1/31/15 HYSTERIA: A Steamy Steampunk/Victorian Clinic!
By popular demand and a great deal of friendly persuasion, we are happy and proud to establish our hit theme as an annual attraction
-a Steamy Steampunk/Victorian Clinic Revisited!
Once again it’s time to polish your brass and dust off your dusters! It’s a top-hat, corset and gown kind of affair complete with demonstrations of pleasurable remedy; entertainment of wonder and fancy; and, of course, our customary salon of sensual delights!
- Steampunk Doll by Lorenzo Sperlonga
PARDON ME. DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?
The Time Machine was published in 1895 by H.G. Wells. Let us slip into our chrononautical gear and climb aboard a time machine of our own. Dial the clock back to the Victorian Age, the climax of the British Empire, where colonization had given way to industry; machines were powered by steam; and sexuality had been so repressed that desire was bursting the seams of every trouser and corset in the streets of London.
MUST YOU BE SO CLINICAL?
Though social ideals, industry and technology were making leaps and bounds, medical science was still operating from the old, archaic paradigm. It may be hard for us to conceive, but doctors actually propagated some (how shall we say) pretty bizarre ideas…
“…hysteria referred to a medical condition thought to be particular to women and caused by disturbances of the uterus…symptoms were supposedly caused by the movement of a woman’s uterus to various locations within her body as it became light and dry due to a lack of bodily fluids… Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.” (Wikipedia) Yeah… really! -So, just for the dastardly fun of it, our sojourn shall be into what once were the medical clinics of the Victorian age!
HYSTERIA? THAT’S HYSTERICAL!
For this foray into historical hysteria, we’ve enlisted a fantastic array of our dear colleagues to present in our very special clinic…. -Joining us will be the lovely, talented and enthralling author Jenny Bitner!
Pretty and impressive JENNY BITNER
JUST ADDED: Ohlone/Chumash Tradition holder, Poet, Activist, Artist, and hilarious cutie Kanyon Sayer-Roods
-Co-hosts Mistress Crystal and Dr. SENSEI are you guides into a night of delight, discovery and wonder!
-Sexy songstresses Legs and Karina sing sweet songs of sultry sensation.
–Ms. Lili von Shtupp, the “Teutonic Titwillow” herself performing her famous BlazingSaddles burlesque number “I’m TIRED!”
-DJ 4thWay serves up the sonic stimulation in layers of erotic, exotic concoctions that stimulates the anatomy into a frenzy of pleasure and joy
–Chef Curt-I caters an array of culinary creations that will please the eye and stimulate the palate
-Take a ride on our Steamy Super-Sybian Sensual Stimulator
–Madame LN presents a new HedonSalon feature: the Cuddle Puddle! (sensuous consensual cuddling)
-An impressive array of gifted and talented practitioners, indeed! However, as always with HedonSalon, we seek YOUR talent and input! Got a sexy, entertaining talent of your own? Let us know! That’s what this salon is about: community, unity and expression.
Immediately following a most stimulating salon, reverie shall commence as our party gets underway! Come play and display your beautiful adorned and decorated selves in over 1000 square feet of clean, comfy playspace, including large beds, chillout and social space, outdoor smoking patio, massage station, jacuzzi tub and spacious showers!
OH… and as always, we have our birthday wishes to fulfill (are YOU Capricorn or Aquarius?) and so far we have two fantasies declared. One delightfully sexy redhead wants four beautiful women to administer sensuous spankings on her derrière. Another gentleman wishes for a group of women to lick, tease and please his willing wife into new levels of delight. Do you think YOU might be genie enough to help grant these wishes? Or perhaps simply seeing them would be eye-candy enough?
Oh, and if you’re a sports fan planning on seeing the SuperBowl broadcast the next day, why not join us for some cuddly fun during the game (scroll down on the link for more details)
You have one more week to RSVP. We do hope you can come!
SENSEI and Crystal
BIRTHDAY WISHES GRANTED!
Oh yes (-lest we forget…) -Each HedonSalon features a portion of the evening where any guest born under the zodiac sun signs of the particular time of year (in this case, CAPRICORN and AQUARIUS) may have the opportunity to reveal a birthday wish or fantasy! The rest of us shall co-conspire to GRANT YOU YOUR WISH! Please note that now, your wish must be written in proposal to us in advance (with your RSVP confirmation). This is an effort to not only tighten up the presentation, but also to strengthen the intention behind this fun and unique feature of our parties. (-for more info, look at the “About” tab)
CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING (OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, SOMETHING)
Like each of our parties, we focus on the Salon; that mostenjoyable format of gatherings that literally revolutionized society and culture. But our own ongoing version of the Salon features a titillating, tantalizing twist: Ours is an expression and exploration of pleasure, which has proven to be the most enduring, driving. and pleasing motivation in human consciousness. Usually based on works or movements in literature, our Salons are an opportunity to share an adventure with others of creative and open propensities and to experience joy within the context of play (-just because we’ve “grown up” doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!)
While we cannot serve or provide alcoholic libations, we will have “boozecheck” volunteers keeping an eye on your bottled spirits. We shall also provide a fair selection of mixers and absinthe service set. Please note that while certainly not opposed to moderation, we must emphasize that we do not condone nor allow excessive inebriation at our parties!
SYNCHRONIZE YOUR POCKETWATCH!
Exact location is disclosed upon RSVP, but we will tell you that it shall be in Middletown, CA, not far from Calistoga, close to those splendid Hot Springs.
- This private affair opens at 8pm for tea, krumpets, fondue and fun.
- Our clinical demonstrations begins promptly at 9pm.
- Our doors close at 12 midnight. The party *officially* ends at 2am.
The volunteer list is sure to be filled soon! Let us know ASAP if you intend on volunteering. (See ”Volunteer” tab)
If you are coming in from out of town be aware that we do have a bit of space for people to spend the night. If, however, you wish to check into your own room, let us know so we can coordinate floors and we may have a discount for a group rate.
THEME AND ATTIRE (DRESS CODE)
We thrive to keep our themes based on literature, as HedonSalon is as much a benefit for the ELYSEUM literary program as it is a setting to explore pleasure in a safe and supportive environment. Some literary and cinematic references that work for this gathering are:
- Mr. Hyde, Allan Quatermain, Rodney Skinner (Invisible Man), Capt. Nemo, Mina Parker (Dracula) from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore, illustrated by Kevin O’Neill
- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- City of Lost Children
- The Golden Compass
- Vidocq aka Dark Portals: The Chronicles of Vidocq
- Young Sherlock Holmes
- Sherlock Holmes (2009)
- The Prestige
- Sleepy Hollow
- From Hell
- Van Helsing
- Bram Stokers: Dracula
- Mary Shelleys: Frankenstein (The Modern Prometheus)
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Brotherhood of the Wolf
- Wild Wild West
- Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
- The Illusionist
- Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
- Time Bandits
- Adventures of Baron Munchausen
- Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
- Interview with a Vampire
- The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne
- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1997)
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
- H.G. Wells
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire
- The Difference Engine
- Laputia: Castle in the Sky
- The Legend of Korra
- Tai Chi Zero (太極之零開始)
- Alice in Wonderland
- The works of Edward Gorey
-gowns, corsets, petticoats and bustles; gloves, cuffs, collars, cravats, jabots, parasols, suits with vests, coats, spats, monocles, pocket watches/compass, braces (suspenders), top-hats, straw-skimmer hats, derby’s, walking sticks, stockings, garter belts…
Basically, all of the above, and then some…
“Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines, but tends to synthesize modern styles influenced by the Victorian era… Steampunk-influenced outfits will often be accented with a mixture of technological and period accessories: timepieces, parasols, goggles and ray guns.” (Wikipedia)
There is no shortage of sites out there illustrating and selling steampunk and Victorian aesthetics and attire. The following sites nice places to start…
-and our favorite: DARK GARDEN CORSETERY
Oh… and need we mention goggles…?
Only recently done with that awful so-called “civil” war and the equally uncivilized practice of slavery, our friends from the former colonies are most welcome! Cowboy boots, ten-gallon hats, bonnets, chaps, calvary uniforms, six-shooters, gatlin guns, gold prospectors, sharecroppers, pioneers, Antebellum socialite, Indian warriors and chiefs, Mexican banditos… and you might want to put a weird twist on them as per the Weird West genre (close compatible cousin to Steampunk).
“Weird West is used to describe a combination of the Western with another genre, usually science fiction, horror, occult, or fantasy.” (Wikipedia) -Zombie cowboys, anyone?
STEAMPUNK PARODIES AND DERIVATIVES A sure sign an ideas time has come is the cropping up of various parodies of said idea. Steampunk has a variety of parodies. SteamFunk was born of a popular comedy skit by Key and Peele. The main characteristic is utilizing ridiculous, cheap components in ones costume. Note his spraypaint rainboots; the broken eye-glass monocle; the digital watch on a chain; the buckle-strapped work gloves; and (of course) that silly PVC pipe telescope (we can forgo the rat inside the tophat, please!) SteamFunk! <<<<Right here! Nerfpunk comes from the ironic tendency to use toy Nerf guns as props/accessories for a Steampunk ensemble. Normally, one would repaint and resurface the toy gun to give it a metallic and textured finish. It actually does make for a perfect accessory. However, in Nerfpunk, the fashioning is reversed and instead of changing the color of the brightly colored plastic guns, you change the colors of your otherwise earth-toned SteamPunk attire. The results are hilarious! Behold…. -Jump forward a couple decades to DieselPunk… -Or slip back an era into RococoPunk! Any imaginative RetroFuturistic style would work! OTHER WELCOME GUESTS WORLDWIDE
Any Gothic style will feel fine at our gathering. A lot was happening in the world those days and we welcome creative costumes from the cross-cultural spectrum of the former turn-of-the-century period (have fun with your selection, but please be respectful of the original cultures you choose to portray. In other words: HONOR what you embody). French courtesans and can-can dancers; German late Bismarck/early Wiemar; Late Manchurian Dynasty (when machines met wuxia); Magical Meiji (the twilight of the samurai feudal period and the rise of industry); Rajas; Sultans; Cossacks, polar and jungle explorers (remember: Tarzan was the Victorian nobleman known as Lord Greystoke!), and… well… ok… swarthy pirates can come too… (just watch yer booty!) -and you might want to steamengine your pirate ship, or maybe be an airship pirate!
BLIMEY! THOSE CLOTHES ARE BLOODY EXPENSIVE!
This time around we realize that our theme might prove to be intimidating for some of our prospective guests. Victorian and Steampunk attire can end up costing a pretty penny. However, we want to reassure everyone that there are, indeed, inexpensive options for the HedonSaloneer on a budget. Many already have western gear in your wardrobe. As mentioned before, that would be fine (as the western days coincided with the Victorian age). Another thing to remember is that there were other things going on that would work, such as a nice chambermaid costume, or a poor orphan (ala Oliver Twist), or perhaps a khaki-clad jungle explorer. There were clergy (ministers, priests, nuns) as well as doctors and patients (THAT would be simple and inexpensive and even MORE in tune with the particulars of our theme!). The thing is, have FUN getting your costume together, but don’t get too worried about it.
There are many Do It Yourself sites and blogs out there (try typing “DIY steampunk” into your favorite search engine). We’ve also seen plenty of awesome items at vintage and secondhand stores. Renting pieces or an entire ensemble isn’t out of the question. A couple of places to consider:
In Sebastopol: http://www.funkandflash.com/
In Santa Rosa: http://www.hotcouturevintage.com/ http://www.disguisethelimit.com/
In Marin: http://www.thebelrose.com/
In Sacramento: http://www.decadescostumes.com/
As fun as coming in the theme costume and character can be, lingerie, fetish gear and simple nudity are always ok (-and nudity has always been affordable). No street clothes allowed!
WHERE TO GO? WHERE TO STAY?
Due to the discreet nature of HedonSalon, we do not reveal the exact location of our events until we have an RSVP and confirmation from our prospective guests (-and they are subject to change from one event to another) -However, we will tell you that it will be in Middletown, California, United States of America; a location not far from the quaint town of Calistoga and very close to those fabulous hot springs.
If you are in want of your own lodging for the evening, let us know, as there are several options, including discounted rates and limited free space for our guests from out of town.
MAKE A WEEKEND AWAY OF IT!
-The day after HedonSalon many of us will (as usual) have brunch together and enjoy a refeshing soak at the nearby hot springs retreat spot, which will have its own festivities scheduled that very weekend. You can even join SENSEI (who is an actual poet laureate of local renown!) for his weekly writers workshop in the early evening at the retreats comfy lounge.
Casinos, clubs, dining, wine tasting and tours nearby; the forests and lakes of Lake County make for excellent hiking and outdoor activities. We are nearby neighbors to Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties, with the ocean coast being a pleasant drive away. Many of our repeat guests enjoy driving up casually through the Napa wine valley. Rideshares are available and encouraged!
This next event is shaping up splendidly! (Please scroll down to read more details about HYSTERIA III: a Steamy Steampunk/Victorian Soiree! Jan. 31st). Our guest list is looking very good and our Salon is expected to be particularly entertaining.
As alternative and artsy as our crowd tends to be, we do have some football fans who are looking forward to this years SuperBowl, and it is scheduled the very day after our HYSTERIA party (ohNO!) Sounds like bad news, but wait! This is actually GOOD NEWS!
Several of our regular guests have inquired about staying the weekend and about catching the SuperBowl with other football fan HedonSaloneers. We are happy to report that there are TWO very exciting options for enjoying the sporting festivities!
The first choice (and our highest recommendation) would be to go to Harbin Hot Springs, where they will be showing the broadcast of the SuperBowl on their extra-large, high-definition theater projection screen! The Harbin theater also features plush and roomy seating (most of it on very comfy cushions where we can get nice an cuddly!) with a state of the art sound system. Harbin also supplies munchy foods for the occasion.
The second choice (and not a bad one) would be the bar at Twin Pine Casino Resort, which attracts a huge sports-fan crowd (and you can play a couple hands of poker after the game!).
The deciding factor might be the fact that you cannot drink alcohol at Harbin Hot Springs, but you certainly may at Twin Pines (-its a bar!). So, our sports fan friends have even more reason to spend a weekend with us!
So, will you be joining us for the festivities? Do let us know! RSVP is required.
SENSEI and Crystal
WAIT A BLASTED MINUTE! ISN’T STEAMPUNK DEAD???
In the fickle and persnickety world of geek-hipsterdom, trends and fashions become obsolete more quickly than the last Apple product upgrade. Steampunk had been seen as the “style du-jour” of a great many hipsters. But just like any style that catches on, there comes a point where it reaches a point of popularity where it is no longer considered… well… hip. On the other hand, there are those who would argue that Steampunk has successfully reached another plateau of its manifestation, albeit that plateau is pop-culture mainstream, but as Mr. Tee Morris so articulately points out: “Do we want Steampunk to go mainstream? Of course we do! (so) Suck it, asshats. Steampunk is just getting warmed up.” Sir Jared Axelrod makes a fine point: “If having a teen hearthrob play your sandbox ‘ruins’ it, then it probably wasn’t your sandbox to begin with.” HereHere! –We offer you one more lucid observation from Ms. Isabella von Pumpernickel: “If you think steampunk is dead because the ‘mainstream’ has noticed it, well then you weren’t really into it that much…You are not a steampunk, you are just a hipster.” (take that, hipster kitty!)
-So, yes, indeed, it would appear our dear Neo-Victorian, retrotech Steampunk style has jumped the proverbial shark with a few awful minutes of music industry overproduced excess, but we, here at HedonSalon believe that Steampunk can’t actually be dead because it never actually lived! What??? -Well, if you follow the logic that the world of imagination is something parallel to the world of our regular lives, then you understand that Steampunk, being a product of imagination, is outside that of which is temporal, mundane and “living.” As long as Steampunk remains imaginative, inventive, and, above all, beautiful, we will continue to rock those top-hats, petticoats and corsets! So, in the hipper-than-hip anti-hipster, anti-establishment tradition of real punk, we do so declare: STEAMPUNK IS DEAD! LONG LIVE STEAMPUNK!!!