Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Join me at the 3rd annual Fantasy Fetish Fest for workshops, socials, and more. It’s free to attend*! There’s a little something for everyone whether it’s hanging with the pups poolside, enjoying a cigar with friends, or hitting the Bootblack stands. I’ll be getting my rope on during opening ceremonies and again on Saturday afternoon for a self-suspension demo!
Confession: My favorite role in rope play is bottoming and I’ve allowed the negative assumptions from others about my body keep me from really pursuing it.
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.
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.
On Friday I got a chance to talk with Mrs. Darling, winner of the BDSM Writers Con 2015 Book Contest, about her recently released book Darling Discovered. It’s the kind of book readers really want out of a kinky story: realistic and sexy as hell! Unlike other books that have come out in recent years, Darling Discovered is based on the author’s own history and relationship leading readers along possibly one of the most life changing years of her life. Technically the book starts off with a super hot and intense takedown scene between Chloe and her Mister which gets readers hooked for what’s to come. The story itself however starts off with Chloe discovering her husband Leo’s affair. Not wanting to throw it all away the pair agree to try for one year to make things right again. About mid way through Chloe reveals her long repressed fantasies about submission and it sparks a whole new dynamic for the pair. Along the way we join the pair for their first adventures into the world of D/s relationships including their first trip to a public dungeon in Vegas! Filled with real life ups and downs Darling Discovered gives readers an actual look at what life in a 24/7 M/s relationship can be without sugar coating it. It’s a story of self discovery and acceptance, trust, love, and lust.
- Rating: 5/5
- Pro: real life kink, sexy as hell, well written
- Con: I can’t think of any!
Mrs. Darling: Hello! How are you today?
Aemok: I’m doing excellent. Thank you again for joining me this afternoon.
Mrs. Darling: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me!
Aemok: I’d like to start off with what inspired you to enter the 2015 BDSM Writer’s Con And how did you feel about the contest?
Mrs. Darling: I’d be happy to, although it is more like what *made* me enter. Well, who made me enter. I wrote a story, a story about us, my Dominant/husband and I. It was very raw and cathartic and real and it felt so good to get it out of my system. I tucked the tale away… until my husband (MR) found out about the contest and required I sent it in. He thought it would be good to share it with the community at large, that maybe others could learn from our path. I sent the manuscript in and waited.
I was terrified! Terrified of winning, terrified of losing, terrified of being judged. Because I was in fact being judged. When you tell your own path (as a versus to writing fiction) every review is a review of your own life. Your own success and mistakes and choices.
Aemok: Speaking of that. It would have been easy to call your book “fiction” to prevent people from passing judgement on your relationship. Where did you get the term Creative Non Fiction and why did you choose to open your life up in this way?
Mrs. Darling: Falling into a genre of writing has been a difficult decision. I typically write non-fiction about my life as a submissive but it can be dry at times; technical. With this story I wanted to be creative and free, to paint the story in the way my minds eye remembered it. I wrote from the heart. Always. Somebody introduced the phrase creative non-fiction to me and it was like a piece of the puzzle falling into place. The whole time I wanted to emphasize authenticity. Being authentic to our story. I felt like this was the best way to do it. To “hold hands” with other people exploring submission and tell them that I understand, that I have been there too, that no it is not easy. The best way for me to do so was to own up to it being my life.
Aemok: Were you concerned that people would focus just on the rough spots and not see the growth that both of you individually and together gained through the story?
Mrs. Darling: For sure. I added a bit of our backstory to try and have it make sense why this woman would even want to try and make things work. Infidelity is such a taboo topic. Nobody is talking about it but it is so statistically high for it to happen. Why can’t we talk about it? The decisions, the emotions, the struggle? I remember this actually taking place and feeling so, so isolated. I am glad to give a voice to trying to make things work. To come out of the gates with an affair and ask a reader to try and root for us to succeed was a risk. But it simply is our path. The “old us” had to die before who we are now could be reborn.
Aemok: As someone who has been on both sides of the situation I very much identified with both of you throughout the story. Were there parts that were harder than others or anything you just couldn’t put to pen?
Mrs. Darling: It was all hard, honestly. I probably shed as many tears re-telling the story as I did living it. The hardest, at this point, was the telling of my mistakes, my bad judgement, my choices that could have been better. I just wanted to shake this girl and wake her up but alas, hindsight and all. The only things really left out were some of our struggles in parenting. That story correlates in time but isn’t relevant to this story told. Everything else is there.
Aemok: I think too often people outside the relationship automatically jump to the “throw the cheating bastard/bitch out” without thinking about the rest of the relationship.
Friends mean well in their support but sometimes it just fuels the initial shock, anger, and pain but doesn’t let us really sit back and hold our selves accountable.
Mrs. Darling: Agreed. So true.
Aemok: At one point in the book you and MR take a break. Do you think that sometimes taking a little bit of time without contact can be a positive when you’re dealing with something that is so emotionally charged?
Mrs. Darling: Absolutely. I do think it allowed us both some time to process as individuals. Process in a much level headed way than always having that person around. We were able to get a glimpse into what life would look like without the other person there and that is a really powerful tool as you are trying to review the success (or not) of a relationship. For us it was both empowering, cementing in our minds our identities in Power Exchange, but also really bleak. Life was brighter together. That was immediately clear.
Aemok: Exactly. When my marriage ended many years ago one thing I had always wished was that taking a bit of time apart was something that was socially acceptable.
Over the last few years a number of books, shows, and movies have come out that highlight our lifestyle for better or worse. Do you think that it’s important that those of us who really live this life share our stories when we can? Do you think that it helps those who may be interested but not know where to start? Like the younger version of yourself?
Mrs. Darling: I think it certainly helps. When people start to find out more about BDSM, education is one of the first things they hear. “Read, read, and read some more.” It’s a kinksters war cry. This is of course a good thing; it is important to educate yourself when you are looking into anything new, particularly when it can have dangerous implications. But what is the quality of information available? I feel like those living this day in and day out can contribute so much. I think many hesitate to do so because they recognize their way is only one way, or because they don’t think themselves capable. But I want to encourage everybody willing to share their path because in the end everybody has a different experience anyway. It doesn’t have to be fancy or frilly, just *available.*
Aemok: Do you have recommendation to help those who maybe want to but find themselves struggling to do so. Personally I’ve tried journalling/writing for years and I’ll do a spurt of good writing and then let life get in the way (ok, I totally make up excuses regardless of reality). I know a lot of people who recommend it, particularly for submissives, as a way of processing or communicating.
Mrs. Darling: Journaling helped (helps) me along. For those who want to journal but struggle, my best advice is to let the journal be there for you instead of being obligated to that inanimate object. I had tried it all my life: “I am going to write a paragraph every night” or “I will journal a line about my emotions every day.” Always a big failure. That is until I learned to lean on my journal when I needed it and never to feel guilty about not writing. I go weeks and even months now without creating a personal journal entry (typically when the times are easy and good). But when I struggle, it is always there for me, ready to listen without judgement and capture that harsh moment in time. My best advice for those still finding their way is to listen to your gut. We have incredible instincts and so often we shove them away because we were taught something else or feel obligated to be another way. Our head is always so damn logical; the heart will lead you astray. Follow your gut instinct and stay true to that course.
Aemok: Is there anything else about yourself, the book, or the writing journey you’d like to share?
Mrs. Darling: I just want to take a moment to thank everybody in my local BDSM community that has continued to support and encourage me in this venture along the way. I don’t know if I could have gotten to this point without them (and, of course, MR). If anybody reading has hesitation about getting involved in the community, I encourage you to do so. Thank you so much for having me today. It has been lovely talking about this journey with you.
Aemok: Thank you for being so open and congratulations again on the release of your new book. It was absolutely a fantastic read!
Mrs. Darling: You’re very welcome. Thank you so much and I am glad you enjoyed the story!
Aemok: ok 3 silly questions just cause: What is your favorite snack/beverage while writing? What is your favorite and least favorite toy? What is a book you absolutely recommend people read (kink or otherwise)?
Mrs. Darling: Black coffee and loads of it. When writing at home, or at Starbucks, or at the local library study room. Big ol cup of strong coffee, straight up. Always. Favorite: Whip. Least: Cane. Both make me shiver in very different ways. I’d recommend reading Emily Post’s Etiquette. There is some stellar information in there that I think could help make the world a more lovely place.
Aemok: You’re amazing. Thank you again and have a fantastic afternoon!
Mrs. Darling: You too, thank you for all that you do as well. Have a great rest of your day.
Again it was an absolute pleasure to read the book and chat with the author. I highly recommend you check it out.
One of the things I loved in my previous Daddy/girl relationship was the chore system we created. It wasn’t elaborate but a great way for Sir to give some encouragement for some of my regular chores that I may have been a little less then excited about. Here’s some options you can use to track tasks for your sub, regardless if they are little or not!