There’s not much of a public face for the alternative lifestyles in San Luis Obispo. Actually there’s not much of a public face for any lifestyles in San Luis Obispo, outside of the steadily gentrifying smiles you see on the locals watching corporate America slowly roll along in all its homogenous glory.
I have to drive to Diamond Adult World in Atascadero to buy my razzmatazz sensual body lotion—which is, ironically, vanilla. I know that as long as I’ve got the Internet, I’m never more than an overnight delivery away from the ribbed or edible fetish toy of choice, but I miss that sense of community, that knowledge that like-minded brethren and sistren are out there, cultivating their own role playing games behind overpriced—but still locked—doors. You know, adults expressing themselves in healthy and mature ways. I guess I’m saying I’d like to make a connection. Someone who really gets me, you know?
Luckily, I don’t have time for a soul mate. It’s Shark Week. Also, I’m toying with a theory that if I close my eyes and concentrate real hard, my hair will grow faster. So I have to spend a lot of time sitting on my couch with my eyes closed. It’s not napping. It’s science.
Then I saw something that undid all of the hurt and alienation. Adult bondage in bright, shiny, SLO daylight, just off Broad Street. Actually, it seemed to be some kind of parade. Pride—one of my all-time favorite holidays, which you just can’t beat for color and pageantry—had passed. But nonetheless, there were two men clad in sexy firefighter clothes—one wore a hat and the other a coat—with what I can only assume was their love slave: a man in stocks. Personally, I don’t understand why there wasn’t a crowd of men and women eager to stuff dollar bills down their g-strings. Not that I actually saw g-strings. I just wanted to.
They had some signs as well, something about Measures A and B. But what kind of geek reads a sign when there’s the possibility of g-strings? I asked around, hoping Measures A and B was a new “gentleman’s club.” Alas, it turned out to be a boring city election, about inconsequential stuff like binding arbitration and benefits for government employees. Yawn. Which raises the question: Why would a guy put himself into stocks over an issue like binding arbitration? Spanish conquistadores used to place recalcitrant subjects—code for old-school freedom fighters—in stocks. Black slaves were subjected to the stocks to prevent them from escaping. Immobilized and helpless, people died from heat exhaustion and hypothermia while passersby flung rotten food and often excrement in a cruel, filthy display of collective scorn.
But forget all those people—shackled, downtrodden, homeless, and oppressed—I want to hear more about the plight of a man who makes $100,000 or more and is boo-hooing into his Cheerios because the broke city of SLO wants to negotiate his benefits differently. Seems a teensy bit dramatic. I might even go so far as to call it childish, and I once made a pregnant woman cry because I thought she was making fun of my weight.
All I’m saying is this: Make your point, but try to do it with a little bit of perspective and reason. And without getting people all excited thinking there’s an S&M convention on Broad Street. Really, I’m mostly disappointed about the latter. What do I care if one firefighter has no sense of history or the scope of human tragedy?
It’s OK, though. I finally found what I was looking for. Two things, actually. Evidence that county officials have a sense of humor, and proof that bondage is, in fact, alive and well. All rolled into one. I was wheeling down Los Osos Valley Road on my Segway x2Adventure. I was feelin’ good, lookin’ good, tossing back Shirley Temples from my hip flask when I spotted a crotchety guy ambling around with an ankle cuff. It wasn’t leopard print or anything particularly exciting. No bells or feathers. But it was a start.
Then I started putting two and two together—one two being the location on Los Osos Valley Road, and the other two being a grumpy guy wandering around farmland—and it added up to one county, San Luis Obispo, cuffing one homeless advocate, Dan De Vaul. I don’t know what the grand total of all those twos and ones is, but I suppose congratulations are in order to the county officials who worked long and hard to prove that not keeping your bedroom—er, property—neat and tidy will result in immediate punishment two years later.
I don’t know how much that little bit of justice-department bling costs, but it sure looks good on De Vaul’s trim ankle as he limps around his property/timeout. And proves the point that helping people doesn’t pay. Not in this county. No siree.
Since the county is apparently into bondage of the ankle variety—kinky!—maybe if De Vaul plays his cards right, he can get enforcement agents to throw some sensual massage oil into the mix.
That’s it, all you SLOcals looking for something more than another boring night at home with the same old whip: Adopt a puppy and they’ll strap a ball gag in your mouth like one of those pigs at a luau. Save a busload of orphans from a fiery death and Art Trinidade from code compliance will serve as your personal dominatrix.
So, De Vaul, which will it be?
Red leather or black?
Shredder looks good in any color leather. Send spiked comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.