If you're enjoying your fetish, in whatever form that may be, but you want to get out out there a bit and mix with others in the real life scene, people who respect and understand you,where do you start? Well an event or exhibition is the perfect place as a first foray.
Many towns and cities have a monthly or quarterly 'fetish fair'. These are often set up temporarily inside a nightclub or similar, and you normally have to pay an admission fee. It goes without saying these events are strictly 18+.
You can dress as vanilla or fetish as you want, see how others dress, browse the variety of stalls exhibiting clothes, shoes, furniture, jewellery, toys, whips, dildos etc etc. You can look, touch and examine them and buy if you wish, no-one will judge you or hassle you and you will suddenly realise how normal your particular fetish or desires are.
There are usually lounge areas, cafés and smoking areas where you can chat to others if you wish, an excellent way to gently ease yourself into the wonderful world of kink! Some will also have an evening play event to test your purchases if you wish, maybe something for you to do on your second visit when you are feeling braver!
Fetish Fair Etiquette & Tips
It's a good idea to wear some more daring clothes underneath a cardigan/skirt etc. If you get there, and people are dressed up, you can then remove some outer layers to reveal more daring clothing :) likewise, if you feel out of place, just cover back up again :)
You should arrive and leave in Vanilla clothing, and get changed once inside the venue if you are wearing something extreme. Most fetish fairs will have a changing room.
You will see a total mixture of people; from a smartly vanilla dressed couple, to an adult baby, to a man wearing head-to toe latex. DO NOT be rude or stare, or whisper, they have come to the fair to enjoy their fetish. No kink shaming.
Most fetish sellers on the stalls are really keen to teach you about their products and will not look at you like an idiot for asking basic questions. It's also a great time to try new toys, such as the violet wand, which sellers will glady test on the palm of your hard!
Personal tip: If a stallholder has been kindly explaining or chatting to you about their item, you might find it a bit awkward to walk away without buying. a good way to make this less awkward is to ask them for a business card to their website, and say that although you can't buy right now you will be checking them out when you get home :)
Embrace the smoking area! If you don't smoke or vape, grab a hot drink or a beer and head outside. Not only is it a good opportunity for you and your partner to 'debreif' you will also likely meet or have polite chat with some of the other guests :)
Remember, it's about enjoying the atmosphere and being arround other people in the lifestyle as much as it is about shopping! stop and have a coffee, people watch, enjoy it. you'll be sad when you have to return to the 'real' world!
Cross dressing men/Sissy men: If they introduce themselves as a female name, please use it, along with the appropriate female pronouns. Please do not ask 'so what's your real name then?' you will look like a douchebag. Similarly, don't ask people about their vanilla jobs, or lives, people come to fetish events to escape those things.
Mobile phones and cameras are often confiscated at the door. Some events have a 'selfie' area, but photography is NEVER appropriate. this is for other peoples safety and anonymity.
Look on fetlife for local fairs :)
In the UK the top fairs are the BBB, the LAMB, and there is also a vanilla/burlesque/fetish fair called the Alternative and Burlesque Fair which travels the country.
Some fetish fairs have an after party! Our next blog post will go more into this.
Do you have any comments or questions? feel free to leave them below!