DomCon Los Angles celebrated their 15th anniversary this year. If you are interested in the world of fetish and BDSM, this is the show to go to. Since we primarily focus on commercial products and services here at Sex in Review, we’ll spend most of our time in this article on the various vendors. There is a whole lot more going on, though.
The show took place at the LAX Hilton in Los Angeles over the Mother’s Day weekend, beginning on Wednesday night with a day long industry only series of seminars and a cocktail social. Thursday brought more industry only seminars, the Mistress Dinner, a red carpet social, and a play party with opening ceremonies at Sanctuary Studios.
There were a total of 10 industry seminars with topics such as Mental Health Techniques for Encouraging Desired Behavior, BDSM Professionals and the Law, High Tech Domination, and A Discussion of SESTA/FOSTA (an important topic that impacts the entire adult industry which will we focus on soon).
On Friday the Exhibit Hall opened up. More on that later. There were stage performances all day long and I managed to miss all of them.
There were also many workshops over three days, with 20 on both Friday and on Saturday, and 15 on Sunday. It is a lot to choose from. They run from Noon to 7pm, and it would be easy to attend workshops all day long. With 55 of them, you are bound (pun not intended) to find many of interest. You really do get an awful lot for your money, here. There are simply too many to list, but here is the Workshop page from their Web site.
That evening there was a Pro Domme Social, and Dom-Con-nection, which looked like a variation of speed dating where Doms and Subs got to meet each other. From 9pm to 2am Sanctuary Studios hosted another play party. Did I mention that sleeping should not be a priority if you attend this event?
Saturday was another busy day with the Exhibit Hall, workshops, a whole bunch of socials, and the big event, the The DomCon Fetish Ball. Assuming you could drag yourself out of bed on Sunday for one more day, there were more socials, more workshops, and another play party running until 1 am.
Now, on to the exhibitors. I have been to a lot of BDSM and Fetish events, and what stood out for me with the vendors was the high quality and craftsmanship of the items on display. If you were looking for budget toys, there were some, although certainly nothing mass produced. If you were looking for amazing items produced with care and attention to detail, they were everywhere on the show floor. These are items made with love. They are more than just sex toys. They are artisan items and it shows.
Under the direction of Chris Benson, Torrid Timber makes paddles and canes, physical restraints, and service toys. Chris told me that he does not like the cheaply made black painted plywood and 2×4 products and wanted to bring a high level of craftsmanship and quality materials to his products.
I really like their 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.
I loved the cage in the photo below, where all of the bars light up. The photo does not really do it justice. I was also impressed with their wooden stocks shown on the right. Stocks like these can pinch when you put them on, but theirs are slightly chamfered to reduce the likelihood of that happening.
Blackwood Creations began five years ago when a friend asked them to make chainmail items as decoration for a wedding. People saw them and wanted their own, and before they knew t they were in business. They have an Epsy store. I was taken with the chainmail whips pictured below.
Sub Sensuals makes erotic body art jewelry. They started making safe non-piercing nipple jewelry for those who do not want to get pierced and mothers who may want to breastfeed. They have a patent for their magnetic clamps made from rare earth magnets.
Wicked Linkz Body Jewelry hand makes necklaces, bracelets, and body chains. They also do custom work. Interestingly, Michelle Whitmyer also got started through a wedding when she made some chainmail for her son’s wedding, drawing on what she had learned through her work at a Renaissance Fair (she was assistant director).
Happy Tails Floggers makes floggers, not surprisingly, and have since 1997. They make floggers from many kinds of materials, including deer, lambskin, bunny fur, Spanish lamb fur, elk, moose, American bison, bullhide, horsehair, water buffalo, several kinds of cowhide, suede, latigo, rubber, and one for use with violet wands. These are definitely not Vegan, but are beautifully made. As with a number of people at the show I talked with, they have a real passion about the quality of what they make.
Edgeplay Gear had some of my favorite paddles, and you can see many of them in the photo below. They also have many other items for sale.
The Kink Factory is all about impact toys. The photo below of their paddles is not reversed- they are supposed to leave an impression that will appear the right way. They can do custom shapes, sizes and engraving.
Canes 4 Pain had some of the most unusual canes I have seen. Each is a custom made work of art by self described angelic cane maker, WhypDancer (Fran). Below are pictured her Crown Jewels canes (left) and the very unique canes (right) made from seashore items from Sanibel Island just offshore of Fort Myers in Florida. How she got them to stay together I don’t know but they seem fairly solid. If you are a fan of American Horror Story, you may have seen some of her canes in Asylum season 2 episode 24.
Artist Jay Moyes, who I have known for years, had a booth showing off his art. He has come a long way as a BDSM artist and is now getting prestigious gallery showings. His Fetish For Life t-shirts are now available.
I enjoyed talking to Roger Patterson about our shared love of very old horror films. He specializes in singletail whips, and had the most terrifying whip at the show. You can see it in the photo below, and it is made from an actual cobra. Holding it is the very gracious Switch Nadira, who also appeared on the cover of the program for DomCon. Making whips with the right throw and balance takes a lot of skill, and Roger has 30 years of experience. He is a legend in the world of whip making. If you have one of his whips, you have a prized possession.
Whipping Stripes makes, wait for it, whips! Their motto is “By lifestylers, for lifestylers.” They are all made individually by hand by an artisan with 25 years of experience who happens to be a switch, which provides an understanding of their products from both perspectives.
At Industrial Disease Toys, they had a number of uniquely designed floggers. Their site has Steam Punk items, but you may want to go to the more risque side. I like the way they handle handles. They come in 2 different diameters, 1/2″ and 3/4″, and six different lengths: 4″, 5″, 6″, 7″, 8″, and 10″. There are over 20 different individual covers you can select to wrap your handle, including 4 different colors of synthetic rubber and leather wraps in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, and surface finishes. As you can see from the photo below, they also have Furry Tails (for Furries). The Claw Paws are furry gloves with claws.
While many of these items are pricey, the Frugal Domme offers some lower priced items without sacrificing quality. They had the usual whips and paddles, but what caught my eye was the Bondage Bears, teddy bears dressed in bondage attire.
Heresy Craftwork has an Etsy store, with single tail whips, riding crops, canes, and paddles. They also had the lovely Dria in their booth, tied up with ropes from Happy Kitten Rope. You can see Dria in the photo at the top of this article. You can see more of the stunningly beautiful Dria on her site, Dria Submits.
Yes, Firebird Leather has some great implementations of various implements, but they also have costume armor, feather headdresses, and Wearables. I found Nix’s blog on their site to be quite informative, with information on a variety of BDSM topics. It taught me about Florentine Flogging, giving me a much better understanding of it.
Midian Armoury makes lots of cool stuff out of steel. It is owned by R. J. Kincaid, but most people just call him Deacon. He is a smithy and hand makes everything, and can do custom work. His stuff is amazing looking.
Agreeable Agony (Agag) has toys for pleasure and for pain. They are a collective with items from a number of artisans. This includes beautiful handmade floggers, dragon tails, slappers, pitcher candles, claws, and brightly colored bondage rope. They a very good source for candle wax play. I also like their dragon tails. I love their logo and they offer an excellent selection of well crafted colorful products.
I first met L.A. based actor and toy designer Paul Morin two years ago, and was impressed with his work then. actor and toy designer. I was impressed by his knowledge of saddle making and working with leather, and now I am equally impressed with his woodworking skills. Through his Paraphilia Toys, he puts out some beautiful items. His stuff is phenomenal.
Dragon Tailz is another great source for dragon tails. These are whips that instead of being braided are made from rolled leather. While still accurate, they are a bit easier to use than a single tail whip. They provide a different sensation as they have more surface area than a standard whip. They can be tightly wrapped or more loosely wrapped. Owner Sir Randy offers them in both spiral wrap and ninja.
I was quite attracted to the wicked wooden paddles from Master’s Toolchest. They have been making items in Tulsa for four years.