To anyone who soldiered through all three nights of Trauma at The Bluestone, I salute you. Columbus' fetish-filled Halloween extravaganza was a fever dream bursting with ropes, hooks and sultry costumes. Each room offered a different party nearly sending me into an ADD tailspin. I only attended one night of Trauma's three-day romp, but after that sensory overload, once was probably enough.

To anyone who soldiered through all three nights of Trauma at The Bluestone, I salute you. Columbus’ fetish-filled Halloween extravaganza was a fever dream bursting with ropes, hooks and sultry costumes. Each room offered a different party nearly sending me into an ADD tailspin. I only attended one night of Trauma’s three-day romp, but after that sensory overload, once was probably enough.

We arrived relatively early and walked into the main chamber with the primary goal of getting a drink. Our plans were halted when we saw what was happening on stage. We walked into the middle of an aerial/bondage performance. A young woman was tied in various positons with rope and was swung through the air. Each new knot forced her body into a different contorted position; blinking or looking away was no longer an option for fear of missing another hypnotic stunt.

Once the performance ended, we got our drinks and took a tour around the rest of the party. Even though it was still early (before 11 p.m.), the sprawling space was filling up with angels, demons and superheroes. We excused ourselves from the main hall once the suspension show was set to start (I get queasy).

Hunter S. Thompson and a Ghostbuster chatted up a nearby Playboy bunny as we made our way out to the patio. Immediately, a guy in a doctor’s costume approached us. I turned away to check my phone as he talked to my friend.

I returned to the conversation just in time for the good doctor to say that he “will have bruises on my back for a week.” I must have given him a quizzical look. “From the fetish stuff upstairs,” the good doctor continued. “I was here last night and I’ll probably have bruises for a week. It’s pretty fun if you don’t mind pain.”

“Good to know,” is all I could retort.

After dancing to some non-descript EDM music outside, we went exploring. Downstairs we walked in on a drum circle, upstairs Shawndy Spiderthroat was deejaying some goth/industrial music. Overlooking the dance floor was a fetish mezzanine. We saw the good doctor walking up the stairs toward it.

Back downstairs, we walked into the middle of Anna and The Annadroids. Each painted-up fembot performed a mesmerizing number, and again we were stuck slack-jawed watching the spectacle. There were hidden gems around every corner, but we were so entranced by the performances we didn’t get to mill around as much as we wanted. Maybe it’s for the best… We could have run into the doctor again.

Photo by Craig Bortmas