Compulsion in Birmingham (August)Review: Event

I finally made it back to Compulsion this month, after having my plans for a faster return foiled by the motorbike accident last summer. The venue remains one of the best laid-out I've ever seen for a fetish night, and the event has built up a solid crowd in two of the three areas it seems to be aiming at. For a relatively small event, this is definitely one of the best I've been to.

The club has very good separation of various areas within it, allowing for two different dancefloors, both a good size, as well as a sprawling dungeon complex with public(ish) and private(ish) areas. There's also a small area with a couple of stalls, this month one selling BDSM accessories and the other selling hair extensions and braids for cyber-goths.

All of these areas have bars in them, so you never have to go far to find a drink - and at 1 for a lemonade and 1.50 for a pint of cider, it's not that expensive either. The club is also well supplied with toilet areas, especially for ladies - another bonus for a fetish night, I've never seen anyone queueing for the loo here.

The club has built up a good crowd of regulars in both the 'alternative' dancefloor area and the dungeon area. The main dancefloor, a stomping hard house area, was sadly underpopulated on Friday for no apparent reason - perhaps people just don't know how good the music is at this place. The sound system is good and the lighting's not bad either, so I really think this area would fill up with the right advertising.

The alternative dancefloor seems to attract a mostly goth crowd - no bad thing, as goths tend to be young and attractive, and of course they like to dress up :) Again the sound quality and lighting are pretty good, and there's a gallery around the top of this room allowing you to look down on the dancefloor. The club's layout gives you various routes to just stroll around taking in the sights, which is something I really like in a venue.

The dungeon has a good mixture of people, both serious players and those 'just experimenting' - and with some areas with a 'spectators gallery' and others in curtained off alcoves, people can pick a privacy level that suits their style of play.

Finally, there's even a cafe tucked away upstairs. The cheeseburger I had was pretty nasty, but the chips were particularly good and I'll happily sample other bits of the menu next time I'm there. They sell glowsticks too :)

All in all, this is a fantastic venue and a great event - I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone within travelling distance of Birmingham.

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Re: Compulsion in Birmingham (August)#1

To be honest this was the worst Compulsion we have attended... There were a couple of incidents that were incredibly off putting when my partner and I were trying to scene in the dungeon.

Firstly was the two girls who took up an eqquipped booth next to us. They had the dungeons Mistresses medical kit and there was and awful lot of swearing, mentions of 'it does bleed that much sometimes', followed by the request that someone go to the lavatory and fetch some toilet roll to clean the blood up!!

Surely in the interests of hygine and safe play this is unacceptable! The girls left without informing anyone blood had been in contact with the equitment and without cleaning it properly.

This put is off our scene and we left to go back to the bar with the thought of returning a bit later and avoiding that booth like the plague.

When we returned we found a less crowded area to play but unfortunately the dungeon Mistress who was wearing a lovely eastern slave outfit kept jangling in and out of the area to fetch whips and the like to lend out.

Understandably she needs somewhere to put these things but the noise of her outfit was a tad distracting and there was room further away from the bench we were playing on that would have been just as suitable for her to keep her eye on her stash.

The sound became quite familiar after the 9th or 10th time but the scene still ended rather abrubptly because the dungeon Master had decided to take a break in the chair behind us an was caught in the backlash of what was becomming a thoroughly good flogging!! This was all too much so we composed ourselves and headed straight out the front door for the taxi rank.

The event is also meant to have a dress code... but it didn't stop pilled up vanilla's getting in and causing and air of discomfort for those who were there to enjoy and socialise with likeminded folk. I wasn't aware that khaki crop trousers, trainers and 'chav' sportswear had become an acceptable part of the fetish dress code at Compulsion.

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Re: Compulsion in Birmingham (August)#2

(Anonymous 2)

We too attended the August Compulsion and were disappointed. Even when not playing it is still good fun to simply dress-up/undress and relax, chat, dance etc. in a welcoming environment. However on this occassion we stayed for less than hour before leaving; even just strolling around we felt uncomfortable. OK if the club is full a few goths are a nice and attractive addition, but on this occassion the club also had many individuals with trousers&shirts (some shiny admittedly?), khakis with or without T-shirts, sportswear etc, even a fully dressed chap sitting under one of the staircases to the balcony. As well as the official photographer there were a few guys around with digital cameras and camera-phones; they could have been friends of the organisers or DJs, but who is to know when they are dressed in near streetwear? The numbers attending may have been low, so precipitating a loosening of the dresscode, but this could lead to a downward spiral. The organisers clearly work hard to arrange Compulsion (well done if you read this), but we hope they start firming up on the rules before the atmosphere dies completely. We'd even accept it if there were lenient rules nights (if you are not in fetish or theme then down to your undies) and strict rules nights (if you are not in fetish or theme then starkers) as long as we knew what to expect when. Or even one dance floor strict, one dance floor lenient. Whatever the future holds for Compulsion we thank the organisers and hope the future is bright, but at the sametime we do wish the dress and camera codes were implemented.

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