After a harrowing 2 hour drive (I sort of hate NJ a little), I arrived to the hotel and was able to check in early, which gave me a moment to relax before getting my registration.
Although the organization wasn't great and the schedules were a touch confusing to read (they were broken down based on room, organized like D&D charts, which was cool, but not great for organizing). Also, because of some issues, all the events were pushed back an hour (which meant one of the last ones I went to was at 12 pm, rather than 11 pm, but that's okay).
First was Basic Safety, where I learned about keeping your head when accidents happen. It was interesting, and a small group, so it was a nice welcome to the world, since this was my first time venturing into it.
Second was Sharp Things Put Bluntly, which was using knives for play in a more sensual manner, rather than a painful one. It was interesting the different tools that can be used in addition to knives, as well as the technique that is best used and how to care for the tools. Of course, the amusing engineer stressed safety as well. It was hilariously funny and education, and the speaker had a great presence. I think one of the best things was learning about the use of lobster tongs.
After that was supposed to be Science of the Submissive, but due to some technical difficulty, the presenter really only gave a Q&A, which was interesting, but I slipped out early to get some browsing done.
And I came across a shop with all of these. I MAY have missed the point of this convention? Was I supposed to geek out?
Then I headed over early to get a good seat at Flying Solo at Kink Events. That actually turned out in my benefit, because I came in on the tail end of Kitch Convertibles, which was especially educational on how to make toys from much cheaper items (and I may never see a horse sweat scraper the same again).
This was an amusing class that covered what to do/plan at a kink event when single or not coming with a partner. It gave a lot of interesting points, especially about being approachable (even if just for making new friends, you pervs!). I definitely took that to heart, since I tend to be reclusive and spent most of Friday with my nose in a book. So Saturday I applied some of the basics and more people talked to me (thought my LGBTerrfic shirt probably helped some too!).
Friday night I stumbled to bed around 1 am, when I'm sure lots of people were getting their funk on.
Saturday started off with a breakfast buffet ($9.50 for a breakfast buffet *snorts*), where I tried to look approachable and felt disheartened when no one talked to me (except to take the chair at my table). I went back to my room, did some searching and then readied to check out of the hotel.
After that was Anatomy of Masturbation, which while not exactly educational, did bring up some interesting points, and gave away handfuls of condoms (“They already think I'm running a brothel. You can't just return 500 condoms.”). Then I snuck out early to get to Yoga for Kinksters.
Yoga for Kinksters was pretty much just a normal yoga routine with some lewd comments (“Just think about if you did this on your back.”) and some comments on how this would be beneficial for Bottoms (and sometimes Tops). It was a fun class, although yoga always makes me dizzy, and the instructor, while totally into her thing, drinks booze and eats meat (“But hey, I'm happy, unlike some yogis.”).
I sat in the lounge and people watched while I ate some crackers (again, feeling dizzy after yoga), instead of grabbing giant burgers from the Big Bang Burger Bar (which was $12, not unreasonable for the size of the sandwiches, but my stomach wasn't feeling it.) Then I went shopping ;) And if I had a partner, I may have been more tempted to buy something aside from the adorable amigurimi that I purchased.
He needs a name, any suggestions?
After that I headed back to the yoga instructor for some Breath Work for BDSM (different from breath play) where I learned about how breathing can be used to curb or create emotions (according to Chinese beliefs), and how this can be used in the dungeon. It was useful, as I used some of the techniques to not get angry on my drive home (with the sun in my eyes the entire 2 hours).
Last was Zen & the Art of Beating the Heck out of People where everyone was given a psuedo-bamboo cane (it was split instead of solid, and I gave mine to someone who came in after they ran out) and the instructor taught a different striking technique and about keeping a Zen-like mine while playing. This was interesting because it was definitely aimed at Tops, and this was the first one really like that that I attended. Also, I got to see some demo caning and knifing.
I really had no idea what to expect going into this thing, being exceptionally green and having few friends that are interested (at all). I texted my friend while I was there, explaining how educational everything was, and she made a joke of “So horrible XD” (which, in retrospect may have been because our previous convo was about a lawyer discussing a case in which someone was fisted to death).
But all the classes were very educational! Everything in the classrooms and hallways was very tame. One class (sensual knife play) had women without tops on and the caning had two women in bra and panties. All very tasteful. I'm sure there were other parts that were kinkier (and involved less clothing), but I didn't venture there and it was built as such that you'd kind of have to go looking for them, at least a little (which I know was a concern of one of my friends).
It's a very tight knit community and so many people already knew each other, but while some weren't interested in meeting knew people, a lot of the staff made it a point to strike up conversation with people (and they actually remembered my name!) and I didn't really meet anyone mean or anything. It was a very positive experience and I'm very glad I went.