After St. Louis, we took a little detour up to Indiana, near Michigan City, to see some relatives. It was a relaxing two days; we went out on Lake Michigan and a nearby river. Then we drove down to Yellow Springs, Ohio to visit Lorna, Phil, and Basil. Lorna treated us to amazing home cooked meals as I toiled away on the laptop, finishing my talk for PornoPunkFeminism: Queer Micro-politics and Subaltern Pornographies, the conference I am going to in Spain next week. In the process, I brushed up on my PowerPoint skills and created a presentation that looks really cool! Tonight, we go to Columbus, where I will read at Borders on Sawmill Road. I can’t wait to see all our Columbus friends!
We were sharing an exhibitor’s booth with Mark and Patricia at the big AASECT conference in June. Mark was so sweet to come pick us up at the airport in New Orleans and drive us to the hotel. We were staying at the hotel across the street from the one the conference was in (much cheaper). We literally dropped our bags and headed to the Sheraton to set up in the Exhibitor space. We saw Candida Royalle and Jamye Waxman right away but I was so stressed and exhausted, I didn’t have time to talk. After a lot of wrangling, we managed to find all our boxes which had been shipped to the hotel—we had 10 between us and it took several tries to locate all of them—and Colten took charge of setting up the booth. We had been put next to—I kid you not—a big sexual addiction clinic, probably the worst neighbors we could have asked for. They had this huge vertical banner standing on top of their table which completely blocked us. Nice. Plus, said banner had all these “conditions” listed like sexual addiction and sexual anorexia. We finished setting up and it was probably close to 9 pm, and we were exhausted. We walked to the French Quarter, ate some po boys, then collapsed into bed for a super early wake up.
The exhibitors area opened the next morning at 7:30, but when the alarm clock went off, I couldn’t bear it. So, Colten went ahead without me and I slept for another hour. The booth was super crowded at around 10:00 am and we were swamped until the next session of plenaries began. At about 11:30, I got a taxi and headed over to WBOK, where Astroglide had scheduled a radio interview for me. I didn’t know anything about the station or the show, so I was flying by the seat of my pants. When I arrived, there was this big mural painted on the wall that read: WBOK: All Gospel All The Time. I suddenly realized I was at an all black and possibly all gospel radio station. What???? Well, it turned out there were some talk programs as well, but I still felt way out of my element. I met the host, Kay Jay, about 30 seconds before the show started, and so I had no idea what to expect. She opened by talking about Opening Up and she had some neutral questions, which seemed promising. The phone started to light up and we took calls from people who said I was immoral, etc. etc. Kay Jay asked me on a break to give her some questions to ask me, so I quickly did that. She was very warm and generous and non-judgmental, she really let me talk. At one point though, she slipped in, “Well, I am Catholic and think this is immoral, let’s take the next caller!” Yikes. I just kept going, clarifying what polyamory is, etc. We were on for about 45 minutes, then I was done. I drove back to the hotel and it got busy once again.
It was a busy day overall, and we talked to lots of people. Exhibiting ended at 6:00 pm, and Colten and I went to GW Fins, a seafood restaurant in the French Qaurter that Buck and Elayne took us to the last time we were in New Orleans. I remembered it being great, so we made a reservation in advance. We had a really nice meal, then walked through the French Quarter home to our hotel.
Saturday morning was the second and final day of vending, and we decided to discount our products in the second half of the day to unload whatever we could. I got to sit and chat with Paul Joannides (author of The Guide to Getting It On) who I’ve only met one other time. We got to bitch about the sorry state of publishing, etc. I also met J.D. Bauchery, a totally super-cool chick who works at HotMoviesForHer.com, an online video store which caters to women. J.D. often reviews my videos, and it was great to meet her in person. I think we’re going to do an interview for the site soon. Joan Price, the author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty, came up an introduced herself. I interviewed her via email for my voice column “Knocking Vintage Boots” but never met her face to face. What a little spitfire! Wow, she has so much passion and energy, and I just loved her! I want to adopt her as my mom! We rounded out our exhibiting by practically giving stuff away it was so cheap, then we packed it all up. We headed back to our hotel and again I was super exhausted, but I had to finish my Voice column that night! So I fired up the laptop and got to work while Colten went out and got us some dinner. My editor was off for a few days, so my column never ran and now will run this week supposedly.
You may have noticed I’ve been off the grid…I was in Europe and I shall tell you all about it. But first, we must pick up where we left off: Columbus, Ohio.
We arrived in Delaware, Ohio at Mireille and Dorian’s house where we planned to stay overnight. It was pouring rain! I met Mireille at a conference in May; she is a professor at UC Santa Barbara, and we hit it off right away. This was the first time we got to meet each other’s partners. Then Colten and I were off to Columbus. We had dinner with Michael and Robbie who showed us the Pride Issue of Outlook Weekly, hot off the press! Outlook Weekly co-sponsored my Columbus reading and really helped get the word out.
Michael, Robbie, and I with the Pride issue of Outlook Weekly
After dinner, we headed to a Chinese restaurant where a group of about twenty-five people from a local poly group were eating. They had made my reading their monthly outing! We visited for a while with Barak and Brat Sheba of Adventures in Sexuality (who have presented at Dark Odyssey and are wonderful), and I was surprised to learn that Julia, who we know from DO too, has moved to Columbus to be with her sweetheart.
We all went over to Borders where I was greeted by a nice woman who showed me where I’d be reading. This was my first Opening Up reading at a big chain store (rather than an independent one), and I realized that I had to edit my talk slightly since there would be customers (especially kids) roaming the store. Lorna drove from Yellow Springs, Mireille and Dorian were there, and so was Luster, who we haven’t seen in a million years. Luster is an amazing performer and drag king from Columbus who also organizes the International Drag King Extravaganza (IDKE), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall.
I read for a while then took questions. We raffled off the Astroglide basket, and a well-know guy from the local poly community, along with several of his partners, were thrilled to win. It was once again standing room only at the store (with over 50 people there, and one clerk told me they expected 10-15), and they sold out of books! The Midwest just showed me so much love—I cannot get over it!
One of my interviewees in Columbus came to the reading and introduced herself and her partner. She was such a sweetheart and she brought me the most amazing gift: a cupcake made of old sweaters created by her mom. How fantastic is that?
Afterwards, we went to a local ice cream place called Graeters, where I ordered the specialty: a buckeye sundae with peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream and hot fudge. It was yummy, but I couldn’t finish it, so Dorian gladly helped me out! We drove back to Delaware in one of the worst rain storms I have ever driven in. There was golf-ball sized rain drops coming down, and it was insane. We all made it home in one piece and the four of us hung out. Mireille and Dorian showed us pictures from their trip to Europe which got me very excited for ours! Then we fell asleep in one of the most comfortable beds we’ve been in on our trip. We woke up the next morning, drove to the airport, and got on a plane to New Orleans!
In the past few days, a number of cool podcast interviews I’ve done have gone live, and you should totally give them a listen!
Ropecast with Graydancer: he actually asked me a question at the end that stumped me!