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Delta Diary 1996 (Day Three: Smiths and Welders)
Sep 13, 2022
Reposted with the author's permission.
I sleep until nine, on Sunday Morning. Finally a good night’s rest. Outside it’s a wee bit warmer. Perhaps it will be nice today.
As I walk along towards the cafeteria, I notice a gentleman in a kilt walking alongside me. And under his kilt he has an enormous bulge. Not a hardon, but rather what appears to be a large water balloon that sort of bounces when he walks. I wonder if he has been with the scrotal inflation mafia and conclude that he probably has but I don’t want embarrass him (or make an ass of myself) if I’m wrong. As I enter the cafeteria out pop Frazier and Jack in heated discussion of dungeon equipment inventories: numbers of crosses, spanking benches, flying beds, and associated hardware. Probably planning for the Black Rose Ten-Year Anniversary Bash next year. We confer briefly before I go inside. The Breakfast trays are already wiped clean, so I have cereal with 2% milk (since the skim is all gone) and two bananas for sugar, starch and potassium.
Richard of the rubber vest and cap is on the way out, but stops by my table with his companion. He tells me that his club, Men of Rubber, has a quarterly newsletter and asks if I would be willing to draw something for their Christmas edition. Sure, I tell him, and ask what he has in mind. “A Santa in a shiny rubber suit.” He tells me. Absolutely, I tell him, and ask if he can provide a few photographs of the light catching rubber clothing, I can use as models. He promises that he will and departs to grab some rubber porn from his cabin..
After breakfast, the Delta organization holds their annual meeting, Jack, who is now a voting member, returns while us white badge holders all file out. I head back towards the cabin for a shower. In the green valley below I glimpse a pale pink body through the trees attended by two fully clothed leatherclad men. Ballsy bottom, I think to myself, making another air dragon with my breath.
My notepad has begun to attract attention. “How’s the great American SM novel coming?” laughs a stranger walking past. Harold rolled by earlier making a wisecrack about “A spah in ouah midst.” Luckily for me he was smiling. When I mentioned it to Jack he says he’s been approached with questions about what I do for a living.
The limo next door is gone. The Academy departed last night. Ken and Frazier have already eaten and have heard the whole story “Their last mission was a failure.” Ken explains “They had an army guy in there, and they wanted to make him say the Marines were better. They worked on him for two hours. But their objective was not achieved.”
I’m still drying off when Gene shows up with his six foot shot whip for some practice. For Ken, Frazier and I, a lot of this weekend will be about single tail whips (Jack has been using whips in his SM play for years) Of us three rookies, Ken is the most accomplished. He has owned his for an impossibly short two months but has been practicing every day. And it shows. His style is fluid and loose. He even sent away for a VHS tape and has learned to crack the whip in four different ways. He demonstrates each and promises to teach them to the rest of us.
Each of us armed with a single tail whip, we descend into the valley below our cabin until we find an open sloping stretch of green. It is empty except for a silver haired gentleman sinking poles in the ground down further down the hill and adorning them with numbered flags. He will essentially ignore us while as we practice snapping our whips in the air.
As we start snapping away, Ken goes to work teaching us his four whip cracks. Spectators begin wandering down from the cabins around us to watch. Some bring whips of their own. One guy shows up with a whole bag of them, left to him by his deceased lover. We all take turns with Gene’s enormous shotwhip. Gene, who ties with Ken for the loudest pop, blows the tip right off his whip. Frazier inspects it and asks if anyone has a knife. Out comes a red Swiss Army, and Frazier goes to work. Soon the hills are alive with the sound of popping whips. There are about ten of us spaced about every twenty feet with ten more watching the show. Ken stays busy, hurrying between us assessing our technique, and offering tips for improvement. Johan, the young SS guard, is the first to succeed at cracking the whip behind his back. The second time he tries, he knocks the peaked cap off his own head and smiles sheepishly, as he bends to pick it up. I do about average. The first time I crack Gene’s bullwhip I have to ask if I actually did it. By lunchtime Ken has taught four different whip cracks to about eight different people. And Frazier has repaired or waxed four whips.
My friend Tim, a painter in New York, once said there are two classes of artists: welders and smiths. Welders work fast and furious, searing pieces of metal together with heat. They get it done and call it a day. Late Picasso – he was a welder. Most Jackson Polocks too.Smiths, on the other hand, really take their time: working the metal incrementally, bending it with heat, sculpting it, into a form unlike. It’s a useful metaphor. Steak vs. sushi if you will
Frazier is a welder: Plods from toys to his target, with his focus on the workmanship of the scene.
He constructs the scene as he would build a house: one hammer blow at a time. He uses his voice as an instrument, too, using that incredible baritone of his to guide his scene partner through the action. He is a workman with total mastery of his tools and it shows. And it’s starting to pay off. Women have started approaching him at Edge functions asking him for floggings, whippings and beat downs.
Ken is a smith. His relaxed physical grace, His beautiful handling of the whip, his careful dress and meticulous presentation…. everything has been heated and deliberately hammered to a near liquid smoothness. Never fussy or frilly, Ken moves with the acrobatic grace of a dancer or a master of Tai Chi. Look at him now standing stock still, all in black, like a vertical brushstroke of ink on Japanese silk. He studies the bound man’s back rising, falling, rising again as he breathes. Total concentration. Then, at the beginning of the man’s next exhale, Ken moves – a quick step forward and a turn of his hips, and the whip sails forward like a wave on the ocean. As it bites the prone man’s back, the tip breaks the sound barrier.
He pauses to watch the sensation spread through the prone man’s nervous system, and waits until the impact has settled in before his next throw. When the scene is over, Ken will anoint the man’s wounded back with Betadine oil and vitamin E, his hands making short, deliberate spirals. Only after the work is done will the wide-eyed innocence return to his boyish face.
Gene asks Frazier if he’ll give him a flogging, and I’m surprised to feel a tinge of jealousy. Frazier takes out his two floggers, one in each hand, and goes to work. Watching Frazier work I realize that my impressions weren’t quite fair and I might still judging him on impressions that are six months old. His fluidity is striking, as smooth as Ken’s when he wants it to be. 12 months of constant practice at the monthly Edge parties and every other Saturday night at the Crypt since it opened. Small wonder he’s good. He looks like a conjurer whirling the handle of the floggers while the tendrils fan out like the blured wings of a hummingbird. I vow to play more and to practice every night once I’m back home.
Another difference I realize is that Frazier is almost always ready to play. And the man who is always ready to play, plays more than the man who holds back. I am much more selective in that regard (“Aloof” is how one friend put it it, and “arrogant” is how some characterized me in my earlier days of the scene). My typical MO is to wait and watch until I find a girl who intrigues me, then play with her as a steppingstone towards winning her as a lover. Once obtained, she will become my primary partner for SM play. Quite a different approach from Ken, Frazier and Jack who play who happens to express an interest in sharing a scene right then and there, be they woman or man.
At the dining hall I see Richard who has brought a fat stack of rubber fetish magazines chock full of images of men in rubber attire. I flip through the first one, wondering how on earth I’ll model the black reflective surfaces of the rubber outfits.
On the way out I stop to say hi to Jay, who is flipping burgers in the kitchen. We get the talking and I ask how he feels about being surrounded by hundreds of practicing sadomasochists. But he just brushes it off. “We have nudists in here too, but their so serious. These guys are much more fun.”. I spy Jack having lunch and join him, filling him in on our afternoon. “Excellent!” cries Jack drumming the table with his fist. “You guys are making a great impression. Keep it up”
I go to the amphitheater hoping to catch a nap in the sun,before Michael and Gil’s mummification workshop and meet the guy we saw earlier on the hillside. Turn’s out he’s been setting up for the Hell Week initiation. He says he’s shorthanded and asks if I can help. I want to see Michael and Gil’s talk on mumification but agree to help, deciding I’ll catch mumification when it repeats at two PM tomorrow.
And so, my afternoon is spent administering “Hell Village”: a pledge initiation that is ketchupy, mustardy mess. My job as monitor of Station Four consists of instructing contestants to remove their jockstraps (by now filled with broken eggs) pitch them in a common bucket, take a hooked candy cane, place it between their cheeks, and carry it over to station five and drop it in the basket (the penalty for missing the basket is to carry it again between your teeth). When one gentleman’s candy cane gets hooked on the outside of the basket, Frazier, working Station Five calls out “Wait! We need a ruling.” Because the mummification workshop is being held mere yards from “Hell Village” I am able to eavesdrop on some of the presentation and watch Michael wrapping up volunteers into shrink-wrap and duct tape cocoons.
I stick around help with the cleanup and after some small talk, the gentleman I’ve been talking to asks where I’m from. I tell him and he tells me that he lives in Silver Spring. He asks if I’d like to get together next week, and I freeze. It’s my first encounter with the question: does he know I’m straight? No reason to think he would. Should I tell him? I decide to and he gives me this look. A kind of perplexed disappointed stare, I will only see (or think I see) twice the entire weekend. It’s a look I recognize from my volunteer work teaching math at the youth center in f Southeast Washington. Never from the kids, but occasionally from some of the adults I met at the center. How to describe it? It’s a look that seems to say this: What are you doing here? Why are you pretending to be our friend? Don’t you even KNOW who you are? You are one of our oppressors. Or at least a willing ALLY to our oppressors. Don’t you know what this run is about? We’re here TRYING to find sanctuary from YOU. That’s the WHOLE REASON we are here. Don’t you have the sense to stay away? We HATE you, Pal. And not without cause. But not as much as you hate us... I reign in my internal rant (or more exactly, the rant I imagine happening within the man I am talking too) and say sure we could grab coffee at very least, and maybe discuss my topping him. But they are weasel words and I think he knows it. Or maybe my over fertile, unstable mind is just playing tricks on me again.
The next event is a full-dress cocktail party hosted by the Lure, currently the premiere Leather Bar in New York City. And I guess I underestimated what full dress meant. Few are without Jackets. None are naked. Frazier and Ken look dapper as hell in polished black leather. So is Jack. Harold is wearing his Master Sergeant’s uniform and is teasing Ken for not having left his uniform at home. For the first time all weekend, I feel underdressed. I am still wearing what I had on at breakfast: khakis. a red pullover, deck shoes and my brown bomber jacket. One gentleman teases me about looking like a Christopher Street Clone although that’s definitely not a look I was going for. Oh well. I wasn’t trying to attract attention, anyway. Big Bob cruises by smiles at me, places a large hand on my shoulder and thanks me for helping with the clean up earlier.
Over dinner I eat with one of the pledges I helped harass during “Hell Village”, a man of about forty with a cultured foreign accent. When I tell him I’m from Washington he tells me he was jusr there on business. What business, I ask, and he tells me he had a meeting with the Secretary of Energy.
“Have you met Secretary O’Leary?”, he asks. No, I laugh.
“Total moron”, he states flatly, spearing a meatball with his fork. “Not conversant with energy law.”
After we eat, Jack and I attend the scrotal inflation workshop. Considering the craziness of the very idea, the execution is surprisingly low key. The bottom drops his drawers, the top disinfects his balls with an alcohol wipe, then jabs him with a large gauge needle attached to a long clear tube leading up to an IV bag full of saline. The flow begins and, sure enough, the guy’s nutsack begins to expand. It doesn’t happen fast but eventually it takes the size and shape of a small cantaloupe. Apparently, it takes a few days for the scrotum to return to its normal size.
From there we proceed to the enema workshop. It’s technically kind of overwhelming, with all the bags, tubing and all the different elixir’s one can be irrigated with (Wine, Coffee, tequila, hot and cold water are all options). It is here I learn of an elite unit called the “One Gallon Club” and a second, far smaller outfit called the “TWO gallon club” whose world population can be counted on one hand.
Back in the dungeon, I tell Gil that I missed his and Michael’s mumification class and plan to catch it tomorrow. “You have time right now?” He asks. Sure I answer.
Fifteen minutes later I am giftwrapped in plastic, with a big crowd watching Michael and Gil work their plastic magic while kibitzers yell encouragement.
“You look like a piece of saltwater taffy.”
“Yum! yum! Good enough to eat.”
I close my eyes and try to relax but I can’t. I didn’t notice it, at first, but I realize that my feet are wrapped too tight, and my ankles are starting to hurt. Yep, and it’s getting worse. I am not a wimp when it comes to pain, but this is bad. I struggle for a while internally, hoping to ride it out, but finally, I speak up and tell Gil. I wonder whether this will end the scene, but it doesn’t. Gil gets some shears, cuts away the encasement enclosing my feet, and rewraps them this time with the cushion of a folded towel between them. The pain is gone, and almost immediately I relax. I relax so so quickly and completely that I feel an almost physical sense of dropping slowly into the floor. I find myself in a sort of trance. Within my confinement I’m warm, and very quickly sweaty and wet. Its very womblike actually, and I wonder if I will drift off to sleep. When I finally say alright, I want out, I am amazed to find that ninety minutes have flown by.
I remember only two other scenes from Sunday night. Frazier and Ken are doing a two on one tag team working on Sparky with single tail whips, a scene Sparky will later describe as one of the greatest of his life. He is standing within a tall wooden frame with his wrists chained overhead. Frazier stands before him snapping at his nipples with his whip. Ken is behind him, lashing his back and ass. Sparky writhes and moans with pleasurepain as Ken and Frazier lay on alternating stokes. Every few minutes they swap positions and the beating goes on.
And there was another particularly tough whipping scene I remember that seems to go on for hours. A burley Topman using a four-foot whip to blast a bloody red square about a foot wide into another man’s back. He takes a good thirty seconds between throws then Pop! Another thirty seconds and Pop! Shot after shot after shot, each ringing out like a rifle report and ripping free a little bit of the man’s back.. Pow……Pow……Pow. It’s attracted a lot of attention and the DMs have already stopped the scene once. As I watch, I notice that between blows the tip of his four foot whip sits on the ground. Nope I didn’t imagine it. The top of his whip sits on the ground between blows. Over and over.
I do not remember much else from Sunday night and my notes are incomplete. Perhaps its because the evening classes had me arriving late to the dungeon and the long mummification scene didn’t leave a lot of time. There’s certainly nothing like the crucifixion seen last night.
Next: PART FOUR
Links for Chris M
Additional Articles by Chris M
- The Black Rose DM Guide
- "Safe Sane and Consensual" a Proposed Definition
- Eight Techniques for Maintaning Communication and Trust During a Scene
- The Rap on Wrapping: A discussion of Impact Play
- Mastering the Dynamics of Thud and Sting
- American Leather Goes Mainstream: Anger, Arnett and Life Magazine
- A Brief History of the Black Rose of Washington DC
- Part One: The First Fifteen Years (The Nancy Miler Years)
- Part Two: Pending
- Delta Diary 1996
- Black Roses and Pink Flamingoes: The BR10 Anniversary Event and how it changed our Club by Chris M.
- Gifts of the Circle: A Chronicle of the Hook Pull performed by Fakir Musafar and Cleo Duboise at Black Rose 2002
- A Brief History of Leatherbars (Featuring the DC Eagle)