The doors of Fetish Con flung open Thursday with an opening workshop on how to make homemade bondage video feel more cinematic.
Don't worry if you missed it. This weekend, professional fetish models, adult film directors and apparatus retailers will gather in the Hilton Downtown Tampa to mingle with fans and amateurs as a part of the annual convention geared toward the wildest fantasies of attendees.
Costumed, leather-clad, ball-gagged people will stream in and out of the hotel in the heart of downtown for four days and no one will bat an eyelid. It's the event's seventh year in town.
If past years are any measure, gawkers can expect very polite exchanges with the unusually dressed convention goers.
For those hoping to get in on the action, $25 one-day passes are still available at the registration desk in the Hilton. The con is only for those age 18 and older.
Some of the lectures and workshops are what anyone would expect: Bondage 101, Gags Safety and Anesthetics, etc.
But the organizers of Fetish Con aim to bring their guest full range of offerings including a lecture of the legalities of pornography in social media, a workshop on feederism (feeding or force-feeding a sexual partner to help them gain weight as a form of stimulation), and a presentation on the art of cupping (placing cups on the skin for an acupressure effect).
Industry pros will be on hand to make sure all activities involving pain don't end in injury.
After each day of learning and enjoying attendees can catch a shuttle to the Fetish Con after parties invading Ybor City for the weekend.
Friday night, con goers can head over to Ybor City's Factory at 1902 E Seventh Avenue for a burlesque-themed Film Noir party featuring GiGi Lemore, Vita Devoid and a performance by Gia Nova.
Folks who paid the $75 for all-access weekend registration can choose to remain behind at the Hilton for the official Fetish Con Pool Party with live DJs and drink specials.
On Saturday night, there will be another pool party at the Hilton. But those wishing to get out into the city can head to The Castle at 2004 N 16th Street for the Medical Mayhem party that includes a latex fashion show.
For all events, dressing up is encouraged. After all, it is Fetish Con. When else are you going to wear that Steampunk-themed leather body suit?