When I saw Kinkfest being promoted on Twitter, I had to get tickets right then and there. A fun educational event about kink, with workshops, a play party and munches? TAKE MY MONEY!

This was Kinkfest’s 5th year and apparently the best yet. It was my first ever attendance so I can’t say what has improved or changed but I’m definitely going back next year to see how it evolves (and have loads more fun!). It was held at Xtasia, an adult membership club in West Bromwich (in the Midlands, for those of you who – like me – are convinced that London is the only place worth knowing about 😋).

Xtasia was an eye-opener for me – a comfortable, friendly, well-equipped place for kinky people to go and get their kink on in safety! Brilliant! If I lived a bit closer, I’d join and be a permanent fixture.

The event opened with a munch in a nearby pub, in which there were reserved areas for the kinksters so we didn’t scare the vanilla people enjoying a Friday night drink. (Having said that, at least one of the bar staff tucked a programme into her bag for later perusal….maybe we’ll see her at the event next year?!). After a very pleasant evening of chatting with new people which involved an intense and hilarious debate on the various uses for custard, I was sensible and took myself and the Mr to bed before we turned into pumpkins.

The next morning started at Xtasia with a welcome from the organisers then it was straight into the first workshop. The Mr and I had chosen “Negotiating and living in a 24/7 D/s relationship” which was delivered by Michael and Molly (of mollysdailykiss.com). They spoke honestly and entertainingly about their relationship, with many good tips and lessons learned. Above all, they were clear that the decisions they’d made and the dymanic they’d created was what worked for them and wasn’t a template for anyone else’s relationship. It was a great way to start the day and kicked off some very helpful conversations between the Mr and me about our particular dynamic and how we saw our relationship evolving.

Next up was a workshop on Restraint without Rope, which made me very excited. While I love the aesthetics and versatility of rope, sometimes it can be……a bit of a faff (don’t throw things, please – that’s just my personal perspective!). There’s so much more to life than rope – there are handcuffs, belts, chains straitjackets, mittens, velcro straps, vet wrap, pallet wrap, bondage tape, cable ties (keep safety shears handy!), tights……yes, that’s right – you can make a DIY mini-straitjacket out of a pair of tights. Now I have the perfect way to upcycle all of those pairs that develop ladders, hurrah! We got to play with the samples that Ropework and shygirlv had kindly brought along for the workshop. Trying to pretend I wasn’t desperately turned on was quite an effort but everyone else seemed to be cool as cucumbers about it all, so I couldn’t exactly fall to my knees and beg the Mr for a seeing-to right then and there.

Then came lunch – and what a yummy lunch it was too. There was something deliciously subversive about the plates of triangle sandwiches, nibbles and cake laid out among dungeon equipment in a red-painted room that greatly appealed to my twisted sense of mischief. Also, the food greatly appealed to my taste buds and I probably ate more than was decorous.

After lunch, Kinkfest organisers Amaranta/Amy and Demon Banana held a workshop on orgasm control. It was absolutely packed – evidently a subject dear to many kinksters hearts (or parts south). DB and Amy talked about their relationship and her denial kink, then gave a demonstration. Full marks to Amy for being brave enough to be edged in front of a room full of strangers – she’d mentioned it was a fantasy of hers and I very much hope it was as good as she’d imagined! I tried very hard not to drool throughout and even asked some grown-up sensible questions about the topic but I fear that I may have let out a tiny moan of arousal or two as Amy writhed and pleaded while DB teased and lectured. As it turned out, the next session we’d planned to attend was changed to another topic so I practically dragged the Mr back to the hotel room because there was NO WAY I could possibly function until I’d satisfied my fierce raging lust for the time being.

The final workshop of Saturday that we attended was the Art of Flogging, presented by Aemilia Hawk. She was both deliciously intimidating and hilariously funny (top tips: don’t fuck about with the face, the lower torso, small bones or the front of the throat. Everything else you can pretty much beat the shit out of) and to watch her demonstrating a ‘six-point Florentine’ was truly a stunning vision of grace and power. During the ‘try it for yourself’ session, I volunteered to bottom for a lovely new acquaintance of mine,  a D-type sadist femme who wielded the dragon tail flogger with enthusiasm as the Mr stood by and laughed at the expression of delirious delight on my face.

There was just enough time to nip back to the hotel, grab some dinner, rest, then get prettied up and head out to the evening’s entertainment back at Xtasia. Kink comedy, burlesque and……a play party.

This was my first ever play party and I fucking loved every minute. The Mr was being particularly Domly (he knows the best way to my heart is through my cunt with a firmly-grasped whip!), everyone looked fabulous in a wide assortment of outfits, there was Rhubarb and Ginger gin behind the bar, and all sorts of interesting furniture. We tried out a spanking bench, which was jolly good fun; then later in the evening, the Mr strapped me face-first to the St Andrews Cross and seriously went to work with my Oscuro three-finger tawse. OMFG.

Thoroughly satisfied, beaten tender, talked out and starting to droop at the eyelids, I was taken back to the hotel, fed chocolate and a cup of tea, held close and cared for by the man I love, until I fell asleep in his arms. I slept like a sedated happy log.

The next morning was a later start because we’d all had so much fun the night before, it took a while for us to come to life but over brunch (sausage or bacon rolls, mmm!) we were restored and ready for the sensory deprivation workshop. I think this might actually have been my favourite (although it’s a close-run thing as they were all excellent) – it was very calm and chilled out (although no-one fell asleep inside a hood as far as I could tell). I’d forgotten how much fun sense play is, and how intimate a connection it can build between top and bottom. The Mr was happy for some peace and quiet as I sat, blindfolded, earplugged and gagged in front of him. To his credit, he didn’t take the opportunity for a quick snooze.

By this time, we were both pretty knackered and when we heard that the Kink and the Law workshop had been cancelled due to the speaker having an emergency to deal with, we decided to head off back to London rather than stay til the end. As it ended up taking us five hours or so to get back, this turned out to be a wise move although I was disappointed not to have the stamina to make it through to the end.

So that was our first Kinkfest – it won’t be the last, we both had huge fun, learned loads, met many excellent people – some completely new, some faces finally matched to Twitter handles, a couple of previous acqaintances – and best of all, we found our relationship strengthened by the whole experience. I’m the first really kinky girl the Mr has ever been with and I think he was a bit apprehensive about the event before we got there. After, I asked him if he’d enjoyed it – to his own astonishment, he really had. Having only encountered mainstream media’s warped portrayal of kink, I think the friendliness, emphasis on consent and communication, fun and accepting nature of the community was a revelation for him, and I’m really pleased it was a positive one.

I’d highly recommend going to next year’s Kinkfest! Huge thanks to Amaranta/Amy, Demon Banana, Shadow and Decon for organising and running the whole thing, and the staff at Xtasia who provided such a comfortable and friendly environment.