Dore Alley–With Kids!
I recently attended Dore Alley for the first time in several years. It was nice to dress up in leathers on a glorious day and go out with a longtime sweetie and one of his partners to flirt, frolic, and fondle flesh.
I’d give you some glorious details, but I’m a mommy blogger. This post is about something else that caught my eye.
We were all gathered together against the wall ready to enjoy meat on a stick when I noticed a dad and his young elementary school aged daughter walking together to a building inside the Dore gates. I caught the glance of the little girl, who seemed rather amused at the spectacle around her. Since she seemed fine, I gave her a friendly smile; she smiled back. She skipped along, holding her also amused dad’s hand, until they disappeared into the building. I resumed eating meat on a stick (not a metaphor).
As we were walking out of the gated area a while later, I heard one of the gate keepers say to someone, “It’s very adult in there!”
I turn to see another dad walking towards the festival with his young daughter.
“We live here!” was his response to the flustered volunteer as they walked towards the flesh fest.
There’s a great book somewhere about the people whose living space gets invaded every year with Dore and Folsom, but I’ll leave that for somebody’s master’s thesis. Before having children of my own, I’d have panicked at seeing kids at Dore or Folsom. I’d have thought how irresponsible those parents were to bring their children into a space like this (a little selfish considering we were in their space).
Now that I’m a parent, I found myself thinking very differently. I did check myself, but only that I wasn’t doing anything sexually blatant in front of them, and then I went into calm parent mode. “Yup, they seem fine. Dad seems fine. Everyone’s okay.”
I even thought about how my children would act in that situation.
I shuddered because their “consent” skills are still a work in progress, and gawd all the endless questions, but I’m sure the attendees would have been more scandalized than my preschoolers would have been.
They’ve seen me in my leathers, and didn’t say “boo” about it. It’s just clothes to them. Any concern was all in my head, and their lack of concern spoke volumes to me. Considering as I write this one of them is wearing a a baby cheetah t-shirt and green tutu over her jeans with a jump rope tied around her waist, while holding a magic wand, with a red necklace, , two sets of binoculars, sunglasses at 7 pm, and three eyepatches around her head, daddy’s leather drag is probably kind of dull.
Now, I am not saying that we can throw caution to the wind around sexuality and children, but I definitely think we can dial down the squawking. Take a breath, assess the situation, and react calmly. It’s probably healthier for both of you if we do.