Category: News

Fetcon 2016 in Review

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Fetish Con (aka Fetcon) is an interesting beast in the world of kinky cons. Unlike a lot of events I go to, this one is primarily focused on the people who make kink their living. Models and producers making connections and shooting, parties by the pool, classes on kink business and intros to modeling and photography, and of course the awards ceremony. I’ve been attending this con on and off for the last 11 years in various roles including attendee, booth babe, presenter, and staff*. It’s given me an interesting view of an event that attracts such a diverse crowd. Those 11 years have been hit or miss. I’ve had some good experiences there but I’ve also had some that had me rethinking whether it was an event I’d ever attend/recommend again. I’m happy to say that this year changed a lot of those conflicting feelings.

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When I first started attending the con was kind of balanced with a place for the newbies, the pros, and the lifestylers. As the years went on I felt a shift that left those of us who do this because it’s what we love in the dust. It wasn’t an unreasonable shift since the con is focused on the industry side of things but it was really disappointing to get dolled up, grab my gear and a girl to tie up then walk into a dungeon and find that the play space was basically useless. This year this entire situation made a complete 360! With the introduction of a dungeon provided and run by Florida Power Exchange guests of fetcon had a safe, beautiful, and energized space to indulge our fantasies. During the day there were a number of classes and demos to expand the horizons of those interested. At night Daddy Michael had the perfect mix of music and lighting to get us in the mood for some great play. It was the dungeon I always wished was at this otherwise fun event.

Other improvements that I noticed over past years was the variety of vendors. I go to a lot of cons and see a lot of same venders at each. This year Fetcon had a GREAT mix of regulars and new blood. My one complaint here was that Bad Dragon didn’t bring any product to sell!!! They did however give out some amazing swag (review coming this week!) and they were more than willing to answer any of your questions and let you play with their toys.  DJ Kitty Pow Pow was phenomenal out at the pool and kept us all enjoying ourself well into the night. Security* was also on point this year which meant people felt significantly more relaxed to be themselves within the Con spaces.

Lastly the hotel staff was AMAZING! I chatted with a number of them over the course of the weekends from bellhops to housekeeping to coordinators and everyone was fantastic. A good con can be soured from shit hotel staff but the smiling, truly helpful individuals I interacted with kept my weekend relaxed and enjoyable. 

Overall I can say this year was so much more than I expected and I’m so happy I decided to attend. Thank you to Genesis and her entire staff for putting the lifestyle back into this kinky event. I can’t wait for next year!

*I was part of the security team this year. I have to send props to the amazing leaders who coordinated the team and made sure things were actually secure no bullshit experience this year.
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1969. 2016. Still Fighting for Our Right to LOVE.

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On June 28th, 1969 New York City Police raid the Stonewall Inn sparking six long days of riots and a turning point in the fight for gay rights. A year later the first Gay Pride Parades were held in NYC, Chicago, and LA. 47 years later Pride is celebrated not only across the US but across the world. Yesterday our community was rocked by another tragic event.

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 10.59.16 AMAt 2:09am Sunday morning the Facebook page for Pulse Orlando posted a terrifying message: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”  A shooter had entered the club and opened fire. Hours later the terror finally ended just before daybreak and 49 innocent lives were lost. More than 50 others were rushed to area hospitals many in critical condition. Sadly, not all of those who were able to make it out of the club will make it home to their families. Many of us woke, unaware of the events, to a flood of frantic messages and calls from friends and family trying to make sure we were ok or letting us know they were safe. Then we watched, waiting for the names to be released, terrified of who we would see. Pulse is a prominent gay nightclub but has also a source of support to the local community through partnership with a variety of different organizations. It has been a safe space regardless of your orientation, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.

In the aftermath of this horrible event the community both here locally and world wide has yet again risen up refusing to be silenced. They have stood in solidarity with those in Orlando through their voices and their actions. Across the state people lined up for hours to donate blood while others brought water and food which was in short supply at donation centers. Equality Florida, a locally based LGBT civil rights organization, started a GoFundMe to help the families and survivors financially. In the evening vigils were held both here and abroad to send love to those hurting and to show that we are strong and united. Tonight and in the days to come more vigils are being organized. Tel Aviv, Sydney, and so many other cities across the world are flying flags (including the pride flag) at half mast and lighting their landmarks in support and solidarity.

 

 

As we all continue to grieve this horrible event there are ways you can continue to support those effected by this tragedy. If you are local please donate blood if you can in the coming days. Blood is a perishable resource and the hospitals will need to be replenished as they continue to care for those wounded. You can visit oneblooddonor.org to find a location and schedule an appointment. Be patient as both that site and the oneblood home site are both getting a lot of traffic right now. Alternately you can contact the Red Cross for information on donation sites and bus locations.  If you are not local please consider donating to the hospitals or other organizations that are supporting the community.

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Whether you identify as LGBTQI or are an ally stand up and let your voice be heard. If you aren’t already join your local community and fight for freedom and equality for ALL people.

#PrayForOrlando #Pulse #LoveWins #StandTogether 

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Better than the book: Things 50 Shades the movie did well.

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We know the negatives of the 50 shades books. The writing is atrocious. The author doesn’t represent the “real” BDSM lifestyle. They don’t warn about the extra dark side. We could go on. Honestly though, the fact the series has become so popular isn’t entirely bad! Here are some reasons the 50 Shades movie isn’t as terrible as you’d expect.

Let’s Talk

If nothing else 50 Shades absolutely got people talking. Most of us in the BDSM community did not stumble upon a billionaire with a dark side but some of us did stumble into “red rooms of pain” whether in the privacy of a home or in more public dungeon. The books got people thinking about what got them wet. In turn it got people talking to EACH OTHER about what got them wet. Suddenly we’ve got couples exploring new ways to please each other, book clubs talking about getting their kink on, BDSM communities doing outreach events, & public libraries talking about the rights of patrons to read what they want and have the privacy to do so. The movie continues this conversation. For a lot of people it’s easier to talk a partner into watching a movie for two hours than reading an entire book (or listen to the horrible audiobook!) This means that the movie gives people who may have been hesitant to bring up the subject a new jumping point for the conversation.

Consent!

I have to say thank you to the screenwriters on this one for actually doing a bit of research while writing the script. Through out the movie the concepts of consent are repeatedly and expressly discussed. When the pair sit down and negotiate the contract Christian might raise an eye brow at Ana removing fisting from the list but he doesn’t force her to leave anything in. He also gives some too in offering the one non D/s date a week which she mentions earlier in the story. Give and take between the individuals to reach to an agreement they are both comfortable with. Sounds like a pretty reasonable representation of D/s contract negotiations to me. When it came to play again Christian very much requires consent, not just a head shake but in words, even without the contract being signed. Prior to all BDSM play he asks her for verbal consent and goes over the safe words. Even in the infamous ending he asks her at least twice “are you sure” and explains EXACTLY what the punishment will be. She insists, consents, and doesn’t call red. She might not have liked what he did but there wasn’t any abusive behavior or manipulation in it.

We’re not all traumatized abuse victims!

This was a BIG problem for a lot of BDSM communities members when the book came out. Christian has a pretty dark and questionably abusive history. Due to this many outside of the kink community came to the conclusion that only abused and traumatized individuals are drawn to our deplorable desires. While mental illness does occur in the kink community many studies are putting this assumption to rest. The movie handles this fact much better than the book. “Mrs. Robinson” is brought up a few times but only one scene has the really negative undertone regarding that relationship. Christian handles it well and the focus doesn’t immediately become “oh, he was sexually abused as a teenager and that’s why he’s just so fucking broken.” Additionally, more then once Christian tells her that BDSM is just a part of who he is not because he’s broken or damaged. Kink is in his blood.

Kinda Hot

For a mainstream hollywood movie there were some potentially steamy scenes particularly for those mostly in the vanilla world. It is really tame, light sensation play for the most part but for a wide audience even that is racy! They try to show passion and connection between the two characters both in and out of the red room of pain. Christian isn’t just merciless beating Ana but providing aftercare and checking in with her. That’s a good thing. That’s how scenes should work within the negotiations of the Top and bottom.

 

So yes, for those of us who live kinky lives more fully this is rubbish but we have to remember where it came from: Twilight fan fiction from someone who may never have been erotically spanked in her life! However horribly written and edited the books were the movie addressed a lot of the blatantly inaccurate information.

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