"Whether I am a Woman/Man or in between, this life is short, and the more you use things to separate you from one another the less you will share" Keer, RFD no. 138
My lovely editors here at CarnalNation know about my wacky adventures at a German Lesbian Separatist Clown Camp in a remote area of Brittany, France, and have wanted me to write about it for some time. When they learned I was going to “Lesbian” (queer, bi) Women’s Sex Camp, Desire, they suggested that I write a comparative piece. Lesbian Clown Camp ended up being a politically motivated bonding experience wherein I proved that queer-identified women can get along with Lesbian Separatists, but Women’s Sex Camp was powerful psycho-sexy fun with a smattering of politics tossed into the mix (and thankfully so because we need political discussions and observations of privilege—even in marginalized communities).
Ten years ago, when I arrived at Lesbian Clown Camp, I was asked within the first hour if I was a “Lesbian.” It’s complicated, I respond. “Aha! I thought so!” Lecture on patriarchy, male privilege, and being soiled by contact with the vile creatures… blah… blah… blah. Then, after an explication of the need for a true separatist community of women who had never slept with men, and the unabashed judgment of my tainted state, I found myself crying and debating whether I should walk the five miles back to town, take the two trains back to Paris, and return to the job I hated so much. I stayed though, and found out two days later that the head lesbo separatist clown was a Daddy’s girl. And not her butch “Daddy,” but rather her bio-male-patriarchal-figured father. He footed all her bills. Hah! So much for separatism. I grew up fatherless and have learned along the way that “there are plenty of great men out there.” Although I have my “types” (and you know who you are), I cannot choose a partner based solely on genitalia or other gender criteria. Personality and “energy” mean much more to me than physique.
Ten years later in Palm Springs, California, I arrived at Lesbian Sex Camp and had my first conversation regarding gender inclusivity versus exclusivity within the first hour. Oh dear, I thought, maybe it will be like Clown Camp after all. Sigh. I was then informed that next year Desire will be for women-identified women only (including transwomen) and that they will also host a pansexual event open to all people and their partners the week after. I was part of this debate 15 years ago when people starting becoming more aware of the gender spectrum and trans identities and how exclusionary policies affect everyone. Interestingly enough, I had been part of the Camp Trans folk dialoguing with the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, and I was on the committee to determine if trans women should be allowed to participate in the Women’s Circus in Melbourne, Australia – both “women born women” events. It took many years for MWMF to admit transwomen, and it still remains a controversial subject there. And as far as I can tell, the Women’s Circus offers outreach now to all genders, but is still "women born women" only. All of this seems so long ago, and yet here I am, living in the Mecca of difference in the United States (San Francsico) and the debate goes on. Who should be included in “women’s/queer/dyke” spaces?
I am an unabashed inclusionist by which I mean that I feel more comfortable including all people over excluding some of them, but this does not mean the debate warrants no further thought. The fact is that many straight white males are born with a certain amount of privilege that they wear quite readily, easily, and, more often than not, ignorantly. I think the events I would be most attracted to would be for those who are “enlightened” or who “want to learn.”
But how the hell do you measure that? Luckily, Desire established and maintains the only leatherwomen’s retreat in the U.S., and starting next year will offer a pansexual leather event the following weekend as well…much more “bang for the buck!” as Midori would say. As far as the inclusion/exclusion argument goes, having choices is my preferred way to fly and informs my preference for having a women’s-only leather retreat as a choice I would like to have.
Finally, I really loved Desire because we did not get stuck in the quagmire of debate, and were able to move on to business! Speaking of which, I too would like to move on from the debate and dive into the fun by sharing with you some highlights from my weekend:
1. Talked about fisting and primal play in a hot tub
2. Swam naked
3. Bought combat boots and leopard scarf at a Palm Springs thrift store
4. Swam naked
5. Played with erotic electricity and lost!
6. Got in front of a crowd of 100 or so women and told them my “Desire“ for the weekend
7. Watched an amazing singletail scene
8. Watched an all-girl gangbang and wrestling match simultaneously
9. Bonded with a dear friend carnally
10. Had a hot tub
11. Swam naked
12. Shoved raw hamburger down the throat of the dear friend, who is a vegetarian, paraded her around for everyone to see her walk of shame, and then cleaned her up for her date.
13. Participated in a fabulous breath play class
14. Fisted a virgin while wearing a turquoise rubber apron and a rhinestone butt plug
15. Tormented a lovely woman with denial
16. Swam naked
17 Participated in a people-of-color caucus (the German Lesbian Separatists did not offer that!)
18 Took Elaine Miller’s brat class and got pushed around
19. Played bumper floats in the pool , naked except for a rubber flowered bathing cap
20. Beat a bad boy for trying to be good
21. Had a violet wand lesson
22. Played with a cheek spear brought for boi blu
23. Had an intense primal exchange with another dear friend
24. Swam naked
25. Drank a Bloody Mary poolside
Clearly the unabashed sexual and kinky nature of Sex Camp (there were a hundred+ attendees at Desire) made it by far a more fulfilling experience than Clown Camp (where there were only two of us). If we had had clown sex at Clown Camp, then maybe there would be a closer comparison! The bottom line is that the kink won me over, and next year, I may go to both events! I suggest anytime you need a bit of “relaxation,” check out your nearest bdsm sex camp. It’s bound to be informative, or better yet, loads of fun!