FETISHCON 2006, Tampa FL, August 9-13
Sitting in the Tampa airport after 4 days of.
Was it a party?
Was it an industry event?
Was it Memorex?
Being severely sleep deprived is like a hangover that doesnt get cured until you get 8 hours of sleep for a few days, so I think that should be the theme here: Sleep Deprivation
The 2006 FetishCon in Tampa, FL, was a smashing success from an
attendees perspective. So what EXACTLY is FetishCon?
FetishCon was started by several bondage models and their associates
back in 2004. The first FetishCon, which INIQUITY reported on, was
small, fun, and very much an industry event. In fact it was so much of
an industry event that several top name models came away from the 2004
show with the complaint that industry folk dont buy the videos and
products that fans do, and so their sales were very low.
Not so in 2006.
Not only did some of these same models sell every one of their products but the convention itself had grown about 400%. The hotel of 2004 and
2005 had to be abandoned for the larger downtown Tampa Hyatt, a pleasant establishment with a GREAT staff. Vendors at FetishCon 2006 were plentiful, the booths ranging from models to photographers and websites to quite a large number of S&M and sex toys waiting to be used at the various parties that accompanied FetishCon.
Entertainment at these parties leaned strongly towards burlesque, and while the parties themselves were a ton of fun, several attendees commented that they would have liked to have seen a wider variety of shows. The Friday night party at The Castle was packed. The music was great, and although there were only a few places for the S&M folks to play, it seemed that everyone managed to squeeze in a good time whether that meant dancing, swinging a flogger, laughing at the bar, or watching the eclectic mix of people flow past.
FetishCon 2006 opened with a pleasant enough Meet & Greet in the
Hyatt itself which took a few hours to pick up despite the best efforts
of the Calypso bands attempts to get people dancing with endless renditions of Are You Feeling Hot Hot Hot?
Back to a serious compliment for the Hyatt, for the first time in any
number of events the INIQUITY Staff has attended anywhere in the World,
this one, lone, open-minded hotel allowed FetishCon to hold a Pool Party EVERY NIGHT starting at 2am! Each night, from Thursday through
Sunday after whatever prior event got the ball rolling, the attendees would drop their shiny PVC and latex couture and jump into their
bathing suits to head up to the rooftop pool where the party continued typically until 6am. Like I said at the start, sleep deprivation.
Here and there a few latex revelers would actually jump in the pool
wearing a latex catsuit here or a latex swimsuit there. The only real
rule was that the party could not generate enough noise to irritate the non-FetishCon guests, which was never a problem. Saturday night however was the best party from an S&M players perspective. Held at The Chamber, a strip club with a second floor FILLED with S&M furniture, everyone into S&M had a place to play and there was still plenty of room to watch or dance. Downstairs RubberDoll did one of her signature latex performance art shows, and the crowd tended to flow back and forth between the two levels. Sundays finale party was more of a cocktail event held in the ballroom
of the hotel. There were several minor stage shows, and mostly the crowd used the opportunity to spank a final spank, share one more drink
with their new friends, dance a bit....and of course head up to the pool at 2am.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, new business connections were
established, job deals were struck, clients were recruited, and sales
were made. FetishCon had a very cool set of classes and demonstrations, on a variety of BDSM and Fetish topics with a particular emphasis on bondage techniques, as well as a Fetish Fashion show one afternoon with an emphasis on latex that was very entertaining despite running quite long.
Still, after all was said and done, it was mostly an industry event with fans comprising less than 50% of the crowd (as opposed to say the AVN show in Las Vegas where fans seem to comprise an apparent 80% or more of the crowd).
One surprising note was to discover that Tampa has a fairly cohesive Fetish community, a cool group of locals who came out in strength to FetishCon with great energy and a fun attitude. No doubt they helped keep the party going strong and helped make FetishCon what it was each day and each night until the revelers straggled in at 6am.
To summarize the days and nights of business, photography and partying, I think FetishCon can be summed up by the fact that at least one Fetish model was photographed in a bondage shoot asleep while standing up.
--Just click on a pic for a closer look--