I am in total agreement with faery! Sex the friends on the dance floor! More sexing of the friends on the dance floor! it’s like…puppies! It’s cute it’s good it’s fun! it’s so GOOD! it’s so fun! it’s so aye-okay! I HATE THE LACK OF SEXING ON THE DANCEFLOOR HERE. IT SUCKS!
And with that, she points out one of the biggest differences I’ve observed between the Madison and Baltimore scene cultures. Granted, I’m still a relative newbie to the Baltimore scene, and I’ve only visited Madison once. But if you follow enough journals and talk to enough people a coherent picture tends to emerge.
As a rule, at the clubs I’ve been to everyone dances alone. Occasionally a couple of girls will dance together or a couple will sort of dance at each other for a few minutes. There seem to be a few more exceptions to this rule at Elektroschock, but I think they take place primarily among the venue’s regular clientelle. By and large people dance alone.
Generally speaking I like this. Dancing, for me, is all about me and the music. I think I’d be uncomfortable at one of those booty clubs where everyone is grinding and angling to get laid. I’ve always appreciated the fact that the goth clubs, or the Baltimore ones at least, were not meat-markets.
Which is why it’s so surprising that I enjoyed my one visit to the Inferno in Madison so much. Now, I realize that as a fetish event it isn’t necessarily representative of the goth scene per se. But from reading people’s journals I gather that what I saw there didn’t deviate too far from the norm. People danced together a lot more. And when I found myself dancing with friends, I found I liked it. It was sensual and sexy to be sure, but it didn’t feel sexual, if that makes any sense. I was too far gone into the music to pay more than partial attention to my dance partner(s), but I felt a comfortable togetherness in the music, I felt love, i felt like we were sharing the experience. I think it would have become confusing and distracting over an extended period of time, but it was very cool while it lasted.
Every now and then I have a moment when I want to experience that again. When I’m wrapped up in the music and I want to reach out and draw friends close to me, share the energy between us and feel it build, move as one, revel in our strength and beauty. I love that big dance scene in Matrix: Reloaded; I wish I could go to a party like that.
The difference in cultures goes beyond just dancing at clubs. Reading my Madison friends’ journals, it seems like while not everyone’s polyamorous, everyone knows people who are and it’s accepted. (Of course, this could easily be biased by the particularl crowd I happen to know). On the other hand, I was at a party the other night with a bunch of Renn Faire people, SCAers, goths, and assorted freaks, and someone brought up a neighbor they didn’t particularly trust. “He’s one of those polyamorous people” he said, by way of explanation; and everyone in the room rolled their eyes and went “oooohhh”. Some reacted like they’d heard a dirty word.
It’s interesting, the contrast between the cultures. All in all, it seems like people here are a little more conservative – or perhaps too many times burned – when it comes to sex, touching, and relationships.
EDIT: Another difference just occurred to me – afterbars, which seem to be the site of a lot of the cuddling, play, etc. that I read about, don’t seem nearly as common in Baltimore. I don’t know if this is true, or just my perception.