Fantasy Fest, South Florida’s answer to Mardi Gras, parades into town from Oct. 23 to Nov. 1–feather boas, queens, chaps, conchs and all. If you tried the hotel route and failed, it’s time to snag a Key West condo rental now if you still can. The kinky time seduces regulars from around the U.S. who come ready to show off their creative displays of body paint and a momentary flash of, um, courage for plastic beads. The hundreds of thousands of spectators and participants swell the tourist destination to a veritable island of hedonism.
Duval Street transforms into a dance party with floats, wigs, live music, drag shows and cat calls. If you’re the shy type, play voyeur. If you’re the exhibitionist, channel that naughty nurse. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you if it ends up on YouTube.
If you can’t squeeze the fest in this year, there’s always San Francisco, the capital of kink. Mardi Gras too vanilla for you? Head to the International Bear Rendezvous in February to watch dudes scout dudes who don’t mind a little hair around their chests and girth around their bellies. The celebration raises money for local and national HIV charities. And for more leather daddies, hit the Folsom Street Fair in September.
It’ll be a hoot.