I woke up this morning to a notification from Google that one of my pages was skyrocketing, and I smiled. It was one of those knowing smiles, filled with reflection, and appreciation for almost everything that has brought me to this point, a place whereby I love who I am. And I realized, perhaps for the first time, that while my experiences “slutting” it up for Stampede helped shape who I am today, I have in fact broken away from that woman. I am no longer a stampede slut, but holy cripes did I ever have some great stampede fun.
For those who don’t know, the Calgary Stampede, well the party side of it, is basically like a cowboy Mardi Gras so to speak. It’s a time when the liquor flows over a 10 day period and almost everyone is in a cowboy hat! The transformation my city goes through is quite remarkable, and there is this feeling of western solidarity met with Ya Hoo’s, and Yee Haw’s on the streets. I know it sounds hokey, but you should see the grin on my face as I write these words. It’s a strange culture, that truly you have to see to believe. And I have definitely experienced a lot!
From drunken threesomes, to walks of shame. From pub crawls, to 2 stepping with strangers, and all the amazing butts in tight jeans! I’ve been drunker than a skunk, and woken up in strange beds. I’ve been to stampede swingers parties, and couples speed dating, and a few times, I’ve even been responsible and gone home alone, Ha!
The thing about this time of year, is that you can have stupid fun, especially if you are single or non-monogamous. And you can win some incredibly stupid prizes if you pretend to be the above, which absolutely happens in this city. There are many a marriage that allow for “indiscretions” during this 10 day period, and even more that it is absolutely forbidden to do so! It really is a wild time whereby wedding rings just don’t seem to matter, and well, it is the closest thing we as a city have to being sexually free.
And the thing of it is, I always knew that one day, the parties wouldn’t mean as much to me. And the call to come out and party would fade out into a whisper, I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Every experience that I have had, good and bad, wearing my skimpiest western wear, often out on the prowl, has made me the person I am today. And I smile, thinking back to the parties, and the memories, and the country music soundtrack that is forever burned into my brain. It is a cherished part of who I am, but, I can no longer call myself a slutty girl of stampede.
I can and will continue to dress the part because dressing up is my favourite thing to do. But, the wild parties, and drunken sexcapades are a thing of my past. I love that I live in a city whereby I could be this slutty girl when I needed to be her the most. When I needed to just lose myself in the music, and the flirtation, and the attention, I had a 10 day oasis. It helped scratch an itch that I admit I had to scratch.
It brought me so much closer to being the sex positive person that I am today. And I loved her, and her fearlessness in wearing pink chaps in public, or the shortest denim skirts! She was bold, and carefree, and stampeded her little heart out. I hope that I take the best parts of her with me, as I forge forward, towards this next, beautiful chapter of my life. Thank you Stampede Slut, and goodbye!
If you want to check out some of my stampede outfits throughout the years, check out my BreakingAway page on Patreon.