DomCon LA 2015
Celebrate Your Freedom to be Restrained
by Dr. Susan Block
Freedom may be the greatest aphrodisiac, but restraint is a close second. That’s a large aspect of the allure of DOMCON, the world’s biggest and shiniest convention for professional and Lifestyle Dommes, Doms, subs, slaves, switches, fetishists and kinksters; freethinkers who feel free enough to consensually surrender their freedom, some of them right there on the rather public floor of the LA Airport Hilton Hotel.
Other alluring aspects include a colorful array of latex corsets, leather kilts, snake tail whips, elk skin floggers, strap-ons in every shape and size, a breathless schedule of BDSM workshops, a Mistress Tea, human pet shows, pony races, Meet & Greets to Beat (and get beaten), and a parade of some of the world’s most glamorous and skilled dominatrices in all their seductive finery and imperious glory. But perhaps the most vital allure of DomCon, now in its 12th year, is its invigorating, down-to-earth, sometimes life-saving sense of community.
Over the years, The Dr. Susan Block Show has featured numerous DomCon Dommes, including its visionary founder and executive producer, entrepreneurial whipstress Mistress Cyan, who has given me a couple of birthday spankings and snake tail whippings. But somehow I never made the trek to DomCon itself. That is, until this year when the magnificent Goddess Soma Snakeoil made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, inviting me to shoot for DrSuzy.Tv and sign copies of The Bonobo Way—excerpts of which will be published in the forthcoming issue of DDI (Domination Directory International)—Soma having assumed the reigns of this venerable publication as editor-in-chief and publisher. Of course, at a BDSM venue, I couldn’t just do book-signing. I had to do book spankings. Books make very nice paddles. And it gives new meaning to learning your lessons…
Saturday afternoon, Capt’n Max and I checked into the Hilton LAX and were immediately struck by how the friendly Hilton staff didn’t appear to treat the latex-clad DomCon’eers differently than any conventioneers who might conduct meetings there. Yes indeed, for some, “sexual freedom” means doing business without discrimination. For others, it means being locked up in a chastity cage for which only your Mistress has the key.
Some of our fellow hotel guests weren’t as nonchalant as staff about all the cages, chains and human pets on leashes, albeit well-behaved. In the elevator, I tried to explain the DomCon power exchange dynamics to a perplexed-looking couple on layover from Dallas to Hawaii. By the time we reached our floor, they seemed more confused than ever, so I tried speaking what I figured to be their language: “It’s like ’50 Shades.’”
Sure enough, they nodded, drawled “Ohhh yes,” and winked at each other, finally finding common ground with this gathering of dark queens and cartoonish characters. I strode off the elevator in my big black boots, hopeful that our exchange had inspired this nice middle-aged couple to have a rousing roll in the Hilton’s 300 thread count Egyptian cotton hay. They may not know DomCon from a wonton, but they knew all about 50 Shades.
Of course, 50 Shades of Holy Crap doesn’t do justice to the real BDSM lifestyle nor to DomCon, any more than most porn does justice to real sexual relationships. But there’s no question that the sky-high popularity of the book and film have made vanilla people around the world more comfortable with “Red Rooms” and riding crops, causing DomCom attendance to soar this year. Saturday’s registration line coiled around the hotel like snake tail whip.
Our first stop was the DDI booth where Matty Boi and all the DDI girls set us up, our copies of The Bonobo Way, The 10 Commandments of Pleasure, Advertising for Love, my Bettie Page interview, Zorthian: Art & Times and “Book Spankings” sign nestled next to an array of DDI issues, each cover more gorgeous than the one before. After a few book-signings and book-spankings, we joined almost 100 Dommes on the roof for a humongous, bonoboësque group photo. Miraculously, no cat fights erupted, despite much jockeying for prime positions.
More fun, games and interviews ensued with some of the top Dommes, including Snow Mercy now promoting her fragrant new perfume “Domina”; Hudsy Hawn, Stockroom University instructor and DomCon Mistress of Ceremonies; Goddess Phoenix, Queen of DomCon Atlanta; as well as Mistress Indica Torture, Princess Sheila and riding instructor Mistress Ella Strickland. We also hooked up with Nina Hartley (who will be joining us June 20th on DrSuzy.Tv), Mistress Cybil Troy and her adorable dog Banana (one of the few non-human dogs at the convention), and none other than Trixie Plenty and Aaliyah Corsets at the InJoyUs booth, injoy-ing themselves as much as can be in-joyed in a Hilton convention hall.
Then it was back to the DDI booth for a chat with Goddess Soma about bonobos and how they are “The Most FemDom Apes on Earth,” an inspiration to the DomCon community and a new peace-through-pleasure, female-empowered primate paradigm for humanity. A world-class Goddess, Soma is also an excellent interviewer. Besides bonobos, we talked about Sex Week at Yale and Lupercalia, the spanking hot original Valentine’s Day, and to top it off, she graciously turned her beautiful butt to receive a Bonobo Way book spanking. What a sport, and such a Goddess.
At this point, we were certifiably starved. Dinner was in Soma’s suite with her adorable staff of subs, kinksters and her man Mike Burkett, a.k.a. “Fat Mike” of the living, legendary, gloriously anti-Bush, punk rock band NoFX. Mike, the eternally boyish bard/genius, is one of those freethinkers that enjoys surrendering his freedom, at least to his Goddess. He shared a cool new song he was writing and the story of his very first meeting with Soma. I won’t divulge the details of either, but let’s just say at least one involved a large strap-on. At this point, the food arrived and we had no problem switching gears to devour whatever the Hilton brought us.
Then it was time for the after-party at Mistress Cyan’s Sanctuary. Boi and the girls put on more latex. Mike tried on five different latex outfits, from a spooky hooded dress to a tailored cowboy shirt and shorts, before settling into his signature black leather kilt and boots. Meanwhile, Soma, who had kept her vibrant beauty toned down all day (assuming the rugged position of publisher), metamorphosed into a radiant, clear-latex Lady of divine proportions.
Despite its high cost and higher maintenance requirements, latex is the material-of-choice for the current kink scene. Like rubber, but more supple, latex protects against bodily fluids even as it broadcasts the fact that whoever is wearing it is likely to get soaked or sprayed by something sexual. I love the stuff, but am lax on latex-maintenance and needed help. The Mother Teresa of Latex, Soma gave me a shiny new pair of black latexy lace-up-the-back boots that fit perfectly, and when I clicked the heels together three times, I found myself in the Garden of Latex, Sanctuary.
Though it was our first time, it felt like we’d been there before, in part because it reminded us of some of our own studios in downtown LA—cathedral-high ceilings, dark erotic corners and stage shows of artistic debauchery—or maybe it was knowing half the people in there, while the other half appeared to know me, or learned about sex and fetish from watching my old cable TV shows. For me, the place felt homey, even though it was decked out in torture-house décor that I could imagine might feel threatening to others. Then again, a pinch of fear can be an aphrodisiac, like spice in your enchilada (though too much spoils the meat).
A labyrinth of rooms led from one scene to another, spankings, floggings, sex toy fun, rope bondage, deep conversations, laughter, cries, care. In a large open shower, a very pregnant woman dressed in latex (of course) dominated a naked blonde transwoman with large breasts, forcing water up her mouth and nose as she writhed on the floor, shrieking. What was this now, consensual waterboarding? The difference was, unlike the CIA’s victims, this sub could have gotten up off the tile floor and left whenever she wanted (she wasn’t even being physically restrained). The fact that she was so obviously enjoying being “waterboarded” drew onlookers from every corner of the Sanctuary, admiring the Felliniesque intensity of the scene, ruminating on the drive of the pregnant waterboarder and the ecstasy of the trans, soaking up their free-flowing endorphins, processing the strange, scary beauty of their play.
I could go on, and more will come forth on DrSuzy.Tv as well as Youtube. Speaking of which, check out the new Youtuber, just in time for May, for your Masturbation Month History Lesson. Stay tuned for the new issue of DDI featuring “The Bonobo Way of Female Power.” Get ready for Dr. SerenaGaia’s Ecosexuality: Where Nature Inspires the Arts of Love (with a bonoboësque foreword by yours truly). And start planning your outfits for DomCon 2016. Celebrate your freedom to be restrained.
© May 17, 2015. Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is a world renowned LA sex therapist, author of The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure and horny housewife, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. For speaking engagements, call 310-568-0066.