They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and based on the weird-ass weekend I just had there, I am more than happy to embrace that mantra.

So how exactly did someone like myself — the antithesis of Las Vegas in human form — get roped into a weekend trip there? A sugar baby friend of mine — let’s call her Audrey — met a daddy — let’s call him Allen — online a couple of weeks ago and the two really hit it off, resulting in last-minute invites for her and a friend to tag along for a four day trip to Vegas.

Allen is a super hot South African Jewish man in his early 50s who fully embodies the provider archetype — a charismatic finance bro who works hard to put dinner on the table for his family and who struggles to get in touch with his vulnerable side. Audrey, meanwhile, is my holistic goddess soul sister. She is all about spas, healthy eating, and not drinking, making her the ideal travel partner for someone like me — especially when the final destination is a place where everyone else has their hearts set on raging.

Diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, this trip was meant to be sort of a last hoorah for Allen — an opportunity to live it up with two of his closest (and only) friends with some babes along for the ride. The fact that Audrey is getting green-card married (to a different sugar daddy) in a few days served as our justification to lean into the whole bachelorette party theme for the weekend, with me, Allen, and his mates all donning “Bride Tribe” sashes — much to the amusement of the other hotel guests.

His friend, Mark, flew with us from New York to Vegas and seemed nice enough. He runs a tech company and was charging the entirety of the weekend’s tab to his company card, so I was sure to express my gratitude with “thank you”s anytime a meal was paid for or weed was bought. Prior to saying “yes” to the trip, I had made sure there were no sexual expectations on my part and Audrey had assured me there were not.

So while it was clear that Mark was thirsty and trying to escape his boring suburban existence, I was able to navigate his overtly flirtatious conversational style with ease. I didn’t find him attractive but his Australian accent and entrepreneurial spirit were charming and I wasn’t mad about how the weekend was slated to play out. But then along came Brian — a buddy of Mark and Allen’s from their soccer club back east who had heard mention of their plans and invited himself along.

Compared to the worldly albeit basic energy of Allen and Mark, Brian came across as crass and aggressive. It seemed all too fitting that he had made his money supplying factory-farmed meat to ethically questionable companies like Tyson Foods and that he had a sister-wives situation back home, where his ex-wife and their kids lived down the street from his mistress-turned-new-wife and kids. Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a master of soft diplomacy. At my core, I’m deeply progressive but I’m able to blend in with the fiscally conservative elites by engaging in playful, intellectually stimulating debate rather than full-blown character assassination.

The latter is the route many of my socialist-leaning peers in Brooklyn take and it’s to their own detriment. Since when has being a woke Karen advanced anyone’s social status beyond their insular bubble of equally sanctimonious, narrow-minded circle jerkers? But there was something so repugnant about Brian that I found myself channeling the very energy I try my best not to embody and to a hardcore degree. His flippantly racist and misogynistic comments paired with my PMS and the fact that I had nothing to gain or lose from this trip made for the perfect storm.

I berated him when he asked me (for the third time) whether or not Audrey and I had ever seen each other’s vaginas up close and did my best to avoid engaging with him for the remainder of the trip. The cherry on top of my disdain for Brian came at around 3 in the morning of day 2 when — sexiled from the room I was sharing with Audrey — I came down to sleep in Mark and Allen’s room and met two young women who Brian had just flown in from San Francisco.

While there is undoubtedly ambiguity between a woman’s age and her appearance (i.e a 16-year-old can look 25 and a 25-year-old can look 16), these women were especially young looking. One of them had allegedly forgotten her ID, claiming that the airline had made some sort of exception — a story everyone in the group found to be highly suspicious. Appearance aside, it was the way they engaged in conversation that was the biggest red flag for me. They reminded me of my teenage self — timid and unable to offer any sort of substantive dialogue. I ended up learning after the trip that the guys had nicknamed them “the muppets,” on account of their air-headedness.

Unsurprisingly, their lack of wherewithal did nothing to dissuade Brian and Mark from creeping on them all weekend — to the point where they left early due to their discomfort. As someone who has been around the block and then some, I found myself feeling protective over them. When hanging out by the pool the next day, I took them under my wing as pseudo little sisters, checking in to make sure they were not sex-trafficking victims and letting them know I was a safe person to come to if things got weird, while also ensuring they stayed hydrated, well-fed, and entertained.

That big sister energy spilled over into my dynamic with Audrey as well. I was her shoulder to cry on when she needed a sounding board. She was catching major feelings for Allen but couldn’t deny the unhealthy nature of their blossoming relationship. He was putting her up on a pedestal and making her his muse. This is par for the course in daddy-baby relationships, but the dichotomy between her youthful vivaciousness and his edge-of-death hopelessness left her drained and frustrated by the fact that he was so unwilling to try her holistic approach to healing. He was also getting unnecessarily possessive, erupting at her when she dipped out for 10 minutes to say “hi” to a male friend who happened to be at the casino in the hotel we were staying at.

By the late afternoon of day 2, I was feeling emotionally drained myself. It was time to make a last-ditch effort to raise the collective consciousness of the group. Turning people on to psychedelics has become a bit of a calling for me. As such, I had procured shrooms and acid for the trip and decided that micro-dosing everyone with my signature acid gummies was the move. Best case, they would come out on the other end spiritually evolved. Worst case, they would get fucked up and have a good time. After doling out the drugs and giving them a brief rundown of what to expect, I decided I needed to take a step back. If they needed me to come play shaman, I would reappear but for now, it was time for me to smoke a fat joint, meditate, book a massage, and spend five hours in the hotel spa’s sauna/steam room.

As it turned out, the spa was located deep underground and I had no cell service. When I finally came back upstairs, I learned that the acid had hit everyone harder than expected. Audrey had been going through it — having all these revelations about how she’s spent her whole life in the pursuit of pleasing others and seeking external validation from men. She said she never wanted to do acid again, but I was quick to remind her that it’s usually the most uncomfortable of trips that catalyze the most meaningful change in a person’s life. Psychedelics reveal hard truths buried deep in the subconscious. What a person does with this newfound clarity is up to them. They can either continue with their old ways, acutely aware that their behavior patterns are harmful, or they can level the fuck up and become better versions of themselves.

Meanwhile, the muppets — who by this point I had learned had also met Brian through a sugar daddy website (shocker I know!) — had ended up on the bathroom floor in tears. Brian chastised me for drugging them but I had no regrets. Again, all I had done was given them the medicine to see the truth — that they were in a bad situation and would be best served abstaining from sex with these creepy older dudes and getting the fuck out of dodge. Besides, I wasn’t the one who had been plying them with booze all day. Alcohol is evil, acid is insightful — an opinion Brian and I agreed to disagree on.

By day 3, the combination of the group energy and the spiritually devoid consumer culture of Vegas had just about sucked the soul out of me. Walking through the fluorescently lit casino full of tackily dressed zombies trying to convince themselves they were having fun depressed the hell out of me. And the fact that the hotel didn’t have celery juice, oat milk, or gluten-free burger buns just made everything 10 times worse. But I wasn’t going to let the bad vibes totally eviscerate me. In the words of the great stoic philosopher, Seneca: “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”

Every experience offers lessons and every obstacle yields elevation — as long as we allow them to. My biggest takeaway from Vegas is that as much I value my openness and say-yes-to-the-universe approach to life, I need to be more intentional about what shenanigans I agree to take part in. More attuned to my sensitive nature and aware of what satiates my spirit versus depletes it than I was in my wild youth, I vow to do a better job of protecting my sacred energy field going forward.

I’m honestly still recovering from the emotional hangover of the trip and while I refuse to live a life of regret, I am disappointed with myself for the lack of discipline I had regarding my spiritual and health practices. Saying “yes” to energetically draining adventures is so not worth it to me anymore, even if it does make for a good story.

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Jules

Author

Based in Brooklyn, Jules has dedicated her twenties towards harnessing her pussy power, exploring the muse, whore, and wild woman archetypes along the way. When not blogging, you can find her sweating the toxins out in a hot yoga class or sipping a matcha latte at a pretentious coffee shop, whilst she scribbles away in her journal.


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