I attended the 2014 DomCon, held in the basement of the LAX Hilton in Los Angeles. I knew there was going to be lots of leather, dominatrixes, and sex toys. Beyond that, I didn’t know what to expect.
Here are some things I overheard:
1. “JESUS CHRIST, HENRY! THESE PEOPLE!”
A mother shouted this while placing her hand over her child’s eyes. At the same time, an elderly man dressed in a latex corset, mini-skirt, and knee-high kinky boots exited the elevator at the hotel lobby, I wasn’t sure who Henry was, but I assumed it was her husband, who was clearly laughing at all the scantily clad men and women.
2. “DON’T YOU DARE TAKE MY FUCKING PICTURE!”
DomCon brought in people from all walks of life: teachers, lawyers, salesmen, engineers, and even physicists. There were LOTS of couples, both gay and straight. Convention attendees had the opportunity to express their deep sexual desires without fear of judgement. But there is one golden rule: What happens at the convention, stays at the convention. Because of this, a lot of people were wary of cameras, and dominatrixes were extra fierce in enforcing this rule. This made taking pictures extremely hard. So, here’s a picture of some reasonably priced ball gags.
3. “It’s smells like leather and B.O.”
This was not surprising. People were wrapped in latex and leather throughout the convention. The air conditioning at the LAX Hilton, at least in the basement, was not the best in the world. So, no ventilation, plus people dressed in latex, plus the heat, equaled a rather smelly venue. Then again, it’s no different than Coachella.
4. “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”
There were some interesting “demos” taking place at the exhibition hall. Many of them taught techniques for how to properly flog someone. You could hear the sound of leather bashing against the skin from the other side of the room. After a lady was flogged multiple times, to the point where her back was covered in welts and bruises, she quietly murmured this phrase to her “owner.” The “owner” would oblige. By the end of the demo, the two would hug for a long time, laughing.
5. “My husband loves these! He delivers my coffee like this.”
The married couple talking were well into their forties and they looked EXTREMELY happy to be there. They talked about the humiliation gag in such a nonchalant way, as if it were a new car or an iPhone.
6. Professor Spank: “Give me any design you want, I’ll turn it into a paddle.”
Professor Spank is a delightful fellow whose specialty is crafting customizable paddles. “This one guy once ordered the Vulcan sign from Star Trek, so I made it for him,” Professor Spank told BuzzFeed. He had a wide selection of paddles plus a website where you can create your own design. I was particularly drawn to the Darth Vader paddle. Some people apparently like seeing Darth Vader’s face on their butt cheeks.
7. “Excuse me, sir. Can you move two inches over? People need to get through.”
In the middle of a live spanking show, there was a couple who decided to duke out their foot fetish experience out in the open. Surprisingly, no one really took notice, except for a security guard, who told the man to scoot over two inches to avoid getting trampled on. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have a problem with that.
8. “So, what exactly is a pony?”
I saw many humans willing to take on the role of a pony. They would have a harness strapped to their head and a stick jammed between their teeth. In some cases, “ponies” would wear a leather horse mask, covering most of the face (see above). During the “Best in Show” competition, a “pony” would be blindfolded and led through several obstacle courses by a trainer, using only straps and a switch. While a “pony” made its way through an obstacle course, the audience was respectfully silent. Upon completion, the audience applauded and cheered. It was like being at an equestrian show.
9. “Woof! Woof!”
The Pet Show is an event where people morph into “pet animals” and perform tricks in front of a live audience. There was also a “zebra” in attendance. Each “pet” had a trainer. Awards were given to the top three pets, based on originality, tricks, and overall looks. Some people kept up their pet persona even after the Pet Show was over. I scratched one pet behind her ears and fed her some treats (Skittles). It was a little unsettling at first, but I got used to it very quickly.
10. “Have you ever played with electricity before?”
The lady behind Current Pleasures explained that she came up with the idea for these gadgets after receiving electrotherapy for her back pain. “If you can apply electricity to the back, then you can apply electricity to any other part of the body.”
Although the table looked intimidating with all the clamps, wires, and electrical sockets, lots of couples spoke highly of electric play. “You get a true sense of danger without coming close to it,” said Mary from Florida.
11. Lady Anastasia: “The more sex you have with one person, the less dopamine gets released from your brain. This is where kinky stuff comes into play.”
In her seminar “Beyond Monogamy,” Lady Anastasia explained there is a distinct difference between the first time and the 89th time you have sex with your S.O. Dopamine, or “the gotta have it” chemical, is the difference maker. She claims that the sad reality is that the brain releases less dopamine every time you have sex with the same person. This is why cheating occurs. Because of this, one has to trick the body in order to release more dopamine and keep things fresh. You trick the body by adding new factors into your sexual experience, like toys, role-play, or even a third person. “This finally explains why we can’t do missionary anymore,” said one elderly lady from Kentucky, whose husband was chained by the neck.
12. Mistress Anna: “[My servant] is the warm body that happens to be attached to my property (referring to his penis, that’s locked shut in a “chastity” device)”
“Chastity” devices prevent a man from having an erection. The only way to remove this device is by using a key that’s in the possession of their ultra-dominating partner. A demonstration was given to us by a mistress and her “servant,” who pulled his pants down to reveal what it looks like to wear a chastity device. He had been wearing the device for several months, 24/7. Mistress Anna ended the demonstration by tickling her servant’s genitals with a brush. “I’m so happy right now,” said a woman in attendance. The audience was overwhelmingly female.
13. “Some people like playing with knives. But knives are for rookies. This is the real stuff.”
Among the metallic butt-plugs, chrome dildos, and finger traps, there were these “rolling pins.” They’re like pizza cutters, but with sharp tiny spikes. I rolled one on my finger, and I could feel the spikes digging hard into the skin. “They’re mostly used for someone’s back but hey, to each their own,” said a female attendee who was nice enough to educate me about these specific toys.
14. “Don’t just remove the whip after you do it. Let it sit there for a second and slowly drag it away.”
During a “Non-traditional BDSM toys” class, we learned that the key to using a chain whip is that it has to wrap around a person’s skin in order to fully enhance the experience. So, if you whip someone’s back, the chain would have to wrap around their torso. Then you SLOWLY drag the whip off their body.
15. “There’s not a lot of fucking going on.”
By the end of the convention, I realized that people didn’t come to DomCon to have traditional sex. It’s not about penetration (toys exempt). Lady Anastasia explained, “Kinkiness and fetishes allow for us to express ourselves sexually WITHOUT rubbing our genitals on anyone.” She referred to a 1998 study to support her statement, that correlates the rise in foot fetishism to STI epidemics. This was the core feeling for most of the convention: If you do something that brings you sexual pleasure without having to penetrate, then this convention was certainly for you.
In conclusion, BE HAPPY AND DO WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT.
Note: Pictures of demos taken with consent.