I’m walking into a House music festival on the southside of Chicago. I live a few blocks away, so I rode my bike to meet a friend. Although we are near Lake Michigan, it’s muggy today. My back is sticky; the breeze isn't cooling us off. It's just like any other day in the city as I walk, arm in arm, with a friend. One thing is different, though. On this day, I'm sporting my new vibrating panties. More specifically, I'm wearing a vibrating garter thong with 10 different functions (yes, being a sex writer is incredible).
We arrive at the festival just as one of my favorite DJs goes on. Arms still linked, I hand my friend the controller to my vibrator. It's a simple controller with a power function and a plus or minus signifying various patterns. This adorable thong by Lovehoney has a small, but surprisingly powerful, bullet vibrator. I tested it out in my hand while I was still at home. It seemed loud as it vibrated against my rings. The lace garter thong is comfortable and the garter straps can be removed for everyday wear. I’m bottom heavy and a size medium worked well for me. It’s snug and I don't worry that the bullet will fall out; it fits in a tiny slip located in the crotch area.
We pack against one another toward the stage where Karizma is on stage. I’ve only ever seen him in a club, lights low, sexual advances high. But in this moment, the sun on me, the Southside of Chicago wildly dancing, and my friend forgetting he has a job to do, I wish the lights were off.
"Is this even going to work?" I think to myself as my friend cheers and whips his head back and forth. He's already in the zone, but I'm thinking about my crotch. I wander closer to the stage where I see another friend I know. This is where I felt most excited. Only myself and another person - now a few rows of people behind me - knows what I'm up to. The heat, sweltering by now, makes the sweat on my chest and legs drip and rub along my body. I feel sexy, like I have a secret that no one knows about. At that moment, my friend surprises me by firing up the vibrations - an intense pattern on a low setting. With him behind me, I don’t feel the pressure to perform for him, as if I was falsely enjoying myself. He doesn't know how I feel - or whether I feel anything. But I do.
It’s important to remember that I did not intend to have an orgasm in public with this underwear. If I were playing with my partner, the one I have sex with and the person I love, maybe that would have changed things. If we were in a dark club or in a restaurant, I would have enjoyed having an orgasm in a public place. I’m an exhibitionist. I would have lapped it up. Every ounce. But in this space, surrounded by older House heads and my enthusiastic friend, I simply felt good. And I was OK with that. The panties added to my experience after each DJ set. Some moments, I would zone out, not remembering that my underwear was vibrating but knowing that I felt incredibly satisfied.
With up to six speeds and ten patterns, the vibrations from the bullet are powerful. But ... my friend doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Since the controller works from nine to 16 feet away, I wait in line at the concession stand for a drink between sets. He’s switching erratically between vibrations. At one point I have to whip my head around, laugh and mouth the words, “Come on…” to which he abruptly stops. I stand there, silent, without vibrations. I kind of like this. I don’t know when he’s going to pick it up again, or if he ever will, and I’m enjoying the lingering in between moments. I walk back toward the stage, sucking on the straw of my overpriced lemonade and nudge his shoulder. “Let’s go!,” I say as we wander back to the large lawn. A body of people dance in front of us, their bodies swaying and moving. I squeeze my way between people, slowly slinking around them as I break out into my typical dancing fit. My friend is standing in front of me this time. The buzzing of the vibrator begins and it is low. The loudness of the music helps mask my insecurity that people can tell there is a vibrator rubbing against my clitoris as I stand next to them. And with each step, the vibration feels more intense and different. “What if I wore this while exercising?” I think to myself. “What if I wore this while completing everyday tasks, like at the grocery store?” I also think. I’m beginning to fall in love with this device as I decide to not think and to simply exist on the makeshift dance floor.
While I don’t actually cum at the festival, I’m feeling pretty orgasmic. I’m dancing with thousands of dedicated Southsiders in my city, I’m twirling and stomping with a good friend and, by the end, I’m a little sunburned. Afterwards, we wander over to the lake for a bonfire with friends. I sit near the fire and I can tell the battery is getting a little low on my device. I revel in my euphoria and bite into a potato chip. It’s only 10 p.m. and I’m completely sober, but I'm high on the happiness of a semi-orgasmic day.