Over on ASS I’ve noticed Todd and Suzy writing about making summer spanking plans. It’s made me wonder a bit about my own. In years past, especially before Paul was able to move to the US, I got to spend some very fun summers in Edinburgh, London and the north east of England. Over the years I came to associate summer with trips to the UK and now I really miss getting to go and see my friends there. I even priced it out a bit the other day –or tried rather– and was a bit boggled by the cost of tickets alone. Sometimes it’s easy to look back now and wonder how I ever afforded it in terms of either time or money.
Of course the simple answer is that I worked at a job during the academic year that provided housing as part of my compensation. Since I didn’t need to pay rent, I could save a good chunk of each stipend check. Add to that a kinder gentler exchange rate and I was able to afford some great summers away from the US.
This summer I’m working. I’ll be working on my dissertation, working at my university job (in fact I’ve logged about 50 extra hours there so far this month), helping my parents move back to Los Angeles from Portland, helping with preparation for my brother’s wedding and generally (probably anyway) not doing any extra traveling until the Shadow Lane party in Vegas in August (though if I can somehow squeeze in a trip to Denver for Thunder in the Mountains, that would be very exciting).
I’ve also volunteered to run this year’s short story contest on soc.sexuality.spanking. Even though doing it is going to take a lot of time which would be better spent on my research, I’m really excited about doing it. It’s the 14th contest, the 13th anniversary, happening the year of the 10th anniversary of the group’s creation / migration from the alt* to the soc* hierarchy. (This was a big deal as it was the first time an alt.sex* group moved into the Usenet big 8.) I’m going to try a few new things with this year’s contest, including having a theme to design both the contest and archive website around. My sister, who’s an artist, is going to try and do some themed drawings to use as background to add a bit of visual interest. We’ll see how it goes.
In keeping with the thread below on having versus not having children, one of the things I’ve realized in the past few years is Paul and my choice not to have children has given us the freedom to be pretty out with the spanking fetish without needing to worry about how it could affect our family. This is fun on one level but has also meant we can be comfortable doing things for the spanking / fetish community that other people don’t feel able to do. Example? We host the domain and filtering software that make the newsgroup possible despite the fact the group has no content moderation (this means stories involving children — even those involving sex and children. I’m not sure we could afford the risk of doing so if we either had kids or either of us worked with them.
It’s not unselfish –the newsgroup has given me a huge amount over years– Paul and I met there, I’ve made my closest scene friends and it’s given me an outlet (and even validation) for every kinky scene I’ve ever been able to imagine writing. But I do love that I can help it be there for others too.
More on the SSC as events develop!