In the wilds of Berlin.

First of all I recommend that if you ever find the English winter is getting you down go to Berlin. The company of 250 Leather Dykes over the Easter weekend has done wonders for My mood!

The weather was still rubbish: got snowed on very lightly for 30 seconds while arriving, then there was a burst of sunshine, then horizontal sleet, then a hail storm, then a burst of sunshine. *repeat on high rotate*

To hell with the weather, it’s Berlin! So enjoyed the sights of the familiar neighbourhood of Kruezberg and settling into My apartment, before heading off to the opening night of the 17th annual SM Dykes Berlin Easter Conference.

Finding the venue was a little tricky, making my way down narrow winding streets and doing combat with an eccentric numbering system. As I entered a courtyard, someone opened a door just ahead of Me and beckoned ‘Wilkommen!’. This must be it! I made My way through the door, ushered in by a very friendly man who I assumed must be trans. (As all events are women and trans inclusive only).

Inside the hall, the event in progress paused for My entrance, people were seated in rows, a buffet was laid out, but there was something unfamiliar about the guests. I couldn’t see any faces I recognised, there was an unusual lack of leather in the other guests outfits and there seemed to be a recital of some sort going on. Oops!! Wrong event. I thanked them for their warm welcome and left to make attempt number two.

In the street I came across a fellow traveller, clad in leather, carrying a tell tale equipment bag, we greeted each other and walked a few steps to the correct venue. Inside was a feast of eye candy, friends old and new dressed in a variety of wonderful out fits as the first party of the weekend go into full swing.

Cruising is a culturally specific phenomena, most well developed heights in the gay men’s scene with all of the complexities of hanky flagging codes and non verbal signals. I have to say it’s one of the things I enjoy in wandering about a new venue: checking out the equipment and checking out who else is there. As I looked around the vast warren of rooms full of everything from medical equipment, bondage suspension frames, every kind of cross, cage, wrestling mat and bench you can think of. I was very much aware of who’s eyes met mine, smiles exchanged, and routes slightly redirected so we would keep on running into each other.

The thrill of the chase, the taste of the hunt. There was certainly plenty to appreciate and I felt no hurry to rush in as there would be at least six parties and several days of workshops to attend in the week ahead. I made a few mental notes about some of the more fascinating creatures present, decided to let them come to me and spent much of the evening chatting with old friends, in between watching some gratuitous and consensual violence.

Biding your time is another form of cruising because at these events the frisson of sexual energy in the room is so intense, with everyone preparing for the very pleasant onslaught ahead, it’s good to take time to relax into the atmosphere. Tomorrow I would play.

…….to be continued

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