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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review of BELT Party 4.0

All photos by the supreme CALI GRIEBEL

On Saturday, Oct. 27 2012, the fourth BELT Party was held at the Flame. I spent the next few days on the phone soliciting comments from attendees, and the majority of people were THRILLED with their experience. There were some elements beforehand that we had no control over (timing, location, conflicting events), but once we arrived and got down to business, the trend that had started a year ago with BELT 1.0 became even more focused.

A team of highly-dedicated men have been meeting every week (Wednesdays at 6PM) to coordinate plans for BELT (once every three months), HARNESS (every month on the first Friday) and other events that are likely to include a large amount of men who normally don't go out much. Our shared intention is to make sure that everybody feels included, entertained, educated and enrolled (if they dare) in some new experiences that will leave them awfully happy, and remarkably fulfilled.

Couples everywhere, and more forming up…

The team is wonderfully diverse (creatively and inspirationally), with an open invitation for anyone to join us and contribute to what is coming up.  If you were at BELT 4.0, you would have seen the team of deeply-intimate brothers participating in a swarming mass of exciting behaviors that were the REAL THING, not a bunch of posers in borrowed gear making "O" faces and engaging in porn-actor dialog.

We've found the perfect vibe, and we were serenely creating it from moment to moment as a team… with a kick-ass soundtrack, too - DJ Taj was superb, and everybody said so.

Once we were committed, everybody did everything humanly possible to make it a success. We all gave it everything we had. I rejoice in that. It fuckin' WORKED.

As soon as I was inside the door, I had a PHENOMENAL time. So did every single human being I had contact with. It was another triumph of interpersonal sharing, and with a very high level of brotherly closeness. It was ferociously fun, sexy, and had a raunchy flavor that pleased the crowd very much. 

The crowd did a lot of grinning. You can see it in the pictures. Yes, there were a few guys on the edges who were new, and uncertain of their place in the Tribe, but I told each one of them to keep coming to our events. The more they show up, the more their self-protective behaviors will fade away, and the really fun, sassy guy comes out to play with the rest of us.

I kept noticing something that I haven't seen in about twenty-five years: Groups of men holding each other while dancing together on the dance-floor. I hadn't realized how much I had missed seeing that. It spoke clearly about Male Intimacy, particularly when it became clear that these were not exclusive cliques - they were groups of affectionate men who split apart eventually and joined OTHER groups just as easily. 

I interpret this behavior as the best symptom of how our Tribe is coming back full-force: We've been isolated and lonely as a culture for too long, and this is what primates like us evolved to want, expect and need. It's our birthright, and we all deserve lots more of it, and often.

If you've ever met me at a public event, you know that I'm polite, but sexually distant - I don't want to give the impression that I'm doing this work as a way to get laid. However, it's been a good twenty years since I've been hit-on so much, and in such a frankly sexual way, as I was on BELT night. I feel like I could have gone home with half the guys there. All of that flattering attention made an old man very happy.

I snagged a BUNCH of new members who couldn't wait to get on the mailing-list.  This happens more and more. Multitudes of hugging, alert, non-drugged-out and unified men have an amazingly strong effect on newbies. They don't necessarily have the words to describe what they are they seeing, but they sure as hell want to figure out the rules, and get closer.

The thought occurred to me that BELT 4.0 was the flawless antidote to drug-usage. Why would somebody have to get tweaked-out in order to feel more-connected with other human beings, when we had the real thing in massive doses? For that matter, a large number of the men attending have been seen at recovery meetings. They were all having a rocking-good, sober time, even though the event was being held in a bar. It wasn't about the booze - It was about fun and brotherhood. We were high on the endorphins of Communal Joy.

Every city on earth that could love to consistently reproduce the levels of authentic, dynamic brotherhood we shared in the Flame that night. New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berlin, Amsterdam, ANYWHERE. This is what the future of our Tribe looks like. I'm predicting that the vibe will remain the same, but the number of eager brothers getting in on the splendor of it all will increase.

I guess that my deepest wish is that somehow all of the stars will align for BELT Party 5.0 - No conflicting events, massive numbers of attendees, bar-owners and staff treating us like long-lost brothers, and the go-go dancers all being able to retire early, from having earned so many tips. With a team this diverse, talented, energetic and idealistic, we have enough mojo going on to shift the moon out of alignment.

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