Warning! This blog post is about a con called FetishCon. Not FluffyBunnyPicnicCon. Do not read ahead if you are easily scandalized. But don’t read ahead if you’re expecting a really steamy description, this is more of “a newbie’s impression of FetishCon”. (Pics from the con are mostly sfw and are here)
Chained Elegance (my chainmail dealer) and I decided to collaborate with Ribbons and Rivets (leather worker) and hit up FetishCon this year. I’ve done some fetish shows with Chained Elegance before, and I think they’re a lot of fun! We normally do pretty well sales-wise, everyone is very friendly, and there’s a lot less “why is that girl wearing such a skimpy outfit” glaring (that I sometimes get at conventions, ren faires, and other such family friendly events) and a lot less "hey that girl is wearing a skimpy outfit let me hit on her awkwardly" (that I also get at cons, faires, and family friendly events.) People at fetish shows are more polite and have this sort of "live and let live" mentality. True story, the most creepy guys I've had to deal with have been at regular cons or events.
FetishCon is roughly a four day show, so we drive down Wednesday night (after fellow booth girl Ginny gets out of class and Matt gets off of work), get a speeding ticket in some crappy speed trap town on the highway, arrive at 4am, and decide that we’re never starting an 11 hour drive at 6pm EVER AGAIN.
Between Thursday and Friday we manage to get the booth set up, sleep a bit, eat some real food , and pop down briefly to the meet and greet. Tampa, much to my surprise, is actually quite a clean, nice city. Our hotel is within walking distance of the Hyatt, where the con is, so we spent a lot of time trucking it back and forth in high heels.
The Hyatt itself is a really neat hotel; it has this crazy twisted staircase/waterfall/planter box thing going on near the bar (where Photognome and I snapped some shots!) The vendor room, seminars, and art gallery are all up the escalator (tucked out of view of the poor normal people who happened to venture through) The vendor room is pretty packed with all sorts of demonstrations, booths, models, and artists – we were actually right across from a guy doing suspension tying – and then there was the main stage slash clips 4 you booth, where they had (in no particular order) a diva drag show, some sort of bondage race, sybian demonstrations and super heroines. Apparently the sybian has the power to take girls from 0 to orgasm in about....well, under five minutes, so make of that what you will. I remain mildly skeptical.
Oh! One major highlight of the show -- I got to meet one of my favorite models, Mosh. She's a faaaabulous alt/pinup/fetish model, and I'm just in love with all of her photos. They're very sexy but still elegant at the same time. It was kinda intimidating to talk to her, because she is actually just as gorgeous in real life as she is in photos (unlike the rest of us, hahah) so I had a minor celeb freak out moment and I don't actually know what we talked about. I'm pretty sure my brain was on auto-babble mode... but she was very nice!
I’m not gonna lie, Ginny and I went kinda nuts over the clothes and shoes. Whatever your feelings about the fetish scene are, you cannot deny that it produces some hot ass clothing. And with all the models and attendees walking around in their latex-y/lingerie’d/corseted best, the atmosphere felt pretty glamorous.
Our booth was pretty dolled up too! Chained Elegance had brought along the lovely ladies of the Succubus Sorority, so our poor mannequins weren’t burdened with too many outfits. They were a lot of fun to have around, and did a great job of showing off the chainmail.
Speaking of which – we have new chainmail buddies! There was another chainmail vendor there, and we were excited to see their stuff. Now, you might be surprised to hear this, because chainmail is a pretty niche hobby and an even more niche market, but chainmail vendors either a) get along famously because they share this random weird hobby and swap tips and ideas, or b) badmouth each other, try to undercut the other’s prices, and start catfights over the most inane things. (We had one vendor try to tell us one time that *he* had invented the chainmail bikini, so we couldn’t make them…what? Really?) Personally, I don’t understand the latter mindset – it seems so small minded and pointless.
But the good folks at Poly’s Pleasures were wonderful! They have a very different style from us, with a big focus on bright colors and rubber rings, and it was really cool seeing all the gorgeous stuff they’d come up with. Their jewelry was actually probably some of the best I’ve seen in chainmail, because their use of color is just fantastic.
My one gripe with Fetishcon was the after party – the “Vamps and Vixens” ball at the Castle. First we heard that the Castle was really cool and they were gonna have a great show. Then, when we showed up to take the shuttle, people returning told us not to bother, the line was around the block, and the place was so jammed it wasn’t fun. Ahh…disappointing. But hey, pool time! Ginny and I had very firm plans to soak our poor abused feet. (The Venn diagram for "hot sexy shoes" and "comfortable to wear for 14 hours at a time shoes" does not have much of an overlap) Naturally, about 5 minutes after we get our toes in the water, a vendor friend texts us to let us know that vendors get in free, hint hint.
So we truck back down to the shuttle, take it over to the Castle, get in line… and are promptly informed that while it’s entirely possible vendors get in free, the door guy doesn’t know for sure, and he can’t let us in. The only guy who can let us in is… the guy in charge of the party. Door boy’s suggestion is that we wait by the re-entry door and hope that Head Party Guy shows up and approves us to come in. Our vendor pal comes out to try and talk to the door guy, but gets the same song and dance. We spend a while waiting by the re-entry door, watching them deal with angry drunk people, but unsurprisingly, the busiest guy at the party doesn’t happen to stroll by and wave us in.
Now don’t get me wrong – I understand that the door guy has to deal with people trying to weasel their way in all night, and that it’s not a fun job. But seriously, you can’t call the head guy, or call a higher up, or do something other than suggest we hope a miracle happens? We paid $700 to attend this show, I’d think that should cover the damn party ticket. We wait around long enough to realize that our feet are absolutely miserable and take a shuttle back to the hotel.
Other than that, though, it was a fun show. Everyone there was really nice, very polite, and we did pretty well for our first show. I think we’ll definitely be back next year…possibly with more comfortable shoes.