Drag Queens, Sex and Co-op living at UCSB
Two pieces of unsolicited advice: If you've never stayed at a co-op give it a go and if you've got a chance to go to a drag show, then drag your ass over. Both of these alternate living opportunities have come my way at UCSB and damn if they aren't awesome.
So the co-op I stayed at, The Manley Co-Op, was found through couchsurfing and filled with 15 lovely people who took care of me in all sorts of wonderful ways. They provided food, beer, gentle conversation, good advice, accordion serenades and one even went to the trouble of finding me a better bike. Pretty nice stuff. The co-opers share household responsibilities have meetings to be sure that everybody's issues are fairly addressed. To me, the co-op members seem to live in a sort of harmonious paradise. Everyone has their own room and the privacy that comes with it. But if you are serious about co-oping you have to be able to put up with people, because they are everywhere.
Ironically, the Manley Co-Op was mostly occupied by girls, and there is nothing nicer than seeing smiling girls all day. Which brings me around to the topic of drag shows, also a beacon for smiling ladies. Drag show attendees run the gambit from open-minded to very open minded and are typically hyper-sexed by the gender bending vibes and happening music that comes with good drag.
I noticed that there were not too many guys at the show and I think that is because some people are a little worried about 'drag' and is sexual implications, but set those worries aside. The lovely performers that occupy the stage are talented, funny and keep the focus firmly on human sexuality. Which is, as a matter of fact, one of the worlds favorite subjects.
At the show, the queens were all about audience participation and got boys and girls from the audience onstage to strip them bare. The performers got naked and this beautiful armature girl did a strip tease down to her thong. It was all for free.
An event like a drag show breaks through barriers, quickly, because of the brave openness of the performers with the flaunted expression of their own extreme sexuality. With that beacon of bravery to lead you, it's easy to see that the unexpressed weirdness that floats around your own mind day to day is not so odd after all. Everyone has an excuse to let loose.
Drag-show style sexual freedom attracts people, because it appeals to suppressed basic instincts we all share related to a constant desire to orgasm. Notably, we heard the story of the manager of the show, a gruff spoken man in his mid-50's who acted as square as a checkerboard and referred to the draggers as 'his artists'. Turns out this straight-acting fellow was a sheriff 15 years back about to arrest these ladies as they partied the night away. But something about them must have struck a nerve, because now he's the sunny to their Cher's.
I imagine that joining the drag show really freed the sheriff up inside. Who knows what the vented frustration of unexpressed sexuality would have done to this small town cop and the poor people he arrested. Instead he found his own freedom with this eclectic bunch of gender-bending artists. And you know, I bet the world is a little better today because he did.