15 March 2006

Shaving

Ok, slight departure here. I wanted to do a little write-up of a body-hair shaving tip that I read somewhere a long time ago that seemed worth sharing or at least preserving for future reference. I'm sorry that I can't remember or link to the original source of this tip, because it really works well. If anyone knows or is the originator of this tip, please let me know and I'll post the proper attribution!

So first off, why would you want to shave your body hair? As a rubber or lycra fetishist, the fetish is, to a large degree, about the feel of the material against your skin. Body hair essentially interferes in the sensations of feeling rubber or lycra against bare skin, to a degree that isn't even that apparent until you've tried shaving your legs / chest / privates and experienced the same material with bare skin contact. Which isn't to say its something that I do constantly or regularly, but as an occasional treat or experiment, its really worthwhile. I think if I had the energy level to stick to a constant regimen of shaving I would, but for now I settle for the occasional special occasion to shave down and put on some tight rubber gear and enjoy the feeling!

So here is the best method I've found to shave your entire body hair quickly and fully. If done properly, this can be completely in about 15 minutes total and results in a perfect close shave. Most importantly, if done correctly you won't have the typical problem with those anoying "bumps" from in-grown hairs.

The trick is to use a product called "Magic Shave". It comes in a small can (see pic) and can be found in just about any decent-size drugstore. Locally I usually pick it up at Target. This product is actually designed as a face shaving alternative to razors for black men, which apparently suffer from a higher risk of razor bumps. It is incredibly cheap and goes a long way. The product comes (typically) in powdered form and must be mixed with water and then applied to the beard.

To use Magic Shave for body hair, here's my recommended method:

1) Find a large-size household bowl

2) Empty the entire can of Magic Shave into the bowl, that amount should be enough for your entire legs / crotch / chest.

3) Put a rubber glove on each hand. This is important because you'll be applying the mixture with your hands and your hands will be in contact with the material long enough to feel some burning sensation over that much time.

4) Put warm water into the bowl slowly, mixing with your gloved hand as you add water. You are trying to get a consistency that is somewhere between oatmeal and soup. The consistency is very important here, so take your time and try to get it right. When its correct, it should not drip off your fingers as you pull them out of the bowl, but should be almost thin enough to do so.

If you mix it too thick, you won't have enough to finish the job. Too thin, and it won't be effective and will drip all over the place.

5) Get naked, grab the bowl, and move into a shower stall or tub (water off, of course). Before you go into the shower or tub, grab a non-critical credit card or Safeway card or something and a washcloth.

6) Check a clock and note the time.

7) In the shower, start applying the mixture to your body, starting with your legs. Apply enough that your skin is entirely covered and the hair immersed, but not too liberally that you will run out. Hopefull the mixture isn't so thin that its dripping off onto the ground before it can be applied. Make sure you don't miss the area behind your knee-caps! Skip the area where the legs meet your groin for now.

8) After both legs are convered, move on to your buttocks, feel free to venture into the crack, it doesn't seem to react badly.

9) Now move onto the crotch & scrotum and shaft. Avoid the head of the penis, hopefully the mixture isn't so thin that it drips all over there. If it does get a bit, it doesn't seem to be the end of the world. Hit the 'taint' as well!

10) Do your chest (if desired) and finally end with the area between your legs and groin. Not sure what to call this, the "leg armpit"? Anyway, if there is no hair there, skip it entirely, its problematic. Also skip your armpits, seems overly sensitive for some reason (for me).

11) Now all the areas to be cleaned should be covered. Check the time and wait about 6 minutes, but not longer than 10 minutes since you started. Best to remain standing in the shower. If you have more leftover stuff, re-apply to your legs, especially to the knees or any areas that are getting dry.

12) Once time is up, turn on the shower and rinse the magic shave off. As you rinse, use the credit card as a squeegee and scrape lightly with the grain of your hair. If the mixture was correct and the time sufficient, the hair should literally wipe away like, well, magic! Be sure to do you best to squeegee your backside and other hidden areas (back of leg, back of knee, etc.)

13) If there are any areas that remain a bit stubborn, use a wash cloth and wipe them down with a bit of pressure.

14) Be sure all areas are completely rinsed and pat-dry yourself off.

That's it! Now you should be entirely hairless and free of razor bumps for the next several days. Go put on a nice pair of latex or lycra pants and enjoy. You'll probably notice a lot of new sensations on your legs, bum, and crotch as the air and clothing his bits of skin that normally don't get a lot of sensation.

The risks are basically that if you apply too long or to particular sensitive areas, you can get a bit of a chemical burn. I haven't had any problems except for two exceptions -- armpits and "leg armpits". Both of those areas give me problems consistently when I try to apply this method to them, so rather than deal with the hassle, I just handle those using more traditional methods.

The big advantage to this method is that its so much easier to get complete 100% coverage on tricky areas like legs and butt, and also its much faster than any other razor-based method. It also works pretty well on areas like the scrotum that is really tricky and risky to shave with other methods. Its cheaper than Nair, less smell, less cleanup, and less risk of razor bumps.

If any of the stuff spills onto the shower, it will turn back into powdered form. Just take a wet washcloth and wipe it away!

Enjoy - and thanks to whoever originated the tip, I love it and use it regularly!

09 March 2006

Sports Gear #4 - Skimpy Speedos

Hmmm.. Having such a good time going through my sports-gear closet and digging up all these fond memories. My last entry on Speedos ran out of steam just by covering my favorite full-body swimsuits, and I left out some of the best parts - skimpy speedos!

These are a little outside my usual interest area; most of my real turn-ons come from full-body attire, as you can tell, but small speedos have two big advantages. First, they're dirt cheap. And second, they are (borderline) acceptable attire in public. Big win!

Of course I'm not talking about the bog standard $20 square-cut suits. Those are better than a pair of board shorts, sure, but the fun part is to push the envelope into more extreme speedo-type suits and see how much you can get away with in public. Maybe I have an exhibitionist streak I've been ignoring?

So first up is my favorite, and based on chats with other kinksters online, a pretty popular item world-wide; Japanese speedos! I get more questions on on-line sites asking "where can I get a speedo like that" than just about anything else. In Japan, the Speedo brand is actually manufactured by a company called Mizuno. Mizuno sells stuff here as well, baseball, volleyball, etc., but for whatever reason in Japan they also manufacture Speedo items you won't find for sale over here. Their best "racing" suits tend toward super-low cut and more interesting materials.

The gold standard for Japanese speedos is the "waterpolo" rubberized (pvc-coated lycra) Speedo. Sizes run very small on these, and they don't run any larger than size "O" (Japanese equivalent of "XL" but really more like "M" by pudgy American standards, right around 36" waist. Two things make this design unbearable hot - the rubberized surface of the suit, and the unique cut & stitching on the bum. If you look closely, you can see the backside features a seam down the crack, and in the seam is a small dart of semi-transparent fabric. Why? Who the hell knows. The butt also has nicely shaped colored inserts that add a bit of flair & style. You cannot tell me the person who designed this suit was not a fetish fan!

Another hot Japanese style is the Arena racing suits. They make use of a low-cut waistband and interesting paneling and stitching. They don't offer a mostly-rubberized suit like Speedo, but they do make a very hot suit line called "Nux" which has small brightly colored pvc inserts, including some very cool colors like silver, gold, and bright orange. The placement of the rubberized insert panels really give the suit a cool, space-age look and it enhances the, ahem, package. Keep in mind that none of the suits are exactly cut for maximum package; they are real racing suits and are super tight up front, but whatever room you can find in a Nux suit is well displayed, anyway. The fabrics are pretty similar to what speedo uses in their FastSkin suits, a bit of a textured, water-repellant surface. Nux suits come in briefs, jammers, and leg-skins, but they don't (yet?) make a full-body suit to compete with Speedo FastSkin. I like the Arena Nux suits, they are a close second place to the Japanese Waterpolo speedos.

So moving out of Japan, the one last skimpy suit worth noting takes a much different angle. Instead of being super-tight-fitting and revealing, its acutally cut to be quite loose and almost saggy. But still, somehow, it ends up being very hot and fetishy. These are the "Aussiebum" suits. I think I like them because they are (mostly) quite low-cut and they use more of a nylon fabric instead of the typical US lycra/nylon blends. There's something hot about a lycra blend with a geater percentage of nylon I guess. Underarmour sort of does a similar thing, I think.

I've bought a few Aussiebums but never quite like them as much as I hope I will. I think they look a lot better in pictures than they look in real life, if that makes any sense. I think they're worth checking out, and cheap, but definitely a distant third to the hot items from Japan.

Who knew the Japanese were the kinkiest when it comes to revealing swimwear for men?

03 March 2006

Sports Gear #3 - Full Body Swimsuits


There isn't a world of difference between Wetsuits and swimsuits, but I figured the wetsuit post was rambling on long enough that I needed to cut it off and start a new one.

So what makes a fetishy swimsuit? The first thing that jumps to mind are speedos, obviously. They're skimpy, the expose a lot of skin, and they don't leave a lot to the imagine. They are also, barely, acceptable attire throughout most of the world.

Ok - off on a tangent here - this is just one of the myriad of ways the United States is fucked up. In most of Europe, you'd see speedo-type swimsuits at least on about 50% of the folks at the beach or at a pool, right? Hell, in Japan you can't even find a baggy knee-length swimsuit to save your life. But here in the US, speedos are pretty much confined to professionals or lap-swimmers at the Y. That's just a shame!

I never got too excited about swimsuits until, I think, the 2000 summer Olympics when Speedo introduced the FastSkin full-body swimsuits. These looked so incredibly hot and tight I knew I couldn't rest until I was able to get one. For a while it seemed they were impossible to get unless you were a professional athlete, but slowly Speedo started to sell them (at significant cost, of course) to the general public. I got my first FastSkin suit probably in 2002 or so, in basic black, and then in 2005 I just had to experience the newer FastSkinII from the 2004 Olympics in a nice grey/white combo color.

Both suits are incredibly hot. They are very tight-fitting, and they literally compress every muscle of your body when worn. The lycra used is less stretchy than normal, and the cut of the suit is very slim throughout. After pulling the suit on, it really makes the wearer look about 15 pounds lighter, its amazing.

The fabric of the suit also has a unique texture to it. Both versions feature a textured lycra fabric with a sort of herringbone or fish-scale like texture to it. Its very subtle but visible up close. But the real trick is how the fabric sheds water. When the suit enters the water, some sort of coating on the fabric actually causes water to avoid saturating certain parts of the fabric. When submerged, it seems as if a thin coating of air bubbles is trapped between the suit and the water. Its quite remarkable. And when the suit is removed from the water, the water-phobic parts of the suit dry quickly while other parts remain saturated and dark, which makes the scale-texture of the suit visible in the light (dry) and wet (dark) parts of the fabric. Cool magic trick.

Of course the point of all this muscle-compression and water-phobic fabric is to improve aquadynamics, but it also makes the suit a real treat for the fetishist. As you might guess, the best suits are the full-coverage full-leg, full-arm suits. The combination of the full coverage, the super-tight fit, unique texture, and combination of colored panels and muscle-hugging seams make these suits really unique in my collection.

There are other companies that make full-body swimsuits. Adidas makes a somewhat less-exotic suit using a more traditional lycra fabric and subtler styling; most of their models are basic black with some contrast striping in yellow or silver. These are actually fairly hard to find and sell for a premium on ebay when you can find them. I don't find them nearly as kinky as the FastSkin suits, but they are pretty popular in the fetish community, I think.

There's another, lesser-known brand of full-coverage suit which falls somewhere in-between a swimsuit and wetsuit, from a company called Aquasphere. These are relatively cheap and are interesting because they are constructed from a combination of very thin neoprene panels and spandex/lycra panels. Depending on the water temperature, they make models with more or less neoprene composition, and probably with different thicknesses of neoprene. I like their choice of colors, using high-contrast grey and black panels with prominent logos. These suits can heat up quickly, much like wetsuits, but I like the look of them when on. I've not seen this as being widespread in popularity with lycra or swimsuit fetishists, but I like them quite a bit.

So that covers it for full-body suits. Even in places where speedo suits are pretty commonplace, you wouldn't see a lot of full-body swimsuits being worn. They tend to be confined to competitive swimming or triathalons.

In the next update, I'll review a few brief-style swimsuits that might be more passable at your local pool (but not much!)

02 March 2006

Sports Gear #2 - Wetsuits!

Ok, so luge suits are hot, but pretty rare. And unless you live in the Swiss Alps, you're not likely to see them in public.

But wetsuits, on the other hand... All you need to do is pick up a surf board or a mask & fins and a wetsuit is completely socially acceptable. Even moreso than a Speedo or something here in the U.S. Of all the fetish gear I own, my wetsuits are the one thing that I can store in my closet and not worry about who might poke around and find them. That's part of their appeal.

For fetishists, not all wetsuits are created equal. For me, at least, what makes a wetsuit appealing is the use of a "smoothskin" surface on as much of the suit as possible. The shiny, glossy surface of the smoothskin neoprene has a lot of the same tactile properties of latex rubber suits, but the inside neoprene surface makes the suit much easier to wear, and makes the suit significantly more durable, and less of a hassle to clean and maintain.

So which are the kinkiest wetsuits on the market? By far the most common fetishist wetsuits are Triathalon suits, such as those manufactured and sold by the company Quintana Roo. These suits are sold at both triathalon stores as well as at hard-core fetish shops like Mr. S. These suits are generally entirely smoothskin neoprene and use vivid colors including silver and blue as well as the standard black. These suits are also made from a higher-grade of neoprene than a typical surf or diving suit, which means the material stretches further and therefore can be cut tighter, resulting in a very close, glove-like fit.

I also like the fact that QR suits sometime mix neoprene of different textures. In the suit pictured above, areas around the shoulder and elbow are made from a textured "ribbed" neoprene that allows more flexibility in the joint areas, but also adds to the novelty and uniqueness of the suit.

And again, as with other sports gear, the fact that the suits contain multiple colors and logos adds to their appeal. Whether its the superhero fetish aspect or just the fact that it is distinctly sports-related, I'm not sure, but I would prefer a suit with some logos to a suit that was un-labelled.

Another hot wetsuit maker, and a closer runner-up for me, is the Orca series of suits. Orca suits are also designed as Triathalon gear, but their color scheme tends toward more of a solid black look. I like their logos and the use extremely stretchy neoprene. I also like the fact that their color scheme and logos sort of resemble a killer whale, with high constrast white markings on a smooth black shiny surface.

Both the Orca and QR suits are pretty widely available. They are more expensive than the average wetsuit ($250 or higher) because they are designed for triathalon swims rather than for surfing.

All wetsuits have some inherent downsides for fetish play, however. The neoprene is designed primarily to insulate the wearer from cold water, and therefore will lead to rapid overheating when used out of the water. These tri suits are a bit thinner than deep-diving wetsuits, so the overheating problem isn't as severe, but still after wearing a wetsuit for fetish play for a while, you will work up quite a good sweat. Some people like this, of course! I find it a bit uncomfortable so I tend to find an excuse to get out of the wetsuit pretty quickly.

The other big downside is that, unlike custom-made latex suits, you're not likely to find a wetsuit with a crotch zip for "play" access. Some fetishists or fetish vendors remedy this problem by cutting a custom access hole in a strategic place on the suit. This is also something pretty easily done by the buyer at home. Because neoprene is stretchy, all you'd really need to do is cut a slit in the proper place in the suit and stretch the opening a bit to push through the naughty bits, and the neoprene will nicely accomodate this, and even act as a bit of a cock-ring in the process.

There are other more extreme wetsuit modifications out there for the hard-core fan. Rubberknite is well known within the fetish community for making customized versions of wetsuits that include attached hoods, feet, cock sheaths, and other modifications for men. I don't own one of these, but I find them very hot. His older suits were made from a somewhat more obscure brand of triathalon suit called X-Isle, but it seems he is now making non-logo suits. I sort of liked the older suits which, because they were cut & constructed from more than one suit, had logos placed at odd angles on the wearer's hood. I'd certainly like to try one out, they seem very pervy.

So QR and Orca are the most popular, but there are a few other vendors worth exploring. Camaro wetsuits, a company from Austria, makes a wide range of wetsuits, ranging from the incredibly tame to the pretty exotic. If you can find them, they tend to be much lower priced than triathalon suits, but the materials are not quite as high-end or exotic. But they do make a number of mostly smooth-skin wetsuits that have definite fetish appeal. Check out ebay.com or ebay.de for bargains. It helps to speak a bit of German to find the best items out there from the Camaro line, they are not well represented in the US market.

I find that more men than women are turned on by wetsuit play, like many other aspects of rubber fetishism. Therefore you see a lot more gear, pictures, stories, etc. with male-male orientation. There are plenty of men who enjoy viewing pictures of women in tight and smooth wetsuits, and the website FetishEyes is a good place to go, both for the custom-made smoothskin silver wetsuits, as well as for pictures of said suits on female models. Well worth a visit, although their website can be frustratingly slow. I suspect it dislikes my browser in some way...

There also seems to be some crossover between wetsuit play and "watersports", for reasons that seem pretty apparent. But for me personally its more about the tight fit, the smooth shiny appearance of the wearer, and the way the elasticity of the suit enhances the physique of the wearer. I'd be interested in finding out what wetsuit gear turns you on, or what sort of play experiences you've had with wetsuits... Please share your fetish wetsuit experiences here.

24 February 2006

RubberPal

I just wanted to post a quickie link to this site RubberPal. This is a really well done site and completely free.

I've had not much luck finding a site to discuss rubber fetish issues and meet other folks. Most sites are either re-badged personals ads sites (like www.alt.com) or porn pic exchange sites targeted mainly at the gay leather/rubber communities (ala www.rubberzone.com). Nothing wrong with either of those, of course, but there was sort of a gap left when the long-lived www.rubberist.net started to sort of fizzle out under the weight of its own overly-complex forum system and change of ownership.

RubberPal is a bit UK-centric, but has a nice forum, decent chat room, friendly folks, and totally free, just donations requested. It has a vibe similar to www.bondage.com, but less focused on up-selling paid subscriptions, and the community seems somewhat less jaded and insular.

Also, despite some occasional friction, it seems equally welcoming of gay, straight, bi, TG, TV, and all the other letter groups that tend to cross over with fetish play.

23 February 2006

Sports gear fetishism

Wow - been a long time since an update. Thanks to those who emailed to pester me about updating.

I realized that in all the entries so far I haven't even touched upon one of my favorite fetish areas - sports gear fetish! There are lots of flavors of this around the web; anything from sneakers, motorcycle leathers, full suits of armor, etc. My particular interest in sports gear however is closely tied to my fondness for rubber & lycra -- skin-tight body suits such as those worn for luge, speedskating, skiing, etc.

In some ways skin tight sports suits are even hotter than custom-made lycra outfits or rubber catsuits because its simultaneously incredibly kinky and socially acceptable. Granted, its only acceptable in that 1% of society who can attain the upper echelons of sports achievement and get into the Olympics or college sports. But the fact remains that in the right context, wearing sports gear in public is completely acceptable.

I think there's also an element of "superhero" fetish to this. The people you see in the winter Olympics wearing these skin-tight outfits who are incredibly fit, top athletes. So by wearing the same gear, you sort of put yourself into their shoes, and can have that same feeling of being "elite" or above the common folk. I don't think its much different than buying Air Jordan shoes to feel a little bit more like MJ, its just a bit more expensive and a bit more extreme.

So what specifically do I find hot in sports gear. Glad you asked.

#1 Luge Suits

This is my favorite probably because they are completely body-covering and tight, and also typically made of a rubberized-fabric. Similar (identical, practically) to the PVC-coated spandex suits I mentioned in previous entries, Luge suits are the most fetishy of sports apparel, but also the hardest to find (and hardest to wear in their proper context, since few of us have access to a nearby luge run). The first time I saw this type of suit it was actually in an Olympic speed-skiing event, and the overall effect of the rubberized suit and the crazy aerodynamic helmet was incredibly erotic.




Luge suits are somewhat hard to find even on the web, but there are several places that make them for around $200 or more. One of the better places to order from is RadicalSpeed in Canada, who make mostly rubberized bike gear (also hot!). They have two styles of winter sports suits. The suit itself is incredibly tight and shiny, just like I love it. It includes those cool thumb-loops to keep the arms properly in place, and extra-wide flaring at the ankle (which aren't particularly useful for the suits more fetishy uses, but you have to take the good with the bad).

Sports suits like this are also cool because they are frequently silk screened with letters or graphics for sponsors or the manufacturer. This to me adds to the kinkiness of the gear, making the sports-god fantasy more realistic, and making the gear stand out from the normal bespoke deviant-wear.

The bright color and shiny appearance really get my motor running. Most folks assume a suit like this is latex, but really the inside texture is exactly like any lycra garment, except a bit less stretchy, which means that an accurate fit is even more important. Because its designed to minimize wind drag, the zippers are usually also small and nicely hidden, giving an incredible smooth look to the suit and a nice tight feeling when worn.

More kinky sports gear in the next post!

14 March 2005

San Francisco Fetish Ball 2005

One thing I've never done, not really done, is wear latex in public.

It's definitely been a fantasy of mine, and I've dabbled in it occasionally. Once or twice I have worn a catsuit discretely under street clothes on small errands for an hour or two, but that hardly counts.

So for me, the last-minute discovery that the San Francisco Fetish Ball was being held that very Saturday was a good excuse to realize this long-term fantasy in a relatively safe setting. I figured if I was going to be surrounded by fellow fetishists, there was very little chance of any "negative" experience happening. And, for the most part, that was true.

For most of the Saturday before the event started, I chatted with folks online and searched around for any positive or negative reviews of the event. I found very little un-biased information of any sort, just the event notices on the websites of the major sponsors (unsurprisingly, positive!).

In the end, I convinced myself to give the event a try, if for no other reason than to have a public experience dressed in rubber. Even if the event sucked, I reasoned, I'd still remember it fondly.

Eventually, I decided to wear a thin, 2-tone catsuit I purchased a couple years back from House of Whacks via Ebay. I figured it would stay relatively cool in a potentially crowded event, and it was a bit more interesting than just basic black. A friend suggested perhaps a bright-yellow PVC number I purchased more recently, but I didn't want to blind people, but was hoping for a little attention at least.

I toyed with the idea of "accessorizing" a bit, like a collar, wrist cuffs, or even a "tail" perhaps. Eventually, however, I convinced myself that would be too extreme or provocative for that event. I actually "whimped out" a bit by opting to wear some leather pants over the catsuit bottom. This made the catsuit look more like a latex shirt coupled with standard pants. I figured this would have the positive effect of having pockets, and I'd always have the option to take them off if the event was more full of rubber-fans than I thought.


House of Whacks 2-tone suit

So I opted for some wet silicone lube, donned the suit and the leahter pants, and headed into the City. At least, I felt very conflicted while driving in exposed fetish gear. It was already dark out, but I could sense drivers in other cars looking at me at stoplights. I felt a bit sweaty and nervous while pulling onto the freeway. Turned on, for sure, but also nervous. As I got closer to the event, I become more and more comfortable with what I was wearing. When I got to the event location, I was emboldened by seeing a line of fellow pervs lined up outside the hall, waiting to get in. I drove around the block a few times to find a good parking spot and try to get a sense of how 'extreme' the wardrobe of the crowd was, and eventually parked and walked over.

Folks in line seemed very friendly -- pretty much every sort of attire was represented. I was happy to see someone hop in line right behind me in a full black catsuit, very tight and sexy. I immediately felt a tinge of regret for having opted to wear the leather pants. Leather is really not my thing and wearing them was sort of a cop-out, I think. Seeing others flaunting nothing-but-rubber made me feel bad for not going "all the way" so to speak.

The crowd was very mixed. I'd say approximately 20% of folks had some measure of rubber wear on, only about 5% were sporting full suits or anything I'd consider "extreme". At least half the folks in line and in the event seemed to be dressing mainly to the minimum to pass the dress code for the event. In this case minimum seemed to be leather pants or chaps and a T-shirt.

Once inside the event, the main thing to "do" was basically to mill about and check out all the other attendees. There was a huge variety of sights to see, the crowd was fairly evenly gender mixed, perhaps 60/40 M/F. The fetishes on display really ran the gamut. Slaves on leashes, costumes of all types, military uniforms, leather harnesses, doctors and nurses, rubber animals, police officers, full-coverage rubber with gas masks, techo-fetish robots, even a guy wrapped in a shower curtain.

I was a bit disappointed to not see a bit more full-coverage rubber and more extreme masks or restraints. There were definitely some displays that were real turn-ons, but the vast majority of people seemed somewhat tame, or just taking their fetish in a different direction than what gets me excited. But hey, c'est la vie, it really demonstrated the variety of the "scene" in general, and you have to like that.

So that was the good part. What about the bad part. Well, I personally think the event was not very well run, and not generally that much fun for me. Or at least not a good value for the money. Even though the event was billed as "4 stories", only those with VIP passes had access to anything but the ground floor. I really despise this sort of LA-style velvet-rope syndrome. I don't want bouncers checking the color of my wrist band and saying which stairs I can go up and so on, that's just lame.

Also the music selection and lighting just didn't do much for me. The DJ was mixing what I can only describe as "1980s gay disco" mixes, I expected Donna Summer to make an appearance. I would have felt a little hard-core industrial would have fit the mood better. The lighting was a bit too stark and direct for me too, it was nice to be able to clearly see what folks were wearing, but after a while it made the place seem less like a club and more like a High School prom. You remember that scene from the Matrix (2?) at the fetish club? I wanted a bit more of that and a bit less Studio 54...

I also expected a bit more of a "show" to be put on. Perhaps they did more later, the website certainly suggested they would, but I stayed until almost midnight and nothing was really changing, just folks milling around and looking at least other. Frankly, after being there for about two hours, it just got old. I think it was perhaps a lot more fun for folks that have been part of this social "scene" for many years and attend year after year. Or those attending as a couple, perhaps they could spice things up a bit by acting out some public master/slave displays. It definitely wasn't a "sex party" or anything that would encourage that.

In total, I'd say Folsom Street was a more exciting event for me to attend. The ratio of fetish-to-street-clothes was somewhat higher at this event, but the setup of the venue and the carefully-tiered pass/vip system gave it a much less open, communal vibe. A lot of the hottest outfits I saw on display here were the same ones that caught my eye at Folsom, in fact. And hell, Folsom is $5 or something instead of $25. It made me even more despondent that I wimped out and didn't wear rubber to Folsom this year and ensured I would not make that mistake again!

One footnote - a strange thing happened after I was at the event for a while. I actually forgot that I was wearing rubber. For better or worse, being in this environment actually de-sensitized me to what I was wearing. Oddly, I think this was a negative. I had built up this fantasy or fear about being in rubber in public, but when you take away the taboo by being in a room full of like-dressed people, it also removes the thrill of things.

I definitely wish I had dressed more extremely than I did -- lose the leather pants, add a tail or a gasmask, perhaps additional bondage bits and pieces, to try to feel a little bit more shocking amongst the crowd. As it was, I almost started to feel like the "tourist". I would estimate maybe only 10% of the folks there were dressed in a way I would term "extreme" in some way, I almost immediately felt envious of them, wishing I could join their number. Definitely if I were to attend again, I would try to push the limits as far as possible to get back the thrill of pushing the envelope in an environment where that is not at all easy.