TES Fest 2012 Core Dump

So we’ve been home for 24 hours or so, the pretty blue
wrist band is hanging from my monitor, and there’s still a collar around
my neck (LOT!WUT?? Read on…) TES Fest 2012 was absolutely
positively an awesome couple of days. Next year’s already on the
calendar.

@FeistyJess & I hopped in the Yaris Friday morning & headed
off for Jersey. One nicely uneventful 3½ hour drive later, we beheld
our first clue that this weekend was going to be something a bit
different: A man in a pink frilly dress riding a tricycle around the
parking lot (might have been @SissyBobbi?). Definitely a good sign.
After parking and heading inside, it was clear we were in the right
place. Fabulous fetish glam in every corner and an ever-so-slight tang
of leather in the air. We’d managed to arrive a bit ahead of the
official start time, so we deposited a Yaris-load full of assorted gear
in our room and headed for the vendors area to see what shiny things
might be on offer.

They had some nice things… Two-handed floggers that looked more
fit for bludgeoning, heavy floggers that had about ¾ of a cow worth of
leather each, wonderfully pervy clothing (some of which would even fit
us…) assorted medical gear, paddles, canes, rope, and pretty much
you-name-it. I could easily have left a month’s salary behind in that
room. I managed to show some restraint, but the credit card definitely got a good spanking…

Over the course of the weekend, we picked up a simple rattan cane, an
evil stick (they called them Sadistix), a set of gorgeous leather
cuffs, another hank of hemp rope (need to look up the vendor we found at
the Flea in NYC last month ’cause the braided stuff they had was much
nicer), and another leather snap clip to match the one we stupidly only
got a single of at DV8 in March.

After our first purchase of the weekend (cuffs), we headed off to the
first class. Or tried to… The session labeled “Event Intro” turned
out to be an empty room, and the other sessions didn’t really appeal to
us. We took some time to wander around the venue instead, checked out
some more vendors, and eventually found our way to session number two.

“So you wanna tie people up?” with Murphy Blue (@BlueRisk). All I
can say is if you ever have the opportunity to see Murphy teaching or
just playing, freaking do it! Murphy’s energy and enthusiasm about rope
is contagious, and his skill at wielding it is inspiring. His intro
course walked through tying basic 1- & 2-column ties and a basic
chest & crotch harness. I’d played at tying most of those in the
past, but seeing them done, and having someone to point and say, “Not
there, there!” was incredibly helpful. Under the
guidance of Murphy and the lovely @bombergrl (at times hopping about as
she was tied herself up herself for most of the class), I think I’ve
managed to get all of the above ties down pretty well. I’ve still some
practice to do in terms of making everything lie nice & flat and
pretty looking, but I’ve definitely got the mechanics down. (I’m
thinking we should probably do the duct tape dress form trick for Jess
soon. She needs to learn to sew, and when she’s not using her
self-styled dummy, I can do kinky things to it with rope to practice.)

This was also my first chance to play with the braided hemp we picked
up at the NYC Flea. General opinions of hemp? Why oh sweet Jebus WHY
did I ever bother fucking around with anything else. MFP has it’s place
(mostly lining the bottom of the toy bag…), but working with hemp is
an absolute joy. Murphy also mentioned his love of jute which has
similar properties to hemp with a slightly higher weight & density.
Might have to grab some to compare…

We grabbed dinner with one of our fellow Kapital District Kinksters
at a local pizza joint then headed back to catch the evening meet &
greet’s. Alas a gathering that sounded like it might resemble a
Player’s Party without requiring all that pesky fruit or cloves didn’t
actually materialize, so we spent the evening chatting with random nifty
folks while I proceeded to measure, cut, and whip the ends of the
vastly over-sized pieces of MFP that Jess got me for my birthday about a
bazillion years ago. Trimmed down from two 75′ lengths to four ~5m
lengths and two left-over shorties, they’re now MUCH more useful &
came in handy later in the weekend.

Once the main dungeon opened, we headed over to see the sights &
play a bit. We found a nifty saw horse-based spanking bench and tried
out the new cuffs. Jess said they were very comfy, though the new
paddles we got in NYC last month, no so much. =P I got to watch Murphy
at work for a bit (Jess was blindfolded & ‘dorphed at the time…)
and numerous other fun things before heading off to the pool area to
check out the jello wrestling and to relax a bit before bed. We ended
up meeting a few of our lovely organizers at the spa, chatted for a
while, and headed off to our room in anticipation of an early morning.

Saturday morning, I headed down to the gym and was delighted to find
we were in a hotel that actually had a working (more or less) treadmill.
I couldn’t figure out how to reset the computer on the thing, and the
LCD screen was half smushed, but it was in good enough shape to show the
speed read-out, and my iPhone clocked the time for me. Managed between
6-7 MPH for ~25 minutes. Not too bad, and good to get back on something
that enforces a steady pace after a few months of road running. Back
upstairs, I woke up my sleeping dragon, and headed for breakfast.
Managed to meet a few more folks from TES as well as the cutest of boys
who’d been walking around Friday evening in some delightfully pervy
rubber and had briefly joined us in the spa.

Off to the first class of Saturday, and what a decision. I’d thought
we might like Yoga for Kinksters or a spanking oriented class, but
after the awesome time with Murphy Blue the night before, we just had to
go for “So you STILL wanna tie people up?” Here Murphy took the basics
from the previous class and put them together to make some slightly
more complicated ties. Jess ended up in the first
(non-complete-garbage) hogtie of her life, and we had a blast just
soaking in Murphy’s love of rope.

Next class, and even more conflict… If we’d known then what we
knew by the end of the weekend, it would have been even worse as having
seen other presentations by several of the presenters in this slot, we
could certainly have done with more of their work. As it was, we were
stuck between Flogging 101, Bondage for all Bodies, and Mistress Trish’s
CBT class. We went off to see Mistress Trish and had an interesting
time. She pushed her demo bottom a bit too hard at one point, and he
had to rapidly excuse himself. When she asked the audience for
volunteers Jess threw me under the bus, and up I found myself before a
room full of strangers being de-kilted and trying on a Humbler. An
interesting sensation, though I think I already stretch out a bit more
than “average.” It wasn’t the complete debilitating “crawl or tear your
nuts off” routine it’s billed as being, but it did slow me down a bit.
Mistress Trish then proceeded to thwack my balls with a rather
disturbing glee. “Don’t worry: they’ll grow back,” was one of her
favorite phrases for the class. She did mention that she thought I took
rather a lot of abuse, so I guess I’m satisfied with that. The first
of many surreal experiences for the weekend…

Re-kilted, it was time for lunch. Neither of us were starving
(breakfast was huge…), so we wandered the courtyard a bit before
heading back to the room to munch some chicken we’d brought along and
some farmers market goodies we’d picked up on the way down. In the
courtyard we managed to catch the tail end of a waterboarding demo. A
bit intense for either of our liking, but the level of trust between the
two presenters was pretty amazing. The next session called for a bit
more rope than I had on hand, so we headed back to the vendors area to
grab a length of dark blue hemp to match the red I already had.

Next session was again a decision between @Dov’s Hogties Workshop and
Flogging 201. Having seen Dov work at the NYC Flea, I couldn’t pass up
the chance to see him work again & perhaps learn a bit from him.
Alas, poor Dov managed to injure himself since last we saw him and was
hobbling about in a rather huge foot/leg cast. Still, even one leg
down, he proceeded to tie the lovely @danielle_dv8 in an incredibly
strict hogtie. Danielle is a rather remarkable masochist. As Dov tied
her tighter, she simultaneously screamed in pain & moaned in
pleasure. The girl’s flexibility is amazing. Dov’s skill and dexterity
even with an injury were also amazing. Using some of the ties I’d
learned from Murphy and some interesting additions from Dov, I managed
to get Jess in a slightly different hogtie, albeit not nearly as strict
as Danielle. I was impressed with Jess’ flexibility (yoga FTW!).

Next up, you guessed it… Another tough decision. Fisting with a
tiny ball of feisty attitude who calls herself Button, Spanking with
Intensity, or a nifty looking hip suspension harness demo. Again, if
we’d known then… it would have been worse as we had a chance to see
Button later on in the weekend, and she is indeed a tiny little
firecracker. We ended up going with Spanking with Intensity where Uncle
Ed proceeded to slowly work his demo bottom up through a wide array of
implements. Jess was pleased/terrified by the proceedings. evil grin
Among the many implements demonstrated, were a number of canes, and
Jess surprisingly found herself interested in trying what was at one
point a hard limit.

Off to dinner… There was a catered BBQ dinner tonight which we
headed for along with all the other Kapital Kinksters and a number of
folks that the several of us knew. Dinner was so-so, but the company
made up for it. We met a couple who were extremely into canes and
numerous other implements, and they offered to let us try out some of
their toys later in the evening should our paths cross.

After dinner we headed back to the room to unwind for a bit. We
unfortunately missed Fist-a-Palooza where I’ve heard Button again
exploded in orgasms far greater than her small stature would suggest
could be contained therein. We headed down to the dungeon to play for a
bit and had surreal experience number two of the weekend.

I’ve alluded to this in previous wall posts, but a number of members
of the local police force were wandering about the place observing. We
ended up in the dungeon with Jess tied down again (using some nifty new
knots I’d learned!) and slowly working through all of our various
implements to leave her bottom a rather lovely shade of pink. Mid-way
through our play several officers had situated themselves about 10 feet
away & were taking in the sights. Never quite expected to flog my
Love whilst LEO was watching. That said, the cops were perfect ladies
& gentlemen while they were there. Having ascertained nobody was
being abused without their consent, they headed off and weren’t seen
again for the weekend.

While Jess was still attached to the bench, the couple we’d met
earlier happened by with an impressive collection of canes, and the
lovely lady of the pair (with permission of course) gently introduced
Jess to a number of them. (“Hey Mikey, I think she likes it!”) We
finished playing while the police were still there, and Jess managed to
flirt a bit with one of them in her post-spanking dorphed-state. We
headed out to the court yard to relax a bit, caught a bit of the lube
wrestling match then soaked in the spa a bit to unwind. Murphy was at
it again outside, and we watched rapt for a bit before calling it a
night.

Sunday morning brought breakfast and Yoga for BDSM with Danielle.
Seeing her tied the day before, we kind of had an idea she might be
rather good at yoga. Yeah… She was… She walked us through a half
hour beginners class. Jess has been doing yoga for a while care of The
Gym Box on the Roku, but this was a first for me. I think I might like
it… Kind of a nice warm buzzy feeling in my muscles for the rest of
the day. I was pleasantly surprised at my own flexibility. Definitely
would like to improve in that area.

From yoga, we had to pass up another Murphy Blue class (Multi-Person
Bondage or, “Sure, you can get tied up too!”) and headed for Sensual
Massage with Chris Marks instead. The class was what was certainly a
very superficial introduction to massage therapy techniques &
relevant anatomy, but it was a pretty good primer. I think we both
learned some good tricks for relaxing each other. Jess managed to work
most of my kinks out (well, the muscle kinks anyways… The other kind
of kinks grew quite a bit this weekend), and Chris’ lovely partner (also
a massage therapist) showed me some techniques to work the stiff bits
out of Jess’ couple of trick vertebrae. We both left the class quite
relaxed.

Massage let out a few minutes early thankfully and with the built-in
half hour spacing between classes (TES organizers: THANK YOU for
that!!!), we had JUST enough time to dash up to the room and grab a
quick shower. Next class was a toss up between “Playing with Orgasms”
with Mistress Trish and “Interrogation Play” with Dov. While the
subject matter of Dov’s class was a bit strong for our liking, seeing
Dov at work is a joy. Still, we headed back to Mistress Trish to see
her torment and deny her male demo bottom (which admittedly wasn’t that
impressive. I don’t think he’s as much into public performance as would
be necessary to make such a thing interesting. Definitely feel for him
in that regard…), and then to wrench one orgasm after another out of
the lovely Button. Here’s where some of the hind-sight comes in as
seeing more of Button earlier in the weekend would have been nifty.
She’s cute, she’s feisty, and she comes like a freaking banshee! =)
Part of Mistress Trish’s thesis was that orgasms aren’t all fun &
games and so after forcing a nearly painful number of them out of
Button, she actually cunt-punched the poor dear just as her final
would-be orgasm was beginning to take hold. Button nearly flew off the
massage table where she lay, and thus ended the demo. Having a bit of
time, we hit the vendors room yet again to pick up a simple little
rattan cane and chatted with @WaltAlbany a bit about APeX & such.

The next session was probably the only one that wasn’t a challenge to
decide on. We’d passed up seeing Danielle give her Deep Throating
class at Purple Passion in the past, but couldn’t pass it up this time.
The girl knows how to handle a cock, and proceeded to give tips for
dealing with various fellatio-related challenges whilst alternatively
demonstrating her skill on none other than Dov (her original demo
::ehem:: unit was called away at the last minute) and also on a lovely
young lady who had what was undoubtedly the most impressive penis I’ve
ever seen matched with an also lovely pair of natural breasts on a
single person. Surreal experience number three came care of the fact
that TES’ exclusive hold on the venue had begun fade at this point in
the afternoon, and so there were families and children literally on the
other side of a smoked glass door by the end of the demo. (Don’t worry,
it was smoked enough to be opaque, and Danielle was setup in the corner
out of line-of-sight anyways…) We had a bit of time before the final
session, and so Jess “dragged” me upstairs (kicking and screaming
dontcha know) to do some “homework” from the previous class. The
sacrifices I make, I tell you….

For the final class of the weekend, the toss up was between another
Mistress Trish session (“Ball and Cunt Busting”) and “Belts & Welts”
with Master Valentine. Mistress Trish again proceeded to abuse the
lovely Button, and from what we could hear from the room next door,
Button was shown a grueling time yet again. Instead, we checked out
Belts & Welts where a pair of stunning young ladies were worked
through a wide variety of implements while Master Valentine explained
their relative merits and gave tips for wielding. Throughout the
weekend there was a stunning young lady walking about (whose name I
didn’t catch but I believe Jess did). On the way to class, we passed
her, and Jess summoned an impressive quantity of Chutzpah and
complemented the girl on her beauty and her outfits throughout the
weekend. After Jess was invited to briefly partake of the girl’s very
lovely charms (Mmmm… Boobies…), she mentioned that the Belts demo
would feature one of her own submissives as demo bottom. Said bottom
was lovely and feisty (whack “Is that all you’ve got, Master?” *WHACK “Mmmm. Thank you, Master!”), and thus ended the formal classes of TES Fest 2012.

We were staying the night so we could enjoy the play space Sunday
evening and drive back freshly rested rather than tired & bleary
eyed. We headed out briefly to find dinner (some okay wings at a
near-by bar), then headed back to change & head down to the dungeon.
It had been decided somewhere along the way that I should get to
explore my submissive side a bit and switch for the evening. Jess was
rather taken by Mistress Trish’s various demonstrations, so with me in
collar (and somewhat apprehensive of exactly what kind of a monster I
might have created), we headed down to the play space.

Being Sunday night, the play space was much less crowded than the
previous nights. The number of people was just about perfect for the
space. The buzz of a crowded dungeon on Saturday was fun, but Sunday
there were just enough people to occupy most of the equipment with no
lines waiting for everything and a reasonable number of observers
mulling about to satisfy my inner exhibitionist. There were several
duct tape mummies created before our eyes, some various fire play,
numerous assorted flagellations, and at one point Danielle getting
positively medieval with a strap-on versus the nicely endowed lady from
her demo earlier in the day.

I found myself first cuffed to a St. Andrew’s Cross (I have so
got to build myself one of those…) while Jess proceeded to hit me
with things, clamp various bits of me, apply Mistress Trish’s
suggestions Re: my balls, and attempt to flog clothespins from my
nipples. I was at various points led on a parade around the dungeon by a
leash attached to my collar. Being a budding sadist, Jess insisted I
stay at a distance that would leave the leash taut rather than remain
closely heeled by her side. As we walked about, we received several
compliments by observers who enjoyed the scene.

Back on the cross again, I got to experience our new purchase from
earlier in the day (ouch…), was gifted with and subsequently relieved
via flogger of a number of clothespins, and was generally made to
whimper squirm and yelp for a bit longer. Clearly, FML… 😉 Taken
off the cross, I was moved over to a rather nifty buns UP
spanking bench arrangement that would give Jess unfettered access to
further apply what she learned from Mistress Trish. Before being
attached, a leather stretcher was attached to me, and my leash attached
to a D-ring thereon. Once again I was led about the play space, this
time with strong encouragement to remain at a distance which left no
slack in the leash. Back to the bench, I scrambled up, leaned into the
chest rest at the front of it, and sunk into one of the deeper bits of
sub-space I’ve found myself in.

Usually when I do bottom, I’m all about topping from the bottom. I
like certain types of pain play, but historically I’ve been in a mindset
where I’ll “stoically” take the kind of pain I like anyways but turn
into a whimpering ball of patheticness for anything I don’t actually
like. As it happens, Mistress Trish is exceptionally good at figuring
out what her bottom doesn’t like and was more than sadistic enough to
enjoy inflicting same upon me the previous day. I think Jess was taking
notes… She was in a similar state of sadism Sunday evening (still is
as I type this… Sacrifices, I tell you…), and so proceeded to
inflict things upon me that really hurt. I normally like
gradual squeezing, and as Mistress Trish discovered quick sharp impacts
really get my attention. Jess was all about getting my attention
tonight… For the first time though, I sucked it up, quit being a
whining pansy (the audience helped… I kind of enjoy showing off.),
and just took what she was dishing out to me. So this is subspace…
Kind of a neat place. @Wheeeeeeeeeeeee….

Speaking of audience, if you told me there was an 800lb pink gorilla
watching us, I’d have to take your word as I wasn’t exactly there
by this point. Still Jess tells me that a number of rather stern
looking lesbian ladies were watching gleefully as my bits were tormented
as were a number of gentlemen who had been in Mistress Trish’s classes
earlier in the weekend. One of them said something to of the effect of,
“I thought I was into CBT until I saw you two playing.” proud/dopey subby grin

All told, I was the center of Jess’ attention for a bit over three
hours. We headed back upstairs shortly before the play area was
scheduled to close for the night, and I was finally allowed to enjoy an
orgasm whilst attempting to drive the air out of our Sleep Numberâ„¢ bed
by way of driving Jess into it. At that point, it had been since
Thursday that I’d been teased (admittedly mostly at my urging at least
prior to Sunday) while Jess was periodically taken care of throughout
the weekend. I kind of like being denied from time to time whereas Jess
hates it…

And that was about the end of TES Fest 2012. As we were staying the
night, we had the luxury of a leisurely checkout Monday morning. I was
up ridiculously early as usual so headed down to the spa (albeit a bit
more conservatively suited than earlier trips) to relax out some of the
kinks from the previous night. My various joints were in an oddly mixed
state at that point. Sleep Number beds are truly awful things, so I
was less than well aligned after three nights in one, but the yoga &
massage Sunday morning had done a reasonably good job of loosening me
back up. Strapped to a St. Andrew’s for an hour or so put a whole new
set of twists in my spine, while being hunched over the spanking bench
actually allowed me the leverage and gravity directionality to work a
lot of the twists back out. The hour & change on the bench also
worked new muscles in my thighs & calfs that were feeling kind of
interesting the next morning. Kind of like the “I need to run” twitch,
but in slightly different places. Of course when I got around to
finally running again Tuesday afternoon, same muscles tried cramping up
on me within the first quarter mile. Hateful muscles were informed that
they could just cut that out right now please & thank you, and I
managed to set down a good running time for two miles, but I digress…
Soaking in the spa for 20 minutes or so loosened almost everything back
up again, and a bit of auto-chiropracty care of the the railing bar in
the spa let me twist just about everything back where it belonged. Back
upstairs, I yet again woke my dozing dragon and we proceeded to pack
up, checkout, and drive home.

On the way back, Jess said the weekend at TES Fest actually managed
to beat out the time I surprised her with two days at Disney World in
terms of awesomeness. We both immensely enjoyed three days of being
“out” and just reveling in our kink, freak flag flying and all that.
I’ve found that even back in Smalbany, my cup of Give a Fuck seems to be
mostly empty with regard to censoring myself or otherwise being
vanilla. We picked up a simple dog collar for me (in red to contrast
the blue one Jess has for herself) at the pet store near home, and I’ve
been wearing it since, even to go running this afternoon. I’m obviously
not going to wear it to work or near family or anything like that, but
it’s still nice to not play the usual “stow the leather thar’s vanillas
near by” game I’ve tended to in the past. Not a single fuck was given
today…

While we were out getting my collar, we also stopped by Dom Depot
briefly and picked up a nifty looking set of lawn attachment points
(steel screws that auger ~8″ into the ground and have a ring at the top
for attaching things). Less than $20 (for four) worth of pervertable
gear. I’m hoping to make good use of them at the next outdoor event to
stake down some willing squirming “victim.” Whether that’s me or Jess,
only time will tell.

As far as our relative top/bottom statuses, I suspect Jess’ topping
will probably run out again for a while in the next day or so. In the
past switching has taken a bit of a toll on her in terms of being a
needy ball of, “I’m sorry” in the days following her beating me. Given
how much Jess has enjoyed the couple days on top (and how much of a
sadistic bit…^H person she’s been), I wonder if she’s at a point where
she’ll be ready to switch more readily with less of a drop afterwards.
Should be interesting to see.

All told, TES was an absolutely amazing experience. I’d have to call
it the kinky atheist’s equivalent of a religious retreat. We can’t
wait for next year, and of course I couldn’t resist signing up for the
GKE this morning. Hoping the same venue will bring the same awesome
vibe in November!

(Edit: Wrote this last night, but finally edited & posted this morning. Adjust relative date references appropriately…)

Fun shopping trip, a few reviews

So FeistyJess & I made a pilgrimage to NYC last week,
ostensibly to acquire fixings for my kilt for an upcoming Scottish
wedding. We did in fact acquire said fixings (See profile — Pics: it
happened!), but the other reason for the trip was to do a bit
of “fun” shopping. We stopped at no less than 20 assorted toy, kink
wear, etc. shops on Manhattan Island. Alas, a trip out to Brooklyn for
Babeland was out due to time restrictions, so that’s an experience we’ll
have to save for another trip.

Of the various places we browsed, a few went above & beyond the
call in terms of service, pricing, selection, or just plain awesomeness.
While I need to break this omnibus review up & post a few of them
to Yelp, I figured fellow kinky folk here might derive some benefit from
the lot in one convenient (if sizable) post.

Travel:

I hate driving in general. FeistyJess curls up into a small
whimpering ball at the thought of driving in the city. The effect is
similar to that of menacingly wielding a stalk of ginger or anything
pointy. It’s cute, but clearly driving was out…

Amtrak is convenient & reasonably comfortable, but EXPENSIVE!
Would have been over $200 round trip for two. So Megabus rode to the
rescue. We bought way in advance (about six weeks I think?) & ended
up paying $10/each for down, $15/each for up. Duration was the same as
Amtrak, though the ride is a bit more bumpy, the clientele a bit..
lower rent?.. and with no reserved seating & usually full buses,
getting there at least an hour in advance really is a requirement. That
said, for cheap, hassle free travel (no strip search required…),
Megabus is a big win. The bus deposited us in front of the Fashion
Institute of Technology from which we proceeded to walk about 20 miles
around the city in two days…

Chelsea District:

Since we were only a couple of blocks from Chelsea proper, that was
the natural start. We hit Purple Passion, Nasty Pig, Universal Gear,
The Blue Store, and at least one other place we stumbled on & didn’t
catch the name of.

Nasty Pig:

For anyone who’s friended me here, there’s a non-trivial chance that
you’ll eventually learn of my tastes in under garments. Let’s just say I
don’t do boxers nor tighty whities… With that in mind, a trip to Nasty
Pig seemed like a good idea. In a word: disappointing… The decor
said, “Leather daddy,” but the selection said, “Third world Wal*Mart”… I
don’t even think they had the entire NP line on display much less in
stock in any sizes. While we did get to enjoy a half-dressed, rather
chiseled patron modeling leather jeans for his boyfriend, all told, a
waste of time…

Universal Gear:

This was a late Google find, and I admit I was a bit skeptical as
their website was more like Abercrombie than The Stockroom. Pleasantly
surprised, they had a decent selection of underthings, swim suits, and
the like; and even a bonus 25% off sale. Prices before the sale were
all MSRP, so a bit pricy, but with the sale, not too bad. Staff seemed a
little put off that I had a breast-baring-person-type-thing (IE not a
gay man) in tow, but not a bad visit.

The Blue Store (& the other place I can’t remember):
Meh… The later had a decent selection of suits & undies including
some interesting ones from a Chinese brand I’d not heard of (name on the
label in Kanji…). Prices were high, and both places had video booths
in the back. If that’s your thing, okay, but… Ick…

Purple Passion:

We hit these guys second, but I saved them for last because they were
just plain awesome. Selection & pricing were quite good. Sizes
for non-anorexics were available with some consistency. A reasonable
selection of assorted rings, cuffs, paddles, crops, floggers, collars,
rubber, leather, etc. FeistyJess was in the market for a corset, and
that’s where Purple Passion went from pretty good to just plain awesome.
A fabulous gay man (Keith) helped us with fitting a corset, showing us
what was available off the rack in FeistyJess’ size and showing off a
few that are custom made for the shop to whatever size you like.
Customs were absolutely amazing in look & quality, but given that
we’re both mid-way through dropping some serious poundage, custom work
isn’t sensible right now…

Keith set us up with a lovely under-bust in blue satin. The fitting
was an interesting experience as he helped FeistyJess into the corset,
latching the front, lacing the back, and liberating her of her bra. I
was somewhat shamed as a self-identified gay man showed far more
proficiency than I in unclasping a bra…

Keith’s demeanor made the experience far more comfortable than
stripping down to your undies in a public place generally has any chance
of being. Well-timed humor and clearly warning & ensuring consent
before diving in to unclasp or poke anything were well appreciated.
FeistyJess is a bit modest at the best of times, and an NYC sex shop
with people just around the corner & a random male stranger watching
is far from the most relaxing of settings. That said, Keith managed to
put us at ease, perform a very professional corset fitting, and sent us
on our with a fabulous under-bust at a very-not-bad price. If you’re
in the market for a corset, I’d say Purple Passion should be your second
stop (see below for first). For any other toy needs in Manhattan, stop
here first!

Christopher Street area:

For gay mens’ leather wear, you can do worse in NYC than Christopher
Street and the surrounding few blocks. Several shops with decent
selections (and a few more sleazy ones) give you quite a few options.

London:

Tiny little basement shop with a BDSM flag hanging outside. Some
interesting costumes, a number of rings, toys, basic electro toys (think
TENS, not Erostek or wands), and some alleged insertables that could
easily be used to bludgeon an assailant to death should the need arise…
Prices were on the high side, and we didn’t end up getting anything.

Tic Tac Toe, Pink Pussycat, Pleasure Chest:

Bog-standard adult toy shops. Tic Tac Toe had a pretty big selection
of stripper gear & belly dancing costumes upstairs, but sizes
didn’t go into the double digits.

Wonder Wear NY:

This was another last-minute addition that was so incredibly worth
it. The shop has (gay) mens clothes & undies in a range of sizes.
Our timing here was perfect as they were in the process of liquidating
for upcoming renovations at the store. 75% off all stock! I think I
managed to get one of everything… I should probably update my fetish
list, cause… yeah…

The Leatherman:

This was technically the place we made the trip for. They have a
reputation of being the best place to get a belt, custom fit if
necessary. Kilt belt was acquired, and it looks fabulous! They also
have a pretty huge selection of leather, neoprene, harnesses, paddles,
crops, rings & things, real electro toys (to walk into a
shop and see an ET-312 & ET-232 on display in a cabinet? Yeah… I
Love New York =) We arrived in the midst of energetic preparations for
the upcoming Black Party over the weekend. FeistyJess was treated to a
brief view of a rather well endowed, heavily chiseled young man between
trying on pairs of jeans. Brief because he realized there was a girl
in the store, squeaked, blanched, and dove back in the fitting room.
Alas, I missed the view as I was in the other fitting room switching
from jeans into my kilt & shiny new belt. Spent the rest of the day
prancing about NYC in a kilt. It was good kilt weather. =)

Orchard Corsets:

This was a bit removed from Christopher Street, but the only shop in
the area (Orchard Street) where we stopped. See the reviews for this
place on Yelp. They very accurately describe the (slightly surreal)
experience. To summarize, a large Orthodox man (kippah & payot
included; we’ve since learned his name was Ben) asked us if we wanted a
corset for fun, for support… And the brain kind of went sproing
at that point… He called out to Elise to come do the fitting. Elise
took one look at FeistyJess, one look at the corset proffered by Ben,
and uttered a single word, “Smaller.” Another corset was acquired, and
FeistyJess was quirky & efficiently stripped, latched, and laced.
Perfect fit the first time on just a two-second eyeball. Quality is
very good (steel boning!), and price was unbelievably reasonable. If
you’re in the market for a corset (or a bra) this place should be stop
number one. They ship online as well at www.orchardcorset.com, though I
don’t think they can ship you Elise to do your fitting…

The Baroness:

Rubber wear in a variety of styles including custom work. The
Baroness herself was a rip. =) All Domme, all the time, and had the
bawdy/sarcasm mix that leaves every other word dripping with innuendo.
Alas, off the rack sizes were all smallish, and as mentioned above,
custom work isn’t on the menu right now. Still, the Baroness was
wonderful to talk to. She enquired where we’d been, what we were
looking for, and suggested a few other stops that we hadn’t found yet.
She did introduce FeistyJess to a rather neat looking blue rubber
half-cape, but as we were already up to a two corset trip, regrettably
nothing on offer from the Baroness was in-budget at this point. We’re
both still a little unsure about rubber as a material, but we may well
come back to visit the Baroness again.

St. Mark’s Place:

The Baroness sent us over here to two places: Trash & Vaudeville
and Gothic Renaissance. The former was so goth, even the heating system
was by Reznor… They had some interesting offerings, but mostly small
sizes, and probably not things we’d wear, even though they were
fabulous. They did have a few stunning full-length black coats
that I’d love to be able to rock. Not sure I can exude enough, “I
don’t care go fuck yourself,” to properly wear something so gothy, but I
think I might like to try at some point… Gothic Renaissance had some
fabulous shoes & gorgeous (if fragile looking) masks, but prices
were more frightening than the huge gargoyle guarding the door.

Times Square:

The Bag Man:

Completely not kinky, but worth a mention. Rather large
department/discount store specializing in luggage. At this point in the
trip, our “travel lite” concept had been dashed to bits by a
progression of can’t-say-no sales, and our initial two-backpack carrying
provisions had long since asploded with all the things… For less than
$25, a huge soft-pack rolling bag was acquired. We sat in the shadow of
David Beckham’s captivating two-story package (underwear ad on the side
of a building), and transferred all of our luggage & purchases into
the one new bag, then trundled off towards the garment district.

FeistyJess is a bit of a poly-craftual, and we hit several bead,
yarn, and assorted textile stores in the garment district. It’s all
kind of a blur to me. I write code, not stitch… After that, we grabbed
some mediocre pizza & got in line for the bus home.

All-in, it was a pretty awesome couple of days. We ended up crashing
with a friend of mine from high school, so total travel overhead on top
of the shopping was $50 travel plus food & such. We actually hit
the vast majority of the places the first day (and could hit all the
good places easily in a single day), so as day trips for kinky goodness
go, Capital District kinksters might give it a try!