I'm typing this post from the second of two consecutive sex & kink conferences I'm doing this month. Last week I was in Ohio presenting a workshop on incorporating spiritual meaning in our erotic lives, and another that provided a detailed overview of the broad spectrum of ways people experience and identify their gender.
This weekend sees over thirteen hundred erotic journeyers descend on Washington DC for the biggest event the company I work for puts on. I was the assistant producer and programing director, spending the last five months choosing the presenters and planning out the workshops, rituals, and special events for the weekend. I'm also coordinating a team of programing assistants, working as a staff photographer, and co-teaching a workshop: "The Gay Guys' Guide To Blowjobs: Now For Everyone."
And that my friends, is a lot of talking and thinking about sex.
It so happens that my day job revolves around an aspect of life that for most people is an outlet and a form of recreation. Please don't mistake me, I love the work that I do, and know how lucky I am to do it. But it's still work.
Which brings us to today's photograph.
The host hotel for this week's conference is a few short blocks from the Capitol Building and the National Mall. Knowing that for the sake of my mental health I had to get away for a few hours before the event got going, I dragged my husband (a local who hates doing "touristy crap") out of the hotel to keep me company while I took photos.
After having gotten thoroughly chilled trying to find a non-cliched angle from which to take pictures of the Capitol, we decided to stop into the United States Botanic Garden, where I took this photo, among quite a number of others.
It was the first time in weeks, and certainly since leaving home nearly a week before, that I felt anything approaching relaxed. No one can eat, drink, and sleep their job and be healthy, but in the lead up to a major event, that's exactly what I find myself doing. The fact that I work in a field that is associated in many people's mind with pleasure only adds to my tendency to get sucked in deep and forget to catch my breath.
Most of us scoff at cliches, and "stop and smell the flowers" surely has to be considered one of the most trite. But as we lost ourselves in the experience of each new room in the Botanic Garden filling our senses with exotic smells and sights, I realized just how badly I had needed to take some time out of my frenetic life and do exactly that.