PVV – the first ever BBW Fan Fest, 2012!!

When I heard about BBW Fan Fest – the first show of its kind *ever* – well, I knew I had to attend. This was for several reasons…

First, within the context of adult and totally not unlike what happens in the mainstream world, the BBW community has notoriously been ostracized and marginalized. There’s a long and multi-layered debate as to how and why this has gone on; but regardless, the fact remains that it has. Second, in spite of being third-class-citizened to death, BBW content is a pretty big deal. Lots of people love it, many people are involved in producing it, and it comes in many different varieties.

BBW content and the people that produce/support it are a significant component of the wider adult community; and, as we know, adult is a significant component of our culture overall. So of course I had to go. The following outlines only some of what happened and what I learned – enjoy!!

BBW Fan Fest 2012 was held July 13-15 at the Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. I hopped in my car mid-day on Friday the 13th (I’m wild, I know) and headed out to Vegas. Unfortunately, I was delayed by a desert rain/wind/horror storm of the most epic proportions somewhere outside of Primm and arrived at the event hotel later than I had originally planned. Registration was already closed, so I had some dinner and got some rest – I would be ready for Saturday BBW action!!

(pictured: screen grab of Saturday’s schedule)

After a little bit of pool time (I was answering emails!!) in the morning, I got my wristband and hit the floor. The show had opened at 11 AM, but by 11:45 it was a ghost town – there were folks in some of the booths and plenty of music and Voluptuous Entertainment burlesque action happening on and near the stage, but eeesh… I felt a little nervous and decided to check out the face/chest sitting seminar slated to begin at noon…

…and by 12:22 me and two dudes were still waiting in an otherwise empty room. This wasn’t looking good. But at 12:23 the most adorable woman ever, self-described “professional goddess” Delilah Black, showed up (along with quite a few more audience members) and proceeded to give a really interesting lesson.

She first explained the main reasons why, in her experience, someone would want to be sat on. They were: the desire for smothering/confinement and scent, a desire to be completely disregarded as human (ie treated like furniture), for purely sexual purposes, and for any other combination thereof. It was interesting to hear her discussion and professional opinions. Then she gave some tips and advice.

By 12:32, the talk was over… but then the demonstrations began!! Delilah called up several people from the approximately 15 person audience and showed us how to sit on someone’s face safely. After several minutes, during which Delilah kept talking and fielding questions, two men and one woman all tapped out.

Aside from her very sweet and encouraging presence, the best thing about Delilah was her empowering message – she invited the women in the audience to love their bodies, embrace their sexualities, and revel in their capacity to give and receive pleasure. And from what I could tell, every person in the audience loved it. There were couples looking for ways to get a little more kinky in the bedroom and men looking for new ideas to bring to their partners. People asked tons of questions, there was lots of laughing and participation, and the energy was great.

(pictured: you know you wish Delilah would sit on your face)

The next seminar began relatively on time. It was about photographing BBW bodies. This talk was really interesting, but the professional photographer who delivered it (Chris was his name) was completely up front about the fact that his participation had been set up at the last minute. Regardless, he offered really great advice about how to work as a professional photographer, both in general and within the erotic BBW market.

Interestingly, after some time spent on professional tips, a man in the audience asked a question – he didn’t want to know how to do things as a career (though he found all that interesting)… he wanted to know how to incorporate photography into intimate time with his big beautiful lady. The tenor of his question made me think that he felt being able to take some flattering pictures and the fun of posing might help her open up a bit…

I was floored by this question – although I “knew” this before, the real gift that was happening at BBW Fan Fest was not so much about the porn or the professional sex work. It was about the confidence and community that was being fostered. I felt a little thrill at being able to witness it.

But by this time I was hungry. I made my way back out onto the show floor, which had picked up some but was by no means busy, and wandered off into the Nevada afternoon.

I returned sometime around six to check out the BBW Awards’ red carpet. I admit that I had some sense of foreboding – was the red carpet going to be a reflection of the show floor?

Happily, I had absolutely nothing to fear. The red carpet area and the space outside the ballroom where the awards would be taking place were buzzing with activity. I took some pictures of all the loveliness – please forgive how amateur/crappy they are and instead focus on how cute and happy everyone is!!

 (pictured: Kelly Shibari and April Flores with a foxy model)

(pictured: Kelly Shibari and April Flores with two lovely ladies)

(pictured: Kelly Shibari and April Flores conducting a red carpet interview)

(pictured: the poised and lovely Mystique)

At one point, I saw Mystique (pictured above) being interviewed; and I confess that I stopped to listen (read: eavesdrop). She was talking about size discrimination and the like when the interviewer asked her what it felt like to be considered fat. She smiled and said in the most gracious way imaginable something along the lines of “Well, I’m not fat, so I have no idea.”

I loved that!! Because one thing I really got out of BBW Fan Fest was not that it takes all kinds (though it does) and not that there’s room enough for everyone to enjoy whatever they like (which, as long as it’s not victimizing and/or illegal, there is)… One thing I got out of BBW Fan Fest was confidence and ownership. Who gives a crap if haters don’t like what you do or how you look?!! – what matters is that you do and that you allow yourself to enjoy a world that loves you. It’s a really significant message.

(pictured: crowded!!)

Then, there was a nice banquet followed by a really awesome awards show. I wish I could tell you who won everything, but right now I don’t remember. I do however remember being struck by the positive energy and real community spirit in the room. (Fleshlight got a special award for being so mega supportive)

BBW Fan Fest was super fun, even for just one day. Though there were a few bumps in terms of seminar timing and formalities (based on the two I sat in on), this was so minor relative to the amount of flawlessness that happened elsewhere. I have no idea how the show went in terms of numbers and attendance, but for a new event catering to a niche market, it looked busy to me.

The folks at Fan Fest were rowdy and happy and sexy and glamorous and loving every minute of it – I was so so honored to attend, and I hope it’s just as luscious next year!!

 (pictured: BBW power, woot woot!!)

PS – PVV interview with the amazing Kelly Shibari here.

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Images, awesomely bad and otherwise, are all mine.

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