Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

Weirdly, people didn't find Fetish Con in Tampa too weird

TAMPA — Over the last six years, the workers at the Hyatt Regency Tampa have made a few observations about people shrink-wrapped in latex, led by leashes, enthused by ropes.

They smoke a lot of cigarettes. They frequent the fruit smoothie shop across the street. They tip well.

"Most of them are wonderful people," said longtime doorman Antonio DeSousa as he watched attendees of the 2012 Fetish Con traipse into the lobby of the posh downtown hotel. "Very friendly.

"Most of them don't drink or do drugs," said valet Jeff Petty. "They just got fetishes."

Upstairs at the hotel, the attendees dressed in everything from white body suits to mom jeans wandered through the annual convention and trade show dedicated to sexual fetishes and the products that fulfill them.

They attended workshops with such titles as "Pain is for Pleasure, Not Injury." They thumbed through an erotic novel described by its author as "Fifty Shades of Grey, but better edited." They watched a man tie up a woman on a table and nodded in approval.

But eventually, conventioneers had to emerge from the banquet rooms — and into the afternoon light with everyone else.

Weirdly, it didn't seem too weird to everyone.

"Sexual peculiarities don't mean much to me," said Steve Netta, who works as a computer programmer downtown by day, an aspiring standup comedian at night. "But, see, I'm a comic, so I see things in a bizarre way."

Netta was standing in front of the hotel, talking to employees. A man in high heels and a maid suit emerged from the lobby and declared, in a British accent, "It's bloody hot!"

Netta noted a resemblance to the British transvestite comic Eddie Izzard. He shrugged.

"At least these people are doing something constructive. It's a hobby," he said. "Some people collect stamps. Some people are leather-clad males."

Back inside the convention area, hotel banquet worker Kenny Hecker was manning a concession table stacked with mini-pizzas, sandwiches and salads and, surprisingly, doughnuts frosted with the letters "GOP." (Hecker said he was trying out the Republican-themed doughnuts in advance of the GOP convention later this month.)

Hecker said he found the whole thing interesting.

"You know what? They're real people," he said. "They're just people with different … thoughts?"

He paused. He heard the party might get a little wilder Friday night. Turns out a bunch of people were headed to Ybor.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374.

Comments
Domino’s lifts curtain on ‘pizza theater’ in Lutz

Domino’s lifts curtain on ‘pizza theater’ in Lutz

LUTZ — Domino’s new ‘pizza theater’ store recently opened in Lutz, just outside of the Ballantrae subdivision. The store features the open-concept pizza theater design which offers viewing of the food preparation process.There is also a comfortable l...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Cities turn to private inspectors as construction booms, and problems follow

Cities turn to private inspectors as construction booms, and problems follow

ST. PETERSBURG --- With construction booming throughout Florida, private inspectors are increasingly reviewing the work of building contractors. But that has sometimes led to missed code violations and other problems.Now the city of St. Petersburg is...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Engaged couple opens chiropractic practice for all ages on W Hillsborough Ave

Engaged couple opens chiropractic practice for all ages on W Hillsborough Ave

TAMPA — Dr. Kaylee Canalungo and Dr. Kace Groff were attending Palmer College of Chiropractic in different states when a mutual friend introduced them. After graduating and working together at a chiropractic office in New York, they are engaged to be...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Clean Juice gets 3rd spot in Hyde Park Village

Michelle Piniella forecast about another South Tampa Clean Juice location in March, and now it’s official. The healthy, fresh juice concept has secured a lease with Hyde Park Village.The opening date is to be announced this summer as it is currently ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

DOWNTOWN — Felicia Lacalle says cuban cooking is in her blood as she traditionally learned from her mother growing up. Since then she has perfected her craft finding ways to recreate classic dishes with a modern twist and now she aims to change the C...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: The Corcoran-Trump Twitter connection; Florida near top of hit-and-run fatalities; and more

Top 5 at noon: The Corcoran-Trump Twitter connection; Florida near top of hit-and-run fatalities; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:RICHARD CORCORAN IS TRYING TO GET DONALD TRUMP’S ATTENTION ON TWITTERMuch of House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s April Twitter activity seems aimed at one person: President Donald Trump. The Rep...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

The 12 years he spent in the Rays organization, and the seven seasons he was around the big-league team, mean the world to Alex Cobb.But Wednesday he wasn't in the mood for memories.After a third straight outing for his new Orioles team ended badly, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes, study finds

Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes, study finds

Florida is among the top three states with the highest per capita rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes, a new study published on Thursday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found.From 2006 to 2016, the organization examined hit-and-run crashes in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
After Bucs’ second-round pick, they face a historically bad situation

After Bucs’ second-round pick, they face a historically bad situation

Say Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson are gone by the time the Bucs are up to make the seventh overall pick tonight at the NFL draft.What should they do? Take a defensive back? Trade down and acquire more picks?Here's some ammunition f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Focus crossover and Mustang will be only Ford sedans sold in North American dealerships

Focus crossover and Mustang will be only Ford sedans sold in North American dealerships

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will shed most of its North American car lineup as part of broad plan to save money and make the company more competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.The changes include getting rid of all cars in...
Updated: 2 hours ago