shyblackbird

BDSM 101

Providence, RI is hosting their annual “Fetish Fair Fleamarket” (#40) at the Westin, February 15-17. (more details at bottom of page) I was told about it after attending a BDSM panel at a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Boston, called Arisia.

I attended two panels, actually. The first was “BDSM101″, and I didn’t want to go alone so I dragged my partner with me. At first I was nervous and jumpy and had trouble sitting still. It was a crowded, small room with five speakers at the front table.  The lecture began with an introduction to relevant terms and definitions – kink jargon.  Master/slave, top/bottom, safety words and examples (words such as yellow and red, and “ouch”, and hand signals or creative ways to make sound if gagged/tied up, like ring a small bell or drop something to the floor).  They told us the basic names for ‘tools’ used and things to try. They discussed some of their first experiences and what they would do differently, as well as how to go about starting such a relationship.  They mentioned using a checklist when you first meet, and they stressed the importance of keeping open discussion and knowing what the other person wants from the relationship.

Because I was already familiar with the above mentioned, I became interested in their next topic, of how to meet the community. Apparently there are are local meetups everywhere, you just have to look for them. After learning this, I know I will be on the lookout for adult groups meeting in coffee shops and the like, with small indicators for who they are. They like to keep it low-key and dress mundanely when meeting in public. I will certainly post more on the subject of meet-ups when I do some more research on the topic.

The second BDSM class I took was named something like “Home Depot in the Bedroom”.  I wasn’t so nervous going to this panel, and was looking forward to seeing some toys and constructions.

The conversation was about toys and where to get them, and not necessarily at home depot. Material acquisition seemed to be the large issue, and specific companies were labelled as kink-friendly or kink-phobic, as in they might nod and smile knowingly when you mention your reason for purchasing such strong metal hooks (suspension), or might slam down the phone when you call asking if they supply latex you could use to model your fav phallus. I suppose a caning store gets a lot of prank calls.

My favorite part of the lecture was when the room was introduced to The Hammer.  The lights were turned off, and the female robotics PhD stood up, flashing us all.. with her rainbow, LED dick. As she stood there and made the introductions, among oohs and aahs from the audience, the Hammer used its 12 LED’s to cycle through an extensive rainbow pattern.  Apparently if there is someone on the other end, their varying body heat can be detected by the multiple sensors within the Hammer’s head, what alter the Hammer’s color accordingly.  Kristen, the designer, advertises it as such:

“The Hammer is a prototype test-your-strength game that’s an insertable, muscle-controlled, light-up dildo. Update, 1/5/13: The Hammer has been listed as Cracked.com’s #1 Geekiest Sex Toy! Welcome, everyone!” – Kristen

There is apparently also an accelerometer (or something similar?) in it, but she didn’t show us how that works.

View the Rainbow “Hypnocock”

Toy Maker Project.com

        In the panel they also passed around several paddles and floggers, most handmade out of interesting materials – wood, an old rubber conveyor belt, a hot glue stick (yes, really), and various rubber/metal scary-looking implements.  I think I favored the rubber paddle a bit. I would have enjoyed looking at a leather flogger, too. A guy at the back of the room also showed off his latex (I think) whip. I had met him briefly at the previous night’s Barfleet party, which is another story in itself.

        There were handouts following the presentation: a flyer and booklist.

The BDSM Beginner’s Booklist:

  1. “Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission” – Brame, Brame, and Jacobs
  2. “The New Topping Book” – Easton and Hardy
  3. “The New Bottoming Book” – Easton and Hardy
  4. “The Human Pony” – Wilcox
  5. “SM 101: A Realistic Introduction” – Wiseman
  6. “Screw the Roses Send Me The Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism” – Miller and Devon
  7. “Sex Disasters and How to Survive Them” – Moser and Hardy

Also we were told about the New England Leather Association (NELA) hosting the 40th Fetish Fair Fleamarket (FFF) at the Westin in Providence, Feb 15-17 2013.

The website: NELAONLINE.org

The cost is inexpensive, at only $30 for the whole weekend or $20 for a day.  They offer 50+ classes and 75+ vendors, as well as the pièce de résistance, the Fetish Fashion Show. In the past I’ve looked up similar fashion shows in Toronto and France, but this one is closer to home.  The show is on Friday from 8:30 or 9 – 11:30, and $10 for entrance.  There will be 100’s of models, a bar, and performances.

I want to go, but not alone.   It’s difficult to think of anyone in my life who would want to go with me. My partner, perhaps, though he is a little nervous around these things too.  I could ask my best friend, but I’m not sure I’d want her to know everything about me. I might have tried to meet people at these ‘meet-ups’ I’ve been told about, but not anymore with FFF being less than a month from now. Of course I’ll let you know if I do go. Pictures, eh?

So Arisia was a fun event, and a learning experience for me. I really wish I could go to Comic-Con, and I might this year! For those of you who don’t know, San Diego’s International Comic Con is a summer convention that, according to the venerable Wikipedia, “In 2010, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with over 130,000 attendees”.  Wow.

A friend went last year, and I obviously made a bad decision not to join her.  This is related to my post in that I just stumbled upon a list of the “Top 10 Fetishes Found at Comic-Con Every Year”: http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-fetishes-found-at-comic-con-every-single-year/autumn_smith

I’m not sure if many of these can actually be counted as a fetish, because some seem like quite normal things to do. Don’t many people like the spotlight or rubbing up against hot strangers?

This brings up the definition of ‘FETISH’.   Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_fetishism

“Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is the sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object, or from a specific situation. The object or situation of interest is called the fetish; the person who has a fetish for that object/situation is a fetishist.[1] A sexual fetish may be regarded as an enhancing element to a romantic/sexual relationship “achieved in ordinary ways (e.g. having the partner wear a particular garment)” or as a mental disorder/disorder of sexual preference if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life.[2] Arousal from a particular body part is classified as partialism.[3]”

So, according to this, in addition to being a budding fetishist, I may also be a partialist. I really like buts, and thought it was no big deal, BUT maybe it is. Apparently it’s not usual to look at everyone’s buts or imagine them naked? I just thought that was done by everyone. Let me know if you have an opinion about the definition of ‘fetish’, or about my possible ‘partialism’, which I have doubts about.

Maybe I just like ass.

Sincerely,

Shy Blackbird

3 comments on “BDSM 101

  1. Kristen
    January 24, 2013

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the Home Depot panel! And thanks for linking over to the Hammer. I’m sorry I couldn’t demo the accelerometer — I haven’t written any interesting code that uses it yet.

    If you do decide to go to the Flea, look for me at the Mob New England tag sale table (with the other community tables) — I’ll be staffing the table for a couple of shifts on Saturday and Sunday. Come say hi!

  2. shyblackbird
    January 25, 2013

    Kristen,

    I’m so glad you found this blog! Please let me know if I said anything wrong about the panel, you, or your work. I’ve never written a blog before so I am probably not doing things the usual way.

    I may only make it to the Flea market on Friday, but If I do go over the weekend I’ll be sure to say hi! I’d love to talk with you.
    =)

    -Blackbird

    • Kristen
      January 25, 2013

      It’s all thanks to the magic of ping back — when you linked to The Hammer, that generated a comment on my blog, so it was easy for me to click over.

      I think your post sounds fine. :) Really what’s most important in a blog post, IMHO, is just that you’re telling the story that you want to tell. If you’re expressing yourself, and enjoying the thought process or the process of sharing your story, that’s what matters.

      I will also be at the Flea Friday night, but I don’t exactly know where I’ll be. If you do happen to see me around, don’t hesitate to stop me and say hello. :)

      – Kristen

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