Master Dale's Lifestyle Community Bulletin Board: Is it time to plan a gathering? - Master Dale's Lifestyle Community Bulletin Board

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Is it time to plan a gathering?

Poll: A Board Gathering?

What would be the biggest obsticles preventing you from attending?

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What parts of the year are easiest for you to attend?

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What parts of the US are you willing to travel to?

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#1 User is offline   lil.red.ridinghood Icon

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Post icon  Posted 13 November 2008 - 08:40 PM

One of my first experiences of the BDSM community in person was "The Great Hall Gathering" (a group of chat-room friends who got together in LA for a weekend). Without ever having met any of these people in person before, I flew a couple thousand miles from home, shared a hotel room with a virtual stranger, spent lots of time hanging out with the crew in one of the other hotel rooms, and attended two different play parties. It sounds crazy every time I type it, but my experiences there made a really positive impact on the courage with which I continued my exploration. As a matter of fact, that's where I met Dale.

Apparently I'm getting the itch to do something like that again. I've been to larger leather conferences and I suppose we could just try to attend one of those at the same time (would definitely be less work on our part). But there is something special about it being a group of 20 or so people who all just like each other and are excited to meet in person.

If you're interested in making some effort to attend something like this, please take a minute to fill out the poll so I can get an idea about the feasibility of planning something like this for our little community here. (That is, if I can figure out how to get the poll thing working)
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#2 User is offline   MasterDale Icon

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:51 PM

Hi Red. What a wonderful idea. I am all for this and if there is anything I can do to help make it happen, I'm there.

I have had the good fortune of meeting so many people in person....people who my first contact with was in an online chat room or a place like this Board. Some of the people turned out to be a little too much...or a little too, umm, "small"....but many of them became lasting friends. I look forward to the chance to meet more folks, or get to see some of those friends who live so far away we never seem to be able to get together.

Yes, there are national events that might make it easier to get together, and then nobody has to take on the responsibility of organizing an entire venue, program of events, and of course make sure there are food and lodging for everyone.

But, we have friends who have sponsored these kinds of gatherings before. You mentioned The Great Hall of BDSM gatherings in LA. That one was fun. There was another one that ran for a number of years. Someone from a now-defunct chat site threw her good intentions into a series of bi-annual gatherings at her own home. People lodged with her or at nearby hotels. Everyone kicked in for food, and eating was done "family style". Play and "demos" were done in the space they had, such as it was. Still another one was held by a group of us in Myrtle Beach, SC. We rented a 5 bedroom house on the beach for a whole week during the off season. The total price for the rental was around $1100. That came down to about $110 per person for a whole week of beachfront private house. We chipped in for food and cooked communally. And we set up some play space and took turns giving a "demo" each night. We did that event twice. The first time was really amazing.....one of those special memories you just smile about every time you think of it.

I hope enough people show interest in this to make it an event, wherever we have it, and however it finally gets planned.

To the people who don't know this cluster of us who do know eachother in real time? All I can say is whatever we do, it will be totally safe, and purely a social event. Nothing is ever forced on anyone. There may be play at times. But in almost all of these similar events I attended, people mostly relaxed, talked, laughed, and sat around telling stories. If you dont like the play you see, you can leave the room and go talk to others. And, you may get the chance to try new things. I can think of a bunch of times where I gave hands-on lessons to other Doms on how to use various toys. One of those events is where I was first taught the elements of fire play. In a relaxed atmosphere of sharing and comraderie, people can get to see and try things they may have only read about before. Doms without partners may get the chance to experience some Topping. Subs without partners may also get the chance to experience bottoming. If they want to, that is. Again, no one is ever forced or pressured to do anything more than pay their fair share, be sociable, and help in any communal chores. These events are always casual, friendly, and very, very safe.

I am starting to ramble, as I often do *lol* But this is a good idea, Red. Let's see where it can go.

M. Dale
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#3 User is offline   shadowwolf Icon

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 12:08 AM

I have not had the pleasure of meeting many on this wonderful site in real time and if this event is organized with enough advance notice I will do all in my power to attend. I do look forward to the day that I get an opportunity to meet the many wonderful individuals that I have interacted with on this site so Red...........go girl.. :banana:
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#4 User is offline   MistressLydia Icon

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:20 AM

Red,

Really good idea.

There are quite a few members I'd love to meet. (smiles)

PS. Dale you rock and so does your lady
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#5 User is offline   ONEEOD Icon

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:55 AM

One of my fondest memories is the first summer after Mazie came here to NYC to stay with me we hosted an AOL chat room get together. About 50 people came from all parts of the country (one drove a couple of days from Kansas). We had a weekend long BBQ, lots of conversations, tons of catching up and some play. The best part of the whole thing was that we had actually only met 3 or 4 in person before, the rest had been entirely online "roomies", some for many years.

The biggest hardship was the cost so we kept it simple, no one had to bring anything but themselves and we ended up with about 10 folks crashing wherevere they could around the house for the weekend. That was over 10 years ago and there are many lasting friendships that came out of that that endure today.
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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:37 AM

Bless you, Red!

I have wanted to do this for a long time, too many other things just kept getting in the way. I am ALL for starting a gathering like this.

As for my thoughts on how to go about it...the events and gatherings are a really good way to meet, the one con to that is the money. I know that the added $100-200 for event fees is just enough to keep some from making this kind of trip.

Red, once you get things tabulated, please know that I will help in any way that I can, with pleasure....
"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."

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#7 User is offline   ONEEOD Icon

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:57 PM

Michael, on Nov 14 2008, 08:37 AM, said:

...the events and gatherings are a really good way to meet, the one con to that is the money. I know that the added $100-200 for event fees is just enough to keep some from making this kind of trip.


Julie,

I know of a few events outside of the NY metro area that are very reasonably priced, the bad thing is they are usually scheduled during bad weather and staying somewhere is essential. A good way around that is to make your own event. There are more than enough folks here that can do demos, have the equipment, etc. Just need a place like I have here (a National Park in my backyard) and folks can choose their own accommodation "level". A little car pooling and transport to and from major transportation centers and you have a party.

Just my two cents,
Bob
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#8 User is offline   SMF Icon

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Post icon  Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:26 PM

This is a good idea, I'd like to meet some more of the members here.
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#9 User is offline   -cheyenne- Icon

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:06 PM

I would love to do it. I tried to fill out the poll but it keeps taking me to that red page. I hate that page. For me I can't say where I would be willing to travel, I guess closer to the east coast is easiest for me. And my biggest obstacle would be money. Oh, and summer is easiest for me.

But I really want to meet some of the people here who I have not met. So maybe with enough notice I could work it out.

Yay

chey
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#10 User is offline   lovely1 Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 03:28 PM

I would *love* to do this. (I think my man would be slightly less on board, but he could stay home. :P) We had hoped to go to the FFF this winter, but we've been struggling financially (not too badly, don't worry, just that we don't have much for "fun things"). We're not ruling it out until after we see the Christmas toll (tole?), but it doesn't look likely.

Something in the summer, or *next* winter, would be good.
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#11 User is offline   lil.red.ridinghood Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 04:14 PM

With all of 10 votes in, it looks like a resounding call for a low-cost gathering in the North-East.

Here's my working idea:
I've had some success with VBRO.com in finding a cabin get-away locally. I'm thinking I could just as easily find and reserve a 5 or 6 bedroom place on the opposite side of the country. Most of those places rent for a week at a time and I doubt we really like each other enough to spend an entire week together in the woods. (Here's where I get a little self-serving) I could reserve the cabin in Maine for a week in the early fall of '09. Then spend time with family in the area for the first part of the week while preparing the place for a larger party over the weekend. With 10 people, we could cover rental costs for a week with about $150/person. If you wanted to show up earlier, no problem, but nothing would be lost if you just popped in for the weekend either.

There are a lot of foggy details that need to be worked out, but if this looks like a good starting spot, I'll start more intense research and run another gathering planning thread from here.
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#12 User is offline   MasterDale Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 06:09 PM

Hi Red. You really got some people thinking and talking with this thread. There are some economic realities coming down hard for many of us right now....but there is a guarded enthusiasm about your idea.

Now, I want to say this next thing up front. The next bit has nothing to do with diminishing any of your ideas. And it is definitely not about control or a control issue ( we can save those for later in the planning process *lol*). But there is a resource available to us in my area and it ought to be looked at as one of the possibilities on the table.

Oneeod and Mazie, mentioned it in a post earlier, that they have a national park in their backyard. And they do. The people who run the park will not be a problem for any "discreet" event that goes on at their house. This we already know from them hosting a number of events there over the years. On the down side, Bob and Mazie couldn't accomodate more than a few overnight guests there, and they do not have a large, easy to access play space. But they are located on the outskirts of NYC. This location has merit for a whole list of reasons.

The number of Board people that are close to the NorthEast is first. The reality of this type of gathering is that not too many of the "far and wide" people are going to make it. The locals are more likely to attend simply because they dont have to pay as much to travel and for accomodations as the "far and wide" folks do. I know that defeats the purpose in a way....getting people to meet for the first time. But having more people show up is also something to consider.

Artemis and I live 1 hour north of Bob and Mazie. Depending on the time of year, we can accomodate a varying number of guests, too. During the warm months, Artemis's mother lives here, so our house is 100 percent vanilla then. We keep a Kosher house, too. We can have some folks to stay with us as long as they are cool with the situations at hand. And if this event happens when Mom is down in Florida, we dont have to be vanilla at all. But we still get to be kosher. *lol*

The NYC metro area has 3 international airports, 3 national ones, the main train lines along the east coast, and lots of other public transportation available.

Driving 40 minutes from our house, or less from Bob's, you are in downtown Manhattan. That opens up a world of activities to us. Some are free, some are not. But there are something like 20 major museums. There are Broadway shows. There are unbelievable restaurants. At some times of the year there are street fairs, festivals, and so many touristy things people can do. Oh, and of course there is the obligatory trip to NYC's last remaining BDSM club, Paddles.....if necessary *lol*

We can arrange a lot of things to do, and probably come up with "event play space" for our group for one night, too. Some people would probably have to stay in hotels. Some would probably want to, anyway. I see this as a possible way to go, Red. But the event's final location is going to have to be a decision that evolves from the input of all the participants and planners.

I understand some of your thoughts on choosing Maine. And in the fall it is really nice there, too. The tone of a gathering at a cabin in the woods is a far cry from what I described for a NYC area event. I have been to both kinds, and each has their own appeal.

I cant speak for others, only for Artemis and Myself. I would hope there was a hotel not too far away. And a decent restaurant or two. Not that I mind the commune feel. Been there, done that. But we like our privacy, too. We shared the beach house in Myrtle Beach twice. But we had our own bedroom and bathroom. And all the participants agreed in advance that even though the cooking was "budget" and communal, we were not eating Kraft Mac and Cheees dinners.....we would take turns preparing nice meals for all. (And boy, were they good meals!) Part of going to an event...at least for me...are the ammenities. I dont need fancy. But I do like things certain ways...as most people, and most Doms do. My days of really roughing it are over, I think *lol* So, I would love to know more about that cabin in the woods.

Two Board members live in southern Maine...Bert and Sensual Lady. But I dont know their disposition on attending an event like this, since I believe they have a problem with me personally these days. Other than them, I think we have a few people up in Massachussetts, too. I am not sure of their status.

Maine is a big place. We reallyneed to look at the transportation getting out of towners to and from the cabin, as well as local sources of supply for such things as groceries.

As I am typing and thinking of things here, I realize that "early fall" is going to be a hard time for me to schedule this event. In 2009, Jewish holidays fall on Sept 18-20, Sept 21, Sept 27-28, Oct 1-9, Oct 10-11. All these holidays knock a huge amount of time out our schedules, so Sept, Oct, and half of November are tough to book for us.

I do like the idea of some time up in Maine, though. Even if this ultimately doesn't pan out as the place for the event, if you happen to be coming East anyway, maybe something along this line can still be done for a few friends *s*

A final thought....planning these things is a bitch. Given the current economic climate, I may not even be able to afford something as fancy as Kraft Mac and Cheese dinners come the fall of '09. I know there are others of you in the same boat. But lets keep throwing out ideas, and voicing our limitations and desires for this. That is how we ultimately find a consensus and turn an idea into a reality.

M. Dale

Oh. Almost forgot. I am going to be changing the day of the BDSM Discussion Group to wednesdays starting in Dec. I will be sending out emails to the entire membership twice to announce the change. When I do, I will give a direct link to this thread and see if more people might be interested in coming and adding their thoughts here and their votes to the polls.
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#13 User is offline   lil.red.ridinghood Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:07 PM

I'm all for an urban adventure too. I just don't have the resources/connections to organize one on the east coast. If y'all want to come to Seattle I'd be delighted to set something up, but that didn't look like an option for many.

If someone else takes the lead and gives me specific long-distance tasks I can complete I'd be delighted. (I am both a service-sub and a professional registrar fyi.)

Timing wise, I can make the time to attend an event just about any month but June. However, I can't commit to driving the preparations for an event held in the spring or summer... just too busy with the job that pays me.
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#14 User is offline   MasterDale Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:37 PM

I cant speak for others, but I would love to come to Seattle for an event. Is halibut or salmon fishing considered a BDSM activity? *winks*

I think we should lay out all the possibilities on the table and see what really grabs the most people. Thanks again, Red, for getting this idea moving and for all the thought you have put into it so far.

M. Dale
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#15 User is offline   ONEEOD Icon

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:59 AM

And there is no reason to keep the gathering in the same place. If the first one is in the Northeast, the next one can be out West or deep South. Spread the culture around, so to speak.

I will have to talk with Dale more about a time and day, but I don't see a problem with setting up a MasterDale meet and greet social period for anyone attending the Fetish Flea in Rhode Island this February. There will be plenty of room in one of the suites and we could even make sure someone takes notes and passes the chat on to the board.

Bob
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