Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Ottawa works up a sweat over BDSM boot camp

Two days, 20 workshops at Breathless

BITTERSWEET. The Breathless boot camp is the final group of workshops MizLilly and Zap will be putting on before they move to Texas. Credit: Pat Croteau

What if there was a boot camp where your leather boots would always stay shiny, no matter how hard you were working?

Well, Zap and MizLilly have substituted the commander for commando, and are giving us Ottawa’s first ever BDSM Boot Camp, Jun 21-22 at Breathless.

The weekend will include over 20 workshops, along with round table discussions, and a play as you like pansexual party on the Saturday night.

Zap will showcase electrical play at the violet wand workshop and MizLilly will lead a seminar on fire play. Other topics include bootblacking and leather care, flogging, and submission and leadership — the last of which will be led by Capital Xtra’s new advertising accounts manager, Susan Sullivan.

Beginners are welcome and the workshops are designed for everyone, says MizLilly.

“About 70 percent of the classes are 101, and the first thing we plan to ask in those classes is ‘What do you want from this?'” says MizLilly. “As long as everyone agrees on what they want to learn, we can just go from there.”

The boot camp will help people safely carry out more dangerous forms of play, says Zap.

“There is a lot of misconception that BDSM is something that happens against your will, or that if you’re submissive to one person that means you have to always play that role,” says Zap. “But it’s really about learning about how your body works, why it works that way, and how BDSM can really be a lot of fun.”

The boot camp is bittersweet for Ottawa’s kink community. It is the final group of workshops the pair will be putting on before they move to Texas.

They say that the weekend is their way of saying thank you to the community.

MizLilly and Zap are proud to have helped bridge some communication gaps during their time here.

“Coming [to Ottawa], many different organization were separate — you had your kinky people, gay folks, BDSM and fetish enthusiasts, and swingers — and where we’re from that’s not necessarily the case,” says Zap. “We’ve really tried to work to bring everyone together, to show that these folks do coexist.”

MizLilly encourages all people — kinky or curious — to come out to the boot camp, and hopes that events like this will continue even after her and Zap are gone.

“Even if every single class isn’t right for you, by supporting this event, more things like this can and will happen in Ottawa — and ultimately, more things will be right for you,” says MizLilly.

She says that when it comes down to it, events like this are really about acceptance and self-exploration.

“There is a myth that you have to be body beautiful to be kinky, but alternative choices are for everybody,” says MizLilly. “You don’t have to have a narrow waist, you just have to have an open mind.”