I signed up for the 2014 BDSM Readers & Writers Conference for two reasons: I thought it would be fun to attend the demos, and I wanted to meet Joey W. Hill, the keynote speaker. I love her books. Like…love. Fangirl squee love. She was my introduction to BDSM fiction, and she is a Mistress of the genre. LOVE! (And not only did I get to meet her, I was lucky enough to host a Kinky Confessional reader party with her, the spectacular Robin L. Rotham, and the incredible Jennifer Kacey. Joey even texted me during the conference! And we went out to dinner! And she hugged me! It was epic.)
I arrived at the opulent Roosevelt hotel, dropped my stuff off in my room and went to check out the conference floor so I’d know where to go the next day. Lady Sabrina of My Lady’s Toys was setting up her lingerie and sex toy store, so I poked my nose in there for a minute and then left her in peace. Good stuff. Bondage tape and corsets all over the place! Once I discovered a coffee shop across the street from the hotel, I knew I could go to sleep. Caffeine source. Check!
There were so many inspiring moments during the next few days, both before and after my husband arrived on Friday morning, I’m going to have to make a list of the first ten that come to mind, or this post would turn into a novel. I’ve already procrastinated writing this for two weeks because I don’t know how to explain all the awesomeness. I feel like I can’t do justice to the topic because it was more than a conference. It was also a retreat and a damn fun, kinky party. I left with a deeper understanding of several different aspects of BDSM and a desire to carry them forward into my writing and my bedroom. And maybe a few other places, too…
So, in no particular order, I totally grooved on:
1. Eric Pride‘s BDSM demo. The connection he and his bottom created was mesmerizing. She was beautifully responsive to him, and his mastery of tone, hands, whip, and rope gave me goosebumps.
2. The Kinky Mix & Mingle at Paddles, NYC’s longest-running BDSM club. It was a very interesting place to explore. St. Andrew’s crosses. A cage…on a pulley. A thing a little bit like a stock, but double-sided, offering many erotic inspirations. Nooks and crannies. A throne-thing I didn’t look at very closely because I was having a fascinating conversation with Robin L. Rotham. Off-site events forced me out of my conference hotel bubble, a very good thing.
3. Bo Blaze‘s two workshops: BDSM Toys 101 (live demo) and Button Pushing For Pleasure. Fascinating! I loved his frank and accessible discussion of the psychological underpinnings of his household. I’m kicking myself because I didn’t have him sign the books I brought home, especially since I’ll be giving one away soon.
4. Fetish party hosted by Powder and the NY Fetish Tribe. I’ll leave that to your imagination. Don’t hold back.
5. Dr. Matthew Scrivens’s (author of SOLE SURVIVOR) workshop on Psychopaths, Sociopaths, and Serial Killers. It was just what I needed, when I needed it, to inspire future work.
6. All the smiles, passion, and enthusiasm. It was an inclusive and friendly group. I never got it straight who was author/writer/reader, and it didn’t matter. I suppose I should have been networking harder, but I was having too much fun.
7. Violet wand demo by Traveling Fool and Mary Ann. An absolute hoot! I’m going to have to try that sometime…
8. Dr. Charley Ferrer and Rose C. Carole’s energetic and enthusiastic dedication to doing everything they could to coordinate an amazing experience for all conference goers. They worked all weekend! Even in the midst of busy chaos, I could see their wheels turning as they thought about how to do it bigger and better next year.
9. Bo Blaze gave me a whip cracking lesson at the Book Fair. Okay, that wasn’t an official event, but it was fun! When I got home the next day, I wasn’t sure if my arm was sore from dragging luggage through the airport or from cracking a whip. Awesome.
10. Being able to let my kink flag fly in good company. Or not. Or half-mast. Whether a conference attendee was kinky in real life, kinky in fiction, or curious about kink, all were accepted and made to feel welcome. I was afraid I’d feel outclassed kink-wise since my husband and I don’t get out much in the community, but I didn’t. I felt free to absorb the material presented and ask questions.
Those are just the first ten things that popped into my head. I also co-led two workshops: From the Books to the Bedroom with Leia Shaw and Be Careful or You’ll End Up in my Novel with Cris Anson, two amazing women. There was a publisher panel and a ton more workshops. I wish I had been able to attend them all! (Here’s a list of 2014 attending authors.) If this sounds up your alley, discounted early registration is open for the 2015 conference in August. ($200 until October 1st, a total deal. Of course, a NYC hotel stay is pricey, so I recommend you recruit some friends to share costs!) I hope to see you there!
Oh! GIVEAWAY! Attending authors, publishers, and industry professional put some pretty sweet swag in the goody bags! Since my husband attended, and we don’t need two bags, I’ll give one away. Want to see who attended? Need a pair of handcuff earrings? Like excerpt booklets? A flash drive?