I attended Dark Odyssey’s Winter Fire this past weekend. It was my first time and I was there from Friday until late Sunday night. It will be the last time I attend all three nights. I enjoyed the social aspect, connecting with old friends, making new ones, and enjoying some of the sights and sounds, but overall, was somewhat disturbed by what I saw as much as I was by what I didn’t see.
First, I’m intrigued and interested in the volume of morbidly obese individuals that attended this event. From a simple health standpoint, this cannot be good nor are we doing people a favor by telling them this is acceptable and they should be happy with the way they are. It’s simply not healthy, but regardless, I’m not advocating or saying they should be banned from the event, I’m merely articulating that there seemed to be an inordinate number of people spectacularly overweight. I also noticed that many of these individuals were involved in abusive activity, such as punching and kicking. I simply do not understand this behavior as part of bdsm. I’ve done a bit of research on the effects of repeated bruising and it seems as though there can be potential medical side effects. It also seems to be an excuse by some to be abused and for others to abuse under the guise of domination and submission. I’m also quite amused at the lecturing I hear by individuals who, on one hand, claim that men are abusive and hurtful yet on the other hand, engage in the very behavior they castigate men for supposedly engaging. As an example, I watched a lesbian couple have sex while the “top” mercilessly beat and punched the “bottom”. I’m curious how this is regarded as healthy behavior.
This event is billed as a fetish event however, there are many fetishes that aren’t catered to. I know it’s impossible to represent all fetishes but some of the more prevalent ones seem to be left off the list. Latex and leather are two that seem to be tragically overlooked. The equipment and furniture are certainly impressive but rhetorically speaking, why not have some events that highlight the burgeoning fetishes seen at the DC Fetish Ball? There was much about rope tying and that was certainly enjoyable, but there was nothing about the erotic effects of tight latex or leather fetish or anything appealing to these fetishes. Companies like Passional (Philadelphia), Purple Passion (NYC) and several others brought extensive latex clothing and yet talking with the staff, it seems as though the sales of latex items were not what they could be based on the fact that little was made of these fetishes. Why not a party where latex attire is mandatory, a play evening in the overflow hotel where leather attire is a must?
Additionally, I noticed that this year, the vendors seemed fewer and the attendees less broadly represented. (My husband and I did mix and mingle in the lobby last year and had some wonderful discussions with other folks to include a lovely couple from www.kink.com).
I want others to articulate to me why some of the following behaviors and lifestyles are considered acceptable and healthy.
Morbid obesity. Repeated punching and kicking. Blood play. Give me your reasons and I’ll listen and evaluate objectively. In the meantime, I plan on attending more events such as the Montreal Fetish Party and Fetish Factory events which I believe more closely align with my fetishes and desires.