Shadow Lane 2016
Another year, another post. We got home yesterday afternoon; I managed to unpack everything, but after three nights of not going to bed before 4:00 a.m., I was able to get little else done. So glad I had the foresight to take today off from work. I have slept some, edited all the pictures I took, returned the rental car, caught up with email and other online stuff, and now I guess it’s time to attack the behemoth that is my annual SL report. (Grab a beverage of choice and make yourself comfortable; this is long!)
There were many highs this weekend, some amazing scenes, joyous times with friends. Unfortunately, had some lows too. But I guess with so much intensity and emotion packed into a weekend, it’s inevitable.
It was Shadow Lane’s 25th year of giving parties, so they had a large turnout, both scene veterans and a lot of new folks and everyone in between. Many people arrived Thursday and got the party rolling, so it was all in full swing when we arrived Friday afternoon. There were room events happening, but as is my style, I needed some decompression time after the drive. So we didn’t tell anyone we were there yet, just settled into our room, unpacked, slept a little, then got ready for the evening.
(John and I have a superstition about the first party person we see when we arrive. If it’s someone we know and like and want to greet with a hug, it’s a good omen and a good luck charm for the weekend. This time, the first person we saw (at the registration desk) was Harley Havik. YES! 🙂 )
Joe (Dr. Lectr), as always (love you so much for this, Joe!) had a suite and kept it open all weekend as a Hospitality Suite. Shadow Lane had the suite at the opposite end of the hall and were open in the evenings. Others had room parties, but John and I didn’t get to those, since most of them were theme parties and we aren’t really into those. We did make one exception on Friday night and went to Steven and Tasha’s room, where they were having a Superhero Cosplay party. Some really amazing costumes! The rest of the night is a blur of greeting all our friends (too many names to list, and I’ll forget people), getting hugs, etc., the usual whirlwind. But I managed to get three scenes in as well.
My first of the weekend was with Kinky Coach, whom you might remember is the one who has a tradition of leaving a hickey somewhere on me each year. We had a wonderfully fun scene with many laughs and a very ouchy spatula.
Oh, and the annual hickey has faded, but it was particularly naughty. John was annoyed… that he didn’t mark the other side and make it symmetrical. 🙂
Back in Joe’s room, while making the rounds, I had a wonderful surprise — someone I hadn’t seen for many years was attending SL for the first time. I screamed when I saw him, he hollered, “Ericaaaaa!” and I ran into his arms, with him lifting me in the air. Remember when I played with a young man I referred to as “Benjamin” (referring to Dustin Hoffman’s character in The Graduate) because I was 50 and he was 21 and I felt like Mrs. Robinson? We fell out of touch — I didn’t use his real name then, but he has since taken on the scene name of Brandon, so Brandon he shall be. He was there with the stunningly beautiful Toska; anyway, long story short, we played once again, first a hand spanking and then a wonderful strapping with his belt. I’d forgotten how good he is with that thing. Lovely reunion!
Last April, I posted about the art of clever bratting and the Lumberjack Incident of 2016, with Ulf Sayer and Kajira Bound. Ulf and Kajira attended their first Shadow Lane party this weekend (although we saw little of Kajira, because the poor thing was sick), and Ulf owed me payback, big time. Friday night, he was in Joe’s suite and he and I ended up sitting down and having a lengthy chat, getting to know each other a bit, and John joined in after a while. I had always heard good things, but I got to discover for myself what a genuinely sweet person he is! But of course, payback was at hand, and I had compounded things by saying that hockey sucks. (He’s Canadian. They worship hockey.) So, my final scene of the evening was lengthy (and I loved every minute). We had never played before, so he was properly solicitous, checking in and asking questions about intensity. He’s a good sport about bratting, so I had a bit of fun with that (Him: “How are you doing?” Me: “I’m fine; how are YOU doing, hockey puck?”). But eventually I quieted down and sank into it. Afterward, he held me in his lap — I was quite spacey, and he said I could stay there as long as I liked. However, it was late and I knew he had to get back to his sick beloved, so reluctantly I got up.
By now it was 2:00 a.m., and John and I stayed until around 3:30 and then finally packed it in.
Saturday: John got me up around 11:00, and after showering/dressing, we went to Tom’s suite, where he was hosting a tribute to Shadow Lane. The room was packed and they had sandwiches and mimosas, but we didn’t partake because we were meeting Alex, Paul, SpankCake and R for lunch. Can’t have a party weekend without at least one meal with our besties! The tribute was very sweet, and the speeches ended at 12:25, which was perfect. We met our posse at DuPar’s (which had replaced Café Siena), and were joined by lovely Princess Kelley, so we all sat and did recon on the weekend so far. I have to say the service wasn’t great and the food was expensive, but what the hell. It’s a complete non-hassle to get to, and the food was good, so we didn’t really mind.
At the end of lunch, Alex got a text from Ulf, saying he was dropping Kajira at the hotel (they were staying elsewhere) for a session, and he was bringing their dog! They have this beautiful big dog–half Akita, and half wolf!–and I’d seen pictures and heard Alex talk of how sweet he was. So a bunch of us ran outside. Oh my… what an amazing dog. I tried to get a picture of him, but it didn’t do him any justice. He is very devoted to Kajira, so when she left to go for her session, he was clearly upset. But after a while of several people petting and soothing him, he perked up a bit, and Ulf brought him into the hotel, where he happily nosed into everything and greeted everyone who came near. I could not stop petting him and I got covered with fur, but I didn’t care. What a special treat! I love dogs.
Sadly, that was the last we saw of Ulf and Kajira; they didn’t come back to the party suites, probably because she wasn’t feeling well. Next time, I hope we see more of them.
After a nap, I washed my hair, blew it out, made up and put on the new dress John had gotten for me. I thought I’d get pictures of it later, but things changed and that didn’t happen (more on that in a bit). Joe had orchestrated a group dinner at the hotel steakhouse, which is always fun, so we all met in his room at 7:00 and trooped to the restaurant, where we got our usual banquet room, and John and I made sure we were sitting across from Paul/Alex/SC/R. It was the usual feast, and John splurged; he and three others shared two bottles of wine! I had a glass of sparkling wine, just enough to make me giggly. My fail-safe order is salmon, but John and I both got the chicken with portobello mushrooms this time and it was sooo delicious! Many laughs and fun stories, and John stood up and made a toast to Joe, which everyone cheered.
I even managed to get a decent selfie of us:
After dinner, Joe was having what he called the “Silver Soiree” in his suite. People were encouraged to wear silver, but I don’t own anything in that color (except for some jewelry). I thought I’d be OK in my new dress, but as it got close and I heard Alex and SC talking about dressing up, I was bummed. “What am I going to wear?” I asked them. And SC saved the night — she had actually brought TWO silver corsets with her! Along with silver sequined panties, silver shoes, and a huge sparkly silver bow in her hair. She said my black panties and black thigh-highs would be perfect accompaniments; I always defer to her for fashion tips! Alex didn’t have silver clothes, but she had silver glitter, and SC helped her to put it on her face, her lips and in her hair, setting it in place with makeup spray. So I went to SC’s room to get the corset, and back to my own to change. John had stopped in another room, and when he came back and saw me in the corset, he nearly fell on his face. 🙂 He laced the back for me, took some glamour shots of me in it, and off we went.
Wow. The feedback on the outfit was mind-blowing. I got so many lovely compliments, I was beaming from ear to ear. R took this shot of me and SC — doesn’t she look festive and gorgeous? Wish I could show her pretty face.
I didn’t get a picture of Alex with all her glitter; perhaps someone else did. She looked so cute.
And Samantha took this sweet shot of John and me:
Play time! I had two scenes on Saturday night — one more with Brandon. This time he asked me to choose an implement from his backpack, so I selected a Shadow Lane short leather strap. It turned out to be a whole lot meaner than it looked — deceptive little @#$%er! (The strap, not Brandon.)
Joe had two massage tables set up in his suite and people were doing scenes on them all weekend. I had been watching a man who calls himself SDSpanko on Fet doing elaborate flogging/strapping/caning scenes — I’ve known him for years, but have never played with him. I knew SC was a big fan, so I confessed to her that I was dying to play with him. She urged me to ask him, and so I did, shyly creeping up as he was ending one scene. And so I was next on the table… Wow. Why did I wait so damn long to ask this man to play? He was fabulous! Used a host of different implements, checked in with me often, massaged my back and hair, and finished me off with twelve medium-hard cane strokes. I was completely floaty after that.
After that, everyone migrated to Shadow Lane’s suite, where people were doing another toast to them. Joe had bought a beautiful sheet cake for them, which was sliced up and passed around, and we stayed until the room got too hot. By that time, it was late and I was feeling the need to be more comfortable. We went back to our room, where I reluctantly discarded my finery and got into shortie PJs, then it was back to Joe’s room for the night.
I was feeling a bit tired, so while John chatted, I sat and caught up with my phone, while I watched the antics around the room. A side note — Michael Masterson (of Real Spankings) was there; it was my second time seeing him, and we got to interact a little more than last time. One thing I noticed, which I commented to him about — that man is the recipient of more bratting than any top I know! It’s hysterical! I watched him get flipped off (three times) by Ten, kicked in the crotch (with a bare foot, but still) by Adriana, Photoshopped into all sorts of ridiculousness… it went on and on. He’s an amazing sport. 🙂 But he gets his payback!
Anyway, while I was sitting there, KC came over and scolded me for using electronics and not being present. I woefully whined that I was tired and sore, and would he please give me a massage? He had me sit on the carpet at his feet, and those dreamy hands of his worked on my neck and shoulders and down my back. I had only played five times so far, but they were all vigorous scenes, and I had reached that point of the weekend where I was yearning to play more, but was getting sore and feeling reluctant to do so. KC commented, “That’s what thighs are for!” And he proceeded to slap mine. So much for my relaxing massage! :-Þ He had a short, well-worn strap and started using that as well; I was screeching at him and trying to grab it away from him, so he held both my wrists in one hand and cheerfully continued. (When he laid it down, I did throw it across the room. Paid for that, but it was worth it.)
I know more happened on Saturday night late, but damned if I can remember it now. John and I stayed past what he calls the “3:00 a.m. surge,” which seems to happen when things appear to be winding down, but then escalate once more (usually with a flurry of young women running around naked). We got to bed at about 4:00 once again.
Sunday: GET ME COFFEEEEEE! We had planned to attend Strict Dave’s Punishment Court, but things took a detour and we ended up in Alex and Paul’s room. Later, the six of us had lunch at DuPar’s once again (the service was better this time!), and lingered until after 3:00. Alex/Paul/SC/R were heading to the strip for dinner later — we were welcome to join them, but declined. We agreed to hook up later in Joe’s suite, and then perhaps Alex, SC and I could have our bubble bath in the giant tub (which seems to have become a tradition with us). Bidding them all goodbye, we headed back to Joe’s to see if anyone was about. There were a few people hanging around, a trivia contest going on, so we stayed there chatting with people until about 5:00. The plan was then to take a nap, go for a late dinner (just the two of us), and head for Joe’s room around 10:00 for the last blow-out of the weekend.
That was when things went south for me, for a while.
There is a trend at these parties on Sunday evenings: a lot of people leave and go to dinner, maybe a show, on the strip. We could do the same, but there’s just one problem: we hate the strip. Basically, John and I hate Vegas. We are there because the parties are there, our friends are there, but we don’t enjoy doing Vegas-y stuff. So on Sunday night when a lot of our friends disappear, I’m kinda bummed, but I know that they’ll be back, and by 10:00, things are hopping once again. John and I went to the sushi bar for a light bite and were finished around 9:30. We went back to our room, freshened up, packed some of our stuff, and then went to Joe’s at 10.
It was mostly dead. We sat down, John started talking with someone, and I sat alone, waiting, watching the door. Time ticked to 10:30… still quiet. I knew that not only had our four posse friends gone to the strip, but a very large group had gone to the Fremont Street Experience (which I’d never even heard of), but as I said, I figured they’d be back by then. I felt the air going out of my sails a bit, and since John was chatting, I told him I was going back to our room for a bit. A few minutes later, he came to get me, convincing me to come back to Joe’s, that our friends would all be there soon enough. So I did. At 11:00… still quiet. And I thought: “This is it. The party is over. People aren’t coming back. I won’t play at all tonight, and we’re leaving in the morning. The crowd we hang with is young and hip and we’re just not, no matter how much we pretend to be.” I felt abandoned and forgotten, and my mood slipped down, down, down until I knew I was close to tears. This time, I didn’t tell John I was leaving, I just walked out the door and once again went back to our room. There, I texted John and said, “I just don’t want to be there right now. Please text me if people come back.”
So I sat there in our room, trying hard not to cry and failing utterly. I’d fix my makeup, and then cry again. I felt like the party had been taken elsewhere, somewhere I didn’t want to be, but I wanted to be with the people. It sucked. To distract myself, I did a crossword puzzle, and waited. It was 11:15, then 11:30, then 11:45.
John didn’t text me to tell me people had returned until midnight. By then, I was in full weepy meltdown mode. So I took a few minutes to compose myself (during which John texted “Where are you, sweetie?”), and made myself go back.
Finally, the room was hopping again. I saw Alex, but not SC. It looked like the bath was going to fall by the wayside. Sitting against the wall, I fought back even more tears, until Kinky Coach joined me. He picked up on my mood and asked if I was OK. I told him briefly that I hated how everyone disappears on Sunday nights, and he did his best to cheer me up — he succeeded. Aaaaand of course we ended up playing again, with him taking me OTK right there. I was wearing my bright pink panties with LOVE printed on the back side, and several people complimented them, to which I grumbled that I was not feeling the love right now!! Afterward, when I was sitting in his lap, he lifted my dress and looked at my thighs — despite his slapping them the night before, they were pristine. “How disappointing!” he exclaimed… and then he slapped my left one, hard. Then he did it again. Yeah, that did it. Big red marks bloomed immediately. Meanie.
It’s a good thing I like him so damn much.
I went to get water, and saw JC spanking Peaches. He called out my name, and said, “We still have to play!” (He had asked me the night before, but it was 3:00 a.m. and I was wiped out, so I asked for a rain check.) I said absolutely, then pointed to where I’d been sitting and told him to come get me when he was ready. I got my water and went back to sit with KC, John and a few others until JC came to whisk me away.
What a fun scene! We have missed one another the last couple of parties, so he warned me that he was going to “make up for lost time.” (gulp) It was just OTK/hand, which was fine with me. I joke with him about his massive arsenal of implements, and that he doesn’t need any of the damn things — he could make me say mercy with just his hand! By now — maybe because of my meltdown — I really craved playing hard. I just wanted to sink into pain and sensation and not think. He delivered… in fact, I actually wished he had gone on longer. He’s a sweetie; I like him and Piper (his SO) so much.
It is not a complete party for me until I get to enjoy a full-body flogging from Fineous, our party’s Flogger Extraordinaire. But he is always in great demand and I prepare myself each time that it might not happen. However, when I walked into one of the bedrooms after my scene with JC, there he was. “Erica! I’ve been looking for you all weekend! Do you have time for a scene?” But of course.
So we found a free bed and I stripped down to just my panties and sprawled out on my belly. I still had my high heels on; actually, I had forgotten to take them off, but then thought what the hell, they look sexy on. Jaibug was teasing me, saying, “I love how you take off your bra but leave your shoes on!” I started laughing and realized it was kind of ridiculous to leave them on, so I reached back to unstrap them, with Jaibug crowing, “I shoe-shamed Erica Scott! I’m going to announce it on FetLife!” Fineous started, and I sank into oblivion, feeling his wonderful double-flogging technique all over and maintaining only a hazy awareness of what was happening around me. He spent an extra long time on me, and then finished with a lovely massage all down my back, legs and feet with lotion. By then, I was boneless and could have gone to sleep. But I know the bed space is always in demand, so I made myself get up and re-dress.
It was now 2:00. I finally saw SC for the first time that night, and, stupid me, I was reminded of how much I’d missed her and everyone else all evening and I found myself getting weepy yet again. Ugh! I can only chalk this up to the fact that it was late, I’d had little sleep, the party was ending and I was crashing, but I still hated that I was being like this. I couldn’t help it, though.
It’s a strange phenomenon, having younger friends. Sometimes, I feel like I’m half my age. Other times, I feel every minute of it and then some. Parts of Sunday night, I felt like I was about ninety. Someone had commented, a shade belittlingly, about how Joe’s suite was “The Millennial Room.” That bothered me. Is it so wrong, wanting to surround myself with younger people? Or am I just kidding myself, trying to recapture something that’s long gone? I think that was a great deal of my melancholy as well. Damned insecurities. I can be having the best of times, but they still lie dormant and bite me in the ass when I’m in a vulnerable state, as I am at these parties.
Anyway… our beloved Joe turned things around to end the night. At around 3:00, he came up to me and said, “Did you really think Fineous was your last scene?” Oh, that made me so happy. I adore playing with Joe, but he too is very busy, very much in demand, and I have to not get my heart set on playing with him, because it simply might not happen, despite the best of intentions. The massage tables had been moved against the walls, but he pulled one of them back into the center of the room, announcing, “Front and center for you, Erica!” Beaming, I stripped off my dress (and shoes, this time), and draped myself onto the pillow laid at the end of the table. Joe and I then had one of our signature scenes, with many different straps, plus his hand, and I lost myself, feeling it fully, feeling my hands clench and unclench, rising up on my toes with each blow, my own moans reverberating in my ears.
After it ended, Joe lifted my legs and shifted me forward until I was fully on the table, and soothed me as I came back down. When I finally got up, he handed me my dress, and… I couldn’t get it back on. I was so spaced out, I got all tangled up in it (it was a floor-length dress), and after a minute of struggling and wrestling with it, I flung it back off, untangled the thing and Joe had to help me back into it. Strict Dave came over then and said, laughing, “We didn’t see you struggling with your dress. Nobody saw it! Don’t worry!” Oyyyy… that must have been quite a sight. Then Jaibug crowed, “I got to shoe-shame you, and now I get to dress-shame you too!” You know, on that note, it was time to say good night! 😀
So I walked around, hugging people who were there, saying our final farewells. So hard to leave. At one point, I found myself in a hug sandwich with two men, one of them exclaiming, “We love you, Erica! We love this girl!”
I love you guys too. So much.
(Fuck. I’m tearing up again.)
John and I went back to our room for the last time, did some more packing, and then fell into bed a little after 4:00. I’d barely closed my eyes when it was time to get up — 7:00 a.m. A hot shower helped; we finished packing, got coffee, checked out, and were on the road by 8:00. The ride home took five hours — a bit sticky in places, but nothing drastic.
So goes another party weekend. Many incredible highs, a few lows, good play, dear friends, and, as “the millennials” say, a lot of feels. And through it all — John with me, supporting me, loving me, enjoying the good times and helping me through the difficult moments. I love this man with all my heart.
Thanks for reading.
And P.S. I’m sure I forgot things, people, moments. I try to remember everything, but you know how it goes! I will add edits as these tidbits come back to me.