Denny said he'd like to see a review of the above event. I deliberately held back from doing that because I was roped in to help (so am probably more than a little biased) but here's what I wrote in my public weblog on IC:
We actually went out to a public Fetish event again. Last week, when I saw the advert, I thought 'hmmm...another hard-house night in a club with folks dressed up like liberty- x'. (the local press has been in outrage about it). Well, the BDSM fairy decided to intervene, our gig for last night was cancelled (due to some sport or other) and I got woken up to a phonecall from the fetish event venue early yesterday asking for help to get some dungeon furniture (their original contact let them down). It was at this point I realised they were serious.
Well one thing led to another and we somehow ended up being the Dungeon Monitors (Dungeon Master and Mistress would be just a little bit too much of a stretch for our level of ability and public scene involvement).
Well there's another lesson for me. I had a really great time. The shows were great (some kind of grinder, a piercing girlie, a fantastic erotic fashion show). The lack of dungeon furniture was a source of panic but a kind loan of a massage table, a million sets of shackles and our full load of Quality Control whips, floggers and paddle ended up perfectly sufficient this time.
I gotta tell ya...I'm so happy to see a night in Bedford and not a pseudo-bdsm event. The staff were enthusiastic, friendly and absolutely lovely. The music was a bit 'wrong' but that's already being sorted in time for the next one. Oh and we also introduced them to the guys making our bondage bed and it's looking good for bespoke furniture tailored to the venue.
We were impressed that they had curtained off pockets fo the club for privacy and sorted out a grope tent (there is now talk of a 'grope wall' for next time).
I met some lovely people......a lovely guy in a mini kilt who was a very seasoned bottom (his pain threshold was higher than my 'thwackhold' but he was very gracious about my lack of strength and stamina). I also met a lovely, lovely couple (they'll know who they are) and we eventually got to chat about all the whips and floggers...quite accidentally, solving a problem they'd been having...another copy of Screw the Roses about to be sold through Amazon (sheesh! I should start getting commission at this rate). I get by and am confident about the bits I do know and practice but, at the same time, not ashamed to say I'm not a font of all knowledge or experience (by a long chalk). I was expecting to feel either out of my depth or (if there were a predominantly vanilla crowd) some kind of etiquette nazi. I was actually really comfortable and relaxed. During the night, most of the people attending, came to the VIP Scene Room so there was quite a lot of activity and interest.
I spanked, flogged and paddled on request, helped others, had some interesting conversations and made some new friends. We were all delighted to be in such a nice venue. What we lacked in numbers, we made up for in easy camaraderie.
The numbers were low. 60 in a venue which has capacity for 1000 but it was kinda nice to know that loads and loads of folk were refused entry for mistaking it to be 'a night for clubbing with more flesh on display than normal'. The Management took the night very seriously and put the etiquette and intent over and above any need to cover costs...I kinda love them for that.
It was very interactive in terms of feedback, the management team were all on hand asking for frank feedback and suggestions for how to make it what BDSM/Fetish people want (there is already a repeat planned and billed for the last Wednesday in June). At the end of the night, Caroline (the main organiser) gave us welcome feedback and outlined what was to be addressed immediately so that it would be right for next time. She also introduced us to the General Manager, Clive. Clive also asks lots of questions and was forthcoming with information.
You probably know from my previous weblogs, I'm normally no fan of the pubic BDSM scene. Well, that is on hold. These people left me feeling enthusiastic and hopeful that this might just be the venue we've all been waiting for.
We suggested an industrial, darkwave, gothic playlist and they were already ahead of us (Depeche Mode, Cabaret Voltaire, Gary Numan, Enigma, Human League, PWEI, 80s electronica and Sisters Of Mercy all got mentioned).
They're also up for holding a pre-event munch if there is sufficient interest.....sheesh! a Bedford munch, surely not!
Seriously, they're open to ideas. They didn't miss a beat at the mention of slave auctions, toga themes, forfeits, etiquette guidance to help newcomers (ya know; SSC, safe words, etc).
The club is so big (and nice) it would probably hold a few mini stalls as well so I'm sure they'd consider any requests to sell your wares in a mini fetish bazaar area (there were costumes, lingerie and basic BDSM implements like shackles, spreader bars for sale last night).
I'd like to see this one put on the BDSM map. It's 'preference friendly' (in terms of sexual identity) and the only club limits are 'no sex, no scat, no blood, no under 21's, no cameras or recording devices' So it's respectful of licensing law but not too restrictive.
If anyone is considering coming to the next one and needs help with directions, train info, B&Bs, etc...just email me.