(Originally Posted by Creeping Jennie on Saturday, 22 August 2015 in Sturgis.com Blogs)
It has been quite a long time since I have written a blog, and for that, I apologize. I have had to deal with a shit ton of personal issues, and sorry to say, but writing blogs that do not produce money is just not a priority. But hey, I'm back.
The 75 annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was, as expected, a great time with great people. Because of the expectedly huge increase in number of rallygoers, my husband and I decided to not venture very far from our compound at the Buffalo Chip. We even decided to skip our tradition of taking a ride out to Deadwood for our anniversary. We made it to the Beaver Bar instead, and enjoyed a couple of beers in our wedding clothes, and I sang a karaoke song. Just a minor deviation from our tradition.
I have so many stories I would like to share, but the one that needs to be told first is the one that set the tone for me for the entire Rally.
This was the third year running that we have set up a stripper pole. As we go along, we discover better ways to bring the party- ways to keep the girls safe, better lighting, better music, and generally how to run the show. One of our innovations was to set up a barrier between the "randoms," the people who have come to watch the show, and "family," those of us who have set up camp in our compound, either tenting or in a camper, or my case, converted school bus. Over the years we have discovered that too many people only wander in to our camp to use our toilets, drink our beer, and lurk around the single women. Also, we just need a buffer from the constant crowd of people. This year has been different, due to my Sturgis Rally info group on Facebook. Last year at Rally time, I believe we only had about 5,000 members, but by August 1st, 2015 we had amassed 13,000 members. Consequently, a lot of people from the group recognized me and approached me. I was quite flattered, and a bit overwhelmed by all of the attention.
Early in the week, we had the stripper pole up and running, and the party was unbelievable. Yes, my family girls and I had been dancing, and had also been bringing girls from the crowd up on the stage to dance as well. My husband played Emcee, and our girl (I will call her) Callie was our music master. On this night, one particular man had visited several times, saying he was from the Facebook group. He was friendly, and seemed to enjoy the show. We let him come into our "family" area. The party was going until about three thirty am, and it was finally time to shut it down. At this point I was exhausted, and I decided to lay down on the stage as I waited for the guys to pack up the equipment for the night. The lights were on me on the stage, the crowd had dissipated, my husband and Family were all around me, and I felt safe. This particular guy who had been dropping in all night was there. He approached me, lying on the stage, and told me that I couldn't lay there, as it wasn't safe. I knew I would be fine, so I declined. He insisted, so finally I gave in, thinking, ok fine, it certainly wouldn't hurt to count my money and sit in the air conditioning. He pulled me up, threw his arm around me, and walked me towards the bus, even though I was perfectly capable of walking there myself. For fucks sake, just a few minutes before I was DANCING, thank you.
I could see my husband picking up trash on the other side of the barrier fence. When we were about four feet from the bus door, the man tightened his grip on me, and spun me around in the other direction. "Let's go find your husband!" he said, his grip on me even tighter. He pulled me now AWAY from the bus, and panic began to set in. I said, "Gregg's right there! He's right there!" and pointed out my husband's location. My husband couldn't hear me cry out his name. His ears don't work the way they used to. He then walked me faster towards the gate, repeating, "Let's find Gregg!" and ignoring my distress. I knew that if he could manage to get me out of the gate, he could drag me away from the campsite, and THEN WHAT? I knew what, and guess what- I didn't want to be raped. Just as I decided that in order to get out of this predicament, I would have to drop to the ground, kicking and screaming to attract the right kind of attention, an angel appeared and saved me. She is my good friend (I'll call her) Rachel. She is a tall red head who doesn't take shit from anyone, and she didn't take it from this guy. She pulled me away from him and firmly, yet gently told him that she would get me into the bus. He insisted that he was going to take me to my husband, and she insisted right back that she would take care of me. I clung to Rachel as he left the compound, never returning. Rachel said to me, a twinkle in her soft brown eyes, "I told you I would always be your protector." I remember sobbing in her arms. She calmed me down, and I finally went into the bus.
I told the whole story to my husband when he came to bed, but I don't think he quite understood. The next morning I repeated what had happened. He then understood. He was NOT happy.
For the rest of the Rally I was spooked. Dancing was ok, but I was afraid of being in crowds, especially in the dark. I did not want people to touch me or hug me. This was difficult due to so many group members wanting to meet me, and because I'm a small person, many men feel compelled to actually pick me up off of the ground whan giving me a hug.
We are going to tighten up security around our campsite from now on.
For the most part, we are safe in Sturgis. However, we need to do whatever we can to ensure our own safety.
Make sure to watch out for each other. Make sure that someone knows where you are, and know where your companions are. Look out for each other. Follow your instincts, and do whatever you feel is necessary to get out of a bad situation. Don't worry about making a scene, overreacting, or hurting someone's feelings. Do what you need to do. Watch your drink, and don't accept an open drink unless you watch the bartender open it.
And men, don't be dicks. Just because a woman may be topless, or even naked for you to see, that does not mean you have permission to touch. She could be putting on a show complete with ping pong balls and chupa-chups, but that doesn't mean that you have any rights whatsoever to her body. She is not an object. Stripper pole does not equal consent. If you have to force her, trick her, or drug her to get your willie wet, then your fucking doing it wrong.
And to the man who tried to lead me away from my husband that night, and subsequently colored the rest of my vacation with FEAR, I would suggest that perhaps you shouldn't grace us with your presence again.