About a month ago, I was at the local munch talking to this person and that person when the subject of a kink party being held at a place in town that is traditionally not kinky. The owners had solicited the help of some key members of the rope community to get it going, and one of the ideas they had was to have a “staff photographer” for the events.
The rigger attending the munch was telling the room about how he wasn’t sure if the photographers in town would do it because they mostly photograph in studios. I gave him my card and told him to let me know if he wanted a photographer because I would do it.
He contacted me a few weeks later, but with a twist: we would be feeling our way through photographing this event because the owners don’t like rules – don’t like processes – don’t like overhead work. We would be on our own.
Given photography has a degree of consent to it, we took that approach. We would ask for the consent of those in the scene, then I would do my best to minimize those in the background. Not ideal – but workable…..I guess.
The first big obstacle of the night was the fact the night time parade held each June was staging in front of the club. Second big obstacle? You guessed it, the parade and all of those who came to town to attend it. We parked about a mile away, but only because I have spots I use when I go to soccer games – spots most people don’t think of as they try to get as close as they can.
Thankfully, I had dragged G with me because I realized as we were walking to the club that it would not be safe walking back to the car at 2 am, by myself.
After all of the bullshit, we got to the club and went inside.
I will have to say that I do like the club’s feel. It’s wide open, like a large loft, but they put up curtains to partially divide areas if people desired privacy. They furnished the space with nice couches, chairs, some great chaise lounges, and area rugs. The place felt less like a club and more like we were at a party at an upscale, swanky loft. The music was not “dance music”, exactly – but a kind of laid-back dance music that is slower, making it sexy and smooth – a perfect tone for a sexy night of kink.
As they opened the club, I noticed the lights dim even more.
I was prepared to shoot in low light without a flash, but this change of light made it impossible. My facial reaction to it got the organizing rigger’s attention. “This isn’t going to work, is it?” he asked. “Not without a flash,” I responded. We had them turn up the lights a bit more.
That is when I realized the other problems. The lights were not just your usual lights. They were a mix of black lights, red lights, fluorescent lights with some track lighting mixed in. This may not work.
I shot photos for four and a half hours, taking around 200 photos.
Most of the play was rope scenes – scenes which were almost like mini-shows for all to watch like entertainment happening in their living room. They sat with drinks, whispering to each other, and just watched the action.
And for the most part, the energy was amazing. The first rope performance, if you will, was a masochist who once strug up was slapped and pinched and poked in delightful ways that made her squirm and react in nice ways. The second one built on the energy of the first, it seemed. There was rough play, and rough positions while suspended in rope and electricity and claws and giggling with cries of pain. Watching it, whether through the lens or not, had me giggling along with them. At one point, I made a comment to the DM watching with me that I shouldn’t laugh. He told me I should until I reminded me him as a masochist, laughter results in getting a taste of what is happening whether I want it or not.
Oh, tonight I wanted it.
The night wound down later with a final scene. A woman who wanted to be suspended, but was brand new. I saw the rigger several times ask her a question, but unhappy with the response. He was not unhappy because of her answer – but that he wasn’t sure she was being truthful. So you would see him take her face into his hands, look her straight in the eyes, and ask again, not allowing her to look away. She got her flight, but reactions were few from her. The energy drained out of the scene – and out of us all.
So we came home.
The photos so far are “eh”. The lights as I suspected fucked with them a lot. We shall see if there are any usable.
The night was interesting. Been a long time since I’ve been up this late. But I’m wired – and I’m really yearning for impact play – for that energy that comes with it – the laughter – the cursing – the exchange of energy that happens.