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Get the kinks out at Fetish Con

Miss Samantha Sweet and Baroness Ilsa Von Striker at Fetish Con 2009.

Luis Santana/tbt* (2009)

Miss Samantha Sweet and Baroness Ilsa Von Striker at Fetish Con 2009.

Deserve a good spanking?

Then get to Fetish Con, a celebration of all things kinky, erotic and dominating that runs through Sunday in downtown Tampa.

Now in its 10th year, the convention is expected to draw about 5,000 people, from hard-core fetish fiends to "vanillas" intrigued by the idea. Fans can pose for pictures with their favorite fetish stars, shop for sex toys or brush up on role playing, tickling and other titillating stuff.

Instructors will teach everything from fast and easy bondage ties to cross dressing and flogging. Lecturers will talk about legal issues affecting the adult industry and how to become a successful fetish model. The idea is to cater to both people in the business and the fans who enjoy it.

Each year, the convention attracts about 300 models with catchy names like Candleboxxx, Chloe Bond, Fayth on Fire and Sydney Screams, who come to network and pose for photo and video shoots. A brave few will try lube wrestling. RubberDoll will attract a line of fans begging for a spanking.

The 70 exhibitors will sell the latest in bondage equipment, exotica wear and sexual gizmos. Anticipated bestsellers: plastic outfits, bed bondage kits and vibrators that don't look like vibrators. (See the cute pink rubber duckies at Torvea Toys' booth.) Not sure if a product's right one for you? A model will happily demonstrate.

The convention takes over the entire 521-room Hyatt Regency hotel, which blacks out the dates to outsiders to ensure no one is surprised seeing a woman in rubber strutting through the lobby. Hotel officials take it in stride and, in fact, welcome the late-summer boost.

"We have a great relationship with the organizers. They are one of the friendly and easiest groups to work with," said Darren Gidney, director of catering and convention services. "For us, it's become just another convention."

Employees who work for tips look forward to the crowds every year, he said. The hotel's bar and restaurant, Avanzare, stay packed with people-watchers.

Prime viewing is Friday and Saturday nights when the fetish gang dresses up and heads to parties at The Castle and Club Czar, respectively, in Ybor City. The whole shebang wraps up Sunday at the hotel with the annual Fetish Ball & Bash Party.

Fuel your fetish

Fetish Con 2010 runs through Sunday at the Hyatt Regency, 211 N Tampa St., Tampa. Registration and walk-ups start at 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The trade show runs from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. One-day passes are $25 at the door. Go to fetishcon.com.

Get the kinks out at Fetish Con 08/05/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 9:36pm]

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