Oh my...Upon entering the small underground area holding this event, one can see how any newcomer could feel out of place. The dress was unlike anything I've ever seen and the items for sale ranged from erotic toys, to... Mongolian-style war attire. It is quite easy to see how people can quickly make judgments of these people (i did). The media portrayal of this lifestyle has continued to be negative and fear invoking.
But if you take a closer look, you'll notice that the people involved in this subculture are friendly, and as "normal" as you and I. At one point, I had to ask myself why this environment made me feel so uncomfortable. In the end, it all goes to your comfort zones, where you feel you can relax, and where you know you cant. But with the generosity of a kind TA, I ordered a beer and began to unwind a little.
Speaking with the artisans behind the stands was an eye opening experience. These people seemed to go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. A shocking aspect of this day was how open these people were about their lives, whether it be sex, preference, or opinions.
The exhibition in the dungeon was interesting to say the least. One thing that stuck out to me was the way these people act out their sexuality, aggression, and love through various role playing activities. The balance of submission and power, pain and pleasure, and joy and pain started to make sense to me, especially as I looked at the stamp on my right hand.