I had heard mixed reviews about the MommyCon After Dark VIP event in 2015. Some people said it was amazing and life changing, others said it wasn’t as much as it was hyped up to be. For some reason I was expecting this event to be something more than it was. Walking into the event, it was just a round circle of chairs similar to other VIP events during the day. Except with the speakers standing in front of the food table, the speakers were on the other side, giving space to those who wanted snacks, easy access.
For the price of $50, you are being served all you can drink wine, apple cider, water, and a nice little assortment of fruit and dessert. The chocolate dessert was apparently amazing, but I wasn’t too impressed with it. I had heard rumors of phallic shaped chocolate treats and baked goods from other events, and maybe even wrap scrap stuffies shaped like vulvas and penises, there were not present at the VIP event in Atlanta. You did however go home with quite the swag bag full of interesting items. All of which surround the adult women’s only theme of the event. The event was sponsored by Maya and Max by Moby, a teething jewelry line by baby wearing company Moby. I thought that was interesting, especially since the highlighted accessory you received was a silicone teething necklace, which was the only G rated item in the bag, well and maybe the EZ-PZ mat too.
It was heavily emphasized that the event was a safe space, and that the motivation behind bringing the event to fruition was for women to be able to come together and talk about the things that are often times non-topics. We are a new generation of women and it is time for us to speak about the things that matter, our feminine health, our sexual health, our reproductive health, our mental health. I think the best piece quote of the night that should be put on a post card and handed out at the event is, “You can’t take care of anyone else, if you don’t take care of you.”
It was announced by Team MommyCon that the event, while offered at every MommyCon will feature a different speaker and topic each time. I thought this was a positive spin on the session, and after hearing the first topic of 2016, I am drawn to want to attend more MommyCon VIP After Dark Sessions in the future, just to hear more topics. The event features an open forum round table discussion. There were no boundaries, and it really felt like a safe space for women to just lay out everything.
What took me aback was the topic of this session: BDSM. A special speaker was brought into the session to be the topic specialist and it was surprising to me to see who it was. However, we all have our things, and I think this was a topic that took me by surprise simply because I was not exposed or educated beforehand, or expecting it. I think the shock value was worth the ticket price as the whole room felt like it was in shock when the topic of the night was announced. I think it might have been nice to let people know before signing up for the event what the topic might be, just because I know my group may have had some reservations if we knew about the topic before registration opened, however, what I got out of the session proved that sometimes, being out of your comfort zone can educate you and dissolve judgement and prejudices.
I will admit that my sexual knowledge and exposure has been limited to Junior High sexual education classes, girl talk during pre-marriage bachelorette parties (for the virgins), the karma sutra (book), missionary and what happens when babies are made. My imagination isn’t very imaginative and the most shocking exposure I have had to unconventional quaintly talked about sex has been the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. So to be quite honest, when the topic was announced, I think I was in shock because of what I imaged BDSM to be about, and not because I actually knew what the acronym even stood for. My mind reeled with crazy scenarios and judgements for those who might be involved with this lifestyle, but I had to keep and open mind, for I did spend the money, and I wanted to at least get something out of this. What I got, however, was a decent education.
BDSM stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism. So that was the first piece of education right there, it doesn’t even stand for just 4 words, it’s and overlap of abbreviations. This for me was the first piece I had to come to terms with, and it was good to have been able to learn the exact meaning of the acronym to better understand what we were about to discuss. My only knowledge to what I thought BDSM was before the session was that it was whips, chains, and some dominating man almost raping a woman. What I learned though was that BDSM when done correctly should never be rape, and it should never be one person controlling another without permission.
The session continued on and as the topic was further explained and questions were asked and answered, the idea of BDSM became less scary and awkward and more a topic that needed light to be shed upon to bring forth understanding. While BDSM is not for everyone, or in my opinion most, it is really a topic that is not discussed, and because of it, I think there is judgement and fear when you hear about it. I will admit that the first thoughts in my head of the speaker when I heard she was going to discuss BDSM were shock and judgement about her sexual lifestyle, but as we continued to talk about what goes into BDSM, it was enlightening for me to really understand the concept of it, and why it might interest people. While the topic was BDSM, the topic of the evening was really about sex and finding comfort to communicate with your partner about your sexual interests and needs. I think the topic of BDSM opened the channel for the room to really talk about how to communicate with your partner when it comes to topics in the bedroom.
BDSM puts heavy emphasis on communication, as it’s only success is through discipline and communication within the realm of how far a partner should go, and how comfortable each party is. While BDSM may push boundaries, there is focus on making sure both parties are comfortable. This lesson on how to build a successful BDSM relationship, opened the doors on how to communicate with your partner in general. The topic was sex, it really is the highlight of the event, but the way things came to discussion wasn’t a giggle fest of teenage girls, but instead a deep conversation about comfort, communication and finding support amongst your village. The flower bloomed in the room as the comfort level changed and everyone was feeling open to discussing the topics of their choosing and asking the questions that they wanted a general consensus answer to. It felt like the event was longer and more in-depth than it really was because it truly was a women’s safe session.
I will say that while the event opening shocked me, and I know shocked many of my friends, it was one of, if not, my favorite session of the entire MommyCon weekend. This was a truly educational session, and the goody bag, while most will not be used by me, was really a SWAG bag filled with stuff that can be used by the woman. I could have done without the booze, and I know about 10 of the women in the room were with me on this one, as non-drinkers for religious and personal reasons, but everything else in the bag was great, and it was really a nice 5 minute experience to understand what motivated or inspired Team MommyCon to include the items that were in the bag into the whole experience.
If you are willing to take the risk of being blindsided by the topic of the evening, but are open to talking about any and every topic that could relate to sexual or feminine health, then I think this is the right session for you. It really is a locked safe zone, and while I had expectations for a comedy night out of some sort, I rather preferred the way things turned out. Being able to ask the difficult to ask questions, and be curious without being judged, or to be open to discussion without fear truly is a special experience that I think every woman should experience whether they have been curious for 1 day or 100 years. MommyCon really nailed this one on the head and while it was designed for the Mother, I think this session is good if you are planning to become a mother too.
Leave the kids at home, bring your best friend, and really enjoy a session where you can talk about anything, and for once, that anything is not your kids. If there anything you should fight to get tickets to, it should be MommyCon VIP: After Dark.
My only suggestions to improve this event is maybe not include the booze in the Swag Bag, but instead leave it on the table to take if you please (we incurred waste because of the booze). It would also be great if there was more variety in food and drink options. I would definitely pay more for a larger selection, and if anything, this event should be longer. It is a great event, and I think it could have gone on another hour or two. Overall, the registration and execution of the event was fabulous and I really enjoyed the experience and if anything, I really enjoyed the involvement of Team MommyCon and the speaker, it was grounding. It’s what truly changed my perspective and opinion of the Team.