Last weekend I found myself in a room of eager submissives and Doms attending a workshop on pain management. This was part of DomCon LA — a four-day series of events that is the biggest and most well-organized annual BDSM convention in Los Angeles. The overall event is geared to Dominants, both pros and lifestylers. But it’s a feast for submissives like myself, who melt into a puddle of bliss relinquishing power to a Dom. I’m a sucker for the type of man who will slam you down, pin your arms behind you and use you like a piece of meat — and this convention had plenty of them!
DomCon includes educational presentations, demos, hands-on technique training, a couture show, a gay wedding, a fabulous array of BDSM fashion, toys and lifestyle accessories for sale, play parties, a Mistresses’ tea, and the Fetish Ball. The event is produced by legendary male-to-female pro-Domme Mistress Cyan. Mistress Cyan was the 2009 Pantheon of Leather Woman of the Year, she runs a production company and a professional dungeon; and she is a successful bondage and fetish model and actress. Kinksters come from all over to attend DomCon so it’s a huge social event, great for people-watching and a lot of fun.
The scene in the pain management class: A “baby girl” (actually a twenty-something) sitting on the floor leaning on the thigh of her mommy Mistress, wearing a ruffled short dress. Her blonde hair was swept up and held in place with big pink bows.
A guy in full black latex suit with lace-up arm gloves, boots, police hat and cop sunglasses sat next to a heavyset Latina.
A handful of men and women seemed of ambiguous orientation but with most others, it was fairly obvious from their body language: straight or gay, Dom or sub.
A Domme, with hair pulled back neatly in a slick bun, sat behind the presenter, her presence intimidating. She wore a waist-cincher severely tightened to emphasize her enormous (and probably fake) breasts. I had no trouble avoiding eye contact with her — it was hard not to stare at those breasts, ready to pop out of her tight white blouse.
The presenter, an alluringly feminine blonde submissive, struggled to give her talking points, as her Domme repeatedly interrupted her to add information. The power struggle was comical but the Domme eventually took her seat and let her sub be in charge to present the material. She covered many of the same points I covered in my last article on processing pain, but added some colorful examples and encouraged attendees to share their own methods and experiences.
Outside in the convention hall, goth babes in tight, shiny latex dresses and all manner of piercings in their faces strolled alongside lanky pale men with dyed black locks. Many had floggers tucked in their pant pockets. In one booth, a man had a girl bent over a spanking bench and was spanking her vigorously. Yummy smacking sounds rang out but the girl hardly made a whimper. He had her positioned so her red ass faced out to the aisle where people could best see her.
Vendors sold leather paddles, whips, collars, jewelry, DVDs, dungeon furniture and fetish wear. I tried on a waist-cincher and the lovely girl manning the booth tied it up tightly on me. I saw we’d drawn a crowd of men — and realized I needed to own that waist-cincher!
I ran into friends and got to meet several people I knew from social networking sites but hadn’t yet met in person, including another writer for Sex and the 405. So much fun!
That night I met up with Sir M and Mistress L at the DomCon play party. It was a fetish dress up affair — meaning that half the people there weren’t really kinksters; they were club kids who liked to appropriate the fashion. Sir M grumbled about this. Case in point: an attractive trendy girl wearing a cocked fedora and super cute latex dress walked through the dance floor with a guy in tow — on his hands and knees crawling right behind her. I assumed she was a Domme but then noticed she was wearing a collar. In this lifestyle collars are reserved for submissives to display that they are owned by their Dom. I imagined the BDSM fashion police chasing her down, hog-tying her and spanking her for this transgression.
We peeked in one of the play rooms and saw a crowd watching Mistress Cyan at work with her single-tail whip, playing with a female sub. Her skills with the whip are legendary and it was a beautiful sight to watch as she concentrated on placing each crack of the whip in exactly the right spot with the proper intensity. Undoubtedly she could easily split someone in two with that whip if she wanted to.
Sir M had me strip naked and restrained me to a giant spider web made of chain. I tried my best to use some of the pain management techniques I’d learned earlier that day as he whacked me harshly with his leather paddle. My breath was quick and shallow and I tried to consciously control it. Once my breathing got slower and deeper I was able to deflect the pain more effectively.
He saw me responding well, and switched over to flogging me. Adrenaline flowed through and heightened the sensation of each blow as it landed on me. Several couples patiently waited their turn to use the web in this crowded room.
We moved over to a leather bench and I laid on my back, anxious and excited. Sir M was going to do one of his famous bonfires on my body. A large crowd gathered to watch because the effect is quite dramatic. Just as the flames danced down my torso we were told by club management “no fires!” — sorry, too late!
The next day was the most crowded at the convention. I greeted Sir M as usual by kissing his feet, then did my best to shadow him and stay on his left side.
We attended David Farrah’s excellent workshop on how to attract a play partner. Farrah examined universal theories of attraction and punctuated each point with humor and audience interaction.
He noted that facial expressions can add to or detract from attractiveness, so he advised us:
“Be happy, it’s attractive! Carry a joke with you, laugh!”
To demonstrate this theory, he had Mr. L.A. Leather Bear 2010 read a piece of paper. Mr Bear is a burly, brooding bruiser. As he read it silently, his face lit up and he smirked because he knew he was being made to laugh. It was a silly joke but it proved Farrah’s point.
(The joke was: “A guy walks into a bar and the bartender says to the man, ‘Hey guy, you’ve got a steering wheel down your pants.’ The guy replies ‘Yeah I know. Its driving me nuts!’”)
DomCon made me smile, made me scream, made me laugh, made me cry. It was very, very good.