I realize I’m meandering all over the place on my way to blogging about my life as a sexual adult that began in 1961, and has now spanned six decades. I’ve had a lot to distract me lately, in the form of a writing class, a family visit, a May vacation to plan, B&Bs to decide on and a new and frequently mystifying Twitter account to learn the ins and out of, (all fun and exciting things) — plus an injured shoulder from doing the Bridge pose dead wrong, and a knee and a toe injury, not to mention my computer running amuck and requiring money spent on repairs, (not fun or exciting things at all) — I’m just now getting around to a short post about my recollections of sex in the 90s.
My husband an I continued to enjoy the Bay Area BDSM party scene until about the mid-90s. As a straight male, moderately bisexual female couple, our sexual interactions were primarily with each other — punctuated by the occasional and delightful safe sex encounter. And as such, our focus was on enjoying the social aspects of membership in the kinky community, in addition to the considerable stimulation of the live theater aspects of public BDSM.
Still, the raging STD epidemic was unarguably of grave concern to the entire sexual community. By then, never mind personal safety precautions, most clubs and play spaces had adopted a mandatory safe sex requirement on their premises — a sensible measure with which most thinking people agreed — although I still shake my head recalling one outraged male dominant expound on the outrage and indignity of being required to wear a condom while penetrating his own wife. I suppose the issue of how a dungeon monitor could be expected to know whose wife he was penetrating, evidently did not occur to him.
All in all, I have relatively little to say about the public BDSM scene in the latter part of the mid-90s. I’d turned fifty by then. For me, those were the menopausal years, the years of mood swings and hot flashes, accompanied by unwanted weight gain and plummeting sexual desire for the first time in my more than thirty-five years of sexually active life. For my husband, who was three years older than I, it was a time when most players around us seemed younger with each party we attended — and we were no longer that super hot, still youngish couple with whom everyone wanted to play.
Those were also the years of increasing career responsibilities and aging parent responsibilities, combined with young adult offspring responsibilities and that our aging dogs grew infirm, making us loath to leave them. By mid-decade, although we continued to play privately and occasionally with other couples, as time and hormonal imbalances allowed, we gradually and regretfully dropped out of the public BDSM scene.
We were fearless in the 70s. Our sexual adventuring knew no bounds. The process of erotic liberation that began with the sexual revolution of the 60s continued on, in spades, in the decade that followed. It was a time of discarding inhibitions and prohibitions, and of embracing personal freedom, and of self-discovery above all.
It was a time of living out sexual fantasies, via impromptu hook-ups anywhere and everywhere: on sandy beaches, and swimming pools, and hot tubs, and saunas, and on water beds with black satin sheets. We did it in vacation cottages, and at ski resorts, and nudist colonies, and on cruises — and at organized events , and encounter groups, and alternative lifestyle playgrounds, such as swing clubs, and BDSM party houses, not to mention our own private homes.
It was a time when female sexual gratification was viewed as a birthright — and casual sex with perfect strangers was as easy as shaking hands.
If it felt good we did it. If it felt really good, then, by god, we did it again!
Still, by the end of the 70s, having accrued enough sexual experience to eroticize a small, sex-starved country, I’d taken a giant step back from my promiscuous lifestyle. But not because I felt I had an out-of-control addiction requiring a twelve-step program for recovery. Or fear of disease either — believing as I did that God protects both fools and innocent, and I fit somewhere into one or both of those categories.
Instead, I stepped back for two primary reasons: First, I’d learned over time that for me, as a woman, sexual freedom was not necessarily synonymous with sexual satisfaction — and casual sex with strangers, exciting and potentially perfect as they appeared to be, often left more to be desired. Also, by then I’d come to understand and accept my intrepid erotic nature, and perceived how easily I could continue on as I was, until my life evolved, or devolved, depending on viewpoint, into an unending series of casual, sexual encounters.
And in the end, I realized I wanted and needed a greater level of intimacy than that.