Whenever conversation turns to comparisons between serious play clubs and (what some might describe as) glamorous fetish clubs, there’s always the question: do you have to strip away the trappings and fun of dressing up in deviantly seductive attire to be regarded as a serious player?
Why is it that the serious play clubs are usually full of older couples in black leather who bring a frighteningly wide array of toys in with them?
Although I am often impressed by such people’s accessories and may covet a particular item from their collections, I can’t help wondering: do you really need a roll of ten different crops for a night out? Maybe I’m missing the point.
Though in some regards it may appear so, the fetish scene isn’t so different from life in general. The same rules of conformity often apply. The goths frown on people wearing (shock, horror) colour or a cheerful grin. The burlesque aficionados often don’t like bondage, needles, or anything too ‘fetish’.
The fetishists don’t like gothic pvc or anything that looks like it came straight from Camden. Then there are those few who flit between the crowds, but even they conduct chameleon changes in attire (and attitude?) to fit in with the selected crowd.
My witty sub, V, remarks: “There is nothing as conformist as mass nonconformity.”
I sometimes wonder whether this is indicative of people’s basic nature — put a group of people together, and certain basic social rules apply — or whether people have been so acclimatised to conformity that they fall into subconscious habits.
I’m minded to vote for the former. Admittedly, I’ve never read up on or watched those studies of the let’s-put-a-bunch-of-people-together-without-modern-necessities-and-see-what-they-do variety.
But a recent television effort which put a group of unsupervised kids together suggested they hadn’t found the solution to humankind’s problems quite yet.
A friend once gave me a book about the rules of English society, and advised that I really should read it to learn how to say what I really want to say after going round in circles.
Being one of those strange nonconformists who frequently break the unspoken rules of particular groups, I still get befuddled by the mass urge to conform or to scowl at those who — oh, I don’t know — wear the wrong coloured latex, say, or only wear black.
Despite all that, the fetish community will not usually openly ostracise or sneer at someone for wearing the wrong clothes or being a bit ‘wrong’ for the scene, as long as it’s obvious that some effort has been made.
That doesn’t mean judgemental comments are never made, but compare this to a typical bar full of City folk. If you have visible tattoos or there’s anything else about you that’s not completely ‘normal’, it’s a free-for-all with jibes, suggestive comments or ridiculous questions like “Did that hurt?”.
The glamorous fetish clubs are part fantasy, part adventure. Stretch your imagination, live a little bit more, step over the edge. Maybe that is what some serious players don’t understand.
It’s not about not taking the play seriously enough — it’s about not taking it too seriously. It is supposed to be fun, after all.
‘Glamorous fetish clubs are part fantasy, part adventure. Maybe that is what some serious players don’t understand’ – Mlle La Rouge