Looking for something a little more exciting than dinner and drinks this Valentine’s Day? Try New England’s biggest Fetish Fair Flea Market, which takes place February 12 through 14. Put on by the New England Leather Alliance (NELA), the annual flea market takes place at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick and might be the perfect thing to spice up the day for your and your partner. I had a chat with NELA’s Leah Rosenbaum to get an idea of what to expect at this year’s Flea.
Katie Lewis: What are some exciting new things coming to the Flea this year?
Leah Rosenbaum: RKO Army Shadowcast brings a massive performance lineup for late Friday night entertainment. They’ll perform Firefly, The Devil’s Carnival, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and a special Rocky Horror Floor Show starting at 10pm. They’re also performing some of their hilarious skits, including Yo Ho Sebastian, Cell Block Tango, and Twerking in the Rain. If you’ve seen them before, then you know how wild and crazy it gets. If you haven’t, then you’ve got to see what you’ve been missing!
KL: Tell me about this year’s BDSM Taster event. What will that entail?
LR: For the first time ever, NELA is hosting a BDSM Taster event on Friday night for those who have never been to a dungeon or play party and aren’t quite sure what to expect at Saturday night’s play party and dance. You can meet new people and learn basic etiquette for play around others while exploring and experiencing new things from the giving end, receiving end or both!
There will be a “tasting menu” of stations including spanking, canes, knives, sensation play, whips, rope bondage and more. Our station hosts are there to answer questions and give you a “taste” from their menu, either as the top, bottom or both. This is a no pressure event; feel free to observe, ask questions, try one thing or many.
KL: What are some workshops that BDSM beginners might want to check out?
LR: NELA’s Welcome Wagon sessions are for tops, bottoms, switches and undeclareds and are geared to give attendees to NELA’s Flea a boost up, a seasoned community member to turn to, and a low-pressure, social way to figure out how to get the most of out the event. This is perfect for people new to the Flea or to kink. They can meet new friends, get curriculum lists for the weekend or maybe win some prizes.
Any of the numerous ‘101’ level classes are perfect for BDSM beginners, such as Rope 101, Single Tail 101 and Pony Handling 101. We also offer many classes that focus on the emotional and mental aspects in BDSM such as “Best Kink Advice Nobody Told You” and “Negotiation for Introverts.”
KL: What are some vendors we will see at the Flea?
LR: Our sponsors, Choice Social Club, Tandy Leather, and Hubba Hubba, will be there, and we are so thankful to them. They helped make this event possible, so attendees should definitely drop by their tables and booths in the Grand Ballroom on Saturday and Sunday.
Many long-time vendors return to the Flea, including Mercy Floggers and RopeExtremes, and we’re welcoming a bunch of new vendors such as Untamed Undies and MSW Candles.
KL: What kinds of play rooms will there be? And what are the rules in those rooms?
LR: We welcome back the Pony Paddock, Photo Lounge and Whip Lounge to FFF46. Please thank Twitch and justDerek for their years of ropey goodness as they host the Rope Lounge for the last time. New this year is the Hypnosis Lounge. Any rules in addition to the standard NELA FFF rules will be posted in each lounge’s room.
Be sure to bring your worn-down leather boots to the Flea as our Boot Blacks will condition and shine them right up while you relax and enjoy the sights of the Flea!
So there you have it! Shows, workshops and vendors … definitely sounds like an upgrade from a romantic dinner to me. And keep your eyes open for my follow-up piece where I tell you all about my experience with the BDSM Taster.
Fetish Faire Flea Market takes place February 12 – 14; Crowne Hotel Plaza, 801 Greenwich Ave, Warwick. nelaonline.org. Twitter @Fetish Flea; Facebook: facebook.com/groups/197107962989; FetLife to NELAweb.