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!"
2. "DON'T YOU DARE TAKE MY FUCKING PICTURE!"
3. "It's smells like leather and B.O."
5. "My husband loves these! He delivers my coffee like this."
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.
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!"
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."
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)"
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."
In conclusion, BE HAPPY AND DO WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT.
Note: Pictures of demos taken with consent.