Maybe attending DomCon isn’t your first kink event ever, but if it’s your first time to DomCon then it will definitely be an experience unlike any other.
There are some distinct differences between DomCon (which is the first and only event specifically for the Professional Dominatrix community) and events that target only lifestyle kinksters (even if Pro’s attend those in a personal capacity.)
I’ve been attending DomCon since the very first year it launched, and have participated as an educator, a Professional Dominatrix, an MC, a Guest of Honor, a Board Member, an entrepreneur and now also as an author. Since I’ve had the opportunity to attend in such a wide variety of ways, I thought it might be helpful to share my perspective on how you can have your most successful first DomCon experience.
I’ve also included quotes from Domme’s who’ve attended DomCon, so big thanks to them for sharing their advice. If you have something to add, be sure to leave a comment with YOUR best DomCon tips in the comment section!
Don’t forget to eat & sleep – It’s super easy for the whole week to go by without much self-care. So if you can have some healthy non-refrigerated snacks and water in your room that will help your health a lot. The hotel bar & restaurant get packed quickly at meal-times so don’t assume you’ll get a table as soon as you show up. Plan ahead for meals if possible and make a reservation.
Stay Hydrated! Latex + booze = dehydration disaster, so make sure you drink plenty of water.
If you don’t show your face online, pack plenty of masks that you enjoy wearing. DomCon has an open photography policy, so you can’t assume your privacy is being respected. If you’re in a public space such as the vending area or registration area you may end up in the background of other peoples photos. it’s your responsibility to protect yourself. Most people are attending to have lots of photo ops. It’s ok if you don’t want to show your face, but don’t expect others not to be taking photos.
Be cautious about staying in the same room as your submissive if you’ve never stayed together before. – The event is pretty intense and it can make it that much harder not to be able to escape from “being Mistress” if you share the room with your submissive. I’ve seen some relationships crash and burn over the course of three days because both Domme and sub weren’t prepared for being up in each others space all the time. The same is true of staying with Dominants that you don’t know, or don’t know well.
“Choose your roommates carefully, the saved $ isn’t worth it if they drive you crazy. – Alice in Bondageland
Come early to attend the industry classes – They’re worth going to. They’re more casual, there’s a lot more time for quality networking and one-on-one time, and it’s a great chance to learn new skills.
“When you go to the industry classes you don’t have to dress to the nines. Come to learn and focus on that.” – Maitresse Renee
Bring some comfy clothes that fits your brand, so you don’t have to be in rubber/leather all the time. Since it’s a professional event and you’re likely to be surrounded by potential clients, you still want to make sure you’re looking polished and presentable. I’m just saying that doesn’t always have to mean fetish clothes.
Don’t get too drunk! It’s fun to be tipsy and have a good time and drink with your friends, but it’s not classy to be plastered every night or to be wasted all the time in front of clients. And definitely don’t do sessions or play when you’re drunk. You won’t be able to see boundaries clearly, any impact play will be sloppy and that all adds up to potentially dangerous scenes.
“Have fun but keep yourself in check: DomCon is supposed to be fun and some people find having a couple of drinks to relax and be more social helps but just be wary of overdoing it and making a bad first impression!” – Mistress Absolute
There’s likely to be a high level of overwhelm & the whole experience can feel intimidating even for the most confident woman. I understand wanting to get to ALLTHETHINGS but it’s ok to give yourself a break. There’s a lot of energy, parties, playing, shooting videos, staying up all night, etc. Make sure you get some downtime too, especially if you’re an introvert.
If you want to be a part of the Mistress photo, be there on time! If it’s important to you then Be. There. on. Time! It shockingly starts pretty close to when it’s supposed to, so if you show up late you might miss it altogether.
“The group photo is a test to see who can show up on time. Be there at 5 sharp or miss it.” – Alice in Bondageland
Plan ahead! – With everything going on, you’ll make the most of your weekend if you do some planning ahead of time. Take a look at the classes, vendors, who’s attending and special events happening during the weekend.
“Know your intent and why you are attending. If you’re coming to attend classes create a schedule before hand. If you’re coming to network with other professional Dominas, contact them ahead of time. If you’re coming to do sessions have them scheduled ahead of time, have a deposit or confirmation from each one so you know what you’re doing and at what time you’re doing it.” – Sadie Hawkins
Bring appropriate cover-ups to wear in public spaces. – the hotel is not obligated to treat you like a Queen or a Goddess or whatever. The rest of the hotel guests don’t need to see your boobs hanging out (wait and show them to all the perverts who will appreciate it!)
Respect the hotel staff and the other guests. – the hotel staff are not your submissives or slaves, speak to them respectfully. It’s really hard to find venue’s for kink events and DomCon has been with the same hotel for a decade. Don’t ruin that by being an asshole. Don’t lead your submissive on a leash around the lobby or restaurants, don’t go around practically naked even if you’re (barely) obeying the rules. It’s not hard to be thoughtful and considering others doesn’t make you weak, it makes you classy.
If you see something you love & they only have one or two in stock, buy it! – A lot of the vendors bring one of a kind items so you might miss your chance if you don’t snap it up.
“Vendors do offer professional discounts but do not expect it because of who you are. They need to make a living as well!” – Mistress Simone
It’s a great chance for your subs to spoil you! – Of course you know that, but with some planning you can give lots of opportunities for subs to buy you goodies. Tell your clients & submissives ahead of time that you’re attending, check out the vendors on the website to see if there’s anything you love and use social media to signal boost by sharing pictures of what you desire with a link to pay.
Booking Sessions and Video Shoots
If you shoot video clips, DomCon is shared-content heaven – It’s rare and delightful to have so many world-class Domme’s in one place, so videos shoots have become a big part of the benefit of being at DomCon. Group video shoots (like gang-bangs & multi-Domme beat-downs, etc) are a lot of fun and if you have your own video equipment it’s pretty easy to shoot content spontaneously. But it’s not a bad idea to have at least a couple pre-scheduled shoots because people can be (understandably) a bit flaky last minute.
Sessions are an excellent way to pay for your trip, with plenty of potential clients who attend DomCon too – Other than ProDommes, DomCon is full of men who attend to MEET their favorite Dommes and have a chance to play with traveling professionals. Again, having a mix of pre-scheduled sessions as well as being open to spontaneous booking will make for the most profitable approach. Bring your own equipment, but there’s also occasionally women who bring BDSM furniture and might be willing to rent to you for more elaborate play.
It’s fine to introduce yourself with your title to other Dommes’, but don’t expect them to call you that. You are not MY Goddess or Princess or Lady.
“Be prepared: Have some basic contact cards made up with your name and whatever contact details you feel comfortable giving to people; it is also handy to add a picture of yourself, if you can, so people can remember who you are when looking through the stacks of cards we all collect over the weekend.” – Mistress Absolute
You don’t have to be the most Alph-ist, Alpha in the room. – I’ll be honest, I think it’s incredible to see hundreds of strong, dominant women getting together and (mostly) getting along. Way to break those bullshit stereotypes ladies! But sometimes a Domme will drink her own Kool-Aid and forget that she’s not the only center-of-the-universe in town. There’s no need to be rude to your fellow Dommes or to try and stomp on others to make yourself look good. Because it will seriously backfire.
“If you have to cut others down in order to stand tall then you must not be very tall on your own.” – Princess Kali
We don’t need to be “Sisterhood of the Traveling Latex Pants” and sing kumbyah together or be besties with matching leather hairbows. But we can have a minimum basic level of respect for our peers & colleagues.
Not all submissives are YOUR submissive. Check that someone isn’t owned by another Dominant before starting to talk down to them and bossing them around. And frankly, even if a submissive is unattached that doesn’t mean you have any right to boss them around.
“Never assume. Keep your hands to yourself. No means no. Do NOT mistake politeness for submission.” – Jacqueline DuMonde
It’s not about pecking order, but there’s value in respecting the industry’s history. – I hate to break it to you my dear, but you didn’t invent professional domination. There are many, MANY women who have built this community in a world that wasn’t as accepting as it is now. Most especially if you’ve joined the ProDomme industry in the last 5 years, it’s helpful for you to understand that the women who came before you helped create the world that allows you to so freely pursue kink as a profession. No one is asking you to bow down or pay tribute/reverences for fucks sake, but it says a lot (positively) about a person when they recognize the contributions of others.
Con-Drop is a real thing, so look out for it. – “Con-drop” is the feeling after spending an exhilarating week, that you swing in the other direction and might feel depressed, or sad, or like you “dropped.” This is a great time to reach out to all these new connections to tap into the energy you felt at the event.
Networking is most effective if you follow up within 1-2 weeks. – It’s highly likely that you’ve made friends and potential business relationships, so don’t let them go to waste! Follow on social media, send a quick email just to get the conversations started and see how your network can grow with consistent communication.
“Once you’re home again take time to follow the ladies you connected with on Social Media. Say hi and keep building community online – let’s keep learning and supporting each other the rest of the year too!” – Mistress Servalan
“If you don’t know a fellow Domme in person go introduce yourself. While we all might know each other online, actually meeting one another is great for connections and networking. Be open to the differences in our styles and personalities. Also, patience when engaging in conversation with a group of us will gain you respect. Barreling into things like a bull in China shop will not.” – Mistress Simone
“Don’t be afraid of approaching another Mistress (despite how scared or nervous you may be). I personally think DomCon is one of the best venues meeting other Mistresses from all over the world, and where else will you be able to share and learn from so many well-established Female Domination professionals? Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is there. My first two years, I spent a lot of time hiding in the shadows because I was afraid of approaching a lot of people I followed online. I wish I ha come out of my shell sooner as it’s incredibly helpful and enriching to build these support networks as soon as possible! Almost everyone will be receptive so long as you are polite and respectful. With that in mind, do not think this is a game of “out-Domming” others as a way of proving your “Dommeliness” – that gets tiring real fast.” – Mistress An-Li
“Best advice I ever got from someone ELSE at Domcon was from Irene Boss, “I would love to shoot videos with you, but I already have hundreds of movies where I’m exhausted looking and I don’t need one more… let’s wait until we are both fresh for the effort” – Alice in Bondageland – Bondage Mistress
“Always wear heels, there are clients everywhere. You’re standing taller, you’re walking in a sexy way. Your feet will hurt, book a foot fetish session Saturday so you can make it to the Ball and through the weekend.” – Elena DeLuca
“Just because you’re new now doesn’t mean that you’ll always be. Learn as much as you can…better yourself with the classes and demos. And just remember to be yourself, because this is a group of professionals that can smell bullshit a mile away, and if they don’t smell it at first someone eventually will.” – Mistress Mia Darque
“Try and leave the ego at home… You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. No matter how well known/ beautiful/ experienced/ successful you are, someone else is probably more so! So just relax, be yourself and be open to learning from everyone. If you see something you don’t like or don’t agree with just ignore it. Every lady’s practice is different. – Accept that you will probably feel overwhelmed sometime and factor that in. Allow yourself some downtime if you need it. Watch TV in your room, grab a meal offsite, have a bath. It’s okay to skip things. – If you don’t know many people and are feeling shy make yourself known to a few of the ladies of the advisory board. They’re all super warm and friendly. You can also chat to any of the Guests of Honour.” – Mistress Servalan
“I personally create an itinerary prior to the event. And everyone in my household or that I am rooming or traveling with has the itinerary prior to DomCon.” – Sadie Hawkins
“Shut your mouth, open your eyes & ears.” – Mistress Emily
” Be on the lookout for a mentor. The entire conference is an opportunity to find someone to help you learn about the ProDomme world so keep that in mind when you are meeting people, watching play in the dungeon, and participating in a class. A mentor can help you make connections, learn skills and avoid making the mistakes that they made early on. If you find someone, be sure to speak up and tell her you are hoping for some guidance. Most experienced players are happy to help newbies integrate into the ProDomme community.” – Simone Justice
“Before the event: I would advise anyone thinking of coming along for the first time to get involved in some of the social media beforehand if possible (twitter, fetlife etc) and get to know some of the names and faces….. and do message other attendees and introduce yourself. Don’t bombard the featured guests with questions via social media as most of us have very full inboxes and a simple ‘hello my name is x and I would love t intro myself to you at the x event’ is much more effective than pages of questions you may have…save those for conversation at the event!
Mixers are there to help YOU get know people just like you! Go to as many mixers as possible and don’t be afraid to speak to people, sure you may get some snooty responses from some people but I always find that snooty, dismissive people at these kind of events are actually just not confident and comfortable themselves. If you can make a few contacts and arrange to meet at some of the other events over the weekend it will make things much more fun for you and the other people who are probably feeling just as ‘new’ as you! Don’t be too ‘clingy’ to one person in particular; although it’s great and tempting to make a one new best friend rather than spreading your wings but get out there and keep building those new contacts.
Keep in touch with people you met over the weekend. Send a quick friendly Fetlife message or email but don’t feel obliged to keep in contact with EVERYONE you meet and don’t feel offended if people don’t respond quickly or in some cases at all….. there are lots of people out there for you to meet and a huge variety of personalities out there so don’t expect to click or keep in contact with everyone out there.
Most Importantly: Have Fun, Be Yourself, Get Involved: and next year keep an eye out for the new people, remember what you wish you were told when you first arrived…… remember how you felt and go talk to the new people…. because you are only new once!” – Mistress Absolute