Last Saturday, I went to the Dallas Bound and Determined party at The Sanctuary. I didn’t have high hopes for this, mostly because a) The Sanctuary is not one of my favorite places and b) the person organizing it has never done anything like this before.

But you know what? I was wrong. Jennifer and her volunteers made it work. The crowd was a good mix of leather, bdsm and fetish types. Things went off pretty much as planned. And there were some interesting side things going on. Okay, I’ll personally admit that being able to try a vac bed for the first time might have put me into a better mood…But I can’t say that I saw anyone at the end of the night who was disappointed. Plus, it raised a lot of money for Bryan’s House, which cares for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Dallas.

A week later, it’s the Dallas Fetish Ball, held at The Church. This was my third time going, and I almost passed because it’s not a lot of fun to attend these events if you aren’t going with a group. But my friend Barbie from Kansas was going, and we’ve never met in person before. So…

Barbie’s a fun person to be around, and she looks great in a latex catsuit. She’s also someone very straightforward, which is unfortunately a rarity in the fetish community.

The Church is too small for the event; you can’t walk around or talk to people. The stage is hard to see unless you’re upstairs on the balcony. They’d moved the “play space” outside to the porch, which meant the place you could go if it was too noisy was unavailable unless you wanted to climb up to the rooftop-which was freezing. And the “energy” was…not there. Sure there’s a lot of people dressing up, but you kind of felt like that’s what it was-dress up. The people who I knew were seriously into the lifestyle who were there sort of stood out. Am I being jaded? Maybe? We left about 12:30-and people were still waiting to get in.

I know this is a big event in Dallas-between this and the Black and Blue Ball (done by the same people) there’s no other open fetish events. It’s a professional event, with lots of performers (though they seem to be the same ones every year). So they should know what they are doing. And considering the state of fetish/bdsm in Dallas, I shouldn’t be critical. But do you support something because it’s there, or do it because it’s worth your time?

So, I had more fun at the little, amateur-produced event than the big, professional one.