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Northern exposure

New kink conference lets loose in Sudbury

CALL OF THE WILD. Nate Solomon hopes to tempt Torontonians up to Sudbury for the first-ever Northern Ontario Conference of Kink. Credit: MASTER C

Think all Sudbury has to offer is the Big Nickel and the Inco Superstack? Think again. This month the city will play host to the first-ever Northern Ontario Conference of Kink (NOCK).

“Originally when I first decided to do this I would have been thrilled if I had gotten 50 people in the door,” says organizer Nate Solomon, better known in the leather scene as boy nate. “Now I’m much more optimistic and am aiming for 200.”

In northern Ontario there’s nothing like the variety of leather groups and events that can be found in Toronto, and many communities don’t even have regular queer events, let alone kink events. So how do queer kinky folks connect?

“The only ways that I know of so far is the website BDSM Sudbury or the kink nights at [Sudbury’s gay bar] Zig’s every so often, or NOCK,” says Solomon. “There are a lot of online venues for hooking up, such as Gay.com, Leatherbear, Recon, etc.”

Solomon returned to Sudbury last winter from Vancouver, where he was active in the west-coast leather scene, attending events in both Vancouver and Seattle. When he arrived home he found the scene was a lot smaller than he was used to, but not as bad off as he’d feared.

“The BDSM scene here is larger than what I had expected,” he says, “but it is, from my limited knowledge, not an organized one, which is what I’m trying to help facilitate with NOCK.

“There was a small group called BDSM Sudbury that has since gone dormant. At the time when I arrived they were doing monthly munches [casual gathering over food] and a potluck. Everyone would eat and then there’d be a topic of discussion.”

When Solomon discovered he had an in with a local venue the wheels started turning for ways of boosting the local kink quotient. “But there wasn’t enough of a community to get people out for just a play party. I decided that to build a community we had to start with education.”

Solomon started floating the idea around the scene and found that other local leatherfolks were excited about the possibilities.

“I have a boy under consideration,” says Solomon, referring to a male submissive who, if accepted, would both serve and learn from him. “I was having dinner with him and his girlfriend and he offered to do anything he could to help. His girlfriend got super excited and offered organizational skills.”

He adds that Sudbury-based Master C and his leather family — a group of kinky folk with members from Ontario and the US who have bonded for the purposes of play and support — have also offered encouragement for the conference, and will be offering many of the workshops available during the weekend.

“This event in Sudbury is just the beginning and essential in helping the current and future kinksters practice safer, sane and consensual BDSM/DS,” says Master C. “An event like this is a safe place for those throughout the north to explore their kinky sides, learn and share their knowledge in a safe way. That said we are attracting participants and presenters from as far away as Toronto, Ottawa, Michigan and New York State.”

In August, Solomon decided there was enough interest to take the plunge and see what came of the conference. “I made the decision to go ahead and gave myself three months to pull this off,” he says. “I wanted to do this before the weather turned.”

As a result the first-ever NOCK weekend, subtitled “Don’t NOCK it till you try it,” will take place Fri, Nov 7 to 9, kicking off with a meet and greet on Friday night at a local gay bar Zig’s. On Saturday Master C will offer up a keynote address at the Plaza Theatre Hall followed by an afternoon of workshops, including sessions on bootblacking, led by North American Bootblack boy matt; cock and ball torture and pervertables (see page XX for more). In the evening a play party will let participants put into practice their newly polished skills.

Solomon is hoping to tempt big city perverts up for the weekend. “I’m doing a big push in Toronto because it’s only a four-hour drive,” he says. “It’s a chance for people to support something from the north. I’m trying to put Sudbury on the map. It’s $65. You can’t beat that price. It includes the workshops, a catered dinner and snacks, plus the play party. You can’t go wrong.”

So far Solomon says he hasn’t had any negative attention in response to the conference. “I have no fear around this event,” he says. “I believe that individual people are a lot more open-minded than society as a whole would lead us to believe. I also don’t believe that there’s anything about NOCK that would warrant any negative publicity. Those who are uncomfortable with the content can choose not to attend.”