Friday, August 6, 2010

Those Dreaded HSEs

High School Emotions, that is. The insecurities, dramas and worries we thought we left behind with zits and braces.

Erica Scott and I find this topic so interesting (especially since it turns up regularly in the spanking scene, as it does with pretty much any group of humans) that we're writing parallel blogs on it: her female view and my male view. See hers over at

So what is it about these high school emotions? Where do they come from? What's it all about? It's weird. We "grow up." We "stabilize" into some semblance of normal adulthood. And then, whenever it happens in our lives, we find ourselves in the lifestyle, exploring our kink. And when we do, we're putting ourselves out there--emotionally, mentally, and, for some, spiritually (whatever that may mean to you).

We ask ourselves questions before we publicly play:
  • Will someone play with me?
  • Am I attractive enough?
  • What if I'm "scorned"?
  • What if no one likes me?
  • What if I do something wrong? Smell bad? Perform poorly? Wrap? Fart?
  • Etc., etc., etc.
Many of those questions we never ask ourselves in adulthood. Particularly if you're married or in a stable relationship, those are things we don't worry much about. And if we do, it's typically at a different level of anxiety. Sure, at spanko parties we're all amongst friends, so to speak, but there's that girl you've always wanted to play with, there's that guy you've wanted to OTK with...whatever.

And that's where the HSEs come in.

Sure, there's drama in life and there are those who thrive off it. But there seems to be an inordinate amount of it at play parties. Tears, anger, frustration, isolation, ostracization (is that a word?--my spellcheck says no). We open ourselves to so many of these things, plus sheer exhaustion, physical duress (in one form or another), sleep deprivation--it's no wonder.

And look, I'm not pointing fingers. I do it too. I have my moments. I sat in a hotel room with two of my dear friends, lying on their bed and wondering aloud what the hell I was doing at this particular party. I've had Erica give me pep talks like a high school football team coach before the big rivalry game ("Craig, just walk into the party like you own it! C'mon! You'll do great!"). I've blogged about my own post-party drop. It just is.

Now, I'm certain not everyone experiences these feelings. But damn, once you recognize it, you see not only in yourself, but all around you. And that's okay. Because at a play party, we're all in high school in the gym at the Winter Wonderfest Dance waiting to be asked or building up the nerve to ask...


  1. Oh, and as serendipity would have it, Richard Windsor blogged similarly in the past day or two:

  2. You covered one point that I forgot: The sheer overwhelming aspect of these weekends -- too much to do, too little time, so many people, not enough sleep, etc. -- certainly adds to the potential for dramas and meltdowns.

    Doesn't seem fair, does it -- you go through all the pains of growing up, thinking you left this high-school crap behind, and yet there it is again.

    Here's where we get to see how much we've grown up -- HOW do we deal with our HSEs when they happen? It's not easy. You've seen my tears at parties on more than one occasion.

  3. I was at one spanking party this year, standing against a wall between two very good girlfriends, looking out at the room. I couldn't help but giggle as I realized that it was clearly segregated into girls and boys. It reminded me of my the first day of my 8th grade history class when I noticed the exact same self-sorting phenomenon.

    I will admit to being guilty of succumbing to the dreaded HSE on occasion. Hell, mine descends to JHSE (Junior High School Emotions) almost as often, unfortunately. I've ended up crying on more than one occasion with absolutely no explanation for my emotional state other than that I just needed to cry, and it took me 5 parties to figure that much out. Usually, I just sit there in a state of shock at the tears running down my face.

    I've stood in my room, hating my hair, massacring my mascara, and swearing I'm not going to set foot out of the room because I feel like a doof walking in the medium heels I'm trying to wear. I've stood outside suite parties trying to work up the nerve to knock on the door...sometimes waiting for someone else to come along so I can enter with them instead of facing a room all by myself.

    However, in my short party going career, I've also bought and worn more skirts than I've ever owned in my life, actually walked in heels in public, participated in a public demo, joined in a public trivia game, and learned to say no when I really don't want to play...sometimes even with more grace than a deer in headlights look and a frantic head shake. Perhaps one of these days, I'll even learn how to put on make up or … accept the invitation when the cute guy asks me to dance!

    I think maybe these High School Emotions are indicative of the fact that we are living in an emotionally exciting and intense place and time in our lives, especially at weekend spanking parties. We're doing something about our innermost, long-held desires, and it leads to high emotions and all that that entails. I'll take the dance in the fire in order to experience the things I've experienced this last year and a half. It's more than worth it, however gawky I feel.

  4. Jada:

    Thank you for that honest outpouring. I really appreciate it. It's funny you say "Junior HIgh School Emotions" because at times I feel that just about sums it up!


  5. I wish you would have blogged about this stuff yesterday, then I wouldn't have booked my flight and reservations. Dammit! I am going with a friend and if we don't like the party we will ditch out, just like we did in high school. We were both a bit wild, even though we didn't know one another and we both share the same name. See you there!

  6. Jujubees:

    You comin'? Cool! Can't wait to meet you in person!


  7. Erica:

    We all have our angst. In the end, most of us are here to support one another and that makes it nice, knowing there's a safety net!


  8. Craig,

    I think I am fortunate with the scorned/no one likes me section, because that is one area that I have little interest in. I know the people who are important to me and if someone doesn't like me it is of no big loss to me, because they probably aren't important to me either.

    All of the other sections I, too, worry about from time to time. Despite my outgoing personality I am actually painfully shy, especially with people I would like to know. In situations like that I generally revert to safe mode and stick with the people I do know.

    Again I have some fortune because a lot of people know who I am and that tends to break the ice, but I can certainly relate to the wallflower mentality.

    The exhaustion part is definitely key as well I think. At parties I tend to put my party hat on make the extra effort to be outgoing, polite, social etc, etc; Come the final night though, I have had enough. Those little things that may have slightly bothered me during the weekend tend to get magnified, and therefore my tolerance level and reaction to them is probably more 'real', lol, and that isn't actually a good thing :-) It is one reason why I try to keep positive people in my circle. The type of friends who would say "Oh, he's just being a crankypants", but are understanding, as opposed to those who feel it is now a good time to niggle you even further until you explode.

  9. Great timing on these posts, I have to say. I just attended my 30th high school reunion last night (more on that on Erica's blog)but spanking parties come close. The drama thing has burned me out. I'm taking a break and I honestly don't know how long it will last. I just can't do this anymore. I don't know what happened at the CM party and I don't really care. It just seems that at every event there is unnecessary bs taking place and who needs it? For the time being I shall live vicariously through friends and attend small private parties with people that I know I can trust and relax with. Getting off soapbox now.


    PS On a totally different note...what do you use to make a Dark and Stormy? No one in any of the bars here has a clue what I'm talking about and getting ginger beer seems impossible!

  10. Richard:

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. After the last couple of parties I've decided to take a different tack of my own on a thing or two. We'll see how they go at SL.

    Looking forward to seeing you there!


  11. Alona!

    Thanks for your post. Sorry to hear about you taking a break, but we all gotta do what we gotta do, right?

    Dark & Stormys are simple:

    Tall Glass with ice
    Dark Rum (Gosling is the official Dark & Stormy rum)
    Ginger Beer (NOT ginger ale! make sure it's ginger beer or don't drink a dark & stormy!)
    Two or three wedges of lime juice squeezed in glass, plus a wedge rubbed on rim, thrown into drink carelessly for good measure
    Stir, drink, enjoy

    The key is good rum and real ginger beer! Let me know how it goes.

  12. (sighs).. all I want for xmas is some kind of notification about you people when you blog! (grrrrrrrr)

    On another note: Richard said; Despite my outgoing personality I am actually painfully shy..

    BINGO.. that's me. I can entertain 500 people giving a clinic in my field.. but walk into a small room that's like an intimate cocktail party and I'm a damn bundle of nerves!

    I loved all the blogs on this subject.


  13. Wow, this post just brought back memories; most which make chuckle. I remember refusing to get out of a friend's car before my first party even though I knew a few of the people there. In my defense, I was 18 and incredibly shy.

    Fortunately, I managed to avoid most drama by sticking with a small but awesome group of girls. My party expectations might be a little different than most because I don't go with the intention of playing. I like going to hang out with old friends and make some new ones. That said, I'm really an insecure girl at heart, so I'm always worried about whether I'm at least average looking or thin enough. And now, after reading this post, whether or not I smell.

  14. Thanks for your comments again, Beth!

    I really appreciate your contribution and thoughts!

    Keep it up!