Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trip Report: Wet ’n Hot 14

The weekend after July 4th, I went to Palm Springs for Wet ’n Hot 14.
WARNING: This is going to include discussion about fetish sex activities, activities which some people consider disgusting, some consider unsafe, and which just make some people uncomfortable.  Don’t bother reading this if you are one of those people.

It’s also going to be pretty long.

The Fetish

Wet ’n Hot is a watersports (piss) and fist fetish weekend.

Some description of watersports is warranted here, because people who don't engage in it have many different ideas about what it entails (some right and some wrong).  At its basest level, watersports in sex play involving piss.  This can take several forms and directions, including:
  • Pissing on someone who is naked.  Attractions include hot liquid, odors, and the sexual component.
  • Pissing on someone who is clothed.  Consider the way the clothing changes appearance, weight, and temperature, both as it wets and as it dries.
  • Pissing in someone, orally.  Drinking piss, either as the provider or the consumer.  Also includes drinking from a glass or bottle.
  • Pissing in someone, anally.
  • Domination or degradation, of someone relieving themselves on someone else.
  • Domination or degradation, of having a full bladder and being limited in where and when pissing may be done.
You can easily see how, for people who enjoy these activities, this can be a very sexually piggy thing — control and release, temperature, volume, scent and taste, and just the entire socially forbidden nature of things.  As a result, other piggy activities tend to get done by the same people who are into watersports, and thus are part of Wet ’n Hot, too: group sex, sucking, fucking, armpits, rimming, and fisting — anything that doesn’t need much more than a naked body and a piggy attitude (and maybe some lube).

Event History and My Experiences

Wet ’n Hot started in 1997.  The first time I attended was 2000.  At the time, the event already had a notorious reputation, with the primary resort site having been picketed a year or two before by people (presumably religious fundies) who were appalled at the event.  (Frankly, it just being a sex event was probably enough to get them up in arms.  Piss was just enough of a shock to push them way over the top.)

That first year I attended was fantastic.  Probably 300 people, full run of the large gay clothing-optional resort, and so on.  It was also my first trip to Palm Springs, which colors the memories some, too.  I played with a number of guys, stretched my boundaries, and had a great time.  I still have the event t-shirt from that year (and the next two) and the Palm Springs baseball cap I bought that year to shield me from the midday sun.

The second year I attended (2001), attendance was noticeably down, probably by 1/3.  To this day, I don’t know of any specific reason for it.  Possibly the bloom was off the rose of watersports being the hot fetish activity, or maybe there were internal issues with the host organization that caused problems, less advertising, whatever.  In particular, though, where the resort had been WnH-only the previous year, this time general attendance guest passes were available, which caused Wet ’n Hot to be relegated to just a portion of the grounds and require wrist bands for access.  This meant that people not involved in the fetish were around, and that changed the energy significantly.  Nonetheless, I did get to play with a couple hot guys and had a good time.

I attended again the next year (2002), and attendance was down sharply again, to what I would guess was under 100 people.  Also, piss play was being supplanted by “pig play” — what I referred to as “anyone, anything, any hole, any time” — a lot more multiple partner unprotected sex, mostly fucking but also fisting in what I considered (and still do) inappropriate places and times, and a lot less piss play.  (This is significant: it’s one thing to have more of other stuff, but when you have less of the ostensible purpose of the weekend, something is definitely wrong.)  I played very little that year, and generally had a lousy time.  I decided to not go back after that.

I didn’t hear anything about Wet ’n Hot for a few years, then a couple years ago, my buddy BJ attended, apparently giving some sort of workshop or demo, and he said he had a good time.


This year, when the final round of messaging e-mails went out about the event, I saw they were touting 350 guys registered, which surprised me.  I poked around the website and was impressed again about the information they were putting out there about it, including touting it as a piss and fisting weekend rather than just piss play, which I felt could help to direct some of the random pig play behaviors I had seen on prior trips.

Combined with Seattle’s coldest June on record — we didn’t break 75 degrees until Pride week, a record by almost two weeks — and my not having been to Palm Springs in about four years, I checked around and found decent air fare (through SNA [John Wayne Memorial Airport, aka Orange County], two hours drive away from Palm Springs), car, and hotel prices, so I took the plunge.  Worst case, I could abandon the evening events if they were dead and hang at The Barracks and Tool Shed and still have a good weekend getaway in the desert.

(Unfortunately, I swear Delta did a bait-n-switch on me with the airfare, swapping the 4:30 pm departure I wanted for a 9:00 am one that was the same price.  So I had to pay a $150 change fee 5 minutes after booking the trip.  That hurt.  I’ve had this happen once before, perhaps with Delta, so I’m going to watch the site like a hawk the next time I book through them.)

I decided that to streamline my time at the airports — and to save the $25 bag check fee — I would try to do this trip just with a carry-on.  I’m notorious (to myself, anyway) for packing heavy (I need enough reading material, and I want a buffer of a little more clothing than I’ll actually need, and then there’s the leather and the laptop and…), but if I couldn’t go light on a trip where I expect to spend much of my time wearing nothing but pool shoes, then I have deeper problems.

One thing to go was the laptop.  I could depend just on the iPhone for web and e-mail.  Leather would also be reduced to just a pair of boots and a vest; something in case I ended up spending more than a couple Friday afternoon hours at the leather bars, but not very much.  Reading material: three comics collections.  (This ended up being a little too little; I should have taken a fourth, which I would have got about halfway through.  No big deal, the phone had games.)

My only pair of sunglasses broke a week before the trip, so I figured I would have to buy a pair somewhere along the way.  (I ended up not doing so.  Probably should have, but never tracked some down.  Bought some at the Sunglass Hut outlet in Centralia the next weekend, though, on a trip to Portland.)

When I got to the airport, I realized I forgot to pack a baseball cap.  That I would definitely need.  My first instinct was to buy one when I got to Palm Springs, but I have a cap from there (which I bought for Wet ’n Hot in 2000 and meant to bring this time).  So I ended up perusing the Seattle-themed ones at the airport, and ended up with one with red and yellow stripes on it; sounds good, I can tag that as a fetish hat.  (I usually dislike wearing location-branded items — shirts, etc. — that are from where I live, but I could rationalize the exception here, since it would help people identify me better at the event.)

The Event This Year

When I attended previously, the event had been at one resort for the evenings and another for the afternoons.  Now, the entire thing was at the previous afternoon location, which is probably only half the size of the old evening location.  This had a couple good effects, though, because there are several gay resorts within a couple blocks walking distance which they could use (at the old site, overflow locations were not close), and the smaller space made the event seem more crowded, which is valuable for something like this, where proximity makes people more willing to chat and to play.

I can’t say if there were the listed 350 people attending, but the numbers were close enough to that to not quibble over.  Suffice to say that the venue was full but not crowded.  I met guys from Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, and even Chile and New Zealand (they were making this part of a larger vacation trip).  Attendance was predominantly white, but there were a few black, Asian, and Hispanic guys present.  Age range was pretty much 30s through 50s, although there were a few younger and a few older.  Body type ranged from slender through chunky/bearish; I don’t think I saw many rail-thin guys nor much in the way of outright fat, but it also certainly wasn’t “be built or go home”.

As mentioned earlier, the last time I attended, I played relatively little, and even the time before that, I mostly played with just a couple guys.  Attendance was up this year, and so was my breadth of play partners.  While I didn’t get all the play I wanted — who does? — I did get plenty.  I knew that I needed to start hydrating early and abundantly, but my body wasn’t responding as well as it should, as quickly as I wanted.

Getting back in the groove of watersports play — I haven’t done a lot of it in recent years, alas, and especially not in the desert — meant I had to “remember” how to hydrate well, and I had some pissing troubles on Friday.

The slings were quite crowded on Friday night — only a little fisting that I saw, mostly fucking that I saw — but I eventually got in one for some fist play with a buddy.  Unfortunately, my earlier clean out had been inadequate or had worn off, so just about as soon as he got in, we have to stop.  A later fuck session showed that my ass was pretty nasty, too, which halted that, and I left a bit later, around 12:30.

Rather than deal with finding a brunch spot (and to save some money), I had gone to the local Ralph’s supermarket and got sweet rolls, bananas, yogurt, and orange juice for breakfast.  I lounged in the room, and then cleaned out and headed back to the event site for the afternoon BBQ and play session.

Attendance was much lighter in the heat of the day.  I’m sure some were still sleeping, or sight seeing, or just marshalling their strength for the evening.  As they did in the previous years I attended, there was BBQ chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs, plus fixings, potato salad, and so forth.

I was more able to do more piss play Saturday afternoon, engaging in some here and there, plus a fisting session, and I put my name in for (but didn’t ultimately win) the International Mr. Piss contest.  I also got a small amount of sunburn; just a little, about what I expected/planned on.

When I had arrived that afternoon, the guy from Chile complimented my piss-yellow tank top, wanting to find one that color, so when I left, I gave it to him.  I've got plenty of tank tops at home, and this one was starting to show its age.  After a short nap back at the hotel, I went out for dinner at a nearby Moroccan restaurant.  I had brought one pair of long pants and a button-down short sleeve shirt for such an event.

That evening, the temperature dropped quite a bit further and a strong breeze came in, making for a cooler, more comfortable evening.  That may have contributed, but my inhibitions were down and my hydration was up, so I was able to engage in more play, both piss and fisting.  (I had a “clean out” problem early in the evening with my first fisting run, forcing me to hurry back to my hotel for a touch up and then back to the party site before the doors were closed at 10 pm.)

At one point, I was making out with a guy and pissing up his chest, but with my extra piss oomph (I’m able to release a very strong stream and piss a good 6—8 feet horizontally), I was able to hit us in the chin, then in the face, and then hit the guy behind him.  I also had a couple fountains during fisting — when the hand comes out, so does my piss — blasting up to hit the cross-bars on the portable sling.  Whee!


On Sunday morning, after breakfast in the room and coffee across the street, I did some fruitless online cruising and then drove back to Orange County airport.  I did chit-chat connect with a guy who identified my fisting interest based the red on the harness in my Grindr photo.  We didn’t get to play this trip, but hope to in the future.  We’ve exchanged some e-mails since then, too.

Made it back home at a reasonable hour — after another brief plane switch in Salt Lake — but I was pretty tired from the trip.  Too much sun, too much liquid flowing into and then out of the body, too much activity.  Just what I expected, but it took me a couple days after to come back to good shape.

In the end, I had a really good time at Wet ’n Hot 14.  It felt good to reconnect with an area of fetish play which I've been out of for some time.  Attendance levels and the energy were nearly back to where it was in 2000, the first time I went (and the one which will always have that special “glow” to it).  I also found that I’ve missed going to Palm Springs at least once or twice a year; even though it’s cheapest to fly into a coastal airport and drive two hours, it’s still a great trip.  I’m hoping to go back for New Year’s this year.

I expect I will try to go to Wet ’n Hot 15 next summer, although I will definitely stay in one of the clothing-optional gay resorts.  More expensive, but you get the full Palm Springs experience.  And who knows, I might win the lottery for a room at the main site.  (Of course, I’d also like to go for FistFest, which is there in June.  Can I manage both next year?  Mmm, we’ll see!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My First Kiss

Conor Friedersdorf on The Daily Dish prompted readers to send the story of their first kiss.  SO I decided to write this up for the blog (and to send to him).

Frankly, my first kiss story isn’t interesting.  It’s the third kiss where you get the goods.

First Kiss: I was a freshman in high school, and there was some sort of Christmas party or dance.  An older girl — sophomore, I think, maybe named Dori? — brought over a sprig of mistletoe and kissed me.

Second Kiss: At our high school, Senior Prom was paid for by the Junior class, so all the seniors had to do was attend.  Which means you kind of have to, or you look weird.  Which means you have to get a date, and dress up nice, and take her out for dinner.  (sigh)  On the girl’s end, that means there’s an expectation of a kiss of some sort in the mix.  My date was my younger sister’s best friend, Amy.

Sense where this is going?

Third Kiss: His name was Lin.

Just short of turning 22, during the summer between first and second years of grad school at the University of Oregon, I finally decided I was gay.  (More on that tale someday.)  That fall, I found that there was a gay men’s discussion group at a community center just a block or so from my apartment, which I learned about from the campus newspaper, so I attended a couple sessions there.  I have no idea what was discussed, how “out” I felt at the time, or any of that.  (I do recall that the next spring, I went to some potlucks and to a gay campout with some of the guys from there, though, so I must have kept going regularly.)

I met a guy there named Lin, originally from Wyoming.  I don’t know how old he was — late 20s, maybe 30, I think today looking 21 years into the past, but for all I know, maybe just 23 or so, but definitely older than me and more experienced.  He was, I think, about 5'9" tall, with a beard and curly hair and a bear-type body.

Memory is weak after all these years — was that the first discussion group I attended, or after several weeks?  No idea.  I’m pretty sure it was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving weekend, and I was making cinammon rolls from scratch, to take to my parents’ house in Kennewick the next morning (a six-hour drive?  Maybe they were for breakfast on Friday?).  Lin came back to my apartment with me while I attended to the rolls, punching down the batter the first time, which had risen during the discussion group.

I have no idea today just how we met at the discussion group, or what I had told him about myself and my then lack of experience, but while the rolls rose a second time, I had my first roll on the carpet.  Fifteen minutes of rolling around on trashy rust-colored shag carpet later, wildly exploring each other’s faces, we came up for air, and I remember his quote exactly:

“Are you sure you’ve never done this before?”

Guess I was a natural.

All we acquainted ourselves with that first night was tongue.  Other gay things came easily (ahem) as well, but not until the next week, after I got back from Thanksgiving.  Getting your first tiny taste of sexuality and then having to spend the weekend with your parents a couple hundred miles away is not recommended for frustration minimization, believe me!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What is a “Craigslist bot”?

There are two types of Craigslist bots:

Posting bots are used to post ads to Craigslist.  In theory, this is a legitimate action, allowing people to compose personal or business ads offline — perhaps several similar ads for different items — and post them with a single button click.  In practice, though, these bots are usually a form of spam, producing ads (especially personal ads) aimed to get people to reply and be directed to a website or simply have their e-mail address harvested for spam mailings.  By some estimates, as many as half the woman-seeking-man personal ads are bot posts.

Here’s a site with recommendations on how to spot these bots.

Reply bots are more clever, replying to your posts to get you to reply back, again either to harvest your e-mail address or direct you to another site which will do God knows what.  They have apparently broken the CAPTCHA security measures to access the ability to send you e-mail.

Some of the advice in that post above is helpful for spotting reply bots.  Here’s the most recent exchange I had with a reply bot, and how I could have (but didn’t) spot that it was a fake.  He replied to my post, and included a pic of a shirtless reasonably cute guy who is even wearing “gay” underwear (2(x)ist brand), saying:

i would love to meet a nice guy for a fwb situation as well. i am free today to meet. how are you? what is your name?

  • You can’t judge just by fractured grammar and capitalization.  I know plenty of real people who write no better than this, especially in online cruising scenarios.  It’s like their brain isn’t what’s engaged when they are e-mailing you.
  • My post said nothing about “FWB” (Friends With Benefits, aka Fuck Buddy).  It was a straight-up (ahem) kink sex post.
  • His post was sent at 1:44 am on Monday.  The odds of real guys being up and posting (and not strung out on something) goes down as the hour gets later, and reduces further after midnight on Sunday.
  • Although his ostensible name is “Darren”, his return address was junk:
  • The name of his pic file was also junk: fxKeDPlKwD0pTnkDLiPc9wxx.jpg
After I replied back that I was interested, but that I wanted to know what he was after regarding an FWB situation, given the kink sex nature of my ad, the bot replied (with two more pics, these with reasonable names like me13.jpg):

cool :) lets do this then yea?
let me know when ur free
just do me a favor and sign up on my profile
its a service i use to make sure the guys i meet are safe bc ive kinda had somebad experiences in the past
just make sure you say youre over 25 and it should be free
when ur done feel free to give me a call/txt (cells on my profile)
talk to u soon

“gaysingles” was a linked URL:, which redirects through at least three sites to resolve to is owned by (along with almost 37,000 other domain names).

Needless to say, once you’ve received multiple times the same boilerplate “screening” text directing you to some site you’ve never heard anyone mention before, you know it’s a bot.  But you can tell a lot earlier, if you know what to look for.

Curiously, my final reply of “You’re kidding, right?” got no further response.  Guess they got the address they wanted, and now I’ll get Viagra ads.

Updated on November 1, 2010
Posted a follow-up with several new bot replies.