KinkFest: Round Two

Last year, I wrote about how I was going to an event called KinkFest, a BDSM conference down in Portland. I got a lot of responses to that column from people who wanted information about attending. Sadly, when the column ran, it was already too late to register for the event. So this year, I'm doing it differently. KinkFest is in March. I'm going, and if you're kinky, you should go too.

The biggest reason to go is the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops about BDSM technique and lifestyle. On my list of must-see demos this year: Plaster Cast Mummification. I'm not sure I actually want to do it, but I love learning new things from people who are clearly very dedicated to their kink. There's also shopping in the vendor area, and, of course, the nightly play parties.

There are lots of leather conferences, each with its own personality. To me, KinkFest is appealingly folksy and laid back. Its mood may be related to the surroundings: It's held in a swingers' club. True, my inner design queen does feel that the décor of this club needs updating--it's deep-dish '70s, with velvet paintings, faux wood paneling, and kitschy knickknacks--but it's bizarrely quaint compared to the usual arrangement at a bland hotel conference center.

A feature of taking over this place for the weekend is the rabbit warren of small rooms with--of course--beds in them. Generally, you don't see much sex at play parties, but these rooms get a lot of use. Rolling around on the bed while people out in the hallway peek at you is a happy halfway point between privacy and exhibitionism.

Speaking of exhibitionism, here's a final incentive: One of the highlights (so I'm told) of last year's event was me and four other women getting into an impromptu wrestling match on the main floor. No, I did NOT start it. But pretty much the whole damn convention stood around and watched two, then three, then four of us try to pin porn model/reviewer Jane Duvall, of (We did, but only barely--Jane's tougher than she looks.) Now, I'm not planning another Leather Vixen Smackdown this year--I'm not holding a grudge or anything--but this is just something to tantalize you into attending, particularly if you're a WWF Diva who'd like to meet my friend Jane.

KinkFest runs Fri-Sun March 21-23. Go to for more information.