Jan 072016



Do you have computer skills? Organizational skills? PR skills? Hospitality/service skills? Creativity? Are you looking for a way to put those skills to use while providing a valuable service to the community? Please consider applying to join us in the planning, organization, and execution of Beyond Vanilla 26!


What does volunteering for the BV26 Committee entail?


This is a significant time commitment that requires:


  • Meeting once a month on the third Monday of the month from 7:00-9:00PM at the Dallas Eagle (February—September, 2016). We may have extra meetings in the weeks preceding the event.
  • Your reliable and committed time and energy outside of committee meetings to the planning and promotion of Beyond Vanilla 26.
  • Your time and energy to the behind-the-scenes execution of Beyond Vanilla 26 during the conference weekend, Oct 14-16, 2016.


General skills needed:


  • Ability to prioritize workload to meet deadlines.
  • Communication and listening skills.
  • Easy access to and use of a computer and phone for communication outside of committee meetings.
  • Teamwork and willingness to support other team members.
  • A sense of fun and excitement for this event and its planning.


How do you apply to volunteer for the BV 26 Planning Committee?


  • Email the Co-directors at chairs@beyondvanilla.org no later than January 19, 2016.
  • Name the department(s) for which you’d like to volunteer. (For greater consideration, indicate more than one department). Please indicate the skills/talents you bring to the table for each of these departments.


Registration (computer skills, organizational skills, accounting skills)


Workshops (communication skills, PR skills, organizational skills, hospitality/service skills,              creativity)


Marketing (computer—social networking skills, organizational skills, PR skills, communication

skills–written and oral, sales, creativity)


Play Party (physical strength, DM training, observational skills)


Vending (communication skills—written and oral, PR skills, organizational skills, hospitality/service skills, creativity, sales)


Security (observational skills, organizational skills, strategic planning, communication skills)


Silent Auction (communication skills, PR skills, transportation, time management skills, helps if you know leather care)


Volunteers (communication skills—written and oral, PR skills, hospitality/service skills, time        management skills, organizational skills).


  • After emailing your application to volunteer, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.
  • You will either receive notification that all positions on the committee have been filled and offering the opportunity to sign up to volunteer during the conference weekend, or you will be offered a position on the committee.


Benefits of volunteering:


  • Be instrumental in setting the conference vision.
  • Work with other dedicated and talented leaders in the community.
  • Free access to the event, including the run pin, key note dinner, and play party.










Dec 022014

Would you like to participate in the planning and organization of Beyond Vanilla XXV? We need talented individuals who are willing to contribute a significant amount of time and energy to putting on this amazing event. All positions are currently open. 

Please contact the Co-Directors at chairs@beyondvanilla.org by January 5th, 2015 to let us know what positions you are interested in. Tell us a little about your background, knowledge and skills and any experience you may have had volunteering for these kinds of events in the past

You will be contacted by the Chairs to discuss positions available and ways you can volunteer for Beyond Vanilla. Positions are limited and if not selected for the Committee we really hope you will join our great staff of volunteers.

The Beyond Vanilla Committee will be finalized on January 27th, 2015.

Assistant to the Co-Directors: This is usually an individual who has served on the Beyond Vanilla Committee in the past, and who wants to take on being a Beyond Vanilla Co-Director the next year. This person will work closely with the Co-Directors and all other committee members through all stages of the planning process and execution of the event. Since we try to maintain gender parity, as it is Beth’s last year to serve as Co-Director, we are calling for a female-gender identified individual for this position.

Workshops Director: This person and their two assistants work closely with other committee members and are responsible for finding and managing our presenters. This includes contacting them, arranging travel and lodging and needs during the event, creating the schedule of workshops, and overseeing the workshops and Hospitality Suite during Beyond Vanilla weekend.

Marketing Team: This team consists of individuals knowledgeable of specialized marketing tasks. These team includes:

Marketing Director —oversees and coordinates the marketing team;

Social Mediamanaging, writing and getting writers for daily and weekly informational and entertaining messages on various social media (i.e. Fetlife, Facebook and Twitter) to advertise Beyond Vanilla before and during the event;

Website/Runbook—Building, maintaining and updating the Beyond Vanilla website before and during the event; This individual will also be responsible for producing the Runbook for Beyond Vanilla.

Sales—Responsible for selling advertisements in the Beyond Vanilla Runbook.

Vending Director: This person is responsible for the vendors and vending area at Beyond Vanilla. This includes contacting them, determining a good mix of vendor merchandise appropriate to our event, securing payment for their vending space, organizing the vendor area (table set up, electrical needs) and seeing to the vendors’ needs throughout Beyond Vanilla weekend.

Registration Director: This person and their assistant maintains the electronic and paper registration database, secures individuals’ payments for event registration and other amenities, answers emails, creates gift certificates, and fields questions from the community about the event. This person (and an assistant and team of volunteers) is works the registration table during the Beyond Vanilla event.

Volunteers Director: This person and their assistant are responsible for securing volunteers for the Beyond Vanilla weekend. This includes contacting them, determining their schedules and placement, and seeing to their needs during the Beyond Vanilla weekend.

Security Director: This person is responsible for managing a team of volunteers who see to the safety and privacy of Beyond Vanilla attendees and staff.

Dining Director: Is the main contact with the hotel staff during our organized meals.

Silent Auction Director: This person and their assistant are responsible for acquiring items to go into our silent auction which benefits our chosen charity. They are also responsible for managing the silent auction, taking payment and announcing winners during Beyond Vanilla.

Entertainment Director: This person works closely with the Contest Director to produce a Friday night show for the public to raise money for the contests and our chosen charity.

Nov 042013


NLA Dallas is forming the Beyond Vanilla XXIV Committee, and we need your help!

We are looking for a group of committed volunteers to organize and put on this annual educational conference and charity fundraiser. Beyond Vanilla XXIV will be September 26-28, 2014.

We are looking to fill the committee, which will consist of Department Chairs and their assistants. If you were on the committee last year and want to volunteer again, you must let me know! If you’ve never volunteered before, here’s your chance! Please let me know!

We need your talent and creativity!

Please email me directly at beth@nladallas.org to let me know your talents and interests. The positions fill up quickly, and we don’t want to overlook your skills, so if there are multiple areas that your abilities fit, and you would be willing to commit your time to any one of them, please list those. We would like to have the committee formed by January, so we can hit the ground running in February, so please email me as soon as possible!

Departments include:

*Marketing, which includes social media, website building, graphics design, and sponsorship sales;
*Programming, which includes presenter recruitment, scheduling and logistics;
*Vending, which is responsible for vendor recruitment, organizing and logistics;
*Registration, which requires organizational skills, basic excel skills, and communication skills;
*Volunteer coordination, which requires organizational and communications skills to recruit, schedule, organize and meets the needs of those who volunteer during the event;
*Social activities and Play Party Coordination, which requires organizational and communication skills, and working with outside groups; assisting with Team Dungeon and other social activities in set-up, dismantling and oversight of activities.
*Entertainment, which requires the ability to produce a major stage production and coordinate with the producers of the International Puppy & Trainer Contest and the Great Plains Olympus Leather Contest.
*Secretary, who is responsible for attending every BV Committee meeting, and producing, maintaining, and posting the meeting minutes.
*Silent Auction, which is responsible for acquiring, cataloging and displaying items to be auctioned for charity; and oversight of the silent auction.
*Security, which is responsible for managing a dedicated team of volunteers, including scheduling and protocols, as well as coordinating with the venue in regard to security-related matters.
*Assistant to the Co-Directors, which is a three year commitment. The Assistant to the Co-Directors is in training to become one of the next Co-Directors, and must be able to take on a leadership role with the BV committee. We try to maintain gender parity/neutrality when we can, so this year we are looking for a male-gender-identified assistant. While not necessary, it is preferred that the Assistant is an individual who has previously served on the BV Committee in a different role.

The time and energy commitment is significant–the committee will meet the third Thursday of the month February through July, then twice a month in August, and every week in September until BV weekend. You must also be prepared to commit your time to help during the BV event.

I can attest to what an incredibly rewarding experience it is to work behind the scenes of NLA’s Beyond Vanilla. It is so amazing to meet leaders, title-holders, speakers, and craftspeople from all over who also value education, fun, kink and Leather; and to participate in an event that means so much in terms of providing an entertaining and meaningful experience in the journeys of so many people.


Nov 012013

Author: griffin’s girl

This year I went to a place I’ve never been… in more ways than one. Beyond Vanilla (BV). Master and I have been out in the Dallas/Fort Worth community for almost two years now. Last year we were aware of BV, but had a scheduling conflict. This year, no scheduling conflict meant we could finally be BV virgins!

I’m not an event virgin by any stretch of the imagination, having attended many previous events… SPLF, SELF, local special events, and fresh from Master/slave Conference (MsC) in August. I plan domestic and international events as a part of my day job, and have been involved in putting together a few local events, including Bridging the Slash, subHaven’s annual educational relationship weekend. So I have some event experience attending, volunteering and planning, both vanilla and kink.

It took us a while to finally decide to register for BV. We waited patiently for the announcement of speakers and classes. While some definitely sounded interesting, we were still on the fence. Master finally decided we would go… mainly for the classes, and in support of our friends who would be competing in the Great Plains Olympus contest. We were too late to purchase dinner tickets, and did not plan to attend the play party, so we stuck with the basic weekend package with a discount thanks to our NLA Dallas membership. I signed up to volunteer as well.

I arrived on Friday around 1:30 PM (conveniently rode the DART rail into downtown to avoid State Fair parade traffic). Classes had already started, so I went to the registration room first to grab my wristband and run bag before heading to one of the classes I’d been looking forward to. Not sure if it was due to an onslaught of people earlier or what, but not a single person welcomed me to the event. Not a security person, not a staff member, not a volunteer. There were no signs indicating which line was for pre-registered attendees, on-site registration, etc. even though it was clear there were multiple lines. It was a little awkward, but after asking a couple of people I was able to grab my stuff, figure out where the room was and got ready to immerse myself in learning. (A side note here… I was very grateful for the large map at the entrance since the rooms had been renamed. While the room names added to the ambiance, the hotel’s maps and directional signs were useless as a result.)

The first class I attended was Master Todd & slave elizabeth’s class “A slave’s guide to screwing up with grace.” I LOVED this class! slave elizabeth is bubbly and entertaining, and Master Todd… well, when he pipes up, he has masterful insight to impart! I took away so much from this class that has helped me to grant myself the grace I need to accept that I don’t have to be the uber slave that I think I see in others, when the truth is, we all screw up… even the uber slaves!

Next on my agenda was the cigar play class with Master Konrad and slave jazz. This class was at the pool area, and apparently no one told the presenters, volunteers, or anyone else that there was a classroom area set up around the corner from the pool in a semi-private area. It actually worked out for the best, because we took over a couple of the cabanas and slave jazz was able to disrobe for part of the demo without being seen from the hotel windows. It was great to be able to have cigar smoking at a cigar class, and live, interactive demos instead of just a discussion when the class has to be indoors. Kudos to the organizers for having this available!

Due to other commitments we were unable to stay for the burlesque show on Friday night, but I heard it was fabulous! 🙂

Saturday morning started bright and early with Miss Amy’s erotic tea service class. After covering a brief overview of place settings and etiquette, Miss Amy used volunteers to demonstrate the use of human furniture for tea parties. My favorite was the lamp! Very creative! The remaining three quarters of the class time was used for question and answers, and general discussion with the class attendees.

I thoroughly enjoyed Master Jim and slave marsha’s class on “The Calling: Ritual, Ceremony and Spirituality in Master/slave Relationships.” They gave a unique perspective to the spiritual aspect of the M/s dynamic and how it has affected their journey that really resonated with me.

My first volunteer assignment was Sir Dart’s class about fucking up. It wasn’t my first choice (sorry, Sir!), but I’m glad I got “stuck” with it! I mean, face it, everybody fucks up… yes, everybody, even you. The important thing is admitting it and moving forward. After sharing lots, and lots, and lots of ways we all have fucked up, including his own stories, Sir Dart shared tools for overcoming your fuck ups. Not only was the class material top notch, I made a couple of new friends in Sir Dart and his boy.

I’m going to go ahead and address the volunteer experience here. It wasn’t great, for me. I’ll leave it at that. Despite it, I highly recommend that everyone take the opportunity to volunteer at least once at big events. You learn a lot and it’s a great opportunity to give back to the community. I’ll continue to volunteer at the events I attend because it’s a rewarding experience most of the time.

Rounding out the day was the Japanese Tea Ceremony with Tatu. All I have to say is, wow! This was an amazing experience and I appreciate the presenter and volunteers who made this possible. It was something that I won’t forget for many reasons.

We did not purchase tickets to the dinner and keynote speech. However one of the highlights of our weekend was the Great Plains Olympus Leather contest. While I was disappointed in the lack of attendance, the contestants did fantastic and were very entertaining. Lillith Grey was a fantastic hostess/MC. If you missed the contest fantasies and pop questions, don’t miss it next year. Good luck to TC and shy who were crowned Mr. and Ms. Great Plains Olympus Leather.

On Sunday, I was very much looking forward to “Danger, Keep Out” with Master Obsidian and slave namaste. I’ve loved every class that I’ve ever attended from them and this class was no different. Much of what they said really impacted me and where I am in my journey with my Master and our involvement in the community. I appreciate their openness, honesty and candor.

I loved the social lounge and puppy mosh pit. The pups were so much fun to watch and interact with during the weekend, and I know that has really fueled the dialogue about pet play in our community. That is very refreshing to see and hear! The vendor area had a wide variety of goods and services available. I took advantage and bought Master a last minute birthday gift while I was there!

Overall, the weekend was filled with great moments, great memories and great experiences. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who is interested in furthering their journey and expanding their horizons. Next year promises to be another full weekend of opportunities, and, with a few tweaks, can be even better than ever! As with everything else, this is a reflection of my experience. I encourage you to talk to others who attended and get their perspectives as well. However the only way you’ll know what it’s like for sure, is to make sure you attend in 2014! I hope to see you there!

Sep 242013
Beyond Vanilla is just days away! The excitement is building, the toy bags are getting packed, and the boots are getting blacked. This is an event that many of us look forward to all year long. There are classes galore, amazing contests, old and new faces, and fun for all.
For many people in our community BV is their first encounter with NLA. This event is a a great time to highlight our strengths as a club and engage possible new members. This is a wonderful time for all of us to reach out to people interested in the Club, and what we do. It is also the time for all of us to go above and beyond to make non members feel welcomed.
At this event i feel we should go above and beyond to show an outpour of NLA Dallas hospitality. It is a time to introduce ourselves to new faces, as much as It is a time to encourage people we do not normally see at the meeting to stop by and check it out. For years BV has been NLA’s most visual outreach tool to the greater whole of the Dallas Kink Community, lets not waste this valuable opportunity!
Remember a heartfelt personal invitation is often times what gets people to make their first visit to, or their second chance visit to a group. Remember how it felt to be new and that the 1 – 3 minuets you spend talking to a stranger could make all the difference in the world to them. Our mission statement includes not just promoting education but a support network for all members of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community.    
I challenge each member to make at least 3 personal invitations to 3 different people to come to an NLA meeting, and to BE an ambassadors for your club all weekend long!
Aug 052013


It’s that time of year again when I start reminding you that Beyond Vanilla is coming up and we are looking for silent auction donations.

This year’s auction beneficiaries are:

We will be happy to accept your contributions of legacy leather, handmade toys, event passes, gift baskets, old toys (in good condition), clothing or anything else you might want to contribute. The Virgo in me would very much like to have any contributions in-hand by 9/20 in order to make set-up go a little smoother. Please let me know if you need to arrange pick-up of items. I’ll make sure we get someone to you.

Oh, did I mention: at this year’s event, BIDDING WILL START ON FRIDAY!

I look forward to hearing from and seeing you have a kinkalicous time at BV XXIII.

Silent Auction Chair
Beyond Vanilla XXIII