Photo courtesy of Bondesque
BONDESQUE SERVES THE KINK AND LGBTQ+ COMMUNITIES AS THE TWIN CITIES’ GO-TO FETISH SHOP.
There’s a significant overlap between the kink community and the LGBTQ+ community. And for good reason: We aren’t afraid to express ourselves. Whether you’re an expert at bondage, or you haven’t tried anything kinkier than some fur-covered handcuffs, the folx at Bondesque are ready to help you discover your own sense of pleasure.
Bondesque, which opened its Uptown location in 2013, is a woman-owned and woman-led LGBTQ+ business with a focus on all things BDSM and fetish fashion.
“Seeing a demand for kink education and entertainment, Bondesque began offering workshops and producing high fashion fetish parties in 2014,” says Bondesque assistant manager, Vincent Valcroft. “By offering a holistic and integrated platform of kink resources, Bondesque has established itself as a trusted resource for the kink and fetish community.”
Not only does the team at Bondesque include members of the LGBTQ+ community, but it also continually strives to support the community, Valcroft says.
“We have contributed to fundraisers and events such as the Twin Cities Pride Festival, Twin Cities Leather Weekend, the Pink & White Ball, the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival, the HER Minneapolis Winter Party, and more,” he says. “We remodeled our store in late 2019 with even more space for LGBTQ+ specialty products including leather apparel, pup gear, strap-on harnesses, breast forms, hip pads, other gender expression products, and specialty toy lines.”
Among the specialty toy lines are Oxballs, Fun Factory, SquarePegToys®, Hankey’s Toys, and Vixen Creations, as well as a specialty selection of strap-on harnesses and toys from brands such as Strap-On Me, Aslan Leather, Femina, Sportsheets, Axovus, and Kookie.
“We maintain a huge focus on everything kinky, including latex apparel, hardcore bondage gear, floggers, paddles, CBT gear, chastity play, electro-stim, medical play, and just about anything else you can imagine,” Valcroft adds.
In addition to its variety of products, Bondesque also offers many classes focusing on BDSM education for the LGBTQ+ community.
“We regularly feature Swindle Leather as one of our main instructors on topics such as Gay Leather Rope Bondage, Young, Gay, & Kinky, Anal Sex for Men, Prostate Play, and CBT & Chastity Play,” Valcroft says. “We’ve also produced a Non-Binary Kink class featuring Mistress Nix. We are currently running classes with a twelve person maximum capacity.”
Bondesque’s popular monthly Open Dungeon Meet & Greets, which are queer-friendly educational spaces for all people to celebrate kink, try new things, and meet other people in the BDSM community, have been paused due to COVID-19, but Valcroft says the team is hopeful they will be able to resume them soon. Two of Bondesque’s other main fetish parties are the annual Rubber Ball USA, which is one of the largest fetish events in North America, and Underworld Kink Halloween Fetish Party.
“This year’s event will take place on the weekend of August 6-7 with venue locations at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Historic Concord Exchange in South St. Paul,” Valcroft says. “For more information, please visit www.rubberballusa.com. Tickets are not yet on sale as we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, but updates will be forthcoming.”
Bondesque has been a staple in the kink and LGBTQ+ communities since its opening in 2013, but, like all small businesses, it faced its fair share of difficulties during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has been immensely difficult for small, local businesses, and we are no exception. Early on in the pandemic, we implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which includes rigorous sanitizing standards for all equipment, hand sanitizing for all visitors, a mask requirement, and a limitation on the number of customers in the shop,” Valcroft says. “During the pandemic, we launched a brand new website which has helped us to provide new options for curbside pickup and faster than ever shipping for online orders.”
Because the pandemic required everything to go online for a while, Valcroft says Bondesque’s online presence has really taken off, giving him hope for the company’s bright future.
“I see us continuing to serve the kink and LGBTQ+ communities as the Twin Cities’ go-to fetish shop, and I see our shop’s online presence and reach growing even more,” he says.