Oz Kink Fest will bring together fetish enthusiasts, curious couples, experts and retailers from across Australia and abroad. We spoke to Oz Kink Fest’s creator – Mz Mallice – about what punters can expect from the 11th year of the festival.
How did you get involved in BDSM?
I came into the world of sex and kink nearly 20 years ago. Through my journey I have redefined my sexuality and self, transforming from a heterosexual suburban single parent to identify as a feminist queer lesbian mistress. One kink that does define me as a masochist is my commitment to producing events and supporting the community through the facilitation of educational and socialisation opportunities derived from my events. I balance a very busy career with producing kink events and walk a fine line in keeping the two separate.
What is Oz Kink Fest?
Oz Kink Fest is an all-inclusive 10-day festival of kink that is committed to providing information and environments that facilitate the opportunity for individuals to consensually discover, explore, engage, educate and enjoy the diversity and delights and open-minded exploration of their desires.
Where’s it being held?
An array of venues throughout Melbourne. The Fetish Expo will be at Collingwood Town Hall, while some of the parties will be at Chasers, while the workshops will run from another inner city location.
What inspired you to create Oz Kink Fest?
I started my journey working at Saint & Sinners Ball, which is a Melbourne-based event for swingers. I loved the performance element of the event. As my journey expanded to kink, as a leather lesbian I felt a void in opportunity for an inclusive kink event. I started producing a small BDSM club that was very pansexual. During that time the Melbourne Leather Festival was in full swing and although it aimed to be inclusive the events only catered for the gay male community.
In 2005, I produced the fetish event La Erotica, and this is where I found my passion especially working with international performers and kink educators.
In 2006, I produced Hellfire Resurrection, which continues today. I found the high cost of bringing international performers and presenters to Australia created a huge financial risk, so I looked for ways of increasing the financial capacity of the offer to the international presenters to make it worth their while and to reduce my personal risk.
At Melbourne Leather Pride Festival in 2007, I was approached to bring together the inclusive element of the festival. It was that year that Fetish Expo was born, this gave me the piece of the puzzle that would financially sustain the international element of artists while providing the community with exposure to education and performance from an international perspective. Combining Hellfire Resurrection and Fetish Expo was the foundation for Oz Kink Fest.
Today Oz Kink Fest encompasses the following:
Fetish Expo, Fetish Expo After Party, Oz Kink Fest Social Munch, panel discussions, art exhibitions, weekend workshop intensives (48 workshops in two days), workshops from international presenters, Hellfire Resurrection, Klub Kunst, and every year some community events are included.
Who goes to Oz Kink Fest?
Anyone and everyone is welcome, but of course, we always attract those generally interested in alternative lifestyles. There’ll be leather and latex clad people, cosplayers, human pets, heavily tattooed and body modified folk and a high concentration of LGBTIQA+ people and their allies.
What happens at Oz Kink Fest?
For 10 days a huge part of the Melbourne kink community comes together in one place, regardless of their fetish, or way of practising BDSM, to celebrate what they have in common. The very public nature of the event also gives those curious members of the wider society a chance to see what kink or BDSM or fetishism is all about while staying in fairly familiar surroundings. What ultimately happens is a celebration of the kink lifestyle, and a chance to consolidate people bonded by their difference
What can people expect?
... to be tempted! Whether it’s beautiful items on sale at the Expo, education on offer at our Workshop Weekend, a party or spectacular performance, expect to feel tempted to partake in something we have on offer.
Why is Oz Kink important?
It’s important for any marginalised group to have times when they can come together to celebrate and socialise with like-minded others in a spirit of community and inclusiveness – the kink community is no different. However, as the event has grown and evolved, and wider society has softened its stance towards kink OKF has become an important gateway event for the new and curious as it offers exposure to kink without any personal immersion.
What are you most excited about for this year’s festival?
I love the international perspective – to connect with what’s going on around the world in kink. While there is so much online, nothing beats a personal interaction.
Is the event just for hardcore players, or can your average curious couple attend?
This event for is for absolutely everyone, regardless of knowledge or experience. We cater to the hardcore players at some of our parties, while the Fetish Expo is perfect for the curious – dress as you please and come peruse a marketplace where you can interact with the actual creators, watch performances, or touch base with some of the Melbourne community groups offering education and advice to kinksters of all levels and persuasions.
What can Oz Kink Fest bring to a couple's relationship?
So much! Fetish Expo is the perfect place to check out those toys, costumes and lingerie to spice things up in the bedroom, with the unique opportunity to talk to manufacturers and designers. Couples can also take advantage of our Workshop Weekend, particularly good for those newer couples taking their first steps and wondering exactly where they might fit in.
For a newbie attending parties at Oz Kink, are there any unspoken rules or etiquette they should be aware of?
Most of the rules are pretty clearly written out in the event description, and they’re the rules we hold people accountable to. In terms of etiquette, the ground is a little trickier as it often comes down to personal taste. The best advice for newbies is to go in clear-headed and open-minded with a healthy focus on consideration for others.
What do you think Australia’s general attitude towards kink is?
The fact that so many of us can’t be ‘out’ the way we’d like to be would suggest the general attitude is unfriendly, to say the least. I’d like to think it’s getting better, and the fact we have a growing kink event could indicate it is, but then you see the way our government happily gets on board with its support of the US FOSTA/SESTA laws, it’s hard to see a softer attitude to kink in the future.
What’s the biggest misconception about kink?
That there must be something intrinsically ‘wrong’ with us to engage in kink and that what we get out of it isn’t healthy.
Do you think porn is an accurate representation of kink?
Mainstream porn is rarely an accurate representation of anything… Within feminist porn and ethical erotica, there are definitely some beautifully authentic representations out there – Morgana Muse has done some stunning BDSM porn, as has Gala Vanting, Anna Brownfield and Louise Lush. Porn does have some accurate kink and BDSM representations; unfortunately not enough people are seeing them.
Get your tickets to Oz Kink Fest 2018 here.