I live in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Nestled in the crook of the mountains, caressed by breath from the sea, bundled up in fog come summer and deluged by rain the rest of the time, we Humboldtians relish our isolated, rural community. Only two roads in: 101 north/south, and 299 east. Both are twisty, mountainous journeys that make you feel like you’ve earned the beauty by the time you get here. You can fly in, too, but you can’t always land. It’s almost like the sentinels, the semper virens, pick and choose who gets to come in and who doesn’t. We live in the Emerald Triangle, in the Red wood Empire, behind the Redwood Curtain.
We have a respectable (up til recently) university, one of the highest per-capita artist populations in the state if not the country, a few bars, some churches, a community college, and a particular economic structure with rarified local industry. Snoop Dogg plays here regularly, at the Vet’s hall, charging almost 100$ a ticket and passing trash bags through the audience, soliciting Humboldt donations. There’s magic here.
And not a lot to do on a Saturday night. Sidewalks roll up around midnight, leaving thrillseekers some pub action and maybe some exotic dancing (if you’re in Eureka or are willing to ‘drive into town’).
I’m kinky. I live in Humboldt. I like to go kinky places, do kinky things, see kinky people, chat up kinky stuff. In a place like this, that means creating community, something I’ve been involved in for as long as I’ve lived here (19 years this month). From working with small, house-meeting groups to working with organizations that host classes and events, it has been my privilege to serve my community in some delicious ways.
Saturday last I attended a Social hosted by The Impropriety Society (HumboldtImps.com), which followed classes taught earlier in the day by BusDriver and Pink (fabulous Bay Area cousins who came north to share their playful spirits and useful information). Our local Munch (run by Master M & salve Kelly; visit eurekamunch.org), sponsored by our local intelligent and sexy purveyor of pervy delights, Good Relations (http://www.goodrelationseureka.com/), arranged for the classes; the ImpSoc hosted the Social. We’ve also had the great folks at MedicalToys.com teach and support the community. Socials are smaller events that happen once a month, with large events happening in the general vicinity of Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Socials sell out at 75 tickets, and the larger events sell out at 200-300, depending on venue. No, it ain’t the Citadel, but it is our shining bastion of pansexual, kinky, poly-supportin’ cross-dressin’, hard-playin’, good lovin’ impropriety that some of us require in order to have sane, healthy balanced lives.
Since the area’s so small, we don’t really have the population to support a huge variety of specific splinter groups (the one exception to this seems to be gay men, who have their own community up here but don’t come play with the rest of us nearly often enough). The benefit to this is an exquisitely diverse community. If we want safe places to play, we must work together to create them. We cut a wide swath of freakliness in which we all try to support each other and get along. I’ve seen the hardcore D/s couple frolicking right alongside some folks playing strip Hokey-Pokey. I’ve seen riggers & flying right next to a plush pile of people. I’ve seen spanking alongside medical scenes and bellydancing in the background. I’ve seen a tiny little kitty rhythmically playing the bum of an adorable cross-dressing kitten; I’ve pummeled pals with boxing gloves while watching predicament bondage between blows. I’ve been offered brand new, untouched fresh meat (I hope they come back!) and we’ve got old dogs like me, who’ve been at this for a while. We have noobs, novices, naughtys, notoriae and most everything in between, all managing somehow, sometimes even with grace, to coexist and co-create.
We’ve worked hard to get here, all of us, from the folks who started the first ‘guerilla sex theater’ group to its present incarnation, the Humboldt Impropriety Society. Three women run the Imps; they bust hump to bring these things off (sometimes we even get to thank-spank them!). Our community sports a volunteer spirit that warms the heart, even on the foggiest of days (and they’ve been known to stand guard at the outer entrance at 3 am in 40 degree rainy weather, too). We have our Impresses, we have volunteers that impress, and now, having attended a party equal to those I’ve attended across the country in major venues with all sorts of splendid players, I’m renaming our place.
I hereby dub Humboldt County (and surrounding areas) The Redwood Impire. In our Impire, there is frolic, laughter, cries of pain, squees of delight and dismay. There is rope, leather, satin and skin. Within our enclave there is safe haven for the respectful freak of every stripe, spot and pelt; there is education for the seeker of new knowings. There is camaraderie, commiseration, construction and collaboration. We have art days, where folks gather to create visual stimuli to be used at events (I’m still impressed by the 7’giant fabric-mache penis & the 5’ yoni). To be fair, there is also the familial bickering and social distress that comes with being part of a small, ever-so-slightly incestuous community where everybody thinks they know who and what everybody else is up to. I admit, it does get tough, figuring out how to hold members of the community who move from one phase of their lives to another, all within the community sphere. And I still wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I am Impressed; I hope that this model of cooperative education and support is Impspirational. And yeah, I do mean to Imply that we’ve got a thing goin’ on up here that’s just as fine in its own way as anything I’ve ever seen anywhere else. The greatest Impasse for most is just getting up the gumption to come; once they arrive, they find we’re not Imperious or Imperiling but rather Impish, waiting to Impclude them in our community. We’re about Impowering folks, not Imprisoning them (although I do recall a cage with wheels that had a cutie in it that I got to ride around on and a blowjob I got through the bars of a cage from someone with the prettiest mouth I think I’ve ever seen).
So if you’re ever in our neck of the woods, stop by. We welcome Imports, Impresarios, the Impractical and the sexually Impoverished. Feeling Impotent? Come hang out with us; we may not have a cure, but you sure as hell won’t be bored here in the Redwood Impire.