The Gimp Who Licked Me : Inside London’s Underground Fetish Scene
Like many, I spent the majority of my early 20’s stumbling around in the dark inside London’s many fine party establishments. And so, perhaps foolishly, I was of the opinion that I had seen it all before. I was to stand corrected of this one crisp autumn evening upon whence, by possible error of judgement, I went trundling in to a Vauxhall nightclub, sporting a tasteless PVC mini dress I had purchased on eBay for £25 and a second-hand cat of nine tales.
Being that I already considered myself somewhat of a sexual scientist, I had made the executive decision to test out London’s fetish scene – attending a slightly more “commercial” fetish party – Torture Garden – a month or so previous, and now finding myself on the guest list for this somewhat more seamy affair – Club Pedestal.
Torture Garden is on the tamer side. For those who aren’t aware, it’s one of the main events companies for fetish parties in the UK, they host parties at clubs around the country and cater to a general clientele more so than some of the more niche affairs that would keep you awake at night, just at the thought. They have a more commercial vibe and tend to have a mixed bag of attendees. If you wanted you could go along just to dance, but where’s the fun in that?
The main distinction between a fetish club night as opposed to a regular one is perhaps the enforced dress code; fetish and fantasy only. Yes, that means you’re going in there relatively naked, sporting something you highly likely would never be caught dead in given any other scenario. Public nudity – check.
Then you have the fantasy theme rooms. Ever toyed with the idea of being fingered by a stranger whilst hoisted in a pair of medical stirrups? Well, you’re in luck! Spanking stations are aplenty, along with performances from fetish acts and general depravity in the name of entertainment, of course.
Then there’s the pièce de résistance – the fuck bunker. I say “bunker”, as that’s something I’d affectionally termed it before I’d ever actually seen one, but in actual fact, the first one I saw looked a lot more like a barn; a poorly constructed barn from a village hall nativity scene, actually.
The rules are simple: you must enter with a partner, which is reasonable enough. I wanted to see what lay behind the forbidden bales, and so found he nearest willing male to accompany me. This just so happened to be a man who was dressed in the extremely thoughtful costume of – simply, stark-bollock-naked. In order to be let in you must kiss in front of the gatekeepers to prove you’re a couple. One sweaty kiss with a naked Italian stranger later, I found myself inside. It was hot, like stepping inside a farm-yard-animals lung. Bloody hot. Bodies writhe around the edges. We look for a place to sit down but it’s impossible – perhaps ironically – there is no room at the inn.
A short while later, I found my friend stretched out over a hay bale with a man she’d met 20 minutes prior in the medical stirrups. “I don’t fancy this much,” I said, gesturing past a convulsing meat-pile, and made my way outside. Perhaps I was naive to think someone as uptight as myself could become a sexual zealot in the grand space of 10 minutes. No, this was going to take all my wit and cunning. And quite possibly, a lot of tequila.
So it was leading on from this more “tame” first experience that I found myself in a cage, in Vauxhall nightclub, treading on a man’s face with my big, scary fetish shoes. I’d like to say it sounds worse than it was, but that just simply wouldn’t be true.
To divulge further – the night we were attending was a dom/sub night – by which all the women are dominatrix, and all the men are submissive. This suited me fine, as I’d always considered myself somewhat of a ball-buster, in all meanings of the word. The only issue I could see was that the ratio of men to women was way off, and at this rate, we’d spend the entire night fending off gimps, leaving no time to attend the midnight latex-parade, or have a go on the face-walking station.
I shouldn’t have been concerned. As it turns out, gimps are very facilitating. In fact, I’d never been so well taken care of. We sent one off to buy a bottle of bubbly, which he then proceeded to follow us around with. I then used one as a human stool, a footrest, a handbag holder. One even was so kind as to clean my shoes with his tongue. Aside from the obvious issue of hygiene, I was merry as a sailor. “I could get used to this, ” I thought, lashing my paddle against the be-glittered arse of a masked middle-aged stranger.
At some point we were beckoned to whip a man, who I’m told is some kind of high-flying business man, but on this occasion was looking less than professional dressed in a cheap wig and spandex mini skirt. “This is Karen” I’m told. I attempt to look convinced and prepare to unleash seven shades of hell on Karen’s shiny silver rear.
I suppose what surprises me about all of this, is that although it was extremely novel to me and I enjoyed it thoroughly, none of it was sexual to me. It didn’t turn me on to hit anyone or sit on them, or risk blinding them with my footwear. It was nice to be followed around with wine, but essentially a butler, or an overly enthusastic boyfriend, could do that.
The night ended abruptly when a bouncer threatened to throw me out for lashing a gimp in the face. Turns out there are rules, after all. Everyone’s a free-loving hippy until they’re on the business end of a budget sex toy, it turns out. It was late, and we decided our brief soiree with scandal was over, for tonight, anyway.
I might just have to face facts – I’m just not a dominatrix. Although I can’t help but feel that given enough time, and talcum powder, I could have really grown to enjoy latex. Perhaps in reality, maybe I’m just another missionary-loving hetero gal, who want’s nothing more than to chug back a bottle of economy wine, turn the dimmer down and have vaguely intimate sex with a stranger I’ve met off the internet. The jury is still out on this one, but I’d like to think one day I’ll give it another whirl.
And just like that my brief entanglement in London’s underground sex scene came to a close. I’m still a scientist, I’m just one that enjoys a cuddle afterward and a nice cup of tea.