Getting the Lay of the Land – The Event Begins

Part 2 of my journal about a weekend-long fetish event.

by Johnny Jackhammer

There was a distinct lack of nervousness as we walked into the conference registration room.

The people were welcoming and warm. Then we were hit with the paperwork.

At a private fetish event, there is plenty of paperwork to navigate. It outlines the rules, what you are about to encounter, and what is not allowed. Events are grounded in consent and safety for all participants. A signature means that the signer is not squeamish, believes in sexual expression of all orientations, and acknowledges that just about every sex act imagined will be taking place. We signed eagerly.

(Side note: one of the rules prohibits photography once you are past the security checkpoint.  Therefore, there will be very few photos included in this series and none with this chapter.)

This may surprise you about the BDSM community: it is a warm and welcoming community of people. Of any collection of people, I have not known more consistently tolerant, cheerful, and supportive group. Perhaps it’s the open vulnerability of striking up a conversation with somebody who is wearing nothing but a collar with their hands tied behind their back. Kinksters want to share their interests, show off their bodies or outfits, and make new connections. For many participants, this is a lifestyle of power exchange and connections.

Events like this all have “play” space, usually referred to as “the dungeon.” This is where you can witness most of the fetishes and edgy play. Often, the most popular equipment is the St. Andrew’s Cross, which is a wooden X-shaped frame that people can lean against or be restrained on. In most all cases, whippings, floggings, and beatings take place there.   If you attend, you need to be ready to see bodies brutalized until black marks and bruises are raised. Later at the parties and hallways, we saw many corseted ladies proudly showing off their blackened chests.

In the midst of the harsh action is a prevailing consent. Tops frequently check in on their bottom, making sure that the scene is going according to everyone’s wishes.   Extreme play creates a need for tenderness and after-care that is essential as a cool-down.

There are usually a few spanking benches, which are dual-leveled and padded. You kneel on the knee rest and lay your torso over the padded top. Here you’ll generally see spanking, paddling, and – on special nights – some fisting.

Beyond the dungeon, this convention had playrooms for sensual play (home to glory holes and gang bangs), bondage play (with plenty of scaffolding and framework), and medical play (more about this one later). Along with the play spaces, there is a XXX theater open and running for all the conference operating hours.

We appreciated that the conference kicked off with a dungeon tour and a pizza party mixer. They had a cash bar at the entrance, and my lady, GWN, and I grabbed nice stiff cocktails to go into the room with. As we started to mingle, we understood why there was no line at the bar. We might have been the only two people with drinks in our hand. While the swing community is a drinking culture, the BDSM community is not. There are some who may partake on separate occasions, but drinking is not generally a part of fetish play.

At the mixer, we quickly encountered an attractive couple. The woman was Amazonian in stature, and her man was kind and collared as her slave. We had a great connection and came to like them quite a bit. They planned some medical play later that evening, and they hoped that we’d be on hand to watch.

Which brings me to one of the conference tracks – Master and slave relationships. One thing I learned is that the Master/slave connection is not one of brutality but of service and protection. My assumptions were clouded by watching in Roots in the 1970’s, for sure. But instead, I learned that it can be a comfortable fit for the right type of people. Masters are dominant, for sure, but they are strong in how they watch out for the best needs of their slave. Punishment is immediate and public sometimes, but often it’s part of the kink for both parties. For example, the slave may be ordered to kneel on the floor next to the Master and wait quietly for a command. Even with this layer of control, there is explicit consent throughout.

The convention was a smorgasbord of kinky fun. We really enjoyed the “Tapas” session, which set up stations in the dungeon for people to get a taste of various fetishes. GWN gladly had her boots licked and feet worshipped, and we witnessed some amazing heavy flogging by a true artist. Other stations included a vacuum bed, fire cupping, light needle play, light whipping, and rope suspension. This was a useful offering to give people a taste of what they might want to try when the real play parties begin.

I also learned how freeing it is to see abundant skin and kinky outfits maneuvering through the conference space. Most people in our culture are self-conscious to some degree, and it was liberating to see so many different body styles be desired and accepted. We enjoyed seeing men and women of all types – between 80 and 400 pounds, from 3 to 7 feet tall – feeling sexy and showing off.

Sexiness is truly about attitude, and fetish events are filled with attractive people who were hotter than any Hollywood starlet. Sure, the model might have the Barbie-doll body, but we were much more turned on by the BBWs who were rope-bound and begging to be handled. I have to admit that there is something admirable about a 6’, 90-pound gender-flexible man in a wig, high heels, and a skirt. It’s the freedom and attitude that is sexy, not the package.

Now that things have kicked off, the only question left is do we just watch or do we jump in and play?

Reminder: This blog is discussing the Kinky Kollege.  You can find more at their website here.

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