Another convention has come and gone. :) This one took a little consideration and cogitation, letting it all sink into my brain and bubble around...
Yup. Bondage Expo. Not your ordinary convention.
This was hosted in the Crowne Plaza in Dallas Texas, and the hotel was conveniently located near Tiff's Treats, home of the world’s most wonderful cookies, available by delivery. :)
I arrived on Thursday, which gave me plenty of time to wander, explore the area and obviously, find the best bakery around. Once my roommate arrived (the fabulous J.A. Rock) we were off and running, attending workshops, a short signing, a play party and of course, the free range roping area. Being Texas, there were subs running around being lassoed and hogtied...just like a scene from Doms of Dark Haven!
I didn't get to attend all the workshops I wanted to, largely because of the book signing, but there were three that were outstanding for various reasons. Because of a situation I'm wrangling with in a manuscript (Destiny, anyone?) I decided to gird up my loins and attend those that focused primarily on pain.
The workshops were "Because it Hurts," "Pain and Fear Play" and "Semenawa: The Beauty of Suffering."
Every workshop approached the giving and managing of pain via different perspectives. In "Because it Hurts" the presenter showed us pressure points that could be manipulated with rope and knots. His focus was on shifting the sub between the endorphin rush created by pain, and the adrenaline that negates the pain dulling properties of the endorphins.
In "Pain and Fear Play," the approach was similar, but the intent was more to keep the sub on an adrenaline high which is created not only by fear, but by the anticipation of fear. The presenter bound his partner to a chair and throughout the presentation, occasionally tipped the chair, keeping her on the rise and fall of fear.
The third presentation was the most difficult for me personally. The presenter took elements of Japanese tortures and adapted them to an erotic, BDSM environment. Like the others, he was manipulating the pain and fear of his partner, but on a higher level, as the methods were indeed derived from torture. He bound his partner in painful and difficult positions, suspended her, taunted her by simply sitting and watching her hurt. He also brought in breath play, which is frightening on so many levels. His intent was to keep the sub in a pain/fear state, leading to a state of hopelessness and surrender. This was play on a different level, and while I admire both the Dom and his volunteer, he scared me on a visceral level.
All three were of immense value to me as a writer, giving me insight to some of what my characters see, experience and crave. The workshops I attended were all hands-on, so I not only had the opportunity to watch the presenter, but the attendees as well.
Hopefully, I'll get the chance to attend again next year. In the meantime, Destiny is about to show her Dom the meaning of pain...
Happy tails! And happy May! I'll be on the convention trail for several weeks; hopefully I'll get a chance to post from the road.