What It’s Like to Spend a Weekend at a Fetish Convention
It was basically ComicCon, only sexier.
“That man’s skirt is legit, like, three inches long.” My friend Julie, with a look of bewilderment, pointed across a pool filled with forty black swan floaties.
The man in question was easily seven feet tall, shirtless, and wearing a pleated leather skirt that matched his female partner’s. They looked like porny school girls and I was here for it. His buttcheeks hung out from under the flaps of the skirt with reckless abandon. He did not give one single F.
The Pervy Pool Party had been sold to me as, “excellent people watching” and was the crescendo at the end of FetishCon, a three-day convention devoted to all things fetish. Everything from BDSM, to furries, to tickling, to sploshing (sexual pleasure from sitting in jelly-like substances) has a place at FetishCon.
The location? Well, Tampa of course. Where else would you expect a fetish convention to be held? Obviously if the leather hotties and people dressed as dogs are going to congregate anywhere, it’s going to be Florida. Tampa is ranked in the top 20 trashiest places in America. It has the most strip clubs per capita. One of my friends from Tampa uses it as a segue at parties to explain why she’s wearing moon boots, like, “I’m from Tampa. I’m garbage, obviously.”
The convention was held at the Hilton in St. Petersburg (which I’m told is not technically Tampa). Any hotel is a sterile location for a crowd with so many dildos present, but it was a far cry from a Holiday Inn Express. Props to the Hilton Hotels for being so sex pos. Snaps for you, Hilton. (Paris, are you there? It’s me, Gigi).
Before I left for this assignment, divulging my plans to drunk friends in New York, I was consistently asked the same two questions: What happens at FetishCon? and Are you scared? I would guffaw and assure my cohorts that I was, most certainly, not scared, “Um. I’m a journalist. Hello!” In reality, I was peevish. I’m not afraid of fetishes or people with fetishes, but I secretly wondered, Is this going to be an orgy? And, if so, am I cool with that?
Unable to answer this question, I boarded a plane to Florida on two hours of a sleep and a pocketful of dreams.