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Quarantine in Los Angeles: When We Didn’t Think it Would Get Worse

Less than two weeks ago, my partner and I discussed our return to Los Angeles because It looked like my day job would need me again. Besides that, stores would slowly open, as we continued our collective work to bring down Covid19.

Then, some cop had to kill another handcuffed black man. Now, BLM has entered the thunderdome.

Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles County

Another murder, in the middle of a pandemic, is enough to set me tears of anger. Furthermore, I have literally lost count since about 2014. How many times has a black teenager, a black man, a black birthday party get into lethal encounter with either vigilantes or cops? Oh, and let’s be honest: considering how many cops love “the Punisher” logo, the line between “Cop” and “Vigilante” blurs. 

But wait, it gets worse!

I cannot go through a day without my phone buzzing like a battleship’s klaxon. Curfews are routine, and though I’m out of town, I’m constantly online with friends ensuring they’re safe. Because I care about them, I also endure images of looting, burning, and police antagonism. That has me in a perpetual state of nervous shock. Finally, too many emotions are happening at the same time, because of what is happening to the city I made my home.

I want Los Angeles to be peaceful. I want black lives to matter. Most of all, I want the social contract with our law enforcement to be renegotiated.

But wait, it gets worse!

Coronavirus and BLM Protests

According to the CDC, Los Angeles has had over 57k cases of Coronavirus. For perspective, we account for about half the cases in the state. However, we were doing well. People had stayed home. Garcetti was allowing businesses to open. Trails and parks were welcoming visitors.

It does not take dual degrees in epidemiology and sociology to see that the protests and the virus are interconnected. When people have jobs to go to and money to earn, they’re not likely to loot. On the other hand, people pent up in their homes, furloughed from employment, and see that the national government does not care, are easy to enrage.

One unnecessary death caused an simmering hive to swarm.

The protests have succeeded in uniting an angry left because we can’t take this shit anymore. Hell, we even saw some confederate monuments destroyed. Yet it is undeniable that this will lead to a surge in Coronavirus infections, just as we were fighting the pandemic to a stalement.

Predictable, Predicted, and Preventable

Progressives, leftists, socialists, and even conservative democrats agree on this: this utter breakdown of social order was preventable. Obama left a plan and a play book for dealing with the pandemic. Additionally, progressives have long argued for greater access to healthcare (including mental health). Most importantly left leaning advocates have studied police brutality and have recommended reform. We’ve been doing this for years. BLM is not new.

It’s the political right that gets in the way. We were impeded by a political party that casually flirts with fascism. Even worse, we’re forced to enter polite dialogue with anti-science, anti-reason, fundamentalists and outright nihilists. At every step, we second guess our relationships across the political divide. “Is my fox news uncle a nazi now? Or is that hyperbole on my part?”

Vote Blue No Matter Who

People who care about democracy, equality, and progress must start winning. Therefore, I supported Warren in the primaries with pride and now I’ll donate to the Joe Biden campaign. Oh wait? Is Joe Biden gross with women? Is he insufficiently progressive? Did he do bad things in the 90s? Yes, yes, and yes. Also, Joe Biden has made a good faith effort to listen to progressives. He has not “pulled right” as many progressives have feared. He has the support of the old GOP in exile, which means he can get swing voters in critical states. Beyond all that, he has empathy for virus victims. Oh yeah, that should be a given. But look were we’re at. Look at what kind of people run the GOP now.

Yes, I will hold my nose and vote for him because after that I will demand that every progressive drag him further left.

Yet if supporting the Biden Campaign is something you can’t do, then how about this instead? Fuck Mitch McConnell. Fuck Lindsey Graham. Defend Doug Jones. If you agree with any of those statements, support the Get Mitch or Die Trying fund. Imagine: the last four years would have been different, if Democrats controlled the senate.

Whatever you do, do something. Most of us don’t have the constitution to face down riot police. Many of us are rightly afraid to spread a virus to our loved ones. Nonetheless, we can still do things to protect them, and protect a democratic future. Out of all the coronavirus posts here, this one has been the most important. Donate. Vote. Support.

Because the stakes we face are, quite literally, life or death for many.

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Quarantine in Los Angeles: Find Your Happy Place

In a recent web forum, someone asked me “where’s your happy place?” My happy place, like all of ours in Los Angeles, is closed for corona. Why? Because there is definitely no better place for a virus to spread than a club. Sadly, my favorite goth night club struggles to handle its expenses right now.

Bar Sinister for Goths and Ghouls

Back in college, Bar Sinister helped me celebrate my twenty first birthday in the greatest way ever. Philosophy students already like to wear black. Therefore, a club that played industrial, old school goth, ebm, and eighties synth pop couldn’t be a better choice. My partner at the time had never worn eye shadow, and he allowed me to give him the Robert Smith treatment. Ladies, if he lets you put eye shadow on him he’s a keeper. (Yeah, whatever I didn’t keep him.)

When we walked in, a domme had a male sub bent over. He presented his bare back to her, and she worked him with a pair of floggers in a criss-crossing motion. Her beats hit in time to a Nine Inch Nails track. Naturally, I fell for her and the club right then, and knew it would be my happy place for years to come. We spent the evening drinking, dancing, and tipping the gorgeous go-go girls all night.

Dance. Drink. Kink Play.

My interest in kink, bondage, and exhibitionism goes back as far as I can remember. However, to this day I have conflicted feeling about getting watched. (Had a bad time during the myspace days. Another story.) Bar Sinister’s kink play area helped with that. How?

First, no cameras. The doms there are quite strict, and if they catch you filming they will demand you delete it. (It’s usually the token vanilla idiot, who is out of dress code too). Additionally, they’re safe. When you’re watching the doms perform, you can see the expertise and skill with each strike. I’d submitted to leather floggers before Bar Sin. But never had I done so with an audience, while listening to some of my favorite music. It fulfilled my exhibitionist tendencies in the safest way possible. My partners and I keep going back just for that.

Stupid Virus

Sadly, with the virus, Bar Sinister is closed down for now. Yet the staff and community remains strong. Dj Tommy and Jpeg_01 still spin on their twitch channels. The patrons of the are donating to support the club because we can’t wait for it to return. Between now and then? I’m going to keep listening to the tracks on twitch, dancing in my pajamas, and caring for my leather toys.

That place will be packed with this virus finally goes away.

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Quarantine in Los Angeles: Where Would You Be Right now?

In the years before the lonely apocalypse, I expressed my love of leather in the form of corsets, boots, chokers and everything I would wear to the Southern California Ren Faire. As you surely know, coming weekends are canceled. For we have all sworn oaths of solitude until this plague passes over us. We are left to only listen to the prophets in our podcasts denounce our rulers like the prophets of Israel decried their kings.


Were I at the Ren Faire, I’d probably spend all my money on pewter things again. Yes, I have problem. It’s pretty much the only material I love as much as leather. Now, don’t tell me it has lead in it because it bloody well doesn’t. The Pewter-smiths of Fellowship Foundry swear it. I have at least a dozen articles of pewter jewelry but my biggest manic splurge ever was this:

Fellowship Foundry

In my defense, I didn’t spend all the money for these. My primary and I split the cost, naturally. We came upon this pair shortly after we realized we’d been together for a year and half. Day jobs, Los Angeles housing, and honestly our preferences have kept us in living separately. Nonetheless our fun glasses have never failed to entertain when we share nights together.

The first weekend we had them we watched a train wreck in slow motion. Neither of us had seen any episodes of Game of Thrones season eight yet. Our pirate glasses remained ever full as we mourned and drank to the wake of our favorite show. Another time, we brought our glasses to a our first Dungeons and Dragons table top night (again, in the before time), and sipped red wine as if it was the blood of the enemies in which we trampled upon (I played a Barbarian. Deal with it).

Now? Well thanks to quarantine we still raise glasses to another, toasting through digital screens as we play remote games or simply catch up on our new hermit reality. We hope for our beloved Ren Faire next year.

As always small business vendors suffer the worst right now. So please, raise glass, take a shot, drink some ale for Fellowship Foundry.

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Quarantine in Los Angeles: Wear Whatever You Want

Before the lonely apocalypse, I worked in an office. There, I developed a mild case of C.R.O.W. disorder (that’s “Corned Rabid Office Worker” see this book for more details), which in hindsight wasn’t so terrible. I didn’t worry that I might die by groceries or if Donnie the Neckbeard sneezed in my face again.

Yet at said C.R.O.W. disorder inducing offices -including some education related ones- I must obey a dress decorum. As kinky as I am, as outgoing as I am, I won’t stride into work in a pleather mini skirt and my Demonias. Now working at home I can wear pretty much whatever I want, but how do I telegraph that I’m kinky if there’s no one to send a stealthy signal too?

One cloudy November before the lonely apocalypse, I attended an art convention and met Kevin of Geeky and Kinky. Kevin loves what he does and these pins are his only job. Sadly, he’s had to cancel events because of the Corona Virus. Online sales though? They’re still going strong.

Subtle, small, yet completely unambiguous, his enamel pins like the one above signal your kink to a vanilla social environment . Looking to get to the “what are you into?” icebreaker question in a hurry? I’m into a submissive ranger today. What are you into?

Now when in those offices, one still needs to practice discretion. Something too blatantly kinky might get you sent to HR. Maybe your plan to scare that one guy away backfires and instead encourages Donnie the Neckbeard. One must strike a happy medium.

The Mistress D pin fit well with my otherwise vanilla work outfits. It’s crystal clear about who I am, yet tame enough that I never had a meeting with HR Mommy.

It attracted the right kind of people. In the office, one of the graphic designers noticed it, and she asked me about it. We hadn’t really talked too much before since we worked on different floors. Yet that week we had a candid, honest, and kinky conversation during an off site lunch.

She always said she’d play sometime, because she’d never played too much with anyone. We texted a few times and our schedules never matched.

Maybe now, in our mutually lonely apocalypse, it will finally be the time for her meet Mistress D.

Happy quarantine, Los Angeles.

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