Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gross Old People Sex Party Failure.

So I didn't have sex with anyone tonight. I went home early, and in a crappy mood.

The problem wasn't sexual, but social. The party basically consisted of about a hundred people in a big hall with very loud bad music. It was too loud to have a conversation, so I couldn't meet new people and I couldn't say much to my friends. My friends had all come with one or more partners and I was ranked at about ninth wheel. I'm not good at dancing and I'm not entertained by drinking. I never even made it to the part of the night with sex; after two and a half hours of reliving my middle-school dances I was too bored and lonely to stick it out any longer.

(I had an epically bad night at work the night before, too. Sometimes going straight from a bloodbath to play can be cathartic, but when the play situation ends up being itself stressful, I just melt down. Handling mutilated corpses and getting 3 hours of sleep is rather poor preparation for taking this shit gracefully.)

Ultimately it was really a hearing problem. I'm very bad at understanding conversation where there's loud music. My problem really isn't with swinging or my friends or any such drama; my problem was just that I couldn't communicate, and it left me feeling profoundly lonely. Maybe someday I'll try going again and bring a TTY machine.

22 comments:

  1. i fucking hate when that happens. i've never had the play party thing specifically happen, but i've been in similar situations with church, school, and work, and it really just blows. i always feel like an idiot for not reaching out more, but at the same time i feel like other people should be trying to reach out to me and it becomes this vicious cycle of guilt and blame. i actually have nightmares about being stuck in that kind of thing.

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  2. I have problems hearing people over music, as well...or even minor background noise like the laser printer next to my desk at work. It seems like my brain automatically tries to focus on the least important sound in any given scenario.

    It seems like a fairly severe oversight for a play party to have music so loud you can't talk. Unless, of course, it was a place where everyone usually knows everyone already...or unless swingers are way more single-minded than I imagined. I figured most people - even "play party" people - would want to at least exchange pleasantries before jamming stuff in each others' orifices, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Anyway. I'm just trying to say that I feel your pain re: the social awkwardness etc. I'm amazed you stuck it out for as long as you did.

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  3. I've been to nightclubs a few times. They were too loud to hear effectively and either too dark or too light-flashy to lipread effectively. I have no idea how people manage to meet each other at such places.

    (Maybe some people are just better than others at separating nearby voices from the loud music, and those are the ones who manage to do it? Or maybe some people can communicate on body language alone? I suck horribly at interpreting body language.)

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  4. Perversecowgirl - There was no play, though, or almost none while I was there. It was JUST dancing and sitting around. And, frustratingly, most people did seem able to talk but even two feet away I couldn't make head nor tail. I guess I'm extra specially bad at hearing people over music, and I probably came off as extra specially socially inept. Which I also WAS, because a hundred total strangers mostly not of my demographic at all (not so much in oldness as in lack of geekiness and thus of any common frame of reference), plus eight friends understandably more interested in their partners than in entertaining me, would have been a bit of a daunting situation even with sound.

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  5. I really don't understand the attraction of social scenes where it is so fucken loud you can't have a conversation. As far as I am concerned, the point of a social scence is precisely that you *can* have conversations with lots of different people.

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  6. Sorry to hear it was a bust.

    I am also very bad at understanding conversation when there's loud music or background noise; however I'm unusually good at hearing and imitating non-English phonemes. I theorize it's a side effect of a childhood spent reading rather than talking; perhaps my speech center did not become as specialized as normal. Are you really good with non-English phonemes?

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  7. I am really good with wallowing in loneliness and self-pity after one bad night. OH GOD NO ONE LIKES ME FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT SEX AND I'M NOT EVEN SEXY.

    I am pretty bad at foreign phonemes.

    My theory is actually that I don't go to places with loud music very often, so I'm just not acclimated to picking out voices.

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  8. @Comrade PhysioProf - Thing was though, as someone else who was at the party, it didn't even seem that loud. Hell, I've been at weddings that've been much louder, to say nothing of concerts, nightclubs, and the like.

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  9. Holly, your readers love you, including those of us who don't want sex.

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  10. In the past couple years I've been going to night clubs regularly. I end up "talking" with friends by standing with our heads a hand's breadth apart (but not looking at each other, to avoid unwanted physical intimacy) and yelling, and even then can't say much.

    I've yet to figure out how people meet each other in those settings without mutual friends, but my suspicion is that they don't even try to communicate much beyond visually and physically. Needless to say, I've never gotten any sex out of them.

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  11. Drew - I've been to louder places too, but... I was bored to death at those too. Last night didn't hurt my ears, but it was enough to cut off my ability to socialize.

    "Hi, I'm Holly. I SAID I'M HOLLY! HOLLY! NO, WITH AN H! HI! WOW, WE'RE REALLY MAKING A CONNECTION HERE!"

    Today I'm going to a munch at a nice quiet coffeeshop and hopefully will feel a bit less useless when I'm able to actually follow along with conversations.

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  12. I've yet to figure out how people meet each other in those settings without mutual friends, but my suspicion is that they don't even try to communicate much beyond visually and physically.

    Bingo. Typically, you need to be dancing and set your sights on a person you find hot and who is also dancing. Then one of you (usually the guy) starts subtly drifting closer, and if the girl subtly turns to face him rather than angling herself away, this is a green light.

    Then you dance/grope/make out for a while. Then you take him outside so you can get fresh air and actually talk for a bit, and then you realize that he doesn't speak English/is a jerk/has a girlfriend/looks like Gollum when you get him in brighter light/etc.

    The horrible banality of it all started outweighing the thrill of the hunt for me about fifteen years ago, but yeah, this is how you pick someone up in a loud place. I did meet one or two guys that I ended up dating for a bit, but my "Oh my god this guy is an idiot" moments far outnumbered my "Oh my god this guy has potential" moments.

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  13. As far as I'm concerned, the only reason to go hang out someplace with loud music is to dance. You can't talk, you can't meet people, but if you like to dance (which I do) it can be a great way to step outside yourself for a little while.

    As a social situation, though, it's generally pretty bust.

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  14. Baby check this out, I've got something to say
    Man, it's so loud in here
    When they stop the drum machine and I can think again
    I'll remember what it was

    -They Might Be Giants, "Man, It's So Loud In Here"

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  15. Arg! Yes, I hate that the "party scene" often includes loud ass music.

    I'm deaf in one ear so in addition to not being acclimated to loud music (I intentionally keep audio-clutter to a minimum cuz of my deafness) if somebody sits down/stands on my left they might as well not exist - makes for some pretty awkward situations.

    Besides, you have to have a realistic assessment of your positive attributes and I'm not going to be attracting anybody shaking my ass awkwardly about the dance floor :-P

    Sorry you didn't get to have some crazy sex - partly because it makes you sad but partly because we don't an awesome sex story ;-P

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  16. @Anon - Damnit, you beat me to it. By just a half hour, too; hellfire and damnation!

    @Holly - I empathize with you completely. Instead of going to loud-music-no-socializing parties, you should come down to B'more for a boardgame party with geekery! ;) I assure you, I'd make you feel entirely welcome.

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  17. It sucks when people only reach out to you if/when they want something from you. I am trying to work around defensive hiding myself and towards reaching out to people in a positive, agenda-free fashion.

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  18. I have had that experience, although not at a swingers event. I think it goes along with dyspraxia and processing issues which I have too, but I am also deaf in one ear and have society anxiety (all that put together looks really weird, but it's fine really).

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  19. I have had that experience, although not at a swingers event. I think it goes along with dyspraxia and processing issues which I have too, but I am also deaf in one ear and have society anxiety (all that put together looks really weird, but it's fine really).

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  20. I've been to too many of those. Also, the ones where your gold chain^H^H^H^H^Hclothes smell like smoke for a week afterwards.

    Blargh.

    But don't judge all swingers' parties by this one. Swingers' parties are not special in any way, it's still just a bunch of people partying.

    My gripe is that most of these do's take ages to get going. Firstly people pitch late, hoping, no doubt, that the other people (who also pitch late, of course) will already be nekkid by the time they pitch. It doesn't work. Secondly, there's a need for an icebreaker of some type. If the hosts don't provide that, maybe, nothing happens.

    I'd wager there's a subset of swingers you'd like, and a subset you won't. Probably just like vanilla... except it's difficult fitting back into vanilla parties once you've BTDT.

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