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“Cruising” has a new meaning for me, now that I discovered I love being at sea!  That didn’t surprise me, but being called “Madame” by every staff member onboard sure did!  Remember in my docu-film “The Pain Game,” how I expressed my preference for Madame, rather than Ma’am or Mistress?  Being greeted that way with a smile, without having to ask, was… just grand!

The beauty of the calm blue sea in the loving arms of my chosen family, with no phones, internet, social media, or daily chores gave me time for reflection.  Grateful for my tribe, my community and my work, I feel blessed to have this luxurious opportunity to travel… and be served.

Being curious, Fakir and I took the Ship’s Ultimate Tour and got to see how this floating hotel really works!  Mind-boggling!  Each employee is a contractor and has a specific job. I had to get over my shock at the extreme number of hours the laborers from Eastern Europe and third world countries put in below decks chopping all those vegetables, laundering all those towels, and serving us with a smile day after day!  As we were leaving the huge window-less immaculately clean industrial kitchen, I asked our queer guide how many people in each cabin. “No more than two. Staff each get their own.” Then quietly, I asked if they could have sex onboard. “Of course, “Madame,” or else we’d go crazy!”  Falling to his knees, he offered me a bouquet… of celery!


At the International Cruise Staff Performance

Judging by the music revues and stage shows, the target audience for this cruise was a generation older than we, so it was even more of a hoot to see them dancing in their seats to the famous YMCA disco song the last night during the Cruise Staff’s performance!  Boogie On!

Watching the tug below

Watching the tug below

The cruise ended much too early, literally!  At 5:45am we re-entered the great San Francisco Bay fog horns blowing, powerful tug boats gently guiding us into Pier 35.  For my first day home, I watered the yard, pulled up the weeds, fed the cat, shopped for food and made dinner and no one said, “Madame,” even once!

Feet back on the ground, we attended Frank Strona’s presentation at LDG.  The appropriately titled “Through the Looking Glass: 25 Years of Sex, Tears and Resilience“ was a powerful conversation led by Race Bannon.  What resonated most with me, as Frank talked history, is his passion for freedom and his desire to make a difference.

Frank Strona et moi, 2014

Frank Strona et moi, 2014

We met in the early 1990’s presenting at National Leather Conferences. Pre-internet, these conferences were IT:  Hot gatherings of leatherfolks, unique skill sharing opportunities and amazing play parties.  Frank, an out gay man, played with all genders in the mixed dungeons.  I was in awe of his inviting solid presence and edgy safe play. He, along with Rich Docktor of Thunder in the Mountains, encouraged me to teach and take my place at the leather table.  And so I did.

Times sure have changed and Frank brought back shared memories of many who are no longer alive.  But we survived, and I congratulate him on his amazing work at the CDC, in public health, continuing the activism in which so many of us found our voices.

We’ve been at it for a long time, and Mike Skiff’s Documentary, “Folsom Forever” is screening  on Sunday, June 22nd at San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival !  I made the cut!  Will I see you there? This docu-film is showing in other cities too, including San Diego, New York City and Minneapolis!

I am off to Vegas with Fakir for APP  and will blog again when I come back.

Pride month is here. Let us celebrate the diversity of our kinkiness and stay connected.

In kink, with heart,

Cléo Dubois

Explore one kink, discover another!  I love coaching couples in the privacy of my San Francisco Bay Area personal playspace.  Well-equipped for Bondage, S/M, D/s, Play Piercing, the dynamics of power and the rituals of play, click here to get in touch!

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