Recently I went to a Portland kink event called R.A.C.K.
I parked on a street nearby and it was a bit of a walk to the bar where the event was being held. Normally in such a circumstance, I would bring a bag and change at the club. One does not walk down the street in most cities in thigh-high vinyl boots, after all.
However, I had been promised that Portland was different. I had been promised that Portland was weird. So, I walked to the event dressed in thigh-high vinyl boots, a vinyl mini-skirt, and a top I had custom made while I was in Thailand. To the credit of all Portlandians, no one gave me a sideways glance. I was impressed.
Keep in mind, the Pacific Northwest is a unique place where freaks and geeks and all the weirdos of the night are welcome. I honestly had trouble telling it was Halloween, since it just looked like any old day in Portland.
To many, this will sound strange. Certainly my time in LA was dominated by preppy kids giving me dirty looks, and in Texas a man refused to sell me gas once based on my clothes. A cop in Scottsdale, Arizona once took my keys and my license plate on trumped up charges (which were dismissed in court) just to teach me a lesson for being “some kind of fucked up freak.” In Seoul, Korea one does not walk around in vinyl, even if it is Halloween. And freaky as Bangkok is supposed to be, they’re just not kinky there. I even went to what was supposed to be a very edgy show in Paris, which was quite tame and vanilla.
My point is, nowhere I have ever been can a person walk down the street dressed as a Dominatrix and not merit some kind of reaction.
Whatever else I have to say about Portland, I love them for being the sort of people that just don’t give a fuck what you think looks cool or what you do for fun.
I went to the event and found it was at a bar that was not closed to the public. Normal patrons mixed with (and seemed totally unaffected by) a large group of people who set up a St. Andrew’s cross, a table, and a violet wand. Spankings, whippings, and electrocutions commenced without an eyelid batted by the non-kink folks in the bar. And also, nudity seems legal here because no one batted at eye at that either.
My companion for the evening was casually unimpressed and informed me that Deccon X (and event on the last Sunday of the month here) is much better. At some point, I will have to find out. In the meantime, I was impressed and amused by the community here, and how little anyone cares that they do things in public.
Honestly, the lack of taboo makes it ever so slightly less erotic than it was before, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t feel good to walk with my head held high and not have anyone harass me just for being me.