Ludwig and I have left the USA and the Shadow Lane party behind, but we have taken some great and lasting memories with us. The saying goes: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But we are going to make an exception from that rule and share our experiences with you.
Since this was our first big public spanking party ever, I've decided to write about the general party schedule and my personal impressions first. Maybe this is of interest for those among you who haven't been to a spanking party (, yet), but would like to know what goes on at these events. Of course I'm also going to tell you how we spent our time and about the wonderful people we met. But the play sessions we enjoyed will be the subject of another post. For today, let's focus on an overview of the event as such.
The party took place in Las Vegas and was scheduled from Friday, September 2nd till Sunday, the 4th, but some people arrived earlier or stayed a few days longer in order to share more time with friends. Ludwig and I only arrived at the 2nd, after having escaped a bush fire that had let to a complete closure of a part of the highway to Vegas. Although the whole trip was a bit stressful, we were very much looking forward to the party, especially to meeting old and new friends.
Two wonderful people with whom we only had communicated via our blogs and emails so far and whom we met in person for the first time on our trip were Mija and Paul. Despite of never having met us before, these two gave us a sweet present – the new charity spanking anthology which has just been published by the Spanking Writers! It features spanking stories by various well-known kinky authors and bloggers, and the complete profits of the book are donated to cancer research. You can find out more about the book here. Paul himself had contributed one story to the book, so it was a very personal gift as well.
As you can imagine, this already made us feel very comfortable and welcome when we made our way to the vendor fair, the first official event that took place on Friday evening. We instantly spotted Mija and Paul and a short time later also our friend Indy whom we had already met once in the UK. I think knowing some of the people beforehand made it much easier to feel content and relaxed, but I assume that it isn't really necessary to know anyone in person in order to find a chat partner. Having made some contacts online beforehand surely helps, though, either via blogs or via the Shadow Lane site, to which one gets access when booking tickets for the party.
The dress attire at the vendor fair was mixed but quite casual. And of course there were also some kinky outfits to be seen. Indy, for example, wore a very sweet Japanese school uniform. The fair was smaller than I had expected- You could buy some spanking films, implements (especially paddles) and meet a few models. Sarah Gregory was there and Erica Scott sold and signed her new book Late Bloomer.
I had commented on Erica's blog several times but never met her in person. So, we went over to her and said hello. She was as nice and kind as I had expected and I managed to briefly chat with her twice during the weekend. Unfortunately, Ludwig and I waited a bit too long with buying her book (we were already struggling with our luggage restrictions and weren't sure whether we could fit another book in), and the book was already sold out when we finally decided to get a copy. Our luggage restrictions didn't allow for any toys, anyway, so we ended up not buying anything at the fair at all.
Instead, we used our time for chatting with some more people: Cate Stoker and Mr Allen, both of whom we had already met before at one of Haron's and Abel's parties, Richard Windsor whom we met in person for the first time, Leia-Ann Woods whom we met just briefly that evening but who had obviously done the same kinky sightseeing programme as we did (Alcatraz, more about that in another post), and the lovely Judy Verbena to whom we were introduced by Indy.
The Shadow Lane party doesn't offer too many events and structure, it rather provides a framework that allows kinksters to meet and have fun together. So, the vendor fair was the only official event on Friday, which served as a starting point for the suite parties and the private gatherings that took place later in the evening. We decided not to attend one of the big suite parties on our first day and instead met with Mija, Paul, Indy and Judy for some relaxed talk. It was a wonderful group of people and I felt comfortable immediately. I even started to crave some kinky play, even though there was “just” talk on that first night. Or maybe it was because we only talked? That way, I didn't feel the pressure to commit to any form of play, which allowed me to relax and to play with “What if...?” thoughts.
The next day, Ludwig and I explored our Las Vegas hotel, spent some time in the pool, had lunch at one of the restaurants and watched people gambling. Then we got ready for the second main event of the party – the dinner. This time, the attire was more elegant, women in gowns and men in suits. Mija even had a beautiful flower in her hair and I finally had a chance to wear my Chinese dress. Indy introduced us to her friend Lizzie who looked adorable in her short plaid skirt.
The food was nice but not too special. I think that this wasn't the main point, though. Again, the dinner served as an opportunity to meet people before everyone headed off to the room parties. This time, we decided to explore the famous suite parties as well. Suite parties are privately hosted parties that are open to everyone. The room numbers are announced during the dinner and people are invited to come, have a look, chat, watch, play and stay as long as they like before taking a glimpse into another party room.
We went to three different suite parties and the hosts were always very friendly and welcoming. One party even had a James Bond motto and the whole room had been decorated accordingly. Usually, the main room of the suite was primarily used for chatting and the two bedrooms were used for play. The play was mostly M/F, but we also came across some F/M play. F/F was something that we only saw at the vendor fair (and did in private, but that is stuff for the next post).
Much to my dismay, we didn't witness any M/M play at all. That didn't surprise me much, though, because while the Shadow Lane parties are theoretically open for any play constellations, their videos only feature M/F, F/M and F/F. So, I didn't really expect too many guys who are keen on M/M play to find their way to the party in Vegas.
In contrast to some of our friends, Ludwig and I only chatted at the suite parties and watched others play. Not because I would have felt uncomfortable playing at one of the parties, but simply because it didn't happen.
Instead, we had a little private gathering as well that night which involved rather a lot of play. This time the group featured Cate Stoker and Mr Allen, Judy and Indy. It was a very light-hearted (but much less light in terms of severity) play atmosphere and I enjoyed it a lot. But at the end of the day, not everything was settled. More precisely, I hadn't got my hands on Indy! Luckily, there was another day left...
Unfortunately, Ludwig and I already had to leave on Sunday in the early afternoon. But before that, we had a wonderful lunch with many of our old friends and the new ones we had made during the weekend, and there was much chat and laughter. At the end of the lunch, I suddenly started feeling very sad, though. I definitely didn't want to head off and leave all these lovely people behind!
Luckily, I managed to get myself under control again after a few moments, which was good because I had one last duty to fulfil. It didn't remain the only farewell spanking that happened in the last hour before our departure, though, which meant that I left with even more happy memories than expected. We had to leave as quickly as possible, though, partly because the play and chats had lasted a bit longer than planned and partly because I would have started crying otherwise.
So, how was the party? I have to say even better than I had expected. Not because of the “official” events, though, but because of the lovely people we hung out with. To my mind, Shadow Lane is a great place for meeting people one usually only has online contact with. It offers a wonderful framework for coming together with people one knows and for being introduced to new people (by those people one already knows). The party offers a possibility to play and, more importantly, to chat and have a good time.
I assume that it is more difficult if one doesn't know anyone beforehand, though. Maybe a spanking party that offers more structure and official events makes it easier to get started in that case. But of course, I am a rather introverted person and this is only my point of view. Others might have made very different experiences.
Have you ever been to one of the big public parties? Have you maybe even visited different parties and can you make comparisons? What are your experiences? Or are you still thinking about maybe visiting one of these parties one day? What are your hopes, fears and questions that you have in mind? I'm curious to know, so please feel free to write about your thoughts in the comment section!