Menu

Photos Take Us Behind the Scenes at ‘Fetish Con’ (NSFW)

Arthur_Drooker_04

Arthur_Drooker_07

With thousands of annual attendees, Fetish Con covers everything S&M, from flogging to tickling to verbal humiliation. Now in its fifteenth year, the St. Petersburg, Florida convention brings together the most popular fetish models for a weekend of fearless exploration, a safe space wherein amateur and advanced kink enthusiasts can discuss—and act upon— their desires.

Photographer Arthur Drooker is somewhat of a convention expert, having visited gatherings designed for mermaids, My Little Pony fans, ventriloquists, and everything in between for his ongoing project Conventional Wisdom. He discovered Fetish Con while scouring the corners of the internet for his next subject, and found that the community welcomed him easily. Fetish Con, explains Drooker, offers the perfect opportunity for exhibitionism, and attendees weren’t fazed in the least by his camera, despite the fact that none of them knew him personally.

Drooker had free reign to shoot all floors of the Hilton hotel that hosted the event, save for a private nighttime realm referred to as The Dungeon, in which no photographs were permitted. On the vendor floor, he observed as visitors were drug about on leashes, tickled into submission, and offered free sampling sessions with available vibrators. Although many were engaged in the titillating activity, the photographer discovered that most guests derived pleasure simply from watching the event unfold. He was just one of many photographers who made the journey.

When asked if any awkward moments arose, Drooker mentions that it would be hard to make Fetish Con attendees feel uncomfortable. In this environment, everyone is free to be exactly who they are, to act on urges without fear of judgement. Throughout Fetish Con, an emphasis is placed on physical and emotional safety and trust. Daytime workshops are held on the proper ways to practice bondage, covering everything from the to the secure methods of whipping a partner to most pleasurable ways to introduce a vibrator.

While he was sometimes surprised by the level of kink he witnessed at Fetish Con, Drooker recognized immediate parallels between it and PG-rated conventions. Ultimately, he says, Fetish Con is about a group of people looking for a place to belong and to be accepted. As with all the conventions to which he has traveled, attendees equated it with a family reunion, a community that celebrates their own and welcomes them home with open arms.

Arthur_Drooker_03

Arthur_Drooker_05

Arthur_Drooker_06

Arthur_Drooker_08

Arthur_Drooker_01

Arthur_Drooker_02

All images © Arthur Drooker

via Cool Hunting

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!