, who turned out to be a fire dancer and ex-bio hemistry facilities manager now turned chiropractic student. It's hard to say whether he or the boyfriend were the most lusted after skinny young things at the event, but both got plenty of attention. Let's just say that after Saturday night I have plenty of real-life porno images to fuel my fantasy life for a while.
This was the first "gay" event I've attended at C and S (there were some nominally "straight" people there, but the magical hot tub has a way of loosening up these distinctions), and it pretty much beat out every other gay party I've been to, ever. It was a small enough group that everyone had a chance to interact with pretty much everyone else, and while there was plenty of sex vibe, it was far from the usual "score or die" mentality of, say, a circuit party or even a straight-up sex party. The thing that struck me was that, every morning, I woke up to the sound of laughter, and the whole weekend was one long string of hilarity. When you've got everyone laughing and having a good time together, it sure makes all the rest a lot easier. I mean, after all, I actually got some action from somone other than my boyfriend, which is practically a fucking miracle, especially since it was action with people I *wanted* to have action with. I chalk this all up to having lots of opportunity to display my glowing personality to folks who appeciated it. Oh, and the mohawk too, guys are really hot for mohawks these days.
As usual at these sorts of events, I did have my brief moment of "unreality," that instant when you look around at the folks in all their crazy outfits doing their crazy things (none of the Sisters were in face, I should mention - it's too fucking hot for that kind of thing at C and S, and we all know that clown white kills pond life) and wonder what the hell is going on. I spend a lot of time ruminating over "the meaning of it all," sometimes to the detriment of my being able to have a good time, and this time I think I got a little closer to understanding it as something beyond simple hedonistic excess. Everyone I knew at this event, and many of the new ones I got to know, are people who have set out on very individual paths in the world - I would say that they are, in a very true sense, eccentrics (myself included). Most of us do pretty well in the real world, but none of us really likes it that much - god knows I wouldn't be sitting at this desk under these flourescent lights if I could come up with a better way of making money. Going to C and S is like entering into another world, one where you get to make up the rules for yourself for a change, and undertake little personality experiments on yourself. There can be an uncomfortable freaky element to this - we're all way too familiar with how this plays out in contexts like Landmark Seminars - but this environment is far more benign than your average cult compound, and nobody is there trying to deconstruct your personality to their own ends. Instead, everyone is there to have a good time, to let their eccentricity have its run in a space where nobody really cares that you like to wear a collar and bunny ears so long as you clean up your dishes when you're done with dinner and can avoid drowning in the pond after you've become completely shit-faced. The boyfriend once said that Burning Man was like an adult playground, in that there was no one there to tell you what to do, and if you got hurt on the monkey bars, it was your responsibility to deal with it. C and S provides a similar environment; though we might go up there to act dress up and act crazy, as though we were children, it's really a space in which I can be as much of an adult as I want to be, taking responsibility for my own actions, accidents, and interactions. This is what I think marks the eccentricity of those I have met there - they are people who seek out opportunities to be independent, to shake off the strictures of mundane, corporatized society, and make things for themselves, social and economic entrepeneurs of a sort that you rarely find outside of the Bay area. C and S is just another example of those small social incubators that are part of the social fabric of Northern California -without it, and the opportunities it provides for introspection and interaction, I don't know that this place would be as interesting and dynamic as it is.
As for this event, I can't wait until next year for the next installment, and count myself lucky to have had a weekend like this with such a swell group of people. You go, Sisters!
Selected Photos by The Boyfriend
(click the link to see more)
Neco D on the decks Friday night.
Yours truly in best DJ pose ever.
The boyfriend poolside with Sister Viva L'Amour.
A view of the idyllic lawn.
Me and the boyfriend, post hot-tub Sunday AM.