We have a very special guest at Fantasy Unbound today: a lovely fan and friend of the M/M romance community, Alex Whitehall. (You may recognize Alex from his review blog, Between the Covers, and if you don't, go check it out!)
Last week, Alex went to the GeekyKink event, a kink convention for those who might also be inclined to quote Douglas Adams or Star Wars at you. I'm a bit jealous, as this con was in my backyard (about 40 minutes from where I live), but I ended up being in California and unable to attend. I asked Alex if he'd be so kind as to do a write-up when he got back, and he obliged. So I'll shut up now and turn the floor over to Alex:
From Nov 4-5 I spent my time in a little New Jersey town at The GeekyKink Event.
This was my first time wandering into the world of a kink event, so I have no idea if this was tame compared to others or just about on par. I've also never played before, was going alone, knew no one there, and am painfully shy. I'm not actually sure how I conned myself into going, but its a safe bet it's Rachel's fault. [Editor's note: Of course it was >:-D]
Of course, if I hadn't gone, then I would never have experienced the following, so maybe it was worth it!
There were tons of events, demonstrations, and classes scheduled, plus meet-ups for like-minded folk, an after-care room, and some specialty events that I was too bashful to even glance at. I mostly stuck to the classes (see descriptions after jump).
The classes were educational and the classrooms and hallways were very tame nudity-wise. One class (sensual knife play) had women without tops on and the caning had two women in bra and panties. All very tasteful. I'm sure there were other parts that were kinkier (and involved less clothing), but I didn't venture there and it was built as such that you'd kind of have to go looking for them.
So for the curious, it's definitely a safe place to attend, no one will molest you (um, unless you want them to, I guess!), and it's fun, no matter what your aim is for attending (to get your kink on or to get educated).
While the kink community came across as very tight knit and many people already knew each other, a lot of the staff made it a point to strike up conversation with me (and they actually remembered my name!).
Plus I went shopping ;) Of course there was all sorts of kinky things to be purchased, most of which were out of my price range, and if I had a partner, I may have been more tempted to buy something aside from this adorable amigurimi:
He needs a name, any suggestions?
Here's how my schedule basically went:
First was Basic Safety, where I learned about keeping your head when accidents happen, such as a sub passing out after a basic scene. It was taught my medical personnel and helped us think about when it was necessary to call 911 and what to do if 911 can't be reached. It was interesting and a small group, so it was a nice welcome to the world.
Second was Sharp Things Put Bluntly, a class for knife safety, care and general education in addition to how to use knives for sensual scenes (instead of knife play which involves breaking the skin). Interested in a little bit of knife sensuality without going full force? Lobster prongs are great for it, plus you won't accidentally slice open your bottom. And they're cheap!
Sadly I only caught the tail end of Kitch Convertibles, which discussed how to make toys from much cheaper items. Throughout the next two days there were also DIY classes that provided the supplies and you built your own toys (or other stuff). I definitely got ideas from this class...
Next was Flying Solo at Kink Events. This was an amusing class that covered what to do/plan at a kink event when single or not coming with a partner. It gave a lot of interesting points, especially about being approachable (even if just for making new friends, you pervs!).
Saturday started off with a breakfast buffet ($9.50 for a breakfast buffet *snorts*). After that was Anatomy of Masturbation, which while not exactly educational (I mean, I'm pretty good at that), it did bring up some interesting points, and gave away handfuls of condoms. (“They already think I'm running a brothel. You can't just return 500 condoms.”) Then I snuck out early to get to Yoga for Kinksters.
Yoga for Kinksters was pretty much just a normal yoga routine with some lewd comments (“Just think about if you did this on your back or while getting f-cked.”) and some comments on how this would be beneficial for Bottoms (and sometimes Tops). It would definitely help with flexibility, but also on being focused on the body and becoming more in-tune, potentially creating a more powerful experience.
After that I headed back to the yoga instructor for some Breath Work for BDSM (different from breath play) where I learned about how breathing can be used to curb or create emotions (according to Chinese beliefs), and how this can be used in the dungeon--or life.
Last was Zen & the Art of Beating the Heck out of People, which was obviously targeted at Tops. Unless you came to see two women get smacked with bamboo "canes" and walker canes. Everyone was given a psuedo-bamboo cane (it was split instead of solid, and made from a Japanese bamboo sword) and the instructor taught a different striking technique and the importance of keeping a Zen-like mind while playing. In addition, he showed how this striking technique could be applied to any tool, whether it was a bamboo stick, a walking cane, or a knife (with modification).
I gave my cane away to an older gentleman who seemed really interested and who'd arrived after they'd run out. Sorry, if you wanted to beat me with a cane, you'll just have to get your own.
Welcome to my little corner of the gay erotic romance universe . . . well, half of it, anyway. (You can find the other half at RachelHaimowitz.com.) This is the place to come for sneak previews of new projects, release information, and the occasional M/M book review. I'll also share thoughts on the industry on occasion, and I hope you'll come share yours in return.