I have been a journalist for 20 years, covering a wide variety of conventions, but never have so many vendors enthusiastically offered to hurt me. Time and time again I extended an arm to allow them to demonstrate their latest devious device.
This review focuses primarily on the exhibitors and the interesting wares they had to offer. The exhibitors, though, are just one part of Dom Con Los Angeles, a 5 day convention for both professional and Lifestyle BDSM practitioners. They also have an annual Dom Con in Atlanta. This year the Los Angeles show started on Wednesday May 17th and ran through Sunday May 22nd.
It is the mixture of both professionals and amateurs that was the impetus for DomCon, as the founder of the event, Mistress Cyan, encountered a lot of exclusion of professionals at BDSM events and online forums. She wanted to create an event that would welcome both communities, so in 2004, she launched the very first DomCon. It turned out to be the largest BDSM/Fetish/Leather event in Los Angeles that year, despite the many naysayers who thought an event like hers would not be successful. It is now in its 12th year of bringing together the top Dominatrixes, Switches, submissives, Bondage & Fetish Models, Webmasters, Fetish Photographers, Performing Artists, Educators and Lifestyle Practitioners.
There are a lot of workshops and seminars catering to both professionals and enthusiastic amateur players, covering just about anything you could imagine and a few things you could not imagine. The presentations included Verbal Skills, Foot Fetish, Single Tail Whip Techniques, Urethral Sounding, and Polyamory. There were 56 sessions to choose from, and that does not include the seminars targeted specifically to professionals, which dealt with a lot of the business aspects of this type of work..
There are also a number of social events, and of course, the always fun Fetish Ball, an opportunity to strut your stuff in your wildest attire. There was also a Play Party at the famous Sanctuary Studios. The bottom line is that this is a don’t miss event for those interested in this type of play.
So, on to the exhibitor floor. There were 50 exhibitors this year. Since this show also caters to professionals, there was some top quality gear on display.
Tawan Leather (our feature image) caters to a lot of professionals, so they make some beautiful and intimidating items. Some of them were so large it took two hands to swing, and the submissive needed to be propped up against something to keep from being knocked over. These are toys where you should know what you are doing.
I was impressed with the work by Paul Morin, actor and toy designer. He has been making items for sale for the last three years, incorporating his knowledge of saddle making and working with leather. You can see his products on Etsy at ParaphiliaToys.
The thing that stands out with Leyland Craftwork products is that they offer a lot more color than the usual black or red. For example, their riding crops offer shafts in 10 different colors and patterns. Their products are made by owner Claire Agincourt, who is also a budding novelist.
In March, SiR had a review of Sportsheets Impressions Paddles. Now thanks to The Kink Factory, you can get a custom made paddle with any words on it that you want. Custom labeling is one of their specialties. Besides engraved paddles, which they make themselves, you can get engraved heart shaped locks, and butt plugs (engraved on the bottom of the base). They also make a number of Pony Tail butt plugs in both faux and real fur.
Under the direction of Chris Benson, Torrid Timber makes paddles and canes, physical restraints, and service toys. The later category includes a service tray with 1,000 metal spikes in the bottom. What caught my attention was the beautifully made Exotic Wood Classic Breast Vices and Humblers. A humbler is like a breast vice for guys, and it goes around the… well, I think you can guess that part. One of the options for the breast vice is spikes and copper strips for electroplay. What makes these so effective is the loud ratcheting sound they make as you turn the screw to tighten them.
Speaking of electroplay, there were a number of vendors offering devices for this sort of thing. The most popular was attachments for the Violet Wand (see the SiR article Medical Quackery Becomes BDSM Play Favorite from last month). A number of interesting items could be found at Dr. Clockwork’s Home for Electrical and Medical Oddities. Their Electrothumper was soft and could be dragged along the skin- but, it had copper woven into it for a hard to describe additional tingly/stingy sensation. They have a mylar flogger, and rope with conductive fibers woven into it, and an excellent selection of electrodes. Theirs is a site you should definitely visit if you are interested in electroplay. They also have a very good selection of medical toys.
While many use the Tens Unit for relief from pain, people in the kinky community have found ways to use it as an instrument of stimulation. Current Pleasures had many different options to use with the Tens Unit. They have so many items for electrically stimulating different parts of the body that I don’t even know where to begin. One of the things new to me was the Bipolar Prostate Insertable with power unit (using the Aneros design from one of the leaders in prostate stimulation). They also have a good selection for Violet Wands.
At Industrial Dis-ease Toys, they had a number of uniquely designed floggers. Of course, I had to feel what the Claw Paw felt like on my arm. This is a soft furry glove with metal claws. In the picture below you can also see some of the industrial designed floggers in the background.
To be honest, when my wife is not with me, I do not pay as much attention to the clothing vendors. I did note the large selection of latex items at The Latex Store. It turns out that right now they are having an end of season sale. I do not even know when the latex season is.
Hillary’s Vanity has Gothic, Steampunk, Lolita, Cyber Goth, Burlesque, Pirate, and Fetish Couture for both men and women. It comes in sizes from XS through 4X. Plus they have cool hats, umbrellas, butt bows, masks, and other interesting accessories.
Firebird Leather has a lot of very unique items. These are hand crafted artisan items, including apparel, floggers, headdresses, and purses and cases. There is much more than just leather. The headdresses are just spectacular, with amazing feather plumage. The Dragon Scale Bra has what looks like scales made from aluminum. The Clawed Dragon Gauntlets have resin claws. There are gorgeous laser cut leather collars. The prices are quite reasonable for products of this quality. You will find items for a variety of looks, including Renaissance, pagan, medieval, tribal, cyberpunk, among others. The site is well worth a perusal.
I met the nice folks at Kink Weekly. This online publication is free, and features both visually stimulating photography and informative articles.
Captive Pleasures offers top of the line custom made BDSM furniture to meet virtually any needs. Their site has a nice portfolio of the items they have built in the past.
Whiplr is a social app for kinksters. You can filter people by kinks, role, experience, location & more They offer free video chat, calls, and real-time messaging. It has detailed profiles and support for couples who play together. Think of it as Tinder for the fetish crowd.