Chips, dips, chains, and whips at the Oz Kink Fest Fetish Expo

I have to admit, I jumped at the opportunity to review the Oz Kink Fest Fetish Expo – not because I’m kinky, but out of curiosity for the range of alternative lifestyles that people lead.

As I frequently do, I cycled to the event. As my plus one and I chained up our bikes outside Fitzroy Town Hall (next to a bearded, leather-clad gentleman combing his eyebrows), we considered whether we would ‘blend in’ in our lycra? (Activewear is practically a fetish in today’s urban society, isn’t it?)

Oz Kink Fest 2016 Melbourne

As we approached the entrance, we noted a wedding party taking photos outside the Town Hall. I suspect that when this couple booked their wedding venue 12 or so months ago, they didn’t anticipate that a leather-and-latex-wearing crowd would be gracing their special day. Worlds collide!

Once inside, we pushed through the crowd to the first artisan hall. Items for sale ranged from dog masks to dildos, butt plugs to bondage ropes, hand cuffs to harnesses, and many unknown wares. The exhibitors were incredibly friendly and willing to answer questions. In fact, the crowd, in general, was one of the welcoming and non-judgemental crowds I’ve experienced. Certainly no one cared that we were in our activewear.

The author makes friends who like activewear

The author makes friends who like activewear

There were over 40 artisan stands throughout the entire exhibition. Exhibitors included such delights as: Aphrodite’s Pleasure, Downunder Toys, S(A)X Leather, G-Spot Adult Variety Store, Cherry Pie Millinery, and Knotbound. Many of the vendors themselves were older. Were these the the forefathers of the leather subculture of the 80s?

The most memorable piece of merchandise at the show was a nondescript ‘flogger’ made from plain black medical grade silicon.  A fairly gentle tap on the palm left me reeling, and left my hand devoid of feeling for the next 15 minutes. (Interestingly, when the feeling returned, so too did a gentle desire to experience that sting again.)

Oz Kink Fest 2016 Melbourne

The most memorable sight at the exhibition was the live Kinbaku demonstration. Kinbaku, I now know, is the art of Japanese bondage, where specially prepared rope is used to restrain, wrap, decorate, and suspend an individual in order to provide a combination of pain, pleasure and sensory deprivation. The demonstration was – in equal parts – both beautiful and disturbing.

Unfortunately, the Oz Kink Fest Fetish Expo is a one day only event, so while it’s off the cards for 2016, consider visiting next year. The festival itself runs for 10 days and includes workshops, skill-shares and social opportunities for kinky fun.

– Anna
Anna E. is a Melburnian bike-rider, coffee-drinker, and dog-lover who is always up for trying new experiences. You might find her balancing on a slackline, training for a triathlon, or building a terrarium.

Keep an eye out for the 2017 festival details at

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of OzKinkfest.
Image credit: OzKinkfest.