News Clippings about the Fetish Fair Fleamarket:
The Fetish Fair Fleamarket has been making headlines since
1992. Among the newspapers and periodicals that have featured us:
The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Providence Journal, Altanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Phoenix, Stuff @ Night,
The Improper Bostonian, The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, and Bay
Windows. Almost every newspaper in the northeast carried an
Associated Press Wire story about the event in 2000. Event
creator and director Cecilia Tan has spoken about the fleamarket
with WEEI radio's Dennis and Callahan, on WFXT TV, and WFNX
Clippings and Quotes
From Bay Windows, excerpt: "The event, the 31st of its
kind sponsored by the New England Leather Alliance, was a
convention of carnality offering classes, information, and
vendors selling everything from novelty T-shirts ("it's only
kinky the first time") to sex toys and dungeon equipment.
Perhaps most importantly, the Fetish Fleamarket offered kinksters
the opportunity to occupy public space together. It might sound
like a den of iniquity but it was more of a farmer's market of
iniquity: a casual and communal gathering where people leisurely
shopped and schmoozed with equal enthusiasm.'" (Brian
- January 13, 2008: Sex-toy trade show sports a global face
From the Providence Journal, excerpt: "There was plenty of the standard trade-show fare: the nametags, the maps of area restaurants, the eager entrepreneurs.
But this, it was clear, was no standard trade show.
There were whips for sale at the Rhode Island Convention Center yesterday. Ropes, too. And from the owners of Long Island-based For Your Nymphomation: luggage specially designed to cart your sex toys from T.F. Green to LAX.
Welcome to the 30th installment of the New England Leather Alliance’s Fetish Flair Fleamarket — a semiannual gathering of stiletto-wearing transvestites, leather-clad bondage enthusiasts and smiling purveyors of America’s booming, multibillion-dollar trade in sex toys and videos.
Chalk it up to enlightened liberation or the decline of Western civilization, but the nation’s sex industry has come out of the shadows.
And the business, it turns out, is caught up in the same trends driving the rest of American enterprise: the rise of the Internet, competition from China and the growing appeal of high-end specialty products..." (David Scharfenberg)
- January 29, 2007: Fetish Nation
From North Shore Sunday, excerpt: "Most of the people you’ll see strolling through the flea market shopping for paddles, handcuffs and lubricants are older. There are a few younger faces scattered in crowd, and every now and then you’ll run across a woman dressed in a maid’s outfit and gas mask pushing a stroller with a couple of small dogs, or a guy in a ruffled black silk blouse and chaps. But for the most part the guests look pretty much like the same crowd you’ll see at any Rotary meeting. Just like any arts and crafts fair that you can find in any corner of New England on any given weekend, the fetish flea market is a promenade of tables and booths with people chatting up their work to those who are interested in buying, or those who are just interested. The soft-sculpture cows and crocheted refrigerator magnets have been replaced by brocade-covered paddles and hand-stitched leather handcuffs, but other than that, it’s basically the same thing. Everyone manning the tables is church-fair friendly, and open about their appreciation for fetish lifestyles."
- January 27, 2007: Fetish Fair Fleamarket: Kinky Retail Event
Year after year NELA manages to create a welcoming atmosphere at the fetish fair for people across the spectrums of gender, sexuality, age and race. There are gender-free bathrooms, a page on etiquette towards transgender people in the program and instructions on respecting the privacy of all attendees. Besides all the slender, young beautiful perverts, it is inspiring to see kinksters in their 50s, 60s and 70s slutting around in latex and lace, to see fat people flaunting their wonderful curves in leather and satin and to see cross-gender players mixing it up."
- January 11, 2007Fetish Fair Comes to North Shore:
From The Salem News, excerpt: "The fair, featuring more than 100 exhibitors selling erotic merchandise, everything from "corsets and boots to dungeon furniture and restraints," is scheduled for three days - Jan. 26 through 28 - at the Sheraton Ferncroft. Organizers made a last-minute move here from Mansfield because of a dispute over a permit requirement.... Building Commissioner Bob Camacho said yesterday he would take a closer look, but he didn't recall anything in Middleton's zoning regulations that would prevent the flea market. ... In its 28th year, the event has previously been held at the Park Plaza and the Sheraton in Boston, as well as the Ramada in Andover - and would probably still be held there if the Andover hotel hadn't closed, Kramer said.
Most of the expected 3,000 to 4,000 attendees will be from the Greater Boston area, but others will travel from points "all over the country," Kramer said. Flea market patrons have booked nearly all of the Sheraton Ferncroft's 350 rooms, and organizers have reserved all of the hotel's function rooms and meeting space."
From Bay Windows, excerpt: "Boston's FFF is a unique
event in the national fetish calendar. 'Most of the other big
events center on a contest like Mr. International Leather or on a
party,' explained Danny Winters, 40, vendor coordinator and
NELA's director of internal outreach, 'and the vending is very
limited. Today we have 77 vendors, of which about 25% are local
businesses. The entrance fee for something like Beat Me in St.
Louis or Black Rose in Baltimore is between $60-$150. [W]e charge
a pittance...'" (Sue Katz)
From The Atlanta Journal Consitution, excerpt: "AN INTERESTING event unfolded in Atlanta on Feb. 3-5 when the Fetish Fair Fleamarket changed the view at the Sheraton Buckhead. This was the market's first trip outside of Boston, where the event has drawn thousands of shoppers since 1992. Attendees (18 and older, natch) also had the chance to learn at classes and seminars and bond at socials and the Fetish Masquerade Ball. But the eclectic blend of 31 vendors were the highlight, selling whips, chains, bondage gear and corsets..."
From The Boston Phoenix, excerpt: "Another Fetish Fair
Fleamarket has come and gone and the people of Boston can sleep
easily, their closets well-stocked with floggers, paddles, and
medical tools and visions of pony girls dancing in their heads.
And we have no one to thank other than the fine folks at NELA.
The New England Leather Alliance, (NELA), organized the
twenty-fifth meeting of the fetish minds on August 6, 2005 at the
Boston Center of the Arts/ Cyclorama. Over 100 top vendors and
craft people from all over the country set up shop for the day,
displaying every sort of fetish ware one could possibly want.
Patrons, some dressed in full costume and others in Gap khakis,
perused the booths, shopped around for whatever suited their
fancies, and mixed and mingled..." (Christine Walsh)
From Jewsweek, excerpt: "After 5000 years of persecution,
you'd think we'd be sick of it: name-calling, whips and chains,
submitting to dominance. We Jews ought to be pretty over that
whole scene by now. And we are-until it comes to the bedroom
door. Most sex experts estimate that ten to fifteen percent of
sexually active adults regularly go in for kinky sex-and much as
our rabbis might prefer to keep it under wraps, the Tribe fits
right into that kink-inclined population. Jews who like it a
little different have been going public lately, coming clean
about their interest in the intertwined cultures of
sadomasochism, bondage, and leather play. Many express this by
joining fetish groups: some general interest, some drawn together
precisely because of a shared affinity for knishes and kreplach.
At [the] Fetish Fair Fleamarket, an annual event in Boston that
brings together BDSM leaders, practitioners, and the just plain
curious, one of the most popular discussion sessions was a "Birds
of a Feather" [seminar]-a space for Jewish conference
participants to discuss pressing issues like how to reconcile
traditional Jewish views of sexual behavior with an active BDSM
lifestyle..." (Helen Roth Rosner)
The Dig, Boston's humor and culture magazine, interviews FFF
attendees in a snappy Q&A style.
From The Boston Herald, excerpt: "Leather abounded, of
course, but plenty of other kinks were on display: latex,
saddles, corsets, paddles, whips, adult diapers, S&M videos
and several women and men dressed as women being led around the
market in chains. Then [there was] certified saddle maker Mike
Derrick and his Connecticut shop, The Water Hole Custom Leather
Inc. "I could spend six hours creating a bridle for a horse
and earn $40," Derrick said, but "make one for a human,
$120." (Sean L. McCarthy)
From the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, excerpt: " The so-called
BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) "community"
may be on the fringes of society. But you would never know it
here, where the line to get into the convention stretches into
the parking lot at the start of the convention last Saturday
morning, and neighborhood side streets fill up with cars, since
there is not a spot to be had at the hotel after 11 a.m.
According to most estimates, there are at least 4,000 people
here. . . . Perhaps they look transgressive on small-town Main
Street. Here, most people look much like everybody else. . . "
From Fox-news.com, excerpt: "Peter Brownfeld learned on
his last daily trip to the Sheraton Boston Hotel, headquarters
for Democratic National Convention organizers and host to a wide
range of caucus meetings and convention events. Apparently, the
hotel serves many interests, Peter found out just a day before
departing Beantown. 'The weekend after the Democrats leave town,
I came across advertising that a very different convention would
be holding court in the hotel the following weekend. On August 7,
the New England Leather Alliance will be at the hotel holding its
"Fetish Fair Fleamarket,"' he said. Too bad Peter's
flight leaves a week earlier. . . " (Sharon Kehnemui)
From The Boston Globe, excerpt: "Throngs of people clad
in leather, vinyl, and chains descended upon the Boston Park
Plaza Hotel last weekend. Some wore leashes and chains, while
others sported T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as ''Got
Rope?'' This is the Fetish Fair Fleamarket. Thousands of people
with a penchant for kink lined up to walk through the historic
hotel's elegant ballrooms, where vendors from all over the
country were selling [things] . . ."
From the Boston Globe, excerpt: "From stiletto-heeled
women leading gagged-and-bound men on leashes, to soccer mom
types blushing nervously and clutching their husbands' hands, the
19th annual Fetish Fair Fleamarket held yesterday at the
Cyclorama drew a diverse crowd. . . .[A]lternative sexuality
appears to be thriving in the Boston area."
From The Boston Globe, excerpt: "Mention Andover, and
most people think ivied halls and alligator shirts - not whips
and chains. Yet as many as 3,000 sadomasochists and fetishists of
varied stripe are expected to converge on the Rolling Green
Ramada on Lowell Street Jan. 26-27 for the Fetish Fair
Fleamarket, billed as the single largest leather-S&M-fetish
event in the Northeast. More than 75 vendors are to sell cat o'
nine tails and flogger whips, leather restraints, piercing
jewelry, [and more]."
>From The Boston Globe, excerpt: "
They were whipped but not beaten, submissive yet stubborn,
dominating yet frightened. They were more than 2,500 sadists,
masochists, and curious on-lookers who convened at the Bayside
Expo Center yesterday for the "Fetish Fair Fleamarket,"
where 100 makers of whips, handcuffs, and torture tools hawked
their wares to a segment of society rarely seen in daylight. But
if the event began for commercial reasons, it ended as an
impromptu protest of a July 8 police raid of [a private SM play
party in Attleboro, Massachusetts.]"
From The Boston Globe, excerpt: "Forget the mall. More than 1,500 people did their holiday shopping at the Fetish Fair and Flea Market Saturday at the Boston Center for the Arts. For a $5 admission fee (which benefited the National Leather Association) participants could browse the selection of chain mail, leather, and even fetish greeting cards. The semiannual fair started five years ago and has since become the largest single-day fetish event in the Northeast." (Susan Bickelhaupt and Maureen Dezell, Globe Staff)
Copyright © 2005 Cecilia Tan & FFF Productions
Fetish Fair Fleamarket (TM)
A trademark of the New England Leather Alliance
Used with permission.
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