Preparing for a BDSM Convention

So you’ve taken the plunge and bought tickets for a BDSM convention! Congrats! Now you have to decide what to pack and how to get ready for a wonderful weekend. Here’s a few tips to get ready without being overwhelmed.

Confirm dates, travel, general itinerary

One of the first things I like to do is set up a page in my kink bullet journal or my personal planner with basic information. I keep track of:

  • The convention dates – make sure those who are working schedule time off
  • Travel dates – sometimes we add a day on one side or the other of the convention to give us extra time to travel depending on how far away the con is. Remember to book an extra night at the hotel if needed!
  • Transportation and additional arrangements as needed
  • The location of the con, the hotel, where you will be staying if not in the host hotel
  • When registration is open, hotel check-in and check-out

Make a packing list

If you’ve traveled before, you probably have a basic packing list in mind but here are a few extra things to think about bringing to a BDSM convention

  • BDSM toys – don’t forget chargers or batteries
  • Safe sex items
  • Any fancy clothing you may want to wear – some BDSM cons have special events that encourage nicer dress. Cons are also a great time to dress in different clothing and try out new things
  • Notebook and pens for class notes
  • Cash or dedicated card for vendors
  • Specialty items – one convention we went to was at a campground so I had to take care to pack everything we would need for camping for several days
  • Snacks

Review the convention schedule

I personally love reviewing schedules before heading to cons. I like knowing what the general schedule looks like and picking out classes ahead of time. You’ll receive a schedule when you register at the con and can easily do this the first day you’re there.

  • Note times of registration, social events, and other activities you’re interested in
  • What classes are you interested in taking?
  • Plan meal times – some conventions have meal plans but not all. You can also check ahead for restaurants in or near the hotel you’re staying at
  • Dungeon time – many cons have dungeons open all day and night long. You don’t have to wait for the sun to go down to play

See what friends are going

One of the best parts about going to a con is seeing people and connecting. I love going and reconnecting with people I don’t get to see often because we don’t live locally to each other. And it’s always great to know that there are familiar faces from your location going just in case you get nervous or need a helping hand.

Also, if you need to carpool or share a room, finding out who is going is a great way to solve that! I have done both with friends to save costs all around.

Make plans for after the convention

If you’ve never heard of drop, I urge you to read this section.

Drop is a phenomenon that frequently occurs after play. You may have heard of sub-drop or dom-drop. It’s the day after feelings of feeling down or lost, maybe angry or frustrated. Sometimes it hits the day after, sometimes it takes a couple of days.

Drop happens with conventions too. I personally get exhausted, weepy, and sometimes a little short-tempered. Eating regularly and drinking plenty of water help a lot along with naps. I know some folks who try to play a little when they get home or have sex to combat the drop. Sometimes you need to schedule an extra day off of work just to have some time to readjust to the “real world”.

If you’ve never gone through it, don’t be scared or worried, just know that if you’re feeling blah after a con, it’s probably drop. Reach out to friends, especially those who went also. If you have a partner, let them know that you’re feeling down. Have some good meals, get some good sleep, and be patient with yourself.

Have fun!

A hard lesson I had to learn was that BDSM conventions should be fun and about enjoying a dedicated space where I can be my full and true self. Don’t get wrapped up in going to as many classes as you can squeeze in. Spend time socializing, get to know people, and take breaks when you need to! Try new things and be curious. It’s a great time and place to try out new kinks.

Conventions are both for learning and having a great time. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Everyone there is just like you – a little nervous, excited, and into BDSM too. Pull off that vanilla mask and embrace it!

Every Damn Day in June

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