It was when I found myself staring at three people licking each other’s necks in the bathroom queue that I realised I wasn’t at a normal wedding.
There were other little giveaways before that. The groomsmen wearing top hats and dog collars. The mother of the bride’s Gene Simmons costume. The fact that I had no idea why Gene Simmons was at a wedding in regional greater western Sydney.
The fact that I wasn’t wearing shoes. Not because my heels were hurting my feet after hours of drunken dancing to 90s one hit wonders, but because I wasn’t allowed to wear shoes.
Shoes violate your connection with the earth, apparently.
So do bras. But I was ok with breaking that rule.
I’ve always thought was opened minded as a person, generally. But when I had agreed to attend the polyamorous wedding of a person I hardly knew, I didn’t know how wrong I could be.
I walked in to the marquee, shoeless, gripping my fiance’s hand like Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The marquee was strewn with purple silk cascading down in different sections, concealing the faces of guests, only their strangely contorted silhouettes casting shadows behind the sheets.
A woman was showing a male guest how far her back bent backwards, wearing just a pair of shiny mermaid-scale leggings and nipple tassels.
I blushed a shade of pink that didn’t leave my face for the next five hours.
The bride was an ex-girlfriend of my fiance, a detail that I was already having trouble coming to terms with. Particularly now, imagining both of them entwined in spine tingling positions fit for Cirque de Soileil.
Listen: Inside the rules of three-ways. (Post continues…)
We sidled up to someone he had met before through a friend of a friend of a friend’s lover. She and her partner were clad in ‘normal’ wedding garb like us, and I was relieved I might be able to conceal how vanilla I was starting to realise I was.
I downed three glasses of sparkling wine in one breath and felt my awkwardness start to melt away as I casually asked the woman if she ever needed to scotch guard the leather leash around her neck.
“Only when I go outside,” she said.
Someone tapped a piece of cutlery on the side of a glass and the groom, a shirtless bean pole in leggings, addressed the room, thanking everyone for coming.
It was like any other wedding speech. Tearfully, he addressed his family, spoke lovingly about his brothers, who stood at the back with their wives and young children, nervously smiling.
He addressed his bride, speaking about her chemistry, and the “scent that being with a thousand women couldn’t subdue”.
She smiled, holding the hands of two women either side her, one of them the nipple-tassled-back-bending guest.
I looked around. I was the only woman there who wasn’t wearing some kind of costumery. The bride wore a flowing silk midriff top, with purple underwear on and matching garter, her dreadlocked hair piled on top of her head decorated with butterflies.
I awkwardly milled around the purple sex sheets trying to find the place where more alcohol could be found as the crowd applauded the groom.
I tried not to think about whether or not I should be worried that the man I planned to marry had a relationship with a woman who was in the midst of telling the crowd about the first time she had group sex.