My Frolicon 2018 Experience



I have to admit, I’ve been stalling when it comes to writing about how my Frolicon went because after having an amazing first day the rest of the con was pretty uneventful for me. That sharp build up towards a complete anti-climax makes the weekend kind of awkward to talk about. I had a nice time, so I don’t want to give a negative impression, but it was such a let down from my inflated expectations that I feel like I’m damning the con with faint praise when I say it was just kind of alright. I’d honestly probably have a lot better feeling towards the whole thing if it hadn’t been so inordinately expensive for me to attend coming from New York, which isn’t fair to hold against the convention itself.

So, what was good about Frolicon 2018 for me?

For me, the best aspect of Frolicon 2018 was the initial rush of seeing and hugging all the people I haven’t seen since Frolicon 2017. Day One was this huge wave of catching up with people I adore in fifteen minute chunks that usually began and ended with hugs.

I couldn’t have picked much better roommates, sharing a hotel room with a former metamour I’m still good friends with and an awesome woman I met at Frolicon 2017. Our room ended up being kind of a nexus for a lot of our circle of friends to engage in or organize their debauchery, which was a double-edged sword. It meant that often I didn’t have to go anywhere to be around my friends and their shenanigans, but it also meant that I couldn’t always get a respite from them either.

I think the absolute best single moment of con was winning Frolicon Feud (yes, a knock off of Family Feud) with a team of some of my favorite people at con (including my aforementioned hotel roommates). What made it special was it was the only time I spent with anyone during the con where we were all in that moment together and not just catching a moment while in transition to other things. The fact that our team won party judge badges was just icing on that cake.

I enjoyed the multiple photography oriented panels, which were the only panels I made it to for some reason. I wish I had made it to some of the several polyamory related panels and the violet wand classes (since I splurged and bought a violet wand as an early birthday present to myself).

The room parties were a step up from last year, being much easier to find. I had a good time party hopping in the evenings and drinking copious amounts of the complementary booze. They still had a crowding problem, particularly in the small rooms where I got most of the physical contact I had over the weekend via squeezing through people to get from one end of a room to another, but it was at least worth the hassle this year. It would be nice to see more room parties in larger suites, but I’m not sure that the current con hotel has larger suites available or if they’re just prohibitively expensive.

Overall, I had a good time. I’m just not sure that I will go next year if I’m still living in New York when it comes around because of the massive expense involved. Between travel, accommodations, registrations, and lost time from work Frolicon set me back well over a grand, to say nothing of the 40 cumulative hours I spent on trains. I feel like I could have had a lot more fun using that time and money very differently.

I still highly recommend Frolicon for people who live in the American Southeast. Hell, odds aren’t even that low that I’ll drag myself back to Georgia for Frolicon 2019 next year. I definitely want to return, it’s just a matter of the large toll in time,  money, and effort that attending from New York takes.

Deviant Life #8





This actually sort of happened to me. At least, the whole forgetting how many people were in the shower with me at my birthday party part. I clearly remember four other besides myself because I made out with them, and I vaguely remember a sixth person in the shower, but I’m not completely sure. In my defense, that birthday party was 13 years and a lot of alcohol ago. Gotta say, that was a pretty epic party.

Speaking of debauchery, Frolicon is right around the corner and I am so looking forward to spending four days immersed in deviant delights. It’s going to be awesome, especially since I’m not hosting any panels this year so this convention is going to be all about having fun and connecting in various ways to a cornucopia of wondrous people. I’m not sure if I’ll have enough downtime to post any real entries to this blog, but I’ll definitely throw out a tweet or post on the Discerning Deviant Facebook page now and then over the course of May 16-20.

The next Deviant Life strip will be posted on May 22 after I’ve had a day to settle back into reality.

(Discerning Deviant is supported entirely through reader sponsorship via the Discerning Deviant Patreon and can also be followed on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.)

Deviant Life #7




When I wrote this comic, the intention was for it to be posted right before I hopped a bus south to go to Euphoria, an unofficial regional burn, which was supposed to take place in Georgia this coming weekend (April 26-29). However, shit went wrong, and Euphoria isn’t happening. This is a huge let down for a lot of people, but shit happens when you need a large, secluded location for such events and rural areas tend to be the domain of xenophobes.  All we deviants can do sometimes is roll with the punches and keep on searching for places to call home.

On the bright side, not being able to go to Euphoria ended up pushing me towards going to Frolicon next month (May 17-20). I had a pretty great time last year, but because the added effort and expense of attending two events in Georgia while living in New York seemed overwhelming, I chose to only attend Euphoria.  Obviously, with no Euphoria to attend, now I can attend Frolicon and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I won’t be teaching any panels this year, so it’s going to be purely a vacation, hopefully with a great deal of debauchery with friends both old and new.

(Discerning Deviant is supported entirely through reader sponsorship via the Discerning Deviant Patreon and can also be followed on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.)

My Frolicon 2017 Experience



I’m still extremely bogged down in trying to get things sorted out for my pending move from Atlanta to New York City, but I wanted to go ahead and get some general thoughts out about Frolicon 2017.

The question I got most often through the weekend was how the panels I hosted went, to which I typically responded with “Two out of three weren’t complete disasters.” That exceeded my expectations but fell short of my hopes. They could have easily all been disasters under the circumstances. Not only was it my first time trying to overcome my anxiety in order to speak in front of a large group of people for an hour at a time, I was woefully underprepared because I was also struggling with getting ready for moving an unprecedented distance unassisted. Then to really kick myself in the balls, I managed to lose all my notes the day of con.

It was, frankly, a clusterfuck and I knew going into each panel that I would be putting myself through a meat grinder of embarrassment. I stuck it out anyway. As terrifying as it was, I refused to let fear keep me from doing something I wanted to do, so I did the thing anyway. It was quite the learning experience and while I wouldn’t say that any of my panels went well, only one of the three was a complete bomb owing largely to it being the one I was going to be most dependent on my notes for. It also only had a few people show up for it and something I discovered is that it’s actually a lot easier to speak to a large room full of people than 3-5 strangers whose attention is focused on you. So everything about my second panel was the perfect storm of fail.

My first and third panels, however, I stumbled through but was at least able to talk about the things I wanted to talk about and engage with the audience without spending a lot of time locked up and unsure of what to say because my brain was overpowered by anxiety. While I’m sure I still looked a fool to many people gathered, I know some people got something positive out of the panels and that’s enough for me to not count them as losses.

The highlight of the weekend for me was reconnecting with friends from out of town, many of whom I hadn’t seen in years. I’m one of those people who is terrible about staying connected to people who live far away even when I care a great deal about them. So having the opportunity to spend significant time with an assortment of people I have missed was a real delight, even if I didn’t get to spend as much time with some as I would have liked.

The convention itself felt a lot smaller and more subdued than the last Frolicon I attended in 2013. The dealer room felt positively tiny. As far as I could tell there were only two room parties on Friday night and two on Saturday night. They were less party battles than party duels, and I’ve seen walk in closets bigger than some of the spaces these parties were in. I’m not sure if there’s some sort of limitations due to the new hotel that keep the parties limited to smaller spaces (in my previous Frolicon experiences the best parties were in larger suites or connected rooms) or if there just hadn’t been anyone stepping up to

That’s not to say there wasn’t plenty of fun to be had. I had a fantastic time. It was just a little harder to find since most of the real partying seemed to be of friends grouping up to drink and debauch in their private rooms. I kind of like this because to me frolicking with ten people that are a mix of really good friends and their friends I haven’t met before in a mostly private space is just about the ideal situation, but I have a feeling that if I hadn’t known the right people I would have ended up being disappointed in the lack of mischief to get up to in the wee hours when the official programming was wound down.

Other than wishing the water coolers had been more abundant and better maintained, I don’t really have anything else critical to say about the convention. It had an excellent assortment of panels, including a lot more polyamory related panels than they have had at Frolicons I’ve attended in the past, which made me happy. The dungeon space was huge and well stocked with a wide variety of equipment. The official programming was solid. The food at the Sheraton restaurant was amazeballs.

That about covers the general overview. If I were to rate Frolicon 2017 and my personal experience of it, I’d give it four out of five stars. Now if you’ll excuse me I just found out that I have to slam my ass into top gear. At least this means that this moving stuff will soon be over and done.

Winter Arcane’s Frolicon 2017 Panels



I’ve mentioned before that I’ll be making my debut as a presenter on three polyamory related panels at Frolicon 2017. With the recent release of the schedule for the Think Track, I now know when those classes are.

Introduction to Polyamory
Thursday (4/14) / 4:00 PM-5:15 PM / Room GA3

Polyamory is the philosophy of being open to having multiple romantic relationships simultaneously and its popularity is growing rapidly. This class is for all those who are taking their first steps into the world of love without traditional limitations. Learn some of the pros and cons of letting go of romantic and sexual exclusivity in relationships, some of the red flags that give warning that trouble lies ahead, and some of the strategies that can help avoid common pitfalls along the way.

The Jargon of Polyamory
Thursday (4/14) / 7:00 PM-8:15 PM / Room GA 9

Are you and your partner unicorn hunters? Do you feel compersion when you see your partner kiss someone else? Are you friends with your metamour? Well, if you’re new to polyamory and the community that has formed around it you may not even know what the hell those questions are asking. This class is here to help get you acquainted with the unusual words found all over polyamory forums and articles.

From Monogamish to Relationship Anarchy: The Many Flavors of Ethical Non-monogamy
Friday (4/15) / 10:00 AM-11:15 AM / Room GA 9

For most people who practice Ethical Non-Monogamy, Polyamory is an adequate umbrella under which to come together as a community. However, there are many styles of Ethical Non-Monogamy out there. In this class we’ll discuss the various labels floating around the Polyamory community (as well as some types of Ethical Non-Monogamy that exist outside of the Polyamory umbrella) and their varied interpretations.

(Discerning Deviant is supported entirely through reader sponsorship via the Discerning Deviant Patreon.)