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IOWA CITY — From electro-sex, to biting, to wax dripping, to pet play, the 5th Annual Sash Bash is pushing the envelop for kink in Iowa City.

Coming March 6-8 and coordinated by 2016 Mr. Iowa Leather Rob Anderson, who lives in Cedar Rapids but works in Iowa City, Sash Bash takes place at the Studio 13/Yacht Club complex. The mostly male event already has about 100 registrants.

“We’re drawing people from Kansas City, Lincoln, Omaha, the Twin Cities, all over the region,” says Anderson, who runs Papa Bear Productions. “It’s beyond just the state of Iowa.”

The event is a smorgasbord of kink vendors, workshops, speakers and social events. It’s also a fundraiser for Iowa Safe Schools, the group leading the push for a statewide conversion therapy ban, and the Leather Archives and Museum from Chicago.

For the first time, the Leather Archives will present a traveling exhibit, featuring educational material and merchandise for sale to benefit the nonprofit, Anderson said.

“For the last two years, space has been ‘standing room only’ packed,” Anderson said. “It’s a really cool thing because we have a mixing of local community folks with people from out of town that are different. It creates an awareness and helps pique people’s interest.”


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The weekend line-up is a merging of  traditional and cutting-edge kink interests. Anderson said he’s especially excited about Leather 64Ten, a Chicago-based leather vendor that also carries kink paraphernalia like floggers, paddles, and harnesses.

Anderson is excited about the workshops slated for Saturday afternoon. They include forums on biting, and how to enjoy it safely, whether you are the nibbler or the snack; wax-play, taught by Cedar Rapids kinkster Miss Strawberri; and electro-sex, presented by Bill Dudley, who is based in Omaha.

Social events include:

• A Friday night “Meat and Greet” that is a chance to socialize, and enjoy leather title-holders practicing their stage and “Q&A” presence

• A Saturday afternoon “Pet Mosh” hosted by a group called Iowa Pets and Handlers.  “It’s geared toward those who enjoy any kind of  “pet play,” a fetish involving role-playing of animals and their owners.

• A Saturday evening “family dinner”

• A Sunday afternoon gospel-themed brunch, and a Friday night “Meat and Greet” that is a chance to both socialize, and enjoy leather title-holders practicing their stage and “Q&A” presence


• Two late-night gatherings at the “hospitality suite” for those with weekend passes.

Anderson says there are several ways for people to participate:

• Purchase a weekend pass and enter all events at no charge

• Attend the evening events at Studio 13 or the Yacht Club, as long as you pay the bar’s cover charge

• Sunday’s brunch is also open to the general public. Tickets are $10 and benefit the Leather Archives and Iowa Safe Schools.

Sash Bash draws mostly gay men, Anderson says, with other gender and sexual identities growing each year. All are welcome, he said.

“We’re bringing people together to make a difference, to make friendships, and to bond.”

 For more on Sash Bash, see Papa Bear Presents: Sash Bash 2020 on Facebook.