Wow, what to say about Fetishcon. Lots of people had tried to describe it to me, but still I had no idea of what to expect. It feels inconceivable until you get there that a whole, corporate, downtown hotel can genuinely become a 3+ day fetish party, with play sessions happening downstairs whilst upstairs the world’s top fetish models rush from shoot to shoot in the hotels numerous rooms and suites. But as soon as I walked through the hotel’s doors, I was plunged into a new world. I was shy about explaining who I was when the check-in staff couldn’t find my booking. ‘I’m here for the, errrrr, convention’ I stammered rather foolishly. The clerk gave me a kind but slightly pitying look and found me a room.
And on the 14th floor, overlooking the city’s towerblocks and the hotel’s pool, I found the room I’d be sharing with Hywel for the next 6 days. It was beautiful. I didn’t have long to appreciate it though - I had a shoot to get to.
After returning from 3 fun hours with a gentlemanly photographer who was extremely careful to work around my injury and who turned out also to be from the UK (he’d done a fantastic job of turning his room into a dungeon studio, with ropes and restraints hanging all over the place) I got back to my room to find my husband waiting for me.
Gosh, it was good to see him. We’d both been anxious on parting, I’d been particularly concerned that by the time I saw him again I’d have got myself into an even worse physical mess and that he’d feel he had to pick up the pieces. And I really wanted both of us to have fun if we possibly could; being here felt like a chance in a lifetime and I didn’t want to wreck it. I was so happy to be able to reassure him that yes I was in pain, and yes I was still anxious, and frightened about the future; but I hadn’t done myself any further damage since everyone had adapted their shoots to my limitations. It gave me some hope that I’d still be able to shoot for Restrained Elegance in the near future if we were careful and maybe did part-day shoots rather than full weeks. It felt marvelous to be the USA together, ready to experience Fetishcon.
The next day, we both woke up before 6am because Hywel’s jetlag had mysteriously infected me. We decided to get up and go to the pool to watch the sun come up. It was beautiful with the sunrise’s pinkish light reflecting off the mirrored glass surfaces of the surrounding tower blocks. And, at risk of sounding a bit (massively) sentimental, I felt safer with Hywel there, as though I’d be more likely to be able to get through the rest of the trip ok now that he was with me.
That night we went out for a splendid dinner (with massive desserts) with my friend Joe and with Isobel Wren, a beautiful American model I’d never had the chance to meet before. We met in the bar which was by now filling up with the most fabulous assortment of glamourous people who weren’t yet dressed in full fetish wear since the event hadn’t officially started yet, but who were most certainly not the typical clientele for this downtown hotel. I started seeing faces I recognised and felt the beginning of real excitement for the opening ‘meet and greet’ party the next day. We watched dusk falling over the bay, and I felt a bit more peaceful than I had in a couple of months.
The next evening, Joe arrived for the Meet and Greet
and we also met up with our British friends @fantasydabblers They kindly admired my see-through glittery dress which I’d made especially for the convention; out of EXTRA kindness Joe had also brought me a box of Hostess cupcakes which I love beyond almost anything and which I was absolutely sure would have medicinal, knee-mending qualities.
Once the convention started, I was stationed at a booth (with a chair, I was extremely grateful to discover) with other models/producers as neighbours. A quietly spoken, courteous gentleman next to me introduced himself as ‘Jim’ and after a ghastly moment in which I said nothing but peered at his name badge, I realised that he was the great Jim Weathers, whose work both Hywel and I have been fans of for a decade plus. I became rather puce and spluttery through admiration; how awkward. Poor me, this kept happening. Lew Rubens appeared, as did Candle Boxx, Jewell Marceau, Sandra Silvers, Vivian Ireene Pierce... it was all rather overwhelming, but in a thoroughly splendid way. I couldn’t stand up much, which feels ghastly and rude when being introduced to people you respect, but everyone was kind about it, and Hywel kept me company for much of the time and kindly explained my limitations (well, not all of them thankfully) to people.
And meeting fans was absolutely awesome. Not all of them were fans of me, I hasten to add; some of them didn’t know who I was of course, but almost all of them were polite, interested, and interesting to talk to. I certainly feel as though I’ve learned more about what people who buy our work appreciate most about it, which is a valuable insight. And signing photographs of myself was also illuminating - seeing which pictures were the most popular gave me more knowledge about where my future as a fetish model should maybe go (if I can get back to something approximating fitness that is).
I got to join in with the annual Superheroine Showdown (fantastic) and the Fan Photoshoot (also great fun) and hid in my room with Hywel and ordered room service in the evenings - talking is tiring even when one’s in the best of health, and eating dessert in bed is always a good idea I think.
With the kinky fabulous Sarah Gregory, pictures courtesy of Joe.
And on the last full day of the convention, after being tied up by Jim Weathers AND Lew Rubens (golly) the vendor’s fair (and my booth) shut at 3pm, which gave me an hour to get ready for my Dallas Spanks Hard shoot, which had, of necessity, been scheduled last in my trip.
I do love Dallas. He’s the first spanking producer I ever communicated with, and it was the free pass he gave me to his site that convinced me that I really mustn’t pass up the chance to be a spanking model. So I’ll always have a soft spot for him, I think. I also love shooting with him especially these days because his delightful partner, Sabrina Starr, is so creative with storylines. For this movie (coming out on BluRay, oh my goodness) my character was a commoner about to marry into the Royal Family, but who’d had a hitman sent after her because she was common (me???) and therefore undesirable. For some reason, the hitman decides to spank me too - I’m sure the plot makes absolutely perfect sense but I was a) too scared; and then b) being spanked too hard to concentrate much. Ow; Dallas really does have the hardest hand in the business, 8 days on my bottom still feels like sandpaper. I think it’s going to be a fabulous movie; I’d been worried that having been in such a lot of non-sexy pain over the last few weeks might have drained my resources for taking kinky-pain. And it probably has to a certain extent, but the story sucked me in, and Dallas is really great at improvisation so taking the spanking soon seemed to be a matter of life and death. Which is just how I like it.
It was a great way to finish my US trip. The next morning we watched the sunrise from the pool again, packed our cases, had a final massive American breakfast, and prepared to get a taxi to the airport. At which point our amazing new real-life friend Joe arrived and insisted that he’d take us there. Which was a wonderful end to our trip; Joe and I talked ALL the way to the airport (Hywel rolled his eyes and let us get on with it) and I was very sorry to leave him, especially since he’d promised me that there are dolphins in Florida but hadn’t made any actually appear yet.
We’re home now; Fetishcon is a happy memory I’m extremely grateful to have, especially cos I could share it with Hywel, and I’m grateful to have met many new friends as well as being able to catch up with old ones.
I don’t know what my immediate future’s going to hold; I know I have to get back to physio and resist the temptation to book any shoots over the next couple of months. It was great to discover that I could limp through a few without any dramatic ill effects, but I don’t want to make a career of doing that - if I can I want to heal fully because in the long run I’ll do better modelling that way, but more importantly I’m pretty sure that it’s easier to enjoy life when you’re not in bad pain. If I can I’d like to get to a state where I’m not having to take codeine and paracetamol to get through my shoots; I hope that if I work hard at physio, and equally hard at relaxing (which is probably going to be a great deal more difficult) that I can maybe achieve this. My arms are still painful but I’ve managed to type this by taking plenty of breaks, so I hope that I’ll be useful to Restrained Elegance behind the scenes while I wait to be able to take up my role as a model again properly.
Thank you for the support from producers, fans, friends and family alike. It’s an awful cliche but I’m grateful to discover for myself that at bad times you realise that some of the people in your life are prepared to put themselves out far above any call of duty to help you. I’ll be forever grateful to those of you who’ve kept texting when I’ve stopped returning messages, who’ve carried on emailing even when I said I couldn’t email back. Those of you who’ve phoned, who’ve offered to visit, who’ve sent cards, flowers, and chocolates which helped me feel I hadn’t been forgotten while I was home alone and feeling like the world was ending for me. Thank you, thank you. I’ve been in a bit of a crisis; work has taken over my life too much over the last few years and I’ve been deaf to friends (and Hywel, who’s been sending out distress signals about it for half a decade now) who’ve tried to suggest that I stop insisting on leaping round the world in pointe shoes without cessation. If this experience is teaching me anything, it’s made me realise that health and friendship is worth protecting, even if it means working less. I just hope I’m not learning this too late.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped me over the last few months, and I’ll be trying to be a less absent friend in future.
As well as concentrating more on my fetish work, and less on the ballet stuff, if I get better.
(picture by Joe; I don't exactly look well, but I do look happy. Which I am, despite everything)