BRIDGING THE KINK AT THE ANNUAL SEX CONVENTION IN DOWNTON SAN FRANCISCO.
It was clear this was no ordinary party when I saw naked girls tied to scaffoldings in Shibari, Japanese bondage rope. Unlike the other parties, there was no alcohol or upbeat music, but there was definitely forbidden action going on. Yes, this was a sex party! The popular annual kink convention, which drew about 1000 people, has very strict confidentiality. For the purpose of this article, the adult event will be referred to as Hidden Dungeon.
San Francisco, an interesting pocket of California, has its own world of the kink and definitely part of the 5% of the USA population that sexually deviant, according to a Kinsey Institute report. Sexually deviant fetishists tend to go beyond experimental, even by the open-minded standard. The Bay Area is often seen as the center of kinky life in the United States; it is the home of the Folsom Street Fair, the world’s largest leather event and the famous BDSM porn studio Kink.com. When it comes to an alternative lifestyle, San Francisco is always at the top.
Hidden Dungeon is popular among the self-proclaimed “kinksters”, renowned for its queer party and its brazen flouting of over the top sexuality. Created in 2003, this convention has become the home of top-notch play spaces and mindboggling events that provide a safe, non-judgmental environment where fantasy becomes reality. Hidden Dungeon once again has proven that this city knows how to get down and dirty. The event, which happened in November, broke all kinds of sodomy taboos.
Hidden Dungeon featured more than 50 educators and performers for its workshops and parties that weekend. The days were packed with 80 workshops on the broadest mix of erotic and kinky topics, such as the sexy bondage scenes from Suspension Showcase, the exploration of Pussy Play and Orgasm Training, as well as the intense strikes of Caning 101. When the night came, the ballrooms turned into play spaces for the kink party and sexy performances, exploring the sensual delight of dark desires. Carnal Casino’s libidinous gambling game and the Spank Bank’s burlesque show were some examples of the jaw-dropping entertainments.
The leather fetish event took over the entire basement of a hotel located on Van Ness Avenue. The location of the hotel was not divulged to the public; only the approved, registered ticket holder could get the link to the address. To ensure security and comfort, photographic equipment including cellphones were not allowed. If guests didn’t wish to be photographed by the official event photographer, they could get special colored wristbands at the registration.
Once guests put their nickname badges on and entered the basement area, they immediately walked into another world. The 20,000 square foot ballroom space was transformed into dungeons with an open, tolerant and sexual atmosphere containing many BDSM, kink and fetish equipment. Sex swings, restrainers, stripper poles, medical restraints, A-frames, Berkley Horses flogging apparatuses, BDSM slings, bondage benches, X-crosses, giant barrels, and many other wild sex furniture was ready to be used as desired.
Equipped with the trendy all gender toilets, the event was a melting pot of diverse identities and interests that welcome people of all genders, sexual orientations, and erotic persuasions. The attendees were a broad community, including leather people, latex fetishists, swingers, pansexuals, tantra practitioners, straight couples, LGTBQ people and gender queers. There was no dress code; in fact as expected, most people chose not to wear anything.
“For somebody like me who has been in the BDSM scene for more than 30 years, it is nice to see kink cultures come out of the closet and become more and more accepted to the point of having an event in a hotel like this,” said Master Gym, a 50-year-old ‘dominant’ who attends Hidden Dungeon’s events annually with his female ‘submissive’. The guy was wearing a casual t-shirt, jeans, a leather jacket and boots. A horse-riding crop was sticking out from his black backpack. His submissive was only wearing a mini black skirt, a metal collar and leather handcuffs. “[This] is considered a big event, people actually fly in for this. It is discrete and private, unlike Folsom. They also provide the best equipment in this convention. We like to experiment here to add excitement and passion with our partners. This convention is informative for both young and old,” he explained.
Hidden Dungeon was jam-packed with live dominatrix plays and enough naked queers to completely desensitize your life. Almost every guest attended the party with their sexual partners and engaged in different lustful activities. People were having group sex near the stripper pole, sex slaves were moaning when they were restrained and teased with Magic Wand sex toys, sex pets were running around in the cages begging for their masters, and condoms were offered instead of beverages. Watching was acceptable but there was absolutely no touching without consent. Interfering scenes in progress was absolutely forbidden.
Hidden Dungeon successfully achieved their mission to build a place where the craziest fantasy was possible − the truly mind-blowing carnal adventure in the most promiscuous city in the nation. The king of Californication will return to the city by the bay next year. Will you surrender your desire and explore your fifty shades of grey?