FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) – Residents and officials of a southwestern Illinois city say they wish they’d had more notice that a sex convention was being held on city-owned property.

Fairview Heights aldermen and residents complained that they weren’t consulted before Fountains at Fairview Conference Center was rented out by the “Beat Me in St. Louis” convention. The private three-day event included sessions on water torture and bondage.

A hotel pays the city $1 a year to lease the conference center. A city administrator says that under the leasing contract, the venue doesn’t have to notify the city about the nature of its events.

City officials say they may renegotiate that contract to require notice in the future.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

  1. midnightantonia says:

    As one of the convention-goers, I take issue with the public being notified of our events. We kept it private for the same reasons we keep the rest of our private lives private. While many of us are not ashamed of our lifestyles, we also recognize the fact that our community is not very warmly welcomed by the outside world. Our events are not advertised to the public, because that would be an invitation for protests and ridicule, worse than that which we each face on a daily basis. All we have asked is that our privacy be respected, but the politicians had to drag our private event through the mud calling it a “porn convention” where there was no porn, and a “sex convention” where there was no sex. Beat Me in St. Louis is a lifestyle convention, where for just three days we can meet and mingle with like-minded people away from judgemental eyes. The only reason this made the news is because of the pending election.

    Another thing I take issue with is the fact that a city that has very little revenue is scaring away an event that brought in anywhere from 500-1000 convention-goers. For three days, these people spent a lot of money in hotels, restaurants, and probably the local mall too. This is the first year that our event has been held at this location, but if the city wants it to be the last, we will gladly take our business and our money elsewhere.

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